Friday, March 12, 2010

Twin Tigers Vinyl Record Contest

In association with Sneak Attack Media ( ), I am very excited to announce a contest, where the winner will receive a vinyl copy of Twin Tiger's debut LP Gray Waves!

The contest is easy, just email me a list your five favorite bands from Athens, Georgia.  The winner will be chosen via a random drawing of the entries received - it's that simple!  Email your list to with the words Twin Tigers in the subject line and you are entered into the drawing!  Contest closes March 19th (noon next Friday), so get your entries in soon!

In the meantime, please check out their single "Passive Idol" here and their new video for "Red Fox Run"

“Passive Idol”:

"Red Fox Run" Video:

Michael Fremer Album Review

Thanks to Michael over at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.

Nirvana (reissue)
In Utero

DGC/ORG 180g LP (black or colored vinyl)

Produced by: Steve Albini
Engineered by: Steve Albini
Mixed by: Steve Albini (Scott Litt on "Heart Shaped Box" and "All Apologies"
Mastered by: Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
Technician: Bob Weston

Review by: Michael Fremer

Version #1:

When this Steve Albini recorded grunge classic was first submitted to DGC for release back in 1993 label execs where appalled by what they heard. The recording had an odd quality called dynamic range that they found disturbing.

Will the kids understand? Will it scare them? Is that why it disturbed them? Or was it that the shit they had for stereo gear in their offices simply couldn’t handle the dynamic swings.

You can’t believe the level of crap on which these so-called music loving record company executives monitored their recordings. I know. I visited many of them and was appalled by what I found.

“Steven Spielberg doesn’t screen his movies on a fucking bed sheet” I would holler in a vain attempt to get them to buy even a modestly performing music system but it was hopeless. Their excuse was that they wanted to hear it the way “the people” listened.

“Well then have a boombox too,” I yelled, “but listen to it the way it sounded in the recording studio!” (this was back in the days when there actually were recording studios).

In any case, version #1 has DGC, feeling the album was not commercially viable, forcing compression upon some tunes, disgusting both Albini and the band.

Version #2:

Having hired Steve Albini to produce a raw, less finely finished album than its predecessor, Nevermind, Nirvana left the Minnesota Pachyderm Studio with a raw product but one that didn’t fully satisfy them. The group felt the final product missed to some degree what they were aiming for and what they felt they’d laid down to tape.

Albini was happy though and he refused to further involve himself in the project. Version two has the band not DGC hiring engineer Scott Litt to make some minor changes, said to be compression, and to re-mix “Heart Shaped Box,” and “All Apologies.”

We’d want the truth to be closer to version #1 with the execs at Geffen appalled by what they heard because they wanted a commercial-sounding record like Nevermind and Cobain never wanting to go fishing for money in a swimming pool ever again, insisting instead upon an artistic statement and a record he’d want to go out and buy if he hadn’t made it himself.

But apparently Cobain’s original positive reaction to the unmastered tapes began to sour. He felt the bass was not sufficiently audible and the lyrics indecipherable. Bob Ludwig mastered the results at his Gateway Mastering facility in Portland, Maine but Cobain remain unconvinced.

Eventually the band chose to sweeten (if that word can apply to a Nirvana track!) and remix “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” and the album was supposedly mastered yet again, augmenting the bass and some speculate upping the vocals a few dB but how that can be done in the mastering process without a remix is unclear. Whatever happened, apparently Steve Albini wasn’t happy with the results. Search this website for an interview with Mr. Albini conducted a long time ago.

In Utero was issued in America on September 14th 1993 first on cassette and vinyl only (limited to 25,000 copies) and on CD a week later. Though it debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts neither K-Mart nor Wal-Mart would carry the album because of the cover art and the song title “Rape Me.” A revised version with different artwork and “Waif Me” instead of “Rape Me” was released in March of 1994 with the approval of the band.

Doug Sax cut the original vinyl release on his main lathe. The inner groove area shows the TML-M stamp. By that time Bob Ludwid had probably retired his lathe (bet he regrets doing so now!). Sax followed suit but as we reported in the news section, Sax has re-commissioned two lathes and is back cutting lacquers with AAA preview head capabilities.

As far as black versus colored vinyl, remember that PVC is clear. Carbon black or black dye is added to make records black. Yellow dye makes PVC yellow, blue makes it blue etc.

For some reason, it seems that whatever makes records black also holds a magnetic charge that can be neutralized with a special demagnetizer that clearly makes records sound quieter, deeper, richer and less edgy. Demagnetizing colored vinyl doesn’t seem to have any effect.

So assuming the vinyl formulation is the same except for the coloring agent (and that is an assumption), in fact, the colored vinyl should sound better until you demagnetize the black vinyl at which time they should sound identical and that’s exactly what I found.

As for the music, if you aren’t a fan, you’re not dropping $25 or $30 on something you don’t love. Are you? The album is hard pounding and thick, disturbing, unhappy, dark and spits in your face from the get go as Cobain sings “Teenage Angst has served me well, Now I’m bored and old.” It gets less cheerful from there, but always gripping and worthwhile.

