The Awesomeness That Is Jack White; Musical Genius, Vinyl Lover and Collaborator Extraordinaire

If you've spent any length of time on this blog, you'll have seen several posts touting the awesomeness of Jack White; former White Stripes frontman and staunch vinyl enthusiast. I truly believe he is a rare, and much needed musical genius of our current time. It isn't just his music that is so great, it's his whole attitude toward music, his musicianship, and his belief in the romance of vinyl and why we should strive to keep it alive.

In this BBC interview Jack explains why vinyl is romantic and why he puts so much emphasis on creating more of it with his record company, Third Man Records. I love what he's doing, not just with vinyl, but the way he promotes other musicians and artists, and consistently strives for creative collaboration. Admittedly, I am first and foremost a White Stripes fan, but I can really appreciate what he has done with The Raconteurs, Dead Weather and the countless other projects he has been involved with.

The following are just two of my favorite Jack White projects:

It Might Get Loud: This is an amazing documentary featuring Jack, Jimmy Page and The Edge doing what they do best, and sharing their history of what has made them all famous. It's not only an intriguing blend of musical styles, it's a fascinating close-up of the personal side of our lofty idols, sharing the love of their craft. Very highly recommended.

The White Stripes' Under Great White Northern Lights was the catalyst for my artistically-speaking love affair with Jack (and Meg too!). It is the behind-the-scenes documentary of their tour of the same name, with additional delicious tidbits of a more personal nature, including how to make a guitar out of virtually nothing. Brilliant and very touching.

Amoeba's 'What's In My Bag' Series: Joel Isaac Black

Another entry in Amoeba Music's 'What's In My Bag' series has caught my eye, and I wanted to share it here. This one comes from a drummer named Joel Isaac Black, whom I have never heard of, but that's both beside the point, and what's kind of cool about his entry...

First of all (and most importantly) he buys all vinyl, so already he gets a thumbs up from me. But what's even more intriguing are his picks; wide and varied like my own, and ya gotta love that. This is the kind of thing that I like to promote, not only because he is a fellow lover of vinyl, but because his musical tastes spread far and wide, like my own, and I believe this is crucial for any music fanatic.

Check out the video below, and have a browse through the Artists Section, it's filled with all sorts of interesting people buying interesting music and DVD's. Some of my favorites are a bit buried now, so you can check out this post which includes the links to some of the best entries. Enjoy!

Guest Post from JellySounds: Factors To Consider When Buying Vinyl Records

 Photo by James Debono
Today's post comes from Sashka at JellySounds, an Aussie site dedicated to spreading the love of vinyl all over the world...kinda like myself! She gives us a few points to think about when we're out crate digging, looking for buried vinyl treasure...

Factors you should consider when buying vinyl records

Recently, vinyl records have seen a revival with new passion by individuals interested in the brilliant artwork, rich and analog sound associated with vinyl records. If you are one of the new vinyl fans, this guide will help you find the best collection by informing you on the issues that you should consider. One of the major factors is the cover or the jacket. Most individuals buy vinyl records according to their cover. If the cover of the record is damaged, the record might not be worthy your purchase. However, if the part that you are interested in is the vinyl disc alone, then the cover is not an essential factor to consider. Nevertheless, a great record should have both quality music and appearance.

Another major factor is the actual vinyl disc. If your reason for buying the record is to listen to the music, you need to ensure the disc is in great shape. Look for vinyl damages arising from tear and wear, scratches and giant gouges. You should note that discs with excessive scratches would not only damage your cartridge needles, but would also make it impossible to listen to the music from many skips and hiss. Although it is difficult to come across a vinyl record without a single flaw, if you aim for the best, you would come across vinyl records that look like they were made yesterday.

Promotional items were often included with records such as; signed notes, pictures, posters and pressed coins. If you are a true collector, look for records with these bonus items still intact. It is necessary to understand that the value of the record highly depends on whether the album is complete. Nevertheless, if you do not mind whether these items are still with their original pressings, stress on getting the best deal (such as a discount) due to the missing bonus and/or promotional items.

You should also consider the condition of the vinyl record. Note that the majority of these albums are no longer pressed and thus, it is challenging to find them in remarkable shape. However, you should always look for the best possible quality. It is also necessary if you are looking to buy vinyl records to understand the various grading systems. Mint condition refers to a record with a brand new condition. Records with mint grading do not have any noticeable surface marks and feature best sound quality. Furthermore, the booklet, poster and lyric sheet are in a perfect condition. Majority of records advertised as unplayed or sealed are in the mint category.

