Record Store Day

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release, music industry | Posted on 04-17-2010

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Today, Saturday April 17, 2010 is Record Store Day. Support your local independent record store and celebrate the vinyl record with some special RSD exclusive releases. Check out the full list of releases – and find your nearest participating store.

I started the day at Waterloo Records – easily the biggest selection of RSD releases in Austin. But I wasn’t the only one with that idea. By 11am the best grabs were already picked over. The early vinyl release of Josh Ritter’s So The World Runs Away was gone quickly, as were Rolling Stones and Neil Young 7″s. I did manage to find The Black Keys 12″ single, ‘Tighten Up’/'Howlin For You’ at Antone’s. Also picked up a Doors 7″ and an old Doc Watson re-issue.

Check out ‘Tighten Up’ from The Black Keys’ upcoming album Brothers (out 5.18) below:

Tighten Up

Now, off to catch The Happen-Ins in the Hill-Country…

Contest: Free Avett Brothers Album!

Posted by Payton | Posted in contest, free music | Posted on 12-20-2009

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Round Two of my Free Digital Download Code Christmas Giveaway!
Available today is The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You. It was #12 on my Top 20 Albums of 2009. This one is simple:

What were my #1 picks for Album and Song for 2007?

Comment with the answer and your email (or email me if you like that better).
First correct answer wins the download code.

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Congratulations again to Scott, the winner of the first contest. He won a download code for The Felice Brothers – Yonder Is The Clock by being the first to answer this question:

Which Felice Brothers song contains a ‘pop’ in the audio, allegedly due to a nearby lightning strike while recording in the rain?

Answer: The Felice Brothers – Hey, Hey Revolver
It occurs about :35 seconds in – you hear a quick drop in volume, then the telltale thunder roll seconds later.

I should get the Top 10 Albums posted tonight, and I have a handful of download codes to give away from those as well. Stay tuned.

Contest: Free Felice Brothers Download!

Posted by Payton | Posted in contest, free music | Posted on 12-18-2009

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‘Tis the season of giving. And although I haven’t let loose any holiday music just yet, I though I’d join the spirit of the season with the first-ever This Mornin’ I Am Born Again Contest/Giveaway!

I try to buy vinyl as much as possible. I’ve basically stopped buying CD’s unless I’ve just got to have a hard copy and it’s the only option available. These days, with most new vinyl purchases (and many re-issues) you get a code to download the album in high-quality mp3’s. Thing is… I’m an impatient person. More often than not, by the time I get to the record store or the vinyl arrives in the mail, I’ve already found a way to get my hands on the digital tracks. So, lucky for you, I have a stack of unused (hopefully still valid) download codes just waiting to be redeemed.

Up for grabs tonight is #16 on my Top 20 Albums of 2009The Felice Brothers’ Yonder Is The Clock.
Here’s what you gotta do:

Which Felice Brothers song contains a ‘pop’ in the audio, allegedly due to a nearby lightning strike while recording in the rain? (mentioned before on this blog)

Congrats to Scott, who sent in the correct answer, ‘Hey, Hey Revolver.’

Comment with the answer and your email (or email me if you like that better).
First correct answer wins the download code.

Viva La Vinyl: Ryan Adams Set

Posted by Payton | Posted in ryan adams spotlight, viva la vinyl | Posted on 04-15-2009

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Thanks to the power of eBay, I recently completed my Ryan Adams full-album collection on Vinyl.
Love Is Hell was the final missing piece; I won an auction for it a week or two ago. I coughed up a pretty penny, but it was worth it for completion’s sake. Love Is Hell was the only Lost Highway Adams album that didn’t see a vinyl reissue a couple years ago. I don’t know the exact reason for this, but Ryan may have made the decision himself to keep things interesting. When his label offered this reissue, MusicDirect.com, a great source for records, put together a Ryan Adams vinyl package – Gold, Demolition, R N R, Cold Roses, 29, JCN – for a mere $75. Sweet deal.

I ordered the newest releases as they came out, save for Follow The Lights. I was about to pick one up at Cactus Music last month until I found this:

The Cardinals’ Everybody Knows [EP] was a UK-only release. The 12″ is essentially Follow The Lights, but with ‘Everybody Knows’ from ET leading off, thus pushing each track back one spot. I figured why not pay a little more for that extra track and get the bonus of having a far more rare disc.

