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The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby Archipants » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:19 am

Lookee here boys, it looks like we got ourselves a real live illiterate prima donna on our hands.

Everything you wrote here is pretentious, self-important, faux-elitist soapbox garbage. Sure, your releases may not be shitty vanity projects now... but give yourself a few more years and a bit more of that receding rocker hairline, and they will be... for sure.

Vinyl has served its purpose in the gods' grand scheme of audio technology; the same way wax cylinders, eight-tracks, and cassette tapes (still popular amongst some for some reason) did. Now, vinyl is a secret password into a magical underground club for those who cannot comprehend that audio technology has progressed, quite successfully, passed the turntable and think holding on to antiquated technology is somehow associated with credibility. I get it - the hisses, pops, and skips give the recordings character... I get it. They take up space in your shitty small-ass apartment, making it look larger for your girly-friends.

Seriously, the only arguments that I'm able to stomach for releasing on vinyl have been based around "I just like the way vinyl sounds." Not this superficial bullshit you spout about credibilty, authenticity, influence, and the like.

defactobrigade wrote:it shows quality and consideration more than that 300 dollar pressed CD you pressed up.

Damn, you're [yr] right... who really cares about the music. It's really about the label and the medium.

And typically those people have probably heard way more records than you in their lives.

Take that, lesser beings!
I always find it to be that the bands that can't get on real labels are the bands that don't understand vinyl.

Nice douchebag touch!
Not to say that type of music music is worse or better.

That's pretty much exactly what you are saying.
Bands like Sonic Youth and even Nirvana wouldn't exist without vinyl records/viny labels. That's absolutely for sure. Sure they obviously made their millions selling CDs, but they didn't care to. They wanted the releases available on vinyl first and foremost. That's what the underground has always been about.

Perhaps it's time to let go of the past, buddy.
If you run around playing in a Madison band thinking yr NOT in the underground, well then yr funny...and/or a really delusional band....OR Garbage.

Ummm, thanks for the validation?
I HIGHLY doubt anyone on this board knows anyone who has made a better record than In Utero. So yeah please try to tell me that this is pointless, cuz I think that says it all.

Again, TAKE THAT lesser beings!
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:00 am

Bands say they're into vinyl, but are they doing vinyl releases in matrix quadraphonic? No. So they're not really into vinyl.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:03 am

Archipants wrote:Lookee here boys, it looks like we got ourselves a real live illiterate prima donna on our hands.

Everything you wrote here is pretentious, self-important, faux-elitist soapbox garbage. Sure, your releases may not be shitty vanity projects now... but give yourself a few more years and a bit more of that receding rocker hairline, and they will be... for sure.

Vinyl has served its purpose in the gods' grand scheme of audio technology; the same way wax cylinders, eight-tracks, and cassette tapes (still popular amongst some for some reason) did. Now, vinyl is a secret password into a magical underground club for those who cannot comprehend that audio technology has progressed, quite successfully, passed the turntable and think holding on to antiquated technology is somehow associated with credibility. I get it - the hisses, pops, and skips give the recordings character... I get it. They take up space in your shitty small-ass apartment, making it look larger for your girly-friends.

Seriously, the only arguments that I'm able to stomach for releasing on vinyl have been based around "I just like the way vinyl sounds." Not this superficial bullshit you spout about credibilty, authenticity, influence, and the like.

defactobrigade wrote:it shows quality and consideration more than that 300 dollar pressed CD you pressed up.

Damn, you're [yr] right... who really cares about the music. It's really about the label and the medium.

And typically those people have probably heard way more records than you in their lives.

Take that, lesser beings!
I always find it to be that the bands that can't get on real labels are the bands that don't understand vinyl.

Nice douchebag touch!
Not to say that type of music music is worse or better.

That's pretty much exactly what you are saying.
Bands like Sonic Youth and even Nirvana wouldn't exist without vinyl records/viny labels. That's absolutely for sure. Sure they obviously made their millions selling CDs, but they didn't care to. They wanted the releases available on vinyl first and foremost. That's what the underground has always been about.

Perhaps it's time to let go of the past, buddy.
If you run around playing in a Madison band thinking yr NOT in the underground, well then yr funny...and/or a really delusional band....OR Garbage.

Ummm, thanks for the validation?
I HIGHLY doubt anyone on this board knows anyone who has made a better record than In Utero. So yeah please try to tell me that this is pointless, cuz I think that says it all.

Again, TAKE THAT lesser beings!


I never said you had to agree with me. You ARE a lesser being than Nirvana. Simple as that. If you can't understand that, well then yr retarded.

