Tag Archives: vinyl albums

…and We’re Back!

Was a great, sleep-deprived and vinyl-riffic road trip to Pittsburgh and back again. Loads of great vinyl finds and good times, and the two-day horror movie marathon and camp-out at the Riverside Drive-In was awesome fun. The normal Turntabling posting schedule (such as it is) resumes once more now that I’m off the road.

Learned a few interesting things about my own vinyl collecting habits while on the road. Maybe it’s just personal bias in favor of one system over another, but I find vinyl graded with terms other than the Goldmine standard (G, VG, VG+, NM, NM-, M) seem to be MUCH less than advertised when you inspect the records.

“Very Fine” and “Exceptionally Clean” seem to be much closer to bullshit in my opinion–“exceptionally clean” or “very fine” lead one to expect a record in at least VG+ or NM- condition. Instead what you get in many cases is an overpriced VG.

What’s the difference? I know a lot of people out there have a hard time with record grading, but my own criteria, fussy as it may be, is basically this: if a record has more than a couple of stray marks on it, it can’t possibly be better than VG+. If a record looks used, but well taken care of (shiny, without more than two glaring marks or scratches that don’t affect play) it’s probably VG or VG+. I think records in VG+ condition are great purchases, and many of the ones in my own collection are VG+.

I will buy a record that looks VG+ any day of the week. I love NM vinyl best of all the “pre-owned” grades, but sometimes you’ll pay more for them because they’re more sought after–a NM version of a rare title is a wonderful find. But VG+ is just fine for anyone who plans to play the record often.

Near mint is just that–a record that’s used but looks pretty damn close to when it came out of the shrink wrap with some leeway given for the age of the record. Mint is either just out of shrink wrap and played once or twice or still sealed. In my experience–and it’s all VERY subjective, naturally==I think people who collect are really into NM, but many of those who buy from me at shows like HorrorHound Weekend or Cinema Wasteland buy to play the albums often and are perfectly happy with VG+ or VG.

The records graded “Very Fine” or “Exceptionally clean”, I’m not too impressed with as the perception is (for a hardcore record buyer and seller of vinyl) that somebody’s trying to sidestep the condition issue. That’s not always the case, to be fair, but it was really glaring on this trip how untrustworthy grading systems can be. Always inspect your vinyl!

I’ll have to do a full post on this stuff a bit later on, methinks.

–Joe Wallace

Back From Flashback Weekend

Big thanks to all who came out to the Turntabling Table this weekend and chatted, bought rare and unusual vinyl, and talked about all things record-related. Turntabling is plotting more convention appearances even as I write this. Everyone who came to the table really made the weekend special–THANK YOU for your support.

I wanted to take a moment to remind people that I am currently in search of more record collections to purchase. Any kind of bulk vinyl for sale is potentially of interest as I have a continuous need for more titles–especially 80s goth/industrial, soundtracks, new wave, odd/bizarre and otherwise unclassifiable records. Feel free to get in touch about any vinyl you might be interested in selling: jwallace@turntabling (dot) net.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Joe Wallace

WTF Album Covers: Leona Anderson Music To Suffer By

by Joe Wallace

I stumbled on this image of the album cover for Leona Anderson’s Music To Suffer By on The Magic Whistle. WTF is going on in this picture? This one’s suitable for framing–at least in MY house where bad album art has a special place of love and reverence.

There’s nothing quite like the joys of an especially wretched piece of album art. The ones so wrong-headed you can’t even begin to describe them are my favorites. Music To Suffer By from Leona Anderson is definitely one of those. Can you hear the discussion between Anderson and the artist? “Well, miz Anderson, the guy with the violin is, you know, gonna KILL you here with that lighter as you’re trying to sing with cobwebs coming out of your mouth. GET IT?”

If YOU get it, please by all means, let ME know what this is trying to say. I think maybe I’m still drunk from a week last Thursday and that’s why I can’t wrap my head around it.

Mono Stereo 45 RPM Single On and On/Matter of Confusion

Mono Stereo 45 On and On Matter of ConfusionI hear some people of a certain age group (hint–I went to college with some of them in the 90s) moaning about how music today isn’t as good (read post-punk enough or new wavey enough or whatever) as it used to be. To which I reply in two parts. Part One: You’ve become your parents, and Part Two, that’s just complete nonsense when faced with delicious vinyl releases like this 45 from Mono Stereo.

This Swedish four piece has its feel planted firmly in the psychedelia/shoegaze mushroom garden, evoking both a retro 60s vibe (with a nice little nod to Ennio Morricone in the middle eight of A Matter of Confusion, intentional or not) AND a bit of the old Ride/MBV thrown in for good measure.

It’s tough to review a modern ‘gazer band without invoking those previous two names, but the comparison is favorable, and I actually find the B side to be the stronger of the two cuts, though I have to admire the production work of the A-side On And On…sounds to these musician/DJ ears like a quite effective sitar simulation was achieved by pairing a banjo and guitar riff togetether…or maybe that IS a sitar and I’m just going deaf. Either way, it’s an effective intro to the track.

Mono Stereo has created a nice thick wall of sound swirling in just the right way. Kudos to them for not only a great release, but also for putting it out on vinyl as the gods intended.

Get your Mono Stereo on with the Vimeo vid below and tell me you don’t want to hear more…I did. Hook up with Mono Stereo on Facebook and be sure to tell ’em Turntabling sent you.

And that reminds me…I am all too happy to review vinyl releases. Get in touch about yours via jwallace (at) turntabling (dot net).
Joe Wallace

Mono Stereo – On and On from Adam Bruneau on Vimeo.

Making Great Vinyl Records–United Record Pressing on Mastering For Vinyl


United Record Pressing has an interesting section on mastering for vinyl. There is plenty of advice there about the physical limitations of vinyl as a medium and what bands can do to make sure they get good fidelity from the finished product.

My only question about this section–having been written in 1997, is what has changed and updated since that time? Surely not the laws of physics with regard to how hot your master tracks can be before they overload and distort, or when too much treble becomes, er, troublesome. (Treblesome is not a word. But I almost used it here. Heh.)

Fortunately there are more recent discussions on the mastering to vinyl issue. Gearslutz.com has a thread from 2008 and another one here. CustomRecords.com throws its two cents worth in here, so you’ll have plenty to chew on. Continue reading Making Great Vinyl Records–United Record Pressing on Mastering For Vinyl

Selling Vinyl Records at CD Baby

vinylalbumDid you know you can sell vinyl records with your CD Baby musician account? I inquired about this many months ago and their policies have, I’m sure, been modified or had some extra details added since then, but the basic rules are thus:

1. You need at least five copies of the record to send to CD Baby for them to sell.

2. Send a CD version of the album so digital clips of the record can be made available to curious soon-to-be vinyl buyers.

3. Send artwork with the following specs to art@cdbaby.com–1000 x 1000 pixel tiff, 300dpi, and no compression.

4. The shipping costs are obviously more for vinyl than with CDs, so make sure you find out what CD Baby’s slice of the pie is–it’s going to be a bit more than the standard $4 per CD.

Continue reading Selling Vinyl Records at CD Baby

Vinyl Road Rage–Austin and Beyond

by Joe Wallace

Brain fried from far too much driving. Here’s a gallery of images I’ve collected along the way, with some snarky commentary free of charge. I have gathered these images between Springfield, Illinois and San Antonio, Texas–and I’ve paid the price, let me tell you–my retinas are seared for life in some cases.

The name of this John Denver Album, in case you can’t read the type, is “I Want To Live”. Sorry matey, but you should have taken the bus.

John Denver I Want To Live LP

I love this album cover. He looks like one of those plastinated dead bodies currently causing all the fuss on the museums. The bananas don’t look plastinated, though. Just very ripe.

banannas Continue reading Vinyl Road Rage–Austin and Beyond

Top 10 Reasons Vinyl Records are Better Than MP3 Downloads


Vinyl records vs. MP3s? I own them both. Why are album versions of records better than their MP3 counterparts? The digital Black Flag vs. the original SST Black Flag recordings? Naked Raygun on your iPod shouldn’t sound much different than the vinyl record of the same album, right? Can you find Big Black on MP3? Here’s a a little list:

10.  You can’t accidentally delete a vinyl record. However, your cat may urinate on it. That won’t affect playback…unless you have friends over.

9. You don’t get the nice big cover art off an MP3 download. This doesn’t matter much for modern releases, but for those old, elaborate LP releases or soundtracks to sexy Italian horror and “sexual awakening” movies, big covers are nice. Especially for those Piero Umiliani soundtracks. There’s nothing more fun than a cheesy sexy 60s era album cover, is there?

8. Nobody tries to sue you for making a CD-R burn of some old dusty record in your collection. They’d love to try, but the RIAA would get laughed out of court faster than Rod Blagojevich proclaiming his innocence. Nice try.

7. Unlike an MP3, you can shatter a vinyl record and use the pieces to gash somebody in face when they make fun of your pants.

6. In Shaun Of The Dead, the heroes tried to kill zombies using 12-inch singles. Try doing that with an iPod and you’ll join the ranks of the undead faster than a screaming teenage girl in a filmy white nightgown.

5. George Carlin comedy albums just plain SOUND BETTER on vinyl.

4. You can actually clean a record album with soap and water. You can clean an iPod by…BUYING A NEW ONE.

3. Stores with high theft issues should stock vinyl. You can hide an MP3 player in any body cavity. An album tends to stick out of the most obvious places. Painful, too.

2. Vinyl records are better than MP3s because you can play them backwards and get the messages Satan wants you to hear. Try doing THAT with a downloaded version of Ashford & Simpson’s “Solid as a Rock”.

1. When you get bored, you can safely microwave an LP, put it on the turntable and play it for laughs. Put an MP3 player in the microwave and it will explode. Need we say more?

LP Mailer Resource: Sleeve City

I’ve played in my share of bands since 1992 and I never, ever wondered how a record album got mailed out once it was ordered. Even when I was tempted to start selling vinyl on eBay, I never got round to asking “Where the hell do you buy the mailers?” Part of that may have been due to the influence of my friends in Pink Filth, who simply used any cardboard boxes they could get from behind the supermarket. We used to have these box cutting sessions to mail out orders on the band’s label–slash up the boxes to size, bubble wrap the goods and coat them in cardboard.

Except that doesn’t quite work when you need a good first impression from an eBay buyer or other customers…so for the discriminating seller, there are places like Sleeve City (aka SleeveTown.com) that sell everything from cardboard mailers to heavy duty, white-label style LP jackets. You can also get gig cases for your vinyl…sturdy anvil cases with closing tops that hold 100 titles. This site is worth a look for anyone selling records.