Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Articles of Interest

The Last Record Store

Valley-based Turn It Up! remains a successful outpost of old-school music-buying.

By Matthew Dube

He stole the entire Bob Dylan section.

The grizzled and affable gentleman—think Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart—in the oversized Celtics warm-up jacket was a fixture for several days in early 2001. He'd come into the Northampton Turn It Up! soon after I'd hung the Open sign and spend his mornings listening to music and chatting about everything from the weather to Kevin McHale to Fred Eaglesmith.

Then one day, as I was on the phone with another customer, he hurriedly disappeared up the stairs and onto the street. Instinctively I went and checked out the D section, as he'd previously been relaxing at one of the listening stations with a large pile of live Dylan CDs. Sure enough, it was empty. He'd ripped us off.

I sprinted out of the shop and found him—and the stack of Dylan—in the alleyway behind the store. Later I spoke with a policeman, recommended a few jazz CDs for someone's birthday, bought three boxes of dusty LPs, and helped an elderly man call a cab.

Just a typical day in the wacky life of a record store employee.......

Read the rest here:


A comprehensive report about record conventions and record collecting, certainly worth the time to read:

Preamble / By Way of Introduction

This paper represents a component of my research into vinyl record fairs and vinyl record collecting, work that has been ongoing for close to three years now. I was first drawn to record fairs as a burgeoning collector, but my research interest in records has grown beyond the phenomenological aspects of the consumption and collecting of musical recordings. Indeed, the question “Why do people collect records?” I find to be unsatisfying, if not because the answers are simple then because there are simply too many of them to be useful for a broader understanding of the forces at work.

Instead, I’m interested in what we can learn about music recordings as commodities in contemporary Western society through the study of record circulation; that is, the buying, selling, and collecting of records. What types of value and capital inform the exchange of musical recordings? To what degree are these processes of exchange dependent upon the subjective lived experiences, emotional lives, and individual interactions of and between individuals? And finally, in what ways can these subjectivities inform responsible research into musical cultures and communities?

This morning I will focus specifically on the experiences of record dealers—the collectors concerned with finding that mythical “compilation of every good song ever done by anybody” alluded to by the band LCD Soundsystem will have to wait patiently for the next conference—and my proposal, drawing from anthropologist Arjun Appadurai’s concept of commodity value, is that the exchange of records at record fairs is structured and disciplined by a broad confluence of mutable values, which differ from record to record and from dealer to dealer depending on their individual circumstances, their expectations of their customers, and their business philosophies. My findings are based on ethnographic research at Chicago-area record fairs conducted over the last three years, a number of interviews with record fair dealers and organizers, and a survey of 30 vendors at a record fair in April, 2009.

Read the rest here:

Hot Wax – Vinyl Making a Comeback

By Bryan Reed

Perched behind his old Apple laptop and a glass counter filled with stickers and buttons emblazoned with the names of punk bands, Scott Wishart is an anomaly. Lunchbox Records, the Central Avenue storefront he owns, is one of an ever-slimming number of truly independent record stores. As the posters for local shows and indie-label releases plastered on the windows of the shop can attest, Lunchbox isn’t the place to go to pick up the latest T-Pain or Taylor Swift CDs. But that’s precisely what drives Wishart’s business.

As a specialty shop, Lunchbox has been largely unaffected by the record industry’s catastrophic fall from grace that began around the turn of the millennium when a kid named Shawn Fanning developed a little computer program he called Napster. Internet file-sharing boomed, then gave way to digital music sales through services such as iTunes. All the while, CD sales busted with little help from the antagonizing efforts of the Recording Industry Association of America. Big box stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart continually downsize the floor space devoted to music. At large, the future of recorded music looks dismal.

But at Lunchbox, business is just fine, thanks in no small part to the store’s unique and eclectic offerings—and helped along by a surprising resurgence in the popularity of the most outmoded of recording formats, vinyl records. Wishart, who has been in the music retail business since 1997, says, “I’ve always bought records, but when I first started, records were on the way out. Labels, especially big ones, weren’t even releasing them and it kind of continued that way until a few years ago.”

