Official Record Store Day list

You can download the original here.

Or you can look at the list below 🙂

I’ll tidy up the list below later!


ARTIST                       TITLE                                               LABEL          FORMAT
13th Floor Elevators         “Wait For My Love”                                  Snapper Music 7″green vinyl                                     1000

2000 of one color for
RSD retailers and
A Day To Remember            “All I Want”                                        Victory        Etched 7″ vinyl

1000 of another color
for Victory webstore
AC/DC                        “Shoot To Thrill” b/w “War Machine”                 Columbia       7″ Vinyl

Adele                        “Rolling In the Deep”                               Columbia       10″ vinyl

Akron Family                 <bmbz>                                              Dead Oceans    12″ Vinyl LP                                     2000

Anberlin                     Cities                                              Tooth & Nail   2LP                                              1000

Bad Brains                   “Pay to Cum”                                        ROIR           7″ vinyl                                         1500

Bad Brains                   God Of Love                                         Maverick       LP + 7″                                          2000

Barrett, Syd                 An Introduction To…                                 Capitol        2XLP                                             1000

Beady Eye Exclusive Limited Edition 7-inch Vinyl    Dangerbird     3X 7” Vinyl Singles
Beady Eye                                                                                                                                        2000

Box Set                                             Records        Box Set
12″ colored vinyl (vinyl color
is randomly packaged and
Between The Buried And Me    The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogs                    Metal Blade                                                     1000

will not be indicated on the
Big Star                     Third (Test Pressing Edition)                       Omnivore       LP                                               1000

Blitzen Trapper              “Maybe Baby” b/w “Soul Singer”                      SPP            7″                                               1500

Built To Spill               Ripple                                              WBR            7″ picture disc                                  3000

Busdriver                    ATM                                                                7″+MP3                                           1000

Record Co.
Bush, Kate                   Hounds of Love Collector’s Edition                  Audio Fidelity 10″ pink vinyl                                   1000

Caribou                      Swim Remixes                                        Merge          12″ + download card                              1000

Circa Survive                Appendage                                           ATL            Oxblood color vinyl                              2000

Circa Survive                Appendage                                           ATL            CD EP                                            2400

Clapton, Eric & Mayall, John “Lonely Years”                                      Sundazed       7 ” vinyl                                        1000

Country Joe & the Fish       Electric Music for the Mind and Body                Vanguard       12″ vinyl                                        1000

Crowded House                North America Travelougue 2010                      Kufala         3 CD Set                                         2000

Cults                        “Abducted” b/w” Go Outside (remix)”                                7″ Vinyl

Walt Disney
Daft Punk                    Tron Soundtrack                                                    Vinyl

dB’s                         “Picture Sleeve”                                    Orange Sound 7″ Vinyl                                           1500

Atlantic Records Presents: Death Cab for Cutie In
Death Cab For Cutie                                                              Atlantic       7″                                               3000

Living Stereo! (RSD Exclusive)
Deerhoof                     Friend Opportunity                                                 LP+MP3                                           1000

Record Co.
Deerhoof / Xiu Xiu           Almost Xiu Xiu, Almost Deerhoof                                    7″+MP3                                           2000

Record Co.
Deftones                     Covers                                              WBR            Vinyl                                            3000

Dennen, Brett                B Side to the D Side                                Dualtone       7 inch                                           2000

“Got To Get Better In A Little While” & ”Layla” [7″
Derek & The Dominos                                                              UMe            7″ vinyl                                         2500

Dio                           Killing The Dragon                              Niji           Vinyl Picture Disc        2000

Ditto, Beth                   EP                                              Columbia       12″ EP

Doe, John & Jill Sobule       A Day at the Pass                               Pinko Records 4 panel eco-wallet

DOM                           “Things Change”/”Jesus”                         Astralwerks    10 Inch                   1000

Duran Duran                   “Girl Panic!”                                   S-Curve        7″ vinyl

Earle, Justin Townes          Move Over Mama b/w Racing in the Streets        Bloodshot      7″                        1000

Earle, Steve                  “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive”        New West       7″ colored vinyl          2000

Fahey, John                   Requia (and Other Compositions for Guitar Solo) Vanguard       12″ vinyl                 1000

Fistful Of Mercy              Pale Blue Eyes / Things Go Round (live) 7″      Vagrant        7” Vinyl

Fleet Foxes                   Helplessness Blues b/w Grown Ocean              SPP            12″                       3000

Borstal Beat
Flogging Molly                “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down”                           Records/Thirty 7″ vinyl                  2000

Foo Fighters                  Medium Rare                                     RCA            LP 120 gram

Gordon, Mike                  Inside In                                       Jemp Records LP

Gorillaz                      The Fall                                        Virgin         LP                        2000

Grateful Dead                 Grateful Dead (LP)                              Rhino          Vinyl                     3000

Green Day/Husker Du           I Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely          WBR            7″                        3790

Grinderman                    Evil                                            ANTI-          12″                       1000

Grinderman                    Palaces of Montezuma                            ANTI-          12″                       1000

Hammond, John                 So Many Roads                                   Vanguard       12″ vinyl                 1000

Hendrix, Jimi                 “Fire”                                          Legacy         7″ Vinyl

Hendrix, Jimi                 “Fire”                                          Legacy         CD single

Hollywood Undead              American Tragedy                                A&M/Octone     Picture Disc LP           1000

Hurt, Mississippi John        The Immortal                                    Vanguard       12″ vinyl                 1000

In This Moment                The Promise                                     Century Media CD                         1000

International Submarine Band
Safe at Home                                    Sundazed       Vinyl LP plus 7″ single   1000

w Gram Parsons
Jackson, Michael              “Hollywood Tonight” b/w “Behind The Mask”       Epic           7″ Vinyl

James, Skip                   Today!                                          Vanguard       12″ vinyl                 1000

Jenny And Johnny/Gram
Parsons & The Fallen Angels   Love Hurts                                      WBR            7″                        3450

featuring Emmylou Harris
Jimmy Eat World               Bleed American-Deluxe (3LP)                     ORG            3LP Vinyl                 1500

Blackheart     12″ 180g Vinyl + Download
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts I Love Rock & Roll (Limited Edition)                                                     1000

Music          Card
Job For A Cowboy              Ruination (10″ LP1)                             Metal Blade    10″ Green Vinyl           1000

Job For A Cowboy              Ruination (10″ LP2)                             Metal Blade    10″ Orange Vinyl          1000

Job For A Cowboy              Ruination (10″ LP3)                             Metal Blade    10″ Red Vinyl             1000

King, Freddy                  “Wash Out”                                      Sundazed       7 ” vinyl                 1000

Kings of Leon                 Holy Roller Novocaine                           RCA            10″ Red Vinyl

Kuti, Fela and the Africa 70  “Monday Morning In Lagos Parts 1 & 2″                          7”                        2000

Lady Gaga                     Born This Way                                   IGA            12″ picture disc          5000

Lamontagne, Ray               Live Fall 2010                                  RED            12″ Vinyl

Lower Dens                    “Deer Knives” b/w “Tangiers”                    SPP            7″                        1000

Machine Head                  The Black Procession                            Roadrunner     10″                       1000

Manchester Orchestra          “Simple Math” b/w “The Plan”                    Columbia       7″ Vinyl

Mastodon                      Live At The Aragon                              WBR            2LP + DVD                 3000

Mastodon/ZZ Top              Just Got Paid                                         WBR           7″                              3540

Matt & Kim                   Block After Block                                     Fader         7″                              1000

Late Night
Midlake/Will Self            Am I Going Insane – 12 inch                                         12″

Mona                         “Listen To Your Love”/”All This Time”                 Mercury       7″

Mumford & Sons/Laura Marling Dharohar Project                                      Glassnote     10″ Vinyl                       3500

My Chemical Romance          Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)                 WBR           7″ picture disc                 2000

New York Dolls               “Fool For You Baby”/”Pills”                           Savoy         7″ Vinyl Single

Nirvana                      Hormoaning                                            UMe           12″                             4000

of Montreal                  The Past is a Grotesque Animal                                      LP+MP3                          1000

Record Co.
OFF!                         Live At Generation Records                            Vice          7″ vinyl                        2000

Opeth                        “The Throat Of Winter”                                Roadrunner    7″                              1000

“Only The Lonely (mono”)/”Oh, Pretty Woman (live
Orbison, Roy                                                                       Legacy        7″ Vinyl

from Holland)”
Osbourne, Ozzy               “Flying High Again” b/w “I Don’t Know(Live)”          Legacy        7″ Vinyl

Otis, Shuggie                Inspiration Information: World Psychedelic Classics 2 Luaka Bop     180g 2xLP

Owen                         O, Evelyn                                                           7″+MP3                          2000

Record Co.
“Close Up The Honky Tonks”/”My Heart Skips A
Owens, Buck                                                                        Omnivore      7 inch                          1000

Pearl Jam                    “Immortality” b/w “Rearviewmirror”                    Legacy        7″ Vinyl

“Dig A Little Deeper” b/w “What I Could Do If I
Peter Bjorn and John                                                               Columbia      7″ Vinyl

Phish                        Phish: Two Soundchecks                                Jemp Records 7″                               2000

Piebald                      Vol I-III Triple Gatefold 3LP Special Edition                       LPx3                            1000

Pinback                      Information Retrieved A                                             7″ Vinyl                        1500

Pink Floyd                   London 66/67                                          Snapper Music 12″ white vinyl                 1500

Queen                        “Keep Yourself Alive” b/w “Son And Daughter”                        Vinyl

R.E.M. THREE: First Three Singles from Collapse
R.E.M.                                                                             WBR           7″ Set                          3250

Into Now
RHCP/Ramones                 Havana Affair                                         WBR           7″                              3585

Fat Wreck
Rise Against                 Join The Ranks                                                      7″ Vinyl                         800

Rival Schools                “Wring It Out”/”Choose Your Adventure”                Atlantic      7″ clear vinyl                  1500

Rodriguez Lopez, Omar        Telesterion                                           Lopez         double CD

Rush                         Caravan/BU2B                                          Atlantic      7″                              3000

2×7″ vinyl — different colors,
Pax-AM        yellow & orange, for each
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals Class Mythology EP                                                                                  2500

Records       disc with 14″x21″ poster
Saadiq, Raphael              “Radio” b/w “Can’t Jig Anymore”                       Columbia      7″ Vinyl

Skysaw                     No One Can Tell/Serated”                                           7′ Vinyl Single               1000

Sonic Youth                Whore’s Moaning                                    UMe             12″                           4000

Spektor, Regina            Four From Far                                      Sire            7″33 1/3 RPM light blue vinyl 3350

Springsteen, Bruce and E
“Gotta Get The Feeling” b/w “Racing In The Street” Columbia        10″ Vinyl

Street Band
Television                 Live At The Old Waldorf (2LP)                      Rhino           2LP white Vinyl               3000

The Beach Boys             “Good Vibrations”/”Heroes & Villains”              Capitol         Double 10 inch                5000

Light In The    12″ RED Vinyl + Download
The Black Angels           Another Nice Pair                                                                                2500

Attic           Card
The Black Angels           Phosgene Nightmare                                 Blue Horizon    10″ colored vinyl             5000

The Cars                   “Sad Song”                                         Concord         7″ vinyl on picture sleeve

The Civil Wars             “Dance Me To The End Of Love”                                      7″ Vinyl Single               1000

The Decemberists           Live At Bull Moose                                 Capitol         CD                            2500

The Dodos                  “So Cold”                                          French Kiss     7″ vinyl                       200

The Doors                  “Riders On The Storm”                              Rhino           7″                            2500

Heady Nuggs: The First 5 Warner Bros. Records
The Flaming Lips                                                              WBR             Vinyl Box Set                 5790

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth
Tiger (Sean Lennon &       La Carotte Bleue                                   Chimera Music LP                               500

Charlotte Kemp Muhl”
The Joy Formidible         “Whirring”/”Chwyrlio”                              Atlantic        7″                            2000

The Luyas/Twin Sister      Split                                              Dead Oceans 7″ Vinyl                          1500

The Naked & Famous         This Machine/No Light Double EP                                    2 CD

The Red Krayola            “Hurricane Fighter Plane”                          Snapper Music 7″ yellow vinyl                 1000

The Republic Tigers        “Merrymake It With Me”/”Whale Fight”               ATL             7″ colored vinyl              2000

The Republic Tigers        No Land’s Man                                      ATL             CD EP                         1500

The Rolling Stones         “Brown Sugar”                                      UMe             7″ Vinyl Single               5000

The Velvet Underground     “Foggy Notion”                                     Sundazed        7 ” vinyl                     1000

The Yardbirds              “Goodnight Sweet Josephine”                        Sundazed        7 ” vinyl                     2000

Toadies                    “No Deliverance” b/w “Someone Great”               Kirtland        7” Vinyl

Tom Petty and the
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers                    Reprise         White Vinyl LP                2500

Tom Petty and the
You’re Going To Get It!                            Reprise         Blue Vinyl LP                 2500

Tosh, Peter                “Legalize It” b/w “Equal Rights”                   Legacy          7″ green/yellow/red Vinyl

Transit                    Promise Nothing                                                    7″ EP                         1000

Urge Overkill
Urge Overkill              Effigy b/w Smokehouse – 7 inch                                     7 inch

Light In The    Double 12″ Vinyl +
Various Artists            Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theater Vol. 1                                                      1000

Attic           Download Card
Various Artists            Kill Rock Stars                                    Kill Rock Stars 12″ vinyl

Various Artists            Mute Vorwärts                                      Mute            LP (+CD)                      1000

Various Artists            Rhymesayers Vinyl Picture Disc                     Rhymesayers Vinyl                             1000

Various Artists            No One Got Hurt                                    Bloodshot       CD                            2500

Save The Music – A Compilation For Record Store
Various Artists                                                          Ubiquity     CD                 1000

No More Fake
Various Artists          Guided By Voices Tribute: Sing For Your Meat                 CD                 5000

Various Artists – Cee-Lo
Green, Santana, Robert   Jimi Hendrix Tribute                            Legacy       CD single

Vivian Girls             I Heard You Say                                              7″+MP3             2000

Record Co.
Wild Flag                “Future Crimes” b/w “Glass Tambourine”          Merge        7″ + download card 1200

Young The Giant          “Apartment”                                     Roadrunner   7″                 1000

ARTIST                  TITLE                                           LABEL      FORMAT                   EXCLUSIVE TO
Blake, James            James Blake                                                LP

RSD exclusive for 4
Costa, Matt             Songs We Sing                                   Brushfire  LP with download card

indie exclusive until
Dengue Fever            Canibal Courtship                               Concord    LP with download card    5/9, CD is released on

indie exclusive for 4
Duff McKagan’s Loaded   Taking                                          Eagle Rock LP                       weeks, CD is released

on 4/19
Indie/RSD exclusive 4
wk window until 5/9.
Dylan, Bob              Bob Dylan In Concert: Brandeis University 1963  Legacy     LP                       CD version will be

available to all
accounts 4/12
indie exclusive until
John Leguizamo          Freak                                           Vivendi    DVD

Dancing Backward In High Heels [Record Store
New York Dolls                                                          Savoy      LP Vinyl

indie exclusive until
Nickel Creek            Nickel Creek                                    Sugar Hill 2XLP

indie exclusive until
Nickel Creek            This Side                                       Sugar Hill 2XLP

indie exclusive until
Nickel Creek            Why Should the Fire Die?                        Sugar Hill 2XLP

RSD exclusive 3 wk
Osbourne, Ozzy          Blizzard Of Oz                                  Legacy     LP

window until 5/2
RSD exclusive 3 wk
Osbourne, Ozzy          Diary Of A Madman                               Legacy     LP

window until 5/2
RSD exclusive 4 wk
Pearl Jam               Vs.                                             Legacy     LP

window until 5/9
RSD exclusive 4 wk
Pearl Jam               Vitalogy                                        Legacy     2 LP

window until 5/9
Robertson, Robbie       How To Be Clairvoyant [Record Store Day] [2 LP] Savoy      LP Vinyl

LP with high rez digital indie exclusive for 4
Simon, Paul             So Beautiful Or So What                         Concord

download card            weeks
Follow Me Down: Vanguard’s Lost Psychedelic Era                                     indie exclusive until
Various Artists                                                         Vanguard   2XLP

(1966 – 1970)                                                                       6/7
ARTIST                      TITLE                                         LABEL         FORMAT
Antony & The Johnsons       Swanlights’ EP                                              10″ Vinyl                                  900

Architecture in Helsinki    Places Like This                                            LP+MP3                                     500

Record Co.
Bear In Heaven              Split                                         Hometapes     Split 12″ Vinyl                            850

Bibio/Clark                 Willenhall/Baskerville Grinch – Split 12 inch Warp Records 12 inch                                     500

Black Market Baby           Potential Suicide                             Dr. Strange   7″                            200 (GOLD)

Black Twig Pickers/Glenn                                                  Thrill Jockey
Split LP                                                    LP w/ download                             300

Jones                                                                     Records
Bouncing Souls              Live at Generation Records                    Generation    LP                                        1000

Hydra Head
Clouds                      B Chuggas May Be Logging 12″                                LP w/ download                             200

Coffey, Dennise             The Steinski Remixes                          Strut/K7      7″ Picture Disc                            250

Fat Beat
CSC Funk Band               A Troll’s Soiree                                            7″ Vinyl

Daedelus                    Tailor-Made – 12 inch                         Ninja Tune    12 inch                                    150

Deerhunter                  Memory Boy                                    4AD           7″ white vinyl                             800

Hydra Head
Discordance Axis            The Inalienable Dreamless LP                                LP                                         300

Esben And The Witch         Chorea EP                                     Matador       LP                                         200
Daniel 13
Fan Modine                  Gratitude For The Shipper                                   150g Double 12″ Vinyl                      500

Fitzsimmons, William        Gold In The Shadow                            Nettwerk      LP                                         500

Flying Lotus                Cosmogramma Alt Takes                         Warp Records LP                                          750

Fucked Up                   Town Comp                                     Matador       LP                                         800

Memoir/Becoming A Jackal                      Domino        7″                                         500

Gordon, Mike                Moss Remixes                                  Jemp Records 7″                                          200

Gunn, Steve and Ilyas Ahmed Split 7 inch                                                7 inch                                     200

LP-Clear vinyl with white and
Hank III                    Risin’ Outlaw (LP)                            CURB                                                     340

black flecking.
LP-Clear vinyl with black
Hank III                    Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ (LP)               CURB                                                     340

2LP-Opaque red vinyl with
Hank III                    Straight To Hell (2LP)                        CURB                                                     340

black flecking
2LP-Blue vinyl with black
Hank III                    Damn Right Rebel Proud (2LP)                  CURB                                                     340

LP-White vinyl with black
Hank III                    Rebel Within (LP)                             CURB                                                     340

and blue flecking
Fort Lowell
Howe Gelb                   Sno Angel + Melted Wires 7inch                              7″ vinyl                                   750

In Tall Buildings        Warm Rock                                                          7″

Javelin                  Canyon Candy – 10 inch                               Luaka Bop     10 inch – hand printed          750

Javelin                  Coleridge/Colleagues – 7 inch                        Luaka Bop     Clear mylar sleeve              400

Polyvinyl     2xLP+MP3 180 gram blue
Joan of Arc              Presents: Don’t Mind Control                                                                       500

Record Co.    vinyl
Jurado, Damien           Live At Landlocked                                                 12″ Vinyl LP                    900

Kode9 & The Spaceape     Otherman / Love Is The Drug (ft Cha Cha) – 12 inch                 12″                             100

Hello My
Manhattan Murder Mystery Manhattan Murder Mystery                             Name Is       LP

Mates of State           Team Boo                                                           LP+MP3                          500

Record Co.
Mighty Clouds            Mighty Clouds                                                      LP+MP3                          500

Record Co.
Thrill Jockey
Mitchell and Manley      Norcal Values                                                      LP w/ download                  300

My Morning Jacket        Evil Urges                                           ATO           Vinyl LP Picture Disc           400

My Morning Jacket        It Still Moves                                       ATO           Vinyl LP Picture Disc           400

My Morning Jacket        Z                                                    ATO           Vinyl LP Picture Disc           400

Nada Surf                The Moon Is Calling – 7 inch                                       7 inch sleeve                   850

Neurosis                 Neurosis                                             Sovereign     12″ LP                          600

New Pornographers        Moves                                                Matador       7″                              500

Os Mutantes              Everything is Possible: World Psychedelic Classics 1 Luaka Bop     180g Vinyl                      750

Thrill Jockey
Oval/Liturgy             Split LP                                                           LP w/ download                  400

Hydra Head
Oxbow                    King Of The Jews                                                   LP w/ download                  300

Panda Bear               Tomboy Vinyl/T-Shirt Bundle Blue (Large)             Paw Tracks    Merch (T + LP)                  500

Panda Bear               Tomboy Vinyl/T-Shirt Bundle Blue (Med)               Paw Tracks    Merch (T + LP)                  500

Polvo                    Celebrate the New Dark Age                           Merge         12″ Maxi                        300

Hydra Head
Prurient                 Many Jewels Surround The Crown – 7 inch                            7″                              300

Rancid                   Let the Dominoes Fall- Collectors Edition            Hellcat       CD Box Set                      600

Rateliff, Nathaniel      Shroud                                               Concord       7” vinyl

Rodriguez Lopez, Omar    Telesterion                                          Lopez         4xLP Box + 20pg book   250-500

Russell, Arthur          World Of Echo                                        Rough Trade   2xLP                            300

Segall, Ty               Ty Rex                                               Goner         12″ LP

Sennen                   Age of Denial                                        Minty Fresh   LP                              250

Silverstein              Support Your Local Record Store                      Hopeless      7″                              500

Skysaw                   No One Can Tell/Serated”                                           7′ Vinyl Single                1000

Someone Still Loves You Boris                                              Polyvinyl
Broom                                                        LP+MP3                                   500

Yeltsin                                                                    Record Co.
Superchunk/Coliseum           Horror Business/Bullet                                       Split 7″ Vinyl

The Frustrators               Griller                                      Adeline         CD                                       500

The Growlers                  “Gay Thoughts” / “Good Feelings”             Everloving      7″ vinyl                                1000

The Kills                     Satellite                                    Domino          10″                                      500

The Menzingers                Chamberlain Waits                            Red Scare       LP                     300 (BLUE)

The Submarines                Love Notes/Letter Bombs                      Nettwerk        LP                                       900

Therapies Son                 Waterworld EP – 10 inch                      Sargent House 10″                                        400

Touche Amore’                 To the Beat of A Dead Horse                  6131            LP                     250 (WHITE)

Russian Recording Presents: We Just Call It  St. Ives
Various Artists                                                                            12″ Vinyl LP                             100

Roulette Vol. 4: It Happened                 Records
Sacred Bones
Various Artists               Sacred Bones Presents: Todo Muere Vol. 1                     12″ Vinyl LP                             900

No More Fake    Double 12″ Mixed Color
Various Artists               Guided By Voices Tribute: Sing For Your Meat                                                          500

Labels          Vinyl
Various Artists               Franz Ferdinand                              Domino          12″                                      500

Various Artists               Save The Music 12″ #1 – Shawn Lee Exclusives Ubiquity        12″                                      500

500 (mixed) /500
Various Artists               Local Customs: Pressed At Boddie             Numero          2xLP

Various Artists               Local Customs: Burned At Boddie              Numero          CD                                      1000

Various Artists               Local Customs: Dubbed At Boddie              Numero          Cassette                                 300

Save The Music 12″ #2 – Groove Merchant
Various Artists                                                            Ubiquity        12″                                      500

Various Artists               Save The Music 12″ #3 – BTS Exclusives       Ubiquity        12″                                      500

World Music
Various Artists               The Rough Guide To Desert Blues                              LP + download card                       500

World Music
Various Artists               The Rough Guide To African Guitar Legends                    LP + download card                       500

Various Artists               A Rekords Rekords Rekord                     Domino          10″ picture disc                         500

Wavves                        Thorns / TV Luv Song                                         7″ Vinyl                                 500

Talk Collective
Whitmore, William Elliot/POS SPLIT                                         INIT            7″                                      1500

Yeasayer                      End Blood                                                    7″ Vinyl                                 900



Sex Education on Vinyl

Mystery Date #1 came out in 1994. The first copies had the title written in magic marker; I didn’t yet have access to a cursive font I really liked. While the text was typed on a computer, I did the layout by hand, with rubber cement and bristol board. All typos here are guaranteed verbatim.

In addition to “Sex Ed on Vinyl” and an introductory essay, other articles were: “Mystery Date: An Appreciation” and “Selections for Your Reading Pleasure: The 60s.”

“Sex Ed on Vinyl” was anthologized in Chip Rowe’s The Book of Zines (Owl Books, 1997).


Sex Ed on Vinyl
Lynn Peril © 1994

Telling children about the facts of life has always caused a fine film of sweat to break out on parental upper lips. There is no consensus on just how or when this delicate information is to be imparted, hence the numerous “how to tell your children” books on the market. I’ve spoken with many people whose parents took just this route, handing them a book as gingerly as if it might explode and then quickly leaving the room. Other parents were more direct. One of my friends remembers her mother telling her all about sexual intercourse while carefully ironing her husband’s shirts and not meeting her daughter’s eyes. Then, when she finished talking she asked if my friend had any questions. Just one, she replied, “How do you do this with your clothes on?” It was only when her mom explained that you didn’t have any clothes on that my friend became truly grossed out by the whole process.

Perhaps sex education records filled a void for parents wishing to avoid the impersonality of the book method and the high squeamishness factor of the direct confrontation method. What could be more folksy than entrusting your child to, say, Art Linkletter, right in the comfort of your own living room? Agree? Then run right down to the thrift store and pick up a copy of ART LINKLETTER NARRATES THE STORY OF WHERE DID YOU COME FROM. Listen as Art explains all about frogs, chickens, horses and humans and “what we call … the act of mating.” Learn how the egg grows in “a hollow place in the mother’s body that the doctor calls the uterus” and how the sperm gets to the egg through “a little tube” on the father’s body. I guess Art doesn’t know what the doctor calls it, or maybe he’s just not saying. Also, while he tells us just where to find “the little tube” on a horse, he never mentions just where it might be located on a human male.

For answers to tricky questions like these, spin John and Joan McArdle’s YOUR SEXUALITY – A THING OF BEAUTY. Mr. McArdle, according to the liner notes, “was active in the Buffalo Family Life Department,” while his wife “taught the High School Marriage Course in the Diocese of Buffalo.” This is a fabulous record. For a couple who apparently went around making this presentation to various school and parents’ groups, you would think they would have something more than the truly wooden stage presence displayed on this disk. You can hear them turning the pages of their notes in the background. The whole slant on their talk is morality, of the “now that you know all about it, don’t do it” school. To this end, they actually name body parts and processes. “Now, let’s talk about erection for a moment,” intones John. Otherwise, stereotypes and misinformation run rampant. Joan explains that girls are “incapable” of having sex without “thinking of love.” John tells them that they are fertile only one day a month. Oops! In fact, between this tidbit of disinformation and the hot little surf number (“Take Off” attributed on the record to J. Bono, but actually Reble and the Jaguars) that surprisingly closes side two, this record was probably responsible for untold numbers of teen pregnancies.

While the McArdles aspired to be the kind of adults that teens actually listen to, they fell short of the mark. Teens probably couldn’t believe that what they did in the backseats of cars and what John and Joan McArdle did in their marital bed were the same thing. DON LONIE TALKS TO TEENAGERS, on the other hand, is a live recording before a high school assembly and Mr. Lonie has ’em rolling in the aisles. While technically not a sex education record, DLTTT and it sequel DON LONIE TALKS AGAIN are the aural equivalent of the “morality” unit in Family Living class. This man intends to be funny, and he is funny (at least in a high-school assembly sense). Lots of info about the dangers of drinking and driving (a couple of teen auto death and dismemberment stories are included), wearing too much makeup, and conformity (at the expense of religion, of course), all delivered for the most part in a wise-ass, deadpan manner. The moral here is go to church, please your parents and grow up as straight as possible. Oh, yeah, and “you can laugh at Don Lonie … but you can’t laugh at God.”

If, however, you didn’t have Don Lonie come to your high school assembly to teach you how to be a responsible, squeaky-clean adult, you might find yourself reaching for THE WAY TO BECOME THE SENSUOUS WOMAN BY “J”. From the liner notes stressing “the importance of his orgasm” (their emphasis), to Connie Z.’s last bit of narration, “For it is love that makes a woman whole and gives her a sense of purpose,” this is the double standard at its finest, filled with time-honored male and female stereotypes. Basically, what we have here is 40 minutes of instruction on how to give head. OK, ladies, let’s repeat after Connie Z., “I must not nick or scratch.” Which mental image do you prefer: the miniature vacuum cleaner, or the bunny nibbling asparagus? By the way, at an orgy, it’s only polite to have sex with your escort first. See you all at Plato’s Retreat!

RAGE Records

Record Art Games Emporium




We went and visited with NICK from RAGE on Fade Street in Dublin. A new shop selling records and more!! They opened up in the premises of the respected, renowned and sadly missed Road Records who had been in that premises for more than a decade and did a great job of promoting Indie and Irish music.


NICK: Not too bad, how are you?

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Where are you from NICK?

NICK: Eh I’m from Michigan but, a small town called Cadillac, but I’ve lived in Dublin for nine years now.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Why did you come here?

NICK: Initially I went to school and pretty much fell in love with Dublin, so decided to stick around

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Are your family in Michigan still?

NICK: Actually they’re not, they’ve since moved to Massachusetts. I still go back four or five times a year so I’m not completely out of touch.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Well, its nice for us to have you here with all the record shops you’re opening up. When did RAGE open up?

NICK: It opened on October 28th. It was fantastic. The response was excellent. It was good to see a lot of familiar new faces and a lot of new faces that were into buying records.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: What does RAGE stand for?

NICK: It’s the Record Art Game Emporium and it mainly focuses on music and records but we also sell art and design by local artists. We’re having an exhibition on April 7th. The games side is on retro and vintage video games which is something else I was into. Which is great because initially it was just an idea that if the shop was quiet I could get away with playing Nintendo. But the feedback was so incredible that its now another main focal point of the shop.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Is it more popular than music?

NICK: I’d say its equal at this point. It’s a different type of customer. They’re a lot younger but equally as excited about games as people are about music.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: So why did you decide to open up another record store?

NICK: Well I caught wind that Road Records was closing down. Ihad the stall in Georges Street Arcade and we were running out of room so pretty mushc this premises presented itself as a record shop ready to go.I just needed to fill it so the decision wasn’t that difficult. At the same time it was still a risk.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You didn’t startup either. You expanded from Trout records, formerly Mac’s records in the arcade. How did you come to own that?

NICK: Well, when I was still in school I used to work for Mac’s other record shop, Finyl Vinyl on Camden Street. In my eyes it was possibly the best record shop in Dublin. Possibly that Dublin has ever seen. I worked there for a couple of years and he also had the spot in the arcade so I used to go between the two. When I finished up with school I used to work there for a year full time and at that point Mac’s business was winding down. He wanted to get rid of it so I decided to give it a shot. That was six years ago.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: He was quite a character wasn’t he?

NICK: Yeah he was excellent. He was hilarious. He could be a pain to work for but at the same time he was quite entertaining. The way he interacted with customers was fantastic. His knowledge of music from the 60s to the 50s and 70s was fantastic. There wasn’t a question you could ask him that he wouldn’t have an answer for.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: I remember going into him and he had NICK Drake Fruit Tree boxsets there, 2 or 3 of them. I asked him how much were they and he told me they weren’t for sale. Are you like that as well?

NICK: *Laughs* Not reall. I mean there are a couple of things that aren’t for sale/ They’re mainly for decoration.


NICK: Actually in the window I have one of my jackets, one of my t-shirts, a donkey kong t-shirt that I can’t part with, just for decoration. But at a different level everything in the shop is for sale.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Even the street fighter?

NICK: Yeah if someone wanted to buy it, go for it. They’d have to carry it up the stairs. That’d be difficult. I nearly broke my back bringing it down.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: What kind of customers do you have?

NICK: Really varies, moreso than the arcade because of the video games. I have kids that are 6 or 8 coming in with their parents getting a Gameboy game and guys who are in their 70s going for their 50s or 60s easy listening. It really does vary. In the arcade its mainly 25 to 50 and mainly men. Its kind of nice here to see different people and different age groups.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You’re on Facebook and you have over a thousand friends on facebook? Are they all customers?

NICK: Most of them have been in the shop. Facebook is great because it allows you to interact with people in your shop. There are certain rare items that I would get, I’d put up the pictures of them and there’d be a queue at ten the next morning. Its great for answering questions as well, cos I am selling old games.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You do mail order?

NICK: Yes, we don’t have an online shop but if there’s something people want put they can order it on the page. We’ve posted stuff to Donegal, Cork and the UK.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You get farfield requests, mainly for games or records?

NICK: A bit of both. There’s always the kind of person that will ask you to get something that is impossible to get, like there were only ten ever made, and can I get it for them cheaply?


NICK: No! Well I can try. Its funny. Sometimes people will make requests just to see if you can get something, and will buy it. Other times they’re just seeing if you can get it. For example, upstairs there’s a console, a Commodore 64 Light Fantastic. A few people have asked, ‘Can you get it’ Can you get it’ but when push comes to shove they just want to test my abilities.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: So its upstairs?

NICK: Yes, is anyone wants it its available and has been for a while.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Any famous customers through your door?

NICK: Not yet really.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You have a lot of records that wouldn’t normally be in Dublin. Where does that come from.

NICK: I get a lot of stuff from the states, LA. We buy major collections of singles. Quite specialised in American 7” soul singles, Motown, Stax. Currently right now I own 50,000 singles but they’re sitting in a warehouse in LA. I’m shipping them in over time., Its something unique that no one else has. I also get people to drive over collections from the UK at least twice a month.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: you also sell local records from local bands. How are they doing?

NICK: Pretty good. Road Records was a hub for local bands and local music. I’d like to bring my Irish section to the level theirs was. That will take some time. One of the services we offer for free is that a band can come down here and play any time. We’ve got our own stage. If a band want to follow up their album launch they can come down on a Saturday and play. We’ve done it a few times. Its been pretty successful. The bands have sold quite a few records. I’d like to really get that going and focus on supporting the local acts and artists.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Who’s played so far?

NICK: Well we had Spies play.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Was Morrissey there?

NICK: No, unfortunately. There was a Hip Hop outfit called tales from the underground that went down really really well. A singer songwriter called Paddy Ormond who was excellent. If you have the chance to catch one of his gigs he’s well worth seeing. Just as we started the gigs going we had a major flood which stopped the gigs for about two months. I’d like to get t that we could have a gig every Saturday, 7.15 you can come down here, bring a can or two and watch a band. So hopefully we’ll get that in motion in the next week or two.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: And play streetfighter?

NICK: Yep if you want. You get 10% discount if you beat me in streetfighter.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Well I won’t e entering that competition! Any other plans for the future?

NICK: Not so much. This place looks great and I’m happy with what I’m selling but it’s a work in progress. I want to sell record players. I really want to have a place that you can come and buy a record player and some records really cheaply. So at the moment I’m trying to source 2nd hand record players and speakers and what not.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: You have cassettes as well?

NICK: I sell a lot of cassettes which is surprising. A year ago I had just a handful in the arcade and this guy came in and bought them all. He had a company car that just had a tape player and he wanted something to play on it. So a lot of people buy them for their cars which is great. There are also local bands who are releasing stuff on cassette tape.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: I see Rough Trade are releasing a cassette for Record Store Day too. Do you have any CDs?

NICK: We have a handful. We definitely sell more cassettes than CDs.

VINYLFANATICS.COM: Do you have a stereo at home? Do you listen at home?

NICK: Yeah I do. It’s a pretty basic setup. My technics. I don’t really DJ any more. It’s really difficult when records come in to decide which ones to bring home. There are times when I want to bring all of them home. I have to limit myself. I listen quite a lot. Its still a process I enjoy, sitting down and listening to a record. I try to listen to an abum every night.


And then we thanked each other and that was it. NICK’s two shops are great and well worth visiting if ever you’re in Dublin. You never know what you might find. J


The Record Collector And His Infinite Collection

The Record Collector And His Infinite Collection

Roselle Chen | March 18, 2011
Senior Entertainment Editor


The Record Collector (Roselle Chen)
The Record Collector (Roselle Chen)

Rows of records with album covers yellowed with age are neatly stacked on pine hand-carved shelving. Yards of 33rpm long-playing records line the 3,400-square-foot store from floor to ceiling. Inky black vinyl devoid of scratches, dust and orange price stickers (that forever leave their sticky residue) stretch from the front of the store well into back corners, hidden from customers.


In rooms layered upon rooms, there are old Victorian gramophones, reel to reels, 45’s, 78’s, cylinders and speakers from the 1950s. Sanders (Sandy) Chase gives tours of his store to people who pass a sort of veneration test. If they love music the way that he does, they get to see what’s more than just a rare and vintage vinyl store holding half a million records. Not only does Chase run a unique store, but he also believes in playing the records on analog equipment only.

“The Record Collector,” the words displayed in white letters on a green awning, sits on the corner of Melrose Ave. near Fairfax. The store was established in 1974 with Sandy’s personal collection of 10,000 LP’s of mostly classical music. He used his earnings from his success as a violinist to open what is now LA’s oldest record store.

Descriptions of its insides are etched on the windows and front door.

“We have Esoteric, Mercury, New Jazz, Classical, Rachmaninoff Society, Vangard.” The names sound like they belong to a private club, and to some degree, 59-year-old owner Sandy prefers to keep it that way.

No CDs, DVDs, or anything of digital matter exists within its walls.

“We’re anti-digitites. We believe in the sanctity of the sound that the medium is the message. It’s inextricably wound that you cannot legitimately make a claim that LP’s may sound better but CDs are more convenient because convenience does not, in this store anyway, trump art,” says Sandy.

When Sandy refers to “we,” he’s talking about himself and his archivist, Henry Gastelum, who’s been with him since 1976. Although Sandy says the records are in order by composer and genre, only the two of them really know the vast and arcane structure in which the records are arranged.

Henry, 63, is smaller than Sandy and hunched over. Sandy’s only four years younger, yet Henry looks much more wizened and worn. He shuffles around and doesn’t say a lot. He retrieves the records at lightning fast speed whenever Sandy tells him to get something.

“Aren’t these beautiful?” says Henry, pointing to a section of classical records, their sleeves browned at the edges. Many records are only accessible by ladder, and Henry climbs careful and measured steps to pull out Debussy’s “La Mer.”

Posters of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughn peek out between the aisles of records.

“To Sanders, much spiritual love. James Moody,” reads one framed picture of the jazz saxophonist.

“Here’s Ray Walston, he did ‘My Favorite Martian’ and ‘Damn Yankees!’” says Sandy.

“To Sandy Chase, who remains the great magician of records, sincerely Ray Walston,” reads another photograph.

Paper bags taped to top shelves flap each time the front door opens. The bags were put there to protect framed and signed black-and-white photos of musicians from the glaring LA sun.

Horace Silver, the famed jazz pianist and composer, used to stop by and flip through records. Nina Simone shimmied through the aisles. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, best known as a blues musician, came in and signed his autograph on yet another framed picture, May 23, 1992.

“The beauty of this place was that it used to be a hangout for musicians, who are all gone now,” says Sandy.

He gestures to another wooden framed picture of him and the Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov, “the world’s best conductor,” talking between the record stacks, Yuri stands with his reading glasses forgotten in his hand and mouth half open while he looks at Sandy pointing to a record.

The store is more of a museum or library dedicated to the love of Sandy Chase’s life: analog music. It’s not the music of now, but from days long gone, which are more ethereal because much of it doesn’t exist on anything but the discs he holds with such reverence.

Reverence doesn’t come cheap. Records are never a bargain like the one-dollar vinyl that Amoeba Records sells in Hollywood. Prices start at $10 but can go up to as much as $10,000.

“Lee Strasberg was a customer here for 14 years and was another avid record collector,” says Sandy. “He would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Sanders Chase was born August 19, 1951 in Inglewood, California. He grew up in a mostly black neighborhood and has been happily married for 31 years. His wife is also black. Sandy himself is white. He has four stepdaughters who are all grown.

Sandy’s mother was a concert pianist and his father was an artist. Hung against one of the shelves in the store is a framed book jacket with the title, “Just Being at the Piano,” with a foreword by Lee Strasberg. It’s written by Mildred Portney Chase, Sandy’s mother. Sandy is a classically trained violinist. He owned four houses by the time he was 22 and was able to fund his store with savings from his gigs at places like the Hollywood Bowl. He played at the funeral of his mentor, Josef Rosenfeld, in 1968 at the Hollywood Cemetery.

Many of Sandy’s friends and family were musicians. “They’re all gone now so they can’t stand up and say anything.”

The people who do say something are part of a new generation of customers from different backgrounds. The one thing that links them to Sandy is their unmeasured love of vinyl.

Jose Manuel Macedo is an immigrant from Peru, and after he received his first paycheck as a manager assistant in a cosmetics factory, he stopped by The Record Collector to buy some Depeche Mode albums. (Though 80 percent of Sandy’s stock is in jazz and classical records, the store also holds 100,000 LP titles of rock and “modern” music.)

“I couldn’t understand very well the seller ‘cause my English was bad. I remember that day perfectly, I was super excited, I was like a child in a candy store, I was like in the paradise. CD is ok but not comparable at all to the magic of vinyl’s,” says Jose.

Tom Hayden, a lawyer and local musician, agrees with Jose on the alluring quality of vinyl. Tom is not the other Tom Hayden, who is a political activist and was previously married to Jane Fonda. When asked about his name: “I’m a lot better lookin’ and a lot less liberal than he. But then that would include most men when compared to that Mr. Hayden.”

“I have both CDs and a huge record collection. You should see some of my nice vintage albums. In terms of pure sound, analog is so far ahead of digital it’s a joke. There’s nothing like a warm record on a nice turntable with a nice cardboard album jacket, preferably recorded to good old tape. Honestly, CDs are and always were a gimmick and for nothing more than convenience,” says Tom.

Obviously, Tom would get no argument from Sandy Chase.

“The sound on digital mediums is monochromatic, there’s no push and pull like there is here and you can’t feel it. Unless you can feel it, it’s not music. Music is something you need. And if you don’t feel like you need music, come and spend some time here and you will find that you do need music. Transporting music through a medium must be physically experienced and 1s and 0s do not recreate a physical experience. It must be properly presented; otherwise it doesn’t get in your bones,” says Sandy.

But some sound engineers below believe that there is a romanticism associated with vinyl. In fact, they say, it’s inefficient in terms of producing the best quality sound.

“The debate stems from the fact that records were made or ‘stamped’ into vinyl from a plate,” says Tony Gueffen, a Los Angeles sound engineer and keyboardist. “Vinyl is a petroleum derivative and carries with it inherent harmonic distortion. That natural distortion which comes in parts per million, is what gives vinyl the ‘warm sound.’ The limitations of vinyl come in the form of the dynamic response and recreation. In terms of musical dynamics, vinyl can only go from piano to double forte (very soft to very loud), while digital can go from pppp to FFFF” – or twice the softness to twice the loudness that is heard on a vinyl record.

Tony, who has mixed dozens of jazz, new age and gospel music and was a job reference to Grammy Award-winning singer Darlene Koldenhoven, says audio quality is actually determined by the rate, or number of kilohertz (kHz), that the recording was made at. Vinyl’s recording limit is 48 kHz. Once any recording passes 48 kHz, he says, “People who think they are audiophiles can’t even tell the difference…When the consumer world reaches products that play back at 96 kHz, this debate will be dead.”

Tony is right in a way that people really can’t tell the difference in analog versus digital sound unless they have a spectacular system to play it on. CDs with a 96 kHz rate can’t be heard on any run-of-the-mill player because CD parameters are typically 44.1 kHz, which is what’s played on an average home player.

In order for a person to really hear the difference in playback, that person would need to hear it on a $30,000 stereo system, according to Tim Page.

Tim is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic of the Washington Post and a professor at University of Southern California.

Although Tim says that he couldn’t hear the difference on his personal stereo system, he and his friend experimented on his friend’s very expensive system and he noted that the LP “did in fact sound fresher and livelier.”

This is where Tony and Tim disagree. They both say that sound should be played on a superior system for a listener to tell its quality, but where Tony says digital far surpasses analog, Tim says the record still possessed “greater warmth.”

However, Tim’s opinion takes more of a middle ground than everyone else in the debate:

“I have a sentimental fondness for old records but I really never play them, in part because I don’t have one of those magnificent stereo systems. I prefer the CD simply for convenience sake. I think if you have millions of dollars and you have the means to have a really good stereo system, then it makes sense.”

Tim went into Sandy’s store 28 years ago and initially thought he was “grouchy.” But he’s heard from other friends that after they got to know him a bit more, “he’s really a terrific guy.”

Bill Vestal, the artistic director for LACMA’s Sundays Live program for free chamber music concerts, says that his initial reaction when entering Sandy’s store was that he had quite a bit of equipment and “it was all expensive, as it should be.”

“We make no bones about the fact that we’re a high-end record store,” says Sandy, but the sound element outweighs the fiscal and is what ties him with other audiophiles who are also self-proclaimed “anti-digitites.”

Sandy picks up a loose record he was just playing in one hand and takes the album cover in his other hand. “Eddie Harris, The Tender Storm,” reads the cover; it has four faded rainbows surrounding a side profile of Harris.

He bows the record’s album cover against his gut and slides the record in. He places it back in its wooden bin.

“The main thing is don’t bounce it in and out of record bins because that will split the covers and it’s hard on the item. It’s a definite no-no if you hold the record album cover flat and just pull out the record without bowing it first because it’ll tear the cover; that shows a disdain and disrespect for the record, for the form. Just be respectful to the form.”

The way Sandy handles the record equates in a larger way to how he handles his store. From a small to large scale, he protects the things he believes in.

“We were built before digital, during digital and post digital. No one really buys CDs anymore. The integrity of sound must be preserved through analog, which has come back, whereas digital has gone bye-bye for the most part commercially. We may be an anachronism, but not really; we’re just the one that survived and kept everything together and coalesced it under one roof,” says Sandy.

Evidence backs Sandy’s claim that CDs aren’t as commercially viable as they used to be. A Nielsen SoundScan survey showed that “From 2006 to 2007, vinyl record sales rose 14%, from 858,000 to 990,000. The same can’t be said for CDs, sales of which have continued on a downward spiral that began after a peak in 2001. In the first half of this year, CD album sales were down about 18% to 110.3 million units from 134.6 million units during that same time last year,” said a Sept. 24 article by Computer World.

And more than two out of every three vinyl albums are bought from independent music stores like Sandy’s.

Sandy used to lease a 1,800-square-foot store on Highland but moved to Melrose in 1999 for more space and owns the store free and clear. He even had his carpenter reuse some of the wood from the shelves in the old store for the new. Fat Beats used to operate down the street and closed after 16 years. It sold predominantly hip-hop records.

“That was for children, this is for adults or for children who want to be adults,” says Sandy.

He’s glad the place closed down because the kids used to come in and tease him all the time. He was stuck in a time warp, they said. His store was a mausoleum for dead music no one listened to anymore, they said.

“We out-survived all our competitors. How many professional violin players do you know have record shops? I paid my dues. We made a commitment; we made a major sacrifice that is unparallel. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

According to the new generation of online consumers, apparently not.

Earning two stars out of a possible five on puts The Record Collector in a store-that-you-want-to-avoid-at-all-costs category.

“Look the guy’s a dick and there are plenty of other choices,” said Ziggy Z. from LA. “The problem is this guy thinks he’s being cute and if acting like a douche is cute to you then head on in.”

Sandy’s gray and white peppered hair, glasses and grizzly beard show no signs of “douchiness” that Ziggy’s talking about, but there is a small amount of gruff cuteness to him. The kind of cute from an old uncle who, when you were five, says he doesn’t want to play but has somehow crouched down on the floor 10 minutes later with his creaky knees to build Legos with you.

“To hell with those comments. They’re a commentary on how LA treats its writers and musicians. LA is the town that people go to be forgotten.”

Sandy says he doesn’t care about the Yelp comments, but he refers back to them as if deep down he’s hurt and wants them to understand what they’ll probably never understand in a lifetime.

“I’ve had people come in and have told me, ‘what they say about you is not true.’ I built this store and paid for it out of my own pocket. All I can say is, outsiders don’t take to us en masse, but there are a lot of wonderful things out there that have been ignored.”

Sandy’s never been in the market for being a commercially successful shop.

“I’m here to present the art and availability of what is not available. We maintain everything and we try to present the best face to the world at large. Hopefully we can share that with people with a state of mind who want to be enriched with knowledge. Whether a record is commercially viable in this market is irrelevant to its relevancy on our premises,” says Sandy.

He believes that the past remains omnipresent. Like William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

After he and Henry are gone, he plans to pass the store on to the Getty Museum, or LACMA.

“People ask, what is your business model? I’ll always say, the Watts Towers, which is an art installation. That’s my point. That’s exactly my point. We’re a record museum. The whole idea was to inventory this stuff, not to sell it off and go to Tahiti.”

As Bossa nova music filters through the sun drenched store, Sandy lays his hand on the hand crafted wood that he gave new life to by digging it out from his old store.

“We may be audio snobs, but there’s a philosophy in reusing this wood and keeping the life of it going forever and ever and ever. That’s art, that’s history. We build it and they come. This stuff is timeless. We are preservationists. First and foremost that’s what we do.”


ElusiveDisc mailout March 2011

Carole King / Carnegie Hall Concert 6-18-71

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ORG Subscriptions of 10
London Limited Edition 45rpms LPs

Presenting ORG Ultimate Edition 180 gram, double 45rpm LPs! ORG is proud to present the ORG Ultimate Edition, a brand new series of great LP titles from the London catalog. Cut at 45rpm by Bernie Grundman on his newly upgraded mastering system and tube powered lathe, these LPs were pressed by RTI and sleeved in deluxe laminated gatefold jackets. They represent the very finest examples of the vinyl LP format available today.

Less than 75 Subscriptions Left!

Out Of Print! WEA is sold out and will not repress! Only a Few Copies Left! Get yours before it’s gone!
Linda Ronstadt / What’s New
LIM Pure Analog 24kt Gold CD $36.99
The Grammy nominated, Triple Platinum-certified 1983 album by super-star Linda Ronstadt consists of nine jazz standards recorded with bandleader Nelson Riddle. With her dynamic voice on this Pure Analog Gold CD, the sound is sure to knock your socks off!!!

Back In-Stock!
Pure Analog 32-bit 192 kHz Captured 24K Gold!

Frank Sinatra
Swing Along With Me

Mobile Fidelity Numbered,
Limited Edition 180g LP $29.99

Frank Sinatra
The Concert Sinatra

Mobile Fidelity Numbered,
Limited Edition 180g LP $29.99

Find anything Mobile Fidelity quickly and easily at with our ‘Everything MoFi’ link!

Alison Krauss & Union Station / Paper AIrplanes

Universal LP $24.99
Alison Krauss’ most recent triumph, the certified-platinum Raising Sand, her 2007 collaboration with Robert Plant and producer T Bone Burnett, notched up a total of six Grammy Awards, bringing her unsurpassed total to 26. That mesmerizing modern-day masterpiece sets the stage for another stunner: Paper Airplane, the artist’s first album of all-new recordings since 2004’s Lonely Runs Both Ways

Pre-Order Today!
Produced by Krauss and Union Station, with studio legend Mike Shipley engineering and mixing!

Derek & The Dominos / Layla

Universal 180g 2LP/4CD/1DVD Super
Deluxe Collector’s Edition Box Set $124.99

The Grammy nominated, Triple Platinum-certified 1983 album by super-star Linda Ronstadt consists of nine jazz standards recorded with bandleader Nelson Riddle. With her dynamic voice on this Pure Analog Gold CD, the sound is sure to knock your socks off!!!

Pre-Order Today!
40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition. Limited Quantities in the US.

Don’t delay, the Who “Live At Leeds” Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition is already Out Of Print!

AKG K701 Headphones

Only $289.99!
Regularly $450.00!
You Save $160! WOW!!!
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Demo Creek Destiny
Integrated Amp (Black)

Only $1999.99!
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Demo Audioprism Supernatural S-2 15Amp Power cord (6FT)

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Below you will find the newest releases this week at Elusive Disc, Inc. To order a new release or get more information on it, simply click on the item or picture.

SACD release: Mobile Fidelity Label

Carole King / The Carnegie Hall Concert June 18, 1971
MoFi Numbered, Limited- Edition SACD $29.99

Features memorable medley collaborations with James Taylor.

LP release: Vinyl Passion DMM Label

Eric Clapton / Live At Budokan
Vinyl Passion DMM Import 180g 2LP $29.99

Eric Clapton live on December 4, 2001 at Tokyo’s Budokan Arena.
Below you will find the newest pre-order additions this week at Elusive Disc, Inc. To pre-order a new release or get more information on it, simply click on the item or picture.

SACD pre-orders: Linn Records Label

Byrd / Complete Consort Music
Linn M-CH SACD $22.99
The award winning viol ensemble Phantasm perform.
Kuniko / Kuniko Plays Reich
Linn M-CH SACD $22.99

Kuniko Plays Reich features three premiere arrangements of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.

LP pre-orders: Friday Music, Universal Labels

Alison Krauss & Union Station / Paper Airplanes
Universal LP $24.99
Contains 11 songs of poignancy and austere beauty.
Johnny Winter / Still Alive And Well
Friday Music Limited Edition 180g LP $24.99

Produced by Rick Derringer.
Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina / Sittin’
Friday Music Limited Edition 180g LP $24.99
Contains legendary songs and incredible vocals!

Insound Mailout March 2011


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Vinyl Newsletter

1 Featured LP of the Week
2 Featured Pre-Orders: Cold Cave, Moon Duo, Obits
3 Free Vinyl News Mixtape
4 New Vinyl: Kurt Vile, Beach Fossils, Dum Dum Girls
5 Essential Punk LPs: 15% off
6 Featured Bundle: The Antlers
7 7″/10″/12″: James Blacke, The Strokes, Widowspeak
8 Pre-Orders: Cass McCombs, Cults, The Strokes
9 Classics/Reissues: Sun Araw, The Wake, Spacemen 3
10 Create an Insound Wishlist
11 Insound Needs Interns
12 Follow Insound on Twitter and Facebook

Featured LP of the Week

Dirty Beaches Dirty Beaches

Dirty Beaches is the sound of waves against a picturesque and putrid shore, the silent rumble of a Chevy as it speeds by in slow motion. Sparse but condensed, relentlessly edging forward: this is music for locomotive travel, for racing your weary motorcycle through neon archways and into dusky tunnels.Like Bo Diddley or minimalist synth provocateurs Suicide, Dirty Beaches’ compositions are not so much stripped down as refined to their essence.

Buy LP $12.99

Featured Pre-Orders: Cold Cave, Moon Duo, Obits

cover Cold Cave
Cherish The Light Years
Pre-order Cold Cave “Cherish The Light Years” and receive a free 11″ x 17″ Insound exclusive poster! (while supplies last)

BuyLP $18.98

pixel cover Moon Duo
Pre-order Moon Duo “Mazes” and receive the MP3s immediately at checkout! Also, orders will receive a bonus “Mazes” remix CD featuring remixes from Sonic Boom, Psychic Ills, Cave, Purling Hiss and Gary War! (while supplies last)

BuyLP $18.98

cover Obits
Moody, Standard and Poor
Pre-order Obits “Moody, Standard and Poor”and receive a free iron on patch! (while supplies last)

BuyLP $17.98

cover The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Pre-Order Belong along with the self-titled debut album and get both albums for $25.17.

BuyLP $16.98

Free Vinyl News Mixtape

Free Vinyl News Digital Sampler
Download Now!

We’ve got a brand new FREE digital mixtape for all our loyal newsletter subscribers. The sampler is full of great tracks from Bass Drum of Death, Cuticle, Deaf Center, Demontre, Dirty Beaches, Hype Williams, Kurt Vile, Maria Minerva, Puberty & Widowspeak. But remember, the sampler’s only available for the next week so grab it now while you can.

Click HERE to download.

T5 - Hold Steady

New Vinyl: Kurt Vile, Beach Fossils, Dum Dum Girls

cover Bass Drum of Death
GB City
Bass Drum of Death’s debut full-length, GB City, might be described by most listeners as garage-rock. But perhaps the more apt term is basement-rock. Armed with a guitar, drum kit, and USB microphone, Barrett threw together scuzzy pop songs steeped in punk and doo-wop that dive into topics such as taking drugs, having sex, and other regular teenage activities.

BuyLP $15.99

pixel cover Beach Fossils
What a Pleasure
Following their critically acclaimed self-titled debut, Beach Fossils return with the beautifully crafted EP What a Pleasure. In this brilliant new release Dustin Payseur shares songwriting duties with bassist John Peña, which makes for their most dynamic songs yet. Also, on “Out in the Way” Payseur teams up with the talented Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing for a song that reveals both artists’ visions in a way that the world has yet to hear.

Buy12″ $10.99

cover Cut Copy
Finally got this staff favorite in on vinyl! This is Cut Copy boiled down to their purest form: a suite of futuristic visions built upon primal rhythm tracks. It is at once their most immediate work to date, but also their most sonically exquisite.

Buy2xLP $19.98

cover Deaf Center
Owl Splinters
The LP version includes a bonus CD of new interpretations of the album from Erik Skodvin’s Svarte Greiner project! This is the same Deaf Center we fell in love with all those years ago, but bigger and more powerful than ever before. Between these epic compositions, the two musicians take time to give their own solo instruments the time to breathe – Totland on the piano and Skodvin on the cello.

BuyLP+CD $22.99

cover Dum Dum Girls
He Gets Me High
Los Angeles-based Dum Dum Girls follow up their fuzzy,girl group-inspired 2010 Sub Pop debut I Will Be with He Gets Me High, an EP composed of three originals and a cover of the swooning Smiths’ classic “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.”

Buy12″ $10.99

cover Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX
We’re New Here (Box Set)
Colored vinyl! This limited edition boxset of We’re New Here contains a copy of We’re New Here (on pink vinyl), a copy of the instrumentals (on green vinyl), CDs of both the standard and instrumental album, and two limited edition photographic prints. All packaged in a bright green box!

Buy2xLP+2xCD $41.99

cover Hype Williams
One Nation
Pre-eminent H-Pop geniuses, Hype Williams, deliver the crackish satisfaction of One Nation, their third album proper and first for the hugely exciting Hippos in Tanks label. With the same fugged-up blend of sly insouciance and deceptively naive production that made Find Out What Happens so vital, Denna Francis and Roy D. Blunt have assembled a sublime follow-up which makes so much else out there seem over-earnest and over-dressed.

BuyLP $22.99

cover K-Holes
K-Holes began in an inauspicious, unambitious way. The goal was to play one show as a dirge surf band and then call it a day. Everybody was involved in other bands (Black Lips, Golden Triangle, Bezoar, and Georgiana Starlington). K-Holes was intended to be a big party with no strings attached. Somehow it stuck, though, as the big-party-with-no-strings-attached lifestyle will sometimes do.

BuyLP $14.99

cover Kurt Vile
Smoke Ring for My Halo
Philadelphia singer/songwriter Kurt Vile returns with his second proper album (as 2008’s Childish Prodigy was a compendium of sorts). Smoke Ring for My Halo is a gorgeously layered record. Ranging from the tender breezy folk in “Jesus Fever” to the tuff urban guitar riff of “Puppet to the Man,” Vile’s distinctive Philly-accented vocal ties together a sweeping and evocative project – a true American psychedelic folk album.

BuyLP $17.98

cover Little Wings
Black Grass
Black Grass is Kyle Field’s most honest and revealing work to date. It is the distillation into its very essence of over a decade’s worth of stunningly beautiful song-craft on Field’s part. This is a haunting, understated, and deeply personal work. Driven to look unflinchingly into himself and at the world around him in the fall season, Field has produced work that is as sincere in its moments of aching and decay as it is in its moments of triumph and rebirth.

BuyLP $13.99

cover Lumerians
Lumerians are garage scholars of the weird. While Transmalinnia’s sound palette evokes primitive analog witchery, Lumerians hunger for the future. As sensitive to texture and repetition as an electronic act, the band is propelled by voodoo rhythms, stripped-down organ psych and fuzzed out space disco, travelling freely through worlds both vaguely familiar and largely uncharted.

BuyLP $13.99

cover Moritz Von Oswald Trio
Horizontal Structures
Horizontal Structures follows the Trio’s 2009 debut, Vertical Ascent, and last year’s Live In New York, and finds them expanding – in all but name – to a quintet. Joining von Oswald, Sasu Ripatti and Max Loderbauer are double bassist (and ECM recording artist) Marc Muellbauer, and on guitar, Paul St Hilaire AKA Tikiman. It’s a more impressionistic, free-roaming and less strictly ordered LP than Vertical Ascent, and at times its electronic and acoustic textures are genuinely, delightfully indistinguishable.

Buy2xLP $21.99

cover Oren Ambarchi | Keiji Haino | Jim O’Rourke
In a Flash Everything Comes Together As One…
Recorded one year after the international trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi’s first release, this presents the entirety of a live performance that took place at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo on January 24th 2010. For their second performance together, the trio opted for an entirely different instrumental configuration. Here they form a classic power trio: Ambarchi on drums, O’Rourke on bass and Haino on guitar, vocals, electronics and, in one amazing passage, lap steel.

BuyLP $27.99

cover Thurston Moore
Solo Acoustic Vol. 5
12 String Meditations For Jack Rose. Solo, untreated, 12-string compositions in tribute to one of the greats. An album of instrumentals in requiem.

BuyLP $19.99

Essential Punk LPs: 15% off

Though we were born and bred on indie rock, our staff has quite a few personal passions for the dozens of varying genres that we carry around here. This week we’re highlighting our essential punk releases and they’re all 15% off! Thirty titles are all on sale.

Check out the whole list of titles here.

Featured Bundle: The Antlers

The Antlers
Burst Apart
LP $19.98
The Antlers
LP $16.98

Pre-order The Antlers – Burst Apart LP (regularly $19.98) and add the Hospice LP (regularly $16.98) to your cart and get them both for $33.26.

7″/10″/12″: James Blacke, The Strokes, Widowspeak

cover Colleen Green
Green One
After moving to Oakland in 2008, she and her friends created the Full House House, inviting countless great bands from across the world to play in their living room. Recently, Green retreated to a cave in Los Angeles; within two months she had written and recorded the Milo Goes to Compton tape; within five months she released the 4 Loko 2 Kayla CD-R ep. They are both just the beginning of the Colleen Green story.

Buy7″ $5.98

pixel cover Cuticle
Confectioner Beats
Cuticle make the music your mind hears inside the green grates and grids of Tron. More deft than the Daft soundtrack, more dizzying than that Disney score.

Buy12″ $11.99

cover Demontre
Masculin | Feminin
Scraping bits together from Joy Division’s melodic haze, Wild Nothing’s darkest moods and even the xx’s brooding unease; off the chart angst levels permeate this record.

Buy12″ $18.99

cover James Blake
Limit To Your Love
Impeccably presented, one-sided 10″ pressing of James Blake’s remarkable re-work of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love,” housed in full-color sleeve. It’s as though the rare elements of padded subbass and splintered percussion he isolated in the bell jar of those early 12″s have plainly fused into something alchemical and sublimely affecting.

Buy10″ $12.99

cover Jerry King (Auctioneer)
Spoken Word Instrumental Series 003
Jerry’s Green Series single starts off with a fascinating 8-minute interview conducted by Jack White that probes deep into the history, cadence, rhythm and speed of Jerry’s auctioneering. The flipside is a very rare moment in the world of vinyl, and a special first for third man; side B of this record contains 2 separate grooves! Here we find auctioneer Jerry King walking us through two hypothetical auctions…depending on where the listener drops the needle!

Buy7″ $6.99

cover Maria Minerva
Noble Savage
Amazonian/Estonian goddess and self-professed hippy chick Maria Minerva builds the bump ‘n’ bass bricks for a real Bloc Party. Maria’s brand of coke-coke-a-choo disco could chill out even the hottest of Donna’s summers while the SILK vinyl goes sizzle and crack.

Buy12″ $11.99

cover Puberty
The debut 7-inch from this new seven-member group featuring Lars Finburg and Susanna Welbourne of The Intelligence. The band push dueling vocals and harmonies to the forefront while mastering signature off-kilter pop melodies. “If you’re looking for a new Intelligence single, you won’t find it. Instead, Lars Finberg and Susanna Welbourne of the Intelligence have a new band called Puberty.

Buy7″ $8.99

cover Quintron and Miss Pussycat | Turbo Fruits
Bruise Cruise Vol. 3
Limited edition colored vinyl! Split 7″ between Quintron & Miss Pussycat and Turbo Fruits, commemorating the 2011 Bruise Cruise!

Buy7″ $8.99

cover Soft Metals | Jewels of the Nile
Two Portland bands. Two classic bands. Two classic songs. Two great covers! Soft Metals and Jewels Of The Nile join forces to release the fourth record in the Desire Singles Club. Soft Metals is covering “Hot On The Heels Of Love” by industrial godfathers Throbbing Gristle while Jewels Of The Nile is doing “Deathwish” by deathrock pioneers Christian Death!

Buy7″ $12.99

cover Spider Fever
Whatcha Gonna Do
Featuring drummer extraordinaire Mario Rubalcaba (Off!, Earthless, Rocket From The Crypt, Chicaono-Christ, and many more…) here on lead vocals & godlike shredding guitar, it’s a rare and hefty slice of Testors-influenced ’70s punk splatter that’s shaking the walls and shattering the windows anywhere its cranked.

Buy7″ $6.99

cover The Strokes
Under Cover of Darkness
The lead single from the first new Strokes record in five years barrels into the bar with “Return to Form” written on its forehead.

Buy7″ $5.98

cover Widowspeak
Harsh Realm
Using primarily the 1950’s and 1990’s as stylistic jumping-off points, the band writes a combination of eerie ballads and swampy mid-tempo pop. The tension between Hamilton’s dreamy melodies and Thomas’s angular, psych-influenced lead guitar creates a visceral energy that permeates each of the young band’s songs

Buy7″ $5.99

cover Women in Prison
Strange Waves
Austin, TX’s Women In Prison tighten up and rip your chest open with guitar scree so deranged and nihilistic, you’d think James Williamson had stood in on a proto-Black Flag project while shaking off the last of the Stooges’ bloody glitter. Their sound is nothing short of raging, rabid, unflinching, and totally what the sound of early 80s punk should have used as a template.

Buy7″ $6.99

cover X-Ray Eyeballs
Xray Eyeballs knock out the instant hits with an effortless ease that feels so right, it refreshes your cloudy state of mind instantly. Infectious pop filtered through a dizzying framework of noise and frenzy, this EP has that certain lovely nastiness that it takes to make an intriguing first impression.

Buy $0.00

SSD - Spring 2011

Pre-Orders: Cass McCombs, Cults, The Strokes

cover Cass McCombs
Wit’s End

BuyLP $19.99

pixel cover Cults

BuyLP $22.99

cover Freelance Whales | Foals

Buy7″ $5.20

cover Grooms

BuyLP $14.99

cover Holy Ghost!
Holy Ghost!

Buy2xLP $19.98

cover Jeremy Jay
Dream Diary

BuyLP $16.98

cover LCD Soundsystem
London Sessions

BuyLP $21.98

cover Low

BuyLP $15.98

cover Nodzzz

BuyLP $14.99

cover The Strokes

BuyLP $19.98

cover Times New Viking
Dancer Equired

BuyLP $18.99

cover Tune-Yards

BuyLP $16.99

cover TV on the Radio
Nine Types of Light

BuyLP $15.98

cover Vivian Girls
Share the Joy

BuyLP $16.99

Classics/Reissues: Sun Araw, The Wake, Spacemen 3

cover Spacemen 3
Transparent Radiation

Buy12″ $14.98

pixel cover Sun Araw
Beach Head (reissue)

BuyLP $24.99

cover Sun Araw
On Patrol (reissue)

BuyLP $14.99

cover The Books
The Lemon of Pink

BuyLP $19.98

cover The Wake

BuyLP $16.98

cover Various Artists
Those Shocking, Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk: 1970-1978.

Buy3xLP $30.99


Create an Insound Wishlist

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Insound Needs Interns

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Follow Insound on Twitter and Facebook

Keep an eye on these feeds for exclusive Insound coupons and contests and up to the minute pre-order information.

Soundstage Coupon March 2011


Neil Young  Live At Massey Hall  2 200 Gram Vinyl LPs

:The acclaimed Toronto performance features brilliant takes on some of Young’s most enduring classics including; Old Man, Cowgirl In The Sand, Ohio and a suite of A Man Needs A Maid and Heart Of Gold before they were recorded for Harvest. Live At Massey Hall is a newly mined rock gem here on Classic Records’ stunning 200g Quiex Super Vinyl Profile!




Toots And The Maytals  Pressure Drop: The Golden Tracks  180 Gram Vinyl LP

Legendary reggae master Frank “Toots” Hibbert returns with these brand new recordings of his best loved songs and covers! Features the all-time classics “Pressure Drop,” “54-46 Was My Number,” “Funky Kingston” and covers of John Denver and Stevie Wonder PLUS bonus Ska, Dub and Instrumental versions! Presented on both 12″ vinyl and CD – two formats for the price of one.


Mike Watt  Hyphenated-Man  Vinyl LP

“Hyphenated-man is the name of my third opera, Contemplating The Engine Room (1997) being the first one and The Secondman’s Middle Stand (2004) being the second. Whereas Engine Room dealt with my pop’s life in the navy as a metaphor for the story of the minutemen and Middle Stand was a parallel to Dante’s comedia dealing with an illness that almost killed me in 2000, this third opera is quite different in that it has no standard narrative (libretto!) meaning no regular beginning-middle-end and is as it were simultaneous in the way a mirror from just inside my head, right in this middle-age moment of mine, was then shattered into thirty pieces and then each piece stuffed in the head to show a piece of my state of mind (or out-of-mind) as of now. Thirty tunes? Yes, they’re little ones, actually they’re thirty parts of one big tune.


Chicago  Chicago VI  180 Gram Vinyl LP

Chicago VI was another solid platinum plus smash for Chicago. Buoyed by the success of huge hit singles like Just You ‘N’ Me & Feelin’ Stronger Every Day, their sixth platter was chock filled of even more smashes like the piano driven opener Critic’s Choice and Hollywood. Friday Music is honored to announce the CHICAGO 180 GRAM AUDIOPHILE VINYL SERIES with our first chapter CHICAGO VI This LP features the original core line-up of Lamm, Kath, Cetera, etc. Mastered impeccably from the original Chicago Records/ Warner Bros. tapes by Joe Reagoso, also presented in a nice gatefold cover.


Coupon Code: VINYL12

Sale ends 03/21/11 11:59 PM EST
Cannot be combined with any other offers
Cannot be applied to previous orders
Some titles excluded

•Rap/Hip Hop
•Alt Rock & Grunge
•Heavy Metal
•Soul, R&B, Funk

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What is mastering?

What is mastering?

mastering wave


“Mastering” is the last subjective decision making process in the creation of an album, and is done before “cutting”. Mastering may involve equalization (balancing frequency response), leveling relative amplitude between cuts, adjusting spacing between cuts, using other signal processing devices or software (for adding echo or compression, for example)… in other words, all the last minute adjustments to the music after mixdown of the “master tape”. Adjustments through mastering are typically required, because individual tracks may be recorded at different locations, at different times, using different equipment, different instruments, different players, etc., etc., requiring that the final product have some smoothing done to it to create a more integrated, consistent feeling whole.

Cutting is the last step in production of the physical lacquer, which will ultimately be used to produce vinyl records. During cutting, the master tape is played back, mastering adjustments are applied to the signal, and that signal is then sent to the cutter head.

In the old days, the mastering engineer in the cutting room would put up the master tape and spend the time required to decide what changes were needed to make the final product better. Copious notes were made to indicate all the moves the mastering engineer would have to make each time a lacquer was cut from the master tape (not an eq copy).

Moves would include master volume slides, L & R volume & panning incremental changes, Equalizer and other signal processing settings, etc. Typically, with a lot of moves to make, the engineer would make them during the fade of one song (where they wouldn’t be noticeable), so they’d be in effect at the beginning of the next song.

The master tape would be properly stored (tails out) with the mastering notes included, so another mastering engineer could pull the tape off the shelf and cut parts (following the notes) that were identical to those cut by the original mastering engineer.

The first time(s) lacquers are cut, after approval of acetates (disks that are test cuts and actually played and listened to), an eq tape copy is recorded simultaneously to cutting. These eq copies, which require no further mastering because they already include mastering changes, are sent to other countries for 2nd generation disk cutting there, and are held as backups in case something happens to the master tape.

So the original mastering engineer usually cut the first parts that went into production of the initial vinyl orders. Subsequent runs could have been cut by the original mastering engineer or another engineer in the production process.

Mastering is an art, which requires numerous skills, not the least of which is an above average musical ear. It also requires excellent organization skills in order to make the physical moves while playing the master tape/file, as well as being able to clearly document the process. It requires the ability to effectively operate various types and pieces of physical outboard signal processing equipment and/or software. Actually playing an instrument is helpful as well, as it enhances one’s understanding and feel for the subtleties in music, such as harmonics unique to a particular instrument. And mastering is required whether the final product will be vinyl, CD, tape, DVD, whatever..

In talking about cutting VINYL in my prior posts, I skipped the really boring parts about the geometry of groove depth and width, how it is affected by in/out of phase conditions of the program material, width of the workable lacquer surface, how one can fit more program material on a side by decreasing amplitude, how one can make it look like there is more program material on a side by increasing the space between grooves, how one can hopefully avoid the cutter head lifting off the lacquer during cutting by crossing over low frequencies (which are less directional to the ears) into mono, how one can temporarily expand the space between grooves to avoid hearing a presignal at the beginning of each cut (or after quiet passages) due to possible misshaping of the groove caused by the adjacent groove with signal warping the narrow, quiet groove without signal next to it that was cut on the prior revolution of the table, how material closer to the center of the disk is more susceptible to high frequency distortion due to stylus mistracking because of the lower speed compared to outer grooves, and on and on.

These are all issues the mastering engineer learns techniques to deal with through being taught, by practice, and of course, experience. After mastering test run-throughs, where the tape is played, all mastering moves are made with the lathe running, but the cutter head is not engaged, and the engineer makes any last minute decisions as to disk space considerations, all settings controlling lathe behavior are handled at the console; the engineer does nothing at the lathe until cutting is complete. (I suppose some of the older, less automated lathes required the engineer to push various buttons are turn handles to create lead-ins, lead-outs, and lockout grooves at the beginning and end of sides, and the spaces between songs.)

After cutting, obviously, the engineer spends a good deal of time examining the disk surface through the scope looking for potential problems before sending lacquers to the plating facility. Similarly, the engineer should have spent some time making sure the quality of the lacquer blank was good, avoiding those with obvious surface bubbles or other imperfections. And scoping still does not catch all groove problems. That is the main reason why test pressings are sent to the studio… for playing on typical home style turntables to make sure they don’t skip before large quantities of records are manufactured.

Whatever Happened To The Audiophile?

A VU Pioneer TX-9500 II. There are still people willing to drop a large chunk of their income on the best audio equipment available, says music professor Mark Katz. "That said," he adds, "the landscape — or perhaps soundscape — has changed."

dogulove /via Flickr

A VU Pioneer TX-9500 II. There are still people willing to drop a large chunk of their income on the best audio equipment available, says music professor Mark Katz. “That said,” he adds, “the landscape — or perhaps soundscape — has changed.”

text size A A A

March 5, 2011

You may remember the type: Laid-back in an easy chair, soaking in Rachmaninoff, Reinhardt or the Rolling Stones, enveloped by the very best, primo, top-of-the-line stereo equipment an aficionado could afford.

In robot-like, 1980s cadence, the audiophile could rattle off favorite components, which might include an all-tube Premier One power amp by conrad-johnson, a Sota Sapphire turntable, an Ortofon MC-2000 cartridge and a pair of Magneplanar speakers.

Geeky? Mos def.

But the audiophile was a symbol of the Golden Age of Audiophonics, a time when certain people worshiped at the altar of expensive high-fidelity, two-channel stereo equipment. They were knights errant on an eternal quest for audio perfection — the exact replication of an original performance.

Here is the way one New York Times writer described a Holy Grail system in 1980: “There is a greater transparency of orchestral textures, giving each instrument an almost tactile presence.” The theological debates pitted vacuum-tube amplification advocates against those preferring solid state, or transistorized, amplification. The sacred texts were magazines such as Stereo Reviewand High Fidelity. Stereo stores were the holy shrines.

Then came the barbaric revolution. The boombox, the Walkman and other hand-held devices made music more portable. Digital sound enabled listeners to store scads of compressed, easy-to-download music files — first on computers, then on miniature devices and cell phones. Quality in recordings was sacrificed for speed and convenience. Loudness became more important than clarity. The richness and warmth of a recording was replaced by tinniness and splash.

Now it’s 2011. And amid all the earbudded iPods, smart phones and MP3 players, one can’t help but wonder: Whatever happened to the audiophile?

The Soundscape Has Changed

“There are still people who passionately pursue the highest possible sound quality in their playback equipment, and are willing to spend large portions of their income to the best speakers, amplifiers or turntables,” says Mark Katz, an associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music. “That said, the landscape — or perhaps soundscape — has changed.”

There are still people who passionately pursue the highest possible sound quality in their playback equipment, and are willing to spend large portions of their income to the best speakers, amplifiers or turntables. That said, the landscape — or perhaps soundscape — has changed.

Sound quality is rarely brought up in music conversations these days, Katz says, and for many listeners high-fidelity is a non-issue, “especially given that people often listen to music in noisy environments.”

Listening to music used to be a plop-down, stay-still event. Now it’s something people do while doing something else, like eating while driving or chatting on a phone while walking. The experience of listening to music these days, says Timothy Doyle of the Consumer Electronics Association, is “not unlike personal computing: It’s a 24/7 multilocation proposition; people are taking their music with them, and as a whole, the world has changed so that there are simply fewer and fewer ‘old school’ proponents of sitting down and listening to music.”

Cue up the statistics: In 1998, The New York Timesestimated that high-end audio sales totaled approximately $500 million a year. In 2010, the CEA says, sales were around $200 million.

Defining high-end audio is a tricky task, says Doyle. And “it’s not entirely a matter of declined sales so much as sales being spread out across a wider spectrum of products and companies.” He points out that price deflation and international competition also affect the sales numbers.

But “the key takeaway here,” says Doyle, “is that the market has shrunk not grown.”

And maybe, Doyle and others suggest, the audio market is moving into a metamorphosis — stereo-style.

On one channel: While the sales of high-end devices that deliver high-quality sound may have decreased, the sales of low-end devices that deliver better and better audio quality — such as those sold at big-box stores — is on the upswing.

On the other channel: Some media consumers who in the past would have been known as audiophiles have turned their passions — and paychecks — to other delivery systems, including Brobdingnagian flat-panel TVs, home theaters and multiroom audio-visual contraptions.

No Longer Locked Into A Format

To Jon Iverson of the Stereophile website, audiophiles are forever moving in direct rhythm with — and in syncopation to — mainstream music lovers.

“The mass-market selects and audiophiles perfect,” he says. “Vinyl playback was first a mass market success, and audiophiles set about perfecting it and still do. CD was next and audiophiles and high-end audio companies spent the last several decades perfecting disc-based audio technology. This will always be so.”

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The optimistic upshot, Iverson says, is that the online/download digital world is, in fact, “the biggest opportunity for audiophiles so far.” And, as audiophiles push companies to perfect how good music can sound via the Internet, the Second Golden Age of Audiophonics might be dawning.

“It started out a bit rough with compressed MP3 and iTunes files that, quite frankly, sound OK but not that great,” Iverson says. “But the mass market has clearly accepted online music. And we’ll see these formats push to higher resolution as bandwidth allows. We are already seeing this with iTunes and websites like”

There is also a vast underground online community of high-resolution file traders who demand better and better transfer technology for all types of music, Iverson says. “It’s fascinating to see the discussions of which mastering of a classic title is best. There are first release, remasterings, special editions, Japanese versions, et cetera, and then quite a few ways to transfer these titles in full resolution to a hard drive from disc.”

Iverson gets jazzed at the possibility that Apple will introduce higher-resolution iTunes. “But here’s the point,” he says. “Since we are no longer locked to a physical format like LP or CD, there is far more flexiblity in introducing higher resolution audio formats in an online world. So the potential for audiophiles is greater than ever before to have a format aimed at them that coincides with the mass market.”

And maybe even high-quality audio equipment you can buy at a big box store.

Surrounded By Sound

On the home-theater front, Mike Mettler, editor-in-chief of Sound + Vision magazine, sees many audiophiles becoming videophiles. “As the home theater boom truly began to explode over a decade ago,” he says, “audiophiles dove into it relatively willingly, as we also appreciate the benefits of watching a great picture on a great screen or TV. But it all ties back to enhancing our inherent passion for great sound.”

To Mettler, great sound these days is found “by hooking up high-definition TVs to surround-sound systems.” Also known as 5.1 systems, the six-speaker configuration is made up of left and right front speakers; a center channel, mostly for dialogue; left and right rear channels and a subwoofer — the 1 in the equation — for the low-end of the audio spectrum. You can also buy 7.1 and 11.1 systems.

Such conglomerations, Mettler says, “mirror the 360 degrees of audio that we deal with in everyday life, and they serve to enhance the overall audio-visual experience. Think of the excitement of feeling like you’re in the middle of a roaring stadium crowd while watching football in high-def. Or hearing a car literally drive across the soundstage and into the distance behind you to correspond exactly with what you see that car doing onscreen.”

Surround sound “makes you feel like you are there,” Mettler says, and “that’s one major way the audiophile world intersects with video. When the A and the V are working in tandem, it’s a beautiful thing indeed.”

‘Totally Obsessed With Sound’

Parts of the debate are just so much noise to Laurie Monblatt, a Northern Virginia painter and sculptor and unapologetic audiophile.

“I guess I am what you might describe as totally obsessed with sound,” Monblatt says. “I have had this disease for over 30 years. My adventures in sonics began when I was 15; I am now 56. I grew up in Northern New Jersey and could be found at the Fillmore East or The Bottom Line, as well as many other venues, most weekends.”

She adds, “My passion for music was tremendous and remains so to this day.”

A vintage Stromberg-Carlson AU-57 tube amp.

Bygone/via Flickr

A vintage Stromberg-Carlson AU-57 tube amp.

Let’s let Monblatt describe her system: “I have a dedicated two-channel listening room. My passion is for vacuum tubes and this set up consists of a KT88 based tube amp, tube preamp, tubed CD player, tubed digital-to-analog converter that is partnered with an iMac for digital files and wonderful pair of very efficient speakers. Power to the room is on dedicated lines.”

Over the years, “many components have come and gone — both solid state and tubed,” she says, “but as my obsession grew it became obvious to my ears that tubes give me more of the ‘real thing’ regarding texture, bloom, soundstage and tone. I could go on and on …”

Every single component in her listening room is strategically placed to make the sound perfect. The walls are acoustically tuned to ensure a more accurate listening environment.

When she sits on a comfortable sofa, in exactly the one spot where all the sound comes together, and she listens to Paul McCartney singing Blackbird, she can hear it so perfectly that she can discern McCartney slapping his thigh — against blue jeans. It’s a really distinctive slap sound, she says, and quite different than if Sir Paul wore wool pants.

There is no video equipment in the listening room at all. And when Monblatt settles onto the sofa, she doesn’t read or text or talk.

So if you ever want to ask Laurie Monblatt where all the audiophiles have gone, that’s where you will probably find her. In her sanctum sanctorum of sound. Just her and her music.

NPR editor Marilyn Geewax and several audiophilic friends of NPR contributed to this report.