Monday, November 30, 2009

TTUSB10 USB Turntable

TTUSB10 USB Turntable with Dust Cover (Turntable)



With the ION TTUSB10, it has never been easier to preserve your most memorable music favorites to digital media, such as CDs, hard disk, or portable media devices. The ION TTUSB10 sports a sleek design and includes easy-to-use audio recording software for your computer. And with a stereo input, you can also digitize music from cassettes or other analog sources!

EZ Vinyl Converter by MixMeister is included free with the ION TTUSB10 and provides the easiest way to convert your vinyl records to your computer's digital music library. Simply plug in your ION TTUSB10 turntable, click to mark when tracks end, enter your artist, album and track information and you're done! EZ Vinyl Converter automatically separates the tracks and imports them into your iTunes library.

Once you have your albums converted, you can sort them, make custom playlists, and easily take them with you on an iPod or play them directly from your computer. In addition, the ION TTUSB10 comes with free Audacity software for editing your recorded tracks.

Key Features

Plug & Play USB - no drivers needed!
Adjustable Anti-Skate control for increased stereo balancing

33 1/3 and 45 RPM

Supports the recording of 78 RPM records through the included software

Switchable Phono/Line-level RCA output (with built-in pre-amp)

1/8" stereo line input; digitize music from cassettes or other sources

Dust Cover Included

Audacity System Requirements

PC running Windows XP or Vista

Mac running OS9 or higher

Sound card or integrated audio

One available USB1.1 port or higher

EZ Vinyl Converter System Requirements

PC running Windows XP or Vista

Sound card or integrated audio

One available USB1.1 port or higher

Includes:  Slipmat - USB Cable - Recording Software CD - 45 RPM Adapter

Hipsters, boomers, audiophiles lead the vinyl revival

BUSINESS NOTEBOOK: Frame it, don't play it

By Roger Yohem, Inside Tucson Business

Ever heard of the Beatles “Butcher” album? Actually, the real question is have you ever seen it?

If you’ve got one stashed away, it’s worth several hundred dollars in Tucson. In a big city on either coast, you could be looking at a Grover Cleveland.

The grooves laid down on the actual vinyl disk by the Fab Four are worthless. No one really cares what the record actually sounds like. It’s the album cover that’s got some serious bling.

Despite the explosion of CDs, iTunes, and Internet music, it’s the out-of-print records, mistakes, classics, and outrageous covers that are highly collectible.

Scott Landrum, music buyer for Bookmans Used Book Store, 1930 E. Grant Road, recently took me on a little magical history tour of album collecting.

“The Holy Grail is the Beatles’ butcher cover,” he said.

In 1966, Capitol Records released “Yesterday and Today,” a collection of cuts from previous Beatles albums. On the album’s cover, the band posed in white butcher coats surrounded by bloody meat and body parts from plastic dolls.

Lore has it the London lads did it to snipe Capitol for chopping up their albums to repackage them. Although it was recalled quickly, many DJs and music critics had received the records early as promotional copies.
In his 13 years at Bookmans, Landrum has seen only one of the world-famous “butcher” covers - his own. He traded it in.

Collectors are not driven by novelty and nostalgia alone. There is a strong market for people who want the old 12-inch square covers as unique, frameable art. You don’t get that with a puny 5-inch by 5-inch CD.

Others want tunes from their favorite artists to fill gaps in their personal libraries. Many are aficionados, desperately seeking rare jazz, bebop and big band vinyl that, already rich in tenor, will grow in value.

Collecting is not just a passion for boomers who want to recapture their glory days. Many professional musicians still prefer LPs and a new generation of music lovers have sparked a vinyl revival.

“Although not as strong as past years, collecting vinyl is still very popular with the 20 and younger crowd. They buy a lot of punk rock, heavy metal and psyco-delic. They love the Clash and the Sex Pistols. They’re fascinated by the late 70s and early 80s,” said Landrum.

For the more discriminating buyer, ie., those with wads of Ben Franklins, discontinued, high-quality rare finds are always in play. For these fanatics, music and sound quality does matter.

“Most serious audiophiles have big collections and have been collecting for years. They like stuff from the bebop era. They want the great drummers of the past, even big band has appeal to them,” Landrum explained. “It’s been my experience that jazz aficionados really like things that are out of print.”

Album art got its start in 1939 when Columbia Records hired an art director named Alex Steinweiss. Thinking creatively, Steinweiss believed the studio could sell more records if the packaging were more eye-catching and striking.

Just for fun, I looked up some of my old albums on eBay. Not surprisingly, my box of late 1970s rock would only snag a buck or two each. What did surprise me was that eBay sells over three million records a year.

Some albums I’ve grabbed at garage sales for the art on the cover fetch a little more. My 1959 Sound of Music with Mary Martin on Broadway is worth $10. The Oklahoma cover, with Shirley Jones shown riding in the Surrey with the Fringe on Top, brings $5.

Rarely, Landrum sees some old 78-rpm, 10-inch records. Most have little value except for very old blues albums. Once, he matched up a collector with a 1920s-era cut for $600.

By chance, I found an old 78 in storage at home. It’s an Audiophile 13 by the Red Dougherty Trio from 1953. I even recognized some of the tunes: “Twelfth Street Rag,” “Who’s Sorry Now,” and “Sunny Side of the Street.” EBay had one copy for $8.

And to think after all these years, vinyl was deader than Elvis. Makes me wonder where I stashed all my B.B. King 8-track tapes.

A special thank you to Roger Yohem for allowing me to reprint his interesting feature
Posted with permission of Inside Tucson Business, original story published Nov. 30, 2009 by Roger Yohem.

Inside Tucson Business is online at

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 11/28/2009

1. 78 - Willie Walker "South Carolina Rag" / "Dupree Blues" Columbia Blue Wax - $4,907.00

2. 45 - Two Plus Two "I'm Sure" / "Look Around" Velgo - $4,049.99

3. EP - Elvis Presley "Blue Hawaii" EP RCA 37-7968 - $4,000.00

3. 12" - Led Zeppelin “Road Box” - $4,000.00

4. LP - Johanna Martzy "Bach: The unaccompanied Violin Sonatas" Columbia Box set UK - $3, 750.04

5. 12" - U2 "Out of Control" numbered 12"#548/1000 U2 Three U23 - $3,270.00

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 11/21/2009

1. 45 - Magnetics "Count The Days" / "When I'm With My Baby" Sable - $4,938.00

2. LP - Velvet Underground & Nico self titled Mono Promo yellow label - $4,000.00

3. 45 - William Powell "Heartache Souvenirs" / "The Chicken Shack" Power-House - $3,830.00

4. LP - Ricard Marrero & The Group "A Taste" TSG - $3,617.00

5. LP - The Beatles "Please Please Me" Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo - $3,569.59

As always, a special thank you to Norm at this great data. Stop in and listen to their unique radio show Accidental Nostalgia with Norm & Jane On Radio Dentata - 60 minutes of rare records and nugatory narration. Every Tuesday 4PM PT/7PM ET, Sunday 9AM PT/12PM ET & Monday 12AM PT/3AM ET

Music News & Notes

Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records Holiday Album Available on Vinyl for First Time

The holidays are right around the corner and Blackheart Records, Joan Jett’s record label, will be celebrating with their holiday album A Blackheart Christmas available on vinyl for the very first time. The album features holiday standards from Girl in a Coma, The Dollyrots and original tunes from Seattle punks The Cute Lepers and veteran Blackheart band The Vacancies. A modern take on “Silent Night” closes out the 11-track offering recorded with Joan Jett on vocals and guitar.

Girl in a Coma, The Dollyrots, The Vacancies and The Cute Lepers are all featured artists on Jett’s Blackheart Records, a company she started over 25 years ago, making her the first woman to start her own rock label.

Track Listing:

1. Blue Christmas – Girl in a Coma
2. The Elf Song – The Vacancies (original)
3. Santa Baby – The Dollyrots
4. Little Drummer Boy – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
5. Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You – The Cute Lepers
6. Father Christmas – The Vacancies
7. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Girl in a Coma
8. Winter Wonderland – Thommy Price featuring Nefertiti Bones
9. Home For Christmas – Kenny Laguna
10. All I Ever Want (Under The Christmas Tree) – The Cute Lepers (original)
11. Silent Night – The Blackhearts and special guests

Tetrafusion Artwork Revelaed

TETRAFUSION, the Louisiana-based progressive metal quartet, have unveiled the artwork and track listing for their sophomore effort entitled Altered State.