Vinyl records with excellent rating have some signs of having been played but their sound is still of great quality. The packaging or the cover of these records might show creasing or slight wear. Records with very good grading have been played many times but do not show any major deterioration in sound quality. However, they have noticeable light scratches and surface marks but do not have any major defects. Records with good ratings have noticeable deteriorated sound quality with mild scratches and distortion. Ones with poor grading would not play well due to bad surface noise and scratches. Bad graded records on the other hand are unplayable and are only used as collection fillers.

Finding a record with all qualities mentioned above is difficult indeed, but for real vinyl lovers there is one place that has them all: JellySounds

JustCoolRecords Gets Interviewed by

This past week, I had the good fortune to be interviewed by Nina of I was so flattered when she asked, how could I possibly say no?! It gave me the welcome opportunity to stop and think about how I got into this business, and why. These days, it's nothing new to sell things over the internet. But when I began nine years ago, it was much less heard of. 

So I invite you to read the interview, it's just a short five questions, but important questions, I think. Etsy has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and continues to be my favorite marketplace platform. It's not all about handmade, artsy crafty stuff, people. There's a whole lotta fabulous vintage; from clothing to jewelry, accessories, furniture and home decor, to supplies for making just about anything you can think of.

If you haven't tried Etsy, I highly recommend checking it out. And if you need help opening an account (to buy and/or to sell), you can read my article for super easy instructions that will have you up and running in no time.

Thanks for reading!


I've decided to have a DADS AND GRADS SALE which is now going on in my Etsy Vinyl Shop! All vinyl is 15% off for a limited time. Prices have already been discounted, so you're good to go.

AND don't forget to pick up the COUPON CODE located on the sidebar of this page; enter at checkout (before making payment) and you will receive a further discount on your entire purchase as my way of saying THANK YOU for checking out my little vinyl blog. Please remember to use the coupon code before making the payment so the system can calculate your discount. Reductions after the fact will not be honored.

Help me celebrate my birthday by purchasing some bitchin' vinyl. It's a win-win situation!

80's Bands Better Than Their Top 40 Hits On Vinyl: The Bolshoi

The Bolshoi were an 80's band I had previously heard of, but fully discovered on vinyl. As with most great things, it happened by accident. I came across their debut EP Giants first, and continued on chronologically, also by happy accident. What's even more interesting (to me, at least) is that I had put the Giants EP in my Etsy Shop inventory and no one touched it. It sat in there for a year. Then, after the yearly 'Spring Cleaning' was completed on my inventory, I decided to give it another listen...

There's a reason it didn't sell, and that was because it was meant to be in my personal collection. Even though it's just an EP with six short songs, I couldn't stop playing it. The Bolshoi was fronted by Trevor Tanner, a decidedly charismatic singer with decidedly Ant-like qualities (Adam, that is), so of course my interest is piqued from the start. Then, after careful dissection, I realize there is so much more here than meets the eye...and ear.

Friends (or 'Fiends' as some say) is their first full length album, providing us with their hit 'Away' (or A Way, as the band like to cryptically accept as an alternate title). This, I must confess, is where The Bolshoi became an obsession, right up there with The Stranglers (what IS this thing I have for dark-haired English front men??). Normally, I don't fall for the Top 40 fodder which is spoon-fed across the airwaves, but then I was blissfully unaware of The Bolshoi back in 1986, when it came out. This album also gives us 'Sunday Morning' another minor hit, but my other favorite is 'Fat and Jealous' mayhap because it also sounds vaguely like an Adam Ant penned tune.

Finally, there's Lindy's Party, which is probably their most successful song, collectively speaking. A solid album no doubt, but not the one I play obsessively. A proper collection of perfectly accessible 'dark rock' songs (some categorize The Bolshoi with Bauhaus and The Cure as Goth Rock, but I'm not convinced). A more mellow sound, for sure, but still features catchy tunes with interesting lyrics. The tight musicianship carries on the distinct Bolshoi flavor, but you sense the end is near.

Trevor has continued on to a very successful solo career, but I just can't seem to get into much of what he's offering. While I highly respect him for dabbling in different genres and styles that his more recent repertoire features, my passion is sticking to the mid 80's where he really worked his magic. Will I ever get out of the 80's?? Likely not.

All three albums are relatively easy to find on vinyl,  even more so on CD (if you must!). Giants was not released on CD by itself, but can be found on 'Bigger Giants' which contains a couple of extra songs.

EDITED TO ADD: I felt I would be cheating those who may not be aware of The Bolshoi in action. So here's the video for 'Away', and Trevor in all his mysterious glory. Perhaps it will spawn an obsession of your own...