Sunday, October 5, 2008

Record Stores Still Thrive

Anyone who know me, knows that I advocate buying vinyl records from the small independent record store, whether it be online; or physically visiting the store. I also love articles about independent record stores and here are some in the LA and Chicago areas that you could visit if you live in the area or go for a visit:

LA's Top Independent Record Shops

by Jason Gelt, Los Angeles Vinyl Records Examiner

Let's have a round of applause for the independent record shop. Their numbers have dwindled in recent years as digital downloads supplant CDs as the predominant cash-and-carry music format for the general music buying public. But if you're into vinyl records, the indie store still reigns supreme. As records become more and more of a niche market, those little mom and pop shops become even more important. Now, everybody loves Amoeba (unless it's a Saturday afternoon and the aisles are so crowded you can barely look through the bins), but for that up-close-and-personal old-fashioned record shopping experience, why not try one of these other stellar options.

1. Freakbeat Records: The Valley's finest used and new record store, featuring a great selection of vinyl, collectibles and CDs, plus a knowledgeable and helpful staff. Not only that but you can sample the used records on the premises.

2. Vinyl Solution: Huntington Beach's solution to the punk rock record collector's quandary. Great records, great prices and knowledgeable staff, plus frequent in-store performances from local and touring acts.

3. Rockaway Records: Silver Lake's only remaining independent record store has an impressive selection of collectible vinyl and CDs. Prives can be high, but the quality is guaranteed.

4. Canterbury Records: Pasadena's premier mom and pop record shop stocks a little something for every taste, plus cheap turntable supplies.

5. Headline Records: A punk rock enthusiast's haven, Headline Records serves up hard-to-find punk platters to distinguishing collectors, not to mention an outstanding selection of t-shirts.

6. Rhino Records: 235 Yale Ave., Claremont, CA 91711, 909-626-7774. I know it's a bit of a drive, but the trip is definitely worth it, even with today's gas prices. Hidden away in collegiate Claremont, Rhino Records is a classic independent music store with a great selection of new and used records, CDs and DVDs.

7. Pasadena City College Flea Market: Held on the first Sunday of each month, this flea market has an entire floor set aside for record dealers. Whether you're looking for old punk, old jazz and R&B or obscure folk rock, chances are you'll find something here to suit your tastes. Best of all, it won't break the bank.

8. Don's Music: 4871 Eagle Rock Blvd., L.A., CA 90041, 323-255-3551. Jam-packed from floor to ceiling with vintage vinyl of every variety, Don's has a little of something for every taste. Don't forget to pet the store cat.

9. Poo-Bah Record Shop: 2636 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 626-449-3359. Since 1971, this East Pasadena institution has provided vinyl nerds with an excellent selection of new and used rock, jazz and soul LPs and 45s.



Here are some record shops in the Chicago area:

Beverly Records, 11612 S. Western Ave, 773-779-0066: For 41 years, the family-owned business has remained the place to go for rarities from all genres, with special emphasis on 45-rpm singles and even 78-rpm classics.

Dave's Records, 2604 N. Clark St, 773-929-6325: There’s not a lot of room to move around, the better to cram 40,000 titles spanning all genres into a relatively tight storefront space that is militantly anti-CD.

Dusty Groove America, 1120 N. Ashland, 773-342-5800: Unrivaled cross-section of musical subcultures, heavy on cool African, Jamaican and Latin American grooves, underground hip-hop and funk.

Gramaphone, 2843 N. Clark St., 773-472-3683: Since 1969, a must-stop for deejays from around the world with its rich array of underground dance, house, hip-hop and electronic 12-inch singles.

Jazz Record Mart, 27 E. Illinois St., 312-222-1467: Bob Koester, legendary proprietor of Delmark Records, bought the store in 1959, and it’s been rife with jazz, blues, gospel and hard-core country gems ever since.

Lauries Planet of Sound, 4639 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-271-3569: Amid DVD’s and music-related artifacts, the vinyl selection is superb, with write-ups from the staff touting the virtues of various obscurities.

Metal Haven, 2003 W. Montrose, 773-755-9202: All metal all the time. Desperate for the latest release by Impaled? Looking for that Motorhead/Girlschool 10-inch picture disc? This is your store.

The Old School Records, 7446 Madison St., Forest Park, 708-366-7588: Another classic mom-and-pop store that carries vinyl as well as other hard-to-find formats (cassettes, VHS tapes).

Reckless Records, 3161 N. Broadway, 773-404-5080; 1532 N. Milwaukee, 773-235-3727; 26 E. Madison, 312-795-0878: Selective but strong array of used and new vinyl, with an emphasis on indie and underground rock.

