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Vinyl Emergency

Interviews and anecdotes centered around our connection to vinyl records, featuring musicians, album collectors, LP manufacturers and beyond.
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Jul 6, 2018
To say that music runs in Dori Freeman's family is an understatement: Her dad and grandfather are respected bluegrass musicians, her namesake great-grandmother hung up her guitar in order to raise her siblings around the time of the Great Depression, and for as long as she can remember, Dori grew up playing classic Appalachian songs with and for her immediate relatives. On her 2016 self-titled album as well as 2017's "Letters Never Read," the latter of which was released on Dori's own label, she delivers a riveting mixture of her folk/bluegrass roots and the direct, emotional clarity of influences like Rufus Wainwright and Peggy Lee. On today's show, Dori talks about the LP's she listens to with her husband and daughter, the struggle to get vinyl pressed as an independent artist, how she overcomes the nerves of performing live, what truly defines old-time music, how art can suffer from a failed quest for authenticity, the upcoming album she recorded with grandfather and renowned pencil artist Willard Gayheart and much more. Visit dorifreeman.com for music, tour dates and social media.
 
Jun 22, 2018

Milwaukee-based Americana duo Dead Horses have performed anywhere from coffee shops to opera houses since their formation in 2010, and their profile is only getting larger: While on the road supporting their latest album My Mother The Moon this year and next, they'll play Colorado's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, as well as a Jamaican and Mexican cruise alongside Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls, Billy Bragg and Jason Isbell. Singer/guitarist Sarah Vos and double bassist Daniel Wolff talk today about their relationships with vinyl, getting their own LP's pressed without a label, working with former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and more. PLUS they'll grace us with two live acoustic performances which you can also download separate from today's episode at deadhorseswi.bandcamp.com, with proceeds benefitting Texas non-profit RAICES -- the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. For Dead Horses tour dates, social media and more, visit deadhorses.net.

Jun 8, 2018

Enjoy this repeat of our interview last year with film and television composer Dave Porter. You can hear Dave's music on "Preacher" and "Better Call Saul," celebrating their season premieres on the AMC Network on June 24th and August 6th, respectively.

May 25, 2018

Although he toured the world fronting garage-rock kingpins The Mistreaters in the early 2000's, Chris Schulist has never lost his affinity for the boom-bap style of 80's and 90's rap. Dope Folks Records -- a Milwaukee label he co-founded in 2010 with friend John Kuester -- is fueled by a passion for crate digging; Dope Folks primarily represses underground or deep cut 12" rap singles with minimalist packaging in limited quantities, even working with legendary acts like Black Sheep and Tha Alkaholiks. If that didn't keep him busy enough, Chris is also a partner in the popular Milwaukee restaurant The Vanguard (with fellow garage-rock veteran Jim McCann of the Baseball Furies), serving unique sausages and cocktails to everyone from WWE wrestlers to headlining comedians like Bill Burr to Chris' old pal Jack White. On today's show, Chris details how his uncle got him into record collecting, which Sesame Street record has the best bass lines, why Kiss makes it increasingly tough for their fans to stick with them, and much more. For the best in classic (or should've-been-classic) rap, visit dopefolksrecords.bigcartel.com and follow them on Facebook @dopefolks. For amazing brats while in Milwaukee, visit vanguardbar.com and follow their Instagram, @vanguardmilwaukee.

May 11, 2018

A daily must-visit for record collectors everywhere, Discogs.com launched in 2000 with the lofty goal of cataloging every piece of recorded music in history. Fast-forward nearly two decades, and Discogs has over 9 million different releases currently documented. They've also got a popular mobile app, a busy digital marketplace that fuels the vinyl community worldwide, and sister sites that similarly catalog books, comics, posters, films and recording gear. Discogs CEO Chad Dahlstrom joins us today to talk about his own record collection, the site's recent ban on bootlegged and pirated material, building relationships with artists and labels, updates we can expect in the future and much more. Follow @Discogs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, we debut some brand new music from Ohio quartet Curtail!

