Vinyl LP Catalog Project Update -The Analog Universe Has Its Own Rules

As an update to my vinyl LP project, previously mentioned, I’m approaching the end of my first phase. As of tonight, I have added 581 LPs to my Delicious Library 3 catalog, with maybe another 75 LPs to go, or close to that number. I haven’t counted them. Not a huge collection obviously, but one that is important to me.

I’m still compelled to add new physical media to my shared space, but luckily, Covid-19 has stopped me from visiting local record stores and paying their rent by buying everything interesting. So far, only Discogs, and Ernie’s Millions Of Records have benefited from my renewed interest in vinyl.

By now, my routine is fairly well polished, and occurs in roughly this order. The analog universe has its own rules.

Vinyl LPs played Week of Nov 5 2021

1. Pull an LP off the shelf. Take it out of the plastic sleeve, if it has one. If it doesn’t1, give it one. Take a photo with my iPhone2 of the cover, back cover, and any interesting details, including the inner sleeve, or inner gatefold, or the vinyl label. If the LP doesn’t have a good inner sleeve, replace it.  

2. Look at the etched runout markings. If I have my reading glasses on, I will note those and search Discogs for the proper edition. If I can’t make them out, I will guess based on year of purchase3 or on other unique identifiers on the spine or cover. Some LPs have had hundreds of pressings, thus I will admit that I am not always successful, some of my Discogs IDs are no doubt incorrect.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

I have yet to look up an LP that was not listed at Discogs fwiw. I have only had to contribute 2 or 3 additions/corrections, a great ratio. Crowd-sourced data and the “old school” internet is good when it works!

Vinyl LPs Played Week of Nov 20

3. Look up the LP in the Delicious Library 3 interface. This is often harder than it could be, especially for older LPs. It works well when there is a barcode on the LP, a barcode that still exists, that is. About 20% of the barcode lookups fail because the LP is not in Amazon.com’s database. Also, the Delicious Library 3 text search bar is ludicrously small, and once you type, “vinyl”, you can only see the next couple of words. Better to copy and paste from the Discogs site, but of course I don’t always remember to do this. Besides, the Amazon 3rd Party Marketplace is hit/miss with titles. A large percentage of my library doesn’t have a barcode – I’m guessing late ’80s was when the barcode became standard on album covers.

Delicious text entry

If this process works well, the Amazon lookup populates my Delicious Library catalog with accurate info about title, artist, label, release date, current retail value, and even nice artwork. If the process works partially, I still save myself some typing, but I may have to use my own photo of cover art, correct label info, and so forth. I would estimate I’ve had to hand-type about 50 LPs so far.

Because I’m sorta nutty, I then copy track info, and other credits from Discogs into the Delicious Library entry. Not nutty, maybe a better epithet is data enthusiast. I don’t always care, but sometimes I’m curious who the guest guitarist was on the 3rd track, or who wrote this song on Side 2, yadda yadda…

4. Look at the physical disc, make sure it isn’t warped, or has big scratches visible on the vinyl. I’ve been lucky and only ten or less of these LPs have been too physically damaged to play. I’ve always tried to take good care of my LPs, but ya know, other humans live on this planet. Plus the universe tends towards entropy.

5. Put the LP into my Record Washer MKII. This is a crucial step, but I didn’t always use it early on in my process. I do now though, with a bath of distilled water and a capful of Spin-Clean Washer Fluid4. I try to switch out the bath every week, or when it begins to smell a bit “off”. While I spin the LP 3 times counter-clockwise, I cogitate; when I subsequently spin the LP 3 times clockwise, I count down in my best Casey Kasem voice, “3, 2, 1, play…”

6. I have about 7 or 8 microfiber cloths that I use in a rotation to clean the MKII solution and schmutz off the LP. I prefer to do this during the day so I can stand by my office window and use natural light to ascertain if there are finger smudges or whatever that I can remove. If I didn’t like the album art photo I took previously, I’ll try again.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80 - Army Arrangement

7. The best part! Playing the damn thing!  Drop the needle down, and dance where appropriate! Or play air guitar! or air bass! Whatever! To be truthful, not every record demands full attention from my ears. Sometimes I’ll be working on other records, preparing them with the above mentioned steps until they are ready to play. In other words, at any time, there are several LPs in each of the above steps. For instance, right now I have 8 LPs that are ready to play as soon as I queue them up, another 10 that still need to be cleaned and dried, another 20 or so that I haven’t looked up in Discogs.com yet, plus those other ~75 that I haven’t even started on.

