Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SlyVinyl - Keeping Record Collectors Informed

Written by Robert Benson 

A funny thing is happening in the music industry these days, old is new - or should we say that an old format is new again.  Yes, those relics we call vinyl records are back, with sales of vinyl seeing an almost 33% increase from 2012 to 2013.  And that's not counting the secondary market, where millions of records exchange hands each year.

With the demand for vinyl on the increase, vinyl lovers and collectors of the format search the web for news about new vinyl pressings and reissues.  Which brings us to a website called is the brainchild of music lover Scott Wickberg, who was kind enough to share his musical journey with us.  Let's explore the concepts behind the scenes at SlyVinyl:

You come from a MP3 background, why promote vinyl?

"I do, I've always been the kind of guy to take things apart, just to see how they work. So in 1998 when mp3s first starting being circulated I had to have some and figure them out. I loved the fact that so much unpublished music was available. Anyone could record anything and make it only a few minutes from my ears. Before leaving high school I gathered up the largest collection of acoustic music sessions on the internet," said Scott.

"Three months into my freshman year of college this attracted some unexpected attention from the RIAA who arrested me for copyright infringement. It was very unexpected back in 2000, as I was the first individual they ever came after, this was all before even Napster had been taken down. The original case they brought to court was 10,000 cases of infringement each for $200,000 in penalties."

"I'll save you the calculating, they were planning on bringing an 18 year-old dorm student to court for 2 billion dollars in damages," Scott mused. "In the end I lawyered my way out of it and lost my college fund for trading Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with some friends of mine online."

"This was hard on me for sure. Not exactly keg stands and running naked through the quad as I had envisioned," Scott quipped.

"But It didn't stop me from loving and collecting music. I believe I bought my first vinyl in 2005. I didn't have a turntable and just bought the album because I felt it was my penance to such a great album. I believe it was Arcade Fire's 'Funeral.' I quickly scrounged up a thrift store turntable and began my love affair with vinyl records."

"I promote vinyl because I love vinyl," said Scott.  "Vinyl is an experience, it's intentional and physical. It's always fun when someone comes over to my house and realizes I have one of their favorite albums on wax. You can see their face light up as it starts to spin. As an idea, vinyl might be hard to understand why you'd get into it, but when you experience your favorite album being played at 33rpm your mind will change."

Why is vinyl important to the musical landscape recently?

"Vinyl has been great for the musical landscape lately, as it has really given artists a new source of funds. Royalties on digital are always crap, radio is crap and no one buys cds or indie bands. So with vinyl they can finally get a fair wage while also giving fans a truly special piece of music history. It's fun and everyone wins."

Tell us about SlyVinyl, the services you provide and the future goals of the website.

"The website's beginnings were very simple. Create a site that does the hard work for everyone. One site to learn about limited releases on vinyl before they're gone," explained Scott. "We don't post about vinyl that'll be pressed into the ground, as you'll find it at your local shop and you don't need our help with that. We post about limited records that'll most likely sell out and then you'll have to buy on eBay for a ton of money later if you missed. No one had time to go to all these sites, so we decided to do it for you."

"The goals for the site change everyday, but mainly we just want to keep empowering vinyl lovers. Some of the things coming in 2014 are our monthly podcasts, an insiders club, new Sly originals pressings and an internal fan to fan resell market."

Tell us about your network of writers, or 'Record Informant' how does this work?

"They are the core of all that is Sly," stated Scott. " I started writing for Sly and took all the weight of the releases. I also run a web design company so at about 6 months it became overwhelming to do both. Over the 6 months I had gathered up a bunch of people that sent me tips about records all the time. I turned to them and asked if they'd help me and come on as writers. Essentially everyone of them did. These writers are from across the world and now number above 20. Two of them have really taken it to the next level and are now my editors - Ryan Ribitsch and Cameron Hilliard. The site would be nothing without the amazing team and I owe it's success 100% to all of them and their dedication to spreading the word about amazing vinyl records."

What genres of music do you promote?

"All really. With the network of writers, I don't hinder them at all. Only rules are that it can't be an infinite press and can't be a cheesy "limited" bundle with a free tote bag or something. Other than that it's up to them. I think we only really promote one genre and that's "good" but that's debatable," laughed Scott.

Tell us about your vinyl pressings.

"The SlyVinyl Original pressings just kinda came about as a good opportunity. I noticed that we had tons of vinyl lovers that followed us, I can do ecommerce easy enough and had some extra money laying around. I contacted Blue Sky Black Death who had an album 'Noir' that I loved and wasn't on vinyl to see if they'd let me press it for them and share the profits. They were 100% on board."

