Episode 83: Record Store Day Discussion + Vinyl Me, Please reissues William Bell

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.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 82: Eric Astor (Furnace Record Pressing / ORG Music)

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.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 81: Ben Carter, co-founder of U-Turn Audio

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."

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James Laczkowski
Episode 80: Garon Cockrell (Never Not Funny / Pop Culture Beast)

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.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 79: Creed Bratton (NBC's The Office / The Grass Roots)

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."

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James Laczkowski
Episode 78: Perfect Vinyl Forever

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!

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James Laczkowski
Episode 77: Justin Perkins (Mystery Room Mastering / Bash + Pop)

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! 

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James Laczkowski
Episode 76: Lydia Loveless (Live in Chicago)

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!

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James Laczkowski