I’ve never been into Thanksgiving at all, mostly because I’m an ungrateful brat and prefer to pig out on pizza. Black Friday has always been the day I circled at the end of November, from my humble beginnings tagging along with my mom while she shopped at the mall through my current incarnation as a vinyl junkie hunting for records on the day after that boring day where I have to make small talk and eat turkey.
Nevertheless, I’m very excited that Record Store Day’s Black Friday lineup of exclusive (read: pricey) vinyl releases has been announced. Despite the outward appearance and blasé attitude, headphones-wearing hipsters aren’t immune to fake holidays celebrating the annual maxing out of Visas. You just have to replace half-off handbags with marked-up 180-gram vinyl and we’re there faster than you can say “Bon Iver.”
Record Store Day, which holds its primary holiday in April, began in 2007 as a way to celebrate independent record shops and lure music fans out of big-box chains like Best Buy and Walmart, as if the fact that those stores’ music sections are made of about two CD racks and a Nickelback display case isn’t enough. Today, it’s observed in thousands of stores (and musicians) across the world and has since expanded to capitalize on the holiday shopping season.
Artists often use Record Store Day to issue limited pressings of new singles, rarities collections and special editions of their back catalogue. This November 23 will be stacked with new releases to get excited about, filled with new vinyl from legendary rockers (The Rolling Stones), indie heroes (The White Stripes) and newcomers (The Gaslight Anthem) alike.
As the Stones gear up for their 50th anniversary tour reportedly set for next year, they’ll be reissuing their debut EP as part of RSD’s Black Friday. The eponymous four-song set includes “Bye Bye Johnny,” “Money,” “You Better Move On” and “Poison Ivy” and will be available in its original 7” vinyl format for the first time since its release 48 years ago.
Other Rock & Roll Hall of Famers participating in Black Friday include Bob Dylan, whose new single “Duquesne Whistle” (from this fall’s Tempest) will arrive as a 7”, and The Beach Boys, who are releasing their debut single “Surfin’ Safari” on 10” vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
Jack White is always ready and willing to lend a hand to independent record stores, so it’s no surprise that the band that made him famous, The White Stripes, are reissuing three of their most seminal singles on the 7” format. “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” “Hotel Yorba” and “Fell in Love with a Girl” will all be available on Black Friday, but good luck getting your hands on all three unless you sleep on the sidewalk overnight.
Meanwhile, two of the biggest indie rock bands of 2012, The Gaslight Anthem and Band of Horses, are set to offer up outtakes from their most recent studio albums on Black Friday. The Gaslight Anthem, whose Handwritten recently topped out at number three on the Billboard 200, will release three-song EP Hold You Up, while Band of Horses will unveil the vinyl edition of Sonic Ranch Sessions, which features five cuts that didn’t make this summer’s Mirage Rock.
Thanksgiving isn’t so bad, I guess. It puts me in Phoenix for Black Friday, meaning I won’t have to freeze my ears off waiting in line outside Minneapolis’ Electric Fetus. Maybe I’ll order a pizza to wash down the turkey while I brave a 50 degree winter’s night.