George put himself on the B-Side. An instrumental invitation to see his next tour.
What's All This Then
The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
George put himself on the B-Side. An instrumental invitation to see his next tour.
Monday, December 29, 2014
I rushed into the house and bypassed my usual thrift store decontamination ritual of dusting, slathering with record cleaning solution and vacuuming. Couldn't wait to give this one a spin.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
John and Yoko - Two Virgins (Apple 1968)
It's worth noting that this LP measures about 2/3 of a cubit.
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door (Swan Song 1980)
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
A Christmas gift for my turntable. I put a cork on it.
Static can make a record sound scratchy even though it's not.
Records are spun here on Technics SL-D2 tables. The original rubber mats had to go bye-bye as they were decomposing into an oily goo. At first I thought it was just some oil surrounding the moving parts that got loose, but was advised by a turntable tech that it was the rubber. I then sought out felt 'anti-static' mats.
These looked cool, but it seemed to me they generated static on their own. Sometimes I'd even take an LP off the platter only to have the 'anti-static' mat come up with it. Didn't seem like they were doing their job of sucking away the charges.
After about 30 seconds of research online, I saw that cork was the way to go. Great. Then I saw that cork mats were in the neighborhood of $50 unless they had some advertising on it. Some were even as high as $120.
I then did about 30 more seconds of research to discover that they could easily be made at home.
This is exactly what I did. The process is very simple.
1. Go to a craft store and get a sheet of cork. I got a four pack of 12 inch squares for under $10. You can even find some patterns and colors if you choose. I got green ones. Usually you won't see it if you're playing LP's, but I play a lot of 45's.
2. Find an LP you don't care about. A hacked up disc or any Eagles album will do. The LP WILL get damaged. I recommend using an Eagles album. It's good for humanity.
3. Take a sharpie, mark the center hole and trace the perimeter.
4. Cut it out using an exacto knife.
It's got a nice grip. It's kind to your records. It looks nice.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Austin is a great town. Live music everywhere. BBQ joints. Beer flowing over your grandmother's paisley shawl. Hipsterism abounds without pretension. Cowboy hats and fedoras live together without incident. Bats fly from under a bridge on summer evenings like clockwork. Old houses get converted into micro-breweries. Rolling hills. UT. Lake Lady Bird and Lake LBJ. Live music and BBQ at the airport. You know as soon as you've left the plane that you've arrived somewhere special.
It's not like other cities in Texas. I've been to Dallas and Houston. Feh! I'll take Austin any day.
They take pride in their unique take on things. 'Keep Austin Weird' is their unofficial slogan.
And they have some pretty decent record stores.
I'll talk about my three favorite.
Friends of Sound
End of an Ear
This is my favorite store in Austin. Also in the hipster enclave south of the river. It shares the building with a boutique that sells only used flannel shirts. It's called The Boytique.
End of An Ear - Official Website
Up on the other side of campus. A nice store with a great selection of used vinyl. I got a nice copy of Captain Beefheart's Spotlight Kid here.
Antone's Records - Official Site
And yes there's Waterloo. I was a bit overwhelmed after an hour or so and left without making a purchase. I have the same problem with Amoeba in Hollywood. Down the road from Waterloo was a shop called El Cheapo. I don't think they're around any longer.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
|The outside unfurled|
|And the inside photos|
A while back, I found a mono pressing. It was a bit of a surprise to find different pictures on the inside gatefold.
I have a late '70's pressing in stereo. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands sounds extremely muffled. Not so on the mono version. The mix on all the other sides is stellar. Even though there is a bit more surface noise, the loud pressing and the mix make this my go-to version of Blonde on Blonde when I'm in the mood. Side 3 is currently my favorite Dylan side. Side 2 has the hits.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
And there you have it. I guess RCA didn't want to spring for a new backdrop.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Real Love b/w Baby's in Black
Another Lennon demo finished by the others. B-Side is from the Hollywood Bowl concerts - which was released on vinyl and has not yet seen the light of day digitally.
You may think that George, John and (especially) Ringo are flashing gang signals or signaling the pitcher, but in reality they were holding cigarettes. Someone airbrushed them out to make the photo safe for today's consumer.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Another volume in the Jack in the Box flexis. This one explains where they get all the grease for the onion rings. Typical millionaire making the clown and the immigrant do all the work.
and of course this one deserves a lyric reprint.