Altered State track listing:
1. Collage of the Present
2. Monologue
3. Last Chance
4. The Deserter
5. Altered State (instrumental)
6. Shadows
7. Tears of the Past

The album artwork can be viewed below:

Altered State is the follow-up to TETRAFUSION’s self-financed, full-length debut, Absolute Zero. The debut was released to critical acclaim, and was also declared as “one of the best instrumental releases of 2009” by Ultimate-Guitar.Com. Altered State will be the band's first time to feature vocals in their work; duties taken by keyboardist/vocalist Gary Tubbs. Stay tuned at the group's MySpace page to receive future updates and news as the release approaches next year. The album is scheduled for an early 2010 release.


MENTORS' 'You Axed For It!' Reissued On Vinyl With Two Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks

Out for the first time on vinyl in nearly 25 years, the MENTORS' "You Axed For It!" is ready to shock and gross the world all over again. Stool Sample Records has created an exact replica of the 1985 classic and has pressed a very limited edition of 500 on vivid pink "beef curtain" vinyl. Included in the package is a bonus 7" with two never-before-heard tracks from the infamous trio, including "Animal", a song written about a particular roadie who was notorious for showing up late to gigs.

The MENTORS' lyrics are often credited for the creation of the voluntary, RIAA-administered, parental advisory label "Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics" label we've all become so accustomed to seeing. With such classic rockers as "Herpes 2", "Free Fix" and "Clap Queen", who can blame Tipper Gore for her outrage?

Stuart Leonard Sample launched Stool Sample in late 2008 with bands just like the MENTORS in mind; that is, classic bands worthy of re-circulation and re-introduction and with a fan base tired of paying top dollar on eBay for these extremely rare records. Stool Sample is also releasing a picture sleeve 7" containing two songs recorded in Steve Broy's (Dr. Heathen Scumbag) basement in Seattle, Washington in 1977, long before the band was ever signed in Los Angeles.

Both the album and the 7" have a release date of December 15.

For more information, visit


JUDAS PRIEST: Classic Albums To Be Re-Released On Vinyl

Back On Black, which specializes in vinyl editions of classic metal albums and is dedicated to providing top-quality releases for record collectors and metal fans worldwide, has announced that 2010 will see the release of the original classic JUDAS PRIEST albums on vinyl. All albums will be 180gm heavyweight vinyl and packaged in deluxe gatefold sleeves. The first 1,000 copies of each title will come in limited-edition colored vinyl. All editions will contain bonus tracks as per the Sony remastered issues.


This Is It Slated For Jan 26 Release

Sony Pictures has announced a January 26 release date for the DVD version of Michael Jackson's This is It. The date was moved back to give theaters additional time to show the film and to tie it in with the Grammy Awards.

The DVD version will have an hour of extra footage while the Blu-Ray will have 1-1/2 hours extra along with a Smooth Criminal film that was to show prior to Jackson's performances and a making of for the short film. Both will have two making-of pieces on the full film and shorts on costumes, dancer auditions and Jackson himself.

Marc Rashba, VP of marketing for Sony, said "We're thrilled with the date that we ended up with, where it's at an opportune time in the market. The Grammys follow right after the release date (on Jan. 31). There will be a lot of Grammy areas in stores, and we can play into that."


Dead Game

Discovery Bay Games and Debbie Gold have published Grateful Dead-opoly, an officially licensed version of Monopoly but, instead of buying streets, you purchase Dead albums. The playing pieces include the bands bus and a drum while the "Chance" cards reference different things that happened in the band's history. More information is available at

This Date In Music History-November 30


American Bandstand host Dick Clark - often called "the world's oldest teenager" (1929)

Paul Stookey - Peter Paul and Mary (1937)

Frank Ifield (1937)

Jimmy Bowen - Rockabilly singer and MCA Records executive (1937)

Sixties soul vocalist J.J. Barnes (1943)

Leo Lyons - Ten Years After (1943)

Rob Grill - Grass Roots (1944)

Roger Glover - Deep Purple (1945)

Terry Reid - UK singer, member of Peter Jay's Jaywalkers. Reid turned down the job as lead singer with Led Zeppelin - Ooops (1949)

June Pointer - Pointer Sisters (1953)

David Sancious - keyboard player and guitarist, early member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, contributed to the first three Springsteen albums (1953)

George McArdale - Little River Band (1954)

Billy Idol (real name William Broad) (1955)
Richard Barbieri - Japan (1957)
John Ashton - Psychedelic Furs (1957)

Paul Wheeler - Icehouse (1965)

John Moyer - Disturbed (1973)

Clay Aiken - runner-up in 2003 US American Idol (1978)

They Are Missed:

The late Luther Ingram ("If Loving You Is Wrong") was born in 1937.

Ukulele-strumming freak Tiny Tim (real name Herbert Khaury) died in 1996 from an apparent heart attack. He was 74.

Born on this day in 1924, Allan Sherman (1963 #2 hit "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah"). He died on November 21, 1973 (age 49).

Born today in 1929, Johnny Horton (1959 #1 "The Battle Of New Orleans"). Horton was killed in a car crash on November 5, 1960.

Don 'Sugarcane' Harris was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment in 1999 at the age of 61. The American guitarist and violinist was part of the 50's duo Don & Dewey. He also worked with Little Richard, John Mayall, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker and Johnny Otis.


Coed Records released the Crests' "16 Candles" in 1958. It will be the Johnny Maestro-led group's biggest hit, reaching #2 on the pop chart and #4 on the R&B chart in January.

In 1959, Billboard reported the payola scandal "will substantially damage the careers of at least twenty-five DJs." Alan Freed was quoted as saying that his career has gone "down the drain."

George Harrison was deported from Germanyin 1960 for working under the legal age limit (he’s 17). The remaining Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney and drummer Pete Best) eventually followed him back to Liverpool ending the band’s first Hamburg excursion.

Sly & The Family Stone's "Everyday People" was released in 1968.

Glen Campbell started a five-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1968 with "Wichita Lineman."

In 1969, The Monkees made what would be their last live appearance for 15 years when they played at The Oakland Coliseum, California.

David Bowie, Dusty Springfield, Grapefruit and the Graham Bond Organization and other acts performed at the Save Rave '69 benefit concert to aid the youth culture magazine, Rave, in London in 1969.

Simon & Garfunkel's first TV special aired in 1969. Sponsor AT&T backed out when they learn that the duo plan to show footage of Bobby Kennedy's funeral march and clips of the Vietnam War.

In 1969, The Rolling Stones played the final night on a 17 date North American tour at the International Raceway Festival, West Palm Beach, Florida. Also appearing, The Moody Blues, Ten Years After, King Crimson, Janis Joplin, The Band, Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly.

Sly And The Family Stone were at #1 on the US singles chart in 1971 with "Family Affair."

Genesis releases "Nursery Cryme" in 1971.

Wings released "Hi, Hi, Hi," in 1972. The song was quickly banned from the BBC because of its "unsuitable lyrics." However, the song is a hit, making #5 in the U.K. and #10 in the U.S. in early 1973.

Jazz drummer Buddy Rich was arrested on marijuana possession charges during his Australian tour in 1973. He pleads innocent and the charges are later dropped.

The Eagles' "Best Of My Love" was released in 1974.

Elton John started a ten-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1974 with his "Greatest Hits."

In 1977, David Bowie appeared on Bing Crosby's 42nd annual Christmas Special. He does a duet with Bing on "Little Drummer Boy." The show had been taped prior to Crosby's death the previous month.

At the Top Rank club in Wales in 1980, Elvis Costello and Squeeze performed a benefit concert for the family of late Welsh boxer Johnny Owen, killed recently by head injuries suffered in an American match.
In 1983, the Jackson family and promoter Don King announce plans for the "Victory" tour.

In 1985, the Dead Kennedys release the "Frankenchrist" album, which includes a poster later deemed by courts to be obscene.

Phil Collins had his fifth US #1 in 1985 with "Separate Lives." The song was taken from the film 'White Nights' and featured Marilyn Martin.

LL Cool J performed the first rap concert in 1988 which was held in Africa.

Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli infamy was hospitalized in Los Angeles in 1991 following a suicide attempt.

In 1991, the Billboard Hot 100 chart changed by including airplay as well as sales, the #1 hit this week was P.M Dawn, "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss."

Rapper Tupac Shakur was shot five times while being robbed outside a New York City recording studio in 1994. He survived, but was killed in another shooting nearly two years later in Las Vegas.

Metallica were at #1 on the US album chart in 1997 with "Reload," the bands third US #1 album.

