artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


01 September 2010

Sign of the times [More:]Steve Jobs announced iTunes 10 today. [Suggested marketing slogan: The Next Generation of Suck].

The new logo no longer depicts a compact disc.

So long, CDs. We had some good times.
The current paradigm is: digital files for portability, LPs for listenability.

One of these days, I'm going to have to make another stab at digitizing all my LPs.
posted by Eideteker 01 September | 13:44
One of these days, I'm going to give up on the idea that I'm going to digitize my LPs and sell them to Jerry's Records.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 14:09
When I was digging around in my parents' audio closet (sorely underused) it was really interesting to see what they've kept. I was doubtful that they would be readily available until I checked a second ago -- Manitas de Plata and Trio los Panchos; lots of Phoebe Snow and Stephen Bishop.

Of course, they haven't pulled them out since we last had the turntable together (which was till probably about 10 years after everyone else got rid of theirs), but when I saw them all I really wanted to keep them out and used.

I wish they would listen more.
posted by Madamina 01 September | 14:22
I haven't actually owned a turntable for fifteen years now and finally gave up on CDs about a year ago when I got my Droid.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 14:29
I watched The Simpsons episode tonight where Lisa gets a MyPod. The Mapple store made me LOL, it was so accurate.
posted by Senyar 01 September | 14:42
I was a kid when consumer CDs appeared in the record stores. To see the format being eased out is... sobering.

I was thinking recently about this question: what technology am I going to live to see appear on the market, then disappear completely within my lifetime?

For example, the answering machine. I remember when answering machines were novel, when people refused to talk to them (or, more snottily, left messages saying "I don't talk to MACHINES!"), when they were heralded as a sign of society's breakdown. I'm probably the last friend in my social circle to have one, and I'll probably live to see them disappear entirely.
posted by Elsa 01 September | 15:00
I'm hardened by living through 78s, 45s, 33s, 8 tracks, cassettes, AND CDs.

I'm actually thinking I'll digitize my remaining LPs, which still have a lovely warm sound, then sell them.
posted by bearwife 01 September | 15:09
I LOVE MY TURNTABLE. Well, I mean, I've really enjoyed having that back in my life. The whole getting up to flip a record is sort of heartwarming.

It's funny, because I was about 16 when I bought my first CDs. I had to replace some vinyl. I still recall listening to the CD copy of a record I had on vinyl...the urge to stand up when "side one" finished. Then, I'd realize that I was listening to a CD and didn't ACTUALLY have to get up.

The one downside to some of the new records I've bought on vinyl is that the length is annoying at times. A record will be a double record, but really NOT a double, so it ends up having 3 songs on each of 4 sides. That's a lotta standing up, I'll tell ya.

posted by richat 01 September | 15:16
The whole idea of a side is gone. The A side and B side of an album were distinct entities and often programed as such. Even the idea of a first song and last song is mostly dead. "Albums" of mp3s downloaded, have a track order but there isn't really a sense of progression as you work your way through the files.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 15:25
I love my LPs too. There's no listening experience like that. I do want to digitize them just so I can run around with the songs, but I really don't want to get rid of them. The digital versions will suffer from the same sound loss that all digital recordings have - I like the idea of preserving the nice rich velvety sound and experiencing it whenever I want. It's relaxing listening to records, and they are a physical pleasure.

