Popular Culture

Meet the Vinyl Community

Welcome to a weird, wonderful world where people watch each other play old records on YouTube.

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The man holds up a 78 rpm record bearing the blue-and-white logo of Chess Records, an iconic label for any fan of the blues. He places it on a vintage Califone turntable, and we hear Howlin' Wolf's "Rockin' Daddy" in all its tactile glory. The song plays for three minutes and six seconds. And then the brief video ends.

It's the summer of 2010, and I've just stumbled on a subculture: not just fans of old music on vinyl records, but fans who post videos of those records playing on YouTube. The man holding the Howlin' Wolf 78 is Rich Hynes, owner of the Underground Record Shop in Indianapolis. I discover that he has posted many more clips as well. Sometimes they feature artists I've enjoyed for years, such as Muddy Waters and Johnny Cash; sometimes they introduce me to great musicians I've never encountered before, such as the Alabama Jug Band and the rockabilly pioneer Lattie Moore.

Soon I'm watching more vinyl clips on other YouTube channels. Before long I'm uploading my own videos, featuring artists ranging from the Texas blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins to the Tennessee bluegrass should-have-been-a-legend Phil Chittum.

Hynes started uploading his videos both to promote his merchandise and to spare his fragile old records from being overplayed. "I often rescue records out of garages and basements," he says, "clean them up, make a video, put the record in a storage sleeve and only watch the video when I want to hear the song." Thanks to YouTube, anyone else with an Internet connection can listen too. Channels such as Hynes' let viewers hear and see music being played in its original format, and sometimes they offer access to music available nowhere else.

But it is the loosely defined "Vinyl Community" gathered around those channels who really represent YouTube's participatory nature. Members of the VC, as the Vinyl Community calls itself, don't limit themselves to pointing their cameras at spinning discs. They watch and respond to each other's videos, discuss recent purchases, document trips to record stores, show off their music collections and the rooms that house them, and review new releases.

With low barriers to entry, the quality of the videos varies from rank amateur to almost professional. The most compelling new channel of 2013 may be Chinasc12, whose youthful proprietor Sydney gained 300 subscribers in a month after launching in March. She can be seen discussing Dylan, Patti Smith, the Velvet Underground, Bikini Kill, and the finer points of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' collaborations in mono, and she occasionally uploads her own covers of songs, such as the Smiths' "I Won't Share You." Sydney not only discusses music from the last six decades with a level of knowledge that belies her brief 14 years on the planet; she also frequently places music in the context of her own life, explaining how different artists inspire her own creative pursuits and match her own personality.

What would possess someone to go on camera to talk about records? Rob Clark, a VC member in the Chicago area, began making videos to document and share his large record collection with what he good-naturedly describes as his "music geek friends." Clark, whose channel EoLoVoX now has more than 1,500 subscribers, soon noticed that he wasn't alone, and he formally introduced himself to the VC in a February 2011 video. Clark describes the influence that the community has had on him: "Being part of the VC on YouTube has broadened my musical horizons, strengthened my passion for music…and cost me a lot of money."

No genre or artist is off limits. In spite of this diverse conversation, the VC is remarkably well-behaved for an online community: Trolling, flame wars, and the like are very rare. "An aspect of the VC that seems to set us apart from other music forums and groups," Clark says, "is that we hold mutual respect and tolerance up as an underlying tenet."

Five years ago, mainstream media outlets began to notice that the moribund market for records was returning to life. Vinyl record sales surged to 4.6 million in 2012-an 18 percent increase over 2011, though just still a tiny fraction of the 316 million albums across all formats sold last year. Vinyl can't match the convenience of digital music, which allows the listener to carry a record wall full of music in a compact laptop or in a tiny iPod. The VCers demonstrate that the benefits of owning actual records are, ironically, more intangible.

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  1. 78s were made of shellac, not vinyl.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D44pyeEvhcQ

    1. Most 78s were made of shellac.

      And most “shellac” records were as much as 2/3 pulverized slate and/or limestone.

    2. Someone called them ‘celluloid’ to me. They shatter and chip if mishandled. No bendy, them. I started collecting records in the 90s and my first quality accidental ‘score’ was a box of 78s in an attic that had original ‘hot 5s’ and ‘hot 7s’ Armstrong recordings (in proper *albums* – which is where the term came from!…ie. nice, leatherette glue-bound photo-album style ‘books’ with the 78s in the sleeves) assorted chess records, glenn miller, benny goodman, etc. That sorta stuff. I was ‘jazzed’ (groan)

      Then I got them home, turned on the old’ Technics to take my first listen and… fuck. What?

      You can guess.

      I had assumed the records were still named by their size. BZZZZ! Try again, shithead!

      Yeah, I ended up getting a proper old deck later… like, 5 years later. I had to wait *that long* to listen to them in the privacy of my home and record for more convenient replay. They’re somewhere in a padded box again now.

      1. I don’t know of any 78s that were made of celluloid, but the Edison amberol cylinders and I think the diamond disks were. The aberols had a plaster of Paris core with a celluloid coating.

        1. Celluloid 78s were made early on by the Brits, but they were very noisy. Some with a fiber core (I’m not sure what the surface laminate material was) were made before 1910 but they degraded quickly.

          Vinyl was used in some special pressings in the 1940s and 1950s, but I’m given to understand these were rare and costly.

  2. No mention of takedowns from the copyright holders?

    1. That was my first thought too.

  3. But what does this have to do with abortion?

    1. Read between the lines..

  4. Have you read any mainstream media stories about difficulties with the ACA healthcare exchange rollout?

    Were they less than positive?

    Do you know why?

    Republican ocktail parties

    “Unfortunately, there are many reporters and journalists who cherish those ‘Invitation Only’ Republican-sponsored social and political events…

    1. The attempts by the left to claim that the media is secretly right wing have gotten hilarious. There is no rational human being who could possibly believe this nonsense.

      1. No? The right accuses the media of kowtowing to the president for “access” so wouldn’t they occasionally spin stories against the democrats in exchange for the same from the GOP?

      2. Well, the media looks right wing if you’re to the left of it, but then Maoists and Trotskyites aren’t really “rational.”

        1. The media are a bunch of kulak wreckers!

          1. Your language is outdated: the media is run by “greedy corporate fascists.”

        2. Yeah. When you think all profit, everywhere and every time, is absolutely evil, and that any report on right wingers that doesn’t read as, “The Republican Party, who as everyone knows is led by a cabal of evil businessmen who don’t check their privilege and a part of kyriachal conspiracy to keep women and minorities in economic and social hardship…” is “Acting like both sides have a valid point!” (Seriously, say that to a left winger sometime, or anything to the effect that you feel that the truth lies somewhere “in the middle” and watch them explode in rage that THEY are truly “reality-based” and their opponents aren’t) I’m sure the media does seem biased to the right.

    2. This can’t be bo.

      This guy knows some rudimentary HTML.

  5. OT: Beware of those wearing clown suits –
    http://www.business-standard.c…..007_1.html

    1. Clowns should be shot on sight as a matter of principle. The only thing freakier are those ventriloquist dummies.

    2. “The motive for the attack, and the gunmen’s disguise, are still under investigation. “

      1. I wonder if it is a registered face from the Wringley Clown College? What if it is Penn Jillette’s clown face? Hummmm…

  6. Rand Paul’s 20 year old son busted for underage drinking

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) ? Kentucky authorities say they have cited U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s 20-year-old son on alcohol possession by a minor at a Kentucky racetrack.

    Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control spokesman Dick Brown says agents cited William Hilton Paul on Friday during a “targeted enforcement detail” at Keeneland in Lexington.

    Brown told the Lexington Herald-Leader that William Paul can pay a $25 fine and court costs in advance or appear in court Nov. 15 to answer the citation. Paul is a full-time student at the University of Kentucky,

    William Paul also faced alcohol-related charges in North Carolina this year, but they were dismissed in a deferred prosecution program.

    Rand Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley had no comment on the latest citation.

    The comments are bitterly derp-tastic.

    1. If you are old enough to enter into contracts, you should be old enough for everything else.

      1. My philosophy was that as soon as I registered for Selective Service, I was old enough to consume alcohol. I never got to test out that defense, though.

        1. My version included the backup plan that if the defense didn’t work, I was old enough to form a Nullification Militia to try the judge, then tar, feather and light him.

    2. Kentucky authorities say they have cited U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s 20-year-old son on alcohol possession by a minor at a Kentucky racetrack.

      So he wasn’t behaving in any way dangerously, they just got him for possession of booze.

      Isn’t it wonderful living in a free society?

      1. Follow up question: What is the Aquabuddhist position on underage drinking? I feel like he should claim that this is a necessary sacrament for his religion.

      2. Isn’t it wonderful living in a free society?

        They nabbed him in a “targeted enforcement detail”, in other words a set-up.

        1. Looking for 20 y/o drinkers in Ky involves almost as much hard work as staying in bed watching *Matlock.*

          1. Looking for 20 y/o drinkers in Ky involves almost as much hard work as staying in bed watching *Matlock.*

            THIS.

            It’s fucking Keeneland. It’s a goddamn cultural institution here in Central KY, and drinking is part and parcel of this cultural act. That is why cops are there looking for it: because they know it’s commonplace enough to make their jobs super easy, just the way they like it.

            Free country, my ass. He was watching a fucking horse race and sipping a bourbon. He was probably engaging in the act of MINDING HIS OWN FUCKING BUSINESS too. The horror!

    3. A 20-year-old drinking alcohol? In *Kentucky*? At a *racetrack*? The whole social order has been upended!

    4. Here’s a comment:

      “Rand Paul ought to work more on his parenting skills and less on his insane political & ill advised economic ideas.

      “People who can’t raise their children have no business trying to run the country. “

      1. Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton raised nice kids. I am sensing a flaw in this standard.

      2. I assume this person never drank before they turned 21. Otherwise this would be super hypocritical.

      3. Oh the fun we’ll have when Malia and/or Sasha’s first nude selfie appears!

        1. Dude, their dad is on record as having been really into weed when he was younger. When he spoke at the University of Wisconsin, he made jokes about how he used to come up to Madison and get wasted with friends.

          There’s nothing wrong with a young man smoking weed or drinking, but the sheer delusion of a Huffington Post commenter attacking Paul’s son for getting caught with beer when his own preferred presidential candidate admitted himself to underage drug use…I mean, there are no words.

          1. He wrote in his memoir about driving drunk – “the intimation of danger that would come upon me whenever I split another boy’s lip or raced down a highway with gin clouding my head.”

            http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/1300306

            1. He=ghost writer

      4. “Rand Paul ought to work more on his parenting skills and less on his insane political & ill advised economic ideas.”

        If only the Kennedy family had followed that advice!

    5. Oh why did I click on that link? Derp-tastic doesn’t do it justice.

      Do the Huffpo people even know who Rand Paul is or what he believes in? All the comments are just knee-jerk anti-Republican stuff. They all seem to think Rand Paul is like Pat Robertson or something.

  7. “Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke will be buried in a secret location in Italy, his lawyer said on Saturday, following a long legal dispute after the former SS officer’s death in Rome last week….

    “The 100-year-old died while living under house arrest for his role in the massacre of 335 people — almost all of them civilians — in the Ardeatine complex of caves near Rome in 1944.

    “Priebke was unrepentant to the end and in a chilling posthumous “video testament” released by Giachini this week said the massacre was actually the fault of partisan fighters because it was retaliation against the killing of 33 Germans….

    “Rome city authorities have banned any burial and the Vatican earlier issued an unprecedented order barring any Catholic church in the city from holding a funeral mass for the war criminal.

    “Giachini tried to hold a funeral on Tuesday at a seminary of the ultra-conservative Catholic splinter group Society of St Pius X in the town of Albano Laziale outside Rome, but the rite was shut down by a police order amid protests and clashes….

    1. “Priebke’s case first came to light when a news crew from US television network ABC tracked him down in Bariloche in Argentina, where he had lived untroubled for nearly 50 years as an upstanding member of the German exile community.

      “He was initially placed under house arrest in Argentina, then extradited to Italy where his trial attracted huge media interest.”

      http://au.news.yahoo.com/world…..ly-lawyer/

    2. “Rome city authorities have banned any burial and the Vatican earlier issued an unprecedented order barring any Catholic church in the city from holding a funeral mass for the war criminal.

      If I recall my Christian upbringing correctly, aren’t you supposed to “turn the other cheek” and “forgive those who trespass against us”?

      But apparently they have no problem forgiving priests who fuck little boys in the ass.

      1. Oh, Lord!

        If you *repent,* you can get the Church’s sacraments and a proper funeral.

        If you *don’t* repent a notorious mortal sin, then no, you don’t get a full funeral.

        The sodomizing priest scandal involved shielding the priests from justice – and hence deterring possible repentance.

        But now they’ve come to their senses and defrocked the erring priests they caught – the last Pope even granted expedited defrocking, bypassing some of the formalities of a normal trial.

        But if they repent, they can be reconciled with the Church – but not get their priest jobs back.

        1. Since the article says the National Socialist guy was “unrepentant to the end,” I guess he wouldn’t qualify for a full funeral.

          1. The terminoly of Canon 1184 of the Latin Canon Law is: “manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.”

            But funerals are allowed even for these folks if they “gave some signs of repentance before death.”

            1. Look who *disagrees* with the Vatican and supports a funeral ceremony (albeit a modest one):

              “On the other side of the argument is Swiss Cardinal Georges Cottier, the former theologian of the papal household under Pope John Paul II, who told reporters Saturday that mercy extends even to “great sinners.”

              “”I hope that in the last instant of his life, this man found a way to change his mind and to repent, but we’ll never know what happened,” Cottier said in one interview. “God knows, and God can forgive.”

              “Now 91, Cottier in retirement has become *something of a hero for Catholic progressives,* among other things defending the University of Notre Dame’s decision in 2009 to invite President Barack Obama to deliver its commencement address.” [emphasis added]

              http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr…..r-criminal

    3. Serious question: What else do you do during a war when someone kills 33 of your nationals? Just suck it up? Looks like a way to lose to me.

      1. Well, the National Socialists lost.

        The National Socialists killed more than 33 Americans, but we managed to largely avoid mass reprisals (unless you count sending those poor POWS back to Stalin).

  8. I only watch videos of music playing on a mini victrola.

  9. My wife just sent me this.

    WHAT is LIBERTARIANISM?

    Liberty. It’s a simple idea, but it’s also the linchpin of a complex system of values and practices: justice, prosperity, responsibility, toleration, cooperation, and peace. Many people believe that liberty is the core political value of modern civilization itself, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life. They’re called libertarians.

    Both the article and the video are very good. Just a basic overview. The video is 20 minutes long. I’m going to keep it for those instances when I’m talking to folks who aren’t quite sure what libertarianism is and to throw in the face of those who misrepresent us.

    Maybe I’ll post it to Tony.

    1. Just to clarify: Your wife is a woman and a libertarian?

      1. We may be up to enough libertarian women to count on both hands!

        I must admit to a serious crush on you-tube libertarian girl Julie Borowski, though. Perhaps it’s because she looks so much like a gal I pined for 20 years ago, who became a good friend but never anything more. But she sure is on target with her youtube diatribes. She is especially cute when she puts on a tinfoil hat with teabags hanging from it.

        I’m just too old (and not single anyway) to be able to go after her (sigh).

        1. I must admit to a serious crush on you-tube libertarian girl Julie Borowski

          My wife got that from her site.

        2. Maybe there are plenty of libertarian women, but they have better things to do than hang around here and talk to idiots like us.

            1. Basically. The high incidence of libertarians on the autistic spectrum doesn’t help either.

              1. 13 WORDS IN YOUR COMMENTS? YOU ALWAYS COMMENT IN PRIME NUMBERS?!?! WHY

                1. Screw you, I will not start counting the words in comments.

            2. Makes sense to me, as a lifer in a college town…

              1. Less women as NTs too (and ST?) also probably means they have a bigger learning curve to jump… Ayn Rand was supposedly INTJ; so is Ann Coulter.

          1. Maybe there are plenty of libertarian women, but they have better things to do than hang around here and talk to idiots like us.

            Yes, time at H&R is time that would be better spent at Pinterest or Frisky.

            When I’m at my desk working, I sometimes keep a tab open to H&R. I know very few libertarians IRL, so occasional reading others who share some of my opinions – regardless of gender – makes me feel slightly less like the only sane person in the mental asylum.

      2. Indeed she is.

        AND…Look at THIS!

        Mission Statement

        If you look at the membership, readership, or donor base of just about any organization promoting freedom, you’ll find some discouraging ratios: 70-to-30; 60-to-40. These are the proportions of men to women. Walk into any libertarian gathering and you’ll see the disparity first hand. For whatever reason, women don’t seem to be “into” liberty.

        This is unacceptable. Why don’t women like freedom? Women have gained more from classical liberalism than from any other ideology in the history of our species: Reproductive rights, suffrage, the choice in who to marry (or not)?all of these are rooted in the idea that women are individuals and have the right to self-determination. These, too, are the fundamental principles of classical liberalism. Women should be the first champions of liberty, not the last.

        We here at Thoughts on Liberty are wanting to change that…

        1. “Reproductive rights”

          Many women are active in the prolife movement – even with leadership positions. So there’s hardly a consensus among women that allowing the killing of their babies in the womb is a blow for liberty, any more than legalizing lynching would be.

          “suffrage”

          The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was not what we’d call a libertarian organization. They wanted votes for women so that women could vote for prohibition of alcohol.

          “the choice in who to marry (or not)”

          It was the Catholic Church which defended this right against the eugenicists.

          1. “Reproductive rights” include more than abortion

            1. Please forgive Eddie. He was born with a coat hanger wrapped around his head, and is consequently very passionate what vaginas are up to.

              1. Please forgive Eddie. He was born with a coat hanger wrapped around his head

                I didn’t know Joan Crawford attended at his birth.

        2. The Left has too much of a stranglehold on women via feminism; they’d have their liberal women voters believe that conservatives are misogynist. They’d also have them believe that libertarianism = re-branded conservatism.

        3. Thanks for the kind words!

      3. Mine is.

    2. Here’s the problem with Tony and with those who misrepresent libertarianism. They cannot make a distinction between society and government. They just can’t. So when you say something should not be done by government, they hear that it shouldn’t be done at all. Because, in their mind, government is us and we are government. They truly cannot comprehend the distinction between government and society. They figure that voting makes you part of government.

      It’s as if they ran a business and the mob came in, the same mob that demands “protection money,” and gave them an opportunity to choose between a list of guidos as to who would be the new mob boss. They would then conclude that by being given a choice as to who would lead the extortionists, that they were made part of the group.

      It’s hopeless.

      1. Bastiat had it right almost 170(!) years ago.

        Also didn’t Obama say something to the effect that questioning government’s ability to do something is the same as questioning society’s ability to do something?

        1. There are those who say that our greatness is behind us, that we all have tiny dicks. In contrast, I say that we should expand existing federal programs and create new ones. The choice is clear.

          Tiny dicks!

          1. This man has no dick.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-tYZkJ2p54

            I recall Chomsky getting mad that Ghostbusters dared to portray the EPA in such a fashion.

            1. Heh, could you have that scene today? Ghostbusters, Rated R for Strong Language and Anti-Mutual Scenes.

              1. What does Dan Ackroyd think of that scene now? I mean implying that government regulators aren’t perfect? Well Reagan was in charge then…

                1. Didn’t he have a run in with regulators over his Vodka? It was in Canada, I believe, but…

            2. Re-shooting that movie with Chomsky and Nader on screen would be killer.

      2. Buck up little guy. More and more people are seeing the light. It’s happening. So turn that frown upside down.

        1. Well, we’re greatly outnumbered by the looters and moochers. Hell, I’m a moocher. I suck at the teat of a defense contractor. But in this economy I can’t find another job. What am I supposed to do? Sacrifice my family’s well being for a principle? Dude… We’re fucked.

          1. Plus you use ROADZ!!

          2. I’ve been thinking of trying to do something like Libertarian Girl, that C.A speaks of above.

            I’m retired and have the time to do something that might make a difference. Perhaps create a site that’s a clearinghouse for libertarian ideas. I’d like to find a way to help get the word out and promote critical thought. Still trying to come up with a gimmick to attract people. Libertarian porn?

            1. I think that anything changing the perception that libertarians are angry rich white men would be beneficial to the movement as a whole.

              Sort of like what Colion Noir is doing against the gun control movement.

              Freedom is for everybody. Period.

              1. I thought libertarians were be-acne’d college guys that instead of getting laid, read one too many ayn rand novels.

                They eventually mature, find out that they’re not destined to be John Galt, lose the selfish dickishness and vote for Obama.

              2. I suspect a lot of people have libertarian leanings and just don’t realize it. Who’s not for liberty? Who really wants war? Who wants others in their chili?

                The problem is, most people think there are only two choices. They don’t have time to think through a philosophy so they pick a Team that agrees with a few of their favorite issues and adopts that Team’s “philosophy” on the things they haven’t thought about. After all, if that Team is right on my favorite issue, they must also be right about x, y and z. They don’t realize the Teams philosophies are inconsistent.

                1. I suspect a lot of people have libertarian leanings and just don’t realize it.

                  I suspect that you’re correct with the caveat that people are for liberty as it applies to them. I’ve talked to those that think the requirement for a background check in purchasing a firearm is akin to being thrown into an oven, but have no compunction about advocating throwing potheads in prison for decades.

                  1. Or potheads in Colorado who complain about a 30% tax on weed while having no problem with a 39% income tax.

                    That’s definitely a widespread issue. People want freedom for themselves and slavery for their neighbors.

                    1. Yeah.

                      I’ll add that I just used that as an example and don’t want to get into one of those infinitely stupid arguments that have been eating threads recently about fairly criticizing both the left and right.

                    2. I’ll add that I just used that as an example and don’t want to get into one of those infinitely stupid arguments that have been eating threads recently about fairly criticizing both the left and right.

                      Neither do I. I was just pointing out another example.

                    3. I didn’t think you would. I just could see bo or john or eddie or siv coming along and arguing for the next two days over it.

                  2. I’ve talked to those that think the requirement for a background check in purchasing a firearm is akin to being thrown into an oven, but have no compunction about advocating throwing potheads in prison for decades.

                    That’s kinda the point I make above. They’ve never related their stance on potheads to liberty.

                    They said liberty…guns…yes. Which party is pro guns? Republicans. I must be one of those? Potheads? Never thought about it. What do the Republicans say? Republicans say potheads bad. So..bad…potheads bad.

                    But those are the types of people that can be reached if you approach it correctly. You’re never gonna convert the nazis, but joe six pack, you can. And I even think you can show a percentage of the lefties that capitalism works, if they are willing to discuss rationally. Look at Bono.

                2. I always start my debates with “Should we lock human beings in cages for X?”. That always brings out the inner libertarian in people.

                  For the record, the last time I had to use this technique, X=using plastic bags instead of paper.

                  Quite that sad that it came to that, really.

                  1. Quite the fun technique.

                    One my favorites was bringing a case of bolted water to a weekend party at a cottage.

                    Friend, taking bottle, opening it, and drinking it: “these should be banned”

                    Really? Excuse me while I pour myself a massive drink to forget that.

                3. They don’t have time to think through a philosophy so they pick a Team that agrees with a few of their favorite issues and adopts that Team’s “philosophy” on the things they haven’t thought about.

                  I’ll admit that this described me for a long time. When I was younger, I was concerned with getting laid and doing well academically. I wasn’t too aware of and didn’t think much about the nature of government and its effect on me. As a result, my voting was based more on feelings rather than any coherent principles. That all changed once I got a well paying job, saw how much I was paying in taxes and became baffled at where all that money was going. It didn’t help that much of my job involved interacting with a federal agency staffed by complete morons. This spurred me to do some reading in classical liberalism, libertarianism and anarchism, and I haven’t turned back since. The only problem is that it can be a little lonely believing those things out here in prog ground zero San Francisco.

                  1. I started to realize I wasn’t a Republican right after college. I had 9 months before I went to pilot training so I got a job waiting tables. One of the best jobs I ever had. Liked everyone I worked with.

                    Anyway I’d been working there for about 3 months and I made a crack about gays. One of the girls took me aside and said, “you do realize half the people working here are gay, right?” I had no idea. Had to rethink my positions on some things. Didn’t go full blown libertarian till about 7 years ago, but have known I wasn’t a republican for 25.

                  2. Welcome, buddhastalin. I haven’t seen you before but I miss a lot of threads so I don’t know if you are new. There are actually several of us libertarians in the San Francisco area who post on HnR. One of these days we should have a meetup and rail about SF and CA politics over good craft beers.

  10. Every now and then I get tempted to get a record player and some vinyl. I have to stop myself, because down that road is madness.

    I wound up getting a tube amp and some fairly nice bookshelf speakers. itunes quality from the line out on my phone or ipad sounds very nice on these.

    But it’s so easy to get started down the audiophile road, and if you go too far, there’s no turning back.

    You think “Oh, I’ll pick up a record player (fairly nice, of course) and a few albums on vinyl, great.” Next thing you know, you’re looking longingly at the $3000 power cable.

    Can’t hear the difference in the $3000 power cable? Of course you can’t, your speaker cables are on the floor.

    Madness.

    1. What the hell is this? An *on-topic* post? Don’t you know that commenting rules specify that you can never reply with a comment that relates to the original article on weekends.

    2. Elevate your cables from the negative effects of carpeting and flooring.

      yes, elevate them from getting nasty floor vibrations in your audio feed. ‘Cause sound is vibrations and footsteps cause vibrations and get into the speaker cable.

      That’s even better than the green magic marker on the CD edge thing.

      1. Just think – inside 20 years people will be collecting old CD players, claiming they give a better sound than new fangled devices.

        1. Agammamon|10.19.13 @ 6:17PM|#

          Just think – inside 20 years people will be collecting old CD players

          As a person who has been diagnosed AudioNerd-positive+ (but in remission), I have a funny story that only recovering audionerds may find funny.

          Wall St guy I work with knows im like a record collector. Im at a party at his place. We have nothing to talk about. He decides to tell me =

          “Got a new stereo recently”
          “Wow, great.”
          “Yeah. pretty awesome”
          “Hmm Yeah.”
          “The speakers really kill it”
          “Oh yeah?”
          “Yeah. They’re digital”
          (pause on my part)
          “Er, what?”
          “yeah. Digital speakers. Cost a fortune”
          (longer pause on my part)
          “uhm. you see…”
          “Yeah. Guy in the store was like, ‘you may not hear the difference but its totally worth the extra $5000”
          “…well, see, uh, physics…and air pressure… magnets are what make the cones move, uh, and…”
          “yeah. Cables were expensive too. Couple hundred to cross the room”
          “….”

          I’m about to burst out screaming “MOTHERFUCKER, *SOUND* IS ANALOG. YOU CANT HEAR ONES AND ZEROS YOU DIPSHIT”

          What he bought were speakers with D/A converters in them. His CD player had a S/PDIF output. They went optical to the speakers. Whoo hoo. He just spent $10,000 to eradicate the risk of ground hum from his *16-bit* CD playback. I decided the proper response was,

          “Fucking A dude!” (high five) “Where do you keep the good scotch! We need to celebrate!”

          I then drank all of his $500 scotch and pissed on his bed before I left.

          1. I then drank all of his $500 scotch and pissed on his bed before I left.

            The correct response.

            The trick is, until someone fills him in on it, the more he paid, the happier he is.

              1. Very neat. If you haven’t already, you should point the link out to Lord Humungous.

                I’ve got a 6550 based Jolida amp, about 45 or 50 watts per channel.

                1. I have to stop myself, because down that road is madness.

                  Yep.

                  I have a Jolida tube amp as well. And a tube phono preamp. And a tube headphone amp. They fucking rule.

                  Good vinyl is where it’s at if you have ears that can discern what’s on the recordings. A good system with good vinyl, and you can hear the shape of the room where the recording was made. It really is amazing.

                  I also have a burgeoning collection of records (not all of them have been catalogued yet), many of which I paid lots of money for.

                  Collecting records is addicting, and if you have an ear at all, trying to find even better sound is an ongoing endeavor.

                    1. “”mad libertarian guy|10.20.13 @ 3:40AM|#

                      For reals this time, yo!””

                      Are you suggesting even as a joke that you only have 20 albums from the 1970s? What, this is a ‘collection’? This is an underwear drawer.

                    2. I just don’t like most music from the 70s that much. I never have. Even most of the stuff I have from the 70ss, I have for posterity as opposed to actually liking the albums. I’m far more in to the music that the 70s inspired, like Porcupine Tree. It’s just an aesthetic thing for me.

                      There are also about 200 classical records, none of which are catalogued on discogs.

                  1. The sad reality is that vinyl does to shit recording what heavy makeup does to skanks with bad complexions. I’ve got a pretty decent record-playing setup (custom designed and built tube electronics, heavily customized table, arm, and cartridge), but my home-made digital recordings (using home-made mikes and preamps) trounce it. Commercial recordings generally blow donkeys, lots of compression and EQ to stand out on car radios, and digital does nothing to smooth that over.

                    I’ve dubbed my phono to CD format and trust me, you couldn’t hear the difference unless you knew in advance which was which.

                    1. for sound quality i think vinyl really especially shines with acoustic jazz and classical – like the van gelder and creed taylor jazz stuff, and assorted chamber music stuff. just because of the dynamic response, warm ambience. i am not one of these dorks who argues ‘vinyl sounds better’. i just have 1000s of records. if they’d recorded on rolls of tinfoil, id own that.

      2. Part of me really wants to start an audiophile equipment website.

        1. Go whole hog – bundle the audiophile equipment with homeopathic ‘remedies and magnetic jewelry, along with chlorophyll tablets and sea salt.

        2. Gold plated RCA cables? Mine are diamond encrusted!

          1. I scoff at your diamond encrusted cabling. I worked thousands of immigrant child laborers to death in my Painite mines to yield the perfect packaging material for the cables I had run so my butler can hear the doorbell in stereo when I and my guests drink our highballs poolside..

            /Huffs on monocle and polishes.

            1. I did not know that Painite was a real thing until just now. Thanks.

    3. Madness indeed. I ended up designing and building my stuff, front to back, since most commercial equipment sucks, and audiophilia is rife with the lipids of herps.

      1. That’s the thing. Getting above consumer grade stuff, you *do* get a better sound. And building your own amp would be awesome (shoutout to the Lord of the Wasteland). And there’s amazing things you can do with speakers, from building your own, to diamond tweeters, to electrostatic.

        It’s just, in the same corners, there are amazing amounts of snake oil.

        And really, audiophiles are the perfect customer. The higher the price? The happier they are.

        But the temptation! I want to know what I can do with a 4 guage power cord! Hospital-grade outlets! Why yes, I need two monoblocks rather than one amp. And a pre-amp. And another one just for the woofers. And then swap out the tubes in each. Maybe some old soviet tubes…

        1. Soviet tubes are passe- what you need are artisanal Chinese hand-blown DHTs, with a lifetime and consistency similar to the Wilson Light Bulbs featured on Portlandia.

          1. Make your own tubes, you lazy bastards.

          2. Artisanal light bulbs may be more awesome/horrifying than the artisanal mayonnaise meme.

      2. Old Man- I’m looking to build an in wall subwoofer (all of my stuff in the theater is in wall), possibly infinite baffle. Any tips?

        1. Yes, very stiff walls! If you have a lot of volume in there, shoot for a woofer with a Qts of 0.5 or so- your woofers will be good down to the fs. If you’re near a corner, you’ll get some awesome reinforcement of the lows, so you can even be a bit higher on fs and still get another half octave or so.

          1. I have it narrowed down to 2 walls (near the corner). One is gypsum, the other is a shear wall. I should go with the shear?

            1. The shear wall is likely to be stiffer, but you want to make sure that there’s lots of available volume (holes in the braces) and you’ll still want to stiffen up the front wall around where you have the woofer mounted- at 30-40Hz, you start getting some serious wall flexure and it goes acoustically transparent.

              1. Thanks.

                1. And to think I was wringing my hands over buying a $30 TASCAM TM-ST1 Stereo Condenser Microphone this week.

      3. ALL YOUR AUDIOPHILIA IS NOTHING, *NOTHING* I TELL YOU… CHILDS PLAY!!

        Real insanity is when you’ve finished your homemade speaker & amp, wound your own cables… and realized….

        THE ROOM IS ALL WRONG. AND MADE OF THE WRONG MATERIALS. ALSO, HUMAN EARS ARE PLACED AT IMPERFECT ANGLES.

        This is how people end up like Van Gogh

        1. 56, not prime.

          What, why don’t you wind your own transformers?

          1. I have a guy in Europe who does that for me. I tried having the workhouse children do it, but monocles in need of polishing were piling up.

  11. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rep…..-donation/
    Republican congressman Peter King is still frustrated with Ted Cruz’s crusade against Obamacare, and on Fox News Saturday he actually argued that by triggering the government shutdown and taking the focus away from the health care law’s horrible rollout, he’s actually helping the health care law and President Obama should thank him

    When will Peter King join Reason?

    1. Republican congressman IRA terrorist suporter Peter King is still frustrated with Ted Cruz’s crusade against Obamacare,

      Fixed it for Mediaite.

      1. So when will he direct an anti-slavery movie? However the critics will still hate it cuz he’s a Rethuglican.

  12. Insert penis joke here.

    1. Does David Cameron back it?

  13. http://www.examiner.com/articl…..r-break-in

    Anyone want to help me form a lynch mob?

    1. Uh, no, but if they find out about who did this to those dogs they better hope they don’t share a cell with any dog-lovers.

    2. You Know Which Other Georgians formed a lynch mob?

      1. Well if they were to get rid of Shriek (assuming he is who he says he is) I guess they can’t be all bad.

      2. The B-52s?

    3. Ya know – it would not surprise me to find that some group like PETA did this, far less than the article’s suggestion that dog-fighters did.

    1. I can’t even read it. It’s not even an ideologically annoying (I think, didn’t make it too far). He just sucks so bad at writing. Anything.

      I bet he makes 6 figures vomiting out that bullshit.

      1. It wasn’t explicit, like some of his frozen burrito love letters. Everyone of those are a soul-shredding portrait of despair. Once he gets fired from Slate and his bloody god Obama is gone, he’s going to be at a very high risk for suicide.

        1. Those odes to burritos are some of the greatest works of art in the 21st century.

          I’m not sure which of Yglesias’ classic essays I like most. I’m a big fan of his burrito obsession, but the one where he talks about how much he hates being outside is a truly pathetic portrait of a life in decline.

          If I recall, that one was the one where he referred to his coworkers as ‘colleagues’ without ever referring to them as friends, and wrote the line “Guys, why would we eat outside when inside exists?”

          If Matthew Yglesias did not exist, I would have to invent him.

          1. Yes, the guy who wants us all to bike and walk to work can’t stand to be outside.

            “So me and mine gotta lay down and die… so you can live in your better world?”

            “I’m not going to live there. There’s no place for me there… any more than there is for you. Malcolm… I’m a monster.What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.”

              1. Serenity

            1. I hear he’s an Oscar front-runner for playing Solomon Northup in ’12 Years a Slave’.

              It looks a lot less hokey and political than ‘The Butler’.

              1. I like him as an actor.

                I just in no way look forward to the coverage that I just know 12 years a Slave will receive. “Serves as a stark reminder to an America still struggling with race relations of a past it is unwilling to confront…”- Line I predict in numerous reviews.

                1. Reviews have already said that.

          2. Man, that “not liking outside” piece was the only article I ever read in it’s entirety. It’s genius lies in the fact that it’s so desperate and sad, and yet the author’s explicit lack of self-awareness allows him to write in a peppy and upbeat style.

        2. Is it more… almost college level report? Business 202 says do a report on a franchise company?

          “Well, I need to turn in an article. I’ll take this report I did, make a few of the phrases into amusing links, and toss a conclusion on it… Done!”

    2. Well, I did feel nauseous and a little creeped out after reading that post… so, yes?

      1. Oh jesus.

        Could you imagine being a pretty woman at a DeeCee cocktail party and you look up and sadbeard is approaching with a lecherous look about his visage. The horror, the goddamn horror.

    3. Unsettling. I spent most of it thinking he couldn’t have written it, that he just put his byline on it.

      I don’t know what to make of anything. It’s a writeup that would be just fine for a Bourbon Barron in a distillery gift shop.

      WTF?!?

  14. Mini-book review:

    Thinking the 20th Century (Tony Judt & Timothy Snyder) is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year, if not the best. It bookends Judt’s previous work on post-WWII Europe, Postwar — and as both gentlemen have become deservedly well-known for their history on 20th-century European history, it is full of many interesting observations about where Europe was and where it is going.

    One thing that surprised me was how much I agreed with the conclusions of the authors, both of whom are (near as I can tell) center-left historians. Well worth reading if you are in any way interested in Europe.

    1. Thinking the 20th Century (Tony Judt & Timothy Snyder) is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year, if not the best.

      Timothy Snyder did Bloodlands, right? I really liked that book, although the litany of sins got unbelievably oppressive after a while.

      Timothy Snyder’s writing style is unbelievably good for a historian. I’ll have to check this out.

      I just looked up Thinking the 20th Century on Amazon and this sentence showed up in a review:

      ” It took until the mid-1970s for even the core economies of prosperous Western Europe to get back to where they had been in 1914.”

      I definitely need to read this now. Anyone who debunks the ‘war is good for the economy’ myth is fine by me.

      1. Yes, Snyder did Bloodlands. Judt was Snyder’s mentor, and an unbelievably good historian in his own right (pick up and read Postwar if you haven’t already). Most of the time, Snyder is an interlocutor for Judt (who recently died).

        They are both lefties, but both are extremely intelligent and explain themselves well. You’ll come away disagreeing with a lot, but it won’t be like reading Tony commentary or anything.

      2. Mobile Alabama still hasn’t recovered from The War of Northern Aggression. Ante-bellum it was a world class city.

  15. Paging Barfman: Hillary Clinton endorses Terry McAuliffe (with video of her remarks)

    1. Isn’t that opening her up to accessory-after-the-fact? Or the other way around?

  16. These are for men you say

    1. Not sure I could wear anything called a jumper.

      TGTSGCTG!

    2. Mabel Pines approved!

  17. Scherzer, Tiger’s pitcher, with two different colored eyes, just made a wild eyed diving catch that should be the stuff of memes and gifs for years.

    And wow, Joe Buck the fucktard makes nothing sound quite as exciting as a foul ball.

    1. And we can look forward to more of this replay shit next year. As if games at Fenway don’t take long enough.

  18. Holy shit this is exceptionally stupid: Roger Ailes, Fox News, and the Tea Party are out to avenge Richard Nixon

    The conservative movement never really liked Nixon. He initiated detente with the Soviets, visited Mao in China ? rather than bombing both countries. He raised taxes. But conservatives also saw him as a martyr to “liberals” and their lap-dogs the press. He also flew the flag for executive-branch power. Conservatives believe in a strong a executive branch ? when a Republican is president.

    The wound from one of their party ? if not one of their own ? having been driven from office is one that has never stopped festering for the Republicans.

    Two Democrats in the last 30 years have made it to the White House: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Special prosecutors and impeachment for real or as a threat hovered around them almost from the beginning of their terms of office. Republican payback?
    […]
    A four-decade-long war on the press’s legitimacy had begun. The idea that it was a biased liberal press that made the molehill of Watergate into a mountain of Constitutional crisis took root.

    1. This is some weapons grade crazy right here. That honestly might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on Salon, and they once published an article claiming that Eric Holder was Barack Obama’s ‘inner nigger.’

      NEVER FORGET!

    2. Avenge the man that took us off the gold standard?

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  21. Creepy things that kids say.

    Also, more creepy things that kids say.

    Some examples:

    Every night my daughter waits until I shut her door and whispers “no baby, it’s bedtime. I don’t want to feel your water head anymore”. My daughter doesn’t know that before we bought the house, there was a baby in the family that only lived a few months due to no bone formation in her head. Also due to the time of this event, the baby was never named. They just called her “Baby.”

    My son (3 at the time) threw a huge tantrum when we were trying to leave the house because he “didn’t want to crash and die”. After about 10 minutes he just stopped and was ready to go. As we were walking out of the house there was a very bad accident on the street in front of our house ? right where we would have been driving if he hadn’t thrown his fit.

    I was reading a story to my daughter when she suddenly slammed it shut, point to the empty doorway, and screamed “you get out of here! You’ve killed enough people!”

    1. That article reads as more ‘crazy things crazy parents tell you their kids said’.

  22. Fancy yourselves Audiophiles do ya?

    1. Well, sure, but if you have a digital part, you need this audiophile cable. It has arrows!

  23. “” Members of the VC, as the Vinyl Community calls itself,…

    “How do you know they’re VC?”

    “If they run, they’re VC. If they stand still, they’re well trained VC”

    pppt. I still hate on internet record nerds. Everything rare has been repressed already. I HATE THEM ALL.

    1. Replied in the wrong spot, I was meaning for the link to be here.

      Well Disciplined VC

      1. I have already skewered you with my sparkling repartee, so your belated attempt to…

        meh

  24. lol @ Prince Fielder.

    1. Ugh, that was brutal. He can move amazingly well when he has to.

    2. OVER RATED PAID!

      dum, dum, dumdumdum

      OVER RATED PAID!

      dum, dum, dumdumdum…

    3. OVER RATED PAID!

      dum, dum, dumdumdum

      OVER RATED PAID!

      dum, dum, dumdumdum…

    1. I WAS QUOTING MICHAEL HERR, SO I AM MO’ DEEPA THE SOURCE MATERIEL IN YER FACE

      (actually you’re probably right either way)

  25. As a musician, I can tell you that all recording and replay is madness, as NOTHING can capture live music and replay it the way your ears hear it live. NOTHING.

    It’s all madness.

    I long ago decided that 100w/channel was more than enough to make me deaf with clean power, and I can’t hear 20-20K, so “good enough”.

    And nothing will ever sound like my bagpipes live, nor my Strat through my Marshall live. Nothing. So…

    I think the Tigers might be losing. Oh, poo…

    1. This game is brutal, even with the Tigers leading.

      After playing the pipes, I’m surprised you can hear anything.

    2. I think Michael Buffer is high tonight.

  26. OT:
    “Freedom’s Forge”, Arthur Herman, pulls no punches; makes it clear that FDR’s administration minions hoped to use the war to nationalize the ‘means of production’, that FDR was a confused and indecisive twit, that the unions calling strikes were Communist-lead, that it was the spontaneous order of a freed market that produced the weapons needed to defeat the Axis.
    Well, my goodness! That’s a bit more specific claims than I’ve read in the past. Check the cover and it is a Pulitzer ‘finalist’, and the Amazon reviews are pretty uniformly positive, including one that might actually admit that FDR was a POS (“If you’re an FDR fan, you might want to stay away from this one.”).
    Outside of Miscamble’s apologetic gripes re: FDR/Truman, it’s the first book I’ve read that calls that asshole on his failures.
    Anyone else read it? Comments?

    1. One thing I wish got more play in our culture?

      Japanese Internment. Every month there is a movie coming out about either slavery or the Civil Rights era, but the Japanese Internment, where the government, y’know, put people in camps, get collectively annoyed by the film and literary establishments.

      And its always mentioned as an offhanded aside to FDR’s legacy, not a “Yeah, the dude was a total dick for this” turning point thing that ruins the rest.

      Economic collectivism Civil Rights to progs, I suppose.

      1. They also like to ignore that it was the Democrats who supported slavery, opposed Lincoln and Reconstruction, were saved from political extinction by the Klan, implemented Jim Crow and that those segregationist Southerners voted overwhelming for Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…..s_by_state

  27. I just watched Ken Burns’ “PROHIBITION” series?

    My takeaway: They didn’t try hard enough.

  28. Seen on the AV Club, in reference to Dennis Miller:

    He’s a Republican now. Don’t you dare touch his money. He’ll stand his ground and then laugh at you.

    I used to read that site for the occasional TV reviews and water cooler style discussion, but they have to be progressive about EVERYTHING. TV actor or personality has political beliefs you don’t like? The show/movie sucks, no matter what the actual quality and content are. Fuck “the personal is the political”. The Poli-Sci major in me can enjoy the West Wing even if I find its over the top liberalism insufferable at times (also, as long as I skip past all the episodes where they make John Goodman the evil Republican speaker/President. I think that was Sorkin’s way of working through his Bush Derangement Syndrome)

    1. Was that a comment or an actual post?

  29. Leave it to a vinyl retard to record their shit on shitty built-in mics on their shitty cameras and cell phones, then convert to lossy digital format, upload to youtube where it gets further reduced in quality, and then share the video so they can all marvel at the knee-weakening beauty of pure analog sound.

  30. Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with the punches.

    http://www.AnonWonders.tk

  31. Thanks for a great article. There is a rebirth of vinyl, with some artists starting to issues their recordings on it. Lets face it, there was a certain amount of fun in not only the music, but the expansive liner notes that came with a vinyl purchase…most cd’s excluded those notes.

    And the other interesting things is how some of the vinyl original pressings were changed, which made the originals even more valuable…Dylan and Blonde on Blonde, as well as the Beatles and Penny Lane. Plus you could play Sgt. Peppers backwards if you had to!

    And the sound on some of the early Rolling Stones mono recordings was better than the rereleased stereo.

    But thanks again!

  32. awww… a thread about vinyl and I missed it!

    I have approximately ~1000 records – been a collector since age 12, so I have a particular fondness for vinyl.

    1. We need to talk, padawan. 1000 is not a collection. collecting is when you start to decide when to throw away the shit stuff and get serious. You aren’t in the dark depths of sickness until you’ve filled a room and started reimagining how the rest of your real estate might fit the next 2-3000.

      That’s when you need help. Which is usually a garage.

      1. That said.. if your oldest record happened to include Billy Cobham?… (why!? no! that’s just wrong.) however…

        Red Baron, bitch.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_wQAhBcPEU

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  34. on other YouTube channels. Before long I’m uploading my own videos

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