The Power of the Poly Outer Sleeve: Protection For Your Vinyl Record Collection

Seasoned collectors will probably know all of this, so you kids can skip on ahead to another post. But for those who may just beginning a new vinyl collection, this post is for you. One of the best things you can do for your record collection is protect it properly, particularly if you have spent your hard earned dollars on new, or modern vinyl, and want to keep it looking as fresh as the day you bought it.

One way you can do this is to keep each record in a shiny new poly outer sleeve to protect it from dust, dirt, damage, pet hair, stray insects and many other dubious critters. Now I know you'll have a few questions about them, so let's see if I can guess:

Q: Where do I get them?

A: Some record shops carry them, so just ask when you're shopping your local places. Otherwise, you can find them many different places online, but here's my top three:

If you're on the West Coast: Rock-O-Bilia or other eBay sellers or Amazon. These are the best prices with the highest quality sleeves.

If you're in the Midwest or on the East Coast: Bags Unlimited is your best bet, or of course eBay too, choosing a seller that is close to you.

Q: There are different ones to choose from, which do I pick?

A: There are several different styles i.e; flap/no flap, seal/no seal, different sizes, etc. These things are all a matter of opinion directly pertaining to your personal collection. But what I will tell you is there are two kinds of material the sleeves are made out of: Polypropylene and Polyethylene.

Q: What's the difference?

A: Polypropylene - the 'good' news: they're much less expensive. The bad news: they are much thinner and will yellow and crystallize with age and time.

I most definitely do not recommend this kind of sleeve. I have seen this kind of sleeve damage covers that have not been stored properly (left in musty, damp basements and/or up in too hot/cold attics). Do yourself and your collection a favor, steer clear of this kind except in short term cases.

Polyethylene - Nice and thick, but clear protection. Does not break down with age regardless of storage temperatures. The only thing these will do over time is get a little cloudy with 'scuffs' from being shifted against other records over very long periods of time. Well worth the slightly higher cost, hands down. These are also much more difficult to tear or rip, crease or shred.

Q: How do I remember which one is which?

A: Easy! Just think of Alice Cooper's 'Cold Ethyl' that's what I do. PolyEthylene.

There are a few other posts I've written on record care if you care to take a look. I am by no means an expert on anything. But for those looking for helpful information regarding the care and feeding of your new and precious record collection, I hope these posts are helpful.

Keep spinnin' the black circles!

Halloween Feature: The Lady In White 1988 - The Movie and Vinyl Soundtrack

As you well know, dear readers, Halloween is by far my favorite holiday of the year. In fact, it's Halloween 365 days a year at my house, and I like to keep it that way. With a hubby who makes monsters (check out our new website featuring some of his works here--and more on that later), and me who specializes in Halloween/Horror records, combined with our mutual love for all things horror related...well you get the picture. It's not often enough that I share with you some of my favorite Halloween related movies, and so...

 The Lady In White is one of my very favorite Halloween-time films of the 80's for many reasons, most of which I will share with you here. So prepare yourselves for a post not entirely about vinyl records (hey, it's my blog and I'll write what I want to!). If by some bizarre happenstance you have not seen this film, do so immediately, trust me. Sure, there are some cheesy 80's style effects in it, but this film has so much heart, you won't even care.

One of the best scenes is in the classroom where Frankie reads his spooky story, while costumed kids munch treats surrounded by Halloween decorations and lit jack-o-lanterns. Why is this scene so special? Because it captures a moment in time that I cherish, one that no longer exists for kids these days as they are not allowed to celebrate Halloween within the classroom. What a travesty. This is an accurate portrayal of what grade school was like during this, the best of all holidays.

Something that really resonates with me about Frankie's character is that he knows from such a young age what he wants to be when he grows up; a writer. It's not even that really, it's just who he is. That his inquisitive mind desires the knowledge that he can then write about later is so appealing to me, as a person who has written all my life, yet not had the self confidence to fly full force into that precious dream. Lukas Haas is brilliantly cast as Frankie, simply because he is so believable and so honest in his role, you can't help but fall in love with him.

 Ok, enough of my gushing. And I promised there would be a vinyl soundtrack in here too, so here it is. Not an easy one to find, (yeah, I know, I always say that) but they do come around from time to time. Writer and director Frank LaLoggia actually composed the music as well--he's a regular John Carpenter without the synths. A very atmospheric soundtrack, great for turning down the lights and turning up the headphones. Fans of the film will appreciate the cover art on this one, taken from a scene where the intriguing mystery of The Lady In White all begins for Frankie...

More Halloween goodness to come, dear readers, so stay tuned! There are many films and companion soundtracks I have yet to share with you. Happy Halloween!

JustCoolRecords Featured on Hollis Jay's Podcast & Blog: Myriads of Thought

Myriads of Thought - Hollis Jay
It's always such a pleasant surprise when someone asks for an interview or feature on a blog, website, podcast or other mind-blowing technological invention. It's something I never expected to happen when I started my career as a media seller, or as a blogger.

This time, I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by Hollis Jay, writer extraordinaire, and all around lovely lady with whom I share a shocking amount of common interests. She is a published author, specializing in Gothic Horror and poetry. Her e-books can be found on Amazon and, and her podcast can be downloaded for free through her blog and on iTunes. How convenient! Hollis' sweet, soft voice will pull you in and keep you listening through the show's entirety, and she often features Etsy Shops which strike her fancy from artists and sellers with great stuff.

Not only was this a great networking opportunity, it gave me the subtle reminder to listen to the writer's voice which is screaming in my head to make my writing a bigger part of my life. It's a constant struggle, what with building a new website, keeping up with social media, day to day orders and operations...and trying to have a life in the midst of all of it. But I can do it, right dear readers?

Grab a cuppa and have a listen to Hollis Jay's podcast featuring a bit about lil' ol' me. She opens with one of my favorite tunes by The Sundays, a perfect intro in my opinion! Please enjoy.