RSD16 Roundup: Releases Under the Radar

News / Record Store Day 2016 / Reviews / April 15, 2016

While a certain intergalactic picture disc will be front and center for this year’s edition of Record Store Day, MV Writer Alan Miller decided to go a little off the reservation with his next round of reviews (he previously posted an advanced review of the Dr. Who RSD16 release). You will find some Disney here, but mostly you’ll get an inside look at some releases you may have passed over otherwise.  

Xiu Xiu — Plays the Music of Twin Peaks
My most anticipated RSD release. In 2015 Xiu Xiu were commissioned by Australia’s Gallery of Modern Art to reinterpret the music of Twin Peaks for their “David Lynch: Between Two Worlds” exhibit. After playing it live, they decided to go into the studio and record it proper. On tracks like “Falling” and “Blue Frank/Pink Room,” Xiu Xiu not only faithfully reproduces the mood of the originals, but somehow elevates them to terrifying new heights. This release is everything Record Store Day should be about; celebrating unique and exciting new music.

Side By Side: Werewolves of London — Warren Zevon/Groovin’ Ghoulies
I’m not usually a fan of the “Side By Side” stuff, but the artwork on this one is incredible. Attributed to illustrator Donny Phillips, the werewolf scene with red/yellow on the front and blue/black on the back is striking to look at and jumps straight off the disc. The music is what you’d expect, nothing too special, but plays fairly clean with little to no pops and clicks accustomed to pic discs.

Disney: The Silly Symphony Collection — The Skeleton Dance/Three Little Pigs
My main draw to this release was “The Skeleton Dance.” Growing up I watched my fair share of Halloween specials, and if it was produced by Disney you could guarantee “The Skeleton Dance” would be shown alongside the newer animated shorts. The dog howls and cat screams are great, as well as the xylophone melody (played on a skeleton’s back) towards the end of the track.

The Kinks — Mister Pleasant EP
The Kinks have become a Record Store Day staple, releasing at least one 7” every year. Mister Pleasant is one of the better efforts with some of their ’60s deep cuts like “Village Green” and “Two Sisters.” While it might not be their best known work, it’s certainly a great one to have.

Manic Street Preachers — A Design For Life
This 12” single marks the 20th anniversary of the Manic Street Preachers’ incredibly important album Everything Must Go, their first after the disappearance of their original guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards. I’ve always loved this song, but the super mirrored bronze finish on the album art makes it a must have.

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Alan Miller
Alan is a songwriter and record store clerk living just north of Nashville, TN.

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