Saturday, November 15, 2008

Vinyl Cooperative/Suburban Home featured at Hypebot

From my friend Virgil over at Congratulations!

Published by Virgil November 14th, 2008

Check this shit out!, Press and blog.

Hypebot, a very well respected Music Industry blog, just posted a short interview with me regarding the Vinyl Cooperative and Suburban Home Records. It is really exciting and really cool that other people are taking notice of what we are doing. I highly recommend you read the interview (it is short). Thanks Bruce at Hypebot for taking the time to notice what we are doing and for featuring us on your site.

An interview with indie label entrepreneur Virgil Dickerson.

Virgil Dickerson runs thriving (yes, you read it correctly... thriving) indie label Suburban Home Records. One of his most interesting side-projects is a music tribe called the Vinyl Collective Cooperative. This all vinyl reissue label is financed and run by it's 210 members and a 10 member board of directors. Slots to join sold out in 8 minutes.

Q: What is the Vinyl Collective Cooperative?

Dickerson: The Vinyl Collective Cooperative is a collective of 220 folks around the globe who nominate and vote on releases that they want to see pressed on vinyl. Only releases that have never been put out on vinyl can be nominated. The 220 unit holders of the cooperative receive a free copy of the most limited variant of the pressing, copies are given to the band and to the label that licensed us the album, and the remaining copies are sold. That revenue goes back into the Cooperative for future releases. The hope is that there will continue to be funds to manufacture future releases and if that happens, the unit holders will continue to get a free copy of the most limited version of those records.

Q: How has is it working?

Dickerson: So far, only 2 releases have been manufactured and both are amazing. The Falcon's "God Don't Make No Trash" 10" was the Coop's first release. The Coop's second release is the Jealous Sound's Kill Them with Kindness double LP.

Q: Would you run a "normal" label this way?

Dickerson: I think that if a "normal" label was organized the right way, this model could work.It is definitely a lot of work to coordinate and communicate with 220 people. There have been some headaches, but as the cooperative continues, we hope to smooth it all out. I could see it as a model for other labels who just want to release great records, but it would be difficult if the participants expected to receive dividends. The Vinyl Cooperative works well because everyone involved are avid collectors.

Q: How is Suburban Home fairing in these tough times?

Dickerson: Honestly, we are doing better now than in our 13 year history. I feel very fortunate to be able to say that. In March of 2007, we downsized our entire operation and moved things into my house and cut staff. April of 2008, things turned around to the point where we are now in a new office/warehouse and have a staff again and are having our best year to date. I think that the big guys are feeling the downside of these tough times, but having always been a really small label, we are just hitting our stride in a different way.

We just had 3 of our last 4 Suburban Home releases on the Billboard Top New Artist charts and that has never happened in our entire history.


Hail Vinyl!

A Day In The Life Of Ranch Records

Regular readers know that I enjoy articles about the small, independent record stores, to me; they are the backbone of the vinyl revival. This story reflects a day in a local record store and in it, gives the reasons that so many people love these intimate retail establishments.

A day in the life of Ranch Records

By K. Williams Brown • Statesman Journal

November 15, 2008

There is a fierce, burning, endearing dedication to the record at Ranch Records. Not to the album per se, although that too, kind of, but to the vinyl disc most often seen nowadays at the Salvation Army or in your parents’ boxes of memorabilia.

Records are something to be collected, arranged, re-arranged, hoarded if there’s something unique or good about them (i.e., if they’re printed on patterned or colored vinyl) and, of course, listened to.

In Ranch Records, the records themselves are surrounded by CDs (an economic necessity), cassettes (there’s still demand), relics that complement the records, like $400 Beatles purses and original The Who posters for Berlin concerts, and then the people.

There’s customers and employees, although the divisions blur when employees come in on their off days or regulars are hired. I spent a few hours at the store in late October, trying to record the essence of Ranch.

10:58 a.m.

David Ballantyne, a clerk at Ranch Records, instructs intern Kyle Castronovo, a McNary student, to turn on the "OPEN" sign.

