Five Records for Record Store Day’s Black Friday 2016

They're almost worth trampling someone over.

You could get in line at Best Buy while the Cowboys are still in the second quarter. You could #optoutside and make the rest of us feel bad. Or you could walk down to your local record emporium and improve your personal collection.

In what has become a holiday tradition in its own right, Record Store Day‘s annual Black Friday event will be taking over shops around the country, and that means rarities rescued from deletion, exclusive live sessions from legacy acts, and a handful of “that wasn’t already on vinyl?” new releases (we’re calling you, Ms. Badu). Presented below, our five picks for the records you should tell yourself you’re buying for someone else.


Various Artists: Lagniappe Sessions Volume 1 — Back in 2011, Justin Gage of Aquarium Drunkard started asking a few musician friends to record loosie covers for his blog. Five years later, he’s got a cache of covers both smart (Matthew E. White doing Randy Newman’s “I’ll Be Home,” Ryley Walker doing Amen Dunes’s “Everybody is Crazy”) and unexpected (Kevin Morby taking on The Germs’s “Caught in My Eye,” Dungen covering Aphex Twin’s “Alberto Balsalm”). Reissue all-stars Light in the Attic pressed up 1,500 copies on colored vinyl, which is nice enough, but this is worth your cash based on White Fence’s take on “Allison Road” alone.


Harry Nilsson: Popeye: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack — The level to which Robert Altman’s Popeye flopped is somewhat mythical at this point, but one of the more minor tragedies from it is that its soundtrack, which ended up being Harry Nilsson’s final substantial work, got lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t have, though, because his quirky score is really the spinach of the whole production (not to mention the spinach of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love, which featured “He Needs Me” as its central tune).


Various Artists: Jazz Dispensary: Holiday Treats Don’t close the tab yet! I know that the phrase “Christmas jazz” is one of the most odious in all of music, and that you can already hear your overly eggnogged aunt sloshing along to Kenny G’s “White Christmas,” but take note of what lies behind gummy bear cover; deep soul and cosmic explorations are baked into the candy-red vinyl, which means you’ll be soundtracking the opening of presents with Pharoah Sanders’ “Prince of Peace” (and eating like all of the cookies).


Ramones: Live at the Roxy 8/12/76 Two years after they made their debut at CBGB, the Ramones made it to the West Coast. They were sharing a bill with the Flamin Groovies. They had just released their debut album to rave reviews. Their New York accents were ridiculous and their jackets were pressed (figuratively speaking). Nothing you do will ever be as cool, probably. And from the sound of it, it was a damn good time.

GET 51317-12_UGK - Int'l Players Anthem_88985343871

U.G.K. featuring OutKast: “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” — What is the greatest wedding song of all time? The greatest wedding song of all time is U.G.K.’s “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” featuring OutKast. Yes, the lyric provides terrible nuptial advice (“Don’t do it!” being only like the third-worst offender, believe it or not), but the strength of that Willie Hutch sample and the big beat cannot be stopped. Pick up the single on Lone Star wax and you’ll never have to buy a drink in Dallas (or Atlanta, for that matter) again.


We won’t spam you. Promise.