Record Store Day has grown into something akin to a holiday for us vinyl junkies so the fact that it falls on a holiday weekend this year seems to make it even more of an occasion. What started out as a way for independent record stores around the country to promote themselves and, quite frankly, stay in business has turned into a huge event where record labels press limited edition items that have people standing in line to buy them.
Here in Cleveland you can be entertained by Ira and Georgia of Yo La Tengo as they DJ at Blue Arrow on Waterloo. Here's the new video by Sweet Apple which was done on location at Blue Arrow.
I started posting photos of what I was listening to about eight years ago on a music message board. This was pre-social media music sharing before Spotify began posting everything you play...if you want.
It was also pre-smart phone so I'd just hold the record cover in front of my face and take a picture using my desk top computer camera then post it to a "what are you listening to" thread. It became a big hit. When I was in Paris I bought the new Coldplay album and had a photo of me taken in front of the Eiffel Tower with the album in front of my face.
A couple of years ago I got the idea to take a photo of a record spinning on the turntable with the cover propped up next to it. I called it my Vinyl Session. I share the photos through Instagram which allows me to simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. This, too, became popular and depending on what I was playing there can be many comments and likes.
The idea behind it is just to entice people to get back into listening to records. And with old albums, to bring back memories.
Here's some recent examples:
Someone suggested that it'd make a very cool wall covering if I printed up the hundreds of shots I've taken. I get compliments on the Vinyl Sessions often and I appreciate them all. Glad you dig it as much as I enjoy sharing.
We're in between Coachella weekends. Reports on the first weekend are full of delight and disappointment.
It seems no one was interested in seeing The Replacements and word is Outkast was a letdown. There's plenty of sources to find concert reviews for the festival but I like to stick with the locals. Here's how the L.A. Times saw things play out.
And if you want to watch some of the performances the best way to do that is on the Coachella Channel on Youtube. You won't find much in the way of full performances, but there are plenty of song clips including MGMT, Head and The Heart, Empire of The Sun and much more. Or you can even watch a rebroadcast of many of the acts full performances on the Coachella Live section of the channel.
I tried to get to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night in Brooklyn, New York. I could've easily gotten to NYC but getting back to Cleveland would've been problematic. I fly free on standby and there were very few empty seats on return flights through Saturday. And I didn't want to miss War On Drugs at the Grog Shop.
So I watched the Facebook feed on my iPad as friends who made the trip to the Barclays Center posted photos and missives. I thought I'd share some photos and articles that have been published at a furious pace.
Cat Stevens singing Father And Son. I'd have cried.
Nirvana fronted by Joan Jett.
Kiss and Tom Morello on stage.
Annie Zaleski must have been writing her stories in real time. Here's some of her writing on the event.
Last week music critic at the New York Times, Saul Austerlitsz wrote a story on the demise of rock music criticism, The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism. The gist of the article is that today's music critics are more interested in writing about the megastars that populate the Billboard top 100 than helping people discover earnest and innovative rock and roll.
I tend to agree with Austerlitsz. I've seen it played out over the past few years on a music blog I've been subscribing to for years. I was a heavy poster to this blog (which crashed last year and is a shell of its former self) where the median age was probably 32 and became kind of an elder statesman. And, often times, not treated with much dignity. I was too old to be listening to new music and making my opinion known.
As the membership changed over recent years, some falling away and younger blood taking their place, the thread titles began to change dramatically. Discussions that once talked of below the radar groups to check out were displaced by threads about Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry.
And these weren't teenage kids creating these posts. There was some good journalism on this message board. In fact some of the regular contributors write for publications like Pitchfork, All Music and others.
Certainly rock music is in one of those downturns where the cry of "rock is dead" can be heard with some regularity. It happened in the 90s only to be revived. I pay it no mind as there's plenty of great rock music being created every year. Only there's little discussion on it from the critics.
I try to turn people onto good music here at Radio Hannibal but I'm no critic. I'm a promoter. Why waste time writing about something that isn't good when I can promote the music that is worthwhile. And besides, I feel a bit creepy giving my opinion about someone who's fanbase is in their teens.
As the pioneers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, tour the United States for the first time in many years I've been listening to my CD collection of their catalog in my car. Is there any better driving music, even without "Autobahn"? A recent listen to their double live CD from 2005, Minimum - Maximum has me considering it one of the best live albums of all time.
I know some friends that made the road trip to Chicago to see the band and, of course, I'm jealous. Here's Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune's review, Kraftwerk in 3D at the Riviera.
A look at their schedule shows just three more chances to see them in North America. They're playing the annual Moog Fest in Asheville, North Carolina on April 24 and 25. Then they have two shows in Seattle and Vancouver On July 1 and 3 resepctively. I just don't think it's in the cards for me.
If you're a fan and can't catch them live either then enjoy this full length concert from this past January in Stockholm.