April 2012 Archives

Dubstep Show

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Last night The Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana PA hosted a dubstep concert. The thing is, this event was hardly publicized, so it was not hard to see why most people had no idea that it was going on. In fact, they could barely give tickets away. Here is an example of Backstreet Records trying to give tickets away on their facebook page

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So I decided to take Backstreet up on the offer, and procured a few tickets for myself and some friends. Although I expected less than 500, I was very surprised when the 5000 seat Ed Fry arena was hardly filled to capacity, with less than 100 people in attendance. This small of a crowd was not very conducive to a super dance party breaking out at any moment.. In fact, at least half of the spectators chose to remain seated throughout the majority of the event. 

The atmosphere was awful, but the DJ's were a lot of fun. There was also a comedian, Aries Spears best know for his time on Mad TV. Mr. Spears was pretty funny, considering he was obviously put off by the the size and relatively young age of the crowd. Unfortunately, my phone died before I could get any footage of his act, but it probably would not have suitable for even the internet. 
Although, I did get a few seconds of dubstep before my phone died. I can not say it is a good representative of what last night was like, but at least it proves that it happened. The sad part is, I got in for free but a few of my friends in attendance paid $30 for tickets. I mean, I kinda felt ripped off and I got in for free, so I understood their frustration as most of them left early. So how can IUP promote events like this in the future to help make them a little more interesting? Well, that is the million dolar question. Any thoughts?

Like A Rainbow

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Lets talk about record sleeves for a minute. I personally love the larger than life nature of the artwork on vinyl records. The diversity of musical styles are all over the spectrum, and in the same nature, the colors used to press vinyl have been incredible. Swirls, spatters, and multiple colors of wax give a wonderful texture to an album. But I was astonished when I cam across this post on the site of George Benson, who recently embarked on a project to organize records by color and photograph them. 

Photograph by George Benson

Road to Record Store Day

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This is What VIP's look like
 (photo by me)

As it turns out the festivities of Record Store were quite as amazing as I expected this year. Starting at 8:30 am we had the winner from WIUPfm and Backstreet Records "Road To Record Store Day"  contest. She followed the various clues given out through both WIUPfm and Backstreet Records social media outlets and during Progressions on 90.1

Then at 9:00am we opened the doors to those VIP's who had joined the event page on facebook. From 9-10am excellent deals where available all throughout the store, as well as first crack at all the new releases. This did mean however, that a line was present. Those who were at the front arrived anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before we opened the doors. 

It was definately a good idea to get there early as over half of the records up for sale were gone by 10am. With one exception. Metallica's "Beyond Magnetic". We thought the saving grace of this piece was the fact that it was pressed on silver colored vinyl. But I guess even that isn't enough to make RSD shoppers overlook the fact that Metallica is the band that took on Internet file sharing long before SOPA.

533999_10150680972525264_10212595263_9761132_437891705_n.jpgPeople really didn't seem to care that Metallica had kicked of the inaugural Record Store Day event back in 2008. Their legacy will forever be intertwined with lack of sales, not due to fans file sharing their music, but simply because they are a buch of washed up has beens.

The two best sellers of the day had to be The Black Keys "El Camino" Special Edition, and Animal Collective's "Tranverse Temporal Gyrus", Which both sold out within the first 5 minutes. Backstreet also had a wide variety of the Uncle Tupolo re-releases , and 11 copies of The Misfits classic "Walk Among Us".

Record Store Day in Indiana

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Well, it's about one week and counting until this years festivities kick off. So with that said, there is some coverage of our local record store here in Indiana, PA. This article is posted online at    http://www.punxsutawneyspirit.com/. It features an interview with Backstreet Records owner Dave Anderson, he talks about some upcoming shows he is putting on and the return of vinyl. 
I don't want anyone to leave with the impression that I am so stuck in the past that I can't appreciate the present, and even the future of music. In fact, I was just reading up about a new feature of iTunes called "iTunes LP", and I discovered that not only in the glory of records back in vogue, but, the classic style, extra large art and bonus items that were a mainstay of the music releases is making a comeback in the digital realm as well. 