Read the rest of this interesting article here:

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Has anyone ever told you they keep a scrapbook of your columns? Well I do, and it is several hundred pages.

In one written about 10 years ago, you say that Billboard began using their Star Performer symbol (a.k.a., “bullet”) in mid-August 1958.

I raise the question because a book I read about Phil Spector states the first record to ever get a bullet, for strong upward movement on the chart, is “Hey Baby,” by Bruce Channel.

Since this is a 1962 hit, one of these accounts must be wrong, unless they refer to another chart.

Did Cash Box, for example, not begin using bullets until 1962?

While on the subject, did Pete Wingfield's “Eighteen with a Bullet” make it to No. 18 with a bullet on Cash Box, as it did on Billboard?

Of course I'll add your responses to my scrapbook.
—Julie Kenyon, Vincennes, Ind.

DEAR JULIE: How could you not, especially with you as a guest star this week?

For the week ending November 22, 1975, Joel Whitburn's “Hot 100 Billboard Charts” has Pete Wingfield, after 14 weeks on the survey, moving up five spots, from No. 23 to No. 18.

That same week, Cash Box showed Wingfield as jumping from No. 22 to No. 18.

It is reasonable to suspect the record would end up at 18 with a bullet on everyone's chart, that is if it were anywhere close to that number.

Of course dee jays enjoyed their only opportunity ever to say something like: this week “Eighteen with a Bullet” is really 18 with a bullet.

The following week “Eighteen with a Bullet” became 15 with a bullet, but that would be its peak position. Six weeks later it fell off the charts.

Examining the January and February 1962 charts, I find nothing unusual, bulletwise or otherwise, about “Hey Baby,” so I have no idea as to the meaning of what you read.

By then, both Billboard (August 1958) and Cash Box (February 1959) had used the bullet concept for three or more years, though neither magazine's symbol actually resembled a bullet.

You say it's a book about Phil Spector, but they must not have asked him about any of this. Surely he would recall the three consecutive weeks in November 1958, when his first hit, “To Know Him Is to Love Him” (Teddy Bears), had bullets on its way to No. 1.

I don't recall anyone saying they keep a scrapbook, though I know many do clip and save columns of interest. Your lasting attentiveness to the feature is very much appreciated.

DEAR JERRY: Among the tens of thousands of 20th century recording artists, it seems that someone with the same family name as mine would have had a hit record.

Several famous performers with uncommon names — Garfunkel; Zacherle; Humperdinck; Zappa; Kostelanetz; etc. — come to mind, yet we can't find even one successful Browning.

Is there one out there that we have overlooked? My family's honor is at stake here.
—Albert Browning, Towson, Md.

DEAR ALBERT: Life can be cruel.

Hopefully this confirmation of your worst fears, likely a devastating blow to Brownings everywhere, will be offset by knowing you have stumbled onto a great bar bet.

Even senior level musicologists would be shocked to learn that in 100 years no one named Browning ever had a hit record — in any of the mainstream fields of music.

If it's any consolation, it is not for lack of effort.

Here are some of your namesake artists with non-charting records, and their time period: Betty (1964); Bill (1957-'60); Bill Zeke (1957-'61); Dot (1961); and Harry Robert (1980).

There is also a group known only as Browning (1970-;71), and another named the Browning Sisters (1950s).

There are even a few 21st century Brownings you might want to know about: Admiral (2009); Andy (2009); Angie (2007); Bruno (2010); John (2009); and Mark (2001).

IZ ZAT SO? Two hit records also come to mind today, neither by a Browning but both about one.

First is a parody of the Coasters' “Charlie Brown,” titled “Charlie Browning.”

By the Young Men, this is about Charles Browning, a real-life football star at the University of Washington. It went to No. 1 in Seattle in December 1963.

Then there is Porter Wagoner's “Carroll County Accident,” in which a fictitious Walter Browning is killed in an auto crash.

Issued in late 1968, this juicy tale with a twist reached No. 2 nationally (C&W).

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site: .

