A Letter Home, ReProduced by Jack White and Neil Young

A Letter Home

I have been waiting for the Neil Young low-fidelity recording, A Letter Home to become available. I anticipated it would be released on Record Store Day 2014. A Letter Home proved to be a low-key, release with silent fanfare. I did not learn about that the recording was made available at a discreet number of Record Store Day locations until today

Thankfully I was able to order a vinyl copy on the Third Man Records Store today. I understand that Third Man Records is backlogged on orders but I am a patient soul when it comes to music 🙂

Third Man Records unearths Neil Young’s A Letter Home. “An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever…” —Homer Grosvenor

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The Dust and Grooves Book

Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2014 is a scant two weeks away. The hunt for vinyl treasures will commence once again. Record Store Day 2014 looms as the largest event yet! Record Store Day announced its complete slate of 2014 releases , all 438 of them (with even more surfacing right until that day). I am ambivalent about the future of Record Store Days. My music purchasing and listening habits will alter later this year when the PonoMusic player arrives in October. I will begin purchasing high-resolution audio recordings at prices that will range from $14.99 to $24.99. Whereas both new vinyl (180 to 220 grade) and Record Store Day limited edition “collectibles” have begun ranging in price from $20-$45 for vinyl lps. (It wasn’t that long ago that new vinyl was $10 and don’t give us that bullshit party line that it costs sooo much to start up a vinyl pressing plant (that was dormant and waiting to begin with…) The record companies are screwing the pooch by gouging the record buying public and the record store owners for fatter profit margins. Avaricious profiteering will kill the Record Store Day “golden goose”. I urge you to read these constructive articles about the “destructive” pricing for the two biggest retail days of the year for vinyl record sales.

The articles focus on the record stores and the record labels. They fail to discuss the record store day “collector”‘point of view. That’s a major miss when it comes to who is the customer?

The Dust and Grooves Book

Have no fear the definitive coffee table book about record collectors in their native habitat will be available on Record Store Day April 19, 2014. Dust & Grooves, Adventures In Record Collecting by Eilon Paz is the Official Book of Record Store Day 2014.

DUST & GROOVES: ADVENTURES IN RECORD COLLECTING will be available at select U.S. record stores on Record Store Day, April 19 (The official release date is May 20) and you can learn even more at the blog that started it all, www.dustandgrooves.com

“In just four short years, Eilon Paz has managed to chronicle the impressive stashes of over 30 collectors around the world, from his own backyard in Brooklyn, to faraway destinations such as Ghana and Istanbul. Not bad for a project that started out of unemployment-derived boredom … No matter the size, Paz believes that showing collections is important, as it gives weight to the idea that there’s something worthwhile and meaningful about a physical record collection that’s lost in today’s digital world.” – GOLDMINE MAGAZINE

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Nashville Cats, Jack White and Neil Young

The news about Nashville Cats, Jack White and Neil Young is captivating the music of our heart. It made perfect sense when Neil Young validated this week that his new album, A Letter Home will be released on Jack White’s Third Man Records. Jack White and Neil Young share a vital bond for achieving audio excellence and sound preservation. Their music partnership builds upon their mutual respect for quality in sound recording.

Neil Young has been focused on a dedicated mission to deliver us the PONO music system. He wages heavy peace with PONO to provide 100% high-resolution audio for listeners. Neil Young informed us that the SXSW 2014 Music Festival (March 11-16) will serve as the PONO product announcement platform for PONO. SXSW is the ideal spot to hold this historic announcement with its pivotal role in music technology. I am grateful that Neil Young has stayed on target to bring this appealing technology to market. We stand to benefit significantly hearing the totality of sound instead of having it scrunched into a 5% music output form (MP3).

Third Man Records made the decision on Record Store Day (as you may recall Jack White was the 2013 Record Store Day Ambassador)  to use the highest quality aluminum substrate lacquers in The Third Man Recording Booth. These blanks offer the best fidelity for cold needle record cutting and can be played dozens and dozens of times without any noticeable audio degradation. They switched to clear vinyl several months ago.

Neil Young recorded in the Third Man Recording Booth that day which started him on the path towards  A Letter Home. Here’s a picture of Neil holding his prized record in the sleeve afterwards.

