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Vinyl Emergency

Musicians, record label owners, visual artists and beyond describe how the influential medium of vinyl has shaped their lives and careers.
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Vinyl Emergency
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Now displaying: February, 2024
Feb 27, 2024
In bands like Volcano Choir, Pele, Vermont and Collections of Colonies of Bees, guitarist Chris Rosenau has actively sought out a unique ambiguity. Whether through off-kilter tunings, a myriad of loop pedals or long-form improvisations in 130-degree heat, he says he finds his most interesting work comes from trusting others. And that trust has built fruitful creative relationships with enigmatic drummer Jon Mueller, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn, among others. But in a career of disarming listeners through unexpected approaches, Chris admits his most quizzical move might be in the form of a recently-released debut solo album, where he's stripped everything back to one acoustic guitar, for a tender salute to his late mother. The album, titled 'a light that cracks through,' is now available at chrisrosenau.bandcamp.com. Follow @rosno on Instagram.
Feb 6, 2024
While on the Milwaukee Brewers roster in 2011, major league pitcher John Axford created a buzz among indie-rock baseball nerds by forgoing the standard jock jams and using Refused's "New Noise" as his game entrance music. While exposing thousands to the Swedish hardcore band’s chaotic screams and atonal, pummeling instrumentation, the choice also garnered some vocal complaints from opposing coaches and TV announcers. Nonetheless, Axford led the entire National League in saves that season, so who knows if some of the song's lyrics ("Good frames won't save bad paintings") don't indeed secretly speak to pitching. Around this same time, his interest in vinyl records began to blossom, leading him to hunt down Japanese Metallica pressings and connect again with his family’s classic Christmas LP’s. Since then "The Ax Man," as fans have dubbed him, has reached the World Series (with the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals), and done time with the Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays, among other organizations. Most recently, Axford represented his home country of Canada in last year’s World Baseball Classic. On this episode, we explore how his dad's vintage Edison phonograph somewhat influenced Axford’s current big budget stereo set-up, his fandom for LP subscription service Vinyl Me, Please and why he won't clean his grandparents' fingerprints off their old records. We also dive into John's recent trip overseas, to a quaint Dutch village where his great uncle's heroism during WWII is cemented and honored forever. Follow @johnaxford on Instagram. PLUS, music this week from Milwaukee band Dramatic Lovers!
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