Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Coolhunting Video - Nugroove vol2

This is a pretty old video ... but it is one that I think on when I think of vinyl 'hunting'. Its well worth a watch.


My new Record Bag - The Eastpak Tiffer

I think I've finally found the Record Bag I've been after - the Eastpak Tiffer.

I picked it up in TKMaxx for £10 on Saturday and I have to say it rocks ... after its inaugural run looking for vinyl in East Kilbride.

It is a laptop 'tote' with a section for a 15" laptop.

Large main compartment with zipped closure and a padded laptop compartment ... with leather reinforced handles usable on the shoulder and multi-purpose front & back stash pockets. It comes in at 14.6" (H), 13.8" (W), and 5.9" (D) ... and works really well when out and about.

I would highly recommend it ... and will look forward to it accompanying me on many a hunting trip.


Sounds Good

First off ... I know this is an advert ... and an advert for Whiskey ... but I really liked it when I saw it. Grado headphones are something of a cult item for me and to include Elijah Wood & vinyl was like catnip to me.

Enjoy responsibly ... Tx

Monday, December 16, 2013

Two bags that could work as Record Bags

I am still on the hunt for the perfect Record Bag. In my search I spotted these two beauties in the Filson store.

Filson is one of these legendary outdoor wear clothing stores that originated in the American Gold Rush of 1897 ... they still make their products in the USA and have a fearsome reputation ... along with some serious cool clobber.

The first bag - TWILL ZIP TOP TOTE BAG (STYLE # 70088(above) - is made of 22-oz. 100% cotton Rugged Twill with 100% Genuine Bridle Leather and measures 15in. W x 14in. H x 7in. D. It boasts a double layer fabric bottom and a two-way brass zipper for security.

7 inches will hold a fair number of records and the orange, whilst being a bit Marmite, will certainly ensure you won't forget about it. At $180 plus postage, its not cheap but it is a credible alternative to the more traditional Record Bag.


Another option from Filson is the OIL FINISH TOTE BAG (STYLE # 70111) ... According to the blurb, this bag is designed for hauling, shooting and field gear, and is made from our tough, water-resistant oil finish Tin Cloth. It measures in at 4" W x 14 1/2" H x 8 1/2" D ... which means it will hold more records that the #70088 but with it having an open top, it is subject to the weather ... which isn't too good in Glasgow.

That said ... it is still worthy of consideration ... and at $105 plus postage ... it is a cheaper option (more money for records!!).


I still haven't found the perfect bag ... although these bags come close. I'll carry on the search, but in the meantime ... what do you carry your records in?


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Loving ... The Art of Penguin Science Fiction

I was rather taken with The Art of Penguin Science Fiction when I was sent a link to it by my friend Kevin Lyons. I have a love for both sci-fi books and great cover art ... and this repository does both.

I particularly like it when you click on a cover and the site gives you loads of detail plus some interesting trivia too. Take "The Reefs of Space" ... a book I have and loved reading ... I find the backstory fascinating.

Anyway ... dive in and lose yourself to fab cover art.


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Three Christmas Albums of note

In the month of December, my listening habits move from the 'usual' classic rock, prog, post-rock, ambient etc to more Christmas-orientated tuneage. I have spoken previously about albums I've found and wanted to continue this with three recent albums that are worthy of note ...

First off, you have Karl Verkade's "the world in green& red" ... a wonder ambient guitar-orientated album of versions of traditional hymns as well as new music he has penned. His version of "O Holy Night" is simply stunning.

Verkade says this on his Bandcamp page ...
Christmas has always been a special time for me, and I thought what better way to celebrate than to write a few songs for it, and send love to those in need. So this album will be available until January 1st, and half the proceeds from this album and all my albums this month will go to families in need this Christmas.
I'm proud to have supported him in this endeavour ... and you should too. Through him a few bucks and gain, in return, some beautiful music that you'll come back to in the years to come.


Next up ... we have The Lower Lights with another folky Christmas extravaganza - "Sing Noel". I love The Lower Lights and didn't think twice when I found out about this album ... their previous Christmas album - "Come Let Us Adore Him" - gets air time around Advent and this is a welcome addition.
"When your group is built around the idea of exploring traditional songs, it comes pretty naturally to wrap your arms around Christmas songs, sung and beloved around the world. Sometimes that means making a Christmas album. In the case of The Lower Lights, it means making two."
I, for one, am glad they did. The CD is $12 plus postage ... and is well worth it.


Lastly, we have Sleeping At Last and their Christmas Collection 2013 ... and delightful mix of familiar Christmas songs like Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" and traditional carols. It is a welcome addition to my collection and my iPod.
"Each year I record a Christmas cover song and give it away for free. It’s my version of a Christmas card. This has been tradition for many years now… for so many years in fact that it has accumulated (like snow) into this13-song Christmas album, I call my 'Christmas Collection.'"
Christmas Collection 2013 is available for free from NoiseTrade > http://noisetrade.com/sleepingatlast/christmas-collection-2013 < ... here's a wee video of one of the tracks to whet your appetite:


Enjoy ... and if you have any new music recommendations, please leave a comment.