Jack White later recorded “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on Record Store Day. He did the song “so you can hear the warm analog fidelity that radiates out of this booth”.

What transpired during Record Store Day in the Recording Booth probably fueled speculation about Neil and Jack recording “duets” together. 😉

Third Man Recording Booth is a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine that records up to 2 minutes of audio and dispenses a one-of-a-kind 6″ phonograph disc to the user. An arcade staple through the middle of the 20th century and famously used by Martin Sheen’s character in the film Badlands, these “make your own record” booths were popular audio peculiarities that fell out of vogue in the 1960s and 70s. Like the records of old, users of the Third Man Recording Booth are encouraged to mail their recording to a loved one. Third Man even offers custom-printed envelopes and postage stamps to make that happen.

The Third Man Recording Booth is the only machine of its kind in the world that is both working and open to the public. The booth will run on custom Third Man tokens already in use in the Third Man Novelties Lounge.

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Record Store Day 2013 – This Year’s Ambassador is Jack White!

Looking past the doldrums of Winter 2013 to a better Spring and Record Store Day 2013 which this year will be Saturday April  20th.

I think it’s just the best that Jack White is voted Record Store Day Ambassador 2013. He always supports this event and I have purchased several of his exclusive Record Store Day collectibles the past few Record Store Days.

Jack you are the man! Here is what Jack White has to say officially about Record Store Day…

Years ago someone told me that 1,200 high school kids were given a survey. A question was posed to them: Have you ever been to a stand-alone record shop? The number of kids that answered “yes” was… zero.

Zero? How could that be possible? Then I got realistic and thought to myself, “Can you blame them?” How can record shops (or any shop for that matter) compete with Netflix, TiVo, video games that take months to complete, cable, texting, the Internet, etc. etc? Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence, and to a lot of people, an unnecessary one. Why go to a bookstore and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences? Just click your mouse. Well here’s what they’ll someday learn if they have a soul; there’s no romance in a mouse click. There’s no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games (anyone proud of that stop reading now and post your opinion in the nearest forum). The screen of an iPhone is convenient, but it’s no comparison to a 70mm showing of a film in a gorgeous theater. The Internet is two-dimensional…helpful and entertaining, but no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a human being. But we all know all of that, right? Well, do we? Maybe we know all that, but so what?

Let’s wake each other up.

The world hasn’t stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven’t felt yet. So why do we choose to hide in our caves and settle for replication? We know better. We should at least. We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person and getting turned onto music that you can hold in your hands and share with others. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn’t know that it’s a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they’ll know.

Let’s wake each other up.

As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013 I’m proud to help in any way I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art, and ultimately, themselves.

Let’s wake each other up.

– Jack White III

Last Shop Standing

I also discovered this interesting movie trailer about the rise, the fall and the rebirth of the independent record store shop.

Cutler’s Retirement Celebration

I decided to visit the Broadway shopping experience in New Haven, Ct. this afternoon. Little did I realize after stopping in the Apple Store to assess the Mac Book Pro with Retina display ($weet “must have” $olution) and trying to find to no avail the latest Uncut music magazine at the Yale Bookstore (July 2012 issue with Patti Smith on the cover…) what lie in store just down the block.

I smiled as I walked towards my final destination, Cutler’s Record Store. I saw the famous sign above the door and as I checked out the front window display, I said, “Oh no”, reading in utter disbelief as the banners stated, “Retirement Celebration, Closing”. It dawned on me that my favorite music retailer was leaving the retail landscape too. I processed the signs 40% off everything in the store so I decided to go inside and pay my respects to the best local music store ever!

I saw Phil Cutler hard at work, as always, he was consolidating CDs into stacks as he got ready for the last 12 days of business (Cutler’s will close forever on June 30th, 2012). How many times had I flipped through these hallowed music bins? I had spent hours walking those long aisles looking for that special recording on vinyl, cassette or CD these past 40 years.

