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Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Stolen Sweets Are Releasing a 78 RPM Record

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Groove-O-Matics 1947 record lathe
  • Groove-O-Matic's 1947 record lathe
Move over, cassette fetishists. Your infatuation with an outmoded medium has just been bested.

Portland retro-swing band the Stolen Sweets are releasing a 78 RPM record, and if you are thinking to yourself, "Does my record player goes that high?," the answer is NO. It does not.

78 RPM records fell completely out of favor by the 1950s, when 45 RPM singles overtook them as the preferred (and much more convenient) medium of choice. Of course, countless other formats have since been introduced since the 45—not that it keeps punk and indie bands from pumping 'em out.

But I haven't heard of a band making a new 78 RPM record until now. Jen Bernard of the Stolen Sweets explains:

It was recorded live and direct to lacquer via rare lathe cutter machine with Charles Bork of Seattle's Groove-O-Matic Records. Despite the fact that very few people will actually be able to play the 78, we're still pumped up about it. There's some serious audio geekery at hand here. The 78 resurgence movement is alive and well, and it really reflects the era of the Sweets' music.
Okay, I don't know about the 78 resurgence movement being alive and well, but everything else sounds pretty interesting. Recording anything live to lacquer (if you remember that scene in The King's Speech, that is what recording live to lacquer means) is a pretty daunting task, so cheers to Bork and Groove-O-Matic for making such a far-fetched project possible.

The Stolen Sweets celebrate the release of their unplayable-for-most-people record on March 15 at the Secret Society. It sounds like a wonderful keepsake.

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