#RSDWeek — Alan Miller’s Top Picks

News / Record Store Day 2017 / Special Features / April 21, 2017

Today, in our continuing #RSDWeek, Alan Miller (The Vinyl Crawl) gives us a look into his top 10 2017 selections, complete with photos. Alan works at Mellow Matt’s Music & More, a south central Kentucky record store.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit — Live from Welcome To 1979

(1xLP, Black, Limited to 4,000)
Clearly my favorite of this year’s releases, Live from Welcome to 1979 captures Isbell and band in all of their Southern rock n roll glory. Consisting of mostly covers and recorded directly to lacquer disc, this is the kind of one-off release that makes Record Store Day special.

The Meters — A Message from The Meters

(3xLP, Red/Green/Yellow, Limited to 1,000)
Collecting all of the major singles from New Orleans funk pioneers The Meters, this 3xLP set on red/green/yellow vinyl is a real gem. While I’m not a fan of the tri-fold packaging (come on guys, just put it in a box), the massive amount of tracks and cool reproduction — Josie/Reprise labels on the wax — make it a great release to try and snag.

Field Music — Tones of Town

(1xLP, Yellow, Limited to 650)
UK group Field Music finally received some much needed exposure in the USA last year with their pop rock tour de force Commontime, but it’s their earlier, more experimental albums that gained them the recognition as one of Britain’s most talented acts. Released for the first time on vinyl since 2007, Tones of Town is the band coming into their own, showing us the tight rhythms and smooth-as-silk vocal harmonies they would later become known for.

Flat Duo Jets — Wild Wild Love Box Set

(2×12”, 1×10”, Black, Limited to 800)
Housed in a thick cardboard box, this set chronicles the early days of ’80s lo-fi rock pioneers Flat Duo Jets. Included is a 10” of their first EP, as well as a 2xLP reissue of their first self-titled album (both were previously only available on cassette and CD). There’s also a huge booklet with interviews and photos, as well as a postcard and playbill. It’s a massive collection and a huge bang for your RSD buck.

David Bowie — Cracked Actor, Live Los Angeles ‘74

(3xLP, Black, Limited to 5,000)
You’ll have to forgive the terrible tri-fold packaging (What’s the deal guys?) because this live set is absolute fire. Bowie is in all his cocaine-fueled glory, bridging the Ziggy-inspired glam with his newer “Thin White Duke” R&B sound. The sound quality is tremendous; every instrument has it’s place in the mix, and Bowie’s voice never sounded better. Do yourself a favor and snag it.

Fleetwood Mac — Alternate Mirage

(1xLP, Black, Limited to 3500)
Probably not everyone’s (or anyone’s) favorite Fleetwood Mac record, this release captures alternate and demo versions of songs found on their 1982 release Mirage. It’s nice to hear the gloss stripped back on these tracks, making it a more enjoyable listening experience than the original. Make sure to glance inside the cardboard sleeve for a nice Easter egg.

Pino Donaggio — Don’t Look Now

(7”, Red, Limited to 1,000)
Possibly as a tease to the upcoming Waxwork full release, this 7” captures two of Donaggio’s best tracks from his haunting score to Don’t Look Now. It’s a fairly limited release, so if you’re a soundtrack fan I would suggest not sleeping on it.

Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes — Live at Jones Beach

(1×10”, White marble, Limited to 3,000)
A little rougher around the edges than the RSD 2014 Live at the Greek release, this 3-song 10” packs a lot of punch in a small package. The highlight is B-side track “In The Light,” an awesome and under-appreciated song from Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, and performed masterfully by Page & The Crowes.

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam — Live at KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic

(1xLP, Black, Limited to 3,000)
I sampled a bit of this show online to see if I would enjoy it, and suffice to say the whole thing is great. The combination of Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmalgij with The Walkman’s Hamilton Leithauser on vocals is fun without taking itself too seriously. It also comes with a download card, something rare for a RSD release.

The Electric Flag — Live from California 1967-1968

(2xLP, Black, Limited to 1400)
This is a strange one for a few reasons. It was listed on the RSD website as a single show in 1968, but in reality, it’s a comp from a couple different shows in different years. There’s also some sound issues and weird phasing from left to right that can be problematic at times. The fact that it’s a white-hot psych/blues show helps to ease those concerns though, and Mike Bloomfield’s playing is superb throughout. If you can look past some of the flaws, I would recommend giving it a shot.

One Way Static — METROPOLIS Re-Score and Cobra Verde

I haven’t had a chance to see these two in person yet, but they are both on my radar for RSD. METROPOLIS  is an ambitious re-score of the 1927 Fritz Lang film by Indiana-based electronic artist Metavari and is a double LP. You can sample a bit of it here; it looks to have a gorgeous black/gold cover as well, adding to the overall appeal. Then there’s Cobra Verde, scored by everyone’s favorite Herzog-centric German band Popol Vuh. If you’re a fan of Waxwork’s Nosferatu release, then this will be a definite buy. The best way I can describe the main theme is “space folk,” so chances are if you’re into bands like Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes or My Morning Jacket, you’ll dig this release.

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

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