Pumpkins & Blur & More Record Store Day Fun

Before the Smashing Pumpkins rock this year’s edition of Record Store Day, the band wants to help get your weekend off to a good start with a free download.

“Astral Planes” can be downloaded from www.amoeba.com (in the left-hand corner under “Breaking News”). The song can also be downloaded later today from the rock band’s official Web site, www.smashingpumpkins.com. Fans can also snag the tune as an embedded widget that can be hosted on any site.

Photo: Rod Tanaka

“Astral Planes” is the fourth track in the Pumpkins’ 44-song Teargarden By Kaleidyscope project, the band’s answer to the alternative of a traditional album. Billy Corgan and co. are releasing one song at a time with plans to release 11 limited edition EPs that each feature four songs.

On Saturday – 2010 Record Store Day – you’ll have the chance to preorder that first EP, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol.1: Songs For A Sailor. The EP includes “Astral Planes” as well as the previously released tracks “A Stitch In Time,” “Widow Wake My Mind” and “A Song For A Son.” The first 250 fans that pre-order the EP on April 17 from Amoeba Records in Los Angeles will receive a black light poster and also get a wristband to see an exclusive performance from the band later that day.

Record Store Day, which was founded in 2007 and launched the following year, takes place the third Saturday of April. The holiday celebrates “the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the U.S., and hundreds of similar stores internationally,” according to the event’s site. Artists and bands put out special releases to coincide with the holiday in addition to planning special in-store performances.

Last month Pollstar alerted our readers to a number of different Record Store Day happenings and there’s a few more we think you’d like to hear about.

Photo: AP Photo
Damon Albarn, lead singer of British band Blur, left, performs with guitarist Alex James at Glastonbury Festival.

If you’re one of our U.K. readers you’ll have the chance to get your hands on the first new music from Blur in seven years. On Saturday the English alternative band is releasing a limited edition one-sided 7 inch vinyl single featuring the new song “Fool’s Day.” The tune marks the band’s first song the four members of Blur have recorded together since “Battery In Your Leg” from 2003’s Think Tank. The release is limited to 1,000 copies available at select independent record shops around the U.K.

“We want independent record stores to continue – they’re an important part of our musical culture. Music is a simple way for Blur to show our support and we hope people like it,” Blur frontman Damon Albarn said.

Wilco is joining in on the Record Store Day fun by releasing 2005’s Kicking Television: Live in Chicago on vinyl for the very first time. The deluxe package, which is limited to 1,000 copies, will include a four LP box set with eight extra tracks and a bonus CD.

Photo: Jason Moore
Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, N.C.

Additional Record Store Day releases include material from Against Me!, Hole, Devo, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, MGMT, Pavement, Beastie Boys, Dave Matthews, Flogging Molly, Gorillaz, The Flaming Lips, Tom Waits, Monsters Of Folk, The Apples In Stereo, Joan Baez, The Doors, John Lennon, LCD Soundsystem, Superchunk, Ramones, Tegan and Sara and Owl City.

Minus The Bear is putting on a free show this Saturday in celebration of Record Store Day with a gig at Sonic Boom Record’s Capitol Hill store in Seattle.

For a full list of artists and record stores participating in this year’s edition of Record Store Day, click here for the event’s Web site.