While we may not get the joys of another turkey dinner, extra presents, a couple of days off work and… y’know, the other stuff (Family time? What’s that?), there’s one Thanksgiving tradition that has gleefully bounded across the pond in recent years. America’s yearly national wrestling match in a shopping mall packed full of sales – otherwise known as Black Friday – has crossed the Atlantic via the internet, providing us with yet another excuse to spend money we don’t have, just before Christmas. Those clever bastards.
Any record-collector worth their weight in vinyl - and recent evidence suggests there are a hell of a lot of those around these days – knows the deal with Record Store Day: super limited edition items, queues wrapping themselves around every indie record store in the country, the occasional whinger moaning that ‘it’s gone too mainstream’, and a whole heap of new audio treats for those lucky enough to snag their wishlist. It’s the perfect match-up with Black Friday, and so with your special bonus edition of the record store spendathon coming this Friday as the Thanksgiving hangovers subside, DIY’s here to sift through the longlist and make your Christmas shopping that little bit simpler. If all else fails, just get every member of your family the ‘Last Christmas’ re-press. Sure-fire winner.
Death Grips – Government Plates
One for the angsty younger brother to start, whose incessant hormonal whining at your parents is sure to make this year’s Christmas dinner a crushing experience. Lock him away in his room with this on the needle, however, and he can exorcise his puberty-ridden woes to his heart’s content. The opening lines to the iconic mixtape’s closing track - “I only plan to steal whatever I want, fuck who’s watching” - might not be the most festive of sentiments (keep an eye on your bag of new swag when he emerges for Doctor Who), but this re-issue of a modern hip-hop classic is sure to fill the hole in his tiny, teenage angst-filled heart. It comes complete with newly Photoshopped artwork and a replica of the license plate on the cover too, so everyone who passes his bedroom door can know just how edgy he really is.
Chvrches – Under The Tide
Pressed on clear yellow 12” especially for this occasion, the central track of last year’s sensational Chvrches debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ makes for a perfect gift for mum. One of only a couple of tracks from the record that sees Martin Doherty’s gravelly vocal take centre stage, it’s a croon that’s sure to melt even the iciest heart, and the oscillating synths are ideal for a kitchen boogie in between bastes of the turkey. The B-side houses ‘Strong Hand’ - a track previously reserved for the iTunes deluxe edition – and versions of ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Gun’ taken from an Alucard session, which offer the perfect teaser of their always impeccable live performance.
The Flaming Lips – Atlas Eats Christmas
Previously released on limited edition CD under the pseudonym Imagene Peise, The Flaming Lips’ Christmas record is a baffling affair - a collection of warped, Middle Eastern re-works of classic festive tracks and winter-influenced originals. The title-track features none other than Yoko Ono as a guest artist, so taken as a follow-on from this year’s Miley Cyrus collab it’ll make the ideal left-field gift for a younger sister. Want to drag her out of the Smash Hits posters, One Direction calendars stage of childhood? What better way to baffle her into submission than with an undulating, psychedelic reworking of all her favourite Christmas songs? She’ll be dreacklocking her hair, tye dyeing her scarves and claiming her homemade Taylor Swift t-shirts ‘ironic’ by New Year.
Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis
It’s been fifteen years since DMC’s dedication to the festivities of Hollis, Queens was last pressed, which makes this an ideal shout for the mid-life crisis addled uncle in your life. It’s a classic slice of tongue-in-cheek nineties hip-hop, and will go perfectly alongside his slightly embarrassing newfound obsession with vintage motorbikes. The press release for the pressing declares anyone who buys it for a mate “the illest rap gift-giver of the year” – if that doesn’t sound like the cringeworthy sentiment of a Harley Davidson ogling relative, then what does?
St Vincent – Pieta
Featuring two brand new, previously unused songs from the John Congleton recording sessions for this year’s phenomenal self-titled album, St Vincent’s release is definitely one for the madcap aunty or godmother in your life. ‘Pieta’ has been a mainstay of the methodical and beautiful St. Vincent live show this year, which means there’s a perfect follow-up birthday present in the form of tickets to a show. Always plan ahead. Speaking on the release to DIY, Annie Clark revealed that the tracks “just didn’t quite fit into what I was trying to say with ‘St Vincent’ unfortunately; they just didn’t fit in the weird puzzle piece that is sequencing an album.”
In a bizarre recent trailer for the release (above), Clark demonstrates how to work a record too, so even if the recipient isn’t quite as well versed in archaic music formats as yourself, they can count on Clark to help them through their troubles.
Joey Ramone – Christmas Spirit… In My House
Christmas is nothing without a pissed up dad playing ‘the oldies’ way too loud after one too many mulled wines – at least with this you can be sure he’ll keep it a little on topic with regards to seasonal spirit. With Joey Ramone’s murky-as-mud vocal lending a slightly comical edge to these three-chord, palm-muted renditions of ‘What A Wonderful World’ and its festive brethren, it’s perfect Christmas fodder. Get too drunk, eat too much, stage-dive off the sofa and try not to land on the cat. We’ll be round for Boxing Day leftovers.
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