Amoeba's What's In My Bag Series: Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer

It took all of two seconds for me to click the 'view' button when I saw that Neil Gaiman had posted the video of he and Amanda Palmer in the newest edition of Amoeba's What's In My Bag?  series.

I just LOVE this series, and check in with it on a regular basis to see which celebrities are buying vinyl, and I have blogged about it several times here. Knowing that Amanda is a huge supporter of vinyl, I also knew she wouldn't let me down with at least one vinyl purchase. And Neil is one of my very favorite authors, and one of my very favorite people ever. It gives me no small amount of joy to finally find a reason to feature him on my vinyl blog, as I talk about him all the time on my writing blog.

While both of their musical tastes are very different from mine, (although I know Amanda is a huge Adam Ant fan too) their choices are wise and come with loads of nostalgia in mind. And that's one of the biggest points that I try to drive home here; that music is the perfect emotional trigger, and often explains our feelings and emotions much better than we can. Neil even talks about how one of his choices reminded him of his first heartbreak, and how better to revisit that memory than with the same music with which it happened. If that makes does to me!

Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this installment of What's In My Bag featuring Neil & Amanda. I know I did, and I look forward to many more of these posts, as it never ceases to intrigue me which current celebrities are buying sweet, sweet vinyl. Oh, I almost forgot. I especially love that they filmed the interview whilst in the Punk Rock section of the Books..and I spy with my little eye a book which is on my own shelf called PUNK: The Definitive Record of a Revolution by Stephen Colegrave & Chris Sullivan. Hint: It's the big green one by Amanda's head. Highly recommended.

Another Unnecessary Vinyl Record Death Thanks To The USPS

This post is going to be short and not at all sweet, sparked by the anger of receiving yet another broken record from the US Postal Service. This is the same anger which prompted me to write my first-ever blog post for my friend Joe's blog The difference between that post and this one, is the fact that the record I received today was packed PERFECTLY. I will admit that the majority of broken records occur from being poorly packaged for shipping, and if you'd care to re-visit my heated rant about how to package them properly, I invite you to read this post to learn all about it.

This damage was caused by sheer laziness and lack of consideration for the package itself. Believe me, I have had lengthy conversations with my mailman about how this exact kind of damage occurs, and it ain't machinery, it's pure human error. Because the box is thin, workers think that slipping it along the side of a huge mail bin is OK, but that's where, more times than not, the damage occurs. And as you can see form the unopened package, it most likely got slammed between the side of the bin and other--larger--packages.

What breaks my heart the most about this kind of thing is twofold:
1. I buy records that are 20+ years and older. It had survived this long, only to be destroyed by some lazy, uncaring postal worker along its journey. Many of the records I purchase will never be pressed again, but even if they are, it's beside the point.

2. This particular record, and nearly all titles I purchase, are in excellent, undamaged condition. This just happened to be the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, with the cover still in its original shrinkwrap, and the vinyl was flawless. No, insurance was not offered or purchased on this package--but even that is beside the point. It's that this happens on a regular basis is what gets me so steamed.

And here's an interesting point; I sell records all over the world, and have shipped thousands--literally--and only  one arrived broken in half. ONE. Explain that to me USPS, I'm very curious to know the reason. I'm hard pressed not to go postal on you.

So if you'll all join me in a moment of silence for the passing of this beautiful record....maybe it will help lower my blood pressure a few points. Remember, dear readers, package your babies with the utmost care, you don't want them ending up like this.

Rant over.

Book Review: Record Collecting in the Digital Age

What you're looking at here is the iPhone Kindle app version of the e-book: Record Collecting in the Digital Age by John Silke, and it's the subject of today's post. First of all, let me state that I am a huge lover of traditional books, but this just happens to be the only format this book is available on, which is sorta fitting, given its title.