Um...it's going to take more than a few more years of me living to have a receding hairline. My grandparents both have/had full sets of hair. So I'll call you in about 20 years and let you know how that goes. In the meantime we'll keep doing what we do...releasing records on vinyl.

It has nothing to do with "Hisses and pops". It has to do with the desirable medium that yr fanbase will listen to/buy. No one coming to Hussy shows would buy a CD. Or maybe a few people would. But honestly it'd be a small amount. It's not worth our time to release a CD. We have no problem offing lots of copies of our records on vinyl. That's just the way it is...FOR OUR BAND. I'm not saying that's for everyone. I never said that. To deny that it's a quality indicator is a ridiculous claim. Find me someone that would spend thousands of dollars on yr band to press a CD. You won't. Even though you stand to make a whole helluvalot more money if those CDs would sell. The cost to make a vinyl record is so much greater than a CD, and that also proves (to me at least) that whoever is putting out the vinyl actually REALLY REALLY cares about the band/release since they probably aren't going to make much money (if any) money off of it. But the fact of the matter still stands that those labels have distribution and thus their records are in stores everywhere. how is that a bad thing for a band? How could you EVER argue that you would NOT want yr records in stores all over the country? There aren't many CD only labels in this day and age, and I'd be safe arguing that the majority of those labels have little to NO distribution. Labels like In The Red and Goner cater to vinyl releases and their records (and CDs) are in stores everywhere. That's the point of being on a label. Not just some elitist hipster "I'm better" creedo. It's about HAVING DISTRIBUTION SO PEOPLE HEAR YR RECORD and/or CAN ACTUALLY BUY YR RECORD FROM SOMEONE THAT'S NOT YOU.

Find someone to put out yr music. If you can't....then it's not worth putting out. Which says a lot about it in my opinion. And that's that. It's just my opinion. Which obviously doesn't matter to you, and that's okay, but we're not catering to you or your idea that CDs are better. Thousands of bands choose to do vinyl releases in this day and age (and NEVER stopped. It's not just a trend now), and hundreds of labels cater to that. if you can't see that/deny that scene then yr denying a huge part of the underground music scene. And that's fine (which I've said all along) IF that's yr thing. It's not my thing.

Do you know who Thee Oh Sees are? Probably not, and that's okay, but they've literally put out multiple LPs a year, and are very successful in the underground, with most of the people buying their records on vinyl. I bring this up since you act like I'm stuck in the 90s (where mind you CDs DID exist but bands still chose to do things on vinyl). You wouldn't understand that cuz yr too caught up with trying to claw yr way up some fool ass ladder. These bands aren't trying to get famous, they're trying to create a desirable record that people will keep and play for years (which people who buy vinyl typically DO do.

Look at the price of vinyl records that are outta print by seminal bands of today that have existed long enough for their LPs to go outta print (Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices...I can think of more if you need me to), their records sell for a hundred bucks to a couple hundred bucks depending on the pressing. If that doesn't show you that there's a scene that revolves around vinyl I don't know what would. Yr just completely outta touch with what's going on around you and ALWAYS has been. Lots of bands first records were released solely on vinyl. To deny that fact is to be just plain old uneducated about the music scene.

Why am I illiterate again? Oh yeah cuz I don't share yr opinion. Obviously they go hand in hand.
Or is it because I shorten you're to YR? If it's that then YR fucking stupid. As if that matters at all in this fucking argument.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby flanneljammies » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:42 am

OK. I gotta jump in here. I agree with a lot of what Bobby is saying, but I disagree on a few points.

1. Nirvana.
I've heard LOADS of records better than In Utero. That's just yr opinion. I understand the sentiment, but a good record released on vinyl doesn't mean anything. I mean I could make the same point with Spiderland by Slint, but really who cares especially since some of my favorite records have been released as CD-only or digital-only.

2. Vinyl as a format.
That's all it is: a delivery mechanism. It has advantages and disadvantages like every format (clicks and pops are not an advantage as far as I can see unless you're sampling jazz records :). Some audiences prefer one to another and it's a pragmatic as well as artistic decision about what format to use to release yr music. There's no denying that vinyl as a certain cachet with certain types of music fans, notably the "underground" which is USoT and The Hussy's fan base.

