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This month, eBay, in partnership with the Strategist, went back to some of our favorite celebrity shoppers — including musician Phoebe Bridgers — to ask them about things that they can live without and would be willing to sell at auction for charity. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (eBay is receiving and donating all proceeds and matching every dollar the auction earns). Click here to see all the stuff you can bid on.
Test pressings are samples of a musician’s vinyl record that are created to make sure the final product isn’t fucked up. They’re expensive to make and are never released to the public. I’ve never seen one in somebody’s record collection that wasn’t their own or a record sent by a friend. Some people find listening to their test pressings enjoyable. I think it’s terrifying, so I always send them to friends to make sure they sound okay. I know my mom would love to have the test pressings I donated.
I produced both of my albums, Punisher and Stranger in the Alps, with Tony Berg, who has a real ear for what’s going to translate onto vinyl. Making the Stranger in the Alps vinyl in the back of someone’s home studio took two years of my life, because I was on and off tour and everyone involved was doing it for free. But the first time I listened to it was the first time I ever heard myself on vinyl. It was scary but awesome. I was at home with my drummer Marshall — who is also my ex-boyfriend, best friend, and made the entire record with me — for emotional support. Making the test pressing for Punisher was a different experience. I recorded it in the legendary Sound City Studios, and I knew what I wanted my music to sound like. When I first got the Punisher test pressing, I listened to it myself and then called Conor Oberst, who was in town, to ask if he could take a listen. It was a very emotional experience, but he was so patient with me while I was freaking out. There were a couple of small things that needed to be fixed; most of the people who got a copy of the pressing didn’t hear this noise I kept hearing, which made me feel insane. I actually donated that version of the test pressing, with the noise, because its off-beat rhythm almost sounds purposeful.
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