Thursday, September 24, 2009

The VInyl Princess is moving!

Hey, we're moving! And when I say "WE", I hope that means you too. My new website is up and ready for houseguests. Go to to check it out and follow me. You'll probably be happy to learn that I'm not taking the faux leopard pole lamp but all the vinyl is coming with me. C'mon over.

The VP.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

John Doe and The Sadies- Country Club

John Doe wears a lot of hats (X, the Knitters, and his solo stuff) and, although he's no stranger to cowboy hats, I think this is the first "Countrypolitan" record he's made in a while. He says he made a drunken promise to Travis and Dallas Goode (of the Sadies, a great band in their own right) when they were playing together in Toronto but those promises are usually forgotten. This one was not and the result is a pretty incredible record that combines a lot of really great songs with some top notch musicianship. There's four originals on this one, three by the Sadies, and one by Exene Cervenka, Doe, and the amazing Kathleen Edwards who sings on a few numbers too. The rest are standards or semi-standards made famous and written by the who's who of the country music world: Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings. Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams, Porter Wagoner. There isn't a dud on this whole record. I love it as an ensemble piece. I also love that this is not a Nashville style album (no strings, no horns, no choirs, no bullshit), this record is Cosmo Country right out of Bakersfield.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ELVIS COSTELLO- Secret, Profane and Sugarcane

Can I begin by saying how very inspiring it is for the Vinyl Princess to see artists releasing their albums on Vinyl again (happy sigh). While the rest of the world goes off in alarming directions, it appears that the music world is coming back around to Vinyl and what could be better than that? Elvis Costello's new album is a work of art.  The artwork on the cover looks like vintage tarot cards with my favorite bird, a crow, right there in the middle. The pen and ink of Elvis on the back is just what I want to think of when I see him in my mind. This is a double gatefold album and the lyrics are wordy so it takes a minute to get through them all but do it, they're brilliant. On to the music: Produced by T-Bone Burnett, who rarely disappoints, a mandolin figures heavily on many songs and the gracious Jim Lauderdale sings harmonies. The songs themselves are like clever short stories with a beginning, a middle, an end, a good plot and even a few sub-plots. I was on board right out of the gate with Down Among the Wines and Spirits and Complicated Shadows, of course. Sulphur to Sugarcane is my fave on the record and loads of fun and She Was No Good is a pretty song that required several listens before I figured out what he was talking about. Listening to this album is like losing yourself in a great book. Mine, by the way, is signed by the man himself. Yup, I looked him right in the eye. I may even have touched him.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vinyl Saturday- June 20th

Monday, May 25, 2009

And now a word about censorship

The new Green Day album, ironically titled " 21st Century Breakdown" will not be appearing at your friendly neighborhood Walmart store any time soon. That Walmart would suggest to a recording artist that they require them to edit the content of their art in order for it to be acceptable in their soulless mega-monster stores, which profit off the backs of slave labor in developing countries, is beyond absurd. My bigger point, however, is that we shouldn't be looking for this album at Walmart anyway. Walmart can continue on, as they always have, selling crap to the masses but I'm happy that they are leaving music in the hands of the people who know what they're doing. Buy your Green Day albums at indie record stores. Album sales for "21st Century Breakdown" surpassed 200,000 in the first few days of hitting the stores without the help of Walmart.  Yeah, we don't need your greedy paws all over our music. Thanks, Green Day. Rock on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits

Honestly? I don't have a deep catalogue on Patsy. I adore her, sure, but I find myself going back to the same tunes, the ones I know the words to, over and over. Fortunately, on Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits, there is a song for damn near every occasion involving the opposite or the same sex, whichever the case may be. Patsy's focus is mostly on the tunes of the Cheatin' and Hurtin' variety, a modern day therapist would most certainly call her a victim but it just feels so good to throw Patsy on the turntable when someone's done you wrong. Crazy is  my number one on this LP, a classic of classics, ditto for Sweet Dreams, I Fall to Pieces, Strange, She's Got You, Why Can't He Be You?, Leavin' on Your Mind, and You're Stronger Than Me. The coolest thing about Patsy though, is that there's always an "I Will Survive" quality to her voice, no matter how sad the song, she inspires you to get back on the horse and ride off into the sunset in search of the next heartbreaker.

Friday, April 3, 2009


On the back of this album, a guy called "Vinyl Demon" (and I'm pretty sure we'll be meeting in  a dark alley someday) says "Jalacey Hawkins is not an ordinary man and this is not an ordinary record. Play it and be damned". Screamin' Jay Hawkins was colorful, to say the least, he had a sort of a Vincent Price esthetic onstage, emerging from coffins, wearing capes and turbans and carrying a skull named Henry. He also had a flare for pyrotechnics, which got him into a lot of trouble and he dabbled in voodoo, obviously. Showmanship aside though, Hawkins was dazzling and if you haven't spent a little time with "I Put A Spell On You", I suggest you do so immediately because there's nothing on earth quite like it. It defies description.  The Rock and Roll Hall of fame lists it as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. In his later career, Hawkins became something of a cult figure, appearing in the Jim Jarmusch film "Mystery Train" and touring with Nick Cave and the clash. Hawkins died in 2000 leaving behind 75 offspring(!). The rest of the album pales in comparison to the first cut but I adore Little Demon and You Made Me Love You and Hawkin's version of I Love Paris is as good as it gets.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ry Cooder- GET RHYTHM (1987)