I struck up a conversation just like always with Phil Cutler who has always commanded my respect. I told him that I was disappointed but that I respected his business decision. He thanked me for the appreciation. I then asked if I could snap a picture of him on my iPhone. He gladly obliged. I mentioned to him that I would write this music blog article about him and his store. I gave him the URL. I sure hope he stops by and writes a comment 😉

I then realized I should buy something to honor my customer relationship with Phil Cutler. I recalled that I had meant to stop by and buy some Record Store Day collectibles. So I did that and if you look at the next two pictures below you’ll see what I purchased. I bought one other gift for our son because Cutler’s had become one of our favorite record stores these past few years. It’s a secret, shhhhhhh 😉

I spoke to Phil Cutler one more time adding how much the store meant to me these past 40 years. I asked him if he planned an online version of Cutler’s, he was too busy with the merchandise consolidation to discuss that suggestion. He shared with me he was tired and that he welcomed the time off ahead (running a 7 days a week, day/night retail business is grueling). I told him I know just how you feel retail is demanding and that I had 16 years of retail experience in common with him (I ran a record department, not a full store, years back myself) I then said, “God Bless You Phil.” He said thanks very much and I proceeded to the register. I purchased the commemorative Cutler’s Record Store T-Shirt.

Thanks for the music memories Phil Cutler and staff. Nobody Does It Better.

I look forward to learning more about the next phase of your career, Phil, especially as it relates to music.

Record Store Day, April 21, 2012

Record Store Day
Record Store Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love the ambiance and excitement that Record Store Day offers. I enjoy supporting the independent record store owner and the small retail chains. Record Store Day is my favorite shopping day of the year and in 2011 we had two Record Store Days, one in April and one on Black Friday.

It was my original intention to shop Record Store Day 2012 at Cutler’s in New Haven on Saturday. As luck would have it I had to be out-of-state in Massachusetts on Saturday for a company in-service and evening family plans elsewhere in Connecticut. Things weren’t looking promising to squeeze in some shopping time with extensive travel and plans.

I devised a new strategy for Record Store Day 2012. I used the Record Store Day locator on the Record Store Day Web site and located a Newbury Comics Record Store in Northampton, Massachusetts in direct line with my return trip on I-91. It was a new store for me and I wasn’t sure what their inventory would be or what I would find later in the afternoon on Saturday.

As luck would have it. I found the Newbury Comics store easily (thanks to Garmin GPS). They had a pretty well stocked Record Store Day section in the store. I debated over a couple of items (I plan to visit Cutler’s on Tuesday to complete my first goal…) and placed them back in the steps.

Here is the loot I purchased on Record Store Day 2012. Remember its all about the collectibles 😉

  1. Peter Tosh – Picture Disk – Legalize It as a Dub Club Mix! Echoldelic Remixes (4 different ones)
  2. Joey Ramone – Rock N Roll Is The Answer – 7″
  3. Kick Out The Jams – MC5/Afrika Bamnaataa – Colored Vinyl 7″ – Rhino
  4. Bruce Springsteen – Rocky Ground 7″
  5. The White Stripes – hand springs –  7″ Red Vinyl
  6. Respect – Otis Redding – Stax Volt  / Aretha Franklin – Atlantic 7″ Colored Vinyl
  7. Paul Revere & The Raiders – Ride Your Pony, B/W {You’re A] Bad Girl 7″ Red Vinyl
  8. Gary Clark Jr. Presents HWUL Raw Cuts Vol 1. 12″

Iggy Pop is Record Store Day 2012 Ambassador!

Record Store Day is proud to announce the appointment of IGGY POP to the post of Record Store Day 2012 Ambassador.

Iggy Pop Record Store Day Ambassador 2012

A person should have a personality. You won’t get one dicking around on a computer. It helps to go somewhere where there are other persons. Persons who are interested in something you are. That’s how a record store or any shop that’s got some life to it should work. It’s not about selling shit. I got my name, my musical education and my personality all from working at a record store during my tender years. Small indie shops have always been a mix of theater and laboratory. In the 50’s and 60’s the teen kids used to gather after school at these places to listen free to the latest singles and see if they liked the beat. You could buy the disc you liked for 79 cents and if you were lucky meet a chick. Clerks in these places became managers, (like Brian Epstein), label heads, (Jack Holzman) and Faces on album covers (like me).

Personally I feel best in a store that, while staying small and socially relaxed, still keeps a complete variety of music types and non musical recordings on offer. I’m aware though that a lot of great places are genre-specific, like dance hall shops in Jamaica or Compas here in Little Haiti. In Europe and on the West coast the same goes on for Punk and Goth. All of this is cool and has a much bigger future than most people realize today. When the record and record store businesses began to die at the turn of the new century, they deserved it because they got too big too boring and too plastic.