Apr 27, 2018

Founded in 1964, Stoughton Printing Company is a leading provider of quality music packaging and production planner Rob Maushund is at the helm of getting that superior work out the door and into record stores around the world. From working first-hand and directly with King Tuff, Jack White or Thurston Moore to Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Gillian Welch or Father John Misty, Rob's 30+ year career at Stoughton has led to literally thousands of astounding record packages, earning Grammys and other industry accolades. On this episode, Rob shares his thoughts on the inaugural Making Vinyl Conference in Detroit this past fall, the history of the tip-on jacket process, and how musicians can explore a vast realm of packaging options without spending a fortune. Visit stoughtonprinting.com for more information, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @StoughtonPrinting. Also check out @OldStyleRecordJackets on Facebook.

Apr 13, 2018

In 1962, soul vocalist and songwriter William Bell was sharing stages with Jackie Wilson and Gladys Knight, before a phone call from his mother and a letter from the U.S. government halted his blossoming career. Today, Andrew Winistorfer from Vinyl Me, Please tells us about their new reissue of Bell's debut LP (originally released by Stax), and what it's been like to get to know the 78-year-old Bell himself while working on the project. Also, Jim speaks with record collector friends Perry Day and Mike Pecucci to get their angle on Record Store Day, as well as Pinwheel Records owner Scott Schaaf, as he prepares for their biggest day of the year.

Mar 30, 2018
In honor of Buffalo Tom's latest album Quiet And Peace being released earlier this month -- as well as a new seven-inch and their essential LP Big Red Letter Day returning to vinyl for a 25th anniversary pressing on Record Store Day, April 21st -- we are rerunning singer/guitarist Bill Janovitz's interview from last year. Follow @billjanovitz and @buffalotomband on Twitter for news and announcements. You can also purchase Quiet And Peace via BuffaloTom.com. 
Mar 16, 2018

President and CEO of Fairfax, VA's Furnace Record Pressing Eric Astor has seemingly done it all within the record label / disto / CD and vinyl pressing universe over the last 20+ years, with zero sign of stopping: Furnace is soon adding 16 new and refurbished vinyl presses, likely solidifying them as the second largest vinyl pressing plant in America. Today, Eric chats about his previous and current companies (including ORGMusic, VinylStyl and Lumberjack Distribution), as well as what these new machines mean for not just Furnace's output, but for the current bottlenecking experienced across the board by today’s vinyl manufacturers. Visit FurnaceMFG.com and ORGMusic.com for more information!

 

Mar 2, 2018

Within the last five years, U-Turn Audio has gone from the Kickstarter dream of three east coast college students to one of the biggest names in turntables. In a fanatical vinyl market, they've managed to stand apart by making each deck to order, keeping their manufacturing in Boston and offering audiophile-like quality at a price tag that's nearly half of those of their largest competitors. U-Turn's customization factor is also a huge selling point, with listeners having the ability to add a pop of color, a higher-end cartridge, a cue lever and more to an already stellar piece of equipment. Co-founder Ben Carter drops in this week to discuss the company's genesis, how the audiophile community influenced U-Turn's original designs, the endless debate between belt-driven and direct-driven turntables, his affection for Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" and the impact of Pennie Smith's iconic photo on the front of The Clash's "London Calling," plus dealing with feedback and customer satisfaction in the age of social media. Visit uturnaudio.com to learn more!