There was a time when LPs were new technology too; and a time when music wasn't associated with methods of recording and preserving it. Music and what it is and does is bigger than all these formats times ten. I'm partial to certain excellent formats like the LP and love to have a searchable playable digital catalog of all music, and these constant changes are wearing, but music itself outlasts them all.
posted by Miko 01 September | 15:43
There is a small culture of bands that DO think in terms of sides, octo. I actually got some rough mixes from some friends, and the tracks are named A1 - Song title, through to B1 - song title, etc. Buncha garage punks though.
posted by richat 01 September | 16:05
My dad used to have some kind of contraption with a reel of tape (not a cassette or 8 track). Anyone know what I'm talking about? What's it called? It was about 18" high.
posted by desjardins 01 September | 16:25
A reel-to-reel?
posted by Madamina 01 September | 16:27
I remember when Columbia House Record Club still had reel-to-reel as an option.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 16:35
There's a shot of reel to reel in action in Pulp Fiction in Uma Thurman's house, shortly before she ODs.
posted by bearwife 01 September | 16:46
Yeah, we had a reel-to-reel when I was very small, too. Dad bought 'em for the grandparents, too, and we'd record messages and --- most entertainly, I think --- the occasional family dinner, so they could hear the kids laughing and talking and chattering away.
posted by Elsa 01 September | 16:47
I was a kid when consumer CDs appeared in the record stores. To see the format being eased out is... sobering.

I remember when they sold 45s by groups like The Monkees. I had a Close-n-Play record player (kind of the audio version of an EZ-Bake Oven).

The sobering aspect for me is I can remember when the state of the art had nothing to do with anything digital. Half-speed masters of vinyl LPs were all the rage of the audiophiles in my college fraternity. It was mad- who would actually pay $15 for a record album?

mumble mumble lawn mumble mumble kids!
posted by Doohickie 01 September | 16:50
A cousin of mine had a reel-to-reel machine back in the 70s. It was the audiophile option, iirc.
posted by Joe Beese 01 September | 16:56
This seems like as good a time as any to ask: do you remember what the first CD you bought was? Mine was Queensryche's Empire.
posted by ufez 01 September | 17:14
I don't remember, but I bet it was something by Simon and Garfunkle. They were my first favorite "band" and I wore out my LPS.
posted by bearwife 01 September | 17:16
My first 45 was Dr. Hook's "Sylvia's Mother". My first album was Steppenwolf's "For Ladies Only". My first CD was Metallica's "Master of Puppets". My first mp3 was a song I recorded in BoringPostcards's guest bedroom.

I think 7 1/2 ips would still be considered audiophile.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 17:21
First LP: Blondie - Parallel Lines
First cassette: Prince - Parade
First CD: 10,000 Maniacs - The Wishing Chair
First mp3: Don't remember

Make of this what you like.
posted by Joe Beese 01 September | 17:34
My first CD was Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" album.
posted by BoringPostcards 01 September | 17:40
I'm positive that the first record I owned was The Jungle Book. After that, I have no idea.
posted by desjardins 01 September | 17:42
I should clarify that I was probably around age 5 when the record was purchased.
posted by desjardins 01 September | 17:43
First Album was Sail Away by Randy Newman. Still have it out in the garage with all the other albums.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 17:59
I think that my first CD was Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds.

I don't know that I ever bought a pre-recorded cassette tape, I just bought ten packs of TDK SA-90s and recorded twenty albums off of my friends and the library. (Yes we stole music back in the eighties)
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 18:01
My first CD was Green Mind by Dinosaur Jr

My first cassette tape was (ahem) Wham! The Final.

Yeah, there were a few years in between those.
posted by gaspode 01 September | 18:02
I just recalled my first 8-track was Paul Simon's "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" and my first cassette was Alice Cooper's "School's Out".
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 18:05
Massive memory dump follows:

I remember having a record player in my room from a very early age (1961, age 6 or earlier). I had lots of kids' 78s from Peter Pan, Cricket and especially Golden Records (a division of Golden Books on yellow vinyl!). And 33s of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound cartoons (the actual soundtracks of the cartoons with narration added to explain what you couldn't see... interestingly, they didn't need that much narration).

My first 'grown-up' 45 was "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" by Rolf Harris. My first 'grown-up' album was "Mom Always Liked You Best" by the Smothers Brothers (you can see where this is going). My first 'rock' album was "Rubber Soul" by the Beatles ("Drive My Car", "Norwegian Wood", "Nowhere Man", "In My Life", damn, every song was a classic).

