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The Flexible Format 

Indianapolis-based Joyful Noise Recordings announced the artist lineup for its 2014 Flexi Disc series. This is the independent record label's third go-round with the series.

So, what’s a flexi disc? They were originally mass-marketed in the 1960s. Throughout the next couple decades they were as popular with rabid fan club members as with the Soviet Union’s state-supported music distributors. These lightweight discs don’t offer the audio quality of 180-gram vinyl, but they do give music labels, magazines and bands a fun alternative way to share tunes. In the last few years, hipsters, metalheads and other niche listeners have embraced the format, sparking a mini-comeback for the lightweight, spiral-stamped vinyl sheets.

click to enlarge Deluxe subscribers receive a screen-printed wood box for flexi disc safekeeping.
  • Deluxe subscribers receive a screen-printed wood box for flexi disc safekeeping.

Joyful Noise’s annual series promises to send previously unreleased songs on square, single-sided 7-inch Flexi Discs straight to your mailbox. Each recording will only be available in this format. The upcoming artists are wide-ranging, from Indianapolis favorites Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s to lo-fi hero Daniel Johnston. And, those who sign up for the Deluxe Subscription will receive a special screen-printed wooden box in which to safely store their fragile, floppy-format goods.

See the full list of artists or subscribe to the limited edition series -- $5 a month, plus $30 for the special deluxe box –- online.

Check out Daniel Johnston performing in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert:

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About The Author

Kirsten Eamon-Shine

Kirsten Eamon-Shine

Kirsten has written for a number of online outlets, a handful of nonprofits and a mighty little food truck. She was raised by a writer-photographer-editor and an engineer, both lovers of museums and books. In her spare time, she dances to vinyl records with her husband, son and two cats.

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