If you were watching late-night television in July 1998 you may have seen the half-hour informercial parody that the Beastie Boys produced to promote their upcoming album, Hello Nasty. The ad features Mike D, MCA , and Ad-Rock taking on roles to shill everything from the services of phone psychics to get-rich-quick scams to a food processor that plays songs from the upcoming LP. (Warning: video auto-loads.) [more inside]
The Birka Jazz Archive is a treasure trove of record jackets from all eras of jazz. American releases are grouped by label (for example, Columbia, Blue Note, Atlantic, etc.) with, in some case, further sub-categorization by designers or visual artists (such as the amazing David Stone Martin). European releases are sorted by country (France, Sweden, Germany, etc.) and it all adds up to a fabulous online resource for jazz fans and graphic design fans alike.
"I only listen to cassettes," Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore told CBC radio last summer: an article on the merits [or otherwise] of releasing new music on cassette. [more inside]
In 1975 and again in 1984-1992 Dr. Demento was distributed on LP vinyl records. There was a history of distributing shows on transcription discs, but this and other shows are now found all over the internet along with other forms of "bootlegs" thanks to digital recording and LP record players co-existing. [more inside]
Is it "a momentary blip on the inevitable decline of a dying format" or "the onset of an extended revival that will see the record outlive its arch-nemesis the CD?" Last year more people bought vinyl LPs than in any year since Nielsen started keeping track in 1991, nearly doubling sales from the year before. Turntable sales rebounded sharply in 2006. This Saturday, coordinated with the 2nd international Record Store Day, dozens of artists and labels are releasing exclusive vinyl versions of unreleased tracks, rare 7" reissues, remasters and new songs, solely to participating stores. Here's the full list (most with cover art here). [more inside]
Half-human album covers. Also known as "sleevefaces."
LP Cover Lover The world's greatest LP album covers. Groovy, man. [some nudity, some total insanity]
CRUD CRUD, brief reviews from a thrift store record collection. Also, Gibble Gabble, spoken-word record reviews, from the same collector.
Philip Kives, the "K" in K-Tel records, built his pioneering record label by cramming up to 24 songs on low-fi compilation LP’s (later cassettes, 8-tracks, and CDs) and aggressively marketing them with TV ads. What's your favorite K-Tel album?
LSD documentary records were a forgotten side-track in the war on drugs, reaching a high point in 1966 with the release of LSD, an album featuring interviews with Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and Ken Kesey, and featuring a live recording (which may or may not have been real) of a kid going on his first bad trip. (Not to be confused with Leary's own record of the same title.) In 1966, with neither internet nor home video, the record album was one of the most sophisticated communications media available, and it was a big year for LSD hysteria, with a LIFE cover story and a Sal Mineo-narrated LSD version of Reefer Madness called Hallucination Generation. LSD-related magazines and periodicals, reviews of psychedelic music, and more from lysergia.com.