3. Labels
I don't think releasing music through a label is any sort of indicator of quality. Major labels release crap, tiny indie labels release crap. So what? Lots of really good bands have (and still do) release their own records. Pere Ubu and Minor Threat spring to mind (as do Radiohead and NiN). Hell, almost half the records on my Best-Of 2011 list are self-released. Taste is a tricky thing. Some labels are tastmakers. I used to buy stuff just because it was on Touch & Go or AmRep, or Dischord. Subpop used to be like that, but they've diluted their brand significantly. Coming from a punk/DIY ethic, my position has always been that if someone isn't doing something for you, you should do it yourself. We released our first two records ourselves, booked a European tour ourselves and just said fuck it. Our latest is on a label from Cincinnati but only because we clicked philosophically. They helped us release vinyl (coming full circle here).
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:25 am

You can't count Radiohead and NIN in the self-release category. Those people have humongous marketing strategies that wouldn't work for smaller lesser beings. And those bands worked for years to get to the point where they COULD be their own record label. Had they released all of their records that way (even radiohead making an OK Computer), they would have been completely overlooked as time went on (without a label's support). Do you honestly think NIN or Radiohead would be as known/remembered as they are today without mass marketed/promotion via the ENORMOUS labels they were/are on? Even making a record as quality as Ok Computer they would have never had the staying power/sales without the help of the large label they were on at the time.

YES! Obviously there are better records than In Utero. I didn't say that. I said that I think everyone on this board would be hard-pressed to find a record that was released by one of their friends that was as good as that record.

Can someone please explain what would be bad about being on a label? I don't see any negative side to it. Obviously labels release crap as well as good music, but typically really shitty bands never make it to the point of having labels release their music, and honestly that's just the point I was trying to make. So obviously it has some weeding out characteristics. Why would anyone not want to be on a label if they could? Why would you turn that down when before that you had to pay for your release? Good labels pay for the complete release, and how could you not want that? If someone can explain that I'd be really happy. To me it's a complete no-brainer....

Labels ARE an indicator of quality. Otherwise people wouldn't check out bands solely because of what label they're on. To say that this doesn't happen or that this is stupid is irrelavent. The fact of the matter is that people DO listen to bands because of the label they're on. And why wouldn't you want to infiltrate a larger market?
Seems pointless to argue against that. I know you, flannel, weren't arguing against that, cuz you made a point to mention that you did check out bands based on the label they were on. So to me that proves that they can be indicators of quality since you admitted to listening to bands based on the label they were on (which is something I do all the time). People grow to trust a label's judgement.

Obviously some good bands have self-released records, and then those records did well because those bands had many things going for them...for instance: they were fucking black flag/minor threat. Is anyone here as good or as seminal as black flag or minor threat? Probably not. And how did they release those records? Oh yeah...on vinyl. ALWAYS.
http://www.discogs.com/artist/Black+Flag

The CD versions of most of the releases didn't come until years later. They didn't give a fucka bout those. Many other bands were like this (Minutemen/most other SST bands).
SST IS an important label and they chose to cater to vinyl. If you (i know yr not arguing against this Flanneljammies, but this has to be said) are going to argue against the value of a label like SST or even Sub Pop then yr absolutely bonkers.

"Coming from a punk/DIY ethic, my position has always been that if someone isn't doing something for you, you should do it yourself. "
Completely agree with this.
That's totally true. But if you have to continually do this without a label's support you probably won't get your music out to too many people. You ultimately went with a label. That proves this. Why wouldn't you if you had the opportunity to work with a label? I don't see how anyone could argue against that. Working with a label is only a good thing, ESPECIALLY if they are mentally in the same place as you (which is the ideal situation, and the one you found Flannelturkeys! :D Which I think is great! That's the point).

A label is completely key for having people be able to find yr releases. Unless of course you own a distribution company, which I doubt anyone here does. How else are people across the country supposed to get yr record? I still think labels are an indicator of quality. For these reasons:
1. It costs them a lot of money so they are damn sure that they think the band is worth their time. Pressing vinyl isn't a money maker, it's a necessity to document music that some tastemaker (label head) has deemed important.
2. They have to keep their distributors happy or the distributor will drop them. I think a lot of the people on this board are caught up on the simple fact that they think I'm arguing against releasing yr own music. When I'm more arguing about the whole industry as a whole, which it has become obvious that many people this board have no idea how the whole thing works. So in other words if a label doesn't keep their distributor happy by giving them GOOD bands that WILL sell records, well then that label loses it's distributor and thus a large portion of their income. So again they are choosing bands that they know are quality...or at least will sell records (which too is probably an indicator of quality AT THE UNDERGROUND LEVEL. I'm not talking about mainstream pop-tarts). There are still distributors that will take chances with smaller labels, and thank god for those distributors. Those are the important ones. Those are the ones that are curating and releasing the records that in 10 years will be considered seminal underground releases.
3. Active/In-Touch music listeners look to labels they like to find other bands that they might like. If a band they like is on that label they are going to look at the other acts on the label to determine if they like them. This wholely proves that there ARE people who think labels are quality indicators.
4. Promotion. Promotion is key for a record to be successful. Even a small grass roots promotion campaign. Touring is the best way to do this, which has nothing to do with a label> But when you have a label's support backing you they will be able to secure you better gigs where you're playing for more people, you will be able to go to their hometown and already have a fanbase because hopefully the label is doing something right in their town...enough to make some people come out solely to see the label from town's band.