In 1999, Elton John was blasted by the Boy Scout Association after he appeared on stage at London's Albert Hall performing 'It's A Sin' with six male dancers dressed as Boy Scouts. The dancers had peeled of their uniforms during the performance.
In 2003, the corner of Bowery and Second Street in New York was renamed Joey Ramone Place, in honor of the late punk icon. Among the hundreds attending were Tommy and Marky Ramone, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, The Dictators' Handsome Dick Manitoba and Plasmatics guitarist Richie Stotts.

In 2005, 50 Cent was planning to create a vibrator of his manhood, so his female fans could pretend to have sex with him. The rapper was also planning to sell a line of condoms and waterproof sex toys designed to excite his female fans. The rapper said: "I need to make a 50 Cent condom and motorised version of me, which will have to be waterproof so you can utilise it in the tub, Blue is my favorite colour so it will probably be blue." How freaking vain.....

Also in 2005, police were investigating claims that Michael Jackson was trafficking drugs to feed his 40 pills-a-day habit. The singer was suspected of flying antidepressants and painkillers from the US to his current home in Bahrain.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Salt Lake City DJ treasures one of Lennon's last autographs

John Lennon » Local DJ has held onto record, with one of ex-Beatle's last signatures, for 29 years.

By Ben Fulton
The Salt Lake Tribune

After more than 40 years working in radio, a person is bound to collect lots of memorabilia along the way.

Wooly Waldron, who now works weekend shifts for 103.5 The Arrow, is no exception. Except he tends to lose track, or just plain lose, items that would make most music collectors rabid.

His five original Elvis Presley 45 RPM records pressed on the original Sun label were sold years ago. Waldron also once owned a hen's-tooth-rare radio promotional copy of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Hell if he knows where it is now.

The one collector's item to which he's held tight was one he did not even remember he had, until he rummaged through his old records almost 10 years ago.

"It was one of those finds that just sweeps over you--a 'Wow' kind of thing," Waldron said. "Once I discovered where it was, I knew I wasn't getting rid of it."

Pulling the vinyl LP sleeve from his original copy of John Lennon's 1980 album "Double Fantasy," Waldron saw the ex-Beatle's famous cartoon signature, plus the call letters KCPX, the Salt Lake City dual-band station he worked for in 1980.

The album was mailed to Waldron by record executive friend Bert Keane, who accompanied San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin into Lennon and wife Yoko Ono's New York City home for a Dec. 8 interview. Later that day, and after a Rolling Stone shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz that preceded Lennon's interview with Sholin, the pop star was murdered by Mark David Chapman.

Waldron opened the signed LP just weeks after Lennon's assassination, recalling that it was meant as a possible promotional item for the station to be given away to some lucky caller. The record evokes memories of that year every time he handles it, Waldron said, especially now that the 29th anniversary of Lennon's death is fast approaching.

"I knew I couldn't do anything with it. Beatles fans were still reeling," Waldron said. "For fans and people in the music business, it was very much like the Kennedy assassination. You knew where you were when you heard the news and remember it today."

So the album stayed stashed away for almost 20 years. Today, Waldron no longer keeps it at home, but stored in a safe at an undisclosed location.

Waldron has shown the signed LP to a select few people, mostly family and radio station colleagues.

"He took it out of his satchel briefcase one day and I damned near passed out," said Sue Kelley, program director at 103.5 The Arrow. "It's a museum piece."

Waldron said he still has no definitive plans for the record, except to hold onto it until he does. "Maybe I'll donate it to charity for an auction," he said. "After all these years, I'm still thinking of promotion."


'Double Fantasy'

"Double Fantasy" is the comeback album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released just three weeks before Lennon's death on Dec. 8, 1980. In the aftermath of the murder of Lennon, who was mourned worldwide, the work won the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. A copy of "Double Fantasy" signed by Lennon for Mark David Chapman, his murderer, who was later sentenced to life in prison, sold in 2003 for $525,000 -- the most valuable single record in history.

Source: BBC News

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Audiophile Audition Review

I want to thank John over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!
Kuzma Stabi S Brass Turntable with Kuzma Stogi Tonearm

An attractive turntable with simple design and high performance.

Published on November 25, 2009

Kuzma Stabi S Brass Turntable

SRP $2240
Turntable design constructed of solid brass rods 50mm in diameter in a T-shape; independent motor with 45 rpm attachment; acrylic cover, plastic mat, heavy brass clamp included; 13 kgs; platter weight is 4 kg; AC synchronous motor; 400 x 300 x 140mm; available in black.

with Kuzma Stogi Tonearm with Cardas Wiring

SRP $1875

Medium mass tonearm machined from aluminum; Cardas wiring with Eichmann RCA plugs; brass counterweight; included arm bass; VTA, azimuth and fine bias adjustment; total mass 850 g; effective mass 12.5 g; effective length 229 mm; removable finger lift, Eichmann RCA plugs.

Kuzma KC 1 MC Phono Cartridge

SRP $875

Cartridge made for Kuzma by ZYX Co. of Japan; .48mV output; 2.0 g recommended tracking force; recommended load impedance >100 ohm; 5.0 g weight.

Elite Audio Video Distribution
Scot Markwell
800-457-2577 x22 (voice)
Associated Equipment

Musical Fidelity A5.5 Integrated Amplifier, Sunfire Cinema Grand Amplifier, Meridian 568 Preamplifier, Bowers & Wilkins 803S and Signature 8NT speakers, Sonneteer Sedley Phono Preamplifier [John- link review], Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable/arm/cartridge (for comparison).


Scot graciously offered to do a full setup for my review, but I preferred to do it myself so I could write about the process. If you don’t have the necessary experience it is best to have the dealer set the table up. Small adjustments can make all the difference. The arm, table and cartridge all come in separate boxes. I’ll take you through it:

Table. The manual with the table was fantastic. It has color pictures that explain how to put everything together. The T-base was extremely heavy and has rubber rings to prevent scratching the surface it rests upon. There is no leveling option so it is critical that it rests on a level solid table, rack, etc. I set the base down and added oil and slipped on the sub-platter. It spun freely so I moved on. I had no need for the brass pillar (to use with other tonearms) as I intended to use the Kuzma arm and it slides right into the base.

Motor. My motor did not come with an electrical plug, so I called Scot and he put on a Furutech. He said that normally the dealer wires this up. I didn’t set up the motor yet as I was planning to move the table to a different location. The manual has a recommendation for placement distance from the T part of the base, but I found it easier to use my KAB strobe and disc to adjust the distance. In turn, when I did put the belt on I was able to get an almost constant speed with less than .03% error for over a minute. It was completely stable as far as I could tell—excellent performance.

Tonearm. I’m not a big fan of unipivot arms. They may sound good, but it just makes me nervous watching them twisting back and forth, so I requested the Stogi—a standard pivot arm. The manual with the tonearm was photocopied and much more involved than the table manual. All the necessary wrenches are included to install the cartridge and set the arm up. I attached the finger lift (as I can’t imagine moving the arm back and forth by the shaft). When I put the arm onto the base I came to my first hurdle. It seemed the arm wouldn’t go up high enough. After a quick call to Scot I found I was just being impatient and there is an adjustable inner sleeve on the table that allows for precise height adjustment. Cool. I didn’t need the mounting template and ignored section IV in the manual which includes information on mounting the arm to a different table. The only thing I did do was attach the bias thread to the arm.

Cartridge. I had been warned by Scot about excessive break-in time needed for the cartridge, so I had attached it to the Marantz table and played records for a couple of weeks. It went from sounding lousy to being competitive in its price range. The nuts are attached to the cartridge body, so screwing the cartridge to the arm was less of a problem than it can be. The arm wires attached with no problem, so I went on to adjust tracking force. I used the Shure scale rather than try to adjust the weight by floating the arm. There is even a screw to lock the weight into place once the weight is adjusted--another nice feature for dealers who want to avoid curious customers messing up their precision work. According to the manual (much later) there is no way to adjust the bias (anti-skate) for more than two grams, so I was lucky that the recommended tracking force was only two grams. The manual suggests an arm height where the shaft is parallel to the record to start. There is a section F in the manual that explains fine adjustment. I found better results were achieved by raising the arm and increasing VTA (vertical tracking angle). The arm comes with a protractor with points at 66 mm and 120.9 mm. I used it to adjust the cartridge with a little trial and error. Azimuth was fine so I didn’t touch the arm. I set the bias weight and that’s it!


Due to an unfortunate situation with my computer, I lost the entire review I had previously written (including all my listening notes). Normally I jot down details like what recording I listened to, my sonic impressions, etc. and translate them later into the review in a way that makes sense. They are all gone. Pages of notes—poof! Lucky enough, most of what I had been writing about is still fresh in my mind, so although it may not be the equivalent of paragraphs full of examples to compare, I will do my best to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of the Kuzma.

