Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review and Author Interview: The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

A special thank you to Tarie at  (Into the Wardrobe: an international blog on literature for the young and young at heart) for the permission to reprint the book review. Addditionally, a special thank you to Yvonne Prinz for allowing the reprint. Stop by her site and pick up her fascinating book.  He is a link to the original post

"He asks me about an LP and I know exactly when I got it, where I got it and even whose collection it originally came from. I know the artist's musical background and I know if they played in any other bands, even if it was only as a sideman, even if it was only for fifteen minutes. Music, to me, is one giant puzzle, and collecting music is about finding all the pieces and trying to fit them together."

That's Allie. Allie is sixteen years old and she lives with her mom in Berkeley, California. For the summer she is working full-time at Bob & Bob Records. When not working at the record store, Allie is blogging about music at . She also writes a music zine.

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz (HarperTeen, 2009) is about Allie (a.k.a. the Vinyl Princess) and her love for music, specifically her love for vinyl records. The Vinyl Princess is also about changes, summer, and seeking a community of people who share your passions.

Allie, her best friend Kit, her mom, her grandmother, and all the other characters in the novel seem very real. They are all unique, VERY interesting, and flawed (read: realistic). Their relationships are great to read about and their Berkeley setting is solidly established. Allie's narration of events is very convincing.

I love reading about a character with a creative passion. I loved whenever Allie obsessed over her blog and zine. I loved reading her musings and conversations with other characters about music. A well-written main character with a creative passion is always entertaining and inspiring to read.

The Vinyl Princess is one of those quiet YA novels. It isn't very dramatic or angsty or really emotional. But it's still very much about the ups and downs of being sixteen and I really enjoyed reading it.

Below is my quick Q&A with the author Yvonne Prinz, who is also the cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world's largest independent music store! I just had to know more about the woman behind this cool YA novel!

What is your strongest or favorite memory from when you were Allie's age (16)?

Like Allie, I worked in a record store, but it was in Edmonton, Canada. I remember being crazy for music. I went to my first Rock Concert that year- HEART and RUSH. It was such a thrill. I hated High School and couldn't wait to get out of there.

What was your favorite book and favorite music album when you were Allie's age? What is your favorite book and favorite music album now?

My favorite book was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It was sitting on my parent's bookshelf and I picked it up and started reading it. I was hooked. My favorite record? I had so many. I think I was still pretty into The Beatles White Album, although my record collection was vast. Right now, today, my favorite record is Howlin' Wolf, Ridin' in The Moonlight. That will change tomorrow, I guarantee it. The last book I read that I loved was The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster.

Why do you write for teen readers?

I like writing for teens because it's such a confusing time. I remember how excited I was at that age, when I found a book where the writer seemed to know about those years. I want to be that person now.

What do you think is the importance of quality books specifically for teens?

I think reading is a great way to learn about the world. It seems that there are more YA books now than ever before especially if you're into Vampires. Quality books are a little harder to find but if teens are reading, I'm happy.

Who are your favorite authors? How have they influenced your own writing?

Cormac McCarthy, Lorrie Moore, A.M. Holmes, John Cheever, Tobias Wolf. Dan Chaon. Good writers always inspire me to write. There is something magical about a well told story. All of these writers are brilliant storytellers.

What was your writing/research/creative process for The Vinyl Princess? Do you have any writing rituals?

I have terrible writing habits but for The Vinyl Princess I rented a studio in Berkeley and I went to "Work" every day. I became very disciplined because I had a very good agent's interest and I wanted to present her with my best work. I had a boom box and a kettle for tea and a desk. My view was College Avenue, right near my character's house. It was perfect.

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In 1964, with the British Invasion music sweeping North America, Chicago's WLS jumped on the trend more than any other station in the Midwest.

As you once reported, WLS was the first station in the country to play a Beatles record.

Since those days, I have sought one of the British hits they played that year, but it seems I am the only one who knows anything about it.

