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Vinyl Views is our weekly blog where we feature album recommendations from our store team (Shayne and Jaxon) and reveal picks from guest contributors. This week we hear from musician and comedian, Julian Velard.  Let’s see what is on his playlist.

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Julian Velard’s musical stylings and comedic timing have made him a fixture in both the comedy and music scenes and have created cult followings overseas in the UK and The Netherlands. His music initially took hold a decade ago, where praise from The Guardian, Time Out London, and The Sunday Times led to a major label record deal. He’s toured internationally as an opening act for artists such as Jamie Cullum, Paul Carrack, and Goldfrapp, and he has shared the stage with a host of comedians including Will Ferrell, Reggie Watts, Paul Scheer and Jack McBrayer.

Artist: Bobby Caldwell
Album: Cat in the Hat

This is Bobby Caldwell’s second, lesser-known release. For musos and R&B fans, blue-eyed soul Bobby is inextricably linked to the title cut from his debut LP, “What You Won’t Do For Love”. I’m a huge fan of sophisticated, jazz-influenced 70s production, and this album ticks all the boxes for me.  It has ridiculous chord changes and disco drum grooves paired with romantic, toothless lyrics that express the worldview of a man two decades older than me. That, coupled with Caldwell having one of the all-time, “I can’t believe this guy is White” voices, makes this collection of songs the perfect sit on the couch music. I recommend putting this on your turntable, popping a bottle with a loved one, and pretending you’re still cool while knowing you’re in the sunset of your lives.

Check out the track Open Your Eyes.


Artist: Tom T Hall
Song: In Search of a Song

I got hip to Tom T through Tyler Mahan Coe’s amazing podcast, Cocaine and Rhinestones. Having penned the “Ode To Billie Joe” inspired “Harper Valley PTA”, Hall is known to Country music fans as “The Storyteller.” His tunes have a relentless, literal bent to them along the lines of Randy Newman. Remove Randy’s rolling piano and caustic wit and replace it with the Nashville sound and a genuine curiosity for people, and you’ve got Tom T. His songs are simple and hysterical, and they exactly do what they say on the tin. They never possess the yearning of a singer/songwriter, and as a result, hit so much harder. His music may be simple and silly on the surface, but there is a deep well of craft and emotion lurking beneath.

Check out the track Tulsa Telephone Book.


Artist: Laura Marling
Album: Song For Our Daughter

I’m in love with Laura Marling. From the moment I heard her seventeen-year-old ageless voice on her debut in 2007, I was ready to follow that woman to the end of the earth. She exhibits a command of language and phrasing akin to the one true Goddess, Joni Mitchell. Her albums explore the world of the Laurel Canyon sound, but with a devotion that transforms what should be pastiche into something fresh. Her latest collection of songs is one of her most consistent. The production never overwhelms yet does not feel undercooked. To me, she is the crowning achievement of the Neo-folk movement that exploded in London over a decade ago. Seriously, go buy this album. What are you doing with your life!

Check out the track Alexandra.

Shayne is switching it up in 2021 and bringing us his custom play lists each week.  Check out here or come into the store and listen to them in our Sounderator (tricked out 1940’s refrigerator that you sit in while enjoying a tasty selection of tunes).

Shayne’s playlist this week is brought to you by his alter-ego “Meanwhile” and is titled: WE’RE NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT JUDY

My favorite people are toe-dipping into what I go wild about (Twin Peaks)! We’ll see who goes further, but my money is on the kid. Twin Peaks has maybe the best soundtrack of any show. Full stop. For a network TV show to have a memorable score at all is noteworthy, but a soundtrack to boot? I have several records and I’m still not done. Dr. Jacoby would have a “Field-Day” with me….

Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   

Angelo Badalamenti 

Song: Twin Peaks Theme (Instrumental).


Angelo Badalamenti 

Song: Audrey’s Dance.


Julee Cruise 

Song: Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart.


Angelo Badalamenti 

Song: Just You.



Song: I Am.



Song: Wild Wild West.


Muddy Magnolias 

Song: American Woman (David Lynch Remix).


Artist: Quasimoto
Album: Further Adventures of Lord Quas

Quasimoto took the vibe of albums like Paul’s Boutique from Beastie Boys with its sample-based stoner rap and expanded on it. It mixes in bits of J Dilla influence into the formula to create this masterpiece. As someone who is not a stoner, I can vouch for the fact that you don’t have to be under any influences to appreciate this album’s genius. Check out the song Raw Addict, Part 2, which is not actually about drugs, but about being addicted to buying records, which is one vice I definitely do have, and I may need some help.

Check out the track Raw Addict, Part 2.


Artist: The Birthday Party
Album: Live 1981-82

If you are not familiar with The Birthday Party, they were a post-punk/gothic-rock band that included the legendary Nick Cave. This album captures the insane energy of their live performances. It is one noisy album, not because of the sound quality (which is actually pretty decent), but because of the band’s chaos. I would highly recommend you check out their version of The Stooges song, Funhouse. This is one of my all-time favorite covers.

Check out the track Funhouse.


Artist: The Slits
Album: Cut

This album is an addicting blend of punk, post-punk, and dub. It manages to feel both dark and bouncy at the same time, which is definitely not a common combo. If you are looking for a female punk or dub group, this should be on the top of your “to listen to” stack. 

Check out the track Ping Pong Affair.

How Do I Order Music (Or Other Things)?

Val’s is now open again (safely)! Bring a face mask and we will sanitize your hands on the way in.  Social distancing, of course.  Val’s halla has worked hard over this quarantine period to launch its Online Store which has thousands of titles for you to choose from.  We will continue to add inventory everyday, but just let us know what you are looking for!  We are happy to look through our off-line inventory of over 50,000 titles to see what we have for you.  Also, we place orders with our distributor every Monday which means we see them in our store by Tuesday (most of the time).  We sell records (as well as turntables), CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, DVDs and more.  To get started, you can Click Here to access the Online Store, or fill out the form below to let us know what you are looking for.

What About Delivery?

Val’s is offering Curbside Pickup and No-Contact Delivery Service to customers who live within a 5-mile radius of the Oak Park Arts District. Orders can also be shipped to customers outside that radius for a flat fee of $5.  Order as much as you want – still $5 shipping! Stay safe and be well!

What Are You Looking For?