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"I've gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself"

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who's Buying Up All the World's Vinyl Records. By age 30, he had about 30,000 records. About 10 years later, his bus company expanded, making him rich. Not long after that, he split up with his wife, and the pace of his buying exploded. "Maybe it’s because I was alone," Freitas said. "I don't know." He soon had a collection in the six figures; his best guess at a current total is several million albums.
posted by soundofsuburbia on Aug 8, 2014 - 14 comments

The Tough Realities Behind Vinyl's Comeback

If we’re talking about vinyl in 2014, we have to talk about Jack White. In April, rock‘n’roll’s self-appointed analog evangelist celebrated Record Store Day by teaming up with United Record Pressing in Nashville to put out the “World’s Fastest Released Record.” At 10 a.m., White and his band recorded a live version of his new album Lazaretto’s title track at his own Third Man studios, then drove the masters to United, where it went immediately onto a 7” press, before ending up in fans’ hands at the Third Man store. From start to finish, the process took 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 21 seconds.
posted by josher71 on Jul 29, 2014 - 81 comments

The CD Case: like discovering that Hollywood is financed by VHS hoarders

The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2014 - 98 comments

Archaeological Records

“I’ve used the contemporary archaeology of Olompali to address the concept of stereotype, in this case, what we generally consider to be the ‘hippie,’" - California state archaeologist, E. Breck Parkman has published a paper analyzing the diversity of vinyl records excavated from the ruins of Rancho Olompali in Marin County, California. The site, formerly closely associated with the Grateful Dead, was the home of the Chosen Family commune from 1967 to 1969. The commune and the mansion both met their end in '69, razed by an electrical fire. [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter on Jun 5, 2014 - 9 comments

The Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention.

New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention. Record dealer John Carraro reflects on introducing old music to the likes of Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Large Professor, Buckwild, Diamond D, Prince Be, Mr. Walt, and DJ Clark Kent, among others.
posted by chunking express on Jun 1, 2014 - 11 comments

"There's no reason to complain about anything. Ever again."

Jack White unveils The Ultra LP.
posted by roll truck roll on May 6, 2014 - 58 comments

Listening to vinyl makes you better than those who don't listen to vinyl

The Record Collector
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Apr 2, 2014 - 98 comments

Where Bad Records Go When They Die

Vinyl Terror and Horror uses physically altered vinyl records and many turntables to produce an eerie soundscape.
posted by codacorolla on Mar 20, 2014 - 12 comments

Ghosts On The Record

It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Dec 16, 2013 - 76 comments

Jazz covers. Animated.

Animated Jazz Covers. Very cool.
posted by dobbs on Nov 17, 2013 - 9 comments

Because I’m old and lame now

Why Would Anyone Buy a Cassette Tape? "I went back to the merch table to see what was on offer and saw - among other things - a cassette tape. I figured that participating in a weird economic trend would be worth the $5, so I bought it. Needless to say, I don't own anything that could play a cassette tape."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 11, 2013 - 122 comments

Freaks out there who are freakier than I am...

Vinyl -- Alan Zweig feat. Harvey Pekar -- 2000 -- M VG+
"Yeah, the music is the most important thing. I wish it were the only thing. It's not. I'd be better off if it were the only thing."
A documentary about the most noble mania.
posted by OmieWise on May 10, 2013 - 16 comments

Record Store Day 2013

Record Store Day encourages music lovers to support their independent record store on the third Saturday of April. Since 2008, the day has been growing in popularity, and this year more than 700 stores across the U.S. are participating. [more inside]
posted by rageagainsttherobots on Apr 19, 2013 - 75 comments

Fwoosh! Zoom!

"If you spend any time looking for records at flea markets and garage sales, you come to recognize a variety of common vintage records: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Barbra Streisand, box collections of "best of" classical music, the band America. And then there are the rare finds, the albums that you would never expect to exist. My latest find at the Alameda Point Antiques Fair falls into that category ... it became my possession for $2. And now yours, via SoundCloud, for nothing." Sounds of X-15s, Atlas missiles, Nieuport biplanes, and more.
posted by Chutzler on Apr 9, 2013 - 38 comments

I'm in love with the way you're in love with the night

Every Word Handwritten is a new short film by New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem centered around the lifespan of a single vinyl record. It's title comes from a line in Handwritten, a song off their album of the same name. The Gaslight Anthem have long written about the power of old music formats, from their proclamation that they're the 'last of the jukebox Romeos' on their first album to their many invocations of the mythical 'radio' on songs like Angry Johnny and the Radio and Queen Of Lower Chelsea to 45, another song from Handwritten.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 19, 2013 - 4 comments