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

The Pipettes confirm new single, tour

The Pipettes have confirmed the details of their comeback single and a spring UK tour. The girl-group will release 'Stop The Music' on CD, limited edition red vinyl and download on April 19 through Fortuna POP. In support of the release and forthcoming album Earth vs. Pipettes, the band will play a number of live dates in April and May. The current lineup of The Pipettes features Gwenno Saunders and her younger sister Ani.


Dan Deacon to Release Remix EP

Last year, Dan Deacon released the heady album called Bromst, a stark departure from the day-glo raveups he'd made in the past. Next month, a new EP will include remixes of a few tracks from Bromst.

On April 19, the British label Amazing Sounds will release the extremely limited Woof Woof EP-- just 500 vinyl copies are being pressed up worldwide

The EP will also include remixes from Allez-Allez and Luke Abbot. That's the cover art up there, and you can see the tracklist below.
Woof Woof:

01 Woof Woof (Original Mix)
02 Woof Woof (Hudson Mohawke Remix)
03 Build Voice (Allez-Allez Remix)
04 Surprise Stefani (Luke Abbott Remix)


The Grascals Set New Album Release

The Grascals, one of bluegrass music's most highly awarded and acclaimed bands, will release their brand new CD, The Famous Lefty Flynn's, on Rounder Records March 30, just a few days before the band hits the road as a part of Hank Williams Jr.'s Rowdy Friends Tour, an opportunity that will showcase bluegrass music to tens of thousands of music fans. As a guest on the CD, Williams also joins the band for a quintessential country/bluegrass version of "I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome," written by his dad, Hank Williams, and the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe.

Known for their seamless harmonies, soaring trios and stellar instrumental talents, The Grascals rose to critical acclaim in 2005 when they won Emerging Artist of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. This was only the beginning as they catapulted to the top of their genre, being named 2006 and 2007 Entertainers of the Year the following two years. The Boston Globe said, "DJs rhapsodize about The Grascals as though they were the second coming of Bill Monroe. The hype machine is at full throttle, but the Grascals justify every scrap of it… astonishing instrumentalists."


Acid Tiger (members of Converge, Thursday) detail debut LP

More details have been announced regarding the upcoming debut from Acid Tiger. The band, which features Ben Koller (Converge, United Nations) and Lukas Previn (Thursday, The A.K.A.s, United Nations), will release their eponymous debut on April 27, 2010 through Deathwish Inc.


Band of Horses Album to be released on May 18th by Brown Records/Fat Possum Records/Columbia Records

PRNewswire/ -- Band of Horses, the Low Country's premier rock n' roll outfit, will release their third full length LP, entitled Infinite Arms, on May 18th through Brown Records/Fat Possum Records/Columbia Records.

The album package will feature the photography of the band's long time collaborator Christopher Wilson.

Produced by Band of Horses with additional production from Phil Ek, mixed by Dave Sardy, and recorded over a 16-month period, the songs on Infinite Arms project the essence of the different locales across America that became the setting for the recording and songwriting process behind the album. The rich musical heritage of Muscle Shoals, AL, the sublime beauty of Asheville's Blue Ridge Mountains, the glamorous Hollywood Hills and the vast Mojave desert all influenced the sounds on Infinite Arms and helped yield the group's most focused and dynamic recordings to date. The serene woods of Northern Minnesota and the band's native Carolinas inspired the songwriting, lending the compositions an air of comfort and familiarity.

Band of Horses are Ben Bridwell, Creighton Barrett, Ryan Monroe, Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds. Long time touring members of the group, Infinite Arms marks the recording debut of Ramsey and Reynolds, while Barrett and Monroe graced the last album, Cease to Begin. Through touring together in support of Cease to Begin and during breaks in the Infinite Arms recording process, the band have become a cohesive force with all members making invaluable contributions to the unmistakable sound that founder Bridwell has crafted since the band's inception. As Bridwell himself concedes, "in many ways, this is the first Band of Horses record."


Artwork For Special Edition Of 1349's DEMONIOR Revealed

Norwegian black metal act 1349 have unveiled the cover art for the North American and European special edition of their upcoming album, "DEMONIOR." The album will be released by Indie Recordings throughout Europe on April 26, and by Prosthetic Records in North America on April 27.