"You wanna turn on the open sign? Just pull the string, nice long pull," he says, and Castronovo interrupts his extensive Windex-ing duties to comply. Bo Diddley is put on the stereo.

11:06 a.m.

Owners Kit and Lori Close arrive, flowers from the Wednesday Market in-hand. Kit has been at the helm of the store since its 1982 opening and through five location changes to its present spot at 237 High St. NE. Lori normally oversees the McMinnville store, one of three they own together.

"I was a record nut, a record collector, the nerdy kid who all my money went to records, and (the records) started to overtake my life, so I started a small shop," Kit explains when asked why he opened a store.

11:25 a.m.

Ballantyne is involved in lots of CD movings: into sleeves, out of sleeves, on the shelf where all the sleeved CDs are kept. This reflects the fact that each day, Ranch Records buys all sorts of CDs and records on consignment, each of which is sleeved and catalogued. This is part of the draw for the many regulars who come weekly or even more frequently.

"There could be 5,000 records out there, but if there's 10 by the counter, they want to see those," Kit said.

11:45 a.m.

Perry Manns is one of those regulars.

"I've been coming here — geez, last week I came in here five times," he said. "They have what I want. They have a lot of selections I like — blues, jazz."

Today, he has James Brown, Etta James and Charlie Parker CDs.

12:15 p.m.

Mark Wade is another regular, one singled out by Kit as an especially good customer, who comes in two or three times per week on his lunch break from Willamette University.

There are, he said, a lot of reasons for his loyalty.

"The people working here, they're knowledgeable, they share the same interests," he said. "If you're passionate about music — which I am, I have been since I was 12, 13 years old — they're the same. So I consider them friends. It's one of the few places left that's like an old record store, like the kind I grew up with."

12:20 p.m.

Sam Schick has come in, even though it's his day off. He's been on the job about two years.

"I think Kit just took pity on me since I spent so much time here."

The story behind his hiring is telling.

"I saw a vinyl picture disc — a Paris Hilton picture disc — and I didn't like that," he said. "So I bought it and then I broke it over the counter, and I told (Ballantyne) not to stock that anymore."

Ballantyne, who had been responsible for the purchase of Hilton's album, was pleased.

"That was the candle on the cake," he said. "That was a major story that we passed around. Like, 'Kit, you won't believe what this kid did.' It was a year and a half, two years before we hired him."

12:35 p.m.

Castronovo admires Ballantyne's tiger shirt.

"That shirt is brutal," he says. "I just got a flower on mine."

"That's cool. That's manly," Ballantyne replies.

I ask about record collections.

"Last count was 1,300 good albums, 800 odds and ends and about 300 CDs," Ballantyne said.

"A couple hundred," Kit deadpans, then laughs. "I've got three stores full. It's not about counting, but my records are better than anyone else's."

There is agreement.

1:12 p.m.

Mickey Bare, of The Falcons and Hundred Dollar Jayhawks fame, stops in. Kit offers him a beer, "for lunch," and he takes one. So does Schick.

Ballantyne re-enters and sees the beers. "What is this?"

Bare: "Lunch."

Schick: "My day off."

There is a fierce, burning, endearing dedication to the record at Ranch Records. Not to the album per se, although that too, kind of, but to the vinyl disc most often seen nowadays at the Salvation Army or in your parents' boxes of memorabilia.

Records are something to be collected, arranged, re-arranged, hoarded if there's something unique or good about them (i.e., if they're printed on patterned or colored vinyl) and, of course, listened to.

In Ranch Records, the records themselves are surrounded by CDs (an economic necessity), cassettes (there's still demand), relics that complement the records, like $400 Beatles purses and original The Who posters for Berlin concerts, and then the people.

There's customers and employees, although the divisions blur when employees come in on their off days or regulars are hired. I spent a few hours at the store in late October, trying to record the essence of Ranch.


