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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’re joined by Nashville musician Ellen Angelico!

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Ellen Angelico is an in-demand session musician and currently tours with country artist Cam. She is featured on numerous records and has played everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to Križanke. Ellen is also the face of the legendary Nashville guitar store Fanny’s House of Music, producing YouTube videos and social media content. Under the moniker Uncle Ellen, Ellen releases original music once in a blue moon.

Ellen proudly serves the city of Nashville as a Commissioner on the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. The Nashville Scene calls Ellen an “ace of all things stringed” and “one of the greatest utility players in Nashville.” She lives in beautiful Madison, Tennessee, with her partner Rachel and a few fledgling
houseplants. She hopes to leave Nashville and the music industry better than she received it.

Artist: Os Mutantes
Album: Os Mutantes

If someone tells me a certain band has changed their life or the way they think about music, and I’ve not heard of the band, I listen. Os Mutantes is that band for a friend of mine, and since he told me about them I can’t stop listening. They’re like the Beatles, if the Beatles were Brazilian and never broke up. They’ve been a band forever, so if you like it, there’s more where that came from! I dig the juicy fuzz guitar tones and fun background vocals.

Check out the track A Minha Menina.


Artist: Joy Oladokun
Album: In Defense Of My Own Happiness (The Beginnings)

This record got me through the pandemic. Joy’s writing feels at once familiar and brand new – the sign of a superstar in the making. Get lost in her beautiful voice the way I did. She is also really funny on Twitter, which is all I ask of anyone.

Check out the track  Smoke.


Artist: Kyshona
Album: Listen

Every time I see Kyshona play, I feel in touch with something more important than just myself. This record came out just before the pandemic, and just before a wave of protests against police brutality. The songs on this record helped me process those events. They helped me see my place in the structure of humanity, where an individual’s struggles and pain impact everyone, like a delicate forest ecosystem. That’s what great art does, and this is great art.

Check out the track Worried Mind.

Artist: Stone Temple Pilots
Album: Purple

I wrote previously about my first concert (Ozzy with my Dad.)  My second, and first without parental supervision, was Cheap Trick & Stone Temple Pilots… Or was it? Mom arrived to pick us up before STP had even started.  Apparently, even in sweatpants, she charmed the guard enough that he let her into the show!  If you were wondering where I got my charisma, look no further!  Did she partake of the herbal refreshment fogging the place up? I have my suspicions but she ain’t talking.

Check out the track Big Empty.


Artist: The Wallflowers
Album: Bringing Down The Horse

Another show we went to together, The Wallflowers & Counting Crows, both bands I like well enough but was never a huge fan of.  The memorable bit of the night was all Mom.  During the chorus of One Headlight, a beam of light would roll over the crowd and inevitably land on her every time like a flirty knight at Medieval Times handing out roses!  With no degree of shyness, she would yell at the top of her lungs “IT’S SHININ’ ON MEEEE!!”

Check out the track One Headlight.


Artist: Carly Simon
Album: Hotcakes

This is the obvious choice to wrap up “Mom-Month”.  It was always one of her favorite sing-along songs, but I was the only one who would do the James Taylor part (and even then mostly reluctantly at the time.)  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Can’t wait to see you in August!

Check out the track Mockingbird.

It’s been a bit of a weird week, so for this Vinyl Views, I am writing about some of the weirdest records I know of.

Artist: Florence Foster Jenkins
Album: A Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!! Recital!!!!

Florence Foster Jenkins was an interesting artist, to say the least. I’m not sure I can really commit to saying that she was a good artist. But…that is what makes her interesting. Florence was an “opera singer” who was completely untrained, or in other words, had no clue what she was doing. That did not stop her from gaining a cult following back in the day, but it was mostly an audience of people mocking her. This album is really odd, and I would highly recommend you check it out.

Check out the track Queen Of The Night Aria (From Magic Flute.)


Artist: Zodiac
Album: Cosmic Sounds

The Zodiac is one of the many oddball projects that can be credited to Mort Garson. For those not familiar, Mort Garson is an early electronic composer and is the person behind the Plantasia album. In this project, he mixes his electronic sounds with psychedelic rock and spoken word about the zodiac symbols. It is a psychedelic oddity that could only have come out of the 60’s.

Check out the track Aries – The Fire-Fighter


Artist: Various
Album: Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special!

This was a promotional record released in the 80s celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ralph Records, a label run by the experimental rock band, The Residents. It was made in collaboration with Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame). Penn is forced to listen to excerpts of music off of the label, and comment on it, slowly losing his sanity. This is one of the weirdest promotional items that has ever been released by a record label, and it makes sense that it was released by one of the weirdest labels.

Check out the track 10 years in 20 minutes

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?