Sometime last year, Bloodshot Records got with the picture and reissued Heartbreaker on a 12″ gatefold double vinyl. I only learned of this while browsing the site with the intention of purchasing Midnight At The Movies earlier this year. So I snagged Ryan’s debut LP about a month before the elusive LIH 10″ gatefold showed up on eBay.

As you probably know, Love Is Hell was originally issued as two EPs – parts 1 & 2 – in late 2003. The collections were later combined and released as a double 10″ containing 15 tracks. Five months later, the album was released in CD form and an alternate version of ‘Anybody Wanna Take Me Home’ was added. The extra track, clocking in at nearly a full minute longer than the original form, was a strange addition, but being one of the softer tracks on Rock N Roll, it does feel in place here.

In my ongoing Ryan Adams spotlight, I try to approach each album/session with open mind and ears. We all know the best way to get the feel of an album is to hear it in its intented form – high fidelity analog. So the aquisition of this last disc comes at a perfect time as Love Is Hell is next in line. Until then, I’ll wet your ears with that mysterious extended track added to the LIH CD.

Anybody Wanna Take Me Home (extended version)

My quest will continue for as many 7″ Vinyl Singles as I can get my hands on. I already own this Whiskeytown EP and the bonus 7″ from Cardinology. En route via eBay is the ‘Hey Parker It’s Christmas’ 7″ and the ‘Wonderwall’ 7″ single.

If anyone wants to begin a collection of their own, check out this eBay auction for a great start. You get:

  • Demolition
  • Cold Roses
  • Jacksonville City Nights
  • Easy Tiger (orange vinyl)
  • Cardinology (with 7″ single)
  • Hey Parker It’s Christmas 7″ Single

With under 4 days left, the bidding is only up to $10.49!!!

New Old Stuff in ‘09….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-29-2008

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The other day i got a request for a re-post of a song that showed up on my Ode to the Vinyl Record. Instead of just re-linking the Ryan Adams’ If I Am A Stranger vinyl rip from an old 7-inch, i thought i’d make a post with some interesting news. Thanks to Christmas, i now have a new toy to help supply my faithful readers with some extra musical goodness in 2009:

Not only is that a badass new record player with great sound, fast playback, and an iPod dock, but it has a USB cable that allows for easy ripping of that Vinyl sound. So many of those Vinyl-only tracks i possess will be making their way to the digital world and onto the pages of This Mornin’ I Am Born Again. This comes just in time for the part of my Ryan Adams Spotlight fast approaching that will now include many Side D’s full of great bonus tracks.


Ryan Adams – If I Am A Stranger (Vinyl Rip)

Also, another re-post request came in for my Surviving Ike Mixtape. Get it while you can.

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Townes Van Zandt – Colorado Bound

In other news, i’ll be heading North bright and early tomorrow morning for a New Year’s Ski Trip. Steamboat, CO is the final destination, and in terms of driving, that’s just about as far as i’m willing to go. The laptop will be making the trip, so i’ll try to get a post or two up.

The Vinyl Word……..

Posted by Payton | Posted in music industry | Posted on 07-29-2008

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Somewhere between my last trip to the record store and while researching for my last Album Release Forecast, i’ve realized something that really makes my needle hard…

No, no….. the one on my record player.

Vinyl Is Making A Comeback!

You may have noticed from the heading pictures on many of my posts that i have a slight affinity for the Vinyl Record. That place of being for the first true ‘albums.’ The ones with a Side A & Side B. Those nostalgic relics you pulled down from your parents’ attic when you first realized the beauty of music. Y’know……… LP’s.

Lost Highway, Sub Pop, and even EMI are few of the labels that i’ve noticed offering the CD/Vinyl choice. Browsing Amazon’s upcoming releases recently, i found that most of the albums on the list are re-issues of older albums in the analog format. Waterloo Records in Austin, as i’m sure is true with many stores around the nation, now have larger sections of new vinyls than that of the used, original pressings. Best Buy and other major retailers are tossing around the idea of adding Vinyl records (in a limited, carefully chosen selection, mind you) to their music departments.

