Before Spotify playlists were shared by text message, teenagers discovered the music of their adolescence by rifling through the record bins at Tower Records stores. Colin Hanks, the son of actor Tom Hanks, brings the story of this cultural touchstone to life in a film opening on Friday that started out as a Kickstarter project.
A scene from the documentary “All Things Must Pass.”
Tower Records grew from a humble start in Sacramento in 1960 into an iconic billion-dollar business in the 1990s, before digital downloads and Internet piracy knocked it to its knees — along with the rest of the record industry.
Its stores, in particular the ones on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood and on lower Broadway in New York, drew young people seeking musical relevance. They also drew young musicians in search of influences, including Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.
Tower hung in there until going out of business in 2006.
You can still find Tower Records today — outside the U.S., where managers bought out parts of the business, and on Sunset Boulevard, where the exterior of the old store received a touch-up for tonight’s L.A. premiere of “All Things Must Pass.”
NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit’s 1st Vinyl record – FREQUENCY
A black box arrives in the mail. It’s a Cupcade, from Adafruit and you’ve been anxiously waiting for it. You rush to your workbench, switch on your soldering iron, and take out your kit. But there’s something missing.
It’s not a component. Or a tool. Or a broken link in one of our tutorials. There’s no soundtrack.
No problem, you stroll over to the record player at the far side of the room. The case you’re looking for is on display, sitting on a shelf next to family portraits and 3D-printed gizmos. You take the case down, pull out the bright pink 150 gram 12″ vinyl disc, and place it on the player. Slowly, the whir of a spinning record joins your Hakko’s low hum as you flip your stereo’s switch. A fuzz fills the room. The tone builds to near climax as you raise the needle and place it on the record’s first ridge.
Anticipation yields. Ethereal beats fill the air. “It is not soldering,” you think, “without Bartlebeats.”
Frequency by Bartlebeats is the soundtrack to your soldering. It’s the first vinyl record from Adafruit that collects the music that drives our YouTube channel like a V8 engine on a Mustang. All of it’s collected into one unique, limited edition, old school package. The record itself is a lovely pink and has a case with cover art designed by artist Bruce Yan. It’s a perfect way to rep your DIY pride and Adafruit spirit.
But that’s really just a bonus to the music you’re getting. We’re providing a free digital download through the Bartlebeats bandcamp page. It’s all music you’ve heard just by watching our videos but you’ve never been able to own it until now.
Below is the tracklist and here’s our YouTube page where all the songs are featured just in case you can’t wait for the record and want to relive past DIY adventures. And remember that we can’t guarantee that Bartlebeats will make you a better maker – but we can guarantee it’ll make your project even more epic and fun.
- Neat Please
- Smart Forever
- Mad Bugs Test
- Part 6
- 2011 Lookalike
- Small Selective
- Tall Bird
- Clay Guys
Bartlebeats is the multi-talented Tom White – our very own Director of Receiving and Office Manager – who is ½ of the rock band Frog and also a bassist in the band Little Anchor. Album art by Bruce Yan. Produced by Ladyada, pt & the Adafruit team.