Digital technology has enhanced music production, recording and distribution in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, but are we losing something more essential in the process? Chris May (of The Vinyl Factory) talks to ambient pioneer and friend of technology Brian Eno about the dangers of digital dependence in modern music. “It doesn’t just apply with African recordings. It’s a problem everybody is having at the moment. Do I resist the temptation to perfect this thing? What do I lose by perfecting it?"
The Concord Music Group (the Group's labels) is due to release on vinyl The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings in January 2015. This past November 2014, the Concord Music Group released the vinyl reissue, on the Riverside label, of The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961/The Bill Evans Trio. Also due up, is the vinyl reissue of The Complete Riverside Recordings/Bill Evans sometime in early 2015. (The pertinent info about the future releases is at the bottom of the page just linked.) [more inside]
In this amazing new music video, a bevy of music legends performs a human beat box ditty a-capella. It's part fun game of "recognize that album cover", and part heart-wrenching story of a man with great taste in music but awful taste in consumer electronics. And all in just over two minutes. (SLYT)
The Distortion of Sound is a documentary about the decline of sound quality and how technology has changed the way we listen to music. It will open your ears and inspire you to reach for richer, more soul-stirring musical experiences.
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]
Vinyl Terror and Horror uses physically altered vinyl records and many turntables to produce an eerie soundscape.
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
The rise and fall of the Columbia Record House club--and how we learned to steal music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
Vintage Vanguard is a Japanese web site featuring the cover art for every Blue Note album ever released. Other labels are featured as well.
"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]
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]
A lifetime of lost playlists Martin Belam offers a personal history of music formats and describing how he made playlists with each of them. I'd love for his conclusion to become a reality.
The following is a list of over 3600 titles recorded from my collection of 78 rpm records....Right now, there are over 2,450 titles on this page linked to mp3's....I have about 2500 more records to record, so I'll be adding more titles as time permits over the next hundred years or so....I loaded a searchable ACCESS database for this list HERE. [.mdb] I don't know if it will work for everyone. Good luck! [more inside]
Do you love music? Do you have at least 3 million dollars? If you answered "yes" to these questions then you may be interested in bidding on "The World's Greatest Music Collection." (single link to ebay auction)
Ron Murphy cut records, but not just any records. Responsible for cutting the actual vinyl master plates of much of the now revered Detroit Techno including Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Underground Resistance's seminal Knights of the Jaguar, and much more - he demonstrated impeccable craftsmanship and skill in both mastering records for sound and aesthetics at company known as Sound Enterprises source link AKA National Sound Corporation. Schooled in Motown, dubplates and jukeboxes, he is the bespoke-crafted, analog link between the digital future and analog past that is the roots of Techno music and modern techno DJ culture. [more inside]
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?
Jazz '71-'89 Dave Douglas posed the challenge: “Is there a writer who can take on the project of an unbiased overview of music since the end of the Vietnam War?” The Bad Plus answered (though not unbiased). The Guardian and NY Times weighed in. Suck it, haters. And ultimately, Behearer used a wiki to answer the call.
The Virtual Gramophone. A massive database of early Canadian 78 RPM recordings, now available in mp3 and rm format. Over 13,000 titles available, freely downloadable. Includes biographical notes on the artists, notes on the history of Canadian recording, interesting technical notes on media conversion, a few videos from the olde dayes, and podcasts. This collection is particularly strong on Quebecois and Acadien folk/fiddle music. Courtesy of the Library and Archives Services of the Government of Canada. Mentioned once before in passing, five years ago on Metafilter, but much improved since them realaudio only days.
Will Vinyl Survive? Is vinyl on its last legs? Or like Gloria Gaynor, will it survive? Most home listeners chucked out their turntables years ago, but are DJs finally giving in and following suit? DJs face off in a pair of articles discussing the merits of vinyl vs. digital...
Open up your mind and let everything come through. Psych and Prog get great sharity treatment. (ChrisGoes is also known for his regular appearance on torrent sites with his huge, wonderful collections).