Ry Cooder is a manic virtuoso of sorts. I've suspected that he has that genius aptitude for music that drives some musicians over to the dark side but Ry's worked tirelessly exploring a gazillion genre's of almost forgotten music and performed his unique brand of CPR on them, a Midas touch to say the very least. He got me listening to The Pahinui Brothers and Ali Farka Toure and The musicians of the Buena Vista Social club would have faded off into nothing had Ry not stepped in and made them a force to be reckoned with, not to mention he restored the dignity to the mostly aging members that they surely deserve. Anyhoo, before all that, Ry put out some pretty righteous records and my fave of them all is GET RHYTHM. This is a sexy, fun, drive to nowhere kind of CD that I reserve for those days when I'm feeling particularly kick-ass. Right out of the Gate, Johnny Cash's Get Rhythm is  HOT and one can't help but admire Ry's unique guitar stylings. Elvis's All Shook Up is a different song in Ry's hands. Chuck Berry's  13 Question Method is funky sexy. My Five star pick on this record in Across The Borderline, performed with Harry Dean Stanton- who was eighty at the time (and he's still eighty, go figure, I suspect a pact with the devil)  This one will pull at your heart strings and make you long for a witness relocation program that takes you to the undiscovered West, if there were still an undiscovered West, that is. Check it out, it's a helluva record.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

JOHN PRINE- Bruised Orange

This, John Prine's fifth record, produced by the late Steve Goodman, was given to me by a guy who claimed to have stolen a box of them off the back of an idling truck. He didn't know who John Prine was and thought I might. Hell yes, I know. John Prine wrote what I consider to be one of the best songs ever written "Hello In There." A song that will literally rip your heart out and show it to you, still beating. Bruised Orange though, song for song, is my favorite album. Fish and Whistle, If You Don't Want My Love, and Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow), respectively #1,#3, and #5 are lyrically the kind of songs that make you weak in the knees and have you dialing ex-boyfriends in the wee hours (been there, done that, don't do it). But seriously, This album is jam-packed with moments, riffs, and the deeply poetic stuff we've come to expect from the iconic singer-songwriter Prine has become since he stopped delivering mail in Chicago. Oh, and I'd be amiss if I didn't mention "Crooked Piece Of Time"  just when you thought it was okay to leave the house. This album is easy to find on Vinyl for a few bucks so try not to steal it or even borrow it cause you'll never give it back.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cowboy Junkies- The Trinity Sessions

The Junkies recently went back to the Trinity Church in Toronto to re-record those 12 oh-so beautiful songs originally recorded twenty years ago. The original Band Members: the sexy, hushed chanteuse Margot Timmins and her song-writing brother , Michael, her other brother, Peter, on drums and Alan Anton on Bass, were joined by some artists who were shaped by the original; Natalie Merchant, Ryan Adams, and Vic Chestnut. I think it should be in stores today.  Back to the original though, naturally, this is a seminal album, the selection of tunes: Hank William's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (my own personal favorite version of the song), Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane" and "Blue Moon Revisited" (holy Shit, it's gorgeous), combined with the acoustics in that cool old church in 1987 (and THANK CHRIST, they didn't tear it down, oops sorry, Christ does live there, doesn't he?). The whole thing took fourteen hours to record. I  suppose that would account for the organic feel of  this record, nothing here feels forced or staged. The album was snapped up by RCA and sold a million copies and it lives on and on and on, as it should.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jethro Tull, Aqualung

 The song Aqualung, as a 70's rock anthem, is right up there with Stairway To Heaven. Although Ian Anderson denies that this album is a concept album, one wonders. There seems to be a distinct message running through it, a liberal anti-church and state rant, and side one seems to be about six distinctly different characters. I'm a flute lover and Ian Anderson on stage doing his thing is a pretty cool thing to behold. Some of the songs on this record are heavily layered. complex, deeply messaged and all the rest a girl like me looks for in anthem rock. Others, Cheap Day Return, Wond'ring Aloud, Mother Goose, are more acoustic. The album artwork, a painting of the Aqualung character is something that you don't forget, definitely a cover for the ages. This was the first album recorded at Island Studios in London. Ironically Led Zeppelin's fourth album was being recorded simultaneously in a different, smaller studio. Although it's difficult to describe the listening experience one encounters while this record is playing, I can say with great confidence that there is nothing else on earth like Aqualung. Dropping acid while listening is optional.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Byrds- Mr. Tambourine Man- 1965