We Buy White Albums

We Buy White Albums is a New York record store dealing exclusively in first pressings of the Beatles' self titled 1968 double album (aka the White Album). The store is actually an art installation from Rutherford Chang. The inventory is growing (currently over 700 copies), with vinyl condition ranging from very good to scratched, warped, and graffitied, all filed by serial number. Each copy is being digitized and photographed with plans to press a new double-LP made from all the recordings layered upon each other and a composite cover of all of the photos. Vinyl collector site Dust and Grooves has an interview with Chang and a lot of pictures of the "store" and individual copies.
posted by Slack-a-gogo on Feb 16, 2013 - 50 comments

Battered Vinyl Retaliates

BBC DJs Mark and Lard show of some of their treasured vinyl recordings which are "particularly hard to find these days in this kind of condition": Mull of *Kintyre, Messing about on the River, Rocking around the Christmas Tree, Bright Eyes (more). NSFW - although somehow they got away with broadcasting it in the middle of the afternoon.
posted by rongorongo on Jan 30, 2013 - 13 comments

in which Fatlip's ad-libbed Patrick Bateman speech basically invents Odd Future

Which isn't to say it's not a deep record — it's just a record that wears its depth lightly, couching it in gags and a multitude of weird voices and ball-busting autocritique. The almost-hit-single "Passin' Me By" stands out most clearly as a foundational text for modern nerd-rap of all stripes, but the whole record operates in previously uncharted territory, foregoing both tough-guy posturing and didacticism in favor of honesty. It's about hormonal mischief and formative heartbreak, the mistakes these guys have made and the mistakes they'll make again, and the fact that it's one of the funniest-on-purpose rap albums ever made never quite overshadows its precocious intelligence. 20 years later, it's time for another Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Nov 25, 2012 - 16 comments

Nightmares on Wax, Stars on 45

The music industry is moving rapidly into the digital world whether it likes it or not, and vinyl just might be the last thing standing in the way of a world where nobody bothers to buy physical music anymore. So did labels sabotage vinyl on purpose? Of course, the death of the CD has been touted before. Trends indicate, vinyl does seem to be making a comeback, but is a a word where you don't own your digital music (or do you?) enough to save the once-popular format? [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Sep 12, 2012 - 140 comments

Les Mains Noires: Tempero Brasileiro

Tempero Brasileiro (mp3) is a collection of rare Brazilian tracks originally issued on 7″ vinyl. Compiled by Edson Carvalho, one of the top São Paulo crate diggers. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on May 26, 2012 - 10 comments

Stop-Motion Waveform

For his video "I Will Never Change", London-based musician Benga used 960 records to create a stop-motion waveform of the song. [more inside]
posted by quin on Apr 20, 2012 - 14 comments

Record Store Day 2012

Limited Editions: Record Store Day 2012 is almost upon us. Started in 2008, this internationally celebrated day is observed the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose is to celebrate the art of music with hundreds of recording artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl. [more inside]
posted by pelican on Apr 19, 2012 - 31 comments

Web site to catalog record shops world-wide

Record Shops is a new web site that's attempting to list all record shops world wide. Allows you to rate/review shops you're familiar with and scope out the scene in places you're travelling to.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Mar 18, 2012 - 36 comments

Listening to the past, recorded on tin foil and glass, for the first time in over a century

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

Yoshimi Battles the Highly Collectible Uniquely Colored Limited Edition Robots

In summer 2011 The Flaming Lips released collaborative vinyl EPs with Lightning Bolt, Neon Indian and Prefuse 73. The 'starter blob' of vinyl for each disc was assembled by hand using random amounts of different vinyl colors, ensuring that every record would be unique. Here are a couple of Flickr photosets of the finished products (and a bit of the process) as they came off the presses. [more inside]
posted by mintcake! on Nov 26, 2011 - 15 comments

In for a penny, in for Santana's Abraxas

On June 29, 2011, the last remnant of what was once Columbia House — the mightiest mail-order record club company that ever existed — quietly shuttered for good. Other defunct facets of the 20th-century music business have been properly eulogized, but it seems that nary a tear was shed for the record club. Perhaps ... a new generation of music fans who had never known a world without the Internet couldn't grasp the marvel that was the record club in its heyday. From roughly 1955 until 2000, getting music for free meant taping a penny to a paper card and mailing it off for 12 free records — along with membership and the promise of future purchasing.

The rise and fall of the Columbia Record House club--and how we learned to steal music.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 14, 2011 - 99 comments

People used to make records, as in a record of an event — the event of people making music in a room

"The George Sanders Touch: Songs For the Lovely Lady" ...exists. Wow! But Not on CD.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Jul 5, 2011 - 10 comments

Famous People Hanging Out With Their Vinyl

Famous People Hanging Out With Their Vinyl
posted by OmieWise on Jun 14, 2011 - 18 comments

The Loudness War is over

The music industry Loudness War is over. Research into actual sales rankings, Radio Impact, Listener ratings and Hearing loss, all show better results for music with a higher dynamic range.
posted by Lanark on Mar 25, 2011 - 61 comments

"From Vinyl, To Tape, To You"

Pates Tapes is an online music project from Charles Pates comprised of hundreds of hours of mixtapes culled from vinyl and cassette. Just click and play.
posted by dhammond on Mar 24, 2011 - 20 comments

