FEATURE: The Half Cloth Guide to RSD Black Friday 2016
by Chad Jewett
An Evening With Ornette Coleman, Part 1 (Limited to 1800)
Recorded in England in 1965, during a run of live albums that include the more well-known At the “Golden Circle” Stockholm and Town Hall, 1962, An Evening With Ornette Coleman, Part 1 found the free-jazz pioneer further developing his art music experimentation, which would include the saxophonist taking up violin and exploring the avant-garde bridge between modern jazz and modern classical music. According to the RSD website, this is the first U.S. vinyl cut of the concert in over 40 years: a 180 gram pressing that includes a gorgeous, minimalist jacket (seen above).
Live at the Whiskey A Go Go (Limited to 2250)
Earlier this year, the venerable soul label Stax Records released Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings, a full box set collection of Otis Redding’s legendary Spring 1966 run at Hollywood’s Whiskey A Go Go nightclub. That cd compilation is essential (and a go-to gift for every soul/R&B fan on your list), finding Redding and his dynamite backing band working through everything from the singer’s own classics (“Mr. Pitiful”, “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, “Try A Little Tenderness”), to British Invasion hits (“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “A Hard Day’s Night”) with equal parts bombast and precision. The vinyl version, pressed on 180 gram red wax, culls highlights from that set, a boon for both Otis Redding/Stax completists and for those who want an even more streamlined artifact of one of American music’s most gifted live showmen.
Servants of Death EP (Limited to 2000)
Pairing three live recordings (two from the band’s essential 1998 LP The Shape Of Punk To Come) with Freedom single “Servants of Death”, a remix of that track, and Freedom-era non-album track “Stolen Voices”, Servants of Death EP is the latest release from newly-revived Swedish hardcore geniuses Refused. Anyone who has seen Refused since their 2012 live return can feel confident that the live cuts of “Tannhauser” and “Shape of Punk to Come” are likely excellent, and the unreleased “Stolen Voices” promises to give us even more insight into the complex, rich, and already-underrated Freedom.
Tokyo Police Club
A Lesson in Crime/Smith EP 10th Anniversary Edition (Limited to 400)
There are essentially three kinds of Record Store Day/RSD Black Friday special releases:
1.) Odds-and-sods collections of rarities and remixes.
2.) Re-releases of long-missed or long-forgotten albums.
3.) Conveniently timed anniversary reissues.
This year’s reissue of the Lesson in Crime and Smith EPs from Canadian indie-rock band Tokyo Police Club is definitely an anniversary release (10 years to be exact), but with the added intrigue of a very short run (400 copies to be exact). Smith has in fact never been issued on vinyl before, and the pairing of the two on one LP is convenient (Equal Vision Records did something similar with their one-package reissue of Bear Vs. Shark’s two LPs earlier this year).
Jazz Dispensary: Holiday Treats (Limited to 1500)
For those of you looking for a Black Friday find that’s a little more closely tied to the season, the always dependable Jazz Dispensary is offering Jazz Dispensary: Holiday Treats, a compilation of soul and funk Christmas songs that includes greats like Booker T & The M.G.’s and Rufus Thomas. Selections run from the familiar (“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”) to the more unique (Electric Jungle’s “Funky Funky Christmas”, for instance), meaning that Holiday Treats promises to balance nostalgia and novelty nicely. The record’s design – with its Christmas candy jacket and red-peppermint-colored vinyl – only underlines the album’s winning yuletide flare.