The first group of listening tests involved a direct comparison between the Marantz table/arm/cartridge (which I purchased) and the Kuzma combo. The Kuzma strengths were: dynamics, rhythm and pace, involvement, and bass control and impact. At times it was just plain exciting to listen to music with the Kuzma. The Marantz, by comparison, sizzled with lots of top end, offered finer detail, extension and air. The Marantz sounded a bit looser and lighter weight as if the music was being thrown around a bit (for lack of a better description). With the Kuzma the midrange was more emphasized, most likely due to the lack of extreme high end that changed the balance of sound, but the benefit was that surface noise was not as noticeable. That emphasis also seemed to make some of the images (with high midrange content i.e. voice) blend together somewhat.

Matching in a system is critical to get the best performance as is matching the components of a turntable. With a different set of speakers I had tried initially the sound was not as good. A different phono preamp was even worse. It is always a good idea to hear the combination you plan to buy or rely on the good advice of someone who has experience with what you intend to buy.

I suspected that a lot of the differences I heard were related to the difference in cartridges. I decided the best way to get a better handle on the sound of the tonearm/table combination was to move the Clearaudio cartridge from the Marantz to the Kuzma. First, I did quite a bit of listening to the Kuzma by itself. Switching between the tables would require time and I wanted to get the best feel for the sound as I could. Then I mounted and aligned the Clearaudio on the Kuzma and began listening to an entirely different sound.

The Kuzma cartridge was duller sounding, bass was heavier and the image had less depth. In isolation the music came through nicely, but as soon as I made the comparison its deficiencies were obvious. The Clearaudio did offer some advantages, but some listeners will find it too detailed and get in the way of just listening. It’s a fine line but if I had to pick between them I would choose the Clearaudio. Ultimately, I would want something better and sonically in between the two. In a different component setup results might lean the other direction.
I tried the clamp on and off and there wasn’t a large (if any) difference with the records I tried. Warped records may be another matter.

Operation and Component Critique

Table. From the moment you push the power button to the motor, the table starts up smoothly and quickly. Since the motor itself is heavy it doesn’t move when you power it up or down so readjusting its distance from the turntable is unnecessary. The belt is wide so it is easier to put on in comparison to some tables with small round belts. The device to play 45s is easy to put on and take off; however the table doesn’t come with a 45 adapter so it will be necessary to purchase one or get inserts for playing 7” records. (See my accessory article for more information.) [John – link to accessory article] It’s nice to have the plastic mat if you just want to keep the platter clean without putting on the large lid. At first I thought the lid was quite goofy-looking, but once it is placed on the table it is very attractive. As a standalone table I was very impressed with the Kuzma’s build and flexibility although I missed having feet to adjust for slight level imbalances. (You can always buy a base that will allow for leveling.) Another nit to pick is that the record rests inside the diameter of the platter and because the platter is black (like most records) if you aren’t careful you can miscue and land the stylus on the platter instead of the record—the horror, the horror! All in all though, compared to the table I had, the Stabi S was clearly better.

Tonearm. As long as you keep the tracking force below 2.0 grams you shouldn’t have a problem with this arm. It allows for all the other adjustments one might choose to perform. I like that it comes with all the necessary tools and complete instructions for setup. It even has a cartridge protractor and detailed instructions on how to use it. The arm rest sticks a bit which might not be such a problem, but the arm is above the height of it, so when you take it out it needs to pop up and when you put it in you need to push it down slightly—not as sleek as I’d expect for two grand. Originally I had intended to compare the arm with a Rega RB-900. Unfortunately, the Rega arm was modified for a Basis turntable and had a thicker sleeve than normal preventing the arm from fitting onto the Stabi S. The Kuzma table seems like it could work with a variety of arms if trying to stay within a budget.

Cartridge. Originally I had told Scot that my maximum budget was under $5000 dollars so when I made the choice to get the more expensive arm, it meant going with the cheapest cartridge in the Kuzma line to keep the price in check. In retrospect, this is where I would have made a change. I believe this table and arm could easily support a much better cartridge. Then, the system would offer much better performance. One of the things that bothered me about the cartridge (aside from the sound) was that the needle was hidden underneath the cartridge body. This made cueing up a particular song more difficult. I would recommend going up to a better model in the Kuzma line or investigating a different cartridge.

Conclusion. I had this review sitting for a while before finishing and it gave me some time to put the performance offered by the Kuzma in perspective. Since my initial start of this review I’ve had the chance to play around with some older tables (a Thorens and a Linn) and the newer VPI Classic (which will be reviewed soon). My opinion is that the Stabi S is the best table I’ve used so far. The Stogi tonearm did the job well and I don’t have any complaints with its performance although I don’t have a lot of experience comparing tonearms. As a less expensive alternative the Stogi S (which is normally sold with this table) or a Rega arm might fit the bill. The cartridge was the weakest point with this combination. It wasn’t bad, but if I had the funds I would be looking for something better (and most likely more expensive). If I get the chance to keep the table for a while I will continue to use it and try other cartridges (if they become available to me).

The last thing I’ll mention is the styling of the table. During a Halloween party (of about 40 people), several visitors had a chance to see this table and mentioned how fantastic it looked—not the kind of comments I usually receive for products under review! Aside from its attractive appearance, there is solid (pun intended) engineering behind the design and from what I’ve heard, its simplicity contributes to excellent performance. Kuzma may not be the top of everyone’s high performance turntable list, but it is now on top of mine.

- Brian Bloom

Copyright 2009 Reprinted By Permission

This Date In Music History-November 28


Berry Gordy - founder of Motown Records (1929)

Gary Troxel - Fleetwoods (1939)

Bruce Channel - (1962 US #1 single "Hey! Baby") (1940)

Glen Curtis - Fortunes (1940)

Randy Newman ("Short People") (1943)

R.B. Greaves - (1969's "Take a Letter Maria") (1944)

Beeb Birtles - Little River Band (1948)

Hugh McKenna - Sensational Alex Harvey Band (1949)

David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer (1949)

Matt Cameron - Soundgarden/Pearl Jam (1962)

Dawn Robinson - En Vogue (1968)

Matt Cheslin - Neds Atomic Dustbin (1970)

Rapper Chamillionaire (1979)

They Are Missed:

Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton was killed in a car crash not far from his Santa Barbara, California home in 1993 (age 47).


In 1960, Elvis Presley started a six week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "Are You Lonesome Tonight," his third #1 of 1960. The single included a spoken passage loosely based on Shakespeare.

"Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las hits #1 on the U.S. pop chart in 1964.

Willie Nelson made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1964.

In 1966, several gold records were certified on this day. The Righteous Brothers get one for their album "Soul and Inspiration." The Monkees earn their third gold record for "I'm a Believer," which was #1 for seven weeks and a gold record went to the New Vaudeville band for their '20s style novelty song, "Winchester Cathedral."

The Beatles recorded their last fan club record as a group in 1967; 'Christmas Time Is Here Again!'

On their first North American tour in 1968, Deep Purple played the first of four nights at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, California.

In 1968, John Lennon pled guilty to possession of cannabis following his arrest in October. He was fined 150 pounds. Lennon and Yoko Ono are found not guilty of obstructing the police. The cannabis charge would come back and cause him visa problems later on.

George Harrison's All Things Must Pass was released in 1970. The first triple album by a solo artist, the original vinyl release featured two records of rock songs, while the third, entitled "Apple Jam" was composed of informal jams led by Harrison with musician friends and other famous musicians. It was eventually certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA.

George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and Elton John's "Your Song" were released in 1970.

In 1974, Elton John made John Lennon make a promise. If Lennon's "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" hit #1, he would join Elton on stage for Madison Square Garden appearance. The song did and Lennon does joined him on stage for three tunes, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night," "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." It turns out to be Lennon’s last-ever live performance. Backstage, Lennon has a brief reunion with Yoko Ono, from whom he'd been separated for over a year.

Foreigner's ballad "Waiting For A Girl Like You" stalled at #2 on the US pop charts in 1981. It’s held out of the top spot by Olivia Newton-John’s "Physical."

Taken from the film Dirty Dancing, the Jennifer Warnes' duet with Bill Medley "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life," went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1987.

REM had their first entry in the Top 10 on the US singles chart in 1987 with "The One I Love."

In 1990, law enforcement officials in Los Angeles decide there isn't enough evidence to prosecute singer Axl Rose for assault in connection with a dispute involving his neighbor. The neighbor claims that Rose hit her over the head with an empty wine bottle.

Nirvana recorded a performance for BBC TV music show Top Of The Pops in London in 1991. When asked to lip-sync ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to a pre-recorded tape Kurt Cobain protests by singing in a low-pitched funny voice with the rest of the band not even trying to mime in-time to the track.

