Record Store Day celebrates independent culture every late April, encouraging music fans to drive past the big box department stores and malls in favor of their local record dispensary, a vital component to any town's cultural makeup. But with the list of RSD exclusives swelling each year, sifting through it to find the good stuff can be overwhelming. That's why AP's editors took a look and selected a dozen Record Store Day releases worth a Saturday morning wake-up call.

[JP] Jason Pettigrew, editor in chief
[AZ] Annie Zaleski managing editor
[SH] Scott Heisel, music editor
[BY] Bryne Yancey, web editor 

THE CLASH
London Calling 2012 7-inch
Epic / 4900 copies on black vinyl
The best punk band in the history of recorded music are putting out a new 7-inch? Well, not exactly; Joe Strummer is sadly still no longer with us, and this single features a “2012 remix” of “London Calling.” Maybe this is the version that's being used for the Olympic games in London this summer? Maybe it's Skrillex's reinterpretation of the classic anthem? We'll have to wait and see. (Hint: It's not Skrillex's reinterpretation.) Either way, the real bonus is the B-side, an instrumental version of the same cut. Finally, we get some new material for punk rock karaoke! [SH]



MAE
The Everglow 2xLP
Tooth & Nail / 1000 copies
Mae’s second full-length, The Everglow, is an underrated classic. Released in 2005, the album crystallized what was so wonderful about the Virginia pop-rock band: soaring melodies, evocative piano, inventive storytelling and yearning vocals. Still, The Everglow’s attention to detail elevates it to essential status—from the skittering programming and emo-riffic guitars on “Suspension” to the children’s-book effects bookending the album. Mae are on hiatus now, making this limited reissue even more of a must-have. [AZ]

MCLUSKY
Mclusky Do Dallas LP
Too Pure/Beggars Banquet / 1000 on colored vinyl
I could regale you with stories of production periods here at AP fueled by nothing more than black coffee and this, the second album from wisecracking Welsh outfit Mclusky, played at top volume. If you’ve never experienced the trio’s angular post-punk madness peppered with the surreal ranting of singer Andy Falkous (now CEO of Future Of The Left), you can cough up a sweet orange vinyl pressing of the madness this weekend. If lyrics like, “All of your friends are c—s/your mother is a ballpoint pen thief” (from “Gareth Brown Says”) appeal to you, the Too Pure label has now made it okay for you to lie and say you were into it 10 years ago. You’re welcome. [JP]

 

THE HORRIBLE CROWES
Live At Fingerprints 7-inch
SideOneDummy / 300 copies on blood red vinyl (Fingerprints exclusive), 700 copies on black vinyl
Brian Fallon and Ian Perkins turned the in-store performance concept on its head last fall, treating fans at Long Beach, California’s Fingerprints Music to a set that included the Horrible Crowes’ excellent debut full-length Elsie in its entirety, along with a pair of covers (Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart”). Two of the duo’s originals from that set, “I Witnessed A Crime” and “Blood Loss,” get the wax treatment here, including a variant only available at the store where it was recorded—at least, until the flippers open up their eBay auctions. [BY]

 

CURSIVE
Burst And Bloom 12-inch
Saddle Creek / 1500 copies on yellow/white/black marbled vinyl
Out of print for more than a decade, Burst And Bloom is one of Cursive's finest moments in their catalog—it was the first release to feature cellist Gretta Cohn, and the first to have guitarist Ted Stevens sing lead (“Tall Tales, Telltales”). Finally, Saddle Creek have listened to fan demand and re-pressed this five-song gem for Record Store Day (in a run of 1,500 copies) and a wider run on different colors of vinyl available shortly thereafter RSD. There should be more than enough copies of this one to go around, so please don't resort to paying a premium on eBay—but do buy a copy for yourself and crank it up. [SH]

LEMURIA
“Varoom Allure” b/w  “Cannonballs To Hurt” 7-inch (colored vinyl)
Bridge 9 / 500 copies
While many RSD 7-inches repurpose content or go for novelty over substance, Lemuria’s new piece of wax features nothing more than two brash new tunes. Sonically, the release continues in the vein of their J. Robbins-produced 2011 LP, Pebble, with coiled bass lines, lurching guitars and delightfully off-kilter vocal harmonies. Plus, vocalist Sheena Ozzella tosses off the best rhyming couplet we’ve heard in ages: “Singing Tom Petty/Always derails me.” [AZ]

 

THE BRONX/MARIACHI EL BRONX
Split 12-inch LP
ATO / 1000 on splatter-colored vinyl
L.A. punk firebrands the Bronx have received more acclaim for their immersion into Mexican culture as Mariachi El Bronx than for their blistering straight-up rock fury. This split EP of both bands captured live in America and Europe should go far in sating both fans in the know and those who only remember “the dudes who opened for the Foo Fighters last year.” Old-school rockers, take note: Michael Monroe (of Hanoi Rocks legend) makes a cameo on the Bronx’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.” And while the absence of “Revolution Girls” on the MEB side is perplexing, having a live version of “48 Roses” makes up for it just fine, thanks. [JP]