Finally replaced my phono cartridge

8. Depending upon circumstances, I may research the album at Wikipedia and/or Allmusic.com to get a feel for critical response. Depending upon the artist, there can be quite a lot of history about a particular album. Most of these albums I acquired before the public internet even existed, I might not have realized what a particular artist was all about, or why a song swerves in this particular way, or who knows what weirdness I’ll stumble upon on the internet. Factoids are a certain kind of brain candy.

Riverstone Audio VTF Gauge

What’s next? After I finish my journey through all these albums, I plan to alphabetize them. I haven’t yet decided to do a straight ABC alphabetization, or a genre/alpha sort.5  I might need a couple more shelves actually. 

Next I want to digitize the albums I don’t have already in my music library. I’m a bit leery of this step; I tried to digitize a John Lee Hooker LP and it sounded like absolute shit. Not sure if my needle was bad, the LP itself was too worn6 or other factors. I will try again though, there is too much gold on these shelves.

Vinyl LPs played Week of 12-11-21

Footnotes:
  1. something like 20% didn’t have an outer plastic sleeve, or was corroded in some way []
  2. using the square setting []
  3. if I recall []
  4. whatever is in it, some anti-static compounds I would guess []
  5. Blues LPs, sorted by alpha, Jazz LPs, sorted by alpha, etc. []
  6. though it sounded fine on my phonograph []

Vinyl Records Project

Atlantic Blues: Guitar

My cousin drove to Toronto to spend the summer with his mom, and stopped in to visit for a few days. He was kind enough to bring up 5 crates of LPs that I had never managed to cart back with me from Austin. I have always collected music since I was a teen, and didn’t start buying CDs until the mid 1990s. In Austin during my interminable college years, there was a glut of quality, used LPs available at the record shops (probably as students passed through, or replaced vinyl with CDs), I bought several a week for a long time. As far as obsessive behavior goes, not a bad one…

I’ve been methodically playing each record, adding them to my Delicious Library database, looking up information in Wikipedia, Allmusic, and Discogs, and in general immersing my ears and brain into this time capsule from 1993. I have an audio-technica AT-LP120 USB turntable; my plan is that once I go through the 600 or so LPs once, I’ll start digitizing the ones that are unusual, or I don’t have CD versions of, or that are simply unavailable currently. My tastes in music are basically the same as then, which is way to say I haven’t found any horrible, cringe records, yet. Lots of blues, music from various African regions, Brazilian, classic rock, European classical, Indie & Alternative rock, jazz, and so on.

I initially have been working on the box of “A-C”, and “H-J”, loosely alphabetized by a prior self, and altered by other people’s explorations no doubt.

Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland

Playing an LP is a different mindset: deciding what to listen to, opening the album up, choosing a side to play, queuing up, holding the cover sleeve, reading liner notes, admiring the art, yadda yadda. An analog modality.

A fun project!

Started a Vinyl Shelf in Delicious Library

Started a Vinyl Shelf in Delicious Library

Started a Vinyl Shelf in Delicious Library

Yazoo Record

M. Hohner Special 20 – Key of C was uploaded to Flickr

Harmonicas are extremely easy and hard to learn.

I had one for many years, but it got sat on and squished one drunken night (might even have been me, but probably not). I never got around to replacing it until today.

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I took M. Hohner Special 20 – Key of C on August 19, 2016 at 07:03AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 19, 2016 at 01:28PM

How ‘Rock Star’ Became a Business Buzzword – The New York Times

Boschsevendeadlysins
Earlier today…

Years ago, in the early ’90s, I took a copywriting class at a large Chicago ad agency, and the teacher told us a story about how, a few years earlier, he tried to persuade the indie band Timbuk3 to allow his client ­— I think it was Procter & Gamble — to use its song ‘‘Hairstyles and Attitudes’’ in a commercial, but the musicians refused. I was struck by his contempt for their decision, and how fresh his anger seemed. He kept sputtering the reason they gave for turning down his agency’s offer — ‘‘They didn’t want to sell out!’’ — as if it constituted not just an unthinkable betrayal but also a reprehensible moral lapse. He seemed to expect us to mirror his indignation, but we just sat there, feeling uncomfortable.