Vintage Vinyl, 925 Davis St., Evanston, 847-328-2899: Since 1979, has carried an impressive range of vinyl, from hard-core country to British new wave.


Classic Rock Videos

Just watched this old gent on Farm Aid and he was fantastic, he is still a top entertainer and his music is time-less.

Jerry Lee Lewis- Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Album Cover Art

As we continue our look at's look at album cover art, let's explore #25 of the most controversial, weirdest, best and worst as decided by their crack staff:


24. The Residents: ‘The Third Reich & Roll’ Dick Clark ar Hitler? I love it although the sensors and the powers that be did not care for the cover. The Third Reich 'n Roll is a 1976 album by the U.S. avant-garde rock group The Residents. Their second (officially) released album, it is a parody and satire of pop music and commercials from the 1960s. The work consists of two side-long pastiches of various songs from the period.

Some of these songs are played simultaneously. America's "A Horse With No Name" is slightly newer than the rest of the hits on the album, but matches The Swinging Medallions' "Double Shot of my Baby's Love" exactly. The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" is performed as the guitar solo to The Beatles' Hey Jude.

Better realized and executed than their first album, it also generated controversy due to its cover art which featured television entertainer Dick Clark in a Nazi uniform holding a carrot while surrounded by swastikas and pictures of a dancing Adolf Hitler in both male and female dress. A version was marketed in the 1980s for German consumption which heavily censored much of the cover art by stamping the word "censored" over every Nazi reference.

Rumor has it Dick Clark found the cover amusing, and has a framed copy in his office.



24. Tiny Lynn: 'Little Lehman's Half-Fast Songs' hard to believe this thing wasn't picked up by a major label and then go double-platinum with this beauty of a cover. Guess that makes us one of the select few to see it and suffer permanent psychological damage as a result, becasue, if you Google this; there certainly isn't any information about the band. I'd like to have some of his toys though...



24. Guns n’ Roses – ‘The Spaghetti Incident’ Anyone hungry for some pasta? "The Spaghetti Incident?" is the fifth album by hard rock band Guns N' Roses. The album is unique for the band, consisting entirely of cover versions, mostly of punk and glam rock songs of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The title is a reference to a food-fight between Axl Rose and Steven Adler, involving spaghetti. Much was made of this food fight during Adler's resolution lawsuit with the band; and Adler's attorney referred to it as "the Spaghetti Incident". It is suggested that the attorney's choice of name for the incident was a reference to the David Bowie movie, The Linguini Incident.

Many of the tracks were recorded with original Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin during the Use Your Illusion I and II sessions. Those tracks were previously intended to be included in a combined Use Your Illusion album, consisting of three (or possibly even four) discs, instead of the two separate discs they ended up being.

In 1992, the band prepared to release the leftover cover tracks as an EP, with then-Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke replacing Stradlin's guitar tracks. They later decided on making the album a full release and recorded several more tracks for it.

Then-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan sings on many of the album's tracks and Hanoi Rocks frontman (and Axl Rose's idol) Michael Monroe appears on "Ain't It Fun" as a guest vocalist.

The album was released shortly after the conclusion of the Use Your Illusion World Tour which had lasted since early 1991. The vinyl copy of the album was released in clear plastic orange, and the CD was released with colour designs and markings, which would later be changed (in the 1997 reissue) to simply a plain silver coloured CD.

Despite protests from Rose's bandmates, an unadvertised cover of Charles Manson's song "Look at Your Game, Girl" was included on the album at his request. The CD release gave no track number to the song - it could only be found by listening through the dead air left after the last documented track on the album. In early 2000, Rose said that he would remove "Look at Your Game, Girl" from re-issues of the album, citing that critics and popular media misinterpreted his interest in Manson and that a misunderstanding public no longer deserved to hear it. However, the song is still present on the album, and in recent re-issues, "Look at Your Game, Girl" has been added as a separate, 13th track.

To date, it is the last full-length studio album released by Guns N' Roses.



24. Sonic Youth: ‘Goo’ Not a choice I would make, my guess is that one or more of the voters is a big fan of Sonic Youth- I have seen 100 more album covers that would fit in better for a 'best of' list.

Goo is an album by alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released on June 26, 1990. A remastered version was released in 2005.

Goo was the first album released after the band signed to major label Geffen Records. Their albums became more accessible and less experimental, but still retained elements of their trademark collage of noise.

The cover is a Raymond Pettibon illustration based on a paparazzi photo of Maureen Hindley and her first husband David Smith, witnesses in the case of serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, driving to the trial in 1966.

The handwritten text reads, "I stole my sister's boyfriend. It was all whirlwind, heat, and flash. Within a week we killed my parents and hit the road."