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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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Vinyl Emergency
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Dec 18, 2018

For over two decades, Polyvinyl Records -- which started in the small Midwestern town of Danville, IL -- has been releasing various offshoots of indie-rock with touches of folk, hardcore punk, chamber pop or new wave, including records from Braid, Japandroids, Of Montreal, Joan of Arc, Deerhoof, Alvvays, Beach Slang, Jeff Rosenstock, Matt Pond PA, Owen, Jay Som, Mates of State and countless others. On today's show, Polyvinyl co-founder Matt Lunsford remembers the hands-on DIY nature of the label’s first releases, the early importance of documenting a scene (along with co-founder and wife Darcie), how long their lead time is at pressing plants for a label of their caliber and adapting quickly to how listeners consume music. Plus, we’ll learn more about recent or upcoming Polyvinyl releases from American Football, Pedro the Lion and Rainer Maria. Shop for the label's music, merch and take advantage of their massive holiday sale at PolyvinylRecords.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @polyvinylrecords, or on Twitter @polyvinyl.

Dec 11, 2018
As director of business affairs at the Country Music Association, Aaron Hartley clears rights for online content, works with music publishers on payments for song placements and acts as a liaison between artists and the CMA for television properties. But before working in the world of country music, Aaron cut his teeth by launching Theory Eight Records, a small indie-rock label that has released material for the likes of Bully, Caitlin Rose and Copeland among others.
 
Aside from finding and fixing classic audio gear, Aaron also currently runs Forever Analog, a mixture of a clothing brand and a community that extends beyond his passion for vinyl to celebrate anything tactile, including reel-to-reel players and classic photography equipment. On today’s show, we examine how the CMA was born out out of radio's reaction to Elvis' fame, the importance of Weird Al, how we can prevent hobbies like collecting vinyl from becoming too overwhelming and more. Visit Aaron's websites -- aaronhartley.me and foreveranalog.net -- for updates on DIY projects, insightful blog pieces, his social media and more.
Nov 20, 2018

Eric Astor — CEO and President of Furnace Record Pressing in Virginia — returns to the show to discuss last month’s 2nd annual Making Vinyl conference in Detroit and Furnace’s recent addition of several new record presses. Plus we go over this year’s Record Store Day Black Friday releases with former podcast guest Nick Digilio from WGN Radio in Chicago.

Oct 30, 2018
While it's commonplace for mentors and musical influences to get thanked in a Grammy-acceptance speech, Sadler Vaden made sure to pay homage to his father's physical record collection when, as lead guitarist for Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, the group took home this year's award for Best Americana Album. Since joining the group after the release of Isbell's 2013 breakthrough "Southeastern," Sadler has performed worldwide in one of the busiest and most critically-acclaimed bands working today, even playing side-by-side with some of the classic rock heroes that his dad first spun around the house. On top of his production techniques and overall approach as a solo artist, today Sadler discusses the band’s new live album, his delicate balance between improvisation and structure as a guitarist, and the urge to release non-album singles as quickly as they come. We even examine some vinyl gems and first pressings from his dad's collections on-air!
 
Find Sadler Vaden's 2016 self-titled debut album, as well as Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit's "The Nashville Sound" and "Live from the Ryman," however you get music. You can also download the band's recent live performance with David Crosby to benefit the voter registration non-profit HeadCount.org, and hear Sadler's recent digital singles on iTunes and Spotify. Go to SadlerVaden.com and JasonIsbell.com for tour dates and more.
Oct 16, 2018

Though much of this year's Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, TN was sidelined due to weather-related safety concerns, we still managed to chat with Dawes lead vocalist/guitarist Taylor Goldsmith, soulful singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews and Ireland's Grammy-nominated Hozier, who all shared their thoughts about the importance of vinyl in a digital world, and how the medium has influenced their own work. For details on Pilgrimage Festival, visit pilgrimagefestival.com

Oct 2, 2018

Our special guests this week are Grammy-winner John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars), acclaimed singer/songwriter Erin Rae, sibling vocal duo The Watson Twins, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Oates of Hall & Oates, Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, photographer "Cowtownchad" Cochran and former Vinyl Emergency guest Austin Lucas, all providing great stories about their appreciation and personal history with vinyl, recorded live at various locations during Americanafest 2018 in Nashville, TN! For details on Americanafest, including how to join the Americana Music Organization, visit AmericanaMusic.org.

Sep 14, 2018

With a long history in journalism covering audio and home entertainment, Shane Buettner began boutique vinyl reissue label Intervention Records in 2015, with a focus on albums from the late 70's to early 2000's that he felt weren't getting the proper, or any, treatment on wax. Inspired by the Music Matters Jazz label and priding himself on overseeing every aspect -- from working with the original analog tapes to art restoration to sleeve printing and assembly -- Shane has released high-quality, in-demand reissues from Everclear, Joe Jackson, Erasure, Judee Sill and more over the last three years. Most recently, Intervention has partnered with 90's power-pop king and former Vinyl Emergency guest Matthew Sweet to reissue and remaster his catalog from 1991-1995, all of which were originally recorded entirely to analog: Girlfriend, Altered Beast, the never-before-on-vinyl Son of Altered Beast EP and 100% Fun. On today's show, Shane discusses what the music industry learned from Neil Young's Pono experiment, how farm-to-table restaurants relate to the vinyl world, and his new website -- vinylreviews.com -- which aims to create a community where listeners can share their thoughts on specific pressings and packaging. We also do a deep dive on how our ears and brains take in music, and why audio source transparency is so important to vinyl's resurgence. Visit interventionrecords.com to pick up Shane's quality reissues, and follow @intervention_records on Instagram for needle drops, pressing updates and more!

Aug 31, 2018

In the footsteps of groups like The Band or The Flying Burrito Brothers, who still exude country rock coolness 50 years on, comes Nashville's Great Peacock. Since their 2015 debut, they've been hailed by publications like No Depression, American Songwriter and Paste for their powerful, poignant mixture of folk, rock, blues and Americana, while sharing stages with Margo Price, Dr. Dog, Colter Wall and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd -- guitarists and co-songwriters/vocalists for the quartet -- sit down backstage at hometown venue 3rd & Lindsley to discuss their connections to vinyl, their favorite music documentaries, whether an artist's name on the front of their records takes away from the album's visual art, how My Morning Jacket's Tom Blankenship and Carl Broemel ended up contributing to Great Peacock's terrific new album Gran Pavo Real and more! On September 13th, they'll perform at Musicians Corner at Centennial Park in Nashville as part of Americanafest 2018, and you can visit GreatPeacock.com for further tour dates, their social media, etc.

Jul 20, 2018

Check out details on our brief upcoming hiatus, and what you can expect when we return.

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!

 

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