33 And A Third

Brew your own mp3s for pennies! The nuts & bolts of transferring a music collection from vinyl record albums to mp3. With a heavy dose of Garage Rock, 60s R & B, Classic Country, and groovy hits from our dusty record bins.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gotta Love Them Algorithms

I can't say enough good things about a $25 piece of shareware called ClickRepair. It is an absolutely incredible program developed by an Australian mathematician to remove pops and clicks from your sound files. I would explain how it works, but it's all about algorithms, and I was sick the day we discussed that in math class. I just know that it is simple to operate and works better than anything out there.

Case in point, my toasted copy of The Delicates - Black And White Thunderbird, some great girlgroup pop from 1959. My original Unart 45 is wondrously trashed, with serious clicks and crackle and pops all the way through. It's unlistenable. So I give it a soapy water wash, record it onto Audacity, save as a wave file and then ClickRepair does its magic. I set the controls for maximum repair, which I actually thought would do too much damage to the musical information to make a saveable copy. But it was awesome. The clicks and crackles were gone and more importantly, the music was intact. There were still some relics in the form of background noise, but this I could remove 90-percent of with Audacity's Noise Removal function. If you're saving your records to digital you got to have ClickRepair. You can download a free 15-day fully functional trial version at http://wwwmaths.anu.edu.au/~briand/sound/
Also added to the Radio.Blog Player is another great T-Bird song - Jaguar And Thunderbird from Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders' 1965 The Game Of Love album. And continuing in our Fordfest, an mp3 I snagged the other day of Kelly Carkson's Go, the theme of Ford's new Bold campaign.


The Delicates - Black And White Thunderbird
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders - Jaguar And Thunderbird
Kelly Clarkson - Go

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Money's No Object

I think I get a pretty good sound from my set-up, which is by no means a high-dollar affair. For a turntable I have a 20 -year-old Kenwood KD 64F...a mid-level unit with linear tracking. Nothing fancy. Could probably buy one used for $10. I run into my old Yamaha receiver that I've had forever. Patch out of the headphone jack and into the line input of my computer's sound card. I record it on some dandy free multitrack software from Audacity. Get a basic set-up like that and you can make mp3s all day.
I stopped into the neighborhood second-hand store today. Primary purpose was the search for some picture frames for a new project. Of course, my eyes popped when I saw the new box of old records they had acquired. Turned out to be mostly Southern Baptist gospel though, so no big excitement for me. But about halfway through the box was a real nice copy of the 1969 debut album from It's A Beautiful Day, featuring White Bird. I've always thought that was one of the prettiest songs of its era and I love the cover art. Got it home and dropped a needle on it. Wonderful. Well worth the quarter I spent for it.


It's A Beautiful Day - White Bird

Down on Sixth Street

We're all happy to see that What Made Milwaukee Famous has landed a spot on this year's Lollapalooza in Chicago. They've been a big favorite around the house since we stumbled upon the Trying To Never Catch-up album last year. WMMF is an Austin band, entirely too unknown. At least on the west coast.
I'm not sure what the connection is, but the band's name comes from a Jerry Lee Lewis cut from the sixties. Never one of my favorites by The Killer, but we'll put it up for those unfamiliar.


What Made Milwaukee Famous - Almost Always Never
Jerry Lee Lewis - What's Made Milwaukee Famous

Monday, May 29, 2006

Good Music

I've been listening to music for a long time. Good music. The kind they play on the radio. Pre-ipod radio. I don't recall the first song I remember hearing, but it was either She Loves You by The Beatles or Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Both those songs still knock me out.
Recently, I've become engrossed (entangled? enmeshed? ensnared?) with transferring my sizeable record collection to digital. I've got lots of songs I haven't listened to in years. Lots of songs on scratchy old vinyl records. But amazingly, I can take my old vinyl, transfer the songs to digital, clean out the clicks and pops, and TA-DA!...its like the first time I ever heard them.
I play them over and over chuckling to myself at my wondrous abilities. I play them for my kids, who dance with faux glee. I play them for my neighbors, who demand their borrowed tools back. I play them for my dog, who continues his lickfest with the sack where his nuts used to live.

And Now I Play Them For You!


The Beatles - She Loves You
Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire

Need To Get Some Furniture

First Entry: This reminds me of when I got kicked out of the dorms (it involved beer and fire,nuff said). There were 4 of us young hooligans that got the boot. We gathered together what money we hadn't spent on debauchery or education (in that order) and landed a small apartment for the rest of the semester. Not a stick of furniture. Even the smallest place looks pretty big when you don't have any furniture. But it doesn't take long to fill the place up. Then you're crowded. Then you realize the other three guys are assholes.


Arthur Brown - Fire
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Troglodyte