As Record Store Day Ambassador for 2012 I feel like a representative from some exotic jungle full of life and death and sex and anger, called upon to wear a leopard skin and translate joy to the world of the dead. –-IGGY POP

Record Store Day, Black Friday Edition, 11/25/11

BF logo

I make it a rule each year to never venture out on Black Friday. I just can’t deal with the crowds and I have done my stint as a retail sales person many years earlier. Its left its scars. But now I have a raison d’etre to defy that tradition 😉

Attention vinyl junkies and music collectors of all ages/genders. Record Store Day Black Friday Edition is happening on Friday November 25, 2011.

Sundazed Records
Image via Wikipedia

I highly recommend that you support your local record store on Record Day Black Friday (well every day actually).  Black Friday will be celebrated by approximately 900 independently owned record stores/shops in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Holland and the UK.

The list of specialty releases can be found here. The pull down menu with more specifics is located here.

So do you see anything that interests you to venture out on Black Friday? I did and then some… (look below) 😉

The major contributor to Record Store Day is the reissue label company, Sundazed. Sundazed Music Inc.  has been around since 1989. They do a fantastic job of coordinating reissues with the major labels such as Sony/BMG Legacy, Arista Records and Verve Records. Browse on over to their Web site and drool at what they offer record collectors. You’ll be amazed at the breadth and depth of their catalog.

Take a look at the Sundazed Record Store Day Black Friday page here.

I plan to write a more extensive blog post, if not a feature article about what Bob Irwin of Sundazed  is accomplishing. Heck I might even make a road trip up to Coxsackie, NY. Now that would be a fun pilgrimage.

When Black Friday comes
I’ll collect everything I’m owed
And before my friends find out
I’ll be on the road

Pictured below are some of the treasures I’ll be hunting for on Record Store Day Black Friday. Wish me luck 😉


Support Record Store Day- April 16th

RSD 2011 date

Record Store Day 2011 will be HUGE! 😉

Ozzy Osborne is the Official Ambassador.

Ozzy Seal

There are lots of exclusive Record Store Collector vinyl exclusives. Here is the latest list: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases

This is my favorite record store item….

Grateful Dead’s first album available on vinyl in original mono mix!

Grateful Dead (LP)

Format: Vinyl
Label: Rhino
Release type: RSD Commercial Release
More Info: First time on vinyl in more than 40 years, cut from the original MONO tapes.


  • “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
  • Beat It On Down The Line
  • Good Morning Little Schoolgir
  • Sitting On Top of the World
  • Cream Puff Wars
  • Morning Dew
  • New New Minglewood Blues
  • Viola Lee Blues

Be there or be square.

Support your local record store

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Record Store Day 2010

I know, I know, I have a ton of graduate school homework and I have had the week from hell and joy with income taxes, etc.

But I am heading out none the less to go join the vinyl and music junkie masses for Record Store Day 2010.


Tell you later where I went and what  I bought. Thanking my loving wife for the $25 gift certificate. You are the music of my heart Rosemary ~major kisses~

Later that day…

Ended up going to Cutler’s Record Shop in New Haven  I got this cool poster shown above. I love Cutlers Record Shop been shopping there since my New Haven university days 🙂 They have a frequent buyers card, every $20 purchase you get a stamp, after 10 stamps they will give you $20 off your next purchase of $20 or more and a new card. So today I reached that goal 😉

My Loot 😉

Cream Remastered – Disraeli Gears

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Greatest Hits

John Lennon Singles Bag (very cool collectible for Record Store Day 2010)

John Lennon Singles Bag (limited edition) Capitol/EMI:
Individually numbered Kraftpak envelope with button & string closure; custom plastic adaptor hub
24” x 36” poster + three postcards
Three 45 RPM vinyl singles with replicated original artwork:
– Single 1: John Lennon “Mother” / Yoko Ono “Why”
– Single 2: John Lennon “Imagine” / John Lennon “It’s So Hard”
– Single 3: John Lennon “Watching the Wheels” / Yoko Ono “Yes, I’m Your Angel”

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