Whether they are actually quality indicators can sorta be up for debate, but at the end of the day those 4 things above are true and honestly to me that's enough to warrant wanting to be on a label as opposed to doing all the work yrself (when you probably have no idea how distribution/promotion works...and that label, if they're a good one, should know how that shit works).
Last edited by defactobrigade on Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:47 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:35 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:Bands say they're into vinyl, but are they doing vinyl releases in matrix quadraphonic? No. So they're not really into vinyl.


Because how many people do you know with a 4 speaker quadrophonic system in their home? Obviously you will know some, but the large amount of people listen to music on a two speaker system. Why cater to an even more segregated community when I've already explained that vinyl is a niche market? I wasn't arguing that vinyl was the mainstream (that'd be stupid to argue), but to deny it is to turn yr cheek to a large segment of people who actively seek out new music.

We DO care about sound since we had our record pressed on a 12" platter that spins at 45 RPM and the label paid extra money to have a QUALITY mastering engineer cut the record correctly (to be loud and full).
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby flanneljammies » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:46 am

Yeah, we're on the same page Bobby.

You're absolutely about Radiohead and NiN and I've made the exact same argument elsewhere (I put them in as an afterthought and shouldn't have - mea culpa.)

I think many of my friends have released better record than In Utero, but whatever... opinions are like assholes.

I'm not arguing against labels, I'm just saying it's not necessary in this day and age. You're right that self-released bands have to work harder and be special in order to get noticed and Black Flag is another excellent example.

Noticing labels is a total music-nerd thing (your " Active/In-Touch music listeners"). You and I do it and other underground music fanatics do it, but most people don't give a shit. But people that like our bands do...
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:49 am

flanneljammies wrote:Yeah, we're on the same page Bobby.

You're absolutely about Radiohead and NiN and I've made the exact same argument elsewhere (I put them in as an afterthought and shouldn't have - mea culpa.)

I think many of my friends have released better record than In Utero, but whatever... opinions are like assholes.

I'm not arguing against labels, I'm just saying it's not necessary in this day and age. You're right that self-released bands have to work harder and be special in order to get noticed and Black Flag is another excellent example.

Noticing labels is a total music-nerd thing (your " Active/In-Touch music listeners"). You and I do it and other underground music fanatics do it, but most people don't give a shit. But people that like our bands do...

Yeah exactly. :D

Can't really agree with you knowing someone who made a record better than In Utero or more important than In Utero. But yeah I "guess" that's an opinion (even though the fact stands that that band influenced a shitton of bands, and that record made a shitton of people want to work with Albini...thus showing the power of that record. To me, the biggest win for a band besides having people like the band is to have other musician's like the band and then be influenced by it. That to me seems like a huge win for a band. How many bands can say they have the influence of Nirvana? Hardly any. And definitely no bands that we know personally). And honestly I think it's a perfect record.

But yeah yr totally right, I'm/We're (like USOT) going to cater to people that actually like our band and will buy our releases. Seems pointless not to. And those people want our records on vinyl. It's as simple as that. It's just a market to market thing, which has already been said many times in this thread. Some markets aren't about them, some are. The underground definitely is...which is what all bands in Madison are...underground bands (besides Garbage). So when any of you other turkeys make yr masterpiece and sell millions of CDs please tell me how you did it without the support of a label, since I highly doubt you will ever sell more than a few hundred copies of yr album on CD without the help of a real label/real distributor. And that's fine, but then you can't go around saying labels aren't important.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:11 pm

Last point I'm going to make...You look at the list the Onion picked for best records of the year and I think that list is way better than the Isthmus' and others have agreed. It's still missing some releases, but it does a better job at looking at the Madison music scene. Then count how many of those releases were released on vinyl. 8 of the 10 were. Seems like that's a good enough indication to me that vinyl is just as important for bands as CDs and not just some some hipster fad. There are MANY different genres of music expressed in that list, and still those different genres agree that vinyl is necessary.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby flanneljammies » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:22 pm

Oh, OK, more important that In Utero? Probably not...