Vinyl records enhance every aspect of the experience one has with their music. The artwork becomes not just an album cover, but a true work of art to be to be carefully studied as the sounds are magically transferred from a small needle through to giant speakers. Playing a vinyl record requires much more work than, say… a click of a mouse does – meticulous removal of the album from its sleeve followed by the steady-handed placing of the needle along the outermost groove. And then you’re required to repeat this procedure halfway through the listening process. All this extra effort allows for a ceremonious display of respect for the artists’ work, and a higher appreciation for the fidelity of the music.

Perhaps just as exciting as finding that perfect, although slightly worn, copy of Blonde On Blonde, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, or Our Mother The Mountain in the used section of the store is carefully removing the plastic on the 12×12 cardboard encasing your newest favorite album deemed worthy of a vinyl immortality. Maybe there will be a fold out poster. Maybe extra liner notes. Ultimately there’s the holy grail of bonuses – the vinyl-only bonus track…

And then there’s that sound…..
No matter how our digital technology grows, the simple fact is that the quantity and quality of sounds present on an LP can never truly be transferred to CD or mp3. The desire for increased volume on CD’s only lessens the dynamic quality of the sound captured. It puts a fuzzy, warm feeling inside you to hear that fuzzy, warm sound that comes from an LP. Records capture every sound that went into the microphones and play them back without losing any of the grandeur. This sound can transport you (often back in time) into that fabled studio the musicians holed up in for days at a time and created their art. Hell, i even enjoy the pops and static you often come across – it’s genuine.

Of course, saying that vinyl is the next big thing again is just as relative as saying that the artists i talk about here are popular. Sure, they’ve remained preferred in small circles (DJ’s and fellow Audiophiles), but the popularity will never again compete with that of the quickly accessed, readily available, and easily pirated mp3. But there is some hope in the numbers…. Vinyl revenues were up 46.2% from the last year in 2007, while CD sales dropped 20.5% – following a 10.9% drop between ‘05-’06. LP sales don’t even make a dent in the overall layout of sales in the music industry – CD’s still reign, for now – but the numbers that are reported don’t include small indie record shops, or the sale of used albums in stores and on eBay. (sales figures are from RIAA via Wired.com)

And let’s be honest – you wouldn’t be here, nor would this blog, if it weren’t for the mp3. It has dramatically changed the way we listen, collect, and share our music. But many of these hip labels releasing the vinyls fully understand that. To compensate, many offer supply a code with the purchase of the record that allows the customer to go online and download mp3’s of the tracks for portable use.

So, what’s in store for the CD? i believe the only thing keeping the Compact Disc hanging on is the need for music in the vehicle. Satellite radio and the FM transmitters for iPods have tried to phase out the Auto CD player, but still haven’t matched it. XM and Sirius are revolutionary, but you still aren’t able to pick a certain track or skip through to songs of your choice. And although many new vehicles are offering direct iPod docking stations, too many still only have the option of the FM transmitter – which simply does not produce the same sound as an mp3 file. Moreover, unless you’re on a long trip with little radio interference along the way, it’s just too much trouble to find an empty station to transmit your tunes through. Once the majority of car radios have auxiliary plugs on the face, or even USB ports, the CD will finally have seen it’s days.

The same was most likely said about the vinyl upon the introduction of the CD, but as we’ve seen, that big black disc has not only hung on, but thrived. There’s a nostalgia, a deeper connection to the music you get with a vinyl record that never existed with the CD and exists far less with the mp3. Long Live Vinyl.

If there is one ray of hope for the compact disc, this has to be it – Optical Media Productions is testing the idea of a Vinyl/CD hybrid. Old school on the top, digital on the bottom. The vinyl side will only fit about 31/2 minutes of music – a perfect place for a bonus track. Read the story….

Here’s a couple of tunes picked especially for this occasion:
Ryan Adams – If I Am A Stranger (vinyl rip)
Todd Snider – Vinyl Records

And these just scream vinyl to me:
Bill Withers – Use Me
Bob Dylan – Talkin’ World War III Blues
John Lee Hooker – Boogie Chillen’
Ray Charles – What’d I Say

Check out Amazon’s Vinyl catalog.