Vinyl Thoughts for Record Store Day

It's time for record store day again and I want to talk about the need for better mastering and cutting and manufacturing on the new vinyl being created today.

So many of the new records I buy, whether reissues or brand new recordings by current bands, are noisy. Surface noise. Yes, sometimes it is caused by the COLOR of the vinyl, because diff colors have diff chemical makeups and there for give differing playback ability (white is actually much closer to plastic and tends to sound the noisiest because it is really not the correct medium to be retaining sound) (and multi colored can have issues due to the diff colors not melting at the same temps and then not taking the information from the stampers as well as they should due to temp differences).

However, a lot of the issues with newly manufactured vinyl come from a lack of knowledge in the mastering and plating phases, and from how quickly records are being turned out. handling them too quickly means mistakes - scratches happening before the albums are sleeved, vinyl not cooling slowly enough and then warping but still being sleeved and sold.....

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Coil, "Love's Secret Domain" (Jonathan Dean)

When I first became aware of Coil in 1996, Love’s Secret Domain was already both legendary and inaccessible. Legendary because it loomed large in the Coil discography as the moment when that most esoteric of underground British groups came closest to a breakout, an album with crossover potential beyond the post-industrial ghetto. However, because I came to Coil rather late, and because I lived at that time in a cultural backwater, Love’s Secret Domain remained a tantalizing enigma. The album could not be found on shelves, and because it was out of print, it could not be special ordered from my local import-friendly alternative record store.

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Coil, "Love's Secret Domain" (Gary Suarez)

In the early 1990s, those scrawny awkward years that formed the genesis of my adolescence, I didn't give one solitary fuck about Coil. Nirvana were mere seconds from breaking into the mainstream and, growing complacent with my parents' classic rock and protest folk collection, I immersed myself in college rock mixtapes provided by my older cousin and Victoria's Secret catalogs stolen from the mailbox. Experimental music was as foreign to me then as any country, and I had no appetite for a challenge like Love's Secret Domain, nor was I even aware of its existence. The closest I had come to it at that point were the few doozies on The Beatles' self-titled double album, and I was more inclined to flip the record than endure them.

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Coil, "Love's Secret Domain" (Stephen Bush)

I'll never forget my first encounter with Coil. I was flipping through used CD bins in my hometown of Austin, TX, in 2005 and came across a pristine copy of Horse Rotorvator—the 1988 CD pressing on Force & Form, alternate cover art—it was beautiful. I promptly went up to the register, paid the $5.99 sticker price, raced home, and popped the CD into my stereo to ensure it played without skipping. This was a phenomenal find—Coil's Horse Rotorvator! The next weekend, I went back to the record store and shopped again. On the way home, I swung by the Post Office and mailed Horse Rotorvator to some sucker on eBay who had paid me $80 for the privilege of finding it for him. Yesssss!

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Coil, "Love's Secret Domain" - 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago this month (July 1991) Love’s Secret Domain was finally released by Coil. Ten years ago the album was remastered and reissued in time for Coil’s first (and what was to be their last) US appearance and today the duo at the heart of it all are no longer with us in this existence. To honor the album’s birthday, we’re featuring reflections on the album this week and words from a few of those who were involved.

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Andrew Liles, Banned in the U.K.

Andrew Liles censored artwork Record store day, held on April 16th, is supposed to be a celebration of music and the culture that surrounds it, but for Andrew Liles it's more like a sign of the times. His contribution to the celebration, a 7" picture disc titled As if Punk Rock Never Happened, originally featured a humorously edited version of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's official wedding photo. Pressing plants are refusing to print the image, however, and it will ship in a significantly censored form.

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Fraser's Penguins

Adélie penguins struggle to save eggs submerged by snowmelt.
Climate change is warming the poles faster than many other places on the planet, which means that polar scientists are coming to grips with these changes sooner than most anyone else.
Now, the long carbonic reach of industrialized society is quickly wiping out one of the toughest creatures on earth, a species that’s hard-wired to the polar desert and cannot adapt.
Adélie penguins, like other polar species, have always faced daunting challenges. But today, Adélies are confronting conditions for which nothing in their evolutionary history has prepared them. According to Fraser, the colonies around Palmer Station have reached a tipping point: they’ll be gone within his lifetime.
“Fraser’s Penguins,” portions of which appeared in The New Yorker, warns that what’s happening on the Antarctic Peninsula now is a taste of unsettling changes, elsewhere, to come. Should the West Antarctic Ice Sheet continue to melt, global sea levels could rise dramatically, in one NASA scientist’s opinion inundating Washington — and other coastal cities — by the end of this century.
excerpts from todays NY Times
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Do Us All a Favor!

dear family, friends, colleagues!