Via:
How ‘Rock Star’ Became a Business Buzzword – The New York Times
[automated]

Musicians at Mareva’s Birthday Party was uploaded to Flickr

I didn’t catch their names, but they were good. At the Canal Street Marina on the Chicago River.

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I took Musicians at Mareva’s Birthday Party on May 15, 2015 at 10:14PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on May 16, 2015 at 07:16PM

Dirty Wurds – 45 – Not This One / Mellow Down Easy was uploaded to Flickr

Chicago Garage Rock

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I took Dirty Wurds – 45 – Not This One / Mellow Down Easy on January 30, 2015 at 10:49AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on January 30, 2015 at 04:50PM

iPod Classic Returned From The Dead was uploaded to Flickr

What a pleasant surprise! Left it plugged in overnight on an underutilized iMac, and after it charged up the iPod Classic, went into recovery mode. Yayy, I have a working iPod Classic again…


previously: http://ift.tt/1wARac2…

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I took iPod Classic Returned From The Dead on December 15, 2014 at 12:12PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 15, 2014 at 06:13PM

The Black Hippies was uploaded to Flickr

a vinyl re-release of the mid-70s debut album of a Nigerian funk band. From Reckless Records.http://ift.tt/1uKOabi

Rough Trade has this to say about it:
High quality reissue of great and unbelievably rare Afro Rock Lp. Appeals to fans of Psych, Fuzz, African, and Funk. Licensed directly from Pazy (Band Leader, Lead Singer and Guitarist). Pazy (real name Joseph Etinagbedia) started playing music in the Fire Flies in the city of Warri in Nigeria in 1973. The area was in the midst of an oil boom, and like most bands on that scene, the Fire Flies played American and European pop hits mixed with Jazz and Highlife for the largely expat audiences in local clubs. Along with an influx of foreigners, the oil boom also gave rise to an emerging Nigerian youth market, and soon Pazy formed the Black Hippies to play the uniquely African style of hard rock that was favoured by this new audience. They quickly found success and were appearing alongside other Warri-based artists such as Tony Grey. In short time, they came to the attention of EMI and their legendary producer Odion Iruoje, who recorded this album. By the time it was released in 1977, though, Disco and Funk were starting to take over and the hard fuzzy rock of The Black Hippies first album was somewhat behind the times. As a result, the album was barely released and is now virtually unfindable, unseen by all but a few of the most hardcore collectors. Pazy would go on to form a new line up of the Black Hippies that played mostly Reggae but this remains by far the best album. Featuring whiplash funk drumming, searing fuzz guitar, raw vocals and that uniquely West African organ sound, The Black Hippies first album is a definitive classic of the genre. Beautifully remastered with restored artwork, this release stands alongside our Ofege and Psychedelic Aliens releases as restored gems from a largely unknown but incredibly vital Rock scene in 70’s West Africa.

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I took The Black Hippies on June 07, 2014 at 02:46PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 07, 2014 at 08:37PM

Greatest Folksingers of the Sixties was uploaded to Flickr

Vanguard Records.

As a Gen-Xer, I cringe over anything that plays up the “Sixties” as a descriptor, regardless this is a damn solid LP.

The playlist includes such luminaries as Odetta, Cisco Houston, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Doc Watson, John Hammond, etc. etc.

http://ift.tt/1n8iNVL…

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I took Greatest Folksingers of the Sixties on May 23, 2014 at 12:42AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on May 23, 2014 at 05:54AM

The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz was uploaded to Flickr

– maybe the best ten bucks I ever spent!

track list:
http://ift.tt/RZOqWg…

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I took The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz on April 27, 2014 at 09:02PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 28, 2014 at 02:05AM