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Happy Earth Day From Portugal. The Man

portugal. the manOn the occasion of Earth Day 2014, the excellent and uniquely punctuated Portugal. The Man just produced an “endangered song” to raise awareness of the endangered status of Sumatran tiger. The band calls the song “a metaphor for endangered species,” in that it is being offered in an extremely limited edition of 400 vinyl records (there are 400 of these tigers left in the wild). Rolling Stone reports:

The track, “Sumatran Tiger,” does not officially exist digitally, and, like all vinyl records, will eventually degrade and also become extinct. According to the video above, the copies were sent “to 400 carefully chosen influencers, among them actors, activists, musicians, conservationists, bloggers and journalists” and is, as the band claims, “the first song meant to go extinct unless it’s reproduced.”

The band encouraged fans to “scour the Internet” using the hashtags #endangeredsong and #sumatrantiger to find recordings of the song.

Watch this short video for info:

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Saturday Is Record Store Day

PrintJust a friendly public service announcement. This Saturday, April 19th, is Record Store Day.

Record Store Day is not only a good opportunity to reacquaint yourself with your local purveyor of fine records, cassettes, and compacted discs, but it is also a chance to catch some good deals and rare items. Artists and labels alike are hip to this holiday and have, for years now, been using it to roll out cool promotional and limited releases, especially in the realm of vinyl. Here are a few favorites to check out, starting, of course, with the kings of oddball releases, The Flaming Lips (their label, Warner Bros., is an official RSD sponsor, and have a number of great offerings):

The Flaming Lips: 7 SKIES H3 – Single-pocket jacket, regular-weight clear vinyl 12″ – Limited to 7.500 copies. On vinyl for the first time ever. A 50 minute distillation across 10 tracks of the remarkable 24-hour song recorded at Tarbox Road Studios in 2011. Includes digital download card.

The Flaming Lips: Gates Of Steel – Single-pocket jacket, regular-weight silver vinyl 7″ – Limited to 7,500 copies. Part of the WMG’s Side By Side series. Includes Devo’s “Gates of Steel” from the original DEV-O Live EP and a previously unreleased cover by The Flaming Lips all on gorgeous silver vinyl! R.I.P. Bob 2. This is for you, wherever you are.
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Vanna Sign To Pure Noise Records

vanna_2If you ask us, Vanna is having a pretty great year. In addition to being added to the 2014 Vans Warped Tour, the Boston natives have just signed with Pure Noise Records, and will be releasing their label debut this June. Speaking about the signing, Vanna said, “The entire idea of making music is to be able to share your passion your frustrations your problems with as many people as possible, that’s always been our goal as a band. In saying that we always strive to work with people who feel the same way we do. Pure Noise Records is about that exactly. After co-releasing The Few and The Far Between on vinyl last year and seeing what the record label is all about, we as a band felt that Pure Noise would be a good home for our future and a step in the direction that we wanted to take. We are honored to join the Pure Noise Records roster, full of amazing bands that are just killing it. We look forward to the future, as our musical family grows larger. Thank you for listening. I believe in you if you believe in me.”

Catch the band on Vans Warped Tour this summer, and keep an eye out for more details on their June release.

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The Eagles' 'Hotel California' Becomes World's Largest Vinyl Record

The Eagles vinylWhat would the world’s largest vinyl record would look like? Maybe a little like your old copy of The Eagles’ Hotel California? But, uh, bigger? And what better place for this vinyl than a city in California? As it turns out, that’s actually a thing”and it’s happening on the rooftop of Inglewood, California’s the Forum. The vinyl weighs in at a whopping 50,000 pounds, and measures 407 feet in diameter. It even spins at a leisurely 17 miles per hour. Extremely limited edition. So what’s the cause for such a gigantic Eagles tribute? The record was installed to coincide with the re-opening of the Forum, and the six shows that will be staged by the ’70s rock giants to mark the occasion beginning on January 15. You can check out a video documenting the construction below.

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Back From the Dead: The Revival of Vinyl

A new start-up company is striving to meet the fast-growing appreciation for vinyl with an affordable but high-fidelity turntable.

Over a quarter century ago, record players and the accompanying 12 vinyl discs were packed up in the attic, left to collect dust, and eventually sold at tag sales for a few bucks. But within the past few years, there has been resurgence in the demand for more vinyl among listeners. In 2011, vinyl sales rose nearly 40% from the previous year. Interestingly enough, the past 6 years prior to 2011 marked a steady decline in vinyl sales each year. In 2012, that number climbed nearly an additional 18% from 2011.

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Amazon AutoRip Service Offers Free MP3 Downloads Of Previously Purchased CDs

Amazon has announced a new service that grants users free MP3 downloads with any eligible CD that they purchase from the website. Once consumers have purchased an album that is eligible for the new AutoRip service, Amazon grants them access to an automatic digital version in Amazon’s Cloud Player that is playable from mobile devices. AutoRip will also allow users to access MP3 versions of albums bought off of Amazon since 1998 if they contain AutoRip-eligible songs. At this moment, about 50,000 songs are eligible for the AutoRip service, with more expected to be added. While AutoRip is currently only available in the United States, Amazon does plan to expand the service internationally throughout 2013.

In the past few years, most new vinyl releases have come with digital download cards as well, but the same service has been slow to take hold with CDs, as their already digital-friendly format seems to preclude the need for a corresponding digital download. With AutoRip, though, Amazon circumvents the entire ripping and syncing process, and allows users instant access from all devices. Sweet.

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Stream Two New Tracks From My Chemical Romance's 'Conventional Weapons' Series

My Chemical Romance will continue their B-side saga with the release of the fourth installment of their Conventional Weapons series on January 8. The Conventional Weapons series of five 7″ vinyl, two-track singles compiles songs recorded in 2009, before the band recorded Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. If you can’t wait until next Tuesday, check out streams of the two latest songs below the jump.

If you like My Chemical Romance, check out OurStage artist Avion Roe.

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Four Noteworthy Split Releases

With a steady decline in CD sales caused by an even more exponentially consistent incline in downloading, it’s becoming more and more difficult for artists to justify selling their music within physical mediums. The upside, however, is that many indie and DIY bands are using this as inspiration to get more creative, putting the extra effort into their physical products and making something even more unique and valuable for their fans. A classic example is the split release concept. With the recent resurgence of vinyl and reinforced motivation to create a valuable physical product, many bands have teamed up on interesting limited edition projects. Here are some notable split releases from this year and the past few years that are sure to be valuable collectors items: (more…)

Motion City Soundtrack Release New Song

Power-pop rock band Motion City Sountrack are releasing one last vinyl seven-inch to finish their Making Moves series with Drexel University. The release contains two new songs entitled “Severance” and “Major Leagues.” You can hear the latter at RollingStone.com. The songs were recorded at a studio in Drexel University with the help of some student engineers. The record will be released on November 6th under the college’s label Mad Dragon Records.

Thursday, September 27, 2012