Whitney Houston started a record-breaking fourteen-week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1992 with "I Will Always Love You," taken from the Bodyguard soundtrack. The song was written by Dolly Parton.

1999, Rage Against The Machine were at #1 on the US album chart with ‘The Battle Of Los Angeles’ the bands second US #1.

David Bowie was crowned the musician's musician in 2000. Bowie beat the Beatles and alternative rockers Radiohead in a survey by the NME that asked hundreds of top rock and pop stars to name their biggest musical influence.

Also in 2000 - About nine million people watched a Madonna concert over the Internet. The 29-minute, six-song event was performed at London's Brixton Acedemy in front of about 2,800 people. According to the show set a record for such events.

Aretha Franklin sued a tabloid in 2001 for $50 million over their story claiming she had a drinking problem. That would buy a lot of beer.

Metallica played the last show on their 137-date ‘Madly in Anger with the World Tour’ at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California in 2004. It became the fourth-highest grossing tour of 2004, reaping $60,500,000 in ticket sales.

In 2007, Kanye West and stuntman Evel Knievel settled a copyright dispute over West's use of the name "Evel Kanyevel" in a music video. The 69-year-old daredevil had claimed his image was tarnished by the video’s "vulgar, sexual nature." The clip for Touch The Sky, showed the rap star cavorting with Pamela Anderson and trying to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle over a canyon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Michael Fremer Album Review

I am very proud to continue our new feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. In fact, his new DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" has hit the shelves and is selling out very quickly. This is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl, it is a true masterpiece.

Beck (new reissue)
Sea Change

DGC/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-3082 180g LPs/CD
Produced by: Nigel Godrich
Engineered by: Nigel Godrich
Mixed by: Nigel Godrich
Mastered by: Rob M. LoVerde

Review by: Michael Fremer

Music - 10
Sound - 11

Sea Change, Beck's late-afternoon, mid-tempo reverie of an album, harkens back to the great old days of painstaking production, carefully drawn arrangements, and a concern for—and love of—sound and musical textures for their own sakes. Tempi are languid, notes are caressed, and gaping atmospheric spaces welcome listeners willing to be drawn in.

While the sumptuous sonic and musical concept is far removed from his two-turntables-and-a-microphone collage days, live-in-studio references to classic records abound. You'll hear Beck's iPod mind sampling favorite tunes and layering freshly made elements from them into the musical mixes. A Led Zep string reference here, a Mike Garson "Alladin Sane"-era Bowie piano there, even lessons learned from George Martin's arrangements for The Beatles. And always lurking in the mix is Nick Drake, especially on the chilling "Round the Bend." "Sunday Sun" sounds like Beck's tribute to Brian Wilson.

There's an unmistakable melancholic L.A. vibe to Sea Change, as the late-afternoon gold runs from a comfortable glow to an unnerving pre-eve desolation. If you've lived there or still do, you know exactly what the light and air catch as the sun sinks, and Beck captures the city's beauty and the chilly isolation brilliantly in the sweeping ascending violins and digging celli, accented by producer Nigel Godrich's always tasteful electronica.

I've been told that much of the multi-instrument recording at Ocean Way was done live (as in the old days) instead of being individually tracked. There's an organic completeness to the production and a sense of communication between the musicians that makes it sound that way, and you can almost imagine the core group—including Joey Waronker and two Jellyfish alumni, Roger Manning and the hugely underrated Jason Falkner—leaving the darkness of the studio for breaks on the bright, bleak Sunset Boulevard sidewalk. (Falkner's brilliant solo albums on Elektra and the Sony-issued Bedtime with The Beatles are well worth finding.)

Detractors complaining that the album is "boring" are simply not allowing themselves to be drawn into its atmospheric spell (or they're listening on boomboxes). You need a system that can communicate the textures, explore the depths, and reveal the harmonic and spatial complexities embedded within the cinematic arrangements. Listening to this production as an MP3 would be like eating a gourmet meal with a head cold.

As for Beck's vocal performance, he occasionally strives to reach beyond his emotional and vocal range, delivering an empty monotone where he intends a subtle communication. But that's easily overlooked as he connects more than he misses, and his stretching on the vocals adds it’s own drama.

When first reviewed on in February of 2003 as an excellent sounding SACD that included an Elliot Scheiner surroud sound mix, I wrote “ It's a shame that such a brilliant sonic production, probably all-analog, will never see vinyl.”

That was wrong on two counts. First of all it did get a limited vinyl issue years ago but that double LP doesn’t come remotely close to what the Mo-Fi guys have done here.

The recently issued Mo-Fi CD is extremely fine too but “for CD.” I’ve been playing this record for years and now, finally, what I long expected was in the recording is revealed. YIKES THIS IS AWESOME! The string sound is luxurious, the bass extension deep and full, the dimensionality extreme and the atmospherics full 1080P high definition.

All of the care that went into the recording, all the of electronic textures, bell-toned percussion and low level detail all of the gestures, grand and tiny have finally been let out. The SACD is very good. The Mo-Fi CD is outstanding and the original vinyl was very good, but this is insane.

This is sinfully luxurious sound and meticulous production that's guaranteed to overwhelm your senses and best of all its in service of a superbly musical and thoughtful set of tunes.

As Beck sings in the opener, "Put your hands on the wheel, let the golden age begin." Sea Change is a finely crafted, thoughtful, and enduring album. Highly recommended. No, that’s too eqivocating. This album is mandatory.

Cheapo Records Thrives in the Age of Digital Downloads

It's always nice to read that there are still record stores that are doing well, long live vinyl!

By Kate Spalla

CAMBRIDGE –Cheapo Records sits on Massachusetts Ave in a sea of chain stores such as Payless Shoe Source and Blockbuster Video, which tower over the 55-year-old record shop, but Cheapo has been there since 1954.

At a time when CD sales are struggling and digital music is increasingly popular, Cheapo Records in Central Square survives in a long and narrow shop front filled with handwritten signs and endless aisles of cardboard boxes stuffed with dust covered vinyl records.

“We try to keep everything cheap, that’s why we’re called cheap-o!” an employee, Mark, told a customer. Even so, it’s atypical that such a store could survive among an era where digital downloads are so accessible and record players are increasingly obsolete.

“We’re fortunate a lot of our customers come here for the vinyl records,” said Rob Thomas, manager of Cheapo Records. Thomas said in recent years, DVD and CD sales have dropped. Thomas attributes the drop to modern technology such as CD burning.

“Music has become so disposable with things like the internet and illegal downloading,” said Allison Fogel, a sophomore at Tufts University and Cheapo customer. “Buying something as solid and sometimes beautiful as a record is acknowledging that music really means something.”

Records may be archaic to most teenagers, but there has been an up rise in the number of college students who prefer to buy record players and collect records because music has been diluted by the digital age, Thomas said.

“We get a good mix of old die-hards who have been coming here every week for years, and now new kids who are really into punk and hard core,” Thomas said.

Still, Thomas observes more and more buyers who choose to support their favorite artists with a bulky vinyl over iTunes and CDs which have the same artwork.
“I think old records still have a different sound, and maybe it’s a little scratchier, but there’s culture that’s passed on through records,” said Trey Walton, a 27-year-old Cheapo customer who came to visit from Atlanta, Ga.

The customers and the employees in the store share a mutual love for record collecting. The employees chat among each other with respect for the records.

The environment Cheapo Records encompasses is part of the neighborhood. The Middle East Club across the street brings more customers into Cheapo and they stay open late after shows on occasion.

The demographic in Central Square has changed since Cheapo first opened, and Thomas said that many customers who can’t afford to live there anymore still come by. A newfound love for records in the wake of dissent with the digital age has kept Cheapo Record alive.

“We have such a good community,and we have for years,” Thomas said.


Music News & Notes

Bankrupt former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read to sell music collection

A fully loaded, 1950s Rock-Ola jukebox belonging to the former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, will go up for auction next week as he sells off a record and music memorabilia collection worth more than $1.6 million.

His 120,000 vinyl records spanning five decades are being billed as the most defining collection of its kind, while his memorabilia includes personal letters from the world’s top artists.

Read, 62, dubbed the Simon Cowell of the 1970s and 1980s, was forced to hand over his collection after he was declared bankrupt for the second time in February.


Could Ronnie Wood's 20-year-old girlfriend be letting the cat out of the bag on a 2010 tour by the Rolling Stones? Britain's Sun says that Ekaterina Ivanova has been saying more than she should.

"She's not supposed to talk about it, things haven't been finalized but she couldn't resist telling a few friends."