"Our process is very different. We go after records that should be on vinyl but aren't. We then front all the money and take care of everything. The band gets paid their share in copies of the record they sell on tour to make money. So it's a pretty different system than what else is going on out there. The band puts up no money and get delivered a bunch of amazing records in the mail. We like it and the bands do to."

"Our releases are done up 100% to the things our readers asked for. 180g multi colored vinyl, foil numbered, gatefold heavyweight sleeve, mastered for vinyl. Essentially as good as vinyl gets. We have our third release due out in about 2 months. We'll be releasing the information in the next couple weeks!"

Are you a vinyl collector?

"For sure. More than I should - as it makes me broke. I have about 600 records, which is growing daily. I've had to move a bunch lately and I personally think moving my record collection is the worst thing in the world. Nothing is heavier than a big bin of records. I'm on discogs and keep it mostly updated, but I think I have about 100 more to add.

Where do you see vinyl in ten years?

"Vinyl isn't going anywhere. It hasn't been affected by technology yet & I think about 10 popular media formats have come and gone. People who love vinyl just love it. It's the purest form (other than live shows) of the music experience. As I said before it's physical and intentional. It's not for everyone and that's fine, but there will always be a good sized group of us that spin wax and that isn't gonna change."

Certainly, Scott has a unique music background, yet through all the fuss about downloading he has come out of it all with the love of vinyl.  And for that, there is no lawsuit awaiting him, just the reward of helping inform the vinyl community about the only thing that matters to them; the vinyl record.

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

from our friends at SlyVinyl

Back in July 2013, it all began. Sly Vinyl became a record label!! Today, we are proud to announce that pre-orders for SVR03 are NOW AVAILABLE!!

Damascus – Heights // Limited to 200 Splatter & 300 Haze Vinyl LP

The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams // Limited to 1000 Gold Vinyl LP

Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else // Limited to 3000 Light Blue Vinyl LP


available via HotTopic

The Walking Dead - Soundtrack Vol. 1 (Picture Disc)  

The Walking Dead soundtrack vol. 1 on a Hot Topic exclusive picture disc. Limited to 3,000 copies.

Get a copy HERE


from Big Scary Monsters Recording Company

Tall Ships EPs On Vinyl For First Time

We're delighted to bring Tall Ships brilliant two EPs to vinyl for the first time ever!

Tall Ships EP / There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here are now available to pre-order on a single 12", limited to just 500, all in screen printed sleeves. Get it from our webstore now, including a very ltd orange variant (/100)

The band are currently working on their second full-length album

Pressing info - 100 x orange (BSM exclusive) 100 x blue (Blood and Biscuits exclusive) 300 x black

Pre-Order HERE



Celebrated Canadian multi-instrumentalist, Devin Townsend, is continuing his Devin Townsend Project with the new album, Epicloud. Epicloud will feature thirteen tracks that are sure to lure listeners in with its poppy, catchy hooks. The album will also feature contain guest appearances by Anneke van Giersbergen.

Order HERE


from AmericanLaundromatRecords


We’re psyched to release Tele Novella’s new single Trouble in Paradise exclusively on 7” vinyl. Based in Austin, TX, Tele Novella was formed from the ashes of several well-received indie bands when former Agent Ribbons guitarist/vocalist Natalie Ribbons joined forces with ex-Voxtrot members Jason Chronis (bass) and Matt Simon (drums) as well as keyboardist Sarah La Puerta. The quartet worked quickly, blending a whimsical neo-psychedelic feel into its pop-friendly tunes and soon playing locally and touring the country. Tele Novella's debut 7", Don't Be a Stranger, arrived in late 2013 and sold-out immediately. Everyone from SPIN to Consequence of Sound has praised this up-and-coming band. Please don’t miss out on this limited-edition pressing.

Pre-Order HERE


Original Broadway Cast Recording of Wicked - 10th Anniversary Vinyl

This Collector’s Edition Vinyl features the original Broadway cast recording on a swankified double LP. Open it up to see the pop up map of OZ, and custom dust covers with the lyrics of all the songs.

very pricey, but you can order HERE


JACK BRUCE - Silver Rails


Esoteric Antenna is proud to announce the release of the eagerly awaited new studio album by the legendary JACK BRUCE, one of the greatest popular musicians Britain has ever produced. A supremely talented instrumentalist and vocalist, eminently respected by his peers, Jack’s pioneering bass playing style has influenced successive generations of bassists, including such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Jaco Pastorius and Sting, alongside more contemporary musicians such as Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He is also the possessor of one of the most powerful voices in modern music and a composer of some of the most original and influential music of the past forty-five years. As a songwriter he has written some of popular music’s enduring classics such as "Sunshine of Your Love”, "White Room”, "I Feel Free” and "Theme from an Imaginary Western”.

