Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lightfoot Will Change Edmund Fitzgerald Lyrics After New Findings

Gordon Lightfoot says he will change the lyrics to his hit The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald to reflect new findings about the doomed ship.

A recent series on Canada's History Television, Dive Detectives, theorizes that the ship did not sink from human error but had been swamped by a rogue wave. The 720-foot long ship, one of the biggest on the great lakes, was hauling iron ore on Lake Superior when it encountered a fierce storm with hurricane force winds, described by the captain as “one of the worst seas I've ever been in.” The ship sank in water over 500 feet deep taking with it the 29 crew members.

An investigation of the 1975 incident by the U.S. Coast Guard concluded that the ship sank due to the cargo hatches being left open, allowing them to fill with water. The new evidence uncovered by the crew of Dive Detectives from talks with meteroligists and maritime historians points much more firmly to the ship being hit by an estimated 50-foot rogue wave which was created when groups of waves coming from different dirctions collided and maee one large wave with extreme destructive power. The investigation found that these huge waves had been seen on the lake the day of the disaster. Combine that with the age of the ship and its heavy load and it points to, most likely, the ship splitting in half.

After hearing of the new findings, Lightfoot said "I'm happy for the families. There's been lingering doubt about whether the hatch covers had been left open. This disproves that theory and ends the uncertainty. I think it's definitive."

He does not plan to rerecord the song but, during future performances, he will be replacing the line "At 7 P.M. a main hatchway gave in."

SOURCE: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com

Event gives independent record stores a new spin

By Frank Vaisvilas
Geneva Republican

Geneva, IL — For the seemingly dying breed of the independent record store, business owners can use all the help they can get.

That is why more than 700 stores are participating in Record Store Day, Saturday, April 17, which celebrates the release of special edition CDs and vinyl records for music enthusiasts.

“That day in itself is a big, big sales day,” said Steve Warrenfeltz, co-founder and owner of Kiss the Sky records in Geneva. “It’s a nice shot in the arm in terms of sales.”

Studios including Sony and Universal send independent stores limited edition music releases for April 17 that Warrenfeltz said cannot be obtained any other way and won’t be available at chain stores, such as Best Buy or Wal-Mart.

“The fan base, especially the serious music fans, are pretty much aware of this,” Warrenfeltz said. “What it does is generate an industry-wide buzz.”

Warrenfeltz said his store won’t have room for events that day, as he expects it to be crowded.

However, the store is sponsoring a concert of local bands at Chord on Blues in St. Charles.

A cover fee will go toward the bands at the concert.

“We’re going to celebrate the independent musician as well,” Warrenfeltz said.

He is hoping that Record Store Day will help keep the store afloat.

“Business has been tough for really the last nine years,” Warrenfeltz said.

Warrenfeltz said there has been a 75 percent reduction in physical music stores since the advent of online markets such as Apple’s iTunes, as many customers have turned to the Internet to buy music.

“The Internet is a major player in the music business,” Warrenfeltz said.

Still, he said one silver lining is the significant increase of vinyl record sales during the past three years.

“Vinyl is keeping some of our heads above water,” Warrenfeltz said. “We’re battling.”

But Warrenfeltz is committed to the store, which he opened in Batavia in 1996 with co-founder Mike Messerschmidt. The store moved to Geneva four years ago.

“We love what we do,” Warrenfeltz said. “At this stage in our lives, we don’t want to do anything else.”

The store has three part-time employees, including Rob Weinzirl, 18, of St. Charles, who also is a customer.

“There’s really no suburban record stores out here,” Weinzirl said.

Weinzirl is a big fan of metal, hardcore and punk bands, such as The Acacia Strain and H20.

“A lot of that stuff you might not find at big chain stores,” Weinzirl said.

If you go
WHAT Record Store Day limited edition music releases
WHEN Saturday, April 17
WHERE Kiss the Sky, 301 W. State St.
COST Free to browse
MORE INFO Call (630) 232-1888

Copyright 2010 Geneva Republican. Some rights reserved Reprinted By Permission

A record store in the digital age

By Kim Midboe

How is it that a record store continues to exist with all the high-tech gadgetry available to music lovers today?

For Mat Riley, owner of After the Gold Rush Records in Nevada City, keeping his doors open is a labor of love.

“I've forsaken the usual paychecks in a struggle to keep it going.”

Used vinyl and special order CDs help pay the rent these days, along with a lot of “hope and prayer,” muses Riley.

Is interest in vinyl waning? Don't count it out just yet. Riley sees a resurgence of interest in the general public, with young people leading the charge. Vinyl regained popularity in 2008, with nearly 2.9 million units shipped, the most since 1998. Today, record companies still release some major CDs in vinyl.

Why vinyl? Riley thinks part of the continuing attraction lies in the nostalgia factor, but there's no escaping the fact that they are “just cool to collect.” While the debate on the sound quality difference between CDs and vinyl is waged daily by bloggers, Riley contends that “music recorded in the vinyl era before CDs is definitely going to sound better” in its original format.

It can be said that vinyl recordings tend to be more accurate, truer to the original sound, resulting in a richness not found in digital recordings.

Flip through the stacks of used vinyl and CDS at After the Gold Rush, and you'll find your beat with jazz, pop, punk, alternative, country and some good ol' rock ‘n' roll.

Need something to play your vinyl on? Turntables can be ordered, and occasionally records players are available on consignment.

For those who still drive cars manufactured before CD players became standard equipment, Riley sells a number of cassette tapes at $2 or less. He says they are popular with travelers who just want something new to listen to as they continue on their journey.

Most of the record store's inventory of used records comes from within Nevada County. “There is no shortage of people interested in selling,” said Riley.

New CDs by local artists find a spot among the classic fare at After the Gold Rush. There is “a wealth of talent in this area,” and he welcomes it in his store. He has found that most people who purchase locally-produced music from him come in looking for it.

In the ever-changing demand for specific genres, Riley says punk is hot right now among his customers. He attributes it to nostalgia. Fans of punk rock when it first emerged as a musical force, now parents and even grandparents, are going back to what they know best.

When asked what he considers the best find in his store at the moment, Riley says he's most proud of a copy of Frank Zappa's “200 Motels.” The soundtrack for an obscure 1971 British musical film, released only on VHS, combines orchestral and rock music. It's from the kind of “strange, quirky movie that Zappa fans can appreciate,” said Riley.

An eclectic mix of customers can be seen browsing the stacks of used vinyl, CDs and, yes, even those cassette tapes. Riley says that interest in his shop has spread to an even younger audience, the “self-titled MP3 generation.”

It could be they have discovered that vinyl really does sound better or maybe it's the “coolness” of it all that they seek.

Many thanks to Kim Midboe and http://www.theunion.com for allowing me to reprint this story.