No Condition is Permanent. World music, and African music in particular, often falls into two categories: pleasant and inoccuous, or the fetishized other. Even speaking of "African" music is misleading. Senegalese mbalax doesn't sound that much like Camaroonian makossa. And I don't say this as some great authority; I'm still just at the beginning of the learning curve. So come along with me. There's the broad Benne Loxo du Taccu, the sidebar of Mudd Up!, the great (and self-explanitory) African Hiphop, Stern's Music (this link going to a more accessible Thione Seck), Aduna (for Francophones— my middle-school French gets me by, but I'm really there for the music), Du Bruit (more Francophones, with an emphasis on vinyl sharities), and Worldly Disorientation (which covers all sorts of world music, but has some excellent African stuff). Have I missed anything great? Recommend it in the thread. I tend to prefer the psychedelic and dubby stuff more than straight folk styles, but that's me.
Traditionally, (video) a DJ uses two turntables, but recently a series of new products has challenged the primacy of vinyl. While local record shops have been closing left and right, online stores have begun offering digital downloads. One digital-only outlet recently sold their 1,000,000th mp3. And now, a new store has taken the DJ completely out of the equation by making mix cds on demand.
Vinyl Sharity There's a lot of exotic*, odd†, thrilling‡, and strangely catchy° music out there on the net. Through Weirdo Music and Record Brother, I've begun to touch the tip... And while there's a fairly proscribed etiquette regarding the sharity sites (limited time for downloads, out-of-print only, desisting when asked), I find that Free Albums and Strange Reaction have put me off of buying new RIAA albums more than Napster or Kazaa ever did. (Well, there is Regnyouth, but the downloading is such a pain in the ass for most of it that I only ever really bother with things that I own on a format that I can't convert like cassette, or that I listen to once and delete, like Interpol). But where do you go for weirdo music? Anything you've found in digging through these sites that's struck your fancy? (And if you have sharities to, well, share: You Send It, Rapidshare and MegaUpload are pretty much the gold standard.) *From Bellybongo †From WM ‡From Basic Hip °From Comfort Stand
The Sub Pop Singles Club began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay, cementing its status as a collector's item and making a generation of music geeks feel old.
1980s Vinyl Multimedia In the 1980s UK, artists were busy embedding multimedia-enabling compiled computer code into the locked grooves of their vinyl releases (and some cassette tapes). Who knew?
Digital Needle is a virtual gramophone open source program that converts scanned--yes, scanned--vinyl records into audio.
The end of Vinyl II? Stanton ships Final Scratch, which enables a DJ to manipulate (mix, scratch, cut...) any music on their PC with their turntables. Besides not needing to carry all the weight and bulk of crates of records around, DJs can now skip the expensive and complicated step of cutting their own records in order to play original tracks. Is vinyl going to die for real this time?
Show and Tell Music - Thrift Store Vinyl. There are lots of vinyl sites out there, but some of the items in this collection had me floored. And the quantity is just as impressive as the quality -- several pages of unintentionally funny Christian vinyl you have to see to believe. MP3 samples too! Via BoingBoing, but got lost under a lengthy EFF post (which was also good).
In an a era where so much music seems overly mechanical Funk45.com and Galactic Fractures are terrific reminders that danceablity can be warm and loose and that human-powered music is the funkiest. These sites have what every good music site should have, encyclopedaic knowledge, detailed info, and truckloads of audio that makes you wanna find a good record store and hunt down the 45's yourself. And it's all presented in a way that encourages you to dig deeper. The song You Got Me Mama by Hayes Ware is a favorite, but there's plenty of great stuff. requires RealAudio
Frank's Vinyl Museum is an invaluable resource for those of use who think that there's a thin line between trash and treasure. It's also a great place to indulge your taste in guilty musical pleasures without having to actually buy any of these crappy records at your local thrift store.
Recordnerd.com : Possibly a repeat - sorry if it is. This is a cool site for record nerds like me to get rid of some old stuff and search out some new stuff at the same time.