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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 NPR reporter/producer Kabir Bhatia!

Scroll down to read this week’s album picks or start shopping!  Sign up now to be a part of our Vinyl Views family and be the first to hear about new releases, store events, and exclusive promotions.  Looking for a prior week of Vinyl Views?  If so, CLICK HERE

Kabir Bhatia is a reporter/producer with the NPR stations in Ohio. You may have heard him reporting from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or, in his words, “Every time the president stops by.” An adopted Chicagoan for many years before that, he fondly remembers his time at Second City, Lou Malnati’s, and Val’s halla.

Artist: Herbie Hancock
Album: Thrust

The follow up to 1973’s “Headhunters” gets overshadowed by its predecessor, but it’s just as good. Just the intro to “Palm Grease” will cross your eyes.

Check out the track Butterfly

Artist: Laura Nyro
Album: Eli & The 13th Confession

Her second album, but filled with songs that will have you saying “oh SHE wrote that one?” For cliche lovers: “it’s the sound of the Brill Building meeting the Summer of Love.”

Check out the track Sweet Blindness


Artist: Paul & Linda McCartney
Album: Ram

No one has chosen a Beatles album in this project, so I decided on this left-field choice from the solo years. After 1970’s “McCartney” (really, a collection of demos) was savaged by critics, Paul had a burst of creativity and orchestrated this mind-blowing-but-ragged pop symphony. Last year’s half-speed reissue of “McCartney” sounds amazing, and “Ram” gets the same treatment this year for its 50th anniversary.

Check out the track Smile Away

Artist: Various
Album: Pulp Fiction Soundtrack

Continuing along with “Mom Month” I of course have to share this memory that I’ll never let her live down!  When Pulp Fiction came out in 1994 it was obviously a pop culture milestone.  Mom really knew nothing about it beyond the triumphant return of John Travolta seemed like a perfect choice for family movie night! I was 13 at the time (and loved it) my brother however was all of 5, pretty sure he saw more of her hand than the movie itself.

All of Tarantino’s soundtracks are undeniably great, but this might still be the best.

Check out the track Jungle Boogie


Artist: Wanda Jackson
Album: Queen Of Rockabilly

My other two choices are kind of a two-parter.  Several years back Mom came to visit for I think my birthday?  And we went to see Wanda Jackson at Fitzgerald’s!  Hilariously but totally appropriately we were singled out by a photographer who captioned our photo as “Some Ultra Stylish Fans!”  Damn right! My friend tried to get Wanda to sign her “Saint Elvis” tattoo, she was not feeling that though.  At one point a customer of ours came by our table to say “If anyone here is going to both shows this weekend, it’s you!” Which leads us to…

Check out the track Fujiyama Mama


Artist: Iggy Pop
Album: Blah Blah Blah

“Oh man I totally would, but my Mom is here visiting this weekend.”  “Now wait just a second, I like Iggy Pop!”  News to me.  So the following night we did just that!  It was miserably hot and the a/c wasn’t working so Iggy was far from the only dude in there seemingly allergic to shirts.  One large sweaty man kept blocking our view until Mom shut him right down, proving once and for all who the truly badass punk rocker was!

Check out the track Real Wild Child

Jaxon is switching it up this week with a custom playlist!  Check it out here or come into the store and listen to it in our Sounderator (tricked out 1940’s refrigerator that you sit in while enjoying a tasty selection of tunes).

From: Jaxon:

As some of you probably already know, Baby Gold Barbecue just opened at Fitzgerald’s, that put food on my mind. So this week, I have decided to put together a playlist of food-based songs. So sit down, grab a plate, and chow down on these tasty tunes!

Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   


Song: Bistro.


They Might Be Giants

Song: Dinner Bell.


The Kinks

Song: Hot Potatoes



Song: Hamburger Train



Song: Supper’s Ready


The Beach Boys

Song: Vega-Tables


The Gories

Song: Chick-Inn



Song: I Like Food


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?