Album Cover Art

All the way to #38- here is what made the Top 50 list of the sexiest and dirtiest album covers (as voted on by their staff):

38. Tom Waits: ‘Small Change’ Interestingly,this glamorous model posing as the stripper was one Cassandra Peterson who went on to play Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Now, that is cool!

Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including The Fisher King, Coffee & Cigarettes, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Short Cuts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Lyrically, Waits' songs contain atmospheric portrayals of bizarre, seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known to the general public in the form of cover versions by more visible artists—for example, "Jersey Girl," performed by Bruce Springsteen; "Downtown Train" performed by Rod Stewart; and "Ol' '55," performed by the Eagles. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations.

Waits currently lives in Sonoma County, California with his wife and their three children.

The Album Cover Art That Isn't Album Cover Art

A rep for Whitney Houston’s label Arista Records is denying reports that a photo of the singer that recently appeared online is the cover art for her new comeback album.

“The allegedly ‘new’ Whitney Houston album cover circulating throughout the Internet is not a legitimate album cover for Ms. Houston’s forthcoming Arista disc,” read a statement from the label.

“Ms. Houston is still recording and we look forward to unveiling new music along with the official album cover in due time.”

Entertainment Weekly reported that the phony album cover – featuring Houston in a black bathing suit with a plunging neckline and sporting a long wavy weave – was actually created by a fan.

Cowsills Reform for 40th Anniversary of Hair

The Cowsills, the family-based band who had numerous hits in the late-60's including "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" and "Indian Lake," are set to reform for a 2009 tour in celebrations of the 40th anniversary of their number one smash "Hair."

The reformed group will include original members Bob, Susan and Paul Cowsill along with Susan's husband Russ Broussard, Bob's son Ryan, Paul's son Brendon and bassist Ted Armstrong. Three members of the original group have since passed away, mother Barbara, and brothers Barry and Billy.

Bob Cowsill said how excited he was about the new enterprise. “We absolutely love performing and getting back in the saddle of touring after all these years. Meeting people we had crossed paths with in a different way back in the hey-day, personally meeting and greeting everyone and enjoying the memories shared by all. That two sons would now replace two brothers was unexpected but afforded us a light in the darkness after we lost Billy and Barry.”

Brother Paul added, “I'm looking forward to meeting more people who took the ride with us in the 60's. In my opinion the shows and singing are better now and our appreciation for the fans is better due to our maturity as performers. We are having fun and it’s infectious. I’m looking forward to working with Steve [Peck] and BLA [Buddy Lee Attractions, promoters for the group]. I believe that they really get what we’re about as a family and a band and they are a first class organization.”

The group will also be the subject of a feature-length documentary that is near completion.

The Rain,The Park And Other Things


"Most Of All"/"Siamese Cat" (Phillips 40382, 1966) US #118
"The Rain, The Park, And Other Things"/"River Blue" (MGM 13810, 1967) US #2
"We Can Fly"/"A Time for Remembrance" (MGM 13886, 1968) US #21
"In Need Of A Friend"/"Mister Flynn" (MGM 13909, 1968) US #54
"Indian Lake"/"Newspaper Blanket" (MGM 13944, 1968) US #10
"Poor Baby"/"Meet Me At The Wishing Well" (MGM 13981, 1968) US #44
"Path Of Love"/"Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools" (MGM 14003, 1968) US #132
"The Impossible Years"/"The Candy Kid" (MGM 14011, 1969) US #118
"Hair"/"What Is Happy?" (MGM 14026, 1969) US #2
"The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine"/"Gotta Get Away from It All" (MGM 14063, 1970) US #75
"Silver Threads And Golden Needles"/"Love American Style" (MGM 14084, 1970) US #74
"On My Side"/"There is a Child" (London 149, 1971) US #108 [5]
"Covered Wagon"/"Blue Road" (London 170, 1972) Did not chart
"Christmastime" (Song for Marissa)"/"Some Good Years" (Rockville, 1993) - 1990s incarnation

