Record Store Day: Girl Power

Record Store Day is fast approaching. Less than a week separates us from the waxy goodness of all those exclusive releases. In addition to all the great releases that the Record Store Day list promises will be gracing the bins on April 22nd, Mills Record Company will be turning out the day’s 10th anniversary with bands, refreshments, and freshly arrived used records–making the event the ultimate experience for any vinylphile or music lover in general. I’ve written a lot about all the cool records and swag that you will find, and in this post I want to cover all those mighty women, without whom music would not be what it is.

What would pop be had Madonna not picked up a mic and a step sequencer? The pop star redefined the genre to be fiercely sexual under a shimmering veneer of suburban modesty. This Record Store Day, her dance remixes will be available for the first time outside of South America. Including the single mixes of “Into The Groove” (from the movie Desperately Seek Susan) and “Holiday” as well as the dance mixes to “Angel” and “Material Girl,” the four song EP manages two capture two sides of Madonna with precision. Bubble gum naivete and vogue hardness come together seamlessly on this record.

Sara and Tegan (also, more commonly, known as Tegan and Sara) crawled into indie pop hearts everywhere with their 2004 “Walking With a Ghost.” But before this, the duo hadn’t glitzed their orchestrations with gasoline-smeared synths and instead let acoustic guitars and jagged harmonies give their words a presence in this world. Their first, self-released album, called Under Feet Like Ours, shows the band at a transitional point: clinging to the Alanis Morissette brand of badass while reaching for the weirder, more electronic ends of indie pop. The album is narrative and full of grit.

Celebrating a different version of girl power, Girls in The Garage: Oriental Special Volume 9 focuses on 60s Asian girl groups. The compilation fizzes and pops with the garage gold that defined the era. There are more than enough surf rock riffs packed into the grooves of this record. But it does so while also highlighting how far the garage aesthetic reached. Bridging the gap between Asian aesthetics and the decidedly Western feel of garage pop, Girls in The Garage: Oriental Special Volume 9 shows how the genre influenced other cultures and how those cultures influenced it. Plus, Nancy Sit Ka Yin plays one of my favorite renditions of “Love Potion #9.”

In addition to these fantastic records, there will be plenty of refreshments, live music, and more fresh used vinyl than you can shake a needle at.  You do not want to miss Record Store Day at Mills Record Company.

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