Feb 16, 2018
A music lover from an early age, author and screenwriter Garon Cockrell is rather new to the obsessive world of vinyl. Yet, he's fallen deep enough down the rabbit hole to know that his penchant for classic country, modern pop and horror scores -- especially those reissued by labels like Death Waltz, Mondo and Waxwork -- is unlike any other hobby. As a cast member of the pioneering and award-winning podcast Never Not Funny (hosted by comedian and previous Vinyl Emergency guest Jimmy Pardo), Garon talks today about the genesis of his Pop Culture Beast website, why his new love for vinyl came from not wanting to take music for granted and how Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" started the whole damn thing. Never Not Funny's 9th Annual Pardcast-A-Thon, benefitting cleft palate charity Smile Train, streams live on YouTube and NeverNotFunny.com March 3rd, and you can also follow Garon on Twitter and Instagram @MyNameIsGaron!
Feb 2, 2018
Founding member of classic rock staple The Grass Roots ("Let's Live For Today," "Midnight Confessions"), musician and actor Creed Bratton turns 75 this month, and has seemingly led multiple lives both before and after his departure from the band in 1968: Dude wrangling in California; Working in an electronics factory in Munich; Literally being chased out of an Algerian town; And most notably, playing a far-weirder version of himself during The Office's iconic eight-year run on NBC. Today, Creed remembers his Dual turntable and collection of 45's, the country-western band his grandparents played in, listening to legendary disc jockey B. Mitchel Reed as a kid, the work of the legendary Wrecking Crew, and his sage advice to anyone pursuing their passions. We also discuss his imminent new album While The Young Punks Dance, his upcoming film The Sisters Brothers (starring Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix) and whether the Creed of Dunder Mifflin really was "the Scranton Strangler." Visit CreedBratton.com for tour dates, news and more!
 
Link for corresponding Spotify playlist:
https://open.spotify.com/user/jrhanke/playlist/0gM8hCCwhNa80r3yHkLvU8
Jan 19, 2018

Today's show is all about getting -- and keeping -- your records clean! Perfect Vinyl Forever is a relatively new service based in Wisconsin, determined to restore albums to "better than new" condition through more scientific means than your standard over-the-counter methods. Founder Steve Evans joins us today to discuss the do's and don'ts of commercially available cleaning processes (like brush-and-solution combos and Spin-Clean Record Washers), how PVF strives to improve the fidelity of brand new LP's, the different types of record collectors he encounters, and the joy he gets from working on Perfect Vinyl Forever with his daughters, who also appear on today's episode to discuss their own appreciation for records as well as their feelings as young women in a collector's culture that isn't always inviting or inclusive. If you're in the Milwaukee area, check out Perfect Vinyl Forever's next record cleaning clinic at Ultra Fidelis in Wauwatosa, WI on January 27, and visit PerfectVinylForever.com for more info!

Jan 5, 2018

Having cut his teeth within the small but tight-knit Green Bay punk scene of the early 2000's, Milwaukee-area producer/engineer Justin Perkins gives tips on mastering records both digitally and for vinyl and discusses temporarily joining Screeching Weasel, being in charge of documenting the final Replacements reunion show in 2015, and how trying to change an album's audio mix after the mastering process is like attempting to cook an already-burnt pizza. Visit mysteryroommastering.com for more info on Justin's studio work, and check out BashAndPop.bandcamp.com to hear his recent musical project, backing up the Replacements' Tommy Stinson! 

Dec 15, 2017
Ohio-born singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless has been hailed by Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, NPR and Stereogum, with the latter of which declaring her "sophisticated wordplay and gloriously messy emotions the kind of moody Midwestern rock that sounds best around 2AM." Recorded in front of a live audience at Pinwheel Records in Chicago, Lydia performs acoustically and discusses her newest release Boy Crazy & Single(s) -- a collection of previous non-album tracks and covers, released by Bloodshot Records -- as well as early record store memories, being the subject of filmmaker Gorman Bechard's recent documentary "Who Is Lydia Loveless?," and how her recent acoustic tour has allowed her more time to write not only songs, but journal entries as well. Visit lydialoveless.bandcamp.com to download a digital EP of Lydia's live performances from this episode (with all proceeds benefitting Faith Mission Ohio), PLUS check out @VinylEmergency on Facebook or Twitter for our corresponding Spotify playlist to this episode!
 
Dec 1, 2017

2017's Trinity Lane, the third album from Nashville-based Lilly Hiatt, is a true triumph within the alt-country/Americana genre, from an artist who has not only overcome personal tragedy, addiction and heartbreak, but has done so while standing outside of the musical shadow of her dad, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter John Hiatt. NPR nailed it earlier this year by saying, "Her willingness to portray herself in moments of anger or neediness that others might deem unseemly, particularly coming from a woman, and to examine gender divisions in emotional labor at close range, is courageous and affecting." Today, Lilly talks about digging through vinyl dollar bins on the road, how her turntable played a part in her newfound independence, playing everything from Cat Stevens to Kendrick Lamar while in the van, what her dream vinyl pressing of Trinity Lane would entail, and the romance that blossomed through the recording of her recent Third Man Records seven-inch. Trinity Lane is available wherever you buy physical or digital music, and visit LillyHiatt.com for upcoming tour dates, social media and more. PLUS check out @VinylEmergency on Facebook or Twitter for our corresponding Spotify playlist to this episode!

