Paying for recorded music is a voluntary act -- you can get almost any tune you want on demand from streaming music services or YouTube. Of course, musicians wind up making little or no money from this arrangement, but thanks to crowd-funding, bands can get paid in advance of making a record. At least initially there are no freeloaders, so the band really has an incentive to record! The same Internet that made it harder than ever to make a living from recorded music has made it possible for bands to directly connect to their fans.
If you still buy music in a physical format, Record Store Day is for you. Stores stock special releases and have sales on LPs and CDs, so if you're lucky enough to live near a record shop, drop by on Saturday and see what's up. Check the RSD Web site to find participating stores, and touch some (physical) music.
Here in NYC, two of my favorite shops, Downtown Music Gallery and In Living Stereo, are pulling out all the stops. Downtown's Bruce Lee Gallanter and Manny Maris are two of the guys I count on for their … Read more
Have you heard? Vinyl is making a comeback. No, really -- a growing number of artists are releasing (or rereleasing) albums on honest-to-goodness LP platters.
So maybe you're into that, or maybe you've got a milk crate full of your old records and want to enjoy them again. Either way, this deal is groovy, man. (Groovy. Get it?!)
For a limited time, Shoptronics.com has the Electrohome Archer Turntable Stereo System for $79.96 shipped. That's after applying coupon code ELEBRIEF at checkout. Regular price: $99.99. (And I've seen it elsewhere for as much as $… Read more
I've heard the naysayers for years, the ones that say vinyl is a fad, or that kids buy records just because they think LPs are cool. But the fact is vinyl sales keep going up year after year. I'd be the first to admit that playing an LP is more of a hassle than listening to Spotify, so why do people who grew up listening to CDs and files invest in a turntable, and search out their favorite music on LP? Why do they do it?
Recently, I talked with a few music lovers who grew up in … Read more
The LP was invented in 1948, and judging by the sales surge over the past few years, LPs won't be going away anytime soon. Amanda Ghassaei's "3D Printed Record" project demonstrated vinyl's continuing relevance in the 21st century. Years ago when I saw an early demonstration of 3D printing, I knew the technology would eventually lead to printing LPs, but now it's a little closer to becoming a reality. First, however, there are major sound-quality issues to overcome with 3D printed LPs (though they can play tunes with fidelity that's far below MP3 … Read more
The Beatles albums, recorded between 1963 and 1970, were made in the analog era. People all over the world enjoyed the Fab Four's music in a 100 percent all-analog state until 1986, when the entire catalog was digitally remastered. That was four years after the CD was introduced, and those not very good-sounding CDs sold in vast numbers in the 1980s, 1990s, and right up through 2009 when the catalog was remastered again in high-resolution 24-bit/192-kHz audio. Great, but the high-resolution versions of the albums remain safely in the vaults. The down-converted versions that were used to master … Read more
Home audio was strictly a single-speaker pursuit from the dawn of recorded sound through the late 1950s, when stereo changed the way we listen to music. Multichannel home theater's popularity peaked in the late 1990s, but starting with iPods and sound-bar speakers, mono was back in style. More recently sales of battery-powered, mono Bluetooth speakers started to take off. While these lo-fi systems may contain stereo pairs of … Read more
The Compact Disc format changed the way we listened to music in the 1980s. Sony's first player, the CDP-101, went on sale on October 1, 1982, in Japan, and six months later here in the U.S. At $1,000 it was pretty expensive, but supplies were limited, so every one sold for full price. Before the CD arrived, the mainstream music market was split between vinyl albums/singles and cassettes, and strangely enough, it wasn't just CD's sound that won over the masses, it was digital audio's no-wear durability and noise-free sound that drew raves. … Read more
Face it, most of today's shiny new gizmos will be hopelessly out-of-date in a few years and taking up space in landfills not so long after that. The iPhone 5 may be a marvel of engineering and marketing genius, but like iPhones of years past it's doomed to be cast aside when legions of Apple fanboys and girls stand in line to buy the iPhone 6 sometime next year. And so it goes.
Records, aka LPs, have been around since the 1950s, so there are lots of them out there. I've bought great records for a buck or two at thrift shops and yard sales, and found them on the street for free, but records aren't yesterday's news; lots of young bands are releasing LPs. The way things are going, the LP will probably outlast the CD as a mainstream format.
Speaking of yard sales and thrift shops, you can probably find dirt cheap turntables in those places, but the chances of finding a turntable in good working condition there … Read more