Sing Out! is a folk music magazine that’s been publishing since 1950. I met editor Mark Moss some years ago at a music conference, and we’ve been working together on the magazine’s website ever since.
On its previous makeover back in 2008, the site was hand-coded using a Dreamweaver template, but that sliced home page was getting harder and harder to maintain. In addition, the site has hundreds of active hand-coded pages based on a template, with no compelling reason (or budget, or time…) to change them.
SO! now posts music and video reviews to the site on a regular basis (outside the quarterly print cycle), has incorporated its folk music news service into the site (from a standalone blog on wordpress.com), lists all the folk festivals and camps nationwide (this feature migrated away from the paper magazine a couple of years ago) and is in the process of adding the complete run of the topical folk song magazine Broadside (started in 1962) to the site.
SO! is worth your time to check out the site, as well as your support of their mission over 60-plus years of sharing songs, stories, and resources about the world’s folk music traditions.
Obsessed with vinyl since age 3, I’ve been selling records online for many years now; recently I’ve been doing more of it in person at record shows and other events. The Twin Cities is an amazing town for used vinyl, with new indie shops springing up every month it seems.
On the other hand, last year, one of those shops (Yeti Records) decided to close its permanent location and move to a “food truck” model, popping up around town at different locations. Now records can come to the people, instead of the other way around.
The established record shows usually put out flyers in stores and at prior shows… fine enough, but what would a modern version look like?
Last year, GoJohnnyGo and I started PopUpRecordShop. Nothing fancy, just a dot org, a Tumblr and a Twitter account. As of now, I’ve got posts scheduled through August — to add your event, contact me with info text, an eye-catching pic, and a web link.
PS I’ll be “popping up” with a vinyl booth at the Memory Lanes Block Party May 25 & 26.
GoJohnnyGo has opened a record store in White Bear Lake MN, on the northern edge of the Twin Cities metro area. The space had been a barber shop for years (it’s still too cold to paint out the word “SALON” on the side of the building).
This was my first opportunity to make permanent outdoor signage; John wanted one side to be an LP and the other a 45.
Jon L. at Alternative Printing did the reproduction; the primary font I used is VAG Rounded (developed by Volkswagen and used by them through the 1990s); we wanted to go for a less spiky, more suburban-friendly look than any of the previous GoJohnnyGo logos, and most important, have it be readable from a distance.
On Monday, DigitalTrends posted an article by Ian White on “The Splendor of Vinyl” – in general, I think it’s pretty accurate, but since I got all commenty on it over at the LinkedIn Vinyl Record Collecting Network group, I figured I’d repost that here.
With the vinyl surge in full effect, any article that references the “death of the record store” deserves a bit of pushback.
Most of this article is solid advice — however…
* the women in the picture are destroying their records by playing them on that vintage portable
* “The sad truth is that there are very few record stores left…”
I know he’s generalizing, but in the Twin Cities, this is completely wrong. If I remember a recent conversation correctly, five vinyl stores have opened here since the beginning of the year, and there are at least four local record shows between now and the 1st week of May. Locally, I admin http://popuprecordshop.org to help spread the word about record shows and other vinyl-selling occasions.
* “Used records have become far more expensive”
Yes and no. Online sales listings and results are now what determines pricing – and I agree that there’s more distance between high and low. But there’s also a “race to the bottom” trend in pricing. A few times a year, I *lower* my prices on records that haven’t yet sold.
As ever, it’s all about title, condition, and the number of copies originally pressed/sold. Yes, Pink Floyd / Velvet Underground / Nick Drake records command a higher price, but you can still get Olivia Newton John (or even Elton John) records cheaply. And there are a lot of amazing records by little-known artists out there that still sell online for well under $10.
* Speaking of Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon” for $2? Unlikely. But I would price a VG later pressing without the posters at about $9.
* “Vinyl – even new vinyl – should be cleaned before you play it.”
Never found this to be necessary. The SpinClean is a great piece of gear, but if you’re at the end of a cleaning run, the dirt suspended in the fluid would mess up a new record.
* The Ikea Expedit is a GREAT record shelf, extremely cost-effective.
* After steering everyone to the Internet for vinyl, the author completely fails to mention hardcore sites like Discogs, GEMM, CDandLP.com, Music Stack, CollectorsFrenzy, etc etc.
Discogs in particular is perfect for someone new to vinyl since it distinguishes between the various editions of any release in all formats.
Worse, he only mentions his worst scare story about an online seller who over-rated an expensive record (or perhaps it warped in transit).
When I sell online, I try to under-rate everything I sell, and if the customer is not satisfied, they can return the record for a refund.
If you’re interested in seeing what vinyl I’ve got available, it’s online at omnidrew.gemm.com, in South Minneapolis at Forage and I have a table at most of the events tagged at popuprecordshop.org. Finally, one of the five new record shops in the Twin Cities for 2013 is run by my friend and client GoJohnnyGo.
I’ve been playing music with Kari Tauring for some five years now. We live about 10 blocks from each other in South Minneapolis and have collaborated on two recordings and a number of live performances, ranging from simple acoustic duo concerts to multi-instrumental electronic excursions through centuries of Nordic Roots music. She’s a brilliant improviser, and brings a storyteller’s skill to traditional ballads sung in ancient Norwegian dialects that most Norwegians no longer speak.
We’re finishing up a new studio recording called
The Nykken and The Bear and have set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund it. Working with longtime collaborators Scott Nieman (Felonious Bosch) and David Stenshoel (Boiled In Lead) this record is two suites of songs and spoken word pieces about the nykken (mischievous water spirits) and the bear (fearsome shape-shifter) mixing new arrangements and adaptations of traditional songs with spoken word pieces. The cover art is a painting by Aneesa Adams.
On the project, I’ve been playing acoustic and electric bass, as well as an eerie siren-tone on a heavily-effected e-bowed electric dulcimer (we shot some in-studio video rolling a glass slide up and down the strings, but the video was lost; you can hear it on the song “Heiemo” starting at about 3 mins 10 sec in the preview video.)
I shot and edited this piece with Apple’s Final Cut and the amazing Zoom Q3HD camera. We also were pleased to get quick permission to use a few clips from the Norwegian reality show Alt For Norge where Kari was a first-season contestant.
While I don’t like to promise (or even discuss) projects before they’re 99% finished, it’s looking very good that we’ll have the entire album completed by the time the Kickstarter finishes up on Monday February 25th. This week Kari and I are developing the package layout, as we watch the project gain support to approach (and hopefully exceed) its modest goal.
Kickstarter staff have highlighted the project by putting it on their “Staff Picks” page; I hope you’ll check out the project and consider backing it. We’ll be shipping out the discs as the days get longer and the snow begins to melt.
To finish off, here’s a live performance “Huldre” video from 2009 at The Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. “Drømte” dates to around 1300 and is the oldest known secular song in the Nordic tradition. (For many years, the melody was played between programs on the national radio service in Denmark.) Every time we play it, this epic journey takes a different course.