Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Make music personal ... again

I love these stories about local record shops and here is another for your enjoyment (this one happens to be about some record stores in my area!)

Make music personal ... again

(UWM Post/UWire via COMTEX) -- -- They're big, they're round and there are probably boxes of them in your parents' attic. What are they? They're vinyl records, and they're making a comeback.

Sale numbers from the Record Industry Association of America reflect that in 2006-2007 vinyl showed a 46.2 percent increase in revenue and a 36.6 percent increase in units sold. With this increase in sales, entertainment and record companies alike are taking notice.Stores like Best Buy are now beginning to carry vinyl to keep up with the change. Also, record companies are repressing classic rock artists like Jimi Hendrix on heavy weight vinyl to improve sound quality, which is one of the main reasons people started listening to vinyl again.

Vinyl enthusiast Sahan Jayasuria says that he prefers the warmer and fuller sound of vinyl. He also likes the fact that vinyl records are collector's items. "Some records are more limited than others [and some are] hand numbered," he said. There are many other factors that play into the vinyl resurgence too.

One reason vinyl is coming back is because it's a more personal way of listening to music. Vinyl records require much more care than CDs and MP3s. Because vinyl is easier to scratch and break, you cannot keep them out of their case and in a pile on your desk. Most vinyl collectors have a cleaning kit to help keep their records in top listening condition.

Vinyl is also more personal because it forces the listener to actually sit down and listen to the music. You cannot go to the gym or walk to class with vinyl as it forces the listener to stay within earshot of the player. The listener is forced to really hear what is being played, allowing them to get a deeper understanding of the music.

The biggest thing that makes vinyl so personal is the flip. When listening to an MP3 or CD, there is no flipping involved. You may be asking why the flip is so important, and the answer is that flipping the record makes you part of the listening process. Instead of just hitting play, the album cannot finish unless you flip it.

As previously mentioned, vinyl is now considered collectors item. Just like baseball cards and comic books, vinyl records are one more thing for people to maintain and cherish. This gives new vinyl enthusiasts a reason to re-buy their favorite albums that they had previously purchased on a different format.

For people who still want to be able to make their music portable, records are now coming with a free MP3 downloads so you can take your music with you as well as collect it on your shelf. The larger album art is another reason why people like collecting vinyl. Stores are now making frames for vinyl so that collectors can put their favorite albums up on their wall.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals' new album "Cardinology" is a vinyl collector's dream. This album not only comes with a free MP3 download of the entire record, but has different cover art drawn by graphic novelist Leah Hayes, who also drew the pamphlet in a comic book style for the album. Also included is a 7-inch with two songs not on the record. These bonuses will only be given to those who buy the vinyl record.

With vinyl sales rising, what are music stores doing to satisfy their consumers? Atomic Records rearranged the store a year and a half ago to accommodate the growing demand for new vinyl. They also increased their order size for new releases on vinyl.

"We usually order in about 10 copies of a record on the release date," Atomic manager Vicki Flurry said. For "Cardinology," Atomic ordered 20 copies for the release date.

Exclusive Company manager Wade Michaels said that vinyl never left. "We've always carried new vinyl, but for the past two years we've been making more room for it." When asked if interest in buying vinyl will continue to grow, both stores said yes, and that they will continue to make more room for it. Both stores also said that if you want a record not in stock, they can order it for you as long as it's in print.

Though not all of the new releases offer a free digital download, there are some new nifty gadgets to help you get your jams in your computer. Companies like Ion are making turntables that convert the songs to MP3s, so there is no excuse to not join the vinyl revolution.

U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, Nov 17, 2008


Rosetta Reitz, women in jazz promoter, dies

Douglas Martin, New York Times

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rosetta Reitz, an ardent feminist who scavenged through the early history of jazz and the blues to resurrect the music of long-forgotten women and to create a record label dedicated to them, died Nov. 1 in New York City. She was 84.

