Vinyl Nation's News on Wax: Edition #16

Spring is sounding great


It’s March now, days are starting to grow, vaccines are being shuffled around, and news of Record Store Day (June 12th this year, so nobody go line up at 4 AM somewhere in April, ya hear?) is starting to come in. Still a ways to go before life doesn’t feel like life during wartime, but we feel optimism. Hope even.

Vinyl Nation’s up to some great stuff this season. Let’s break it down.

Track 1: News

  • Film Festivals: Our little movie has become an official selection of seven more film festivals this spring bringing our total to 14. We couldn’t be prouder to be part of great cultural programming in great music and film towns like San Luis Obispo, California (birthplace of Weird Al’s music career and the world’s greatest college radio station), Omaha, Nebraska (birthplace of Saddle Creek Records), Las Cruces, New Mexico (one of America’s great university towns), Idyllwild, California (home of the legendary Hunky Dory record shop) and Oxford, Mississippi (birthplace of blues legend R.L. Burnside).

    Virtually all film festivals right now are, well, virtual. If you or a waxhead you love missed the chance to see our movie during our fall virtual cinema release, you have another chance to see Vinyl Nation at a virtual film festival!

    Right now, for example, we are screening virtually through the Las Cruces International Film Festival until March 7 (which means you can see our movie right here on your home computer or TV) and the Omaha Film Festival until March 14 (which means you can see our movie right here on your home computer or TV).

    With (hopefully) many more of these to come, they’ll be an opportunity to see, re-see or tell some crazy record person in your life about our movie AND they can actually see it all the way up until…

  • DVD: We’ve got something cool planned for that soon (we hope). Stay tuned.

  • Elsewhere: For our friends around the world, we’re working on plans to get Vinyl Nation shown on TV in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. More on that soon too!

  • Collectors Assemble! Kevin has been asked by the online education company Speakeasy to lead a workshop on building and rebuilding a record collection. On Thursday, March 18th, 5-7 PM Pacific Time, we’re gonna get on the Zooms, show off our favorite platters, help the new folk into the hobby and encourage the veterans to share what they’ve learned.

    Sign up here if this sounds like fun. And let other citizens of Vinyl Nation know.

Track 2: Vinyl Vocabulary: Names of Record Labels & Where They Came From

  • Capitol Records was the first major record label on the west coast of America and chose the name to declare Los Angeles “the sound capitol of the world.”

  • Motown Records gets its name from “Motor City,” the nickname of its place of origin, Detroit, Michigan.

  • Atlantic Records is named after the ocean its Turkish founder Ahmet Ertegun crossed when immigrating to America.

  • Blue Note Records comes from musician slang for a note played slightly differently than standard.

  • Stax Records is made up of the first two letters of its founders last names, Estelle Axton and James Stewart.

  • Same for A&M Records, named for its founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.

  • Founder Clive Davis named Arista Records after the New York City public school honors society he belonged to as a teenager.

  • The legendary UK punk label Stiff Records chose the name “stiff” as in “a flop” because they thought it was funny to name their company after a word for failure.

Track 3: Records in the Movies: Some of Our Favorite Moments

Our first meeting with teenager Andre Young in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton is a young man completely blissed out laying down between stacks of records and a turntable and letting the music wash over him. In the 2017 documentary The Defiant Ones about Dre and his business partner Jimmy Iovine, he would tell the story of hearing how the break of one record could seamlessly become the opening track of the next. “I knew that was my calling” he said. It was better than him running the street with his friends, his mother said next. “When you can hear them or their music, you know where they are.”

Side 2:

Track 4: Great Music Writing

We are obsessed with great writing about music, and each newsletter, we try to share a few choice examples with you.

Pitchfork breaks down the 41 most anticipated albums of 2021. New York Times obituary for Bunny Wailer, the last surviving member of The Wailers who died on Tuesday at age 73. Live Nation CEO predicts “Music Festivals to Return by Mid Summer.” A chart-by-chart history of black music and the cities where it sold the most records. Why the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack still matters. Daft Punk “Gave Us More Than Enough Time” . The hidden legacy of The Pointer Sisters. Director Danny Boyle shares a first look at the 6-part limited series about the Sex Pistols he’s making for FX. Ranking all 16 of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees. Henry Rollins shares some rare vinyl from his collection with Discogs.

Track 5: Playlist

Every Vinyl Nation newsletter features a 10-song Spotify playlist. Because we’re coming up on Spring, this one is all about the season when everything is new.

Track 6: Up Next, Immediately

We update Facebook page and our Instagram account five days a week with delicious vinyl factoids, facts and figures. You can always find us there, where the beat never slows down or stops. The spin is infinite.

In 33 and 45,

Kevin ( & Chris (

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