Boards Of Canada Gunning For ‘Most Buzzed-About Surprise Album Of 2013’

Everyone is coming out of the woodwork this year: Godspeed You Black Emperor, The Knife, and My Bloody Valentine have all reemerged in almost totally unanticipated ways after long hiatuses, and each has delivered a huge, haunting record that reaffirmed what we loved about the band. Now, in an era where “BoC” more likely means Blue Oyster Cult, Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada are teasing a new release with wildly complicated clues, whipping fans into a frenzied scavenger hunt.

But let us save you the viral-underground PR theatrics: after all, the nerds are on the case. It begins with the appearance of some 12” vinyl singles that surfaced on Record Store Day, which contained odd snippets of what had to be new material. (One of those first clues is now selling on eBay for an asking price of $565.00, so get bidding.) Then there was an Adult Swim bumper spot and a strange, password-protected website that a fan cracked, leading us to this spooky but alluring video.

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Now it’s official: the new album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, is out on June 11 from Warp Records. Will anyone be able to resist, given that so much buzz has built up around it already? Will you need a World War II-era decryption device to even listen to the damn thing? Will the new Daft Punk album this year be delivered via hot air balloon? For the moment, nothing seems impossible. 

Oh, and here’s the tracklist, in case there’s some kind of a clue in there, too:

01. Gemini

02. Reach For The Dead

03. White Cyclosa

04. Jacquard Causeway

05. Telepath

06. Cold Earth

07. Transmisiones Ferox

08. Sick Times

09. Collapse

10. Palace Posy

11. Split Your Infinities

12. Uritual

13. Nothing Is Real

14. Sundown

15. New Seeds

16. Come To Dust

17. Semena Mertvykh

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Celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday, Before There Are No More Record Stores

Who among you remembers a time when record stores were an important part of your life? It’s a dwindling number, to be sure, but we’re out there. For the rest of you, let me, a human who was born in 1970 and is somehow still alive today, tell you of a time not long ago when people got their music in one of two places: the radio, or the record store. Shops with names like Musicland, Sam Goody, Penguin Feather, and Kemp Mill Records (see amazing TV commercial below) would actually have a release schedule posted on a chalkboard in the store, and if you were really jonesing for the new record by Meat Loaf, you’d show up early to snag one of the first copies. Those were innocent times, when music meant a lot because of its relative scarcity. Things have changed so much since then. I’ve seen music formats go from record to 8-track to cassette to CD to MP3 to something called the Cloud. And while technology keeps marching ahead, experiencing music hasn’t really changed all that much for people born in, say, 1992. Growing up, you had the internet, and then, more internet. You want to hear a song, you type a few keystrokes and you’ve got it. No more "staring at your radio, staying up all night." And no more record stores.  Well, a few record stores still exist, and the people who work there still care deeply about music, and although it’s inevitable that they’ll be extinct sooner or later, I’m glad that the holiday known as Record Store Day exists. 

Record Store Day 2013 is tomorrow, April 20. (Of course it’s a coincidence that it happens on 4/20.) It was established in 2007 by a group of independent record store owners and employees to celebrate all that’s great about having a physical place to buy your music – and physical people to buy it from. Every year, record store-loving artists release new music available only in participating record stores, and many bands make special appearances in those stores. The idea is that you show up for that music or performance, and you realize how great records stores are. Not just for buying music, but for hearing it, and talking about it, and getting new ideas, and just plain hanging out. The record store hangout is a lost art, but where else could I have had an essential discussion on the progression of Iron Maiden album art from Killers to Piece of Mind, or the deeper meaning behind Styx’s Kilroy Was Here

This year, a bunch of stuff is happening for the holiday. The Toadies and Sarah Jaffe will be covering PJ Harvey on a special colored 7" record, available only in record stores. Wind-Up Records is celebrating its 15-year anniversary by similarly releasing a red 10" compilation with tracks from Finger Eleven, Seether, The Darkness, and the Vinginmarys. Other releases and events abound, so check out the Record Store Day website for an event – and a record store – near you. Stop into your local record store. Dig through the bins, inhale the musty smell, let the employees pass judgement on your taste as they ring you up, and connect with an earlier era of music-buying. 

