Archeologists excavate hippie commune's record collection

California state park archaeologists excavated the burned and buried record collection of The Chosen Family, a former 1960s commune in Marin County, and were surprised that the musical tastes of the hippies living there weren't what you'd expect. From Western Digs:

Olompali Vinyl In Situ Margaret Purser 1991Instead of The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, (archaeologist E. Breck Parkman) said, he found Judy Garland, Burl Ives, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.

Rather than the voices of counterculture, he uncovered scores of albums of classic jazz, folk, show tunes, even comedy.

"The wide range of musical styles represented by this 'hippie discography' suggests that the people who came together to form this 'hippie' commune had a wide range of backgrounds, including their musical tastes," Parkman said.

"Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous ’60s Commune Challenge ‘Hippie’ Stereotype, Study Says" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

Monster Skies: fantastic outré music compilation

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Here's a taste of Monster Skies, an essential compilation of 1960s-1980s outré synth sounds, punky funk, and far-out prog curated by Australian archival label Dual Planet and Finders Keepers's Andy Votel.

Jack White's tricked-out "Ultra LP"

Jack White's Lazaretto is a very special LP laden with hidden tracks, locked grooves, and various other curious features.

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Aleister Crowley wax recordings on vinyl

Now you can listen to wax cylinder recordings of Aleister Crowley (The Great Beast!) that were first transferred to 78s and now reissued on an LP from Suitable records. Enjoy such great moments as The Coll Of The Second Aethyr (in Enochian, aka angel language!) and "Hymn To The American People."

Aleister Crowley: Original Wax Recordings

(More info here.)

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.

Dust & Grooves: interviews with vinyl collectors

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Dust & Grooves is a fascinating project in which Eilon Paz travels around interviewing and photographing vinyl music collectors in their listening rooms. Above, Paz's photo of Brooklyn resident Sheila Burgel who collects 60s girl pop. Check out her special Dust & Groove "Girl-Pop Grooves!" playlist below! (Thanks, Andy "Vetiver" Cabic!)

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Millennium Falcon turntable

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Electronics fixer and modder Picotek melded a vintage Millennium Falcon toy with a Technics 1200 turntable. I hope the first vinyl he spun was some of Meco's Galactic Fun like the fine track below! "Millennium 1200"

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Saturday is Record Store Day 2013!

NewImageTomorrow (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.

J Dilla's vinyl collection

J Dilla (1974-2006) was a highly-influential music producer from Detroit who collaborated with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Janet Jackson, Talib Kweli, and Erykah Badu. In this new half-hour documentary, Fuse looks at Dilla's life and digs into his record collection, currently in a Detroit storage locker.

Classic SF/horror TV theme 7"s from Death Waltz Recording Co.

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Death Waltz Recording Company is the phenomenal reissue label that deals in exquisitely-curated horror/cult soundtracks in gorgeous packaging like masterworks by John Carpenter, Alan Howarth, and Giuliano Sorgini. To my ear (and eye), label mastermind Spencer Hickman is doing everything right, from offering a subscription service for these limited objets d'art to packaging up special collectors' editions to picking unique vinyl coloring such as, er, "blood splattered."

In celebration of this year's Record Store Day on April 20, Death Waltz is releasing five limited editions that will only be available through indie record shops. Two of the releases are 12" vinyl: Antoni Maiovvi's "Yellow: Original Music From The Short Film" and "Horror Business - Steve Moore." But I'm really clamoring for the three split-7"s seen above emblazoned with stunning art by We Buy Your Kids. Top left, the themes from Star Trek and Lost In Space; top right, the themes from The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits (listen above), and finally bottom left, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Munsters. Each 7" is an edition of 1,000 on colored vinyl and includes the inner sleeve seen above and a free art print card. Death Waltz Recording Company: Record Store Day

Portable USB record player/cassette deck combo

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I can't vouch for the sound quality of the Ion IT34 Duo Deck USB turntable/cassette deck but I sure dig the design. It runs on four AA batteries, fits in a backpack, and plays 78s -- perfect for a real old timey picnic. Would also be fun to build it into your auto's dash, like this fine car audio system of yesteryear! $50 from Amazon. "Ion IT34 Duo Deck Ultra-Portable USB Turntable with Cassette Deck"

SHAG's Skull Boy Shag Racer toy

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This is Skull Boy, the second toy in Josh "SHAG" Agle's line of "Shag Racers" created with Squibbles Ink and Rotofugi. The ultra-limited "gallery prototype edition" of 100 are long gone but a "standard edition" release is coming next year. Shag Racers: Skull Boy

Exploded view record player t-shirt

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This fantastic record player exploded view t-shirt is available for $22.50 from ShanaLogic, who of course is also a beloved sponsor of the site you are currently reading. (But this post isn't at her urging -- I just dig the design.) "Vinyl Turntable Explosion Diagram T-shirt"

Ron English's Hulk baby

NewImage Ron English's wonderful "Temper Tot" will be born as an 8" vinyl toy early next year. (Popaganda)
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Classic horror soundtracks on vinyl

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Death Waltz Recording Company deals in exquisitely-curated horror/cult movie soundtracks reissued on vinyl in gorgeous packaging with newly-commissioned cover art. Several months ago, I posted about their fantastic reissue of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's Escape From New York soundtrack. Since then, I've picked up several more Death Waltz reissues like Giuliano Sorgini's "Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue," Johan Söderqvist's "Let the Right One In, " and John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's "Halloween II." Surprise, surprise, now I want all of them. In fact, Death Waltz offers a subscription service for six releases in limited-edition colored vinyl complete with a numbered lithograph and poster. Yes, that will be on my holiday wish list. Juno Plus just posted an interview with Spencer Hickman, Death Waltz's zombie-in-chief:

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Where was the idea for Death Waltz born? My three loves have always been music, movies and art, and I’ve always worked within that to an extent, whether it’s doing horror fanzines, putting on film festivals or working in record shops. And I was just thinking there’s a real lack of soundtrack music out on vinyl, even though vinyl is the only physical format growing in sales. So I decided to do start my own label – it’s just something I wanted to do. It was originally only going to be soundtrack reissues but now we’re moving into current films…

You obviously have a predilection for horror – where does that stem from?

I think I was 12, and my dad gave me a copy of The Exorcist on bootleg video. Around that time I was watching stuff like Salem’s Lot on TV, scaring myself shitless. There was a video shop that opened up down the road from us, and because there were no laws then, we joined and I would go down and rent stuff like Cannibal Holocaust. I remember watching a double bill of Cannibal Holocaust and Last House On The Left when I was about 13. I’m surprised I’m a functioning member of society. I basically watched a lot of shit and then the odd gem.

Death Waltz Recording Company

"In discussion with Death Waltz’s Spencer Hickman" (Juno Plus)

Listen to bits of Death Waltz releases on Soundcloud