Posts Tagged ‘recordings’

33⅓ in 2020: LPs Outsell CDs

September 21, 2020

“Sales of vinyl records surpassed those of CDs in the U.S. for the first time since 1986, marking a key turning point for the format’s nostalgia-fueled resurgence.

People spent $232.1 million on limited-play and extended-play records in the first half of the year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, eclipsing the $129.9 million they spent on compact discs.

Vinyl was the most popular way people listened to music throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, at which point it gave way to tape cassettes — followed by CDs and digital formats. Each new format was more convenient than the last and suppressed interest in vinyl.”

— “Vinyl-Record Sales Top Compact Discs for First Time in 34 Years,” Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

More:

“Vinyl outsells CDs for the first time since the 1980s,” Nick Reilly, NME

“Vinyl Is Poised to Outsell CDs For the First Time Since 1986,” Elias Leight, Rolling Stone

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Image (“Leo’s DJ, after Da Vinci”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Sitting On Top of the World

August 3, 2019

“Sitting On Top of the World,” written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon, recorded by them with Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon as the Mississippi Sheiks, 1930. This recording is in the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

More:

“The Chatmon Family – Mississippi Sheiks,” Mississippi Blues Trail

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Jamal’s Apple Watch

October 15, 2018

Jamal's Apple Watch
On Saturday, pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah reported that Turkish officials have audio recordings of the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist who went missing on October 2nd after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and is presumed dead at the hands of a Saudi hit squad. The newspaper claims that Khashoggi recorded his own death on his Apple Watch and transmitted the audio files to his iPhone, held by his fiancée on the street outside the consulate.

That’s a memorable but unlikely story. Smartwatches connect to cellphones via Bluetooth, and it’s doubtful a signal could travel that far, and the likely recording app only transfers audio files after the watch wearer turns it off, a hard task for the deceased. If Turkish agents have such recordings, it’s most likely because they have the Saudi consulate bugged, and they spread the watch story as cover.

Mr. Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the U.S., so maybe the American ambassadors to Turkey and Saudi Arabia can look into the matter. Oh wait, President Trump still hasn’t appointed anyone to those crucial diplomatic posts.

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Vinyl Is Back. Sort Of.

August 5, 2014

Vinyl Is Back. Sort Of.

“More and more people are buying vinyl; sales hit a record 6.1 million units in the U.S. last year. But as demand increases, the number of American pressing plants remains relatively fixed. No one is building new presses because, by all accounts, it would be prohibitively expensive. So the industry is limited to the dozen or so plants currently operating in the States.”

— “Wax and Wane: The Tough Realities Behind Vinyl’s Comeback,” Joel Oliphint, Pitchfork

 More:

“The music industry’s newfangled growth business: vinyl records,” John McDuling, Quartz

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Image (“Leo’s DJ, after Da Vinci”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Hound Dog History

May 22, 2013

(“You Ain’t  Nothin’ But a) Hound Dog” first became a hit 6o years ago.

“The song was born in the famed Brill Building of New York, written by two Jewish teenagers named Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. They had intended it, Leiber later recalled, for a female blues singer, and though they had several candidates in mind, it was Willie Mae Thornton who first took it into the studio on August 13, 1952. Big Mama, as she was known, growled that the songwriters were ‘a couple of kids,’ but the great bandleader Johnny Otis put her through her paces with several takes even as she tinkered with the lyrics, threw in a few suggestive howls, and changed the accent to make ‘Hound Dog’ wholly her own.”

— “‘Hound Dog’: An Old Dog That Keeps on Running,” Gregory McNamee, Britannica blog

Related:

“Mama’s Voice: The lasting influence of Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton,” Maureen Mahon, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Fugazi on the Web

December 1, 2011

Fugazi on the Web

DC band Fugazi (founded 1987) has been on “permanent hiatus” since 2003, but their concerts are going global. Discord Records is putting digitizing audio tapes of 800 live Fugazi shows on its Web site. There already were 130 shows up there in the Beta version, and the site went public today as Fugazi Live Series.

The band is known for insisting on low prices and trusting its fans, and the archive is in keeping with that DIY, all-ages-access philosophy. It’s pay what you can/pay what you like, with each recording at a suggested price of $5 per show and a sliding scale of $1 to $100.

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Daddy, What’s a CD?

August 29, 2011

Daddy, What's a CD?

Astounding animated GIF about Compact Disc audio recording sales from Digital Music News.  Cliff Kuang explains it well at Fast Company Design.

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Cassettes Are Back

May 23, 2011

Cassettes Are Back

Psst … Actually, Dolby® noise reduction removes some of that “psst.” Good to know since audio cassettes are back. More precisely, the concept of cassettes is back:

 “Cassette tapes make a comeback,” Caitlin Curran, Washington Post.

“Best of DC 2011, Best Medium: Cassette,” Jonathan L. Fischer, Washington City Paper

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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A GRAMMY® Award That Would Mean Something

February 13, 2011

Like the music recording awards show itself, most GRAMMY® nominations are tiresome, but one of tonight’s nominees stands out. It’s an ever-changing music video with singing by a dead man and drawings by two hundred thousand of his admirers across the globe. The video above is just a snapshot of The Johnny Cash Project. Go to the site itself for a richer experience. You can even become part of it by making a drawing. Learn more about the crowd-sourced production from some of its contributors after the jump.

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Who’s to Blame for Destroying CIA Tapes?

November 10, 2010

Who's to Blame for Destroying CIA Tapes

A few years ago, U.S. agents tortured people and videotaped these “enhanced interrogations.” They also made people disappear at “black sites” around the world. When investigators started poking around, the recordings disappeared, too.

 Why destroy the tapes? Despite assurances from the Department of Justice and the White House, waterboarding and similar practices are torture, against federal, military, and international law. The cover-up shows the interrogators knew this.

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