In Music Commentary

I bet that in addition to looking pretty great, this also sounds stellar.

Record Store Day 2019 brings limited edition gems & free ticket giveaways

Record Store Day 2019 is upon us – Saturday, April 13 – and, as always, there's a mountain of vinyl to help empty your bank account. Hell, Rhino alone has more than 30 special limited releases for the day.

Locally, the Pabst Theater Group is working with a couple local record shops on some ticket giveaways, too.

Here's a little MKE Record Store Day sampler:

Giveaways & deals

Head over to Rush-Mor in Bay View for ticket giveaways for the June 16 Jason Isbell and Father John Misty show at the BMO Harris Pavilion and the Aug. 23 King Gizzard gig at the Riverside. Online, in advance, they'll collaborate on a giveaway of tickets to see The Distillers on May 21 at The Pabst.

Meanwhile, there's an online advance giveaway with the Exclusive Company for Dr. Dog/Shakey Graves ticket for Aug. 18 at the Riverside. In-store giveaways will offer tickets to Bad Suns on April 29 at Turner Hall and Snail Mail July 19 at Turner.

Remember to tag The Pabst Theater Group on Instagram posts of your RSD haul and you might win a $25 Pabst gift card, a hat and the PTG T-shirt of your choice.

Over at Off the Beaten Path in Bay View, owner Christopher Kruse says, "We'll have some new hand-picked imports as well as 20 percent off LPs and CDs in shop. We'll also have outside lined with record bins that will be priced $1 from 9 a.m. to noon, 50 cents from noon to 3 and 25 cents from 3 to 6 p.m."

At We Buy Records in Riverwest, there are a number of specials, which you can view here. But owner Andy Noble says, "the main special is the buy-three-get-one from our $2 section. We've made the $2 section a big thing at the store; it's really solid rock, soul, jazz. No thrift-type stuff. (There are) also a couple of collections that will hit the racks just for that day."

On the East Side, Bullseye will offer, according to owner Luke Lavin, "a special sale section of used LPs that are half off and new LPs that are 20 percent off." (NOTE: This does NOT mean 50 and 20 percent off the entire store inventory.) "Also, we are giving $1 off every CD in the shop. Weather permitting, we will have loads of tapes, CDs and records outside for $1 each."

Complete details on the happenings at Acme Records on KK in Bay View can be found here.

Limited releases

There's so much out there in terms of limited releases, that it's neigh impossible to keep track of it all.

If you're looking for an early birthday gift, Elvis Costello has a covers EP, called "Purse," there's a reissues of Bad Brains' seminal "Black Dots," Jeff Tweedy has an LP with 10 unreleased tracks from the "WARM" sessions, there's a cool unreleased Joe Strummer 12-inch and a double-LP collection of unreleased Wes Montgomery tracks, too.

You can find a full list of the more than 400 special releases here.

Some vinyl gems just in time for RSD

While these are not limited issues, here are a handful of new vinyl releases that I'm eager to add to my haul this year.

Durand Jones and the Indications – American Love Call (Colemine/Dead Oceans)
Though I hear this is completely out of stock at the moment, you can be sure they're feverishly pressing up more and some might still be in shops, too. If the debut mini-album whet your whistle for this stellar vintage soul outfit, the new record is even better. With gorgeous string- and brass-laced arrangements that will transport you to 1970 and beyond, these songs showcase Jones' emotive voice and a rock-solid band. I'm full-on addicted and can't stop listening to the CD. But I want the (translucent orange) vinyl because I bet it sounds even better.

Culture – Nighthawk Recordings (Omnivore Recordings)
When Omnivore Recordings, a label co-owned by Milwaukee ex-pat Cheryl Pawelski, bought the rights to the Nighthawk Records catalog, the reissues of the great early '80s Jamaican recordings made by the St. Louis-based label began to flow. This one, which collects tracks that the legendary vocal trio Culture recorded for the "Calling Rastafari" compilation and adds a couple unreleased gems, too. Vinyl editions come on three differerent colored-vinyl versions.

Paul Weller – Other Aspects, Live At The Royal Festival Hall (Warner Bros.)
As a nearly lifelong Weller fan, I've gone along for the entire ride as a devoted fan of The Jam and The Style Council and of Weller's solo work, too. Even when I don't love the results I invariably respect the passion and musical exploration that informs it all. Last October, Weller took his band to the Royal Festival Hall for a show, with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and other guests for a long walk through his catalog. The results are pretty stellar and though you can get the set on CD or as a download, of course, I'm holding out for the triple-LP version.

Tetrack – Let's Get Started (VP/17 North Parade)
The roots reggae productions of the late Augustus Pablo were invariably hard-hitting, dread tracks and the LP he did with falsetto vocal trio Tetrack is one of the standouts of his career. VP Records' 17 North Parade reissue program brings it back into print this year, which is perfect timing since my kid got a record player as a gift last Christmas. We've been spinning this one, while my vintage Jamaican pressing is carefully preserved elsewhere. A great compilation of mid-to-late '70s tracks that were popular among British punks, called "Step Forward Youth," from the same label, has also brought Prince Far I, Culture and Keith Hudson and others into the light for my kid.

Alborosie meets Roots Radics (VP Records)
Last year's collaboration between The Wailers and Sicilian reggae singer (yes, that's a thing!) – called "Unbreakable" is about the only thing that got me through running on a treadmill during the polar vortex and so I was excited about this collaboration dub record with the equally important Roots Radics band. With a vintage sound and a classic '80s style of dub mixing, this one sounds killer on wax.

Here's a guide to the best places in the area to snarf up vinyl.

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