I think there are two definitions of underground. 1) Bands that the mainstream is not aware of. And, yes all bands in Madison fall into that category. 2) Bands who play a style of music that the mainstream doesn't care about. There are far fewer bands in that category.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby wmhart » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:38 pm

defactobrigade wrote:Last point I'm going to make...You look at the list the Onion picked for best records of the year and I think that list is way better than the Isthmus' and others have agreed. It's still missing some releases, but it does a better job at looking at the Madison music scene. Then count how many of those releases were released on vinyl. 8 of the 10 were. Seems like that's a good enough indication to me that vinyl is just as important for bands as CDs and not just some some hipster fad. There are MANY different genres of music expressed in that list, and still those different genres agree that vinyl is necessary.


CD vs vinyl, whatever. But yes I agree- the Onion's list "does a better job at looking at the Madison music scene." Thats obviously the most important thing to take away from this.

AND- The Onion just released a list of "8 more great Madison records from 2011." Again, some really great records on that list and a handful of things I've never heard of. And great variety.

It's pretty clear that they (The Onion) have a good grip on what's going on throughout the various levels of Madison's music "scene". CERTAINLY a much better grip than Mr. Albertoni. Really hope the Isthmus gets someone better to take his place.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby wallrock » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:40 pm

I like how the thread about Rich Albertoni's Best Of list devolved into an argument on the merits of vinyl and I'm happy to have contributed. My main reasons for liking vinyl:
1. I like buying a physical product and all of the advantages of CDs are basically met with a download card and an iPod. I don't like digital-only downloads or stealing shit.
2. I still want to support local record stores like B-Side. I also like buying merch after a show and I've got too many t-shirts as it is.
3. 7" records are cooler than CD-EPs. This is a fact.
4. I still enjoy album artwork and especially liner notes since I have a hard time picking up the lyrics by ear.
5. A lot of records are just fucking pretty and I like pretty things. I've got a whiskey-coke colored LP of the Dillinger Four's Midwestern Songs of the Americas (one of my top five all-time favorite albums) and I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
Image
6. Yes, the sound can be fuller on vinyl, especially the 180g releases, and I don't have too much of an issue with pops and hisses.
7. I usually listen to the entire album instead of individual tracks.

Yeah I guess it does make my shitty apartment look bigger too. But hey, so long as people keep buying music from artists I don't really care how they listen to it.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:47 pm

flanneljammies wrote:Oh, OK, more important that In Utero? Probably not...

I think there are two definitions of underground. 1) Bands that the mainstream is not aware of. And, yes all bands in Madison fall into that category. 2) Bands who play a style of music that the mainstream doesn't care about. There are far fewer bands in that category.


Good distinction. I will mention that the BEST underground bands manage to create a sound that is both underground and mainstream at the same time. Crossover appeal is what made Nirvana great. They were an underground band that popular culture could attach itself to. Much in the same way the White Stripes did that later on.

I heard from a little birdy that Scott Gordon is taking over for Albertoni, which is great news....especially considering he honed his chops writing for the Onion and had a good ear back then.

The honorable mentions that the Onion wrote about are ALL worth listening to as well. I completely agree with that list, which again is a vinyl heavy list.

I wanna thank Wallrock for pointing out a bunch of reasons that vinyl is superior. And I agree with all of them. Yes there absolutely is a "cool" factor at hand with vinyl, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Like he said, if it makes more people buy artist's music, well then that's a good thing.


Back on point:
Albertoni's list sucks.
18 records were picked by the Onion and only 2 of them were picked by him. To overlook 16 releases that honestly are far superior to the majority of Albertoni's list is why I consider him to be a poor facet of the community. I think anyone could understand that. SO yeah one could argue that the Onion overlooked those 8 other records that Albertoni picked, but honestly those records were left out of the list at the Onion for good reason...they're not as good as the records they included in their list.
Last edited by defactobrigade on Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:50 pm

defactobrigade wrote:
Kenneth Burns wrote:Bands say they're into vinyl, but are they doing vinyl releases in matrix quadraphonic? No. So they're not really into vinyl.


Because how many people do you know with a 4 speaker quadrophonic system in their home? Obviously you will know some, but the large amount of people listen to music on a two speaker system. Why cater to an even more segregated community when I've already explained that vinyl is a niche market? I wasn't arguing that vinyl was the mainstream (that'd be stupid to argue), but to deny it is to turn yr cheek to a large segment of people who actively seek out new music.

We DO care about sound since we had our record pressed on a 12" platter that spins at 45 RPM and the label paid extra money to have a QUALITY mastering engineer cut the record correctly (to be loud and full).


I was just kidding.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby flanneljammies » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:51 pm

And then there are those of us who are willfully underground. ;-)
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