Vinyl lovers have a new place to shop in Oakland. A new vinyl-focused record store, Econo Jam Records, celebrates its grand opening in Uptown today, from 2-10 p.m. Located at 2519 Telegraph Avenue, the 1,000-square-foot shop run by former Amoeba Records employee Tom O’Shaughnessy doesn’t have a niche focus but will instead feature many genres.
O’Shaughnessy said the store is the culmination of a ten-year-plus-long dream. Ten years ago he started a small punk distro, Sedition Records, while living in Reno — essentially a crate of records he'd bring to house shows. He said his operation grew slowly as he moved around the country. He took a brief break around 2007, but after moving to the East Bay about five and a half years ago, he re-launched his efforts, with the goal of opening a store. O’Shaughnessy added that his former employer, Amoeba, has been “super supportive” of his endeavor and even helped him out with a few record bins.
Good news for Berkeley-based promoter Another Planet Entertainment, organizer of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to extend its permit, which keeps the annual festival in Golden Gate Park for another eight years, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Good news and changes afoot, guys. Roughly three and a half months since the flooding of Miss Pearl's Jam House, the restaurant is back up and running, according to Inside Scoop SF. The waterfront joint is slated to reopen for Fat Tuesday (February 21), with a newly renovated, modish interior and its menu still largely intact. It will continue hosting live events like Comedy Off Broadway, which soldiered on during the restaurant's hiatus in one of the adjacent Regatta Rooms. By far the biggest change is the venue moniker: It's been rechristened Miss Pearl's Restaurant & Lounge, a name intended to reflect Oakland's increasingly urbane, revitalized entertainment district.
Via Invisible Oranges, a new documentary (available online in its entirety) questions whether touring is worth it for metal bands. The film, Why You Do This, follows the Long Island mathcore band Car Bomb as they play funky venues to a handful of people. Most local bands expect touring (and existing, for that matter) to be a money-losing endeavor, but the question is whether hitting the road is necessary, not just financially, but career-wise. Could it even be a career-killer? Or is sleeping in vans and skeezy motels an essential band experience?
First it was MegaUpload. Then FileSonic, FileServe, and Uploaded.to dismantled sharing capabilities. And now, one of the biggest BitTorrent trackers, BTJunkie, has shut itself down in what appears to be a preemptive move to avoid federal prosecution, reports Digital Music News. Looks like the chilling effect isn't over yet...
A year ago, the music licensing giant BMI launched a new endeavor called BMI Live, which allows songwriters to register for free and get paid royalties for their live performance (as far back as six months prior). Yet few musicians seem to know about the program.
BMI Director of Corporate Communications Ari Surdoval said the company is trying to spread the word about BMI Live to bands and encourage them to sign up. Musicians enter their show information online (or through an iPhone app), and royalties are distributed quarterly. According to Surdoval, the amount of royalties depends on various factors such as the venue, how many songs performed were written by you, and if you’re the sole songwriter. “We had people who made thousands of dollars last year,” he said.
Guitar Center will be opening its new location in Emeryville on Thursday, Feb. 2, which means it's your last chance to visit the old location in El Cerrito (which closes January 28). The new GC will be located in the space formerly occupied by Borders Books in the Emeryville Public Market (5925 Shellmound St.).
According to the Contra Costa Times, the retail chain is moving in order to have a more central location, as well as a bigger space in a less-decrepit building. The new store will not only have a larger retail space, but it'll also feature Guitar Center Studios, a "state-of-the-art destination that offers music education, professional rehearsal studios and certified Pro Tools and Logic training." (Apparently trying to compete with nearby Ex'pression College.) The new E-ville GC will also feature "GC Garage," an on-site guitar-repair service.
To celebrate the new store's opening, GC will be having special sales, promotions, and performances, including free GC Garage services and setup (with guitar purchase). Here's the lineup:
Thursday, Feb. 2: Guitar Center’s Your Next Record winners, State Line Empire,
live performance (7:00 p.m.)
Friday, Feb. 3: Music Production 101 Workshop hosted by Avid using Pro Tools
Saturday, Feb. 4: Drum and Bass Rhythm Section Workshop with Jeff Friedl and Matt McJunkins (A Perfect Circle/30 Seconds to Mars/Pucifer)
Sunday, Feb. 5: Jeff Friedl (Perfect Circle/Devo/Puscifer), live performance
Now that MegaUpload has been shut down, and all the content people stored on the site gone, some folks are starting to question the risks of cloud sharing. After all, nothing could be worse than uploading your entire music collection online only to have it disappear in an instant. No one is saying to avoid cloud storage completely, but certainly it'd be wise to think carefully about how and where you store your files.
Extreme Tech cautions that cloud storage could expose ones files to others if the site doesn't encrypt the data. Besides privacy concerns, there's also the issue of data security (failing hard drives, pirated content, government raids, etc.) PC World recommends using sites run by reliable companies that aren't rife with pirated content. And, of course, to always have a backup on your own personal hard drive.
It remains to be seen just how much of a chilling effect the MegaUpload shutdown will have on file-sharing sites, including music blogs — the main source for many people to get new music. But, in the meantime, start backing up those files.
It's been a little more than six years since Lookout! Records released any material, but today the famed Berkeley punk rock label officially called it quits. On its website, Lookout! Records owner Chris Appelgren cited several factors in the decision, including the loss of Green Day and Operation Ivy to its catalog, as well as the demise of its CD manufacturer/distributor and mail order partner.
Appelgren writes: "We considered all options but kept coming back to realization that the best use of our energies would be to shut the doors once and for all - for the legacy of the label, for the bands, and for benefit of the relationships and friendships with artists, partners, and stakeholders."
It took a good deal of squabbling, and a little effort to placate the "family-friendly" denizens of Oakland's Lake Merritt district. But sex-positive retailer Good Vibrations finally emerged triumphant. The well-established Bay Area sex shop will open a new outpost on Lakeshore Avenue on January 28, with a special inaugural party, featuring Real Housewife of Atlanta Kandi Burgess, who will showcase her new "intimate luxury line," Bedroom Kandi. Not to mention the store will offer sex toy giveaways, a photo booth, and drink specials from the bar next door. Hopefully the storeowners' munificence will help neighbors warm up to it — even the ones who thought a sex toy shop had no business being on the same block as a real toy shop. For now, Good Vibes reps are sanguine: "It's too soon to sound the trumpets just yet, since we're still doing construction," publicity manager Camilla Lombard wrote in a recent email. Still, she couldn't hide her excitement.