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

December 2013's Calendar / Wallpaper

For December's slightly belated calendar / wallpaper ... I picked a photo from my archive ... a photo from a very cold day in Strathclyde Park.

I hope you will enjoy staring at it as much as I will.

Usual flavours are below.


iPhone with Calendar + iPhone without Calendar

Monday, December 02, 2013

What I listened to in November 2013 (well ... what got scrobbled anyway)

Here's what I've been listening to on my Apple products during the month of November ... except for Panic! at the Disco, that was Dayna ... I let her borrow my Rdio account.

What caught your ear in November?


Three more releases on weareallghosts ...

First up ... we have 2 longer-form ambient pieces from Scott Lawlor ...

"...The Leaves" is a darker, noisier drone that almost overwhelms but ultimately rewards the listener with an immersive experience.

"Meadows In Summer" is a lighter longer-form piece with a haunting and rather surprising ending which I found an utter delight when I first heard it.


We then have a single release from Red Pools - the new project from Sean Cotterill aka Artificial Sun Project ...

Sean's description of his music - swaying, claustrophobic atmospheres - is apt and I welcome it, and him, to weareallghosts.


Lastly, we have a darker ambient piece from Kevin Lyons that is inspired by the ghost stories of Dr. M. R. James ...

Curious Warnings (waag_rel036) is a real treat ... one that captures the deliciously uncomfortable nature of James' writing ... and translates the unsettling atmospheres into sound.




Saturday, November 30, 2013

The search for the perfect Record Bag continues ...

I'm still looking for the perfect Record Bag ... and these two bags do appeal to me.

First up ... we have the Essential Designs X Porter Record Bag. Dressed in duck hunting camouflage, this bag can store up to 40 LPs at one time and there are several zipped compartments for small goods.

I like it a lot ... but can't find any more details on it ... and don't know how much it will cost ... Porter isn't cheap but it certainly is quality!


Next up ... and continuing with the camp theme ... we have another collaboration, this time between UDG and Carhatt.

The 'sling' bag stores 45 LPs and has an integrated 15 Inch Laptop Pocket ... It comes with 2 large CD wallets that hold 24 CDs each ... and is rather shapely at 16.5W x 15.3H x 8.3D inches.

It also comes in Carhatt's duck brown ... which I really dig.

It can be sourced at Chemical Records for £86 (brown) and £90 (camo) ... money well spent, if you ask me.


Any other Record Bag ideas? Let me know.


Music is my life

This evening my daughter exacted her revenge and snapped a picture of me ... catching 40 winks ... after launching the latest album on weareallghosts.

It got me thinking ... morbidly, but thinking nonetheless ... that this is the way I'd love to go out: headphones on, listening to an LP (it was the jazz-funk of Spyro Gyra, if you are interested) ... with my MacBookPro on my knee, wearing a band tee (Mogwai, in this instance), and my iPhone & iPod within reach.

Silly, I know, but this photo does sum me up. Music is my life. Well ... its not my whole life but a big chunk of it.


What I listened to on vinyl in November ...

021113_ #np "Songs in the Key of Life" by Stevie Wonder #vinyl

OK ... I don't envisage doing this every month but November should go down as the month I got back into vinyl. Nothing new ... more a rediscovery of the classics.

Support your local second-hand record store ... and your charityshops too.


091113_ #np "Holst's The Planets" performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Neville Marriner #vinyl

171113_ #np "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto" by Narciso Yepes & National Orchestra of Spain #vinyl

141113_ #np "Spirit of the Sun" by Kyoto Jazz Massive #vinyl

031113_ #np "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis & Gil Evans #vinyl

031113_ #np "bridge over trouble water" by Simon & Garfunkel #vinyl

091113_ #np "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" by Maxwell #vinyl

031113_ #np "Hotter than July" by Stevie Wonder #vinyl

291113_ #np "Outlandos d'Amour" by The Police #vinyl

161113_ #np Jonny Cash Live In San Quentin #vinyl

151113_ #np "Close to the Edge" by Yes #vinyl

091113_ #np "Realm of Chaos" by Bolt Thrower #vinyl

171113_ #np "Legend" by Bob Marley & the Wailers #vinyl

021113_ #np "The White Album" by The Beatles #vinyl

031113_ #np "Birds of Fire" by Mahavishnu Orchestra #vinyl

161113_ #np "The Godfather OST" by Nino Rota #vinyl

031113_ #np "Morning Dance" by Spyro Gyra #vinyl

091113_ #np "Dark Magnus" by Miles Davis #vinyl

171113_ #np "Instant Brubreck" by Dave Brubreck #vinyl #jazz

171113_ #np "Scoundrel Days" by a-ha #vinyl

131113_ #np "dimension intrusion" by Fuse #vinyl

051113_ #np "Help!" by The Beatles #vinyl

031113_ #np "Violator" by Depeche Mode #vinyl

301113_ #np "Fantasy" by Aquarian Dream #vinyl #jazzfunk

121113_ #np Tracy Chapman ST #vinyl

261113_ #np "Eliminator" by ZZTop #vinyl

301113_ #np "Nevermind" by Nirvana #vinyl

231113_ #np "Fragile" by Yes #vinyl with artwork by #rogerdean


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