With a whole slew of Black Friday releases set to hit stores tomorrow, we here at Modern Vinyl will be out in full force to pick up the exclusive reissues, singles, soundtracks and everything else this year’s list has to offer. In celebration of the big day, I’ve asked all our staff members (including myself) to talk about what they’re excited to bring home to their turntables.
Ethan Merrick : Various Artists — Moonrise Kingdom OST
Wes Anderson is known for crafting endearing, artistic films that interweave wry wit, a soundtrack composed by Mark Mothersbaugh — usually a collection of British invasion and tender instrumental scores — as well as poignant portrayals of flawed characters. While The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou utilized one of Anderson’s more playful and enjoyable soundtracks — with Seu Jorge, a Brazilian musician, performing covers of David Bowie in Portuguese along with the electronic, techno pieces that colored the oceanic scenes — it is Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson’s latest film, that will be his first movie to have its soundtrack pressed on vinyl. The soundtrack to Moonrise Kingdom is wholly different than any other film that Anderson has written — featuring only classical, orchestral arrangements and pieces from Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. The album will be pressed on 10-inch, 180-gram black vinyl and will include a field notebook, reminiscent of the Khaki Scout Handbook seen in the film. However, while the original film score spans twenty-one tracks, the vinyl release will only feature the pieces written by Mark Mothersbaugh and Alexandre Desplat, a French film composer. The pressing is limited to 4,000 copies.
Brian Vitunic: Coheed & Cambria — The Afterman: Ascension Demos
I’ve been a fan of Coheed & Cambria since my early high school years and they have remained one of the few bands to never disappoint me when they release a new album. Last month, they released The Afterman: Ascension, the first record in a two part series and one which marked the return of original member Josh Eppard on drums. The album showcased the band’s ability to continue making powerful and influential progressive rock music. This Black Friday, they are releasing an 8-track record of demos from that album, which were originally available with the deluxe CD version. This record will be essential to any fan of the group, especially those maintaining a collection, but the relatively small pressing (limited to 2,000) might make it hard to find. I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy this Friday.
Bill Houck: The Gaslight Anthem — Hold You Up
The Gaslight Anthem and vinyl go hand in hand. Not only has every one of their albums been released on wax, but the band’s old school rock fits the format perfectly. With this in mind, they’re usually a participant in either Record Store Day or Black Friday releases and this year is no different, with a 10″ record featuring 3 unreleased acoustic tracks from the band. Anything new from this band is a must own for any of their fans, but the fact that we’re dealing with acoustic recordings, along with a Bon Iver cover (“Skinny Love”), the release is a must have. The three tracks are already streaming and the band has continued with that awesome sound that has led to their huge success in the last few years. Overall, this is an exciting release from the band, pressed on 10″ red vinyl (limited to 3,000) and will be a must own on Black Friday.
Michael Escanuelas: Tenacious D — Simply Jazz
I would never think the words Tenacious D and jazz would be grouped together, but as I read the list of titles that will be available on Black Friday’s own Record Store Day, I see that the unexpected has happened. Simply titled, “Jazz,” the D have won my top pick for the major sale. Granted, this item is more of a curiosity purchase, Tenacious D has always been a favorite of mine, even if their material is never quite as consistent in quality. The item’s rarity, as it’s limited to only 1,000 copies on black vinyl, will make it an even more desirable score, but for some, may make it nearly impossible to snag. An 11-minute jazz song created by the talented comedy duo is definitely worth my purchase, if I can find it.
Chris Lantinen: Various Artists — Reservoir Dogs OST
As the first film in his long and storied career, Quentin Tarantino achieved audio excellence with his soundtrack for Reservoir Dogs. While listening to each track, you’re taken back to signature moments within the modern classic, culminating with “Stuck In The Middle With You,” a song now synonymous with a very, very violent act. Furthering the experience is the tracklisting, which along with full length songs, includes dialogue snippets from the film. The real draw of the release is the packaging, though, featuring several different color variants, matching up with the characters’ code names. Limited to 4,000 copies, you’ll be able to pick up the album on blonde, orange, brown, white, blue and pink vinyl. Lady luck, please help me get a pink variant, if only to honor the great Steve Buscemi.
Let us know what your number one target is in the comments. And if possible, help each other out in picking up the rare records!