The new feature in iTune allows listeners to become intwined in extra features such as art, animated lyrics, videos, and more. iTunes LP adds layers of content that have never before be available except for hard to find box sets and enhanced CDs. But in keeping with Apple's traditional "Big Brother" style, they are only releasing this for a limited number of albums, and only on the iTunes Store. They do, however, offer a template and list of best practices for creating ITLP content. So really, the sky is the limit; or perhaps, the bottom of the sea is.

This week for free on The iTunes Store is,The Beatles classic Yellow Submarine. This is being released  under the title of "Free Boo" But essentially this is the kind of content to expect from the iTunes LP download. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by this generosity, and highly suspect there is an ulterior motive for this, Although I have no proof of this, I believe that Apple is seeing the success of vinyl and the download cards included in most new releases which utilize other file distribution services as a threat.  So in combination with an iPad, this new content is the closest digital albums may ever get to the boldness of vinyl.

But since they are giving it away.. I had to get it!

I also came across http://ituneslp.net, a site that offers a few free downloads of indie albums in the iTunes LP format. 

Let's Make Something!

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So, one of my original concepts when creating this blog was to show that vinyl records are not only good for listening. Some of the time when hunting for the diamond in the rough, you run across some pretty beat up records. Even if you find a mono copy of Yellow Submarine, you might just find that it sounds like listening to it at the bottom of the ocean. All hope is not lost! In this post I will be showing you some of the ways in which you can turn a vinyl record into everything from art, to functional household sundries. 

The first thing I have chosen is coasters. This is something that I have tried before, and although it took me a few times to get it just right, once I did it was fun and simple. Some sites out there will tell you to cut the record with a pair of scissors. This technique may work on extremely thin and flexible vinyl, but in my experience most records are too brittle and splinter almost instantly. 

I opted for using a cordless drill, and a special attachment that is used for installing light fixtures into drywall. This particular attachment has the perfect radius for cutting the center of the record cleanly from the rest of the vinyl. I am also sort of impatient, so doing this one at a time was out of te question for me, since I wanted to make a number of coasters for personal use and to give out as gifts. 

The important thing to remember about working with records is that the have a tendency to melt and get stuck together; so, before clamping a stack together it is a good idea to separate each record with a piece of newspaper. This will keep the final product from sticking together and creating a thick paperweight instead of a thin coasters. 

Once you have liberate the label from the rest of record, keep in mind there will be sharp edges that need to be filled down in order to make a safe finished product. I just uses some sandpaper to smooth the edges and it was b far the most time consuming part of the project. 

The last step is to lay out the coasters on a large piece of cardboard and spray them with clear coat. Just make sure to so this in a well ventilated area as the fumes may cause nausea and headaches, as well as who knows what else. I wiped the labels of before doing this to make sure to remove and dust or particles left behind from the cutting. 

The last thing you may want to do is back the coasters with cork of felt to help prevent sliding and scuffing of furniture. This is a pretty self easy thing to come by at most craft stores. Once you have applied the cork with rubber cement or an equally strong adhesive, you have a wonderful finished product; that will add a layer of uniqueness to any music lovers coffee table. 

Record Store Day Contest

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Well, I have been doing a lot of work over the past week to put together this post. I can give you first hand information on this because I am very much involved in the preparation for this contest. The whole thing is a collaboration between Backstreet Records and WIUP FM. 

During the next few weeks, a scavenger hunt will be held in Indiana, This will lead participants on a musical voyage to discover clues that will lead to one lucky listener being granted early access to Backstreet Records on April 21st and a $20 gift card. 

More details will be announced during progressions on WIUP-FM every night from 8-10pm  in the coming weeks. And of course you will be able to get the lowdown by liking WIUP-FM and Backstreet Records on Facebook. Keep your eyes open, and your ears too.  

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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