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…

When Bad Album Covers Happen to Good Albums (Part 2)

And the journey continues on from Part 1….. Pity poor John Martyn. He went into the studio in the early 90s to re-record some of the best songs from his career for a new album.  Not satisfied with the results, he went back in the studio to give it another go. Meanwhile, his record label…

Of Refrigerators, Trunks, Tuning Forks, and Marbles

The most expensive box set ever released is actually a refrigerator. $100,000 for a refrigerator full of music and memorabilia from 40+ year old cult band The Residents – but it’s a refrigerator all the same. The most surprising thing about the box set is that it sold.  In September, a man going by the…

River Crombie: “Time Beyond Me”

One wonders what an artist like Nick Drake would have done in this age of social media, Youtube, and Bandcamp.  Would he have found a wider audience for his music during his lifetime?  Would that virtual word of mouth, that immediate and direct feedback from listeners, have provided enough of that missing recognition he seemed…

2011: Favorites of the Year

This was going to be my top 10 favorite albums released in 2011, but it’s turned out to be 15.  And why not? Why does everybody always have to do top 10 lists? Top 15 lists are better. Really. Here they are (in no particular order), with a sample track from each: A Hidden Wholeness,…