 

Nov 17, 2017

The recent, sudden passing of Tom Petty has been rough for all who knew him and adored his music, so this week we're rerunning our chat last fall with Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. Ben's memories over the last 40 years of performing with Tom, and his passion for vinyl and music in general, make this one of our favorite interviews we've done. Follow @BenmontTench on Facebook and Instagram, as well as @BenchTen on Twitter.

Nov 3, 2017

Surrounded by her parents' jovial and eccentric group of friends as a youngster -- whom she likened to "the Marx Brothers in tie-dye" -- photographer and director Autumn de Wilde has captured a venerable who's who list of artists on film, such as Willie Nelson, Prince, Ryan Adams, the White Stripes, Death Cab for Cutie, Sonic Youth, Fiona Apple and the Decemberists. This week, Autumn and Jim discuss how her shots on iconic record covers for Beck's "Sea Change," Elliott Smith's "Figure 8" and Jenny Lewis' "The Voyager" came to fruition, the comedy albums that she loved growing up, some long-lost photos Autumn took of Jim during a shoot for "Wilco the Album" back in 2009, and how she uses a certain improvisational wildness within her art while ensuring her subject never feels trapped by it. Follow @autumndewilde on Instagram and Twitter, and keep an eye out for the latest video she has directed for Starcrawler's "I Love L.A.," coming later this month. SPONSORS: Vinyl Me, Please; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl for a Cause; flipbin.

Oct 20, 2017
Through four distinctively different albums, The Promise Ring became a staple of post-punk independent rock in the late 90's and early 2000's, with each of their records going on to influence bands worldwide that proudly consider themselves part of today's emo revival. In the 15 years since their break-up (aside from some 2012 reunion dates), singer/guitarist Davey von Bohlen and drummer Dan Didier -- who already had another group together, Vermont, with fellow Milwaukeean and Volcano Choir guitarist Chris Rosenau -- carried on to form Maritime, whose upbeat power-pop never toured as vigorously as The Promise Ring yet has thankfully sustained a longer life-cycle (Maritime's fifth and latest LP is 2015's "Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones"). Currently, Dan has been focused on "Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker," the recently-released, feature-length documentary on the seminal Bay Area punk trio that he co-produced. This week, we cover the fandom around Jawbreaker, how a Monty Python sketch caused Dan to accidentally destroy his first Promise Ring test pressing, a debate about Men At Work records, and how he strikes a balance between avoiding his previous albums but appreciating the nostalgia and memories that they hold. Dan's latest musical project Dramatic Lovers can be found online at dramaticlovers.com, and though Maritime remains on hiatus, you can grab their music at maritime.bandcamp.com. Learn more about the Jawbreaker film at dontbreakdown.com. SPONSORS: Table Turned; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl for a Cause; flipbin.
 
Oct 6, 2017

Friend, fellow record collector and previous guest Chris Fitzgerald joins us to talk about the songs and memories we'll hold of the late Tom Petty.

Oct 6, 2017

This week, our host Jim Hanke guests on Dig Me Out as part of a roundtable discussion about all things alt-country! Touchstone albums, current favorites, what defines the genre and more are discussed with DMO hosts Tim Minneci and Jason Dziak, Jim Kopeny of Chicagoist.com, and the Dallas Observer's Eric Grubbs. Visit DigMeOutPodcast.com for great weekly album discussions and other great episodes. PLUS -- We announce our next LIVE Vinyl Emergency episode, at Pinwheel Records in Chicago this November!

Sep 22, 2017

In the pantheon of 90's alternative-rock, you could say Boston trio Morphine were one of the most alternative. Leader Mark Sandman's seductive vocals and two-string slide bass, partnered with only baritone saxophone and drums, created a sound Sandman himself dubbed as "low rock" but almost 30 years after the band's inception, their fans as well as newcomers still struggle to put Morphine's uniqueness into words. Since Sandman's tragic death in 1999, saxophonist Dana Colley (along with surviving members of Morphine and other collaborators) has kept that distinct sound alive through Orchestra Morphine and currently Vapors Of Morphine, as well as an upcoming limited LP release from Warner Music Group imprint Run Out Groove of Morphine's 1997 set at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, cut to vinyl by Jeff Powell at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording. On today's show, Colley discusses his fascination with liner notes and how vinyl records act as an archive for a moment in time, while Run Out Groove's Matt Block visits to talk about the label's fan-driven voting process, why a Morphine live show was chosen over studio albums that have yet to see vinyl pressings and how quality digital recordings have as much of a right to exist in the vinyl market as analog. Visit RunOutGrooveVinyl.com to find a store near you that will carry Morphine's Live At The Warfield 1997 next month, and check out VaporsOfMorphine.com for news and tour dates.

Sep 8, 2017

Over the last 25+ years, the legendary Chuck Berry, an inarguable architect of rock n' roll and known worldwide for hits like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven," had been working on what would become his final album. The aptly-titled Chuck is his first studio record since 1979 and was finished prior to his death this past March. The LP features current rock staples like Gary Clark Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello alongside members of his family, including son Charles Jr., who had already built himself a successful career in IT, but had virtually zero music experience, before joining his father's band in the early 2000's. This week, Charles Jr. remembers 16RPM records, his mother's vinyl collection and his dad's guitars over the years, plus we discuss his own vinyl buying habits and why this final album took over a generation to complete. He also talks about the memories he's made through his father's music with his own son, Charles III, including their recent appearance together on The Tonight Show. The album Chuck is available on Dualtone Records wherever you buy music; go to ChuckBerry.com for more info. SPONSORS: Vinyl Me, Please; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl For A Cause; Flipbin.

Aug 25, 2017

Born in Italy and raised in the English city of Oxford, Olivia Chaney is an acclaimed and classically-trained pianist/folk singer who -- thanks to a Twitter dialogue with Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy -- recently partnered with the group to form the side-project Offa Rex, providing a psychedelic motif to traditional British folk songs from as early as the 17th century. This week, Olivia talks about being intrigued by Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding LP as a child, the vinyl care package she recently received from her label Nonesuch, opening shows for the legendary Robert Plant, the song selection process for Offa Rex's debut album The Queen Of Hearts, how our discussion has potentially influenced her to record direct to analog from now on and how cassette tapes on family road trips not only formed her earliest musical memories, but also became the focus for the cover of her debut album, 2015's The Longest River. Visit both oliviachaney.net and offarex.co for music, social media and more! SPONSORS: Vinyl Me, Please; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl For A Cause; Flipbin.

Aug 18, 2017

As one of indie-rock's busiest mastering engineers, TW Walsh has tackled almost 1,000 different projects, including releases for Sufjan Stevens, Ben Gibbard and The Shins. He's also had a longtime friendship and working alliance with former Vinyl Emergency guest David Bazan, writing and performing on albums for Pedro The Lion, Headphones and most recently Lo Tom, as Walsh and Bazan are joined by Starflyer 59's Jason Martin and Trey Many. As Lo Tom's debut full-length was released last month by Barsuk, and his newest solo effort Terrible Freedom came out in April, Walsh joins us to discuss his father's extensive record collection, the future of mastering in the age of digital DIY, how the benefits of streaming have prevented albums from growing on us, Elvis Costello's vast and diverse discography, whether Walsh will continue to press vinyl on his own and how he became the subject of one of Bazan's best-known lyrics. Visit twwalsh.com to buy his releases on vinyl or digitally, and pick up Lo Tom's new album from Barsuk.com or wherever you purchase music. You can also follow @LoTomLoTom on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SPONSORS: Vinyl Me, Please; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl For A Cause; Flipbin.

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