Hi all, i spent last night writing letters to my government representatives asking them to fight hard for success at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. I  asked them in my letters to insist upon the reduction of carbon emissions level to well below 1990 levels within ten years. Anything less than that will not achieve our goal of limited global rise in temperature to 2 degrees celcius.
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My thoughts on Diamanda's Guilty Guilty Guilty

Cover ArtAt first glance, Diamanda Galás' latest album reads like a collection of love songs.  And it plays like one too.  What's that you say?  Diamanda has gone soft?  The "black rose of the avant garde" is now a sentimentalist?  She's become an imitation of herself?  Hell no!  In fact, she has become more malicious, dangerous, and that heart of hers is very cold.  But I guarantee you that mainstream music critics, who have redefined laziness in their 21st century quick-and-cheap writing standards, will jump to these conclusions.  But with Guilty Guilty Guilty, nothing is what it seems.  In fact, it's all there in front of you.  All you have to do is look and, more importantly, listen.  What we have here is nothing less than Diamanda's best solo-voice and piano record in a decade.

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The 10 Best Albums According to Jonathan Dean

Sorry this is a little late, music fans, but I have finally gotten around to compiling my Top 10 Best Albums of 2007 list. These are 10 albums that kept me company this year, and rose to the top of the pile because of their excellence and originality.
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April 16th marks Brainwashed's 11th birthday!  Thanks to everybody who has read, contributed to, worked for, played for, cared for, supported, hated on, publicized, deified, and demonized us for 11 years now. It's been a fantastic ride. (Don't worry, we're not closing down, this isn't a goodbye letter!)

There are times when it gets hard to do: people have fulltime jobs; fulltime lives; fulltime committments; so while isn't the #1 priority in a lot of people's lives, we promise to continue on and hold true to our mission to the best of our collective abilities.

Last year the love and support and attendance and performers who came to Brainwaves was astounding. It was for me, Jon Whitney, undoubtedly the most amazing event I have ever been a part of and one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. Friendships were made, friendships grew stronger, the support was unbelievable, the staff was flawless, the musicians were magnificent, the love was immeasurable.  There will be no Brainwaves for 2007 but talks are beginning for Brainwaves for 2008. Yes, talks are beginning.

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Brainwashed Urges Students to Ignore RIAA Threats

This week the RIAA sent out hundreds of letters to colleges and universities across the USA saying their students can "settle" with the RIAA or face a lawsuit (Reuters).  Brainwashed, in turn, urges colleges and universities and their students to ignore such absurd scare tactics. 
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Reflections on Alice

This week has been a sad one for us. Our beloved Alice Coltrane has passed away. She joined John on Friday, January 12th, 2007. Alice was an innovator in this world, both through her music and in the way she brought spiritualism into the lives of those who listened to her.
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James Kirby's Application to Warp

We all know James Kirby better as V/Vm, some as the Caretaker, and others in various other roles. As he winds down his 365 project of uploading a new MP3 every day for a year at the V/Vm Web site, he looks towards new opportunities, and has submitted the following letter to the execs at Warp Records for a position as UK Product Assistant.
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Nominate Me for the Williamsburg iPod Awards!

Last year, I was awfully hard on the PLUG Independent Music Awards.  I called them "shallow and obnoxious" for sloganeering and pandering to hipsters and "wannabe snobs."  I was overly critical of their final ballot options, which I referred to as "repetitious and cannibalizing."  Now, however, I'd like to express regret over my uncalled-for remarks in the best way I know how: by encouraging all of you to nominate me for this totally awesome prize!
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The Fantastic Fear

They really think that you're stupid.  Honestly, they must, because why else would the Associated Press and other mainstream media entities disseminate articles with headlines like "Bush reminds Americans U.S. is at war"?  The only Americans who don't know we're at war with someone or something are under the age of 3.  So why is this unnecessary "reminder" being echoed by the outlets that many Americans get their news from?  Quite simply, the Bush administration and the Congressional Republicans that love it know that the only way to keep GOP control of the legislative branch is to pump fear in the citizenry to dissuade and deride those who question or dissent.
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Cheers for Trans Am

Although we don't host the official site for Trans Am any longer, we find it's worth mentioning they've refused an offer to feature one of their songs in a Hummer campaign.  Read all about the growing number of artists refusing to cave in to the ultimate evil in the AP story, A Bummer For Hummer: Artists Refuse To Fuel Ads With Songs.
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Major labels get a probe

A Reuters report issued today, Department Of Justice opens probe into online music pricing, details a new probe into the price-fixing of online music sales by the greedy major labels.  Something to consider before jumping into "the arms of a loving major label" as one online rag described a recent band's stupid stupid  jump to Interscope, signing their own death warrant.  We'll see you at the bottom of the rubble pile with The Rapture and Clinic, fellas!
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Make CDs less expensive, release better music

An article was released today from the Associated Press, Fan Memo to Music Industry: Lower Prices where poll results strongly support the case that the music business needs to stop crying and bitching about downloading and start making better music.  We couldn't agree more!
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Stop Alito Today!

Or at least fucking TRY! The news reports that Alito's confirmation  to the Supreme Court is likely. But there is still a little hope.  You can never lose hope.
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