I know it refers to a guy sitting in a coffee shop, and how happy he is when in walks a pretty girl.

The group sounded like the Searchers, but I find that nothing by them matches the one I remember.

Every time I go to Starbucks, this song starts running through my mind. As the song goes: Help!
—Morris O'Keefe, Springfield, Ill.

DEAR MORRIS: Your description narrows the search down to just one possibility: “Don't It Make You Feel Good,” one of two regional hits in 1964 for the Overlanders (Hickory 1275).

The other release that year for this British band is “Yesterday's Gone,” a cover version of the Chad & Jeremy hit.

The original Overlanders are Paul Arnold; Laurie Mason; and Peter Bartholomew. Chicago is one of the regions where “Don't It Make You Feel Good” did very well, briefly residing in the Top 10 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.

If you would like to refresh your memory of “Don't It Make You Feel Good,” the tune is on YouTube. Use the keywords “overlanders mpg” and it will indeed make you feel good.

DEAR JERRY: My period of greatest interest, musically as well as culturally, is 1955 to 1970, and my questions pertain to those years.

I know the Beatles once had the entire Top 5 to themselves, but were any of the other five slots that week by females?

If not then, is there at least one week with an all-male Top 10?
—Kelley Morrison, Atlanta, Ga.

DEAR KELLEY: The week of April 4, 1964 is when the Beatles owned the USA's Top 5. For seven days, the ranking of their hits went like this: 1. “Can't Buy Me Love”; 2. “Twist and Shout”; 3. “She Loves You”; 4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”; 5. “Please Please Me.”

In the next five slots, all but one of which are American artists, is one female: 6. “Suspicion” (Terry Stafford); 7. “Hello Dolly! (Louis Armstrong); 8. “The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)” (Betty Everett); 9. “My Heart Belongs to Only You” (Bobby Vinton); 10 “Glad All Over” (Dave Clark Five).

There are many, many weeks when the Top 10 included no solo females, no girl duos or units of any size, and no mixed-gender groups, such as Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Fifth Dimension.

One extreme example occurs right near the end of “your period.” For a full month in 1969 (September 20 - October 18), the Top 18 each week was a boys-only club.

In the first week of October, the only female voice in the entire Top 30 belonged to Gayle McCormick, the lead singer and lone lady in the group named Smith.

IZ ZAT SO? Looking at this gender-based Top 10 situation made me wonder about the flip side — a time when the women did outnumber the men.

The example that jumped out at me is the last week of January 1955, when men held only two of the Top 10 spots. At No. 4 is “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane,” by the Ames Brothers, and No. 6 is “Melody of Love,” an instrumental by Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra.

The other eight positions are locked up by the gals: 1. “Let Me Go Lover” (Joan Weber); 2. “Mr. Sandman” (Chordettes); 3. “Hearts of Stone” (Fontane Sisters); 5. “Sincerely” (McGuire Sisters); 7. “That's All I Want from You” (Jaye P. Morgan); 8. “(My Baby Don't Love Me) No More” (DeJohn Sisters); 9. “Make Yourself Comfortable” (Sarah Vaughan); 10. “Teach Me Tonight” (DeCastro Sisters).

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368


Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Dixie Chicks Team With Eagles for First Tour in Four Years

The Dixie Chicks are set to hit the road for the first time in nearly four years this summer when they team up with Eagles and Keith Urban for a co-headlining stadium tour. Urban will miss the tour’s opening show June 8th in Toronto, but will join the tour when it swings south to East Rutherford, New Jersey’s New Meadowlands Stadium on June 10th. Here are the eight June dates that have been announced.

