Music Industry News Network [11-15-2012]

Digital Be Damned! Viva La Vinyl!!


In an era of digital downloads, David Ullman is a decidedly old fashioned, analog artist. The scruffy singer-songwriter's latest album, LIGHT THE DARK--a moody mix of haunted hymns, blasphemous ballads and folk-rock redemption songs--was conceived and recorded specifically for the vinyl format, and Ullman is plotting a national tour of independent record store performances to promote its December 4th release.

"We have relationships with the records we love,” Ullman says in the pitch video for the crowd funding campaign that helped subsidize LIGHT THE DARK. “Music on this,” he argues, holding up an iPod, “doesn't mean as much to me as this (holding up and hiding behind Pearl Jam's double-gatefold No Code album sleeve). I mean, look at this!”

Ullman’s audience aren’t the only ones getting into LPs. Last summer, FOX Business reported more and more people are dusting off their turntables and spinning records.

According to Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard, vinyl sales have been growing steadily since 2008. Last year’s numbers saw a 40% increase from the already impressive 2010 figures, ultimately reaching nearly 4 million units, and the 2012 Mid-Year Music Industry Report points to even-further growth this year and beyond.

Ullman believes these trends can be explained by “the experience, the ritual, of ‘putting on a record.’ It’s a process that involves four of our five senses and creates a memory in a way you can’t replicate with an MP3 player.

“Our physical interaction with a vinyl record, and the larger-than-life artwork and lyric sheets that contain them, deepen our connection to the music in the grooves. Plus, you can gift a record; and, if you’re (High Fidelity’s) Rob Gordon, you might withhold that gift for personal reasons!” he laughs. “You can collect and arrange vinyl. You can break it. You can burn it. But, once you’ve held a record in your hands and played it on your stereo, it’s a part of your life in a way that ones and zeros can’t replicate.”

David Ullman recently relocated to Minnesota from northeast Ohio, where he, his bloodied and battered Martin acoustic and tattered green Doc Martens built a devoted fan base one passionate, furrow-browed performance at a time opening for acts like Rusted Root, Chelsea Crowell, Hamell On Trial and Need To Breathe. He kicks off his quest to couple club dates with in-store performances at brick-and-mortar music stores on December 22nd at Blue Arrow Records in his former hometown of Cleveland.

Ullman is offering “Who You Say,” the first track on LIGHT THE DARK, as a free download and accepting pre-orders for the limited-edition LP/CD coming out December 4th @


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