You might need to buy a record player, though, which were once known to audiophiles as turntables. (The needle was a "stylus.") But it’s worth it for the warmth of the sound, and the connection to a time when people had to work hard to stay current. 

[Find great record stores like New York’s Academy Records – which is going big for Record Store Day this year – in the BlackBook Guides; More by Victor Ozols; Follow me on Twitter. Read Rolling Stone’s Record Store Day Must-Haves]

Record Store Day Anticipation: Superchunk, Destroyer

You still go to record stores, right? Of course you do! Well, not me; they turned my record store into a Ricky’s, and now I do all my nail polish shopping there. Everyone else, however, can start getting excited about April 20, Record Store Day. Here are a couple of releases you can look forward to getting your grubby collector’s hands on.

First up is Superchunk, with a “Coke-bottle clear vinyl” 7-inch that bears an instantly recognizable title: Void/Faith. As Mac McCaughan explains, the two new songs are homages to the infamous D.C. hardcore album split between punk bands Faith and Void, though the influence is more theoretical than concrete—an acknowledgement of high school inspirations.

Then there’s the remaster of Destroyer’s This Night double LP, available on vinyl in the U.S. for the first time since it came out ten years ago—though only 2,000 copies will be pressed. This one is every bit as good as you remember; get reacquainted with “Modern Painters” and the simply fantastic “Hey, Snow White” below.

Record Club: Celebrating the Glorious Sounds of Vinyl

it was a stormy night on the banks of Brooklyn April 21—known to vinyl nerds as Record Store Day—when I curled up in a bean bag chair, closed my eyes, and waited for the crackle of a needle hitting vinyl. Television’s Marquee Moon was about to revolve around my brain. I was immediately a kid again.

“What digital music is missing is the ritual or the relationship with the physical record,” says Mike Newman, host of the East Village Radio show Beyond Beyond is Beyond, which hosts a quarterly record club gathering. “Records are sexy and always will be.” Laissez-tomber le iPod.

The first rule about Record Club is that there is no talking during Record Club—at least not while the record is spinning. There is only the odd nudge and pass of the glowing cherry of a joint bouncing around the room. Being enveloped by the music and its analog magic creates a lasting impact, and it’s no wonder vinyl has reinvigorated a consumer base with the experiential aspect of it alone. I’ve become reacquainted with numerous favorites this way, including Can’s Ege Bamyasi, and discovered others, like Flower Travellin’ Band’s Satori.

The same day, thanks to local record shop Origami Vinyl, The Echo nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in sunny Los Angeles was outfitted with fancy turntables, receivers, and hip Eskuche headphones. Californian collectors of limited–edition slugs could watch their vinyl revolve à la a ’90s Sam Goody CD listening station. Want to go see a show after? Never fear—the vinyl valet would safely check in your records so you could go enjoy the band. Monday night residencies there feature a new Origami staff favorite spun in the Echo backyard.

While it’s easier to slip your iPod in your pocket, it’s just not the same kind of experience. “It’d be cool if Spotify created a service where they get someone to come to people’s houses and lead a record club gathering for the customer and their friends,” Newman told me recently, adding, “Call me, Spotify.”

Happy Record Store Day

Just 24 hours after stoners across the country celebrated "420" Day, today is national Record Store Day! Five years old, Record Store Day brings with the collaboration of music labels and retail stores to give consumers the rare opportunity to buy antiquated vinyl records for much more money than they’re used to spending on a similar (yet more technologically advanced) product. Yay? [via The Daily What]

Linkage: ‘Bling Ring’ Detective’s Motives Question, Anonymous’s Social Music Platform

Has Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring compromised the still-pending case it’s based on? Coppola has taken the LAPD detective who cracked the case on as a technical adviser, and the defense is concerned that his financial involvement is of issue to their case. “Clearly, it presents a conflict of interest if someone’s investigation becomes oriented toward creating a story or entertainment," the attorney explains. "It’s certainly going to taint the investigation’s motives and make them look unprofessional.” [LAT]

