Album Top 10

Here it is, the 2013 Album of the Year Top 10, to be honest it was a great year! Some new discoveries on my part, some old values who disappointed. But all in all the list is a great listen for the ones interested, I will expand this post with comments from my side when I have the time.

First the ones that disappointed a bit, good albums, but I expected more of them.

- Editors – Wheight of your love 

- Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

Second the list that did not make it is also impressive.

- Low – The Invisible Way

- Charles Bradley – Victim of Love

- John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

- Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities

- Mavis Staples – One True Vine

- Anouk – Sad Singalong Songs

- Eels – Wonderful Glorious

- David Bowie – The Next Day

And third but not least! The Top 10.

10. The Veils – Time Stays, We Go

9. Mikal Cronin – Mcii

8. Tim Knol – Soldier On

7. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

6. The National – Trouble will find me

5. Israel Nash – Rain Plans

4. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady

3. Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare

2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

1. Nick Cave – Push the sky away

 

Song of the day – Birds Anouk

I saw 16 songs yesterday and there was only one that stood out. Of course it is Birds by Anouk. Beautiful song and sung by the best singer of the night.

Top 10 of the quarter?

Today is April 1st, the first 3 months of 2013 are over. We are all waiting for spring, but one day that will come. When it comes to music the new dawning is already there. The load of good records in this first quarter is huge, I cannot remember any other year that had so much good stuff in the first quarter.

One of the first was the new Nick Cave album, I never was much into him but when Oh Children came by in Harry Potter’s last movie I was hooked to the song. His new album has much of that atmosphere so it is a regular since it’s release. After that the list got longer and longer. I have hardly time to listen to them all. There was the surprise return of David Bowie, with a decent album. He also released two great video’s for his singles.

After that there were the great albums of:

Eels
Gary Clarke Jr.
Jacco Gardner
Atoms for Peace
John Grant
Low
Depeche Mode

Then this weekend I bought the new album of Charles Bradley, his breakthrough was at 62! This is his second album and it is a brilliant soul album. Total refreshing good old soul. A real treat for your ears. Just listen to his song and you want to hear the rest of the album.

And then I have not even listened to the new Veils album, or Yo La Tengo or the Growlers or some other great albums that will need to hit the shelf some day. This is the current shelf.

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Cleaning vinyl – how to do

I sometimes buy cheap vinyl, mainly in thriftshops. I like to get albums that I do not have on CD and that have hits from the 70′s or 80′s on them. So I can hear the rest of the album that have the biggest hits on them. One of those is for example The Nylon Curtain by Billy Joel. This one has Goodnight Saigon on it. As I said in a previous blog, I also digitalize them for use in iTunes. With this particular album that was not possible, because the last track on side B skipped, well it was 50ct so it is not a big loss. However, it bug me a bit so I googled to see if there are ways to restore and clean old albums. And yes, there is a way with wood glue! It does not stick to the vinyl, but it clear the grooves of all dirt. So I can take the risk with this one, as it is already lost.P1080213

Here on the above picture is the stuff I used. One big bottle of pattex, I guessed in the DIY store on a brand, it appears I chose the better one. I also used the old Sony record player. This one has been replace by a Thorens, as this record player is a bit light for playing. Records skip easily and the sound is rather thin, but for this it works great as I need a way to apply the glue to the vinyl.

P1080215I placed a cup over the label for protection and I used an old card of a chain of record stores that went bankrupt to distribute the glue evenly over the record. First I applied too less on the record, it was not enough to cover the whole record. But the spiral looks real great.

P1080216P1080217So now the whole record is white and it needs to dry 4-6 hours before you can peel the glue of the record, I really hope it works as it is already a lot of work. After 6 hours the record looked like this, when I tapped on the white parts it was not yet dry. This is a little disappointing as now it was time to go to bed, so I decided to be patient and wait until the next morning.

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The next morning the glue was transparent on the whole record, just as the sided were yesterday evening. It looked real promising, so I decided to try and peel the glue off. This was after trying to find a start quite easy, the whole glue felt like some plastic cover. It stayed in one piece and afterwards it was very hard to tear it apart. This was a great relief.

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P1080300Now it was time for the test, I put the record to my Thorens to see if it was playable. To my joy and relief it sounded better than before, but will the problem of the skip be resolved also? I recorded the record with Audacity and it worked, it did not skip anymore and I have it in my iTunes now!

So I will try it again, but then with a little less glue. I have some Prince records that are currently unplayable, I hope I can fix these as well with this method,

Rachael Yamagata – Heavyweight

One of my favorite singers is Rachael Yamagata. The first song I heard of her was during an episode of ER. It was I’ll find a way, it was so beautiful and so fitting in the scene that I immediately bought Happenstance. Rachael Yamagata has a difficult relationship with her record companies but she finds a way to be herself and release great records.

Chesapeake her previous is quite accessible, but still very beautiful. Now she released an EP that contains 6 songs. It is a great addition to her catalogue. Go check her out if you have the chance.

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