"The Cowsills" (MGM E/SE-4498, 1967) US #31 (released on CD in 1994 with two bonus tracks: "The Impossible Years" and "Love American Style")
"The Cowsills plus The Lincoln Park Zoo" (Wing/Mercury, 1968)
"We Can Fly" (MGM E/SE-4534, 1968) US #89
"Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools" (MGM E/SE-4554, 1968) US #105
"The Best of The Cowsills" (MGM E/SE-4597, 1969) US #127
"The Cowsills in Concert" (MGM SE-4619, 1969) US #16
"IIxII" (MGM SE-4639, 1969) [6]
"The Cowsills Greatest Hits" (MGM, 1970)
"On My Side" (London, 1970) US #200 [7]
"The Best of the Cowsills" (Polydor, 1988 - re-released on Rebound in 1994 with a new cover)
"Global" (Robin, 1998 — first all-new album since 1970)
"The Best of the Cowsills: The Millennium Collection" (Universal/Polydor, 2001) [8]
"Painting the Day: The Angelic Psychedelia of the Cowsills" (EI, 2006) [9]
"Cocaine Drain" (Robin, 2008)

Classic Rock Videos

The beach boys -good vibrations

This Date In Music History-November 15


Vocalist Petula Clark, who hit No. 1 with "Downtown" in 1965, turns 76. She also enjoyed 14 other top 40 hits. Clark became the first UK female singer to score a No.1 single in the US with this classic tune.

Anni-Frid Lyngstadt of ABBA ("Dancing Queen") is 63.

C.W. McCall ("Convoy") turns 80.

Pub rock performer Graham Parker was born in East London in 1950. His sole American hit was 1985's "Wake Up (Next to You)."

They Will Be Missed:

Born on this day in 1933, Clyde McPhatter, The Drifters, died on June 13, 1972.

The late Little Willie John ("Sleep") was born in 1937.

Born on this day in 1905, Mantovani, Orchestra leader, he died in March of 1980.


The Jefferson Airplane recorded "Somebody To Love" in 1966.

The first album by Karen and Richard Carpenter, "Offering" was released by A&M Records in 1969. It would not be a big seller, but a single from the LP, a remake of The Beatles "Ticket to Ride", would gain national attention. Their next album, "Close to You" would establish them as major international stars.

"Love Me Tender" with Elvis Presley premiered at New York's Paramount Theatre in 1956. In case you had trouble finding the theater, a 50-foot cardboard effigy of the King was parked outside. Despite critical reaction, it takes in nearly $4 million in just two months.

In 1959, Johnny and The Moondogs (John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison), appeared in the final round of Britain's TV Star Search at The Hippodrome Theatre, Manchester, where they performed "Think It Over" and "It's So Easy.” Judging was done by the volume of applause each group received at the end of the night. Unfortunately, the Moondogs didn't have enough money to stay overnight and were forced to head back to Liverpool before they were called back to stage. Just a hunch but I bet that they would have won.

The Beatles complete their sessions for the legendary LP Rubber Soul in 1965.

The Rolling Stones made their debut on NBC-TV's "Hullabaloo" television show in 1965. The band performed "Get Off My Cloud."

In 1979, Kenny Rogers enjoyed his only solo, US Pop chart number one with "Lady". The Lionel Richie penned tune would also top the Country and Adult Contemporary charts and reach #12 in the UK.

Janis Joplin was arrested in Tampa, FL in 1969 on charges of using "vulgar and indecent language" at a concert. All the charges were eventually dropped.

In 1990, Frank Farian, producer of Milli Vanilli, publicly admitted that Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus never sang a note on the Milli Vanilli album and that they lip-synched when they performed live. Duh!

Jay-Z went to No.1 on the US album chart in 2007 with ‘American Gangster,’ his 10th No.1 album. This made the rapper tied with Elvis Presley for the most No.1 albums on the chart; only the Beatles have had more, with 19. Since 1998, all eight of Jay-Z's solo studio albums hade hit No. 1, in addition to his ‘Collision Course’ project with Linkin Park and his ‘Unfinished Business’ collaboration with R. Kelly.