Farewell, readers!

The Spring 2012 semester is coming to an end, so it’s time for me to say goodbye to Online Journalism I. I may be changing my major for the Fall and I don’t know how much spare time I’ll have to post in the future, but I will do my best to continue this–and I will most likely broaden the topic. I had a lot of fun doing this blog and I met a lot of interesting people throughout the semester. Overall, it was a very interesting and valuable experience.

Some posts you should check out:

Thank you all for reading! Keep an eye out for more posts!


Vinyl records boosting sales at remaining indie record stores

In this digital age where you can download music almost instantly without even leaving your house, vinyl records are making a surprising comeback.

Over the past five or six years, vinyl sales have increased significantly. According to Nielsen SoundScan data, vinyl sales were up more than 36% in 2011, 89% higher than in 2007.

In 2007, Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner founded Record Store Day “as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally,” according to their website. Music fans across the country now celebrate Record Store Day on the third Saturday of every April, hoping to find special release, limited quantity LPs from their favorite artists.

Over two-thirds of vinyl records are sold at independent record stores. Despite vinyl’s recent success, many indie record stores have been forced to close their doors, unable to compete with digital music downloading. Only a handful of record stores remain open in South Jersey, 12 (and almost all) of which participated in Record Store Day this year.

This past Record Store Day, on April 21, I went to Tunes in Turnersville. I went in looking for a specific album, of which only two thousand copies were available nationwide, so of course I didn’t find it. I didn’t end up buying any RSD exclusives, but I didn’t leave empty handed; I bought a few used CDs and DVDs. I eventually ordered the album from a record store in New York that had some left over (and paid way too much for shipping).

There is a debate as to whether digital audio (CDs, mp3s) actually sounds better than analog (records). Naturally, the two formats sound very different, but many people actually prefer analog over digital, which has helped vinyl to regain some of its original popularity. Music lover Elainey Yerger, who I met at Tunes, said, “I buy vinyl because I like the sound. I love the grainy sound of records and I normally buy albums that were first released on vinyl. I just like the sound of certain albums on vinyl rather than the condensed digital form.” I, too, enjoy the way vinyl sounds, although I think it’s more of an acquired taste for those of us who grew up with CDs and other digital formats.

People buy vinyl for many reasons, aside from the way they sound. I personally buy vinyl records as collector’s items for the most part. Brandon Tower, who I also met at Tunes, buys them for their album artwork, and said, “I think they look dope on my wall.”

Below is a map of the South Jersey record stores that participate in Record Store Day and have extensive collections of vinyl for sale. I’m a personal fan of Grooveground in Collingswood because they have live music on top of selling awesome merchandise.

(Not on the map: ACRAT in Northfield, NJ. The store was shut down for selling synthetic marijuana.)

For all you aspiring musicians out there…

Elisabeth Hobbs

Musicians become musicians because they have a passion and a talent. They also have high levels of self-discipline and perseverance. To become a professional musician takes a lifetime of work. Most will have started playing by the age of ten: at that age, you might practice half an hour a day, but as you improve that soon becomes an hour, then three, then five hours (that’s per day, not week, on top of your schoolwork). By the time you’re at music college – if you’re one of the very tiny minority who make it through the highly competitive audition process – you are likely to be practising six or seven hours a day, in addition to a daily schedule of rehearsals and classes.

The pressure is relentless and doesn’t end with your graduation recital. Except for the most utterly exceptional, the life of a musician is a perilous journey, through…

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Dan Holmes on the success of The Oh Needers

The Oh Needers, a Gloucester County cover band that I’ve discussed before, have been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks, even having an article on PhillyBurbs two weeks ago–although most of the information isn’t quite correct. Dan Holmes, the band’s youngest member, took the time out to talk to me about their seemingly sudden success and looks forward to their future. I also had the chance to go out and see them play twice this past weekend, at The Dog House in Gloucester City and at Doc’s Union Pub in Philly.

* I apologize for the quality of the video. The lighting (in The Dog House especially) was horrendous! I tried to adjust the brightness but it was pointless.

New music and more from No Such Noise!

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Sicklerville, NJ based ska* band No Such Noise! put out a new single this month, titled “Slutz.” As it happens, No Such Noise! won Rowan SUP‘s Battle of the Bands last month and will be opening for the All-American Rejects and Cobra Starship at Rowan University‘s Third Annual Profstock concert, happening on Saturday April 14 at 7pm in Rowan’s Esby Gym.

Listen to “Slutz” now:

*For those who aren’t familiar with ska, check out Ska Music 101!