Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone (especially Mothers!) enjoyed a Happy Mother's Day. I found an interesting article at and thought I would share it:

Vinyl is still the mother of music

Written By Wayne Bledsoe

It occurs to me this Mother's Day that CDs were designed to be the trophy wives of music lovers. Think about it: Those old vinyl albums introduced us to hot tracks from Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Parliament /Funkadelic. They endured the indignity of disco and the misery of Air Supply and helped us give birth to our best times and most hairbrained schemes. But we got to know all vinyl albums' moves and as time went on, we took them for granted. Then someone came along and said "Hey, look at this shiny new disc! It's lighter, portable and (imagine Barry White's voice here) so sexxxxxy! Why that heavy old vinyl thing has grit in her grooves! This new model is smooth and light with a figure of 0110- 0101-1010! It'll impress your friends!"

We bought it. We divorced ourselves from vinyl for shiny new CDs . The heartless music bearers sucked up all our money and still wanted more. And, CDs didn't do the job that dowdy old vinyl did. Their sound lacked vinyl's warmth. When it got a little better we replaced those CDs with the better ones, but it was still an empty experience.

Now, CDs themselves are passe. Digital downloads offer immediate gratification. No fiddling around with CD trays and knob adjustments to get them in the mood. Oh baby. You make me feel so young!

Yet, nothing still sounds as good as good old vinyl. It's a real, physical preservation of sound. CDs are sagging, but vinyl album sales are up and the quality is better than it was in the 1970s (hey, looks like somebody's been to the gym!). Cool kids are tracking down turntables and searching out vintage albums. And, artists are making sure to press vinyl discs and often include a code where a listener can download a digital version as well. Two music artists I've spoken with in the past months predicted the death of the CD, but the resurgence of vinyl.

And, sales of turntables (many featuring USB connections so you can plug directly into your computer) are up, too. They're such popular items you can buy them at Target.

The USB turntables both allow you to listen to your vinyl albums through your computer (although it would really sound much better though a nice amp and speakers) and convert your albums to a digital format and take out some of the pops and scratches if you so desire. (But remember: "Never Mind the Bollocks" by the Sex Pistols sounds better with the grit!)

Among the companies offering the turntables are Ion (with several models around $100) and Numark, Stanton and Audio-Technia. The Crosley Memory Master CD Recorder ($449) allows you to record the vinyl directly to CD if you want, but it looks like a record player named "grandma."

Those teenagers and 20-somethings discovering the joys of vinyl are both sick of the poor quality sound of digital and want something tactile with their music experiences. They ask how could we have ever put these sweet vinyl albums out to pasture?

Some record companies are back and asking for forgiveness, but others are insisting that they made the right choice.

By the looks of things, they'll be old and broke and out of business in a few years.

Happy Mother's Day vinyl.

This Date In Music History- May 11

In 2003, rock musician Noel Redding, best known for his stint as the bassist of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience," was found dead at his home in Ireland of unknown causes. He is 57.

In 1995, Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray played a tribute concert to Stevie Ray Vaughan in his hometown of Austin, Texas. All five had played with Vaughan at his last show on August 26, 1990, before he was killed in a helicopter crash.

Bob Marley, the uncontested King of Reggae, died of a brain tumor on May 11, 1981 at the age of 36. Seven months earlier, he had collapsed on stage during a concert in the US. He was given a state funeral and buried near his birthplace in St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica.

Eric Burdon ("Spill The Wine" and leader of the Animals) turns 67. Burdon is one of the most recognizable voices from the British Invasion.

In 1974, Led Zeppelin met with Elvis Presley after the King's concert at the Los Angeles Forum (Robert Plant and Elvis launch into an impromptu rendition of "Love Me").

In 1959, Dave "Baby" Cortez reached the top spot on the Billboard chart with "The Happy Organ.” The song was originally recorded under the name "The Dog and the Cat,” with a vocal track that didn't work out. Cortez then added an organ solo and changed the title.

The Everly Brothers performed for the first time at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in 1957.

Also in 1957, Buddy Holly & the Crickets auditioned for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" TV program, but were rejected.

In 1988, Irving Berlin was serenaded by a crowd singing his songs outside his apartment as he turned 100. New York's Carnegie Hall also paid the composer a gala tribute.

John Lennon appeared on the "Dick Cavett" TV show in 1972 and said that the FBI was tapping his phone as part of a plan to have him deported from the U.S. Imagine, twenty years later, when it’s discovered that was exactly what the government was doing. The Nixon Administration felt Lennon was a dangerous subversive that had to go.

The Byrds made their TV debut in 1965, singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" on NBC's "Hullabaloo.”

In 1968, the Monkees entered the albums chart with “The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees.” Although the album debuts at a disappointing # 80, the next week it would leap to #3.

The soundtrack for the movie "Woodstock" was released in 1970. The album would go gold within two weeks.

Bluegrass great Lester Flatt died in Nashville in 1979. With Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, the guitarist turned bluegrass music into a worldwide phenomenon.

The Beatles cut "Baby You're a Rich Man" at Olympia Studios in 1967. It marked the first time they've ever recorded outside of Abbey Road.

In 1964, the Rolling Stones were refused lunch at a hotel in Bristol, England, because they were not wearing jackets and ties. Bad boys!

In 1963, the Beatles' debut album, “Please Please Me,” topped the English albums chart. Eight of the 12 tracks were written by Lennon and McCartney, setting a new precedent in rock music for artists writing their own material.

New Record Label Launched

Forest Life Records Celebrates Inaugural Release

Forest Life Records, a young label from the midwest specializing in vinyl, has issued it's first release: a 7 inch vinyl of recent No Sleep Records signees La Dispute. This is the band's final independent release before their upcoming full length, "Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair," out on No Sleep Records November 11, 2008.

Also slated for summer release are a 12 inch vinyl from Valparaiso, Indiana indie band Native and a 7 inch vinyl from Grand Rapids, Michigan's Victor! Fix the Sun (Friction Records). The two bands will be touring the midwest and east coast in support of their respective records in July.

For more information about this exciting new record label, visit: