Record Store Feature: Jackpot Records Hawthorne Edition - A Vinyl Boutique

 Welcome, dear readers, to a new blog series featuring my favorite local (and not-so-local) record shops! I'm thrilled to bring you one of the best little gems of the Northwest: Jackpot Records - Hawthorne location. Not a single visit has been a disappointment here, which is an astonishing claim in any respect.

Because normally, it just goes with the territory that sometimes you're gonna come out empty handed when record hunting. Nope. Not this place. I like to think of it as a Vinyl Boutique, but without the snobbery or outrageous prices. Friendly employees, GREAT selection, and my favorite part; it's never crowded with nauseating hipsters despite being located in the dead center of Hipsterville, Bohemia.

One of the best features of this Jackpot location is something I like to call "The Wall of I Want It All". There is always something for everyone on this wall, and it's not just for the rarest of the rare or the most expensive titles. I don't know what their criteria is for making it onto this wall, I just know that it's filled with awesome vinyl records. Beyond that, they have great selection of new and used vinyl, CD's and DVD's, and they're open everyday!

There is a second Jackpot Records location, in the heart of downtown Portland which I will feature in another post. For those of you who are in the area, make sure to stop in and say hello to the guys and buy something cool for your collection. I assure you, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and for those of you not in the immediate area, of course you can check out the Jackpot Records website where they have nearly 3000 titles to choose from. Rock on!

Vinyl Spotlight: Pufnstuf Original Soundtrack

OK children of the 70's, this one is for you! Remember the Sid & Marty Krofft programs of this time period? They were ultra-goody-goody while having this underlying theme of psychedelia, and more than a little evidence that these programs were cooked up while under the influence of mind altering substances. Bring it on!

H.R. Pufnstuf was one of those programs, and by far one of the trippy-est. But my young mind didn't pick up on all of that, I just knew I liked the boy with the English accent, Jack Wild and the jewel encrusted flute he carried. The rest of it was a little strange, but Witchy-Poo was delightfully fun, and I always wanted to live in her castle, with her strange creatures.

Fast forward a million years, and I've uncovered the soundtrack from the film, on vinyl of course. It is a preciously rare one to find, and it makes me very happy to have it back in my personal collection. Well worth every penny if you can get yer mitts on a copy.

Oh, and I've added a video of my favorite track by Mama Cass, who plays one of Witchy-Poo's witchy coven members. The song holds special meaning for me, as I have always been different. Enjoy!

Cultivating A Record Collection

It seems hard to believe that there was ever a time records were not a part of my life. As a child, they were my friends, my companions, even my teachers. Because I learned about life through music; the joy, the pain, love, loss and eternal happiness. My records didn't judge me, scold me or tell me to stop playing them and clean my room.

But as we all know, life has a funny way of getting in the way of things when we least expect. I can't even say for sure when I stopped buying records, or whatever happened to my record player, but everything disappeared at one time or another, along with my a little part of my soul, as yet unrealized.

A short five years ago, vinyl came back into my life with a vengeance. Not just as a new business model, but back into my personal life, and my heart. Never again will I let anything get in the way of this passion. As I have often said, music is my life, the reason the blood flows through my veins.

Which brings me to the reason for this post (finally, huh?) I have come to realize that not only am I enamored of the vinyl format with which I listen to my favorite music, the record collecting process itself has become almost an obsession. What I mean is that cultivating my collection has become a huge part of the pleasure I get out of this process. Not just adding to the collection, but fine tuning it. Sometimes I just "hang out" with my record collection; flipping through it, organizing it, and simply marveling at what I have created out of this ever-growing habit. We're not called vinyl junkies for nothin, you know.

JustCoolRecords Blog Celebrates One Year Anniversary & Biggest HolidaySeason EVER

Wow. What a very exciting time for vinyl lovers everywhere. For those who know Santa will bring them some new tasty vinyl, and for those who are about to get their first record player/turntable/audiosystem but may not know it yet. I have seen so many amazing records lately, both old and new, and it makes my heart swell with happiness and joy to know that the vinyl love grows stronger everyday. And I don't care how corny that sounds.

Which brings us to the reason for this post: my little vinyl blog is now one year old! Where does the time go??  And with nearly 30,000 views later, it's growing stronger everyday too. I've said before, I had no expectations about anything when I started this blog. Certainly, I had no idea it would be visited as much as it is, nor did I know if anyone would be interested.

It may be a tad bit early for New Year resolutions, but I'm going to say it again as I've said it several times before. My goal is to ramp up the action on this blog; to bring you more frequent (or dare I say regularly scheduled) posts, feature interviews, more vinyl spotlight posts and most importantly, informational posts about caring for your vinyl collection and all that goes along with it.

So thank you, dear readers, for sticking with me on this very interesting journey. Let's share some more tunes and bask in the glory of the vinyl record. As my friend Joe Wallace says; it's not just a format choice, it's a way of life.

Biggest Holiday Season...EVER!

48 hours worth of orders!

And as for this year's holiday shopping, I can tell you that giving the gift of vinyl has gown to epic proportions. As of this minute, record sales in my Etsy Shop have beat all previous years' stats. It is truly astonishing. It's clear that the vinyl awareness is growing at breakneck speed, but I also get no small amount of pleasure from realizing that my curating skills have begun to pay off. Being a specialized shop can either help or hurt any retail business, so keeping an open ear and mind helps a lot.

So I have some serious thanks to give to any of you out there who may customers as well as readers, it is an honor and a privilege to bring you the music you know and love, and one I take very seriously. May everyone have a happy, healthy and prosperous Holiday and New Year. Keep spinning that vinyl!