Wood has also told the British papers that he has been in contact with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts which could also be an indication of an impending road trip. Better have a cardiologist or two handy....


Crue Taking Time Off

Motley Crue is taking 2010 off to work on individual projects. Lead Vince Neil told Fox News:

"I go out and do my solo record and tour (and) I’ve got a book coming out. 2010 is my year. I’m writing about all the stuff you don’t know about.” Well. isn't that special...


No Eurythmics Reunion

Annie Lennox say we shouldn't be looking for a Eurythmics reunion:

"I'm not really keen on comebacks. Eurythmics was an incredible thing. When I look back on that work, I feel very satisfied by it but I'm not in that headspace now. I'm 54, I have teenagers. What's always been important to me is not struggling to keep going round the same groove. I want to go forwards, and I want to take risks."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a quick note to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving, eat hearty and be sure to burp. Here's a video I ran across, I can't seem to get it out of my head:

Paolo Nutini - Pencil Full Of Lead (Live Sesion - Behind the Scenes - Willton Music Hall)

Music News & Notes

RONNIE JAMES DIO Diagnosed With Stomach Cancer

Wendy Dio, the wife and manager of legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW), released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.

"Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio.

"Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up."

Ronnie James Dio, 67, has performed with ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, and his own band DIO. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser "Hear 'n Aid". He is widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the "devil's horns" hand gesture in metal culture. He is currently involved with HEAVEN & HELL, a project which also includes former BLACK SABBATH bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice. Their first studio album, "The Devil You Know", was released on April 28, 2009.

DIO cancelled its European tour last week after Ronnie was taken ill. The band's lineup for the trek was supposed to include WHITESNAKE/ex-DIO axeman Doug Aldrich due to the fact that the group's regular guitarist, Craig Goldy, had prior touring commitments with BUDGIE in Australia.

DIO's last release was the "Holy Diver Live" CD, featuring a performance of the classic "Holy Diver" album in its entirety, from start to finish, recorded live for the very first time in 2005 in front of a sold-out London crowd.



THEM CROOKED VULTURES' self-titled debut album sold 70,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 12 on The Billboard 200 chart.

THEM CROOKED VULTURES consists of FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl on drums, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE singer/guitarist Josh Homme and LED ZEPPELIN bass player John Paul Jones.

"Them Crooked Vultures" was released on November 17 via DGC/Interscope Records.


Sir Paul McCartney: 'Music Helps Me Revisit Late Beatles'

Sir Paul McCartney says his music enables him to maintain contact with his late wife Linda and former members of The Beatles. The singer told a press conference in London that his concerts were his way of ”revisiting” John Lennon and George Harrison.

"I'm sort of thinking about George ... similarly with John and Linda. In a way you're kind of in contact with them again you know," he said.

Sir Paul admitted the experience often left him “sad” and “emotional”.

He was speaking to journalists ahead of the release of his new concert CD and DVD, 'Good Evening New York City'. Released on December 7, the package features highlights from Sir Paul's three-night residency at New York's Citi Field in July.

The album also coincides with the former Beatles' seven-date European tour in December, which concludes in London on December 22.

This Date In Music History November 26


Tina Turner (1938)

Jean Terrell - Supremes (1944)

Alan Henderson - Them (1944)

John McVie - Fleetwood Mac (1945)

Burt Reiter - Focus (1946)

Martin Lee - Brotherhood Of Man (1949)

Adam Gaynor - Matchbox 20 (1964)

Ron Jones - Flaming Lips (1970)

Benjamin Wysocki - The Fray (1984)

Gayle McCormick (lead singer of Smith) turns 61 today. Smith was a one-hit wonder American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1969. They had a blues based sound and had a Top 5 hit in 1969 with a cover of the song "Baby It's You", with the lead vocals sung by Gayle McCormick. This disc, released in July 1969 had, by October, sold over one million copies, and received a gold record awarded by the RIAA. As a side note, if you see their album, pick it up, this is some great music, unheard and underappreciated.

They Are Missed:

Famed swing-era band leader and trombonist Tommy Dorsey died in 1966, the result of an accident in his Greenwhich, Connecticut home. In addition to bringing Frank Sinatra into the spotlight, Tommy and his brother Jimmy, conducted the "Dorsey Brothers Stage Show," the first nationally broadcast TV show to feature Elvis Presley.

John Rostill former bassist with The Shadows died after being electrocuted at his home recording studio in 1973. After the break up of The Shadows, Rostill worked with Tom Jones and wrote songs covered by Elvis Presley and Olivia Newton-John.

Rapper Soulja Slim was shot to death in front of his home in New Orleans in 2003 (age 25). The rapper was featured on Juvenile's 2004 #1 single "Slow Motion."


Today in 1955, the song "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford topped the charts and stayed there for 8 weeks.

Johnny Cash, made his debut on the country charts in 1958 when "Cry! Cry! Cry!" made it to #14. His next seven singles would all make the country top 10, with "I Walk the Line" and "There You Go" both hitting #1.

In 1962, the Beatles recorded their second single "Please Please Me" in 18 takes and "Ask Me Why" for the flip side at EMI studio’s London.

The Zombies recorded "Tell Her No" in 1964 (it peaked at #6 in 1965 on the Buiillboard charts).

"I'm a Believer" by the Monkees was released in 1966.

The promotional film of The Beatles "Hello, Goodbye" was aired on The Ed Sullivan show in the US in 1967. It was never shown at the time in the UK due to a musician's union ban on miming.

Cream gave its last concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1968. The crowd chanted "God save the Cream." Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker would continue to work together in Blind Faith.

Jethro Tull released their debut album, "This Was" in 1968.

In 1969, John Lennon participated in his last session with the Beatles, mixing and editing their B-side "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)."

Tickets were so in demand for the Faces' Madison Square Garden performance in 1971, that the group broke Led Zeppelin's sellout record for the New York area.

The New York Dolls played their first show in a London restaurant in 1973.

In 1974, Led Zeppelin spent much of their time rehearsing at London's Livewire Theatre while they waited for the release of Physical Graffiti. The record company was holding up the album's release due to its complicated cutout sleeve.

In 1976, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme left 10cc to work as a duo and concentrate on other projects including developing "The Gizmo," a device used to make neo-orchestral sounds on a guitar.

The Sex Pistols released the single "Anarchy In The UK" in 1976. It peaked at #38 on the UK charts.

"Crumblin’ Down" peaked at #9 in 1983 as John Cougar announced he’s John Cougar Mellencamp. He always hated his stage name (given to him by a one-time manager). Soon the made-up Cougar moniker is dropped completely.

In 1989, The Rolling Stones played a concert at Death Valley Stadium in Clenson, South Carolina to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Hugo.

The inaugural Billboard Music Awards were held in Santa Monica, California in 1990. Janet Jackson was the main winner of the night, winning in eight categories, including Top Pop Album, Top R&B Album and Top R&B Artist.

In 1991, country singer Garth Brooks asked fans to bring 10 cans of food to a grocery store in exchange for a lottery envelope, some of which contained tickets to see Garth at a forthcoming show. Over 10,000 cans were donated to charity.

Boyz II Men started their 14th and final week at #1 on the US singles chart in 1994 with "I'll Make Love To You," giving them the longest run in chart history along with "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.

The Eagles started a two-week run at #1 on the album chart in 1994 with "Hell Freezes Over."

Alice In Chains were at #1 on the US album chart in 1995 with their self-titled album

In 1999, 98 Degrees performed several songs and sold some exclusive band merchandise on the Home Shopping Network. Great agent they had...

The Beatles went to #1 on the US album chart in 2000 with "Beatles 1."

Actor Nicholas Cage filed for divorce from Lisa Marie Presley in 2002 after four months of marriage.

Britney Spears topped the album charts in 2003 with her much hyped "In the Zone" record. She became the first female artist in chart history to land four consecutive albums at #1.

In 2006, Yoko Ono takes out a full-page ad in Sunday's edition of The New York Times calling for a day of healing worldwide on the anniversary of the death of her husband, John Lennon. "Every year, let's make December 8th (the day Lennon was killed) the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable."

In 2008, the parents of missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards were granted a court order for him to be declared presumed dead, after he disappeared nearly 14 years ago. Despite alleged sightings all over the world many believed Edwards, whose car was found near the Severn Bridge, took his own life at the age of 27.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ask "Mr. Music"

Ask "Mr. Music" is now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2009), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. We thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: In a televised biography of Michael Landon, a short “Bonanza” clip ran in which all four of the Cartwrights — Little Joe (Landon); Ben (Lorne Greene); Adam (Pernell Roberts); and Hoss (Dan Blocker) — took a turn singing a verse of the show's theme song.

