Watch this Beatles-themed vinyl jukebox get designed and built

Vinyl jukeboxes are making a comeback, and Sound Leisure built this incredible Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band vinyl jukebox to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary. Read the rest

John Carpenter's new music video (and vinyl release) for the "Christine" movie theme

Along with directing such classic films as Escape from New York, Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, John Carpenter also composed the soundtracks. For those who want a survey of Carpenter's synth stylings, I recommend the new compilation from Sacred Bones Records, titled "John Carpenter Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998." The celebrate the release, Carpenter created this music video for the theme from Christine (1983), in which a woman summons an Uber and the demonic driverless 1958 Plymouth Fury shows up. Just kidding about the Uber part.

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Magnificent new Hüsker Dü box set

In 1979, Hüsker Dü played their first show, paving the way for Nirvana, The Pixies, Foo Fighters, and really the entire realm of alternative rock. I have a special love for the band as they were my first club show, back in 1985 or so. (My first concert was Styx and, yes, that was amazing too.) Over the years I've become friends with Bob Mould who is a very warm, funny, earnest, and mellow gentleman. Of course Bob didn't sound mellow back when he, Grant Hart, and Greg Norton were making the ferocious music heard on this new 4xLP box set (and CD set) of Hüsker Dü's early material.

From the Numero Group label, Savage Young Dü contains 69 tracks, 47 of which have never been issued, and 108-page hardbound book of photos, flyers, session details, and deep liner notes. Yes, Bob, Grant, and Greg were all on board with this release. No, they absolutely will not reunite for any live shows.

And in case you missed it, here's a classic Boing Boing Video/Remedy Editorial performance and interview from 2014: "Bob Mould: An Old Punk Kicks New Ass"

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The Voyager Golden Record on NBC Nightly News

Last night, NBC Nightly News aired the wonderful video below about the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set I produced with my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad! Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of interstellar space. Mounted to each spacecraft is a golden phonograph record, a message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials, perhaps billions of years from now. The Voyager Golden Record tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, images, and science. As Lawrence said in the video, "it's a lovely reminder of what it means to be a human." Thank you to NBC Nightly News!

(GIF via Electric Space Kool-Aid)

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Adam Savage learns how records are made with Jack White

Our pal Adam Savage visited Jack White's Third Man Records vinyl pressing plant in Detroit and records his Brain Candy song! Then Jack and Adam talk about cutting records and the creative process. (Tested)

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After 28 years, Sony resumes vinyl record production

Sony last pressed a vinyl record in 1989. And it'll be pressing them again by March 2018, reports The BBC, proof of the mainstream return of the ancient format—once again a billion-dollar business.

Folks always argue about quality (will mainstream product mean mainstream mastering?) but the reasons for vinyl's resurgence are complex. It's a nice thing to own, it's a pleasing retail experience, it's nostalgic, it's a better gift, it's big enough to hang on a wall, you can fend off zombies with it, and so on.

There are seriously lame aspects to vinyl, though: quality deteriorates with use; easily damaged even when stored; no metadata; no controls; fiddly hardware. So whenever I read a "vinyl returns" article I dream of a new HD physical media format that's backward compatible with it. An LP-sized optical disk with the grooves on a clear laminate layer, perhaps. Or maybe a vinyl with a hidden flash storage layer within and exposed metal rings to read it with near the spindle. Or some kind of bad-ass sharpened metal disk played the old-fashioned way but at nyquist-busting RPM. Read the rest

Lovely tour of Jack White's Detroit vinyl record plant

Kevin Dupzyk got a behind-the-scenes tour of Third Man Records' new vinyl pressing plant in Detroit, where the art and craftsmanship of vinyl recordmaking is making a major resurgence. [via Popular Mechanics] Read the rest

Radiohead: lavish 20th anniversary reissue of "OK Computer"

It's been 20 years since Radiohead released their masterpiece OK Computer and they've just announced a lavish new remastered* edition with three unreleased tracks, eight b-sides, assorted bonus tracks, and, in the boxed edition, a hardcover book. The band aims to please with the deluxe box set by including vinyl, a cassette, and digital downloads in various formats.

Inside a black box emblazoned with a dark image of a burned copy of OK COMPUTER are three heavyweight 180 gram black 12" vinyl records and a hardcover book containing more than 30 artworks, many of which have never been seen before except by us, and full lyrics to all the tracks except the ones that haven't really got any lyrics.

Under this weighty tome are yet more surprises: a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time, a sketchbook containing 48 pages of Donwood and Tchock's 'preparatory work' and a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by us, taken from OK COMPUTER session archives and demo tapes.

* But why? The original analogue tapes are the highest definition version of the record, and nothing will ever beat them. However in the 20 years since the original release mastering technology has improved a lot, and with new equipment and techniques we can make a digital version that's an improvement of the original transfer.

Radiohead OK Computer 1997 2017

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Vinyl reissue of David Bowie and Trevor Jones's Labyrinth soundtrack

David Bowie and Trevor Jones's soundtrack to Jim Henson's fantastical film Labyrinth, starring Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, will be reissued on vinyl next month for the first time since its release in 1986. (These days an original pressing goes for around $75-$100.) To complement Trevor Jones's synthesizer/orchestra score, Bowie wrote five original songs for Labyrinth, including Underground, As The World Falls Down, and the classic Magic Dance.