This little "book" reads like an email from a close friend who happens to be a fellow vinyl junkie. The author states most of the content is taken from his blog, etc and it shows--not in a bad way (unless you were to count the numerous spelling/grammatical errors, but I'm not here to discuss that). His friendly tone and non-pretentious demeanor make for very pleasurable reading indeed. It certainly doesn't hurt that he's a Brit, describing his little village and surrounding areas, which make me desperately long for the rolling green countryside of England. But I'm not here to drool about that either. He speaks of car boot sales in open fields, trolling his local charity shops, and includes an extensive interview with the owner of a nearby record shop, which he frequents and gets an early heads up when a new collection has come in.

The author travels to New York frequently, and I especially loved reading about the record shopping there. As a Pacific Northwestern gal, I'm always curious as to what the digging is like on the other side of the country. It was pleasantly surprising to learn that there is plenty of good vinyl to be found in the Big Apple, and that the fellow diggers are friendly and genuinely interested in chatting up other junkies, to see what they collect. It makes me really happy to think that the "new" vinyl collectors aren't a stodgey, pretentious lot. That there's plenty of camaraderie and solid connections to be made in this day and age of record collecting.

Lately, I've been searching out books on record collecting in today's market, and am very surprised to see that the pickings are rather slim. It sparks my interest in writing a book of my own, with a focus on female DJ's, record collectors and vinyl junkies like myself. There's got to be more than a few of us out there, and I think we could offer up some interesting perspectives on the subject. What do you think, dear readers, would you read a book about vinyl written by yours truly??

But I digress, Record Collecting In The Digital Age was a delightful little read, and I highly recommend it. A right bargain at just $2.99, and you can read it while on public transportation to your favorite record shop, or while taking a respite from digging with a cup of tea and cakes, just as the author does. Enjoy!

Record Collectors, Vinyl Junkies, DJ's and Crate Diggers...Forever A Boys Club? Or Not.

Growing up in a pre-CD musical world, vinyl has always been the format of choice for me, despite a 20+ year hiatus while life and digital sound took over. Up to and through the mid 2000's, it seemed to be an almost exclusively male related hobby and pastime. But perhaps now things are beginning to change...

As the post-digital generations grow up, the mix of vinyl lovers tend to be a more well-rounded group, I'm pleased to say. However, is it common to find female DJ's, record sellers and such? Not especially. Far from non-existent, but I'd say we're a few and far between bunch. Which is the point of today's post; where are all the female record collectors, vinyl junkies, DJs and crate diggers?

DJ AM Gold
Well first off, there's my friend Alicia, aka DJ AM Gold who specializes in spinning the best in 50's and 60's on 45 almost exclusively. This gal has got it goin' on! She knows her stuff too, playing the coolest of the cool in local pubs and bars which feature either a Tiki, Rockabilly or otherwise old school vibe. This isn't just a pretty face with a meticulously coiffed hairdo, she's the real deal.

And don't just take my word for it, she was voted 2012's Best DJ by Portland's own BarFlyMag. Check out her website for booking info, and to see where she's gracing the tables next!

Despite numerous You Tube searches for female record collectors, vinyl junkies and crate diggers, I found absolutely nothing of worth. Sad, and very surprising, actually. So if any of you out there have gal pals who are fellow vinyl junkies, please let me know, I'd be happy to feature them here.

However, a web search brought up a fantastic feature on a fellow female record collector by the name of Margaret Barton Fumo who has been dubbed "The Prog Lady". This feature comes from a well-respected vinyl blog called Dust and Grooves and offers a wealth of information and plenty of vinyl eye candy to drool over. Margaret won my vote when I saw she had a copy of the rare and elusive Zombi soundtrack by Goblin. Kudos to you, lady!

Dust and Grooves: Margaret Barton Fumo
Alas, this concludes my find-a-female-vinyl-junkie list, unless I included myself which wouldn't be very diplomatic of me. Besides, if you're any kind of regular reader here, you learn plenty about my record buying/selling/collecting habits, and I don't want to bore you.

Let's keep spreading the vinyl love, ladies!