Released on 24th March 2014, "Silver Rails” is Jack’s first studio in ten years, recorded at the world famous Abbey Road studios. Produced by Rob Cass, "Silver Rails”is a splendid collection of carefully crafted songs written in partnership with lyricists Pete Brown, Kip Hanrahan and Margrit Seyffer. He is joined on the album by a host of celebrated instrumentalists including Phil Manzanera, Robin Trower, Bernie Marsden, Uli Jon Roth, John Medeski, Malcolm Bruce and Cindy Blackman Santana. "Silver Rails” is the next chapter in the recorded legacy of one of popular music’s most respected innovators.

Pre-Order HERE


Chess Club Records Announce First Compilation 'Chess Club Volume 1' To Be Released On 3rd March 2014

On March 3rd 2014, tastemaker imprint Chess Club Records will be releasing Chess Club Volume 1: a compilation made up of original and rare tracks from the label's alumni, some of which have not been available to buy since their first release. The compilation will also, in turn, celebrate the 7th year of Chess Club's existence and will be available on a limited run of 12" gatefold vinyl only - once they're gone, they're gone.

Starting out from humble beginnings as a DJ at London's Astoria, Chess Club founder Will Street moved into the live scene in 2005 when he started to put on monthly club nights at The Social; subsequently booking early shows for the likes of Bon Iver, The Vaccines, MGMT, Yeaysayer, Lykke Li, The XX, Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and many more.

With the bourgeoning success and continued growth of the club night, Street decided to fulfil his childhood dream of starting a label and in November 2007, Chess Club Records was born. With the first release coming from Jay Jay Pistolet, now more commonly known as Justin from The Vaccines.

Initially starting out as a singles label Chess Club has released debut singles for now-household names including Mumford and Sons, White Lies, Local Natives and more recently the likes of MS MR, Jungle and Wolf Alice. In 2013, Chess Club moved into album territory with releases from Post War Years and Swim Deep. The label is also gearing up to release the highly anticipated debut full-length from much-lauded, rising sensation, M_.

Now, as the label turns 7, the time is right to look back and celebrate the success of Chess Club Records in the form of a limited compilation album made up of Chess Club alumni.

Chess Club Volume 1 will be released on limited 12" gatefold vinyl on 3rd March 2014.

Track listing:
15. M_ - PILGRIM



New David Lynch LP treated to deluxe edition box set with bonus 7″ single and Bastille remix


from the land down under:

Dump your CDs – records are coming back into fashion!


from the great state of michigan:

Vinyl records gain popularity in Kalamazoo


from the great state of ohio:

Vinyl getting its groove back in central Ohio - Owners of local stores say young collectors, nostalgic adults, audiophiles driving return to records


Big Beatles Business: Vinyl Mono Set, ‘U.S. Albums’ Fuel 2014 Releases


Bruce Springsteen Pays Tribute to Pete Seeger


GRIMEY'S BEST SELLERS 1/20 - 1/26, 2014

Vinyl Top 25:
1. Damien Jurado - Brothers & Sisters Of The Eternal Son
2. Mogwai - Rave Tapes
3. Warpaint - Warpaint
4. Schematic - Color (n) Inside The Lines
5. Billie Joe + Norah - Foreverly
6. Phantogram - Fall In Love 7"
7. Young The Giant - Mind Over Matter
8. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Give The People What They Want
9. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
10. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Wig Out At Jagbags
11. Neil Young - Live At The Cellar Door
12. Jason Isbell - Southeastern
13. Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams
14. Self - Subliminal Plastic Motives
15. Wild Cub - Youth
16. Lorde - Pure Heroine
17. Jack Name - Light Show
18. Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
19. Natural Child - Live In Birmingham
20. William Tyler - Oahspe 7"
21. Andrew Bird - I Want To See Pulaski
22. Weezer - Weezer (blue album)
23. John Mayer - Paradise Valley
24. Moon Taxi - Cabaret
25. Bon Iver - Bon Iver