Episode 50: Whispering Pines
Air date: 8.1.2012
Once upon a time, before the universe was digitized, people made and listened to music using analog technology. On one end, artists, producers and engineers recorded on analog tape and they incorporated the medium's limitations into their process. Tape is hissy, but it is forgiving - and it can make music sound dynamic and close to the listener. And on the other end, long before people could put their entire music collection on a device smaller than a pack of cigarettes, music fans listened to their favorite albums by placing black vinyl discs on a turntable and setting a needle in a groove. Vinyl is scratchy, but it is an experience. The vinyl devotees in Los Angeles' Whispering Pines know their way around this archaic but romantic analog technology and they aren't afraid to use it. Their eponymous sophomore record was recorded on glorious 2-inch analog tape and will be released in the autumn of 2012. The record is replete with carefully crafted songs that hearken back to the days of classic rock guitars, whirring Hammond organs, rattling drums and slapback echo. And if you close your eyes and listen, you can easily envision their name spinning around the middle of that black vinyl disc at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.