Dixie Chicks/Eagles/Keith Urban
June 8 – Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre*
June 10 – East Rutherford, NJ @ New Meadowlands Stadium
June 12 – Boston, MA @ Gillette Stadium
June 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Ball Park
June 15 – Washington, DC @ Nationals Park
June 19 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field
June 22 – Winnipeg, MB @ Canad Inns Stadium*
June 24 – St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium*

(* Keith Urban not on bill)


DJ Lundy Passes Away

One of New York's great DJ's has passed away. Ron Lundy, who worked at WABC from 1965 to 1982 and WCBS from 1984 to 1997, died Monday in Oxford, Mississippi at the age of 75.


Jack White And Jay-Z Record 'Unbelievable' Song Together

Jack White has just revealed that he recorded a song with famous rapper Jay-Z recently. The White Stripes frontman failed to disclose how the pair came together, but described their untitled track as “unbelievable-sounding."

"We did a song together a few weeks ago,” White told GQ magazine. “It was incredible. “I played him something that I've been kicking around for a while and he immediately came out with words for it.”

The pair's collaboration comes just months after Jay-Z described White as a “renaissance man." It is not clear at present whether the song will be released.


VINCE NEIL: 'Tattoos & Tequila' Artwork, Release Date Revealed

MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil 's "Tattoos & Tequila," his new solo album, will be released on June 22 via Eleven Seven Music. The CD was recorded with bassist Dana Strum and Jeff Blando (both of SLAUGHTER) and drummer Zoltan Chaney. At least two cover tracks were reportedly laid down during the sessions — CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL's "Who'll Stop The Rain?" and SEX PISTOLS' "No Feelings".

In a recent interview with The News Tribune Vince stated about the upcoming CD's title, "It's rock 'n' roll. That's it. It has nothing to do with MÖTLEY CRÜE. Tattoos and tequila is basically my life."


GRAND MAGUS: New Album Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

GRAND MAGUS, the three-piece Swedish heavy rock band featuring "JB" Christofferson (guitar, lead vocals), Fox Skinner (bass, backing vocals) and Sebastian "Seb" Sippola (drums), will release its fifth album, "Hammer Of The North", this summer via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at 301 studios outside of Stockholm and will feature artwork by Necrolord.

Commented JB: "Necrolord is a legend and has created some of the most striking and powerful images ever. He's also closely connected with Swedish metal. We just knew that he would deliver the perfect feel, mood and imagery for the new record. No one else would come close. It's an honor to have his artwork for 'Hammer Of The North'."

CD of Wax Cylinder Recordings Being Released

Here's an interesting tidbit to my email box - and yes, they did listen to music that way many, many years ago.  Read on:

For Immediate Release-
How Lo-Fi Can You Go? Aaron Keim Releases CD of Wax Cylinder Recordings

Aaron Keim, multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Boulder Acoustic Society, is known for his old timey music taste and indie approach to the music business. At last year's Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, he met Martin Fisher who is a sound archivist and recording technician. Martin was recording musicians at the conference on a turn of the century wax cylinder recorder. Aaron got out his guitar and ukulele, sat down in front of the recording horn and turned out 5 tracks.

Invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, the wax cylinder phonograph was the first commercial recording and playback device and was popular into the 1910's when disc shaped records forced them out of business. If you think a 78rpm record sounds old and scratchy, wait till you hear the lo-fi glory of wax cylinder recordings. To make these non-electrical recordings, the musician sings into a large horn, which guides a needle as it digs into the wax cylinder. Aaron transferred his wax recordings to CD and is releasing them as The Quiet American.

For this EP Aaron recorded three original indie-folk songs and two traditional songs. This includes help from Boulder Acoustic Society on Ruben's Train. You can see them recording in front of the wax recording machine at . Also, included on the CD is a digital version of the song The Light The Dust, which was recorded at the same time as the wax version.

To celebrate this release, Aaron is squeezing two shows around Boulder Acoustic Society's busy schedule. Oskar Blues in Lyons on May 2nd and the Mercury Cafe in Denver on April 30th.

To hear a sample, check out and click on "Rove Riley Rove."
To Purchase, go to

For more info:
Aaron Keim
720 254 6725