Most contemporary "kids music" sucks. However, my favorite reissue label Light In The Attic is releasing a killer children's vinyl compilation titled "This Record Belongs To______" that includes the likes of Shel Silverstein, Nina Simone, Donovan, Van Dyke Parks, Vashti Bunyan, Woody Guthrie, and many other musical greats, along with a storybook illustrated by the talented Jess Rotter. Read the rest
As the vinyl record resurgence continues, the problem is that there simply aren't enough record pressing plants to meet the demand. Indie labels get pushed to the back of the line when the majors place a big order. Read the rest
I wish I got a free 7" when I bought a new pack of briefs. Read the rest
The land speed record for a regular bus has been shat on. "Bus Hound," powered by biomethane derived from cow manure, clocked 76.785mph in speed trials in England.
Operated by Reading Buses, the vehicle was painted black and white in honor of the Frisian cows whose excrement powers its mighty engines. It was designed to advance the "power and credibility of buses fuelled by cow poo," reports the BBC.
"Most importantly we wanted to get the image of bus transport away from being dirty, smelly, and slow," Chief engineer John Bickerton told them ."We're modern, fast, and at the cutting edge of innovation."
Ars Technica's Sebastian Anthony writes that biomethane is a promising technology, far greener than natural gas, but close in performance: "not only are you leaving those fossil fuels in the ground, you're also combusting methane that would've otherwise ended up as an atmospheric greenhouse gas."
If you're wondering, the answer is yes: Britain has also invented a bus powered by human excrement.
GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq said: "Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself."
One human's annual output would would fuel the Bio-Bus for 37 miles. And if you're all out, there's always chip fat. Read the rest
Portland area archivist Cliff Bolling has curated and digitized thousands of 78 records. One prized addition is this variegated series from Pathé's Chanticleer line. Bolling says this was an attempt by the French company to gain market share in the US. The series featured popular American songs, like this version of "Bye Bye Blackbird." by The Virginia Creepers. Read the rest
Peter Lardong makes playable (and edible) records from chocolate, a century-old tradition we've posted about previously. (via Laughing Squid)
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Video below of Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, 1971. Read the rest
Here's an excellent 1956 RCA Victor promotional documentary about how vinyl records are made. More than 50 years later, the basic process remains the same even as the number of pressing plants has dwindled, driving up the price of new platters. Read the rest
Afrika Bambaataa donated his vinyl to Cornell University Library's Hip Hop Collection. (Professor Bambaataa is a Visiting Scholar there.) But before the wax goes on its way, you can watch it being sorted, organized, and, yes, spun, at Gavin Brown's enterprise gallery in NYC's West Village. There are "Lunch Breaks" shows this week with Crazy Legs, Joe Conzo, Grandwizzard Theodore, and Break Beat Lou, and the collection will remain on view until August 10. Unfortunately, no digging allowed!
"Spend Your Lunch Break with Afrika Bambaataa's Legendary Record Collection" (Paper)
More details on the exhibition at Gavin Brown's enterprise. Read the rest
Tomorrow (Saturday 4/20) is Record Store Day! Support your local independent record shops and score special Record Store Day exclusive releases! Here's the full list of special releases
and guide to participating shops
. Read the rest
French DJ/producer Breakbot recently released a limited version of his album "By Your Side" pressed in chocolate.
Gorgeous black and white photos from 1954 and 1962 of vinyl records being made, including scans of an album jacket with a description of the process. "How records are made" (Voices of East Anglia, via @chris_carter_) Read the rest
(Photograph contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by BB reader Josh Koonce)
If there's a more robust realm of music more closely simpatico with the Creative Commons philosophy than netlabels, please let me know what it is.
Netlabels are online record labels that actively release music for free download, with the full and enthusiastic participation of the musicians involved.
The vast majority use a Creative Commons license that allows for free download, attributed redistribution, and remixing. They are largely enterprises invested heavily in electronic music, albeit a wide and disparate range thereof -- from phonography (darkwinter.com) to sound art (stasisfield.com) to techno (monokrak.net) to instrumental hip-hop (dustedwax.org) and beyond.
As just one sign of the phenomenon's ever-increasing popularity, there are various competing curated lists of netlabels available online. The one I refer to primarily is maintained at disruptiveplatypus.wordpress.com/netlabels. As of this typing, it contains 13 scrolling screens of active netlabels (OK, I'm on a netbook; your scrolling may vary), from the Guadalajara, México-based amp-recs.com to the Modena, Italy-based zymogen.net (plus a bunch whose monikers start with numbers or symbols). Read the rest
I've always found that the most interesting art lies at the intersection between two totally different styles. One of the best examples of this theory existed more than a half a century ago as an unlikely offshoot of country and western music.
From the 1930s through the 50s, country music exploded into a bunch of different styles- old time hillbilly folk music (exemplified by the Carter Family), bluegrass (Bill Monroe), honky tonk (Hank Williams) and cowboy music (Sons of the Pioneers). But the most exciting (and most fun) branch of the country and western musical family tree was the fusion of jazz and country music- Western Swing.
Before you say, "I hate country music." take a few moments to listen to the unrestrained madness of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant at their peak...
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I love this helpful how-to film that teaches you to use vinyl album covers to create wonderful, wacky photos with musicians' faces (and butts, and feet) superimposed over your own.
(Thanks, Greg Mitchell!)
Previously:sleeveface pool on flickr
photos combining real faces and people on paper money
web zen: record cover zen Read the rest