A group of coders claiming to be a part of the hacktivist group Anonymous have built a social music platform called Anontune that streams songs from elsewhere on the internet, so that you can make playlists and share favorites and so that they can keep above the law. [CNN]

Justin Bieber bought himself a pretty new bike. [TMZ]

Always provocative, Bonnie "Prince" Billy is releasing a limited-edition batch of condoms for Saturday’s Record Store day. And ten other, more musical, Record Day exclusives to keep an eye out for. [Stereogum]

In celebration of the date, a list of your favorite writers’ favorite writers — when they are high. [Flavorwire]

After weeks of wavering, Lionsgate has chosen Water for Elephants director Francis Lawrence to direct the Hunger Games follow-up Catching Fire. May the odds, Francis, be ever in your favor. [THR]

Listen to Record Store Day Offerings From John Maus, Xiu Xiu, Dirty Beaches

Record Store Day! It’s a time of joy, laughter, and spending way too much rent money on all the colored vinyl there is. Many bands will be releasing limited offerings on April 21 to put asses in stores, a few of which you can listen to today. First off: John Maus’s "No Title (Molly)," a rumbling, moan-y track that sounds like an unfinished Joy Division song (perfect for the brooding cousin in your life). It’ll appear on a flexi-disc/zine project called Smuggler’s Way, courtesy of Domino and Ribbon, alongside tracks from the Kills, Real Estate, Dirty Projectors and more. 

After that, you can listen to two songs from Polyvinyl Records: a cover of Erasure’s "Always" by mope rockers Xiu Xiu, and a cover of Francoise Hardy’s "Tu Ne Dis Rien" by not-as-mopey-but-still-kinda-mope rockers Dirty Beaches. (No embed codes — you’ll just have to click through.) They’re not very fun-sounding, but what’s supposed to be fun about record collecting? Thanks for Stereogum for all this. Again, Record Store Day is on April 21.

Other Music Celebrates Record Store Day with Blood, Sweat & Gluesticks

The Damoclean sword hanging over the collective heads of those still involved with the business of brick and mortar record retailing has never loomed so ominously as it has in this, the new digital age. But could we ever really countenance a world without music shops? The organizers of the annual Record Store Day, launched in 2007, are betting not.

In New York City, of course, the ambivalence is palpable. No place despises nostalgia so much as Gotham; yet only London could lay claim to as many legendary and beloved record shops. And the youngest of those legends, Noho’s exalted Other Music, treads a careful line between its status as a bastion of the new and modern, and its reverence for the short but colorful history of indie music geekdom. In a nod to the latter, the E. 4th Street shop will be celebrating this year’s Record Store Day (Saturday, April 16) by launching the fascinating exhibit, Blood, Sweat & Gluesticks: Music Fanzine Covers 1985-1990.

Other music co-owner Josh Madell explains that, “Zine culture and record store culture come from the same place: DIY passion. Many of the artists featured in the show mean a lot to us, but attitude means more.” Curated by former publisher-editor of the late, lamented Village Noize and current Susan Blond Inc. exec Eric Wielander, such gleefully confrontational titles as Ink Disease, Motorbooty and Puncture share wall space with the likes of Flipside and Option, both of which grew up from the underground to become the relatively mainstream voices of the punk and alternative scenes.

Of his decision to team up with Other Music, Wielander says simply that the shop, “draws passionate music fans, those who would most appreciate this exhibit.” Cover bad boys and badder girls include such pestilential pinups as Lydia Lunch, Nick Cave, Diamanda Galas and the Beastie Boys. Of his youthful Village Noize days, Wielander fondly recalls The Beasties’ “Mike Diamond randomly calling my home and talking to my father, who had absolutely no clue who he was.” DIY, indeed.

Madell, for his part, is sanguine but cautious about the future of record stores. “That’s a tough one to answer. I’m sure there will be record stores for many years to come, but right now few are ‘going strong.’ There is a lot more change coming in music retailing, I can’t say where it will all end.”

Blood, Sweat & Gluesticks: Music Fanzine Covers 1985-1990 will be exhibited at Other Music through May 22.