The Vinyl Detective – An Interview with Author Andrew Cartmel

Readers of this blog will have come across my enthusiastic reviews of two of the books in Andrew Cartmel‘s Vinyl Detective mystery series (Written in Dead Wax and The Run-Out Groove.) The protagonist of the series is a sleuth who gets hired to find particular rare records. Along the way his searches end up involving…

New Psych Folk

Here’s some relatively new music, all released within the last few months, that combines folk and psychedelia. It’s one of the more interesting of “genres” for me, both adventurous and  listenable. A lot of it harkens back to the late 1960s (particularly Beautify Junkyards and Mark McDowell), but that’s not a bad thing – and…

Mannkind: The Eccentric Album Art of Herbie Mann

Jazz flautist Herbie Mann’s 1971 album Push Push is widely considered one of the worst examples of album cover art ever, noted online and in books on the medium. (In fact, The Art of the LP, by Morgan and Wardle, devotes a lengthy paragraph to the cover which starts out with a response to the…

The Sea and Cake – “Any Day”

Any  word or combination of words can be the name of a band. Take “The Sea and Cake” for instance: a band name made up of two words that have nothing to do with each other. When the long-running group operating under that moniker chose the name, it was based on a mishearing of the…

Records on Vacation

If you’re like me (and there’s a good chance you’re not, but bear with me), the call of record stores or anyplace that might sell records rings loud and clear when you’re in a new town. The allure of the unexpected, the hunt for obscure treasures, the inherent possibilities of a browse through the racks…