Book Review: Who Killed Mister Moonlight by David J of Bauhaus

Who Killed Mister Moonlight by David J.
After reading a glowing review of this book in a UK music magazine, I knew I had to give it a shot. Being the late bloomer that I am, Bauhaus had only had a minimal spot on my favorites list before I took the time to fully explore their discography. The exception to this is Peter Murphy, who has, up until recently been very high on my favorites list...but that's another blog post.

I was hoping for some insight on Bauhaus with this book, and I got it. I was hoping for a little inside dirt on the band, and I got it. But there's a lot more to this book than just dirt and reliving the exalted past. David J is a very introspective writer, and I appreciated his openness and honesty, even when the road was rocky. And, of course, the road was indeed very rocky.

If you have even only a casual interest in Bauhaus, I'd still recommend this book because it gives a great overview of the times, knowledge of how the record companies really work, and a little taste of the esoteric. The occult, in this case. Which may be a slight turn-off to some, but David doesn't spend too much time on this subject, so don't go running for the hills if that isn't your cup of tea. You can simply skip over the chapters/areas where he discusses it, and not miss anything too critical.

The one problem I had with the book was the glaring number of typos, misspellings, grammatical errors and the like, It astounds me that in this day and age, these things only seem to be getting worse. It's like it's an accepted flaw, and I just can't see my way through that. As an amateur writer, I would be mortified if the book I had poured my heart and soul into were printed full of these kinds of mistakes. Rant over. Give it a read, and put on a Bauhaus (or David J) record while you're at it.

New Blog URL for JustCoolRecords

I am way late to the party on this, and perhaps a few of you have figured it out already. The blog URL has changed from (now my new webstore) to (where you are now). Please bookmark this now if you'd like to return. This was a very impetuous decision, and I didn't think it through properly. I just thought I was being clever by redirecting the consistent traffic that comes to my blog to the new website. Now I've probably lost what little credibility I had built up over the years on Google. Ah and learn.

So this is just a brief note to say, no, you're not crazy, if you tried to visit the blog and saw instead a bunch of records for sale. It won't happen again, but the damage has been done. Moving forward, I promise to make any big changes known well in advance.

Now back to our very irregular programming...

Falling In Love with my Record Collection...Again

How do you fall out of love with your record collection, you ask? I never have. It's just that with trying to keep three successful websites afloat, some things have to take a back seat. In my case, it was playing and enjoying my records--on a personal level. Sure, I'm a vinyl dealer and have to test-listen to records all the time. But it isn't the same as playing for enjoyment, for emotional solace and for a good ol' fashioned. impromptu dance party for one.

See, I had thought to stop selling records at the first of this year. Very fortunately for me, my customers had other plans. I wrongly assumed that people would be sourcing their own collections, and what with the re-issues coming out faster than I can keep up with, I thought for sure JustCoolRecords was a goner. The demand is stronger than ever, and while my methods of finding inventory have had to be re-assessed, I'm still here, and won't be going anywhere for the foreseeable future. But I digress...

One day, I had an urge to play a few records for myself, listening closely and fully enjoying the experience. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had not done this in months. I never realized how much I missed it until I allowed myself to become so preoccupied with work and other nonsense, that I wasn't taking the time out to enjoy my very meticulously curated collection. So I've made a few changes in my daily routine...

Now, listing new inventory is done in the "record room" while playing only records from my collection. Test-listening for the shop is to be done after I've listened to the selected album(s) of the morning. So instead of hiding in my office to list records, I'm surrounded by sound and my personal collection instead. It's had a great affect on my listing consistency, as well as my mental constitution. And I had the surprising realization that my collection was not just a commodity, it was a part of me, my heart and soul, the thing that gets me through the day--just as music has been for me my whole life. But life happens, and we forget. We allow our pleasures to get lost in the chaos of the daily grind (and for me, what it takes to be self employed and keep the lights on).

So this post is for any of you who have allowed your passions to take a back seat to daily living, Bring them back. Make a place for them, make time for them. You'll begin to notice a huge difference in the quality of your mood and the work that you do, and that's a very good thing indeed.

Keep spinning those records...

Vinyl Documentary: Last Shop Standing - General Info and Review

Last Shop Standing
I may be a bit late to the party, but that's not unusual. However, I wanted to post about this excellent documentary showcasing the surviving record shops around London and the UK. 

Last Shop Standing is an informative, heart-felt doc told by the real people who live it everyday. The shop owners, a few celebrities who celebrate vinyl and lifelong customers for whom the vinyl "comeback" was never a comeback at all. For them, it never went away.

There are several vinyl documentaries out there right now, some good, some not so good. But the fact is, we're talking about it. People are passionate enough about records to make short films about them, and I think that's a good thing. There is no doubt that the awareness has skyrocketed. I can't count how many new films and TV shows include at least a shot of a record spinning on its player, or a main character putting a record on. Last Shop Standing does a great job of communicating how music, and ultimately vinyl, brings people together. Which resonates with me, because that's what I have been doing for the last 12 years.

My favorite line from the film goes something like, "when did we start calling records 'vinyl'? When did they stop just being records?" I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the idea. That's a brilliant question, and one I'm not sure I have an answer to. For those of us who grew up with RECORDS, we never even thought to call them "Vinyl". I mean, VINYL is nothing more than the material used to make a RECORD. Perhaps it's just another instance of younger generations trying to make old standards new again, by giving them new names. Which only creates problems like "Vinyls". Must I say it? Shall I reiterate...? Methinks I shall...

VINYL IS THE PLURAL OF VINYL. No, it's not pretentiousness, it's called proper grammar. Get over it.

Anywho, check out Last Shop Standing. It's a well spent 50 minutes that will have you turning off the TV, laptop, etc and playing a record. Below is the official trailer to give you a taste. Enjoy.

JustCoolRecords, Where Have You Been? And Where Are You Going?

Hello, is there anybody out there...? Yes, I know it's been a helluva long time since you've seen a new post here. I have been so busy with LaCreeperie and other endeavors, this blog has simply slipped through the cracks. But that's how things go, right? As I have to constantly change with the whims of the internets, the same can be said of my own work load. So what does this mean, exactly?

Well, it means that JustCoolRecords as a brand, a bitchin record shop and a force to be reckoned with is on it's slow, graceful way out. Now, this is not happening overnight mind you, but I think I can confidently say this will be my last Holiday season selling records. I will most likely close the shop for good sometime after the first of the year. And unless someone offers me a nice chunk of change for my current inventory, I don't see it happening any sooner than that.

Between re-issues of many rare and hard to find soundtracks (my specialty) and people sourcing their own vinyl collections, it's just becoming too difficult to keep such a wide and varied inventory available for you. Aside from this, I am also having a lot more trouble finding records locally and for fair prices on the internet. All this while growing another successful shop AND writing a book is just more than I can keep up with.

So there's still plenty of time to shop the store, and I'll do my best to post at least a few more blogs before the end of the year to remind you that the clock is ticking. Stay tuned, and keep spinnin that vinyl!

UPDATE Dec.2015: Ok, I may have jumped the gun just a wee bit up there. It seems that there is still life in ol' JustCoolRecords yet. For the foreseeable future, the shop will remain open. However, I have been making drastic changes to what kinds of titles I keep in the shop. So bookmark that link, cuz I ain't leavin til the party's over.