For the band's fifth full-length release, 1349 decided to suck out the fiercest and most potent energies from every single member and surroundings, channeling it into songs that are pulsating with uncanny atmospheres, rawness and nerve shattering intensity. The whole process of getting the material on record was like one long, exhausting black magic summoning that could not be allowed to go wrong.

"DEMONOIR" is without a shadow of a doubt 1349's darkest, most sinister and brutal work to date, and in this case it comes to mean that the band has gone from the utterly extreme to the genre-expanding and mindboggling. Black Metal cannot, and will never be the same.

"DEMONOIR" will be available in North America as a digipack CD and a limited edition 12" picture disc LP.


An email to my inbox:
The greatest political songs of all time

We'd love their opinions on what is worthy, or unworthy, of canonisation.

A top 20 will be chosen by PSA members and a judging panel later in the month.

To mark its sixtieth birthday, the Political Studies Association is compiling a list of the greatest ever political songs. As you can see below, their longlist is a varied beast, ranging from Verdi's opera Aida, to the righteous Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, to Woody Guthrie's folky "This Land is Your Land" -- the latter a favourite of US progressives in the 1950s and 1960s that had a brief resurgence in 2009 when it was performed (including the "communist" verses) at Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony.

Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin - "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves"

Anon. - "Bella Ciao"

Barry McGuire - "Eve of Destruction"

Billie Holiday - "Strange Fruit"

Billy Bragg - "Which Side Are You on?"

Bob Dylan - "The Times They Are a-Changin'"

Bob Marley - "Redemption Song"

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA

Carl Bean - "I Was Born This Way"

Cecil A Spring-Rice - "I vow to thee my country"

Charles A Tindley - "We Shall Overcome"

Charly García - "Nos siguen pegando abajo"

Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle - "Le Marseillaise"

Donovan - "Universal Soldier"

Edwin Starr - "War"

Elvis Costello - "Tramp the Dirt Down"

Enoch Sontonga - "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"

Eugène Pottier - "The Internationale"

Fela Kuti - "Zombie"

Gil Scott Heron - "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

Horst Wessel - "Die Fahne hoch"

Jim Connell - "The Red Flag"

John Lennon - "Imagine"

Joni Mitchell - "Big Yellow Taxi"

Leornard Cohen - "The Partisan"

Li Youyuan - "The East is Red (???)"

Marvin Gaye - "What's Going on?"

Midnight Oil - "Beds Are Burning"

Nena - "99 Luftballons"

Nina Simone - "Mississippi Goddam"

Pete Seeger - "Where have all the flowers gone?"

Peter Gabriel - "Biko"

Plastic Ono Band - "Give Peace a Chance"

Public Enemy - "Fight the Power"

Randy Newman - "Political Science"

Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"

Robert Wyatt - "Shipbuilding"

Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter"

Sex Pistols - "God Save the Queen"

The Beatles - "Revolution"

The Clash - "Know Your Rights"

The Cranberries - "Zombie"

The Jam - "Eton Rifles"

The Police - "Invisible Sun"

The Special AKA - "Free Nelson Mandela"

The Strawbs - "Part of the Union"

Tracy Chapman - "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution"

U2 - "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

UB40 - "1 in 10"

Verdi - "Chorus of Hebrew Slaves"

Victor Jara - "Te Recuerdo Amanda"

William Blake - "Jerusalem"

Woody Guthrie - "This Land Is Your Land"

Stop by the site and add your own two-cents worth, there are many songs that can and should be included.

This Date In Music History-March 10


Dean Torrence - Jan and Dean (1940)

Pete Nelson - Flowerpot Men (1945)

Tom Scholz - Boston (1947)

Ted McKenna - Sensational Alex Harvey Band (1950)

Bunny Debarge - Debarge (1955)

Gail Greenwood - Belly/L7 (1960)

Jeff Ament - Pearl Jam (1963)

Neneh Cherry (1964)

Edie Brickell (1965)

Dave Krusen - Pearl Jam (1966)

Dylan Keefe - Marcy Playground (1970)

Timothy Z. Mosley - Timbaland (1971)

John Charles LeCompt - Evanescence (1973)

Jackson Burnley - Breaking Benjamin’s (1978)

Carrie Underwood (1983)

They Are Missed:

Younger brother of The Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, died in 1988. His death from myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) followed a long battle with cocaine addiction, which had weakened his heart.