The cause was cardiopulmonary problems, her daughter Rebecca Reitz said.

Ms. Reitz (pronounced rights) came by her interest in jazz through her husband and male friends, but as the feminist movement gathered steam in the 1960s, she noticed something was missing: the music's women. So she started collecting old 78s of performers like trumpeter Valaida Snow, pianist-singer Georgia White and a bevy of blues singers who had faded from memory.

At the same time, she unearthed lost songs by more famous artists like Bessie Smith, Ida Cox and Ma Rainey.

"In that decade of the 1920s, when jazz was really being formulated and changing from an entertainment music to an art form," Ms. Reitz said in an interview with the New York Times in 1980, "these women were extraordinarily important and instrumental in accomplishing that."

"Louis Armstrong was a sideman on records in the '20s with singers like Sippie Wallace, Eva Taylor, Hociel Thomas, Virginia Liston and Margaret Johnson. These women's records were made as their records. But when they come out now, they're reissued as Louis Armstrong records, when actually he was not that important on them."

These women "had the power," she told the Christian Science Monitor in 1984. "They hired the musicians and the chorus line, a lot of them wrote the music themselves, and they produced their own shows. They were more than just singers; they were symbols of success."

Music was at first just one element in a busy life. Ms. Reitz was at different times a stockbroker, a bookstore proprietor and the owner of a greeting card business. She was a food columnist for the Village Voice, a professor, a classified-advertising manager and author of a book on mushrooms. She was a founding member of Older Women's Liberation. She reared three daughters as a single parent.

Ms. Reitz also wrote "Menopause: A Positive Approach" (1977), considered one of the first books to look at menopause from the viewpoint of women and not doctors. She listened to her recordings of women while she wrote the book, many of them celebrating the strength of women rather than treating them as victims.

"I was so alone and needed to be nurtured, and I found I was getting it from them," she told the Los Angeles Times in 1992.

Ms. Reitz started Rosetta Records in 1979 with $10,000 she had borrowed from friends. Her routine was to scout out lost music, usually through record collectors. She then supervised the remastering of records that were often severely damaged; researched and wrote detailed liner notes; and designed graphics and found period photographs for the album covers. She personally wrapped each order and took it to the post office for shipment. (Around a dozen stores later carried the Rosetta label.)

Over the years, Ms. Reitz went from vinyl recordings to tapes to CDs. She refused to give sales figures, but she did tell the Los Angeles Times that the four titles in her "independent women's blues" series of compilations - including "Mean Mothers" - sold around 20,000 copies each. Some albums centered on themes like railroads or prisons.

Much of the music she recorded was in the public domain, but Ms. Reitz said she had devoted time and energy to tracking down the rights to some songs and to paying artists royalties when she could. Her label had not issued a recording in at least 13 years, but previous releases are sometimes sold on the Internet. And a number of mainstream labels also have reissued albums of the artists Ms. Reitz admired.

Rosetta Goldman was born in Utica, N.Y., on Sept. 28, 1924. She attended the University of Wisconsin for three years, moved to Manhattan and got a job at the Gotham Book Mart. She negotiated a loan to buy her own bookstore, the 4 Seasons, in Greenwich Village, where literary figures like Ralph Ellison were celebrated.

For years, Ms. Reitz lobbied for a postage stamp honoring Bessie Smith, which was issued in 1994. She produced concerts by longtime female blues singers for the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

She married Robert Reitz when she was 23, and they divorced in the late 1960s.

Ms. Reitz did not always finish what she started. She had planned to make 26 albums, she said, but completed only 17. She never finished a book on women in jazz. And even her success with the Rosetta label had left her with a conviction that more work still had to be done.

"My hope and dream," she said, "is that there won't be a need for a women's record company."

