Background: After a visit to the Turntable Doctor during Boxing Day week, the recent inspection of my Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge stylus, the verdict was 1000 hours of life left on it. So how long is 1000 hours of stylus life? Obviously, the answer is 1000 hours. The quick math translates 1000 hours to 6 weeks of 24/7. However being human, how long would it take me to explore my record collection to reach 1000 hours of play? The answer is the subject of these posts. Turn off the lights and have a listen to 1000 hours and counting down.
Linda Ronstadt, the subject of The Sound of My Voice movie on CNN inspired tonight’s listening. Skye Wallace’s self titled album has been burning a hole into my ears and her photos from recent club performances on stage with band fronting for Lowest of the Low (see image below) have been blazing from my smugmug and others social media. The record itself is black vinyl with a test pressing label! The listening was quite enjoyable with little to note about any distracting noise. The album ranges from moody reflections to full on guitar and bass rockers which capture the adventures of her life.
Emmylou Harris Luxury Liner was handy and was the natural follow-up. (Dolly Parton and Nicolette Larson provide back-up vocals amongst many. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt comprised Trio for their two albums.) Even though this is a Warner Brothers Canadian pressing from 1977, the production was immaculate with little if any surface noise. The highlight of Luxury Liner is naturally Emmylou Harris’s voice itself and stellar talent in the band.
While sorting through albums, the Eagles Hotel California on Asylum Records 1976 turned up more than coincidentally (the members of the Eagles being early members of Linda Ronstadt’s band). Checking the 7ES 1084 catalogue number, this album copy is the 1976 Canadian pressing with the gatefold from Asylum. The record might have needed a little bit of record cleaner and a zap of the Zerostat gun. There were a few reminders that this Hotel California was not a compact disc. Otherwise, the memories of past sitting down by the stereo come back. Which is part of the vinyl experience. The familiar intro to Hotel California led all the way past New Kid in Town to the end of side one with Wasted Time. Flipping over the record brings in the reprise of Wasted Time. The second side is the opposite of Life in the Fast Lane and exits with the more sombre outro of The Last Resort. Raise the needle and turn off the stereo for the night. It is 1:11 a.m.
If you have a nice comment or stylus recommendation:
Today’s listening was a couple of classic albums from The Replacements! The records listened to were Pleased to Meet Me (1987), and Don’t Tell A Soul (1989). These are on black vinyl, the original price of Pleased to Meet Me is a whopping $6.97. These two albums are going to be re-issued soon with coloured vinyl. However, the two Replacements albums are minty black and sound fine the way they are. Talent Show from Don’t Tell A Soul and Alex Chilton from Pleased To Meet Me are alive as ever.
As well, Stevie Nicks Bella Donna from 1981 is about as perfect an album as there is and is also going to be re-issued. This one might be worth exploring as a re-issue. (Total album listening time to date is 4 hours and 48 minutes.) Also spun the compact disc of The Replacements Let It Be which sounds fine as a CD.
The news? Moving into a new apartment with a view in upper Scarborough, we decided to bring the old stereo system back to life. This system is about as analogue as it can get, with Kenwood KA 3500 40 watt amp, Technics SL-1200 MKII turntable, two former Mirage speakers with a Ring Audio internal design and two cassette decks: one Sony and one AIWA.
THE Turntable Doctor at Bay Bloor Radio examined the stylus of the Ortofon 2M Blue After an electronic cleaning and although the stylus was already shorter than an original needle, he pronounced the stylus was still good and had 1000 hours left on it. Now how long is 1000 hours in record playing terms? That was a good question. The Turntable Doctor said that should be three years. I thought why not keep track of what is 1000 hours? As well, the technician suggested demagnetizing or clearning the cassette heads every 30 hours. So keeping track of that well will be on the table. The titles listed will be either on vinyl or cassette unless listed otherwise. There will be compact discs played as well and those will be included as well (but will not count towards the 1000 hours).
Welcome to my listening, good taste or whatever you may term it.
Sheep Farming in The Falklands
NO LINE ON THE HORIZON
LIVE AT BUDOKAN
EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS
SELECTED AMBIENT WORKS 1985-1992
BOBBY WISEMAN SINGS WRENCH TUTTLE
IN HER DREAM
WELL TEMPERED CLAVIER
The most recent listen goes back to the classical, Glenn Gould Well-Tempered Clavier. No. 1 is in C, it always starts that way. These are pieces that many have undoubtedly played while learning piano for the Conservatory. No doubt no one will ever play them as well as Glenn Gould could. Eluvium is a taste that goes back 10 years to 2009. The Volume 1 box set of that time is long out of print, but back then it was one hundred sixty dollars which was a lot of money then.
Reflecting a little further on the sojourn to New Zealand, when Papercut or Cutty as we call her cued me into the Full Contact derby bootcamp was in the month of February, a bell rang inside. February! New Zealand! Summertime! I was so going to be there.
And this comes back to this wonderful video that sums up the life experiences on the road.
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I have not become a snob or a collector because who could afford that?
My way of lifestyle has been piqued by the monotheistic world of The Beatles in MONO. It may be paradoxical to have updated the stereo system to listen to mono channel recordings. However, with The Beatles it is an absolute pleasure to hear the imaging straight down the centre of the room as I listen. Those who have become accustomed to the way The Beatles sound in the stereo world, you may be in Country Style Donuts and their sound system may be on and you are sitting under a right speaker where all the instruments dwell, meanwhile Paul or George’s vocals are at the other end of the room coming out of a left speaker. Somewhere in between the window seat…
We have come to the end of the Road for the year. It has been a long long road on this derby adventure. The last journey was a return to Iceland to photograph Team Ragnarok who invited TXRG’s Honky Tonk Heartbreakers! to Reykjavik. And a lot of long bus rides to new parts of Iceland we had not seen before. Can you say we ate fermented shark, and hot dogs and drank the Appelsin?
We have not put the camera down though, just looking for new things on the world stage. And finally getting to listen to all the music we have acquired from Reykjavik’s record stores and that is a good thing.
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Happy Holiday everyone!