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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 hear from Zoe Stephenson!

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

Just a little guy.

Check out Man is Evil by Casanova Frankenstein if you so please.

Artist: Spirit Of The Beehive
Album: Entertainment Death

This battle ground of sound has been on repeat in my household since its release earlier this year. ENTERTAINMENT DEATH is a warm blanket masked as a shield; it’s comforting, abrasive and forward moving in a way that filters out the faint of heart. It reels you in with its indie rock sentiments and bewilders you with its otherworldly instrumentals. As soon as Gareth Jones of the OLO Worms recommended it to me while we were working together at Trader Joe’s, I couldn’t get enough of it. Working in a grocery store during a pandemic made me want to slam my head into a brick wall, but somehow sharing music with Gareth and listening to this album,
with the windows down on Lakeshore made me keep that need at bay. Its perfect balance of discontent, lyrical poeticism, and tenderness make it an album that can keep up with your ever
changing moods. We begin the album with “ENTERTAINMENT” and end on “DEATH” leaving
you with the question, “Which came first?”

Check out the track There’s Nothing You Can’t Do

Artist: Outkast
Album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Outkast has been a new favorite of mine, with the tried and true 808 as their hook and line, they so cleverly are able to spit quickly lyrics so heart wrenching they’d never make it into the club—but my God, they did it! Every song is somehow an instant classic, written in the stars to be stuck
in your head for weeks, even before realizing the gravity of the lyrics you so happily hum! Currently, I’ve been hung up on the album’s second song “GhettoMusick”. For me, this song
acts as a reminder of the undeniable value that black and brown creativity has on, well . . . everything. So often, what is seen as “unrefined” expressions of creativity by black people stuck in systemic poverty is looked down on and scoffed at by the upper class. Until one day, one white person sees the possibility to make money off of it, bringing it, and it’s creator to the mainstream; but at what cost?

Check out the track  Ghettomusick



Artist: Electrelane
Album: The Power Out

Ah, my ode to house shows. How I miss the sweaty bodies, lack of personal space, and the acrid stench of something you don’t dare put a name to. I miss drunkenly adjusting the
saxophone player’s microphone. I miss destroying everything I knew in the pit, bagged wine, drama, blocking someone’s view, and all my friends in one place. I miss this/you/us. Electrelane has bottled this feeling up and handed it to you in a 12”x12” sleeve, eat your heart out.

.Check out the track Birds

Check out the playlist 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).

Shayne’s playlist this week is titled X1


From: Shayne:

Here we have part 1 of many festive playlists to come.  Ready to have your halls decked?!

Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   

45 Grave

Song: The Snow Miser Song

Britney Spears

Song: My Only Wish (This Year)


Song: Player’s Ball


Wilson Phillips

Song: Christmastime

The Waitresses

Song: Christmas Wrapping


Song: Sleigh Ride


The Magnetic Fields

Song: Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree


John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

Song: I Think You Might Like It


Artist: Bokelo
Album: Zoga Nandako

This vinyl views, I will discuss albums I discovered through buying the record based off the album cover and maybe the slightest bit of googling. This is one of the most natural ways of music discovery, and there are so many forgotten gems out there for you to find. Here are some of mine.

Afrobeat is one of my all time favorite music genres. If I ever find a record that has a cover that even slightly looks like it could be afrobeat, and it’s cheap enough, I almost always buy it. This is one of the gems I have found that way. Everything’s just so bright and fun, with the soulful vocals that you can expect from the genre. Give this forgotten gem a spin!

.Check out the track Zoga Nandako




Artist: Hapshash & The Coloured Coat
Album: Featuring The Human Host & The Heavy Metal Kids

I blind bought this record based off