Commercial radio station WYNX's Bill McNeal on behalf of Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor™
I tend to hate metonyms. To the displeasure of many, I don't call all soda Coke, nor do I call facial tissues "Kleenex," all brands of gelatin "Jello," nor all adhesive bandages "Band-aids." If that makes me a bit like that annoying guy from "The Velveteen Touch of the Dandy Fop," then so be it. I also hate that that sketch's title incorrectly synonymizes "dandies" and "fops" but I'll save that rant for another blog.
Pacifica's Amy Goodman NPR's Tom and Ray Magliozzi
It was a Bay Area weekend in New York with a bunch of different artists from the Bay Area in New York City over the weekend each doing their thing (Bay recognize Bay mayn). These included the 30 member San Francisco Leonard Cohen-covering men's choir the Conspiracy of Beards who literally took Manhattan (as well as other parts of the area) as they blew everyone away during their six-gigs in two days.
These half a dozen shows included performances at the Bowery Poetry Club, the Highline Ballroom, Grumpy's Cafe in Greenpoint, the Box, and on the air at both WFMU and at Neighborhood Public Radio's (NPR) interactive installation part of the Whitney Biennial 2008. Part of their NPR (coincidentally another Bay Area artist outfit in New York & who were recently profiled here on the Amoeblog) concert/broadcast included all 30 members (as pictured above) singing both inside and outside the sidewalk of Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where they did a moving rendition of none other than Leonard Cohen's beautiful song "First We Talk Manhattan."
Other Bay Area peeps in the Big Apple over the weekend included the mash-up party DJ/promoters Mysterious D (pitcured below) and Adrian from Bootie SF (profiled here on the Amoeblog last year) in town for their monthly Bootie NYC party at the Vault (an annex of the club Element) in downtown Manhattan on Friday. That same night a few blocks away at the Cake Shop the the amazing SF rock group Citay, who had driven up from a gig in Philly the night before after being at SxSW the week before, were in the New York area Friday and Saturday doing a few gigs including one on WFMU (on Bay Area transplant Liz Berg's great weekly show) and one at the Lower East Side club (as pictured above in the low-ceilinged basement performance space) in which they won over everyone in the house with their rich, crisp and clean sound and perfect mix that highlighted their vocals and layers of guitar. Also over the weekend longtime Bay Area DJ Spun, who actually lives in New York these days, was representing Rong Music and spinning at both APT and Easy Lover Loft.
CD sales are down but record sales are up. Vinyl, long written off by the industry as obsolete, has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts over the last several years, with vinyl sales on the increase, steadily building in momentum over the past few years. In 2007 there was an estimated 15% increase in sales of new records just from the year before.
And it's not just DJs who are buying records these days. Nor is it just fans of hip-hop/rap and electronic/dance music -- the two genres most associated with vinyl -- but fans of other types of music, including different sub-genres of rock and experimental, among other genres. Additionally a lot of music fans, especially young fans who are tired of MP3s, are discovering the superior warmer analog audio quality of vinyl pressings -- be it on a 7" single or full-length 12" album.
In some cases artists or labels are pressing up vinyl-only releases, often as a way to beat the current rampant free-downloading of MP3 files. But even with a lot of vinyl releases, the record label includes free MP3s such with the new Cornelius vinyl copy of his Gum 12" EP on Everloving/Warner which comes with a printed card in its jacket containing information on the link to MP3 versions of the same songs on the vinyl just purchased.
"A lot of people appreciate the whole aesthetic of vinyl. There is something permanent about the LP format that they really like. With MP3's, even with CDs, there is a disposability with the format," offered Chris Curtis of Hollywood Amoeba Music, where he is a vinyl point person between the floor and warehouse -- overseeing many smaller genres but getting a good overall grasp of the state of vinyl in 2008 with music fans. "To kids that were born after 1990, the LP was dead," said Chris, "but you see a lot of kids coming in to buy vinyl. I think there is a certain coolness connected with it."