1 March 2010

Albums, the loudness war

On Saturday, we went to the Run For Cover art show at the Spruill Gallery just north of Perimeter Mall. Hundreds of classic album covers in their natural habitat: all cardboardy and filled with vinyl. Yes and Pink Floyd were well represented. Saw several classics in their original form: Their Satanic Majesties Request with the 3D cover, Physical Graffiti with the crazy windows, plus The Velvet Underground with their (non-peeling) banana cover. We loved the gallery space and will definitely be watching for more shows there.

run-for-cover.front run-for-cover.back

A year or so ago I found my copy of Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk album in my parents' basement and swore I was going to have it framed. Hasn't been done yet, but now I think I'm going to frame several others and we'll fill a wall with awesomeness. I have quite a few albums that were included in the show. I recently went looking for a print of Tales from Topographic Oceans and found a screenprint from the artist for $2,500. Framing my copy of the album will be considerably less expensive.

In a small back room in the gallery, they also looped three videos related to album covers. One was a scene from Spinal Tap when the band got the first copies of their album Smell the Glove (It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.). Another with Pink Floyd discussing when Storm Thorgerson first presented his design for DSotM to them. The third was a short documentary on the owner of Record-Rama: at 3 million records, the largest single collection in the world. Though a nice enough guy, the owner brought up the debatable idea that analog vinyl sounds better than digital CDs because it preserves the high- and low-end frequencies. His comment brought fervent nods from an older couple watching with us (though I fear they weren't that much older...) who had never heard of the loudness war. I'd learned about this from a now-un-find-able Slashdot thread back in July of last year. This video is the tl;dr version of the Wikipedia article:

[ posted by sstrader on 1 March 2010 at 11:20:47 PM in Music ]