In all its years on TV, I never once saw an episode where they used a vocal version of the theme. I didn't even know “Bonanza” lyrics existed.

Didn't Duane Eddy, or one of the popular guitarists at the time, have a big instrumental hit with “Bonanza”?

Did anyone popularize the vocal? If so, I'd be surprised. It is pretty corny.
I know of Lorne Greene's smash hit “Ringo,” but did any of the other three make recordings?
—Arnie Cleveland, Racine, Wisc.

DEAR ARNIE: Only in the pilot episode, “A Rose for Lotta” (September 12, 1959), did the producers allow the Cartwright clan to vocalize “Bonanza.”

This comical footage was eventually cut but now found among “deleted scenes.”

The familiar instrumental by David Rose and His Orchestra became the official “Bonanza” theme. Though not credited at the time, Rose prominently features guitarists Tommy Tedesco and Bob Bain.

Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, it is David Rose who, in 1960, first issued “Bonanza” as a TV soundtrack LP (MGM 3960), and the main theme as a single (MGM 12965).

That first “Bonanza” single didn't exactly hit the mother lode, but in early 1961 Al Caiola's rousing rendition (United Artists 302) rode into the nation's Top 20.
In 1962, Johnny Cash tried singing “Bonanza,” using essentially the same lyrics written for the series pilot. His single (Columbia 42512) misfired completely, confirming what television producers — and you — learned earlier: “Bonanza” is a great instrumental and a not-so-great vocal.

All four “Bonanza” co-stars turned up on records during the show's 14-year prime-time run, though only Greene reached significant hit status.

Coincidentally, Lorne's No. 1 hit, “Ringo,” came out in 1964 during the peak of the British Invasion. Though his Ringo is a cowboy on the wrong side of a lawman wearing a star, many made a connection to Ringo Starr — the drummer in a fairly popular Liverpool quartet at the time.

In 1960, Michael Landon became the first Cartwright to record. His debut single, “Gimmie a Little Kiss” (Fono Graf 1240), even came with a picture sleeve.

Making record buyers aware of the “Bonanza” link, Fono Graf added this note: “Little Joe Cartwright of the NBC Bonanza Color TV Series.” Record and sleeve together can now sell for $100 to $150.

Michael's second single came in 1964: “Linda Is Lonesome” (RCA Victor 8330), valued at $10 to $20.

Lorne Greene, the Ponderosa patriarch, churned out more records than the rest of the cast combined: seven singles and 10 albums, none of which have noteworthy values.

Dan Blocker made just two LPs, the first of which is rare and collectible: “Tales for Young 'Uns” (3 Trey 903), a 1961 issue now worth about $100.

Dan's second is “Our Land, Our Heritage” (RCA Victor 2896), released in 1964 and a $25 to $35 item.

Pernell Roberts' lone album, “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies” (RCA Victor 2662), came out in '63 and fetches $40 to $60.

Finally, there are two albums that feature all four “Bonanza” stars, both in the $20 to $30 range: (1962) “Ponderosa Party Time” (RCA Victor 2583); and (1963) “Christmas on the Ponderosa” (RCA Victor 2757).

IZ ZAT SO? Unlike nearly every other television show, “Bonanza” claimed no individual star. They showcased their four co-stars equally, with top billing and the order of introducing the characters alternating with each weekly episode.

This means 24 episodes could be aired without repeating the exact order in which the four men ride into the picture for the opening credits.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail: Visit his Web site: All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

SLASH Picks His Favorite Riffs recently caught up with former GUNS N' ROSES and current VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Slash to talk riffs.

On what makes a killer guitar riff:

Slash: "A killer riff… something that's memorable, something that digs in, something that obviously has the right note selection to make something just sound fucking attractive, I guess. It's got to have a great sound and it's got to have a great attack. There's a lot of different elements but I think the most important thing is something that's really catchy and something that sticks with you."

What's your favourite riff of all time?

Slash: "LED ZEPPELIN had probably the biggest cache of killer riffs, more than any other band. I was thinking 'Whole Lotta Love'. I remember when that record came out — fuck, I was a little kid. But you know, 'Black Dog' is another one. ZEPPELIN had probably the biggest cache of killer riffs, more than any other band, y' know. I could go on… there's so many great riffs it's hard to go, this is the one."

Which of your own riffs are you most proud of?

Slash: "I've always dug 'Paradise City', I always thought it was great. 'Rocket Queen' was something that I was pretty fond of. And 'Jungle''s great. Everybody seems to like 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and that's a pretty cool riff, but I'd probably opt for 'Welcome To The Jungle' over 'Sweet Child O' Mine'."


Spoon to Release LP Transference Early

Maybe it's because of the steady stream of disappointment that comes with being hip-hop fans, but whenever we hear that an anticipated album has changed release dates, we worry that it will never come out. Fortunately, in the case of Spoon's ridiculously anticipated Transference full-length, the release date change means we'll get the album a week earlier.

Originally scheduled for release on January 26, the record has been bumped up to January 19 by Merge. No reason was given for the move, but at the same time, no one's really complaining.

The band also announced they'll be releasing “Written in Reverse,” the album's debut single, as a digital download on December 1, with a proper vinyl seven-inch version coming January 5. The B-side of the vinyl record will be “Mean Red Spider,” which won't be available anywhere else.


Animal Collective Mark End of 'Merriweather' Era With New EP

With the release of its new EP, 'Fall Be Kind,' Animal Collective is clearing the vaults of material recorded during sessions for 'Merriweather Post Pavilion,' one of the most critically fawned-over albums of 2009. In doing so, multi-instrumentalist Dave Portner, aka Avey Tare, says the New York City-via-Baltimore band is closing the book on a "really positive" chapter in its career.

"I think that's why we wanted to put it out at the end of the year," Portner tells Spinner of 'Fall Be Kind,' out now digitally and available next month on CD and vinyl. "It feels like [the songs] all kind of fit together with the touring and the things we've been doing for the last couple of years. It definitely feels like the end of this era."

The EP features five songs, three of which -- 'Graze,' 'I Think I Can' and 'On a Highway' -- the band started recording during 'Merriweather' but decided to let gestate a bit longer.

"There's always one song with every record where we're like, 'That didn't work somehow,'" Portner says. "These songs just needed a little more time."

The 'Fall Be Kind' tunes share much in common with the 'Merriweather' material, and taken as a whole, Animal Collective's 2008-09 output represents a definite stylistic shift -- a movement toward what could almost be described as pop music. The rhythms are still frantic and the dense blend of electronic and acoustic instruments disorienting, but the harmonies and melodies dazzle.


Susan Boyle to challenge Arctic Monkeys for fastest-selling UK debut album ever 'I Dreamed A Dream' also in the running for the fastest-selling UK album of 2009

Susan Boyle's debut album 'I Dreamed A Dream' looks set to go up against Arctic Monkeys' 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' to become the fastest-selling UK debut of all time. The album, which features covers of The Rolling Stones' 'Wild Horses' and Madonna's 'You'll See', sold over 130,000 copies on its first day of release yesterday (November 23), according to The Official Charts Company.

Boyle is now set to challenge Arctic Monkeys, who sold 363,735 copies of 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', their debut album, in its first week of release on January 23, 2006. Even if Boyle does not beat Arctic Monkeys she is likely to feature highly in the fastest-selling UK albums of 2009 run-down. JLS are currently topping the list with their self-titled debut, which sold 230,000 copies upon its release earlier this month.

Speaking of 'I Dreamed A Dream', Boyle said: "It was my greatest ambition to release an album and I have finally achieved it. There is happiness out there for everyone who dares to dream."

The Rolling Stones have reissued 'Wild Horses' following Boyle's performance of the song on last week's edition of 'The X Factor' (November 22).


Bon Jovi Greatest Hits LP

Jon Bon Jovi announced that the group would be putting out a new greatest hits album sometime next year. The set will update 1994's Cross Roads which remains a big catalog seller.

Bon Jovi told The Rock Radio, "It'll be a new greatest hits because the last one was 15 years ago. It was '94. So you had everything from These Days forward. And what is this my fifth album in this decade? So at least six studio records and a solo thing. And then I'm sure you'll still end up having to put Living On A Prayer on it but there won't be Runaway on it. It won't have the early early stuff because we'll have had more hits since then."


Sade To Issue New Album

Epic Records has announced a February 8 release of Soldier of Love, the first studio album in ten years of Sade.

Little is known about the album other than it was recorded in England and produced by Mike Pela who has helmed most of Sade's recordings.

This will be Sade's sixth studio album since her debut in 1984 and her first since Lovers Rock in 2000.