Self-loathing has never been so entertaining or enduring. Get your best sounding dose here. And yes, even when it comes to this dark, messy stuff, sound matters!

Incredibly, tapes of the original version of the album made their way to Universal’s Hannover, Germany facilities and the German vinyl release contains the Albini mixes of “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” and the tunes in general sound less compressed and more like what one expects from Steve Albini than any of the subsequent American releases.

The copy I bought a few years ago (Geffen 424 536 -1) contains what sound like those original mixes of “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies.” There are some substantial differences, most noticeable in a lingering, undulating feedback guitar line in “Heart Shaped Box’s break.

I can’t be sure if the German vinyl that’s currently available continues to be sourced from that original mixes but I am sure that these new ORG 180g releases on colored and black vinyl are the best sounding vinyl issues of the final mixes of In Utero and by a wide margin. Even the Mobile Fidelity gold CD sounds like a pale imitation. The dynamics are unrestrained (or as unrestrained as a mildly compressed mix can sound) and the inner detail resolution is stunning. The acoustic around Curt Cobain’s voice resolves to a degree not before heard.

Look, it’s grunge but the feedback drenched guitar lines should still sparkle and squeal and the drums should really pound with elasticity while the cymbals should shimmer with a crystalline clarity and stand out in the mix. Everything about this recording sounds better on these 180 gram reissues.
Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved Reprinted by permission

Music News & Notes


We all know that RECORD STORE DAY (where "independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music") takes place on April 17th this year, and the announcements of special releases has begun. EMI has revealed plans to issue limited-edition Vinyl releases for both JOHN LENNON and SEX PISTOLS.

John Lennon Singles Bag (limited edition), (Capitol/EMI); Individually numbered Kraftpak envelope with button & string closure; custom plastic adaptor hub. 24” x 36” poster + three postcards and three 45 RPM vinyl singles with replicated original artwork. Includes such tracks as “Mother,” “Imagine,” and “Watching the Wheels.”

Sex Pistols: The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle (limited edition),(Virgin/EMI); 180g double LP, gatefold. Among the 24 tracks are “God Save the Queen (Symphony),” ”Anarchy in the UK,” “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,” “L’Anarchi Pour Le UK” and “The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle.”

Visit  to learn more about this great event.


Dave And Tim Get A Vinyl Release

Dave Matthews And Tim Reynolds are contributing a release to Record Store Day. The release will feature "Squirm" and "Lying In The Hands Of God," according to Radio Active Records, and will be a 7" Vinyl. That's a little record for those not in the know. Both songs were recorded live from the 2009 Dave and Tim Las Vegas shows. The vinyl goes on sale at specific locations (see below) April 17 and should be priced around $3.49 (or so).


Pearl Jam & Band Of Horses To Tour

It's been announced that Band of Horses will open a bunch of dates for the grunge megastars in May. The Pearl Jam tour will start a couple of weeks before Infinite Arms, the third Band of Horses album, drops via Brown Records/Fat Possum/Columbia. Before they jump on the Pearl Jam tour, BoH will play a bunch of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including SXSW dates and shows with Widespread Panic, She & Him, and Snow Patrol. We've got their dates below.

Band of Horses:

03-15 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater
03-16 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
03-18 Austin, TX - Stubbs BBQ
03-19 Austin, TX - Central Presbyterian Church
04-08 Paris, France - La Fleche D'or
04-09 Brussels, Belgium - Orangerie
04-10 Rotterdam, Netherlands - Motel Mozaique
04-12 London, England - Koko
04-14 Cologne, Germany - Kulturkirche
04-16 Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
04-17 Gothenburg, Sweden - Tradgarn
04-18 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
04-23 Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Amphitheater *
04-24 Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Amphitheater *
04-27 Gainesville, FL - University of Florida's Rion Ballroom
04-28 Miami, FL - The Fillmore
04-29 Orlando, FL - House of Blues
05-01 New Orleans, LA - Jazzfest
05-02 Memphis, TN - Beale Street Music Festival
05-03 Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center ^
05-04 St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center ^
05-06 Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena ^
05-07 Noblesville, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center ^
05-09 Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena ^
05-10 Buffalo, NY - HSBC Arena ^
05-13 Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live ^
05-15 Hartford, CT - XL Center ^
05-17 Boston, MA - TD Garden ^
05-21 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden ^
05-30 Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheater %
05-31 George, WA - Sasquatch
06-05 Bangor, Ireland - Ward Park &
06-09 London, England - Roundhouse
06-12 Glasgow, Scotland - Bellahouston Park &
06-19 Toronto, Ontario - Olympic Island
09-25 Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre

* with Widespread Panic
^ with Pearl Jam
% with She & Him
& with Snow Patrol



Roadrunner Records/Loud & Proud Records has recently announced the signing of rock and roll veteran MEAT LOAF. His new album, "Hang Cool Teddy Bear", whose title was taken from a line in "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," is 13 tracks of classic Meat Loaf, primed and ready for the 21st century. More than four decades into his career, the man and his voice are as big, bold and relevant as ever. Meat Loaf has been a towering monument on the musical landscape for the past 35 years and his new deal with Roadrunner/Loud & Proud will allow him to retain his post as the pre-eminent voice in rock music and beyond.