The Byrds always follow the Beatles on my record shelf. Mostly because they both take up some serious space. Also because, in the beginning, the Byrds were inspired by the Beatles. Roger McGuinn was a total folkie at the time but he brought that unmistakable jangly 12 string sound that the band became famous for. Gene Clark wrote all those great tunes that you still hum in the shower and then the band's vocal harmonies became synonymous with the Southern California coast where it all happened. I like this first album a lot, the staff: McGuinn, Clark, Hillman, David Crosby (Pre CSN) and Michael Clarke on drums changed as the years passed and we'll get to that when I  talk about "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" and the Gram infusion . "Mr Tambourine Man" was embraced at first for the Dylan covers but, as time passed, songs like Here Without You, and I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better and I Knew I'd Want You garnered the attention they deserved. Gene Clark should be partly credited with making the early Byrds (get it) what they were, He wrote some very enduring songs. For the rest, they were a tight band with stellar vocal harmonies and great musicianship.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The BEATLES- Rubber Soul

Recorded in just over four weeks, "Rubber Soul" was released in 1965 and  immediately regarded as an artistic achievement of the highest level. I don't know about any of that, I just love how it jump starts your groove with Drive My Car and then it takes a sharp right turn into Norwegian Wood featuring George on Sitar (This was about when he was inspired by Indian music and took lessons from Ravi Shankar). Apparently, the song is about an affair that John had, written cryptically so his wife wouldn't figure out (Uh, how dumb was she?). That, and Girl might be Lennon's best ballads. Michelle, Looking Through You, and You Won't See Me are what's become enduring classic Paul McCartney and In My Life was the last song that John and Paul wrote together before their friendship turned sour, and, considering that, how very poignant. Rubber Soul seems to me to be the mpoheads emergence from Beatlemania and marks their plunging themselves into serious, ponderous, thoughtful songwriting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Doors- Strange Days

Moving along to other 40(ish) year-old albums. I present to you "Strange Days". People might say that the Door's first was their best but those of us who like to cross over to the dark side and wallow in a Morrison induced funk seem to enjoy "Strange Days". Besides the catchier and more accessible Love Me Two Times and People Are Strange, there's a mixed bag of Morrison at his most poetic and theatrical and visceral. The atmospheric Horse Latitudes is like being at a Poetry Brawl and the eleven minute When The Music's Over is erotically political and self-indulgent in a way that only Morrison could pull off. It's hard to listen to the Doors and not feel the tragedy that befell Morrison but I sometimes think that it adds to the poignancy of their work. Ray Manzarek's signature organ is everpresent on this album and I think he added so much more to the doors than he's often given credit for. It must have been hard to watch Jim gyrate in his tight leather pants while he plunked away at his organ behind him. This LP is one of those timeless things that I'll be listening to till the end of time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Van Morrison- Astral Weeks 1968

What happened? How'd it get to be Thursday? God, that is what day it is, right? I lost a couple of days to the Pogues. Once I got started with those knuckleheads I couldn't stop.
 I've been wondering about Van Morrison. He recently revisited "Astral Weeks" at the Hollywood Bowl a full FORTY years after it was first recorded  (I'll be reviewing that for and I was thinking about the original. Recorded in 1968 when Van was in his twenties, this album showcases all that he was and, for the most part, still is. His voice has clarity and unflinching direction and he's over-confident and richly gospelly/bluesy and you can lay back and listen to this record for as long as it takes to ge there. My top cut is The Way Young Lovers Do. It makes me miss the sixties even though I was far from being born. Next best is Madame George and then Cyprus Avenue. A lot of people like Moondance but I think that's because it's more tuneful, more of a sing-along in the car kind of record. Astral Weeks is like you get in the car but you gotta let Van drive, because he knows every curve in the road.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The POGUES- RUM, SODOMY, and the LASH-1985

I LOVE the Pogues....LOVE them. They're a rollicking, brawling, In-your-face Celtic, Punk-Ass, bunch of buffoons but they are SO good. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash was produced by Elvis Costello and he brings out the band's best, most notably Shane MacGowan and most notable of the cuts, "Dirty Old Town" and "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" both covers, but Brilliant. On "The Sick Bed of Chuchulainn", You'll forgive Shane everything and maybe even lend him money, knowing you'll never see it again.  After Shane left, I dunno, seems like  a lot of the Pogues spirit left with him but you can only take someone barfing on your shoes and sleeping with your girlfriend for so long I guess. This album is an easy find and a gem.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Happy Vinyl Collecting in 2009. Below I've assembled a list of raddest re-issues of 2008.

1. Cannonball Adderly-Soul Zodiac (Capital)
2. The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds (on 180 gran vinyl, Capital)
3. Jimi Hendrix- Band of Gypsys (limited edition fiery red 180 gram vinyl-Capital/EMI)
4. R.E.M. - Document (Capital/EMI)
5. Van Morrison- Tupelo Honey
6. Cream- Disraeli Gears (Polydor)
7. Cat Stevens- Tea For The Tillerman (A&M)
8. Supertramp- Breakfast in America (A&M)
9. Nick Drake- Pink Moon (Island)
10. Charlie Mingus- Mingus Ah Um (originally issued  in 1959, now on 180 gram vinyl, audiophile)