Friday, October 15, 2010

Vinyl review : Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime

Mike at has been gracious enough to allow me to share some of his work with the CVR audience. Here we have an album review.  Be sure to stop by his site  and look around and welcome a new contributor to the CVR Blog!

Artist – Minutemen

Title – Double Nickels on the Dime

Format – 2x Vinyl LP

Label – SST

Year – 1984

A few years ago I kept reading how groundbreaking and influential Double Nickels on the Dime was so I downloaded the album (naturally). I tried to listen to it but couldn’t really get into the music for some reason. The short, quirky, directionless songs didn’t do anything for me, with the exception of “Corona”, which anyone can immediately recognize as the Jackass theme. Recently, I picked the vinyl version up on a whim and gave it another shot. Now I finally get it. The reason I didn’t like this album on MP3 was cause I kept skipping around between tracks, looking for something that I instantly liked. Double Nickels does not work that way. The record has to be taken as a whole, with the good songs nestled among the weak and forgettable. Listening to it on vinyl makes shuffling around the tracks practically impossible, forcing you to groove on the gestalt. And that goes for any record regardless of genre, which is yet another advantage of the almighty LP.

I’ll leave you this link to Wikipedia for all the background about the band and the record because they summarize it much better than I can, and it’s not really relevant to the audio review. I will say that for a band that “jams econo”, the production on Double Nickels is uncharacteristically great. Great in the sense that there isn’t really any production to speak of, no effects or multitracking or anything, just a solid analog recording of the band doing their thing. The tracks run together with little gap between, which is totally intentional and give the impression of an extended jam session. I noticed quickly that the soundstage is kind of compressed and cramped, but it seems to open up as the album progresses. Hurley’s drums and Watt’s bass burst out of the speakers without assaulting my ears to the point of annoyance. Quieter acoustic guitar portions are well defined and natural, with humanizing string squeak and a good sense of dynamics. D. Boon’s vocals are satisfactory in the acoustic sense, but the lyrics are mostly just stoned ramblings with a few trenchant insights sprinkled in.

The album’s packaging ain’t bad, a nice gatefold sleeve with barely legible lyrics on the back and some band pics plus Raymond Pettibon artwork on the inside. Double albums always have beefy spines that look good on a shelf, so much so that i’ve encountered records that are only a single disc but put in double packaging anyway (like the Plain Records re-release of Loveless).

Double Nickels on the Dime proved that punk rock could be more than just power chords and blastbeats. Get this record for the noteworthiness but also for a true vinyl experience. Drop the needle, ingest your intoxicant of choice (optional) and take an engrossing ride that tosses you between genius and garbage. Amazon has this sucker in a warehouse just waiting to be raked with a microscopic piece of diamond, all for the low-ass price of thirteen bucks!

Music – B+

Sound – A

This article is from, a blog about affordable hi-fi audio for beginners. Featured articles include equipment reviews, music reviews, beginner's guides and other essays/opinions about audio. Reprinted by Permission

Music News & Notes

Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Tom Waits On 78 rpm Vinyl

On November 19th, Preservation Hall Recordings will release 504 limited edition hand-numbered 78 rpm vinyl records featuring two tracks by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with very special guest Tom Waits. Proceeds from the sale of this very special project will benefit the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & Heritage Brass Band.

Mr. Waits traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to record two songs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the critically acclaimed project Preservation: An album to benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program,“Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing” and “Corrine Died On The Battlefield”. Originally recorded by Danny Barker in 1947, these two selections are the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants.

This special limited edition recording will be made available in two different tiers, based on the level of donation: Deluxe Donation Tier: $200 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band AND a custom-made Preservation Hall 78 record players – and Basic Donation Tier: $50 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Both packages will be available for in-person purchase at Preservation Hall in New Orleans on November 19, 2010 at 10:00am Central and available for purchase online November 20th here


John Lennon Reissues Score Big on the Billboard Top 200

The John Lennon reissues released on October 5 made a big impact on this week's Billboard Album chart, with five titles making the list. A sixth, the Starbucks Opus Collection exclusive stays on the chart giving him a total of seven entries. That's the most since Michael Jackson had seven back in July at the time of the first anniversary of his death. While Lennon didn't manage any top ten debuts (as the Beatles did when their reissues came out in 2009), the total is still impressive considering that (Just Like) Starting Over, Jealous Guy and Imagine appear on five of the six albums.

The chart positions of the six albums:

24. Power to the People: The Hits
34. Double Fantasy / Stripped Down
66. Opus Collection (Starbucks Exclusive)
88. Imagine
148. Signature Box (11-CD set)
196. Gimme Some Truth (4-CD set)


KISS Websites Hacked After Gene Simmons File-Sharing Comments

Sites were replaced with fakes...

The websites that belong to KISS’s Gene Simmons have been hacked - following the bassist’s recent comments about illegal downloading. Last week, Simmons urged musicians to protect their catalogue and “sue everybody” who shared their music illegally.

In response, online attackers, Anonymous, hijacked and

Both sites - which have since been restored - featured a letter headed: “Operation Payback (Is A B*tch).”

Appearing at the MIPCOM convention in Cannes, France, Simmons has accused the music industry of not reacting fast enough to curb the problem of illegal file-sharing. The veteran rock and roll bassist said lawsuits should have been issued against illegal downloaders sooner and that the error had cost “hundreds of thousands of jobs” in the industry.



‘PANZERFAUST’ 2-CD and vinyl editions out later this month

Britain’s independent heavy metal powerhouse, Peaceville Records, will begin releasing new editions of classic Darkthrone albums later this month from the recently acquired Moonfog Productions catalogue titles.

The first re-issue, Panzerfaust, – Darkthrone’s fifth album overall – will be released as a double-disc set and individually numbered vinyl (2000) on October 25th. The 2-CD edition includes a bonus disc featuring commentary from Darkthrone’s infamous drummer/lyricist, Fenriz, for a first hand perspective behind the creation of the 1995 Frost-fuelled black metal masterpiece.

Additionally, Peaceville Records will re-issue the rare second Isengard release, Høstmørke(1995), on October 25th. The album, which was performed entirely by Fenriz, also features a special commentary disc conducted by Fenriz, reflecting on the recording process, as well as an insight into the time of the recording.

Get A Flu Shot!

Longtime readers know that I post something just about every day, but something happened to me that broke a string of posts I have been doing for the past two years.  Every other day I post 'This Date In Music History,' and I missed my first one yesterday.  My apologies to those who like the feature, but I was just too sick to work at the computer yesterday and will have Saturday's post ready (Oct 16).

It's kind of ironic that I started feeling sick the day after I had gone to the doctor's office for an appointment.  I picked up a TIME magazine while I waited and thought nothing of it after I left.  However, after giving it some thought, the magazines at a doctor's office are the last thing that anyone should touch.  I am not a germ-phobe or anything like that, but think about it.  Do you think that all the sick people who go to the doc's office actually practice proper hygene?  I doubt it.    So this is my advice -  NEVER touch the magazines at a doctor's office and get a FLU SHOT!

Honestly, you do not want this bug, it has really been a tough one to shake.  Hopefully, I am going to get back up to par, I have a new contest coming up as well as some new stories to add.  As always, thank you for stopping by the blog and please, feel free to offer suggestions as to how to improve it.