American rhythm and blues singer Lavern Baker died from coronary complications in 1997 (age 57).

Danny Joe Brown, lead singer of Molly Hatchet, died of complications from diabetes at his home in Davie, FL in 2005. The 53 year-old singer joined Molly Hatchet in ’75. Three years later the group’s self-titled album went platinum.


In 1956, RCA Records placed a half page ad in Billboard Magazine claiming that Elvis Presley was 'the new singing rage.' They were right.

Bruce Channel started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "Hey! Baby."

The Monkees held the #1 position on the US album chart in 1967 with 'More Of The Monkees.'

Cream played San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in 1968. During the show they uncorked Robert Johnson’s Blues classic “Crossroads.” This version lands on the group’s studio/live “Wheels Of Fire” album. With vocals (and guitar) by Eric Clapton it is one of his signature songs.

Grand Funk Railroad recorded "Closer To Home" in 1970.

The Pink Floyd album 'Dark Side Of The Moon' was released in America in 1973, where it spent over 740 weeks on the chart over a 14-year period.

Pink Floyd’s “Animals” goes platinum in 1977.

Gloria Gaynor started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1979 with "I Will Survive." The song was originally released as the B-side to a song first recorded by The Righteous Brothers called "Substitute."

At the invitation of country star Porter Wagoner, James Brown performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1979, singing "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Tennessee Waltz" and "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag."

Van Halen held the #1 position on the US singles chart in 1984 with "Jump."

In 1996, Alanis Morissette won Best Album for 'Jagged Little Pill', Best Female singer, Best Rock Album, Best songwriter and best single at the 25th Juno Awards held in Hamilton, Canada.

In 2000, Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde was arrested for leading an animal rights protest against the clothing firm Gap, who were accused of using leather from cows slaughtered 'illegally and cruelly'. The protest took place in a store in Manhattan. Oh, have a hamburger and shut up!

Also in 2000, The Daily Mail published pictures of Paul McCartney dancing with a cowgirl on the bar of a New York club. McCartney sang along to "Whole Lotta Shakin" through a megaphone and mimicked a strip tease in front of 100 onlookers.

Alanis Morissette went to #1 on the US album chart in 2002 with 'Under Rug Swept.'

In 2005, a survey carried out by Music Choice concluded that "Angels" by Robbie Williams was the song Britons would most like played at their funeral. Frank Sinatra's "My Way" was second and Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was voted into third place.

Also in 2005, Michael Jackson arrived in court an hour late dressed in his pyjamas after being treated for a back injury. Jackson was attending the Santa Moria court for his child abuse trial.

In 2006, U2 heads Rolling Stone's list of Rock's Top 30 Moneymakers after bringing in an estimated $154.2 million during '05. The Rolling Stones ($92.5 million), the Eagles ($63.2 million), Paul McCartney ($56 million), Elton John ($48.9 million) round out the Top 5. Earnings are tabulated from concerts, recording sales and other income sources.

Billy Joel inducted John Mellencamp into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in New York in 2008. "I was fortunate enough to write a couple of songs that connected with people," says the heartland singer. "People thought the songs were about them, and I want to thank those people." The Ventures, Dave Clark Five and Madonna (?) are also inducted. Mellencamp joins Joan Jett, John Fogerty and Joel in a tribute to the DC5.

In 2009, Tickets for a one-off gig by Sir Paul McCartney in Las Vegas sold out seven seconds after going on sale. The former Beatle was booked to perform at the opening of the New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on 19 April 2009 in-front of 4,000 fans.

The Runaways, based on the ‘70s female Punk band, is in theaters in 2010. Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film stars Twilight's Kristen Stewart as guitarist Joan Jett, and Dakota Fanning as frontwoman Cherie Currie.