Kota Gerson is an indie rock DJ for New Orleans’ WTUL 91.5 FM on Sundays from 5 – 7 pm EST. Expect amazing deep cuts and Madonna 45’s slowed down. Follow her on Twitter at @KotaGerson and @KGAccidental.
Brandon Weight reviews and photographs concerts for BYT, works on the in-house events team, and listened to Incubus more than once on purpose. Follow him on Twitter at @brandonweight.
Record Store Day arrives this Saturday, April 19, to a myriad of local shops. Kota and Brandon hopped on Gchat to discuss the albums worth picking up (LCD Soundsystem! Split 7″s! Weird shit!), albums that you should know are released (One Direction! Ron Jeremy), and why Mastodon always kills it with special releases (and Feist deserves a residency on Sesame Street).
The Chat | The List | The Stores
Brandon Weight: So shall we begin?
Kota Gerson: Let’s! I know what you want to start with.
BW: Well clearly I’m pumped for the LCD Soundsystem 5 LP box set.
LCD Soundsystem – The Long Goodbye (Live at Madison Square Garden)
BW: Technically, it’s a “RSD First’ release, because it does have a full release in May, but true LCD fans can get it a month in advance.
BW: You’ve seen “Shut Up and Play The Hits.” This is the full mastered concert audio. Nearly four hours long, and three years in the making.
KG: 3000 true LCD fans can get it. Do you like your odds?
BW: Absolutely. I don’t like the rumored $120 price tag, but we’re talking about tracks featuring Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts.
KG: I think it’s definitely worth the cost. There’s 5 pieces of vinyl so that’s…$24/record. A little steep but not when you consider what it is.
BW: Remember the part in the movie where James Murphy calls LCD Soundsystem “The Best LCD Soundsystem Cover Band?” They never play one track exactly the same live.
KG: YES. Ugh I love that part. I love all the parts. Thank goodness you sat me down (twice) and insisted I watch it.
BW: They’re a punk band at heart. A punk band selling out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row having a dance party. Encapsulated in a box set.
KG: Made with love by James Murphy. That’s priceless.
BW: Oh, absolutely. I remember both of our audible “whoa” sounds when the disco ball shines during “Us Vs. Them.” (Fast forward to 2:09 for a reminder).
KG: How could I forget? IT INSPIRED ACTUAL AWE. Also the title of the record… The Long Goodbye …first that makes you a little misty eyed.
KG: Also kinda love that even though they aren’t a band anymore, they’re still giving their fans a little present (and making a decent amount of money I’m sure but I like being more optimistic).
BW: Exactly. Fans we’re brokenhearted when the band broke up. Then the documentary came out. Then this drops. It’s the longest goodbye without doing an eight year reunion tour. And, if James Murphy can sett $40 tickets to a DJ night at 9:30 club, he can’t be hurting
KG: Very true.
BW: Before this turns into an LCD Soundsystem forum of love, what are you excited for?
KG: Well to start, a lot of bands are re-releasing their first albums which I think is pretty cool. Including: Built to Spill, Joy Division, Pinback, and Otis Redding.
Built to Spill –Ultimate Alternative Wavers
Joy Division – An Ideal for Living (1978)
Otis Redding –Pain In My Heart
BW: Spanning every decade and genre.
KG: In fact I wonder if all of these have been released on vinyl before… it might be a first for the Pinback album
BW: Well, even if Otis Redding’s record is a reissue, it’s worth a purchase on quality alone.
KG: It’s a 50th anniversary reissue too. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on Pinback either. More Pinback is always a good idea.
BW: Save it for a rainy day, literally.
KG: And I mean come on. Like we would pass up a Joy Division album of any kind.
BW: Who could?
KG: RSD is definitely aiming for some nostalgic purchases this year. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I’m pretty intrigued by The Space Project. I know it’s gotten a decent amount of hype (especially after Spiritualized– who is on the record– allegedly was talking shit about it).
KG: I still think it’s a pretty cool concept, bands using space sounds to compose original tracks.
