Oldest living man dies at 112

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Yasutaro Koide, at 112, was the oldest man alive before he died Monday in Nagoya, Japan.

His death came only months after being confirmed by Guinness as such, and it leaves the situation of his successor unclear. Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, of Brooklyn, however, remains the world's oldest person. France's Jeanne Calment, who was 122 years old at his death in 1997, is recognized as the longest-lived person on record.

Born in 1903, Koide was born to a world without human flight, ice cream cones, or the Model T. According to USA Today, he said that his secret was "not to smoke, drink or overdo it." Read the rest

Buy Ringo Starr's copy of the very first pressing of the White Album

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Ringo Starr's personal copy of The White Album, the first pressing of the album, numbered 0000001, is up for auction with proceeds going to charity. The current high bid is $55,000. From Julien's Auctions:

It has been widely known among collectors that the four members of the Beatles kept numbers 1 through 4, but it was not commonly known that Starr was given the No.0000001 album. Starr has stated that he kept this album in a bank vault in London for over 35 years. Up to this time the lowest numbered UK first mono pressing album to come to market is No.0000005, which sold in 2008 for just under $30,000. This No.0000001 UK first mono pressing owned by a member of the Beatles is the lowest and most desirable copy that will ever become available.

As the record manufacturing plant certainly had every machine available simultaneously pressing copies of this album it is impossible to say with certainty which records were truly the very first off the press, but these discs were certainly among the very first. The album covers however were numbered in sequence, insuring that this No.0000001 sleeve is the very first finished cover. The top load sleeve is in near mint minus condition and would be near mint if not for the bumped upper right front gatefold corner, but it is overall very clean and fresh with very minor abrasions.

"RINGO STARR'S UK 1st MONO PRESSING WHITE ALBUM NO.0000001" (Julien's Auctions)

Read the rest

The best children's music compilation record and turntable!

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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

The antique tech shortage that hurts the vinyl boom

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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

You can pre-order this hexagonal colored vinyl Super Hexagon soundtrack

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Chipzel's Super Hexagon soundtrack will be printed on hexagonal colored vinyl in custom clear sleeves designed by Cory Schmitz. There will only be 1600 made. Preorder quickly, I suspect.

Free record with underwear purchase

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I wish I got a free 7" when I bought a new pack of briefs. Read the rest

Bus powered by cow poop beats speed record

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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

Beautiful black and red variegated 78 records from the 1920s

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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

Chocolate records

Peter Lardong makes playable (and edible) records from chocolate, a century-old tradition we've posted about previously. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Video: Tower Records, 1971

Video below of Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, 1971. Read the rest

3D-printed and laser-etched records

Smithsonian looks at Amanda Ghassaei's experiments 3D printing records and laser cutting grooves into playable plastic, paper, and wood discs. Read the rest

How vinyl records are made (1956)

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

Check out Afrika Bambaataa's record collection!

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

Saturday is Record Store Day 2013!

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

Record made from chocolate

French DJ/producer Breakbot recently released a limited version of his album "By Your Side" pressed in chocolate.

How records are made

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

Netlabels: Release, Remix, Repeat

(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

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