We lived across the street from a kid whose father worked for RCA Records. After my parents got a big-piece-of-furniture stereo with an 8-track player in it, the kid gave me a bunch of "RCA Sampler" 8-tracks. Elvis, Nilssen, early Dolly Parton and other Nashville, elevator music, "In the Year 2525" all on one tape... But we never had an 8-track in my parents' cars.

I tastefully preferred cassettes. (Also because "Craig" was a brand of cassette players) Can't remember my first prerecorded cassette but my parents let me join a recordcassette club from which I intentionally got stuff ranging from the Moody Blues to the Wizard of Oz soundtrack. I loved the cassettes from Chrysalis records - they were pastel green! I'm sure it helped push my tastes toward British Progressive Rock in those days.

But I still had a lot of LPs. And an eclectic enough mix that I was the obvious choice for my college radio station's "Dr. Demento Clone" show (every college station in L.A. had one those days). In fact, when I got to meet Dr. D. in person, I brought a few of my odder 45s with me... and one of them was new to him!!! I gave it to him with my address; he taped it, sent it back to me, played it on his show; it made his Top 10 a couple times!

No idea what my first CD was. I rarely owned a CD player, even portable; just played 'em on my computer! The ex and I frequented the monthly Sunday morning $1 surplus LP/CD/cassette sale at one of the bigger indie record stores (whose name escapes me).

My first mp3 was semi-pirated. I was annoyed that the CD version of Thomas Dolby's "Golden Age of Wireless" had a totally different version of one of my favorite songs "Radio Silence" so I searched the internet and found somebody who had the entire original edition album on his personal site. My biggest download in 1996.

I might have a surviving crate of LPs in my neglected storage space in Burbank. Another reason to get down there and clean it out.
posted by oneswellfoop 01 September | 18:08
The one downside to some of the new records I've bought on vinyl is that the length is annoying at times. A record will be a double record, but really NOT a double, so it ends up having 3 songs on each of 4 sides. That's a lotta standing up, I'll tell ya.

Good thing you don't collect 7"s.

In order of acquisition:
First cassette: something by Queen (my little brother and I pooled our allowance, and our parents felt it necessary to tell us what "Queen" really meant, though they supported the music)
First CD: Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
First MP3: probably some illegal Prodigy track, because someone had recorded a LOT of their material. First legal MP3: Gescom - Keynell (AE Mixes)
First LP: maybe something borrowed from my parents, a thrift-store purchase, something picked up at a show, or maybe from a local shop.
First flexi-disc: Bell Labs synthesized speech record

Playback equipment I purchased:
1) AM/FM tuner/input selector
2) dual tape deck
3) portable CD walkman-type player
4) old record player
5) iPod
6) upgraded tuner set-up
7) new turntable (well, my wife got it, and we share it)

There was a reel-to-reel machine in the old College radio station, and a friend of mine was one of the last folks who knew how to use it (though he learned in high school as part of a vocational radio program, in the mid 1990s!), and we still have some old carts with station IDs from bands from the 1980s, but now no technology to play those back.
posted by filthy light thief 01 September | 18:34
I do have about 15-20 7" actually...but not too many.

First record was some John Denver record, can't remember which one. I was about 7.

First cassette was Thriller, bought with a coupon I cut out from a local paper. I was...11?

First CD? Joe Strummer's Earthquake Weather. I think I was 18?

Now...I'm back to buying new vinyl again! The coolest record I've bought so far is Mayer Hawthorne's latest. The sleeve is embossed with a alligator skin pattern!
posted by richat 01 September | 18:44
I'm positive that the first record I owned was The Jungle Book.

Me too. Also a collection of Disney songs they gave away at the Gulf service station.

I still have all of my Partridge Family albums.
posted by JanetLand 01 September | 18:57
The first record I ever bought was a George Carlin comedy record. I was 7.

My dad made me take it back to Sears because he was shocked by the language. I traded it in for Jethro Tull's "Heavy Horses". What a mistake that was.