Various Artists –The Space Project
BW: You’re slightly biased because that’s what you did in college, use pro tools to make a song called “Kids in Space.” So you’re claiming to be the exclusive B-side of this collection?
KG: In my dreams. “Kids in Space” is definitely not up to the caliber of a track by Beach House, The Holydrug Couple, or The Antlers.
BW: Basically, if you loved listening to Daft Punk’s “Contact” last summer, this is the album to purchase.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcuKxAvCSZ4
KG: And I think it really embodies an aspect that I love about RSD which is that the releases are supposed to be something special, completely unique to the day. Whether that’s content, packaging or what not, it’s the best part.
BW: Special like One Direction releasing a 7″?
One Direction –Midnight Memories
KG: OK, so that raises some questions. How many One Direction fans do you think have a record player?
BW: I’d like to think all One Direction fans have access to an Urban Outfitters. Or, if they’re British, Topshop. So Topshop should get in on the Crosley trade. You mentioned packaging: “never-before-seen band images on both sides,”
KG: Or maybe they’re just trying to encourage their fans to explore vinyl! You know what, good for them. It’s probably exposing a whole new group of people to RSD. And that’s the whole point anyway, right? Exposure for record stores.
BW: Let this go down in history as the only time Kota Gerson, an indie rock DJ, has defended One Direction. Specifically, a One Direction album where they look like they’re a hair metal band.
KG: WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS. Are they wearing zebra print or do my eyes deceive me?
BW: This is one we’ll certainly have to hunt down.
KG: I do have a question: there isn’t a listing of how many of these one direction records will be available. It’s also listed as one of the records that will be released after RSD. Do you think it’s actually exclusive? Or, is this just a bigger marketing effort and I’m being to wide eyed and hopeful this is for the greater good of record stores?
BW: It must be some kind of trick, the One Direction demographic are seriously not vinyl listeners already. Still, fans will likely still go to a physical store to pick up the record.
KG: They have to! if they want to get that record, they have to go to a store. And maybe they’ve never been there before! The whole concept is pretty neat.
BW: And the transition to more acceptable music will hopefully happen when the cashier throws them shade.
BW: What do I know, I own Drake’s “Take Care” on vinyl. (Which everyone should own, it’s a masterpiece).
KG: I mean who am I to judge what people want to buy. You’ve seen the random stuff I insist on picking up. A reading of Cinderella? Yes, please.
BW: I mean, imagine a father bringing in his child to buy this album. He may be a fan of Joy Division. Hell, my dad bought the Outkast double CD Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and would be down to get their RSD reissue of southernplayalisticadillacmusik. (Should my father have a 11 daughter, which he doesn’t).
KG: It sounds like you’re painting a very adorable portrait of family bonding while record shopping.
BW: Well, in two sentences, how did you get into listening to vinyl?
KG: I was in high school and at Black Cat’s annual Rock N Shop, digging through the bins of records just to see what it was about. I liked the way they felt in my hands, how tangible they were, how big the artwork was… I bought my first two records (The Clash’s self titled and Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew) without any idea of how I was going to actually play them. I just really wanted them.
BW: Two very long sentences.
KG: How did you get into collecting vinyl?
BW: Much for the same reasons. I bought Vampire Weekend’s eponymous album at a show (thank God for download codes) but loved having the over-sized artwork that I still have framed.
KG: I BOUGHT THAT ALBUM AT A SHOW TOO
BW: Having that 12″ sized exposure at a show is HUGE. Honestly.
KG: A lot of my records I’ve picked up at shows. Especially since I don’t pay for concert tickets a lot of the time (thanks WTUL), I like buying merch to support touring bands. Records are a great way to do it. Then you get more into it and go hunting records down in the stores. Just not One Direction records.
KG: What people SHOULD buy are the splits, though! Because my favorite RSD purchase of all time has been a split 7″.
BW: YES. Like the Dawes/Conor Oberst split?
KG: Yeah I mean high school ended but Conor Oberst never does.
