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At the Margins of Music: The Early LPs of Prestige Records

Viewed from the present, the LP era began in June 1948 when Columbia Records introduced their long-playing microgroove technology. The reality for listeners in the late 1940s and early 1950s, however, was much more uncertain. As vinyl LPs came to replace the shellac discs of the previous recording era, recordRead More…

Why Music Sales are Down

There’s a good reason why you might not enjoy listening to music as much as you used to: It’s gotten too loud. All music has “dynamic range,” variations in volume between the loud parts and the soft parts. People sing and play at different volumes. Individual notes have an initialRead More…

My Experiences With Vinyl Media

As far as my experiences with vinyl records are concerned, it is hard to know where to begin, but all of those experiences were memorable. At 59, I am old enough (and hopefully wise enough) to understand that nostalgia and memories from one’s youth tend to positively bias your feelingsRead More…

The Pirates of Los Angeles: Music, Technology, and Counterculture in Southern California

In 1978, with a new album on the way and a growing popularity that had started among the Hell’s Angels in Southern California, the Doobie Brothers made an unlikely guest appearance on the television show “What’s Happening!!” Set in Watts, the popular series focused on the comic tragedies that befellRead More…