Beyonce To Release New Album In 2010

Beyonce has said she plans to release a new album next year.

The singer, whose last album 'I Am...Sasha Fierce' came out in 2008, made the announcement during a concert in Nottingham.

She told fans: "This is my last show for this tour in the UK, so hopefully, I'll see you all in a year with a new album.”

According to Billboard, producer Darkchild's has previously told his Twitter followers that he was working on songs with the singer


IMPIOUS: Japanese Version Of 'Death Domination' To Include Previously Unreleased Bonus Track

"Death Domination", the new album from Swedish death/thrashers IMPIOUS, will be released in Asia on December 23.

The Asian version of the CD will include the bonus track "The Reaper's End", which was previously unreleased.

"Death Domination" is being released in North America today (November 24) via Metal Blade Records. The CD's cover artwork, which the band describes as "one of the most sinister and malignant-looking album covers ever," was created by Marcello Vasco and can be viewed below.

Museum Works to Preserve Pop Tunes

By Scott Madaus

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau is trying to preserve the memory of a record store, put on the map by the king of rock and roll, by giving Pop Tunes an official place in history.

Inside the building at 308 Poplar, records can still be seen but none of them are for sale.

Outside is an iconic neon sign and store front that's been at the corner of Danny Thomas and Poplar for years.

Kevin Kane says, "This is where Elvis bought records and this was Memphis' premier record shop for decades."

But the record store that's become a historic symbol of music sold in Memphis, simply known as Pop Tunes, is gone.

Cora Pitt says, "It's disappointing because it's another local business going out of business."

Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau says it's a sign of the times. "It was a business decision, of course we hate it for the community, hate it for the historic standpoint, but not totally surprised."

With Generation X downloading music at an exponential pace rather than buying CD's or even vinyl records, Pop Tunes, though once a music selling giant that sold records to a young Elvis Presley, has become obsolete in a changing technology-based world.

Word of the closures came weeks ago after the stores parent company, Music City Record Distributors, closed both Memphis locations.

Some Memphians say they just heard about the closures, and that it's just one more piece of historic Memphis that's in the process of being lost.

Kane says even though the records aren't being sold here anymore, he and the Rock and Soul Museum are working right now to make sure the name and the neon live on.

Kane says, "We think that would be a fitting place from a historical standpoint and obviously it will preserve its memory for future generations."

But as Memphians ponder the thought of a city without Pop Tunes; the future of Memphis, they say, is one that's losing parts of what made it Memphis in the first place.

"It's a sign to see how far we still need to go… we have to preserve our city's history."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Music Releases – November 24, 2009

Lots of interesting releases this week including: Miles Davis- The Complete Columbia Album Collection 71-disc (70 CDs and 1 DVD). This collection combines 52 of Davis's albums (with bonus tracks) along with a 250-page booklet and a 1967 live DVD. Also we have the Pixies - Minotaur (Deluxe Edition) (5-CD, 6-Blu-ray DVD, 6-DVD box set), Britney Spears The Singles Collection (deluxe 30-CD box set), Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away The Complete Studio Recordings and More (6-CD box set), Genesis - The Movie Box, 1981-2007 (5-DVD box set), Kraftwerk - The Catalogue (8-CD box set), Thompson Twins - Thompson Twins Box Set (8-CD box set) and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - The Live Anthology (4-CD box set). We also have the long awaited album from Susan Boyle (I Dreamed A Dream) and American Idol runner up Adam Lambert (For Your Entertainment). There’s also four Neil Young remastered LPS, three Beatles remasters, Moby - Wait for Me (2-CD & DVD edition) and Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarians The Evolutionary Set (5-CD, 2-LP, 1-DVD box set). Look for new music by Bon Jovi (The Circle), Lady Gaga Murder By Death, Rihanna (Rated R) and Shakira (She Wolf). And to show that Christmas is on the way, we even have Bob Dylan (Christmas in the Heart) on vinyl!

Buy New Music Here!

Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment
Adriana Evans - Nomadic
A-Ha - Nothing Is Keeping You
Alexandre Desplat - The Twilight Saga New Moon The Score
Beatles - A Hard Day's Night (remastered CD & t-shirt)
Beatles - Help! (remastered CD & t-shirt)
Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (remastered CD & t-shirt)
Beautiful Supermachines - Shut Up
Birdman - Pricele$$
Black Diamond Heavies - Live at the Covington Masonic Lodge (vinyl)
Blakroc - Blakroc
Blur - All The People... Blur Live In Hyde Park 7/2/2009
Bob Dylan - Christmas in the Heart (vinyl)
Bon Jovi - The Circle
Brett Anderson - Slow Attack
Brian Jonestown Massacre - One (vinyl)
Brimstone Howl - Big Deal (vinyl)
Britney Spears - Britney Spears The Singles Collection (deluxe 30-CD box set)
Bryan Ferry - The Best of Bryan Ferry
Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away The Complete Studio Recordings and More (6-CD box set)
CFCF - Continent (vinyl)
David Sardy - Zombieland Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Dethklok - Dethalbum II (vinyl)
Elbow - Seldom Seen Kid (Live at Abbey Road) (CD & DVD)
Evan Miller - Beeswax Ephemera
Fever Ray - Fever Ray (2-CD & DVD edition)
Fever Tree - Fever Tree (vinyl remastered)
Genesis - The Movie Box, 1981-2007 (5-DVD box set)
Georgia Anne Muldrow - Early
Gift of Gab - Escape 2 Mars
Gov't Mule - By a Thread (vinyl)
Gray Matter - Take It Back (vinyl reissue)
Holopaw - Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness.
Ike Reilly - Hard Luck Stories
James Pants - The Seven Seals
Jamie Cullum - Pursuit
Jay Reatard - Blood Visions (reissue)
Jay Sean - All or Nothing
Kraftwerk - The Catalogue (8-CD box set)
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster (2-CD edition)
LCD Soundsystem - 45 33 Remixes (vinyl)
Les Claypool - Of Whales and Woe (vinyl reissue)
Les Claypool Frog Brigade - Purple Onion (vinyl reissue)
Loney Dear - Citadel Band (vinyl)
Love - Love Lost
Martin Sexton - Black Sheep (vinyl reissue)
Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarians The Evolutionary Set (5-CD, 2-LP, 1-DVD box set)
Melody Gardot - My One & Only Thrill + Live in Paris EP
Memphis Bleek - The Process E2
Mercury Program - Chez Viking (vinyl)
Miles Davis - The Complete Columbia Album Collection (70-CD & 1-DVD box set)
Miracle Condition - Miracle Condition
Moby - Wait for Me (2-CD & DVD edition)
Murder By Death - Finch

Neil Young - After the Gold Rush (vinyl remastered)
Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (vinyl remastered)
Neil Young - Harvest (vinyl remastered)
Neil Young - Neil Young (vinyl remastered)

Buy Neil Young Music Here

NOFX - Cokie the Clown EP
Nosound - A Sense of Loss
Numero Group - Light: On the South Side/Pepper’s Jukebox
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Xenophanes (vinyl)
Oren Ambarchi - Intermission 2000-2008
Paramore - Brand New Eyes (vinyl)
Partis - Cryin' Shame
Pixies - Minotaur (Deluxe Edition) (5-CD, 6-Blu-ray DVD, 6-DVD box set)
Primus - Frizzle Fry (vinyl remastered)
Queen - Absolute Greatest (remastered)
Raincoats - The Raincoats (remastered)
Ramones - KSAN Show Live
Red Sparowes - Aphorisms (vinyl)
Rihanna - Rated R
Russian Circles - Geneva (black vinyl)
Russian Circles - Geneva (clear vinyl)
Shakira - She Wolf
Slew - 100% (vinyl)
Sting - Sting A Winter's Night...Live from Durham Cathedral
Susan Boyle - I Dreamed A Dream
Swell Season - Strict Joy (vinyl)
Tahiti 80 - Activity Center
Telepathic Butterfiles - Wow & Flutter!
The Black Keys - Blakroc
The Lucy Show - ...undone (reissue)
Thompson Twins - Thompson Twins Box Set (8-CD box set)
Timbaland - Shock Value 2
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - The Live Anthology (4-CD box set)
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live (vinyl)
Townes Van Zandt - In The Beginning
Underworld - Athens
Various Artists - A Very Special Christmas Volume 7
Various Artists - Alan Lomax in Haiti (10-CD box set)
Various Artists - Californication Season 3 (soundtrack)
Various Artists - Daptone Gold (2-LP vinyl)
Various Artists - Ninja Assassin: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Various Artists - Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (soundtrack)
Various Artists - The Princess and the Frog (soundtrack)
Various Artists - Wrecktrospective