For "Hang Cool Teddy Bear", the singer enlisted elite musicians, including THE DARKNESS frontman Justin Hawkins, who co-wrote two songs for the album, guitarists Tim Pierce, Paul Crook and Randy Flowers, legendary bass players Chris Chaney and Kasim Sulton, genius keyboardist Jamie Mulhoberac and one of the world's greatest rock drummers, John Micelli.

"Hang Cool Teddy Bear" is due out May 11 in the U.S.


As I Lay Dying - The Powerless Rise

Christian metallers As I Lay Dying will release their fifth full-length album THE POWERLESS RISE May 11 via Metal Blade Records. AS I LAY DYING is currently putting the finishing touches on THE POWERLESS RISE in San Diego with producer Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage and they have also unveiled the cover art for their new album. THE POWERLESS RISE marks the follow up to their critically acclaimed fourth album An Ocean Between Us (Metal Blade) which debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top 200--the highest debut on the rock chart that week--and earned the group a Grammy® nomination for “Best Metal Performance” alongside metal heavyweights Slayer and King Diamond.

This Date In Music History-March 12


Paul Kantner - Jefferson Airplane (1942)

Liza Minnelli (1946)

James Taylor (1948)

Les Holroyd - Barclay James Harvest (1948)

Bill Payne - Little Feat (1949)

Jack Green - Pretty Things (1951)

Steve Harris - Iron Maiden (1956)

Marlon Jackson - Jackson Five (1957)

Graham Coxon - Blur (1969)

Ben Kenny - Incubus (1977)

Pete Doherty - Libertines/Babyshambles (1979)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1917, Leonard Chess, the founder of the Chess record label, home to John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. Chess died of a heart attack on October 16, 1969 (age 52).

In 1955, jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker died of a heart attack in New York City while watching Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra on television. He was 34. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker's 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age. (After years of drug and alcohol abuse).

Born on this day in 1949, Mike Gibbins of Badfinger (died on Oct 4, 2005).


The Dave Brubeck Quartet appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1955.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets recorded "Maybe Baby" in 1957.

Elvis-clone, Fabian, performed his hit "Turn Me Loose" on American Bandstand in 1959.

The Beatles played at the Granada Cinema in Bedford in 1963. Also on the bill, Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. John Lennon, suffering from a heavy cold, was unable to perform, so The Beatles set was rearranged so that George and Paul could sing the parts that John usually sang.

Sgt. Barry Sadler started a five-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1966 with 'Ballads Of The Green Berets.'

In 1968, the Rolling Stones started recording their next single "Jumpin’ Jack Flash" with new producer Jimmy Miller at Olympic studios in London.

Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office in 1969. They then held a reception lunch at The Ritz Hotel, Paul then went to Abbey Road studios in the evening to work. George Harrison and his wife Patti were arrested on the same day and charged with possession of 120 joints of marijuana.

John Lennon made the headlines in 1974 after an incident at the Troubadour Club, LA. Out on a drinking binge with Harry Nilsson, Lennon hurled insults at the performing Smothers Brothers and punched their manager before being forcibly removed.

In 1977, the Sex Pistols were involved in a fight at London's Speakeasy Club with Bob Harris, presenter of BBC 2's The Old Grey Whistle Test resulting in one of the show's engineers needing 14 stitches in his head. Two days later Harris's solicitors contact Derek Green at A&M the bands record label. Harris's management also managed Peter Frampton, one of the label's top acts at A&M. Green discussed the matter with the company's two founders, Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert and the decision is made to cancel the Pistols contract and halt production of the bands first single, 'God Save The Queen'.

In 1983, Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler had her only UK No.1 single with a song written by Meatloaf's producer, Jim Steinman, 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart," which was also #1 in the US, (the only Welsh artist to score a US #1), Canada and Australia, the single sold over 5 million copies.

Rick Astley started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Nirvana and Tad appeared at the Town Pump in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1990.

Swedish group Ace Of Base started a six week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1994 with "The Sign."

Boyz II Men were at #1 on the US album chart in 1995 with 'II.'

The album "Unplugged" was released by KISS in 1996.

In 1998, Korn served a cease-and-desist demand to a Michigan assistant principal, the high school and the school district who suspended a student for wearing a T-shirt that had the band's name on it.

In 2001, Judy Garland's "Over The Rainbow" was voted the Song Of The Century in a poll published in America. Musicians, critics and fans compiled the list by the RIAA.

In 2003, the Chinese government ordered the Rolling Stones to eliminate four songs from their upcoming performances in Shanghai and Beijing. The banned songs were "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Women," "Beast of Burden," and "Let's Spend the Night Together."

In 2009, hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena in London as Michael Jackson tickets went on sale to the public. The 50-year-old pop veteran had confirmed he would be playing a 50-date residency at the venue, beginning on 8 July 2009. Some 360,000 pre-sale tickets had already sold. Organisers said the This Is It tour had become the fastest-selling in history, with 33 seats sold each minute. Prices ranged from £170 to £10,000, but tickets bought directly from the singer's website cost up to £75. Jackson had said this would be the last time he would perform in the UK.