Watch the Tunes: The Art of Organized Noize

Written by Chris Lay on September 23, 2016 / Watch the Tunes


There is an absurdly vast selection of music movies and documentaries available on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and on and on and on. But it’s hard to tell which ones are actually worth your 100 minutes. Watch the Tunes will help you pick what music doc is worth your Netflix and Chill time every weekend. This week’s edition covers The Art of Organized Noize, which is streaming over on Netflix.

The internet collectively lost its mind a few weeks back when Gucci Mane posted a snapchat where he said “I just did a record for OutKast.” Andre 3000’s reps denied everything with a terse statement that there is “no OutKast news to report” (sad face emoji) but I dunno about all that. Their string of festival reunion shows that started two years back has been going strong all the way up to the ONE Musicfest earlier this month on their home turf of Atlanta where the whole Dungeon Family got back together. It just feels like the timing is right for something new to drop from those guys and this week’s film The Art of Organized Noize, directed by Quincy Jones III, includes some clues that point towards something… maybe… in the near(ish?) future. (more…)

Everything You Wanted To Know About Those Download Cards in Vinyl Records

Written by Vinyl Me, Please on September 22, 2016 / Interview

by Ben Munson


Digital downloads are one of the most useful, and simultaneously most useless, vinyl tuck-ins. Among stickers, lyric sheets, posters, patches and other things flat enough to fit, download cards are probably the most relevant. Still, I have never even used one.

Typically when I open new vinyl, if a download card slides out, it ends up being pushed underneath my turntable and stays there, for eternity. Since streaming services exist, and are relatively affordable, I don’t see why I would bother downloading anyway. I doubt I’m alone on this since Spotify counts 30 million paid users and Apple Music adds another 15 million.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture of including a download code with an extremely non-portable version of an album. It could just be that most of the music-related futzing I have time for now is dedicated to my record collection and not my MP3 library.

If other record collectors follow my logic, what does that mean for digital download redemption rates? And if digital download redemption rates are low, how do record labels continue to justify the cost and effort that goes into printing cards, inserting them into albums, and hosting the digital downloads for an indeterminate amount of time? And do artists even get paid for digital downloads, or does going to a streaming service to hear their music digitally actually help them more?

Those are the questions we put to a handful of record label representatives and here are some of the answers – both for and against the practice – which we received.


Five Super Expensive Turntables to Break the Bank

Written by Ed Selley on / Gear Reviews


In a recent piece, I tried to the best of my limited abilities to explain why the high-end turntable market exists. Whether I won over anyone to the cause is unclear, but to go hand in hand with it, ever conscious of the needs of the plutocrats amongst us, here is a quick selection of turntables that exemplify the great aspects of the high end.

As with any condensed list of models, this is neither an exhaustive list nor something you should genuinely make a purchasing decision that is equivalent to buying a well specified car on. These are deeply subjective products that all seek to appeal to very slightly different groups of people. If you genuinely are looking to blow that unexpected inheritance, deck out that Manhattan loft space or, most importantly, spend a quantity of money you have accrued slowly and painfully over a long period of time, you need to go and listen to the devices in question. You can then decide if the item in question is right for you both in terms of how it sounds, but almost as importantly how it looks and feels. Without further ado, here are some options if you have a great many dollars burning a hole in your pocket.


The Unbelievable Story of ‘Imagining The Life of Pablo’

Written by Vinyl Me, Please on / Reviews & Interviews

By Dirk Baart

a2681297611_10We live in a time when Ed Sheeran’s cat has got his very own Twitter account and when you can find out what your favourite pop star had for breakfast with just a few clicks. On a more musical level, almost all ‘knowledge’ is also always available: streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal offer the complete history of pop music in online platforms that fit in your pocket. In short, just like the economy of the Western world, the music industry revolves around knowledge.

The pop star we arguably know most about  – although our knowledge has not yet added up and probably never will add up to a full understanding of the man – goes by the name of Kanye West.
But while the world seemed to get hold of a new version of Kanye West’s most recent effort The Life of Pablo, the Chicago rapper’s fans in Japan had to wait a little while longer to hear any version of the album at all.

The Japanese music industry behaves a little differently from others. In Japan, the CD, which has almost completely disappeared from the music markets we know, still accounts for 85% percent of all music related sales. Tidal, on which The Life of Pablo was originally exclusively available, hadn’t yet launched in Japan at the time of the album’s release in February. Music piracy is judged as a criminal offence in Japan, with penalties reaching up to two years prison time for downloading music and ten years for uploading it. The harsh judgement has resulted in Japan being on its way to succeed the United States as the most lucrative music market. While that might seem very positive, it also has proven to have negative consequences. The best example occurred in February of this year, when over 127 million people couldn’t hear 2016’s most-hype record. Until they could.


Vinyl Me, Please Is The Best Damn Record Club