Encore: Record Sales Continue to Climb in US, Illinois
“Vinyl sounds warmer….it’s about the experience….I like the crackle….” Do you enjoy listening to music on a turntable? This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation about music in the 21st century and if vinyl’s “comeback” really means anything to the future of the music industry.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, a company that tracks the sale of music in the US, vinyl sales are up by more than 30% over this time last year; more than two million vinyl albums have sold in 2013. Nielsen says their data shows that vinyl sales started climbing in 2007 and have kept on going ever since. Interesting considering music hasn’t been released solely on vinyl albums for decades... This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the resurgence of records and record stores and will talk about what makes old-fashioned records so appealing in an era largely defined by digital culture.
Greg Kot, music critic for the Chicago Tribune and co-host of the podcast “Sound Opinions,” Jenn Pelly of Pitchfork and Jeff Brandt, the owner of Exile on Main Street in Champaign join us. Maybe you didn’t grow up in the vinyl era but still enjoy listening to albums. What is the appeal?
Last spring, Susan Twomey, who curates the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois, put out a call for artists to enter a nationally juried art exhibition called 64 Arts. Among the entries was a collection of vases by a California-based artist named Joe Pinkelman.
Joe’s vases were highly controversial and contained images taken from gay pornography. Twomey struggled with displaying the vases as part of the exhibition even before contest judge Eric Fishl chose the pots as winners in several categories. This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Twomey, Fishl and Lawrence Weschler, who recently published an article about the contest and the controversy surrounding the vases in the Believer Magazine, about controversial art and censorship.
The entry deadline for the 2013 64 Arts Exhibition closes this Friday, June 14. Find more information at the link to the Buchanan Center for the Arts below.
Before she started writing her new book “Pretty Good for Girl: Women in Bluegrass” Murphy Henry thought she was one of only a few women trying to make bluegrass music. But as she found out, there are lots of women who have had successful careers, they just hadn’t gotten any attention for it. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Murphy about the history of women in bluegrass, why these musicians have slipped under the radar and why, before now, there’s been so little conversation about their contributions to the genre. We’ll also talk with Murphy about her own musical career, her love for playing the banjo and the “Murphy Method,”a technique she pioneered to teach banjo.
We also talk with her about Champaign-Urbana native Alison Krauss and her career and contributions to bluegrass music.
Read more for a video of Murphy playing the banjo and explaning why she wrote the book.