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 11/15/2008

1. 45rpm - Benny Cliff "Crazy Mama" / "Born Lived And Died" Horseshoe - $3,601.75 Start: $9.99 Bids: 15

2. 45rpm - Tommy & The Derby's "Don't Play The Role" / "Handy Andy" Swing - $3,116.00 Start: $350.00 Bids: 19

3. 12" - OXO "Keep On Living" - $2,725.00 Start: $999.99 Bids: 16

4. LP - Beatles "Please Please Me" UK Mono Parlophone - $2,714.92 Start: $7.46 Bids: 36

5. 45rpm - The Galaxys "Lover's Prayer" / "Jelly Bean" Carthay - $2,560.00 Start: $9.99 Bids: 19

A rare Rockabilly 45 from Benny Cliff sells for a little over $3.6k this week for the #1 spot. Making the Top 5 for the second time since September is the Tommy & The Derby's "Don't Play That Role" Northern Soul 45. This makes the #2 spot, selling for more then $3.1k, over $1k less than it sold the week of September 6th.

Next, a rare Italian disco 12" sells for over $2.7k.

The Beatles get the #4 spot with a UK first pressing of "Please Please Me". This one sells for more than $2.7k.

In the #5 spot, a rare Doo-Wop 45, from the same seller as this week's #1 record, The Galaxy's "Lover's Prayer" bids up past $2.5k.

As always, I want to thank Brian over at http://ccdiscoveries.blogspot.com for this interesting and valuable data. Stop by the site and listen to Counter Clock Radio- you'll love the old sounds!

Insound Beefs Up Indie Vinyl Offerings

By Michael D. Ayers, N.Y.

When online retailer Insound began offering instant MP3 downloads of albums being ordered on vinyl, only a handful of indie labels were on board for the promotion. But by year's end, nearly 500 titles will be part of the program.

Driving the expansion are partnerships with Sub Pop and Matador, making the complete catalogs of Iron & Wine, the Shins, Wolf Parade available alongside titles from Fleet Foxes, Flight Of The Conchords, Mogwai, Band Of Horses and the Postal Service.

Insound has seen a massive spike in LP sales, both domestically and internationally, coinciding with an overall boom in vinyl purchases.

"The percentage increase over the last 12-18 months in vinyl sales has been dramatic -- close to 100%," Insound co-founder Matt Wishnow tells Billboard. "Our gross margins and pricing model for vinyl are the exact same as that for CDs. However, there is one major difference and that is the elasticity of that margin. We don't discount vinyl often because consumers believe that vinyl is worth the suggested price."

Offering two forms of music for one price has been made possible by lenient royalty deals. "Fortunately, a lot of our label partners work with bands that control their own publishing or who have progressive publishers," Wishnow says, allowing Insound to avoid paying mechanical royalties twice for one album.

Insound plans to further its physical/digital product bundles in 2009, including band merchandise such as T-Shirts, posters or tote bags paired with digital downloads for a price in the $20 range.

Visit The Site Today & Get Your Christmas Orders In!


Source: http://www.billboard.biz

Classic Rock Videos

The Rolling Stones - Let's spend the night together

Album Cover Art

Let's continue of look at Gigwise.com's list of their top 50 dirtiest and sexiest album covers (as compiled by their staff)

35. Rollins Band: ‘Nice’ – Here is what Gigwise had to say: "The legend that is Henry Rollins drafted in a naked woman for the sleeve of his 2001 album, only the dollar notes concealing her private parts. Sadly, the cover failed to attract the attention of the public – the record only reached number 178 in the American Billboard Chart."

Rollins Band was an American alternative rock group led by singer and songwriter Henry Rollins.

They are best-known for the songs "Low Self Opinion" and "Liar", which both earned heavy airplay on MTV in the early 1990s. Critic Steve Huey describes their music as "uncompromising, intense, cathartic fusions of hard rock, funk, post-punk noise, and jazz experimentalism, with Rollins shouting angry, biting self-examinations and accusations over the grind."

This particular LP is one I would buy just for the cover art, I love pictures of money (and I don't mind the model posing with the money either!)