((( Groovy )))

Stacked vintage LP stereo banners. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 3, 2011 - 39 comments

Tremble Under Boom Lights

Dirtbombs' drummer Ben Blackwell has created a map of Detroit of labels offering "vinyl releases throughout all eras". He also has a blog and participated in the SXSW panel "How to Make Money With Vinyl" (mp3) as an employee of Third Man Records.
posted by dobbs on Nov 19, 2010 - 6 comments

Record Collection 4 Sale

88-year old selling 400k record collection [more inside]
posted by msconduct on Aug 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Off The Record

Artist Scott Marr carves vintage records by hand with a dremel.
posted by gman on Jul 28, 2010 - 45 comments

Let's dance forró!

Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

Kinda Blue Note

Vintage Vanguard is a Japanese web site featuring the cover art for every Blue Note album ever released. Other labels are featured as well.
posted by dobbs on Jun 20, 2010 - 18 comments

The Death (Or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store

Pitchfork TV presents I Need That Record! (one week only), Brendan Toller's documentary feature examining the plight of independent record stores in the U.S. Featuring Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Ian Mackaye (Fugazi/Minor Threat), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) Chris Franz (Talking Heads), Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), Pat Carney (The Black Keys), Bryan Poole (Of Montreal), and many more figures of the indie record making/selling scene. Plus the wild animations of Matthew Newman-Long! (previously mentioned)
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 24, 2010 - 19 comments

Uncut Vinyl

"Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope." More complete study here.
posted by gman on Mar 17, 2010 - 37 comments

Hoot Owlin Again

Strange & wonderful album covers. [more inside]
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist on Feb 26, 2010 - 16 comments

The Fetishising of Tape Begins Now

"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]
posted by meech on Feb 22, 2010 - 91 comments

Radio Show Syndication on Vinyl LPs

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]
posted by morganw on Dec 9, 2009 - 14 comments

mp3s' rotten fidelity - the proof

Researcher John Meyer has devised an objective index demonstrating that mp3s offer far lower fidelity than either vinyl LPs or standard CDs. And yet this eight-year study at Stanford University shows that prolonged exposure to mp3s leads young listeners to prefer the format. No wonder record producers are despairing.
posted by Paul Slade on Sep 22, 2009 - 98 comments

Roots Reggae 7in's

Roots Reggae 7in's
posted by geos on Jul 31, 2009 - 20 comments

Of course I want gimmicks, I'm a record producer!

DVDs to save the music industry (video interview) Record Producers discuss illegal downloads, home studios and why 5.1 DVD sound just might be the future. [more inside]
posted by Lanark on Jun 15, 2009 - 62 comments

Nightmares on Wax.

RCA Victor's record manufacturing process in 1942: Part one - Part two.
posted by loquacious on May 23, 2009 - 16 comments

Vinyl makes a comeback this Saturday

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]
posted by mediareport on Apr 16, 2009 - 89 comments

A New Creation Resurrected from Obscurity

The New Creation was born in 1970 when Chris Towers, an unknown guitarist from Vancouver, decided to form a Christian rock group with his mother Lorna as lead singer and their neighbor Janet Tiessen on drums. Scared by reports of the hippie excesses of the Manson/Altamont era, Lorna Towers wrote doom-laden, apocalyptic lyrics for the New Creation's aptly titled album, Troubled. The band was unpolished, yet somehow captured a unique lo-fi sound comparable to a hybrid of the Velvet Underground and the Shaggs. The group might be totally forgotten today, if an aging hippie record dealer named Ty Scammel hadn't rescued a copy from a $1 bargain bin, leading to the album's rediscovery by collectors of Christian rock and outsider music. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Jan 16, 2009 - 23 comments

High Craftibility: crafting with old vinyl records, cassette and VHS tapes

Audio visual technology changes so fast that if you’re of a certain age you’ve been left holding the bag of cassettes, VHS tapes and vinyl records. What will you do with these AV artifacts if you no longer want to play them? Have no fear; you can have lots of crafty fun with your real audio. You can make a cassette tape mini journal, a cassette wallet or cassette coin purse, or a mini cassette lamp. If you’re into melting stuff, you can make a sculpture, such as this skeleton, from the plastic. The tape can be crocheted or knitted into items like totes, evening bags, Barbie halter dresses, or baby booties. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Dec 21, 2008 - 11 comments

avert your eyes, cratediggers

Feeling the crunch? Need to get a bunch of gifts for people on the cheap? Why not go down to a thrift store, pick up some old vinyl and make a bowl*, a candle holder (suitable for advent), or a cuff bracelet? If you have more to spend and are more adept in the craft department, try a record purse or a deconstructed album book. [more inside]
posted by piratebowling on Dec 2, 2008 - 26 comments

"It's not about the music."

Crate Digging, Don't Do It! [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Oct 14, 2008 - 48 comments

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