Black Friday is upon us; that most ravenous time of year when the gorged masses stumble away from their Thanksgiving leftovers and shop till they drop. So-named because it has historically been the turning point when retail businesses make the switch from operating in the red to the black. "Black Friday doesn't mean much action for most indie retailers," according to Criminal Records owner and Record Store Day co-founder Eric Levin. It's mostly the big-box chains that reap the rewards of such a money-making holiday. But this year, the folks behind Record Store Day have instigated the first Back to Black Friday, an alternative to the mania, long lines and occasional tramplings that tend to mark the day.
Like RSD, Back to Black Friday is marked by a grip of limited edition records and CD releases exclusive to participating indie record shops. Atlanta's three participants include Criminal, Wax and Facts, and Decatur CD. A reissue of Grinderman's "Heathen Child," Cee-Lo's "F**k You," U2's Wide Awake In Europe, a Roky Erickson/the Black Angels DVD/12-inch and more are all on the list of releases posted at RecordStoreDay.com.
One of the Back to Black gems is a live 2x10-inch/CD of Metallica playing Grimey's Records in Nashville in 2008, and it's actually a good set, heavy on Kill 'em All and ...And Justice For All material. Consider it a case of Lars Ulrich putting his money where his mouth is by actually giving music lovers something worth buying.
Ever-deranged Southern punk-metal duo Brass Castle pretty much disappeared when singer/guitarist/drummer Christian Gordy moved to New York in 2009, but the band technically hasn't broken up. Earlier this month, the group released Cancer Daze, a digital-only third LP recorded by Billy Bennett at Chase Park in 2007. It features later-era Brass Castle jams such as "Raining Balls," "Nasty Rabbits" and "His Name is Reggie."
Carnivores can now call themselves an international band. On Dec. 13, British label Music Mule is releasing a split 7-inch featuring two Carnivores songs on the flip side of Brooklyn psychedelic noise-pop duo Dinosaur Feathers. Carnivores' songs include "Parent's Attic" from the band's second album, If I'm Ancient (Double Phantom), and a newer number titled "Dressed For Rain." The single is limited to 300 and marks the first physical release from the digital label.
D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik's long-standing World Famous Mic Club at the Royal Peacock has invited MCs, preferably ages 18 to 25, to come show their skills on Sat., Nov. 27, for the taping of a MTV reality show. More details are coming soon.
Black Lips and Those Darlins will be dressed as elves and posing for pictures at A-Hole Santa's annual appearance at Criminal Records on Sat., Nov. 27. It's a fundraiser for Animal Action Rescue Group, which lasts from noon-6 p.m. Black Lips will be posing from 3-4 p.m. and Those Darlins will be posing from 4-5 p.m.
And last but not least, Deerhunter will be the musical guest on "Conan" on Dec. 2, so set your TiVo.