This earth is very, very old, and in its early days
There once grew plants and creatures
In the strangest shapes and ways
Some plants and fish and animals
Why they lived on a stony ledge
Beside the shallow water, that is at the ocean's edge
There came a time when the waters rose
Above the ocean side, and millions and
Millions of these living things
Whey they were flooded and they died.
These plants and animals decayed
We're not surprised at that but what
Is very strange is that in time
They turned into a mass of fat.
When more time passed, and brought a change
Upon this heavy fat
You see it was buried under heavy mud
That pressed it very flat
Now the center of the earth was extremely hot
And all this heat and weight turned this solid mass of fat
Into a liquid state
More time went by than we can count
And so it came to pass that all this fat turned into oil
And gave off natural gas
Yes, natural gas and oil
Were living creatures long ago
And that is what has made the oil
From the oil wells flow
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Here I take you through the journey of my first 45. Louie Louie by the Kingsmen on Wand. Had it since I was a tyke. It's been with me most of my life and I can say with certainty that it was played on every turntable/record player I've ever owned.
A Typical Kids' Player
I started with something like this. Most people of my vintage did. It was a General Electric, but I couldn't possibly say which model it was. Memory says it was white. The 45 spindle rose up from the middle.
The Grundig Majestic
Parent's stereo in the living room. They didn't have very many records. The Readers Digest Big Band Era box set comes to mind. I have that one in my collection now.
Kids weren't allowed to play their records here when parents were home. This thing was LOUD. It had a tube amp and deep rich bass sound. The turntable lived in the cabinet on the front of the console.
Many years later this ended up in my room. Poor me.
My dad built out the basement as kind of a rec room. We had an Admiral portable stereo down there. I believe this is the exact model. I remember putting my Matchbox cars on it and turning it on 16.
After we moved into a house with no basement, this ended up being ferried between my room and my sister's room.
The first truly mine stereo. It's from Builders Emporium - a local hardware chain that had a record department. Cheap little job that came with component receiver and speakers. Ceramic cartridge. Heavy tone arm that could be enhanced with a coin if it wasn't tracking well.
The Pioneer PL-12D
My first quality turntable. When I got my first job, this is what I bought. I sensed that I was wrecking my records with that heavy tonearm on the Panasonic. I still ran it though that cheap Panasonic receiver and it needed a preamp. It was decommissioned because it wouldn't hold the pitch between 45 and 33. If one was adjusted correctly the other would be fast or slow.
It was a single play with no automated features. I could play the run out grooves on Sgt Pepper, The Who Sell Out and King Crimson USA.
I still have it in a storage locker. I'm too sentimentally attached to let it go. It got me all through high school and college.
Got a dual hoping it would be a better table. It held its pitch better than the aging Pioneer. Still, I never really liked it. It had an annoying motor rumble that could be heard during the quiet parts of loud records. I was listening to a lot of prog then.
The Technics SL-D2
|Taking Louie Louie For a Spin|
This is the table that my wife had before we were married. It's a direct drive Technics. Love these. This replaced the Dual as the main table. Subsequently, I got another on Ebay. They're both in service. Over the years, I've been getting beat up ones for parts. They're quiet and easy to work on. Used to be able to get them for around $40 on eBay. Now they're closer to $250.
They've got a strobe and an adjustable pitch control. Perfect for the pitch conscious listener.
For those who have these - toss the rubber cover over the platter. They disintegrate into an oily goo. I use a felt pad instead.
I'm using the Shure M97 cartridge on both of them.
They're great little workhorses. Hope to keep them running for a long time.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Well she must have been in the mood for love. She pressed those ash tray lips against the back of the record. Probably while waiting for her man to show - if he ever did.
The songs from the hit play/movie are all here.
I Could Have Danced All Night (If you bothered to show up)
With a Little Bit of Luck (You just might show up)
On The Street Where You Live (Don't get too smug mister, I know where you sleep)
Wouldn't it Be Love-erly (If I just showed up there unannounced)
Musical Moods of England (Moods? Don't talk to me about moods. Do you want me to tighten that gag? )
The Rain in Spain (It falls on the plain. That's gives me an idea.)
Open Countryside (Where I will dump the body)
Shepherd's Dance (What they'll do after I pay them for the burial)
Get Me to the Church On Time (I wouldn't miss your funeral for the world)
Morris Dance (What I'll do with my cat when I get home)