Dawes / Conor Oberst – Split 7″
KG: JUST KIDDING. You know I love Conor Oberst.
BW: And generally feeling sad and angsty. But who doesn’t?
KG: More sad and angsty splits… Circa Survive and Sunny Day Real Estate, which will be SDRE’s first new song since 2000.
Circa Survive / Sunny Day Real Estate – Split 7″
BW: With enough post-hardcore to keep me happy, too.
KG: More angst than sadness, But back to the Dawes/Conor Oberst split for a second… Are they covering each others’ songs on that?
BW: Indeed. Dawes covers “Easy/Lucky/Free.”
KG: Ahh I love that.
BW: Which means we should be having this conversation on a transparent whiteboard.
KG: Bands covering each other on splits is a big weakness of mine. I love it. Not to mention great tour promo.
KG: That’s what my fave RSD purchase has been – Feistodon.
BW: Wait. Feist played with monsters before Sesame Street? That sounds like an incredible record.
KG: Feist covering Mastodon’s “Black Tongue” and Mastodon covering Feist’s “A Commotion.” Pure gold. (Feist covering Mastodon slowed down sounds like Tom Waits to all interested parties).
KG:And it’s one of those things I didn’t even know existed prior to going RSD shopping… I just saw it and grabbed it. Best surprise. This year Mastodon is releasing Live at the Brixton which also looks pretty cool.
Mastodon – Live at the Brixton
KG: Another side by side: The Cure and Dinosaur Jr. Which is obviously gonna be just like heaven.
The Cure / Dinosaur Jr. – Split 7″
BW: And Devo / The Flaming Lips. Could these split 7″ get any better?
Devo / The Flaming Lips – Split 7″
KG: Is that a release this year?? That’s sweet.
KG: Also just realized Jay-Z and Linkin Park can be added to the split list (although that’s a 12″).
BW: That was my favorite fucking album in middle school.
Jay-Z and Linkin Park – Collision Course
KG: Or is that just a mashup? i don’t even know. I knew that one song with “Encore…”
BW: It’s a mashup. Before Girl Talk was cool. Or right around when he was underground? Jay will rap over Linkin Park songs, mostly.
KG: It’s all a blur.
BW: Either way, “Points of Authority / 99 Problems / One Step Closer” is the coolest mashup around.
BW: Besides “Party and Bullshit in the USA.”
KG: (Boys got jokes)
BW: So we’ve got a fair mix of hilarious releases, amazing 7″ singles, reissues.
KG: Like the “Ghostbusters” theme song on seafoam green vinyl?
Ray Parker Jr.– Ghostbusters
BW: Hahaha, yes.
BW: Ron Jeremy also has a record. Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music With Ron Jeremy.
Ron Jeremy –Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy
KG: I wonder what kind of commentary he has on music… particularly classical. What he should really do is a song with Har Mar Superstar.
BW: Ha, why’s that?
BW: You’ve left me speechless.
BW: And soft.
KG: Not into it?
BW: Not into nightmares.
BW: But very into the corner I’m hiding in now. Don’t bother me until Saturday. I’ll be listening to Disclosure’s “Apollo” on loop until I can physically hold a copy in my hands.
The Long Goodbye (LCD Soundsystem Live At Madison Square Garden)
Built To Spill
Ultimate Alternative Wavers
Pain In My Heart
An Ideal For Living (1978)
The Space Project
Circa Survive/Sunny Day Real Estate
Live at Brixton
The Cure/Dinosaur Jr.
Side By Side Series
Devo/The Flaming Lips
Side By Side Series
Ray Parker, Jr.
Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music With Ron Jeremy
See a full list of participating stores at RecordStoreDay.com
Som Records (1843 14th St, NW)
Hill & Dale (1054 31st Street, NW)
Smash! Records (2314 18th St. NW)
CD Cellar (709-B West Broad St., Falls Church , VA 22046)
Record and Tape Exchange (9448 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031)
Sound Garden (1616 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 2123)
The Record Exchange (8236 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910)