I can't remember the last time I listened to music off a CD. A friend burned me some stuff and mailed it to me (how quaint! I wrote him back and told him to get Dropbox) and I immediately copied those to iTunes before listening.
posted by BitterOldPunk 01 September | 19:14
I remember when Columbia House Record Club still had reel-to-reel as an option.

Oh gosh, me too. Getting older every day.

Awhile back I was at a friend's house who collects old record players and records. We sat on his back deck and drank coffee and listened to records. It was fun. I just don't picture us saying "Hey, let's go sit outside and listen to some CD's." It seems like to me, "listening to records" was something to do, music has gotten a lot more backgroundy for me as the years have passed.

First record bought with my own money: Endless Summer, The Beach Boys.

First CD: Revolver, The Beatles.

Also, I've heard that record album covers were great for cleaning the seeds of pot.
posted by Marxchivist 01 September | 19:16
Oops. I mean clean the seeds OUT of pot.

Damn brain cells, where are they?
posted by Marxchivist 01 September | 19:18
The first LP I ever bought was Wake of the Flood, Grateful Dead. I was 11; it was in the cutout bin. I'd never heard of the Dead but my friend's older brother had a poster on his bedroom wall and I had a crush on him, so I figured it had to be cool. I still love that album best I think of all of theirs. I already had inherited a bunch of my older brother's records that he'd left at my parent's house when he moved out - the Beach Boys, Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan (Self Portrait & Highway 61 Revisited, thanks, Bill! They changed my life.) a couple of early Beatles and a weird variety of other stuff. Freak Out by the Mothers of Invention. Maria Muldaur. I still have them and pretty much all the other records I ever bought. The record player is down in my son's room in the basement, working away; he and his friends think it's pretty cool.

Can't remember the first cassette or the first CD but I just got rid of all my old prerecorded cassettes a year or two ago. A friend of mine laughed at me for still having all this 80s stuff - Smiths, English Beat, Bananarama, Echo & the Bunnymen - in the car and they were all pretty beat up and stretched out.

Hee, my in the car picture from a few years back:
≡ Click to see image ≡

Marxchivist, I think that if somebody took out and unfolded the copy of Yessongs in my basement they might still be able to scrape it for a 30 year old resin high. ;-) Not that I would know anything about that. Nosirree.
posted by mygothlaundry 01 September | 19:45
carts? Broadcast cartridges? Mutant 8-tracks with only one track? I may have something in the previously mentioned storage space that can play those things! And not only do I know how to work a vintage reel-to-reel, I've edited r-t-r tape AND used scotch tape wrapped on the capstan to vary the speed/pitch (in record mode, it's Alvin and the Chipmunks, in playback, I finally get the baritone announcing voice I always wanted but I taalllk sooo sllooowww...)
posted by oneswellfoop 01 September | 22:01
My first vinyl was the "Beach Baby" single when I was six.

First cassette: Bowie's Ziggy concert.

First CD: Never Mind the Bollocks. Newberry Comics used to put slews of coupons in The Square Deal.

Still haven't bought an MP3; I'm not quite ready to give up liner notes.
posted by brujita 02 September | 01:46
My first records were Elvis Presley 45's.

I can't remember my first CD. I was not an early adopter. I do remember that Heart's Bad Animals was the first, or one of the first, albums which was digitally recorded.

But I will be hesitant to update iTunes, just for the reason that they are shitcanning the CD logo.
posted by danf 02 September | 09:45
The coolest record I've bought so far is Mayer Hawthorne's latest. The sleeve is embossed with a alligator skin pattern!

I know, isn't it fantastic!

carts? Broadcast cartridges? Mutant 8-tracks with only one track?

One and the same. In the old station, we used to have a cart playing machine, but damned if I knew how it worked, or how it patched into the mixing board. But those carts were still hanging out, well out of casual reach but ever in my sight. Wire (the band, of course) is the only ID cart I remember. Now I will be going to the station to make sure they're still around.
posted by filthy light thief 02 September | 15:13
Wednesday 3-point update || Bergen to Oslo Train Torrent: