By Johnny Firecloud at 9:58 AM Saturday, April 18th 2009
While the rest of the nation sets this day, Record Store Day, aside to bemoan the inevitably oncoming extinction of the beautiful piece of American pop culture that is the record store, gathering en masse to pump a little more revenue into the IV tubes, we tend to think that celebrating the actual records, those little spinning vinyl circles, is a more appropriate way of honoring the day.
So here’s to separating the art from the industry, if only for just one day. One hour. One side of a record. Let’s log off & out, drop the needle down and remember what it’s like to actually feel the music, to bathe in the waves filling the room, to experience it without the distractions of playlists, instant messages and compression.
This promotional short for Irving Mills’ ill-fated Master and Variety labels offers an intimate look at Jazz legend Duke Ellington and his band in action, as well as a step-by-step walkthrough of the actual record making process. Filmed in the actual Master/Variety studios, this clip is one of the very few film accounts of how records were recorded, plated and pressed in the ancient age of analog, shellac and 78 RPM. Narration is provided by pioneer radio announcer Alois Havrilla.
Update: The original video has been removed.
Here’s a more in-depth, updated version of the technique:
And last but not least, a cool fan-made video for Pearl Jam’s Spin The Black Circle, a love letter to vinyl:
Direction and graphic design by Ryan Colditz. Check him out. The man’s got skills.
There are people in some quarters who say that the internet is the death of music. Don’t believe the hype, folks. It’s just the gasping, guttural whines of fatcats and middlemen who see the fire on the horizon, and know that it’s coming for them. But the music’s not going anywhere. The music will always be here.
It’s evolution, baby.