- January 17th, 8:23
Since my last post, yeah, I know...
That is, my last post was last Saturday, the 10th of January.
ANYWAY... Managed to work more on the Beatles CD project as well as post A Tale of Four Beatles Cassette Tapes Pt 2 to my blog on the 14th, which was Wednesday. Pt 1 got posted on January 4th.
I also spent $$$, thanks to $100 cash from Christmas, $100 cash from my oldest sisiter last Saturday as we all celebrated my birthday, and I also got a $40 gift card from Amazon as a belated Christmas gift. On its way to me are 4 items in 2 separate packages, one via USPS, the other via Ontrac.
The stylus replacement for my cartridge is coming via USPS from I think Tennessee, the three other items from Pheonix Arizona, Both are in the area now, with the shipping date being mid week next week, the 3 items on Tuesday, the stylus the following day, so we'll see if they come today, or next week. I have NO idea how Ontrac works, though we get the occasional Ontrac delivery at work, and it's a carrier delivery guy who is directed to the mailroom and we sign off on such items. It's usually no more than a couple of items on any given day. This is because I'm having it all delivered here at the apartment, so have NO idea if Ontrac needs me to be here to get it, or not, though it may be handed off to USPS for delivery the final way here, dunno. Just found out that while the cart MAY arrive today, the other items by next Tuesday as they don't usually deliver on Saturdays, unless the post office does the final leg, which I doubt. I just know both items hit the area yesterday.
The three other items are the Lives of Anna Madrigal (hardcover as the paperback is not released just yet), Zoom, Back to the 70's (DVD of the original Zoom program from the 1970's that was produced by WGBH/Boston), and a 50Pk of the Mobile Fidelity inner sleeves for my precious vinyl, good enough for archival use too and very reasonably priced at $20 for 50 of them.
The stylus is a replacement one for my Shure Cart that I bought new in 2006. The stylus replacement is WAY overdue, and thus is worn most likely as well as the suspension being old and likely drying out as well, which affects the audio quality. Eventually, I will want to upgrade that old table of mine to something MUCH better than a mid 80's era Japanese mass market deck. It does fantastic for what it is, but I know i can do MUCH better. Eventually. There is still a house to purchase, once I find one before I can even contemplate a new/used table purchase, but in the meantime, I need a new stylus, and at $44, it's better than no upgrade, right?
I'm still awaiting on my electronic W2 for '14 to drop so I can do my taxes. My strategy of redoing my W4 and adjusting my lunch breaks to compensate for not clocking in by 7:30 (more like 8am) and getting off at 4:30pm has helped as my paycheck yesterday is the highest it's probably ever been. $837. Nice. As the old saying goes, Every little bit helps... So that meant going from a full hour to a half hour lunch instead.
I also got the rest of the tracks I needed, outside of Abbey Road, which I'm still awaiting on the CD from the library to come in (I'm in the cue, but there are others ahead of me, and at the time of placing the hold, 5 copies and all out and with others waiting for them).
So meanwhile, had the two CD's I had also requested come in at the same time, the Capitol Albums, two 4 CD box sets each whereby Capitol Records remastered ALL of the early to mid official Capitol releases of the Beatles career, that is, from Meet the Beatles to Rubber Soul. and was able to replace three tracks, Two from Beatles '65 (She's a Woman and I'm So Fine) that I didn't have anywhere in my collection since I didn't have Beatles '65 on vinyl, and they were ONLY singles in the UK at the time. This is because I'd pulled the digital download mono files from iTunes initially. Plus, I also nabbed the US STEREO version of I'm Looking Through You as it was the ONLY version to have the false start. That is, you hear 2 notes strummed, then a restart that goes a bit further, then the song actually begins. On all Mono and UK versions (stereo/mono), the false start is edited out.
The nice thing about the Capitol Albums box (on CD anyway), is it's some of the best remastering out there of the Beatles ouitput, it even trumps the 1987 UK/Parlophone CD's with such clarity and accuracy, and this includes Ringo's drums, full timber and all that with them that don't usually exist, even less so on the original Capitol releases back in the day, and the subesequent reissues decades ago. Another nice thing is the mono versions are NOT folded down stereo to mono, but the TRUE mono mixes/masters from the day as the Mono version of I'm Looking Through You does not contain the false start being just one example of the differences. Also, Capitol saw fit to retain all of the various fake stereo tracks where they only had the Mono mixes on hand (single releases mainly) and perhaps did use the nasty Duophonic technique on a few tracks too, whereby gobs of reverb and tape delay affects to simulate stereo. You Can't Do That is one if I recall whereby it's all echoey and nasty sounding, compared to the other tracks. I'm still on the fence on replacing it with the UK CD version instead. The Capitol Box had that toned down considerably and is much more pleasant to listen to.
So with that, I was able to rebuild Vol 1 last night finally with the newer/better sources, and add in I Want to Hold Your Hand from With the Beatles. The significance of that track is it's the first song ever by the Beatles to be recorded on a four-track, multi-track machine. The significance of that is, they can now multi-track in true fashion, and can get more elaborate in their work, which you get as they progress along. So now, the CD has 22 tracks, I think and they ALL just barely fit onto CD at something like 78 minutes in length, and the CD is 80 minutes in capacity for full CD resolution. So I begin with Chains from Please, Please Me UK CD (I know, I could have used the even more inferiour sounding Introducing... the Beatles from Vee-Jay records on vinyl) and then ending it with the feedback laden single, She's a Woman from Beatles '65. So today, I'll do Vol. 2, beginning with I'm So Fine another feedback ladened single that was included on Beatles '65. Beatles '65 is mostly the core of Beatles For Sale, a UK LP, but contains these two singles, and one leftover song from A Hard Day's Night (I'll Be Back), and a slew of what the author, Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.com called, "less sharp edged covers" to round out the LP. It, like its previous albums, duly went up the charts like nobody's business, despite the album having lost any sense of cohesion and this co-mingling of various sources for a comp LP had already begun to wear thin by late '65 as it was released just in time for Christmas.
However, when rebuilding Vol. 1, I had to open up practically each vinyl track and fix the tempo as ALL of my vinyl tracks run a half step or so too fast - and this is despite my turntable strobe disc showing my table to run a tad slow, if I read it right. I went by the samples that Allmusic privided (from CD sources) and compared and made the adjustments. It's an arduous in some ways task as it takes several moniutes to do an entire song that is often less than 3 minutes in length each. So needless to say, didn't get to bed until midnight once all done and a quick scan down in Windows Media to check it all out after burning the CD.
So that is where I stand with that. The main reason for all this is I'm rebuilding four cassette tapes I'd been given 34-35 years ago by an ex brother in law of the Beatles work, though in his case, from A Hard Day's Night through Let it Be, leaving out With the Beatles, the Beatles Second album, Something New, and the Early Beatles. Something New was essentially a duplicate of AHDN Beatles material, sans the title track, and I Should have Known Better. along with some great R&B covers from Carl Perkins and Larry Williams, and ending it with the German language version of I Want to Hold Your Hand. Essentially, AHDN was a United Artist release as it was the movie soundtrack of the same name, the Beatles first movie at that from 1964.
Anyway, it's "in the can", though I may redo the CD, once more as I think I'll bump up She's a Woman up to its more or less proper place in the Beatles for Sale tracks, since Beatles '65 contains the core of the very LP.
As far as work is concerned, a good week, though yesterday we had to let a temp go. It'd been obvious from early on that he was NOT going to work out long term as he had issues integrating with ANYONE, and two, could not be depended on being detail oriented, and thought he knew everything (when he really didn't) and was just annoying to all of us, so he was let go and no love lost amongst us all. It all got extended out longer than needed for reasons I'm not really sure of, but it may be that we had to negotiate with the temp agency, and/or with upper management, and in there, we got a new integrated account manager, whom is there most days, and seems to be making a concerted effort to learn the site, something that NO other IAM has EVER done since the site went IKON/Ricoh, nearly 8 years ago.
As for today, it's get my haircut, and do some errands early on and then come back and muck out the kitchen and pick up elsewhere since it's supposed to get wet by mid to late in the day with more threats of flooding (minor) since 3-4 inches of rain are expected in the Cascades and Olympic mountains through tonight and into the first half of tomorrow. This means errands this morning to PFI, and the bread store since it's a non Seahawk game day (that's tomorrow) as they play another round in the playoffs (home advantage). If they win, I think it's off to the Superbowl again this year. This I don't think has ever happened in the life of this franchise (assuming it happens), thus the fans are right to be giddy with pride for the home team.
So that is what's up here in the past week.