With Magic Dance, "the song for Jareth and the baby, sung by them and the goblins in the castle throne room - I had problems,” Bowie said at the time. “The baby I used in the recording studios couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put more than two gurgles together, so I ended up doing the baby-gurgle chorus myself! It’s an up-tempo song, and visually exciting.”

Labyrinth LP (Amazon)

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Your cremated loved one's ashes can be pressed into a vinyl record

That's not dust on the stylus, that's Uncle Fred!

Andvinyly presses cremated remains into a vinyl record.

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Devo "Energy Dome" 45 rpm adapter

The good people at Oakland's excellent Contact Records record shop are selling these delightful Devo "Energy Dome" adapters to play your New Wave 45s in style. Locally 3D-printed by Jeremy Solterbeck, they're just a few bucks each and big fun for vinyl geeks.

ENERGY DOME 45 ADAPTERS IN OUR SHOP NOW!!! #devo #whipit #contactrecords #vinyligclub #energydome #45adapters #goldenenergy

A video posted by Contact Record Shop (@contact_records) on Nov 16, 2016 at 1:19pm PST

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Dig these fantastically eclectic online DJ mixes by Zach Cowie

Zach Cowie is a cratedigger of the highest order. Following gigs at Rhino and Sub Pop, Zach turned his insatiable record collecting into a job: He's a music supervisor for TV and movies with credits like Master of None and The Little Hours and curated musical selections for the fashion label Rodarte. As a DJ, Zach (aka Turquoise Wisdom) frequently makes the scene in LA and elsewhere, sometimes spinning with pals like Elijah Wood and Andy Cabic (Vetiver). It seems that his destined role in life is to turn us on to the best music we've never heard of. And he's got a Voyager Golden Record tattoo, so that makes me like him even more. Here's an interview with him from Dust & Grooves.

Zach is now recording a monthly set for NTS called "Play It As It Lathes" that mixes ambient, psych, spiritual jazz, prog, cosmic country, dream pop, folk, and every other far-out genre you can imagine into stunning two-hour sets.

"It's the best place to hear what i’ve been listening to at home lately," Zach says.

Turn on and tune in below.

(Thanks, Jess Rotter!)

Image at top by Eilon Paz/Dust & Grooves Read the rest

Killer Morricone noir-jazz/avant-garde soundtrack reissued on vinyl

Directed by Michele Lupo, "Un Uomo Da Rispettare" (A Man to Respect) is a 1972 Italian/German crime flick starring Kirk Douglas and Florinda Bolkan. Released as The Master Touch in some countries, this story of a safe cracker and a circus gymnast is considered to be a mediocre movie at best. However, the soundtrack by legendary composer Ennio Morricone is absolutely fantastic. This isn't a typical Morricone spaghetti western score but rather veers into the avant-garde, noir-jazz soundtrack vein. But even during the music's most abstract moments, it still maintains the cinematic groove of which Morricone is the master. I'm delighted that our friends at the Superior Viaduct record label are reissuing Un Uomo Da Rispettare on vinyl for just $20! The first 500 copies are on translucent green wax and only available directly from the label.

Check out a track below and, if you're so inclined, watch the actual film.

Da Rispettare OST LP (Superior Viaduct)

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Space age stereo systems from last century

Over at the Vinyl Factory, Anton Spice shares a wonderful collection of 1960s and 1970s stereo systems designed for Space Age bachelor pads. Above, the classic Electrohome Apollo 711 (1970); below are a few more of my favorites. See more at: "The 15 most incredible Space Age record players" (VF)

Mega 3300 (1963):

Rosita Stereo Commander (1975):

Panasonic Audio Egg (1974):

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Vinyl Divas: vintage opera diva album art is weird and wonderful

Vinyl Divas is a comprehensive collection of vintage classical music divas, and it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. Includes lists by artist name, collection based on themes, and even vanity albums by self-published divas. The fashion, the makeup, the styles, the taste both good and bad... prepare to go down a rabbit hole of 20th century nostalgia. Read the rest

Vintage snapshots of people with their record albums

Esteemed vernacular photography collector Robert Jackson shares his favorite snapshots of people with their record albums. According to Mashable, "These faded prints and Polaroids recall a time when a new record was a physical work of art to be admired and cherished." I got news for you: That time is still now.

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Britain's new plastic money so hi-tech it can play vinyl records

In this video, a man plays Abba's 1976 classic Money Money Money using one of the new £5 notes issued in the UK. They're made of plastic.

The new polymer five pound notes have a rather curious ability of being just about able to play vinyl records (with the aid of a contact microphone and small amplifier not shown on screen). As the corners on these new banknotes are more durable and sharper than its paper counterpart it acts like a very crude record needle.

Like a lady barbarian's armor in a computer game, the new fiver doesn't crumple easily or get wet or tear, but still folds, and has a see-through window. "I do quite like them," says a Briton on the street.

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