Got a yearnin’ or a hankerin’ to hear some scratchy 78rpm goodness? Then listen no further than Wester Swing on 78, a blog chock-full of freshly-ripped vinyl and acetate just waiting to turn your computer into a dusty ol’ Texas dance hall. Consisting of mostly ZIP archives of MP3 song collections, the blog entries contain historical information, publicity photos and playable sample songs of such iconic western swing artists like Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys as well as flour-pushers like the Hillbilly Boys and the Light Crust Doughboys. Click, download and two-step the afternoon away.
How quickly time passes when you’re busy. Here we are again, one year later, observing Record Store Day, this time in Austin, TX–truly the “live music capital of the world.” In fact, I stopped in to a great Austin record store (one of many), End of an Ear, to pick up some vinyl and happened to catch the last four songs by BeauSoleil avec Michael Ducet before they headed back to southwest Louisiana. They were in town playing at the Old Settler’s Music Festival (one of a gazillion fests here this time of year) and were gracious enough to give us a free show in the parking lot. Oh, and I scored this UK pressing of Pete Kelly’s Blues featuring the silky-smooth voice of Peggy Lee and sporting some great typography to boot.
Though I’m still mourning the loss of Final Vinyl in the East Village, that won’t stop me from seeking out and patronizing my local record store this Saturday, April 19th, on Record Store Day. Get out there and support your local music retailer–more specifically, the ones selling vinyl!
Join “black crack” addicts worldwide on August 12th as we celebrate Vinyl Record Day commemorating the anniversary of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison. Go crate-digging at yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops, support your local vinyl record store, shop for new and used vinyl online at such great stores as Dusty Groove and Gemm, or finally get a replacement stylus for that used turntable you bought off Craig’s List.
If, like me, you have lots of rare, out-of-print vinyl records that just don’t exist digitally, the Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB may just cure your ills. This is a true plug-and-play solution for importing 33 1/3 & 45 RPM vinyl records into your computer via a standard USB 2.0 interface. The bundled Audacity software allows you to save songs as MP3s (or virtually any other digital music file format) and has a filter that allows you to easily remove scratches and pops from older records without compromising sound quality. You can use the turntable to play records through your computer speakers via USB or connect it to a home stereo system using the included RCA cable. I recently set one of these up for a friend and was amazed at how utterly convenient it was to both install and use. And while it’s not as heavy duty as my Technics 1200s, the belt-drive Numark TTUSB Turntable still produces a respectable sound considering what an amazing value it is. At under $125 bucks, I give it two thumbs up!