Category: Announcement

Excavated Shellac Live – March 28th in Los Angeles

I will be performing a live Excavated Shellac show on Sunday, March 28th, 3PM, at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, as part of Edith Abeyta’s ongoing exhibit “Actions, Conversations, and Intersections.” I only come out of hibernation maybe once a year to do a live show, so this should be fun. Join me in listening to some beautiful, rare music on 78s from Kurdistan to Madagascar – none of which are featured on the website.

I will also have available a small cache of advance copies of the “Strings” LP. Stop by to say hello!

For more on the show:


Excavated Shellac’s files have now moved to a new host and are once again available (thanks to Jim Stephenson for the tip). It took a few hours of wrangling, but everything should be a-ok. Please let me know if there is a problem.

You will still not see any ads – this is an ad-free zone! (Except if it’s a plug for something 78rpm-friendly.) The only minor difference will be that Windows users will no longer be able to right click the file to download. Just click on it normally and you should be fine from there!

Also – I re-established links for all the tracks in the archive that are now part of WFMU’s Free Music Archive. So, track links will take you directly to the page on WFMU’s site where you can listen and download.

Thanks for your patience and for continuing to stop by. There’s lot of great music on the way. Coming up in a few days, a killer guest post from Ian Nagoski. See you soon —


BBC Documentary on Fred Gaisberg (and music therein)

There are a few more days left where you can listen to an hour-long BBC Radio 4 documentary on arguably the most important man in the history of recorded sound, Fred Gaisberg. Titled “The First A and R Man,” it’s a nice listen, featuring interviews with people I truly admire and look up to in the world of historical preservation and recorded sound history, such as archivists at EMI, and Will Prentice at the British Library.

There is a segment in the show which talks about Gaisberg’s (and the recording industry’s) first trip to eastern and southern Asia. And, at 35:20 in the program, you can hear an excerpt from my personal recording of the Malay artist Qasim, singing “Lagu Nuri Terbang Malam,” which I originally posted on Excavated Shellac on May 5, 2007, and dates from those first sessions.

My original post can be read here. To listen to it today, you can visit Excavated Shellac’s Qasim page on the WFMU site, right here.

That said, it would have been nice to receive either a verbal or written shout-out from the producer of the program for providing a snippet of rare sound (surely EMI did not make a special, new transfer of this obscurity for them), or Paul Gambaccini, but that’s show-biz! To BBC Radio 4 I say: you’re welcome!

BBC Radio 4: The First A and R Man

Excavated Shellac Archives Now Available

Hello all –

As mentioned in a previous post, Excavated Shellac is now part of the Free Music Archive hosted by WFMU. I’m happy to announce that the vast majority of Excavated Shellac tracks are now available for all and sundry. More will be uploaded, gradually, as the blog continues (and there will be a post coming soon…I promise). I’ve also created a mix of fiddle pieces from the archives. Have fun with them, listen, comment, and enjoy.

Excavated Shellac on the Free Music Archive

Dear Readers

I have to level with you, wonderful readers of this blog, and confess to you: I am tired.

Since the site’s inception two years ago, I have transferred, cleaned-up, written about and researched 113 individual 78s from my collection, week after week with only an occasional interruption. There have been 5 guest posts from collector friends. I am not trying to toot my own horn here – this has been something I excitedly look forward to every week! But, like many other bloggers before me, I find myself suffering burnout, the onset of which began well over a year ago. The constraints of my day job, grad school classes at night, and attempting to lead a diverse and active life while juggling the myriad of side projects I am involved with have taken their toll. I can no longer keep up this pace!

So, as you may have guessed, I will have to decrease the amount of posts on Excavated Shellac to 1 or 2 a month. That way, I will still be able to deliver a piece of music as well as writing/research that means something to me, and hopefully to you too. I feel I’ve earned it with the regularity, uniqueness, and quality of what I’ve provided so far, but I do feel guilt. That said, it has never been my intention to upload my entire collection – just a small snapshot, or a gallery. It is, after all, free for the asking, and there’s only so far I can go with this aesthetic – I feel a little like a parent whose child got straight A’s in college and now needs to move out of the house.

There is more to this, however. Quite happily, I have become involved as a curator with WFMU’s Free Music Archive project, which has been in the works for some time. I am working with the folks there to restore my old tracks that have been taken down, as well as all the text and images for each post. An announcement about this will be forthcoming – much sooner rather than later. Over time, I will upload all of Excavated Shellac’s content onto the WFMU servers where the tracks will each have their own page, and where they will remain in perpetuity as an Excavated Shellac product (for lack of a better word) – at which point the Excavated Shellac site will more or less become duplicative. It could be that Excavated Shellac will discontinue, and I will continue to post only with WFMU – I haven’t decided, as there’s time yet.

But, let’s not get maudlin – I’m not going anywhere yet and already have a bunch of posts that are in the works, and while the WFMU project might sound strange to those not familiar to it (more here), I think it represents a real step in bringing a diverse collection of music to people, for free. You might even see a familiar name or two involved (Ian Nagoski, David Seubert).

So, this is a new step – moving onward and upward. I just wanted to be honest with you, as many of you out there have been with the site since the beginning – something I can’t tell you how much I appreciate. And if you are concerned when to check the blog for future posts here, I recommend subscribing to the RSS.

Meanwhile, let’s listen to something fun…

The Excavated Shellac Resources Page

Two announcements today, along with the weekly post.

First, I’ve added a Resources page to the site. This contains a list of in-print CDs that feature international music culled from commercial 78rpm records. Despite the fact I’ve been working on this list for several months, this is definitely a work in progress. My goal is to have it as up-to-date as possible, and obviously I will need the help of contributors! Please don’t panic if you don’t see your favorite CD listed. Directions to contribute are found on that page. However, I can say for starters that the key phrase here is in-print. In this world, reissues sometimes disappear quickly – just as they might reappear out of the blue. Other sources cover out-of-print releases on LP, CD, and cassette. For now, I’m just trying to cover in-print material.

The second announcement is that Excavated Shellac is now on Facebook. If you’re into that, please look me up.