Newsletter January 2012

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Sprawl Lene Lovich: Shadows and Dust  
The Contessa's Party Mad Sprawl  
Raven Cry  
  Carnival to the
albums
page
   

January 2012

Finally, we’re raising our heads above the parapet with the first newsletter in a while.  There’s also some music underway, of which more in the coming year.
 
We’ve revised the entire site, to bring commentary up to date and to make sure all the sounds play properly.  There will be things we’ve missed, so please bear with us – drop us a note if you have the time and inclination.

CBGB and Hilly Kristal image Roxy club image While all the site has had its words scoured, there are also new pages to peruse.  We’ve a new historical Club section, which is just two:  CBGB, which closed in 2006 after 33 nurturing years, and London’s short-lived Roxy (1976-April 1977 under the original owners, then staggering on for another couple of years).  There’s a brand new interview with BG Hacker, who graduated from being a band member playing there to being the first person anyone met at front of house. BG’s firm geniality helped set the tone of the place.
 
Another add
ition is the first of a series of Thorne’s reminiscences of the CBGB music as issued back then, in the glory days from about 1974 to 1982 (not to demean later action, but this was truly a golden age).  We illustrate with streaming audio as appropriate or allowed.  The Plasmatics, Blondie, the Shirts, Genya Ravan and Ronnie Spector are our first distinguished subjects.
 
There is music bubbling under around here, but as a diversionary tactic Thorne has been shooting his mouth off.  The bouncy Sounds Like Me site asked him for an interview about a major influential record.  He chose the Doors’ Strange Days, from way, way back when.  As the interview evolved through E mail, it turned into quite a careful dissection of production techniques then and now.  Along with what makes radical music then and now.

The Doors' Strangedays album artwork
 

As mentioned, there will be our mistakes on public display on site.  Unavoidable, though, is the streaming player issue.  First a bit of history, then apologies and explanations.
 
Gramophone image Gramophone imageWhen we started in 1999, music playback online was a nightmare of hiccupping connections and awful-sounding competing formats.  One of the biggest laughs we had was playing early RealAudio for the classical department.  For once, things have got better over the years, but companies are still fighting their wars across our desktops.  Same as it ever was…
 
At the Stereo Society site, for direct downloading of music you have a choice between mp3 and AAC.  Most players, notably QuickTime, play both.  We suggest you always choose the AAC (m4a) option, since the same file size sounds better (it’s a more recent invention).
 
We also offer some audio streams in mp3.  Click on one of these links, and a small new browser window, in which you can control the player.  These files can also be downloaded and saved if you wish.  With the small browser window active, simply save it and the full mp3 file will be downloaded to wherever you specify.  When playing on a computer with iTunes, it’s probably best to use QuickTime to play them, or you get all sorts of detritus landing in your iTunes library (unless you prefer to store them there, of course).
 
We can only offer download for music whose copyright we own.  However, in some pages we like to provide streaming audio of other tracks to illustrate the writing, such as in the CBGB music pages.  In this case, we post a Flash player, which plays back without a download option.  Unfortunately, this will not play back on an iPhone or an iPad since Apple, claiming that its processor power consumption was too high, refused to allow the format to be used on mobile devices.  We’re stuck with this for non-downloadable audio until the promised html-5 player has had the bugs and clunkiness shaken out of it, maybe by later 2012.
 
Wherever we post streaming audio that we didn’t originate, we provide a link to the appropriate page at Amazon (US).  There, you can ramble round any related album, and purchase if you please.
 
Purchase please imagePurchase please imageYou’ll also see Purchase Please buttons on some pages.  These bounce you to the appropriate page at Amazon (US).  As with the links from streaming audio, we shamelessly pocket a small finder’s fee (paid by Amazon, not you) if you buy through this link.
 
Finally, we have so many historical stories and interviews across our 1100+ pages that we can’t keep them all up to date.  Be tolerant and please just read them in their own lairs even though we all enthusiastically acknowledge the 21st Century.

Stereo Society animated gramophone image
 

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