Our friends at Glamour Kills have launched their summer clothing line. Pick up options here and check out a line teaser below after the jump.
POZ Teaser: Be Part Of Something Vol. II - 35 Bands, 12 Months
Recently, Zack alerted me to a debate going around the tech-nerd podcast community about whether vinyl or CDs sound and was encouraged to share some of my thoughts on the subject. By the end of this, you may be sorry he asked.
Jesse Cannon is the author of Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business and the man behind Cannon Found Soundation.
Is Vinyl Really Better Than CDs?
by Jesse Cannon, edited by Erik van Rheenen
First allow me to brag and tell you why I know what I am talking about (if you already believe me, please skip ahead). I’ve been an audio dork for 20 years, producing records for nearly that long. I formerly worked in the top indie mastering house in the country for years, where a $20,000 turntable that literally floats on air resides (you can see it if you master your record with the very wise and amazing Alan Douches, and he may even let you listen to it) and listened to music in that room with a tens of thousands of dollars acoustic treatment and a $100,000 of gear in it. I have heard vinyl as it should sound and how very few people have ever heard it.
I also have a pretty serious system of my own that clocks in around $10 thousand, between all of its elements. I have produced, engineered, mixed or mastered around 1,500 records and about a quarter of them I have heard go from pre-production demos to mixes to vinyl, as well as digital. Because of my job mastering hundreds of records a year (and overseeing their vinyl pressing), I have to do a lot of critical listening. I have gotten to compare tiny nuances, and am able to compare every part of the stage easily with calibrated nerddom that is beyond boring to get into. I routinely listen back to masters, then test presses, then vinyl cuts, and compare them to our original digital masters and mixes and make sure everything is coming out great.
So now that you may be convinced I have a clue, allow me to ruin your good time.
Vinyl Is Not Always Superior To Digital. Whether you like vinyl or not can come down to personal preference of sound. None of these characteristics is better or worse. In fact, some records may sound better to you on vinyl while some don’t. The fact is, vinyl does have specific characteristics, but the constant talk as if every record’s vinyl version is superior to its digital version is a load of bullshit. I have outlined a handful of factors of why your vinyl may or may not sound as good as your digital copy of a record. Also, before we get started - when I refer to digital, I refer to formats like CD, FLAC or high-quality lossless files, not low bitrate MP3s. They’re the worst sounding format in the history of music, and by no means am I defending poorly done digital. Also I am not here to discuss the ritual, commitment of vinyl or how great cover art looks. We all know that stuff rules. I am here to tell you something you probably don’t already know about vinyl.
Vinyl Got Popular Because Of Resolution. When CDs first came out, they sounded terrible compared to the way they have sounded for the last decade. The mastering was done poorly and no one had a clue how to optimize sound for this format. Today, anyone with good ears and the right software can make a great master on a laptop. Because of this initial inadequacy, along with the terrible quality of the first generation of mp3s, the notion that vinyl always sounds better than digital was solidified as “fact,” since it was always competing with a flawed digital format However, things are different today. With 30 years of optimization, 24bit/96khz recording capabilities and advanced analog to digital conversion methods, this competition isn’t as easy to win.
Black Flag and FLAG have settled a year long lawsuit outside of court. Though details have not been revealed, FLAG will continue to be known as FLAG and Black Flag will be continued on as Black Flag. Check out a report from Hollywood Reporter below after the jump.
Luke of Better Off has side-project called Bloom. Bloom will be releasing Thousand Yard Stare on May 20th via Broken Circles. You can stream a song called “You Can’t Always Be Juggling Blood And Fire” here via AbsolutePunk and check out the artwork and track listing for the release below after the jump.
Record Store Day arrives on this Saturday, April 19th. Our wallets may not be ready, but our hearts certainly are. There are a great amount of releases coming out this year for the music holiday (around 500), and we wanted to start a Discussion on the records that PropertyOfZack members are looking forward to most. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your most anticipated Record Store Day releases!
fun. - Point & Light
We’re currently living in a world where there will never again be more people that have heard of The Format than fun. Some people have trouble dealing with that, but it has never not filled me with joy. Seeing three individuals (and hey, Will Noon too!) travel the world and hang out with Barack Obama at special events is a victory our community should never forget about.
However, that doesn’t mean I no longer cherish those smaller times between The Format and Steel Train’s end and that interesting period where fun. was opening up for artists like Jack’s Mannequin and Manchester Orchestra. Point & Light, a Record Store Day release that features demos from Aim & Ignite, makes me excited to think about that time again and to know the band hasn’t forgotten about it either. - Zack Zarrillo
Bayside - Time Has Come
Bayside killed it on Cult, their newest album and Hopeless Records debut. It’s easily one of the best releases so far this year, and stands out in the band’s already impressive discography. So it comes as no surprise that Bayside is keeping the momentum going this Record Store Day with a 7” featuring exultant single “Time Has Come” and a brand new exclusive track titled “Indiana.” Super limited and sure to sell out quickly, any Bayside fan would be crazy not to hunt this one down. - Becky Kovach
Jay-Z / Linkin Park - Collision Course
I ordered a frappuccino, where’s my fucking frappuccino?
Such begins the masterpiece that is Collision Course, a glorious, sparkling clusterfuck of a six-song album recorded and released by Jay-Z and Linkin Park under the guidance of MTV’s old “Ultimate Mash-Ups” feature. Here’s the thing about the mid-2000s, often referred to as The Lost Years by ME, since I was a terrible middle-schooler, mash-ups were very common and some of them were fantastic. For proof, I offer this and tell you that if you need more proof then get lost, loser. (P.S., this is a weird thing to read in 2014.)
But Collision Course isn’t a normal mash-up record, it’s much more special. Jay-Z and LP’s Mike Shinoda decided they weren’t content with how the mash-ups were sounding by simply remixing the audio files, so they got everyone in a studio and actually re-recorded instrumental portions and vocal tracks just for this one-off release. It only took them four days to do it in the studio because dopeness came easy in 2004. It’s also awesome because the songs end up with a “live” feel because they didn’t cut random comments out of the beginning / end of songs. LP and Jay-Z performed shows together as well to support the release. This is truly something thatonly could have happened in 2004, and we better be damn happy that it did, because there was no way that the stars would ever align for this again.
I am a very big proponent of this release and my Twitter account proves it, but I am too lazy to look up links to old tweets. It identifies a special portion of time when CDs were still selling well (Collision Course has sold over fucking 5 million copies worldwide, I mean holy shit) and when major labels were perhaps a little more willing to let weird shit go down. Napster was also a very big deal, which I am reminded of today, because my friend burned me a copy of his illegal download and he accidentally downloaded the CLEAN VERSION OF THIS THING and I still have all the curse words faded out of the version in my iTunes.
Collision Course is also one of the most obvious and famous points of collaboration between a major rock band (rap-rock, nu-metal, whatever man) and a major,major rapper. I am a huge supporter of today’s punk and emo community, but one thing that mainstream EDM and hip-hop have over this scene is the collaborations they do. At any given moment, an immensely talented up-and-coming rapper can get into a studio with someone’s favorite DJ and they bust out a collab song in 24 hours. That doesn’t happen in the punk and emo world, and to some extent that makes sense and is understandable. But from a fan’s perspective, imagine how cool and weird it would be to hear The Wonder Years and Into It. Over It. record a random song together on Evan Weiss’ off day in Philadelphia. You’d buy that 7” single.
PropertyOfZack Senior Writer Jesse Richman sat down with We Butter The Bread With Butter at SXSW a month ago. We chatted with the band about SXSW, their recent US tour, their new album, pushing into the US, and more. Check out the full interview below!
POZ: Can I get your names and what you do in the band?
MN: My name is Marcel [Neumann], I am the guitar player and songwriter of the band We Butter The Bread With Butter.
PB: My name is Paul [Barztsch], and I am the singer.
POZ: So is this you guys’ first time at SXSW?
MN: Yeah, the first time. We’ve played our own show [in Austin previously], but this is the first time.
POZ: When did you get into town?
MN: Just today, in the morning. We walked around, tried to get a look at everything.
POZ: Did you get a chance to see any bands? Or will you while you’re here?
MN: Maybe after we load in. Right now we’re just walking around, seeing all the exotic stuff.
POZ: It’s kind of crazy here!
POZ: So you guys are just at the very tail end of a tour with Lions Lions and Honour Crest. How’s that been going?
MN: Very good. The beginning was quite hard because we hit all the blizzards on the eastern side [of the US]. We cancelled a show in, I think, Iowa, because our bus couldn’t move.
POZ: I live in New York, it’s been one hell of a winter.
MN: But since we’ve been on the west coast everything is awesome. The shows have been great.
POZ: How has the audience been? Have the fans reacted well? Just because I know you guys are kind of different from what Lions Lions and Honour Crest do.
MN: Yes. This is our goal, to be different from anyone else. But their audience was awesome. Seeing them try to sing our songs in German. I don’t know why but they really get into the language. It’s fun.
POZ: Do you find that you guys have a lot of fans of your own over here? Or is it more winning over the other bands’ fans at this point.
MN: I mean, this is our headliner tour.
POZ: Well, yeah. That’s fair.
MN: So most of the fans have been there for us.
POZ: I guess I just ask because you really haven’t toured the US much.
MN: This is our second tour [here]. It’s very interesting because the audience is very different from Germany, but it’s great to see people come out so far away from our home. They knew our music for six or seven years. This is very amazing. Awesome.
POZ: Ok, so the album [Goldkinder] came out last August I believe? Was that a worldwide release? I know you did it independently.
MN: It was a worldwide release, with some day’s difference — the 9th in Germany, the 10th in…
POZ: So, pretty close. So it’s been out for a while, are you happy with how it’s been received at this point?
MN: Oh yeah, because we knew that this record was going in another direction than we did before, and we knew that a lot of people wouldn’t like it. But we also tried to reach out to a very different kind of audience, and somehow, it started working. The audience is different. They’re more into music, and not just into seeing another scene metalcore band. It’s more about being real fans of one band’s music. It was a very risky step, but it was worth it.
PB: The crowd changed really hard. The first time we played here, we had a lot of “mosh kids” and hardcore kids. This time, [the crowds are] full of party people. They want to party with us. It’s really cool.
MN: Full of “rock and roll people”.
POZ: Was that something you were conscious of when you were writing the album, that you wanted to take that turn? Or is it just how it came out.
MN: It was totally… Like, we didn’t want to do something that does not express ourselves. Just doing the same stuff we did on the last two records wouldn’t satisfy us as musicians, so we just did what we really wanted to do. Yeah! That was kind of the writing process, yeah.
PB: This music is 100% us.
MN: I think it’s more We Butter than ever before. It’s really what we love to do, and we don’t care what others think about it.
Set Your Goals' Reset 10 year vinyl reissue is now available for those who didn’t fund the Calaveras Records Kickstarter earlier this year. Pick up a copy here and check out the variant below after the jump.
Motion City Soundtrack will be releasing I Am The Movie: The Movie on May 13th. Watch the trailer below after the jump.
Motion City Soundtrack To Release Split 7” This Fall
Our 100 Words Or Less Podcast with host Ray HarkinsEmery is back with Matt Carter of Emery. Ray and Matt how to not start a band, being late to the game, how Christian music can very often be terrible, and more.