The Weeknd & Record Store Day Releases Lead Albums Of The Week – November 25
Wed, 23 Nov 2016 21:04:07
Black Friday Record Store Day is perhaps the only real reason to lift yourself from the table or sofa - having eaten more than your fair share of calories, and having drunk more than your fair share of sugary drinks.
This year's Black Friday Record Store Day feels like one of the strongest days for releases that the event has seen for years. The range of artists with special releases is far reaching, and the projects that they're sharing, reissuing or celebrating truly defines the spirit of RSD. From new presses of classic albums, to some pretty creative levels of repellent products - here's looking at you South Park, with your brown, scented vinyl of "Mr. Hanky's Christmas Classics" - and some iconic live performances shared in physical format, there's plenty to talk about. Throw in The Weeknd's new release "Starboy" and you have a strong sense of the music in the air around the holiday season.
The Weeknd - "Starboy" - XO / Republic Records
Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, releases his latest album "Starboy" to an eagerly awaiting crowd. Daft Punk's input on track "I Feel It Coming" is a good representation of what happens elsewhere in the sequence. A human touch - looping "Ah-ha-hah" against an electronic bed balances the strength of force behind Tesfaye's production sensibilities with the confidence and conviction he displays to lay it all out there. It's a solid album, and if he wasn't a giant before, The Weeknd has just experienced a considerable growth spurt.
Angel Olsen & Steve Gunn - "Live At Pickathon" - Easy Sound Recording Company
One of the best loved breakthrough artists of recent years has to be Angel Olsen. There's an eagerness among fans to own every hidden track and possible bootleg… well, that's becoming increasingly easy. Released on an exclusive vinyl pressing of live performances by Angel Olsen (side A) & Steve Gunn (side B), recorded live at Pickathon 2014 in Portland, OR, this album is the sixth release in the ‘Live At Pickathon' vinyl-only series. It captures the spirit of the concert series, whilst also packaging Olsen and Gunn together in a pretty neat ‘must-have' album. A definite stocking filler for indie lovers.
Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff - "Strung Out in Heaven" - 8 ft. Records
Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff threw themselves into this David Bowie tribute album… A collection of songs, dismantled, rearranged and reassembled with a solemnity and insight of artists keen to get to the quick. Guest contributors include Anna Calvi, John Cameron Mitchell, and Palmer's husband Neil Gaiman. A few months later, when Prince died, the duo reconvened to release their own quartet version of "Purple Rain". Both songs were released internet-only, and this RSD release is the only appearance of this collection in physical form. It's a staggering little collection of music that truly shines a light on all involved.
Otis Redding - "Live At The Whiskey A Go Go" - Sundazed Music
A real treat for fans of the classics. Otis Redding, "Live At The Whiskey A Go Go" brings together the highlights of Redding's three night stint at the world-famous venue in 1966. Captured here on a two-disc vinyl pressing, there's all the magic of what made the man a cultural point of reference, not only for his peers but for countless artists that followed in his footsteps. It's a rare treat of an album and well worth chasing to the store for on RSD.
Death Grips - "Fashion Week / Interview 2016" - Harvest Records
The pure energy of Death Grips instrumental albums, "Fashion Week / Interview", is available here for the first time as a physical release. The 2 LP set is limited to 3000 copies, and it captures well the urgency, confrontation and other-worldliness of a band who make noisy sense on a level that is truly peerless.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff