Each year when November rolls around and the leaves turn many shades of red, orange and yellow, a mutual excitement for Thanksgiving and the holiday season emerges. Many people become equally as excited for Black Friday, a day where shopping becomes a competitive sport to work off the uncanny amounts of stuffing giving us our food babies. However, for us music junkies, we didn’t spend our post-thanksgiving festivities elbowing our way to the last pair of supposedly discounted jeans in packed malls; instead, browsed through records, thanks to Record Store Day’s Black Friday specials. I consider Record Store Day to be a national holiday, a day for music fans to rejoice and discover limited edition vinyl from their favorite artists. Although the official Record Store Day is held one Saturday every April, the organization behind the event met our wishes for more music with a Black Friday special. This coming year, RSD is celebrating their tenth anniversary, and thus delivered an unmatched Black Friday lineup that fans of any genre can work with.
The Raconteurs: “Steady As She Goes”/“Store Bought Bones”
When I saw that The Raconteurs had graced the list of limited edition records being released this Black Friday, it was hard to hide my excitement. I’ve always had a soft spot for Jack White and his grungy, yet smooth voice, despite his larger-than-life personality and periodically diva attitude. “Steady As She Goes” is such a classic and appeals to music fans everywhere, whether it be due to its title name recognition or its recognizably comforting guitar riffs. The record, which is a 7” vinyl, will include a reproduction sticker of a backstage pass from one of the band’s first tours, according to RSD’s website. So, if you’re in a Jack White craze like me right now thanks to his recent acoustic record, this limited edition vinyl is sure to satisfy.
Frank Sinatra: “White Christmas”/“The Christmas Waltz”
As many other holiday enthusiasts, I have a rule: no matter how deeply I desire to indulge in holiday music, I don’t let myself do so until after Thanksgiving. Naturally, Black Friday is where my obsession begins and the festivities truly start for me and many other excited individuals around the country. That being said, RSD’s decision to release a Christmas vinyl is fantastic. What better way to spend on Black Friday and start the holiday season than to purchase limited-edition Frank Sinatra music? The record, a 7” Vinyl, features “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Waltz,” two songs that capture the mood of the holiday season perfectly. 3,000 copies of the vinyl were released. If you’re not a Sinatra fan (shame), don’t fear, because a Run-DMC holiday-inspired record will also be released featuring the song “Christmas in Hollis,” a great staple for the hip-hop enthusiast this holiday season. So, Sinatra or DMC, make sure to grab your fave holiday records on Friday to bop to throughout December.
Gary Clark, Jr: “Church”/“The Healing”
I’ve always been one for music with a smooth vibe and Gary Clark, Jr. never fails to satisfy that desire. Call it alternative, call it soul, call it blues, call it whatever you want, but regardless of the label, Clark’s music is a mix of genres that anyone craving some good-for-the-soul music can get down to. His songs consistently feature smooth, creamy vocals backed by soft guitar and piano, among other instruments. “Church” and “The Healing” are no exception to this rule, and are the perfect combo for listeners to get a taste of a softer, slower Clark and a more upbeat, hip-hop influenced Clark. “The Healing” brings forth an introduction reminiscent of a hip-hop song, followed by soulful lyrics backed by strong guitar. “Church” on the other hand also emphasizes the guitar, but this time an acoustic one. The guitar is matched with softer vocals and background harmonica to make for an overall smooth, soulful, bluesy song. So, Clark aficionado or not, this record will have something to appeal to your ears. The record, a 10” vinyl, brings forth the tracks as live performances from Clark’s performance on Showtime program Roadies. Only 3,000 copies of the record were released.
Lil Yachty: Lil Boat
For all you hip-hop fans out there, Record Store Day has plenty to offer for you, starting with Lil Yachty. The Lil Boat record is an LP and includes songs “Intro,” “Wanna Be Us,” “Minnesota,” “Not My Bro,” “Interlude,” “Good Day” and “Up Next 2” on side A, and “Never Switch Up,” “One Night,” “Out Late,” “Fucked Over,” “I’m Sorry” and “We Did It” on side B. While I personally cannot call myself a die-hard Yachty fan, the timing of the release of this record is impeccable, as the rapper has a show in Syracuse the following week. So, if you’re looking to get hyped for the concert while receiving a limited edition record, try to get your hands on one of the 2,000 released copies of the record.
I think we can all agree that Syracuse has had their fair share of veggies this semester. “Broccoli”, easily D.R.A.M.’s most popular song, has been a staple for college students around the country. Us college kids know it’s a guarantee play when we’re out, and when it comes on, we aren’t mad about it. Syracuse students can even say that we have a special relationship with the song, as D.R.A.M. performed it for all of us back in September at Juice Jam. The record up for release is a 7” picture disc and includes “Broccoli” on side A, along with “Cha Cha” on side B. The selling point lies in the disc itself: the custom die cut picture disc is cut into the shape of a piece of Broccoli. So, if you’re looking to experience some beginning-of-the-semester nostalgia and make all of your friends jealous with the coolest and most appropriately shaped record, grab one of the 2,000 copies released Friday.
These records are luckily just a few of many amazing titles to be found on Black Friday this year, thanks to Record Store Day and their amazing work for us music lovers. To check out more of what dropped post-Thanksgiving, you can find the full list of tracks and more information here, and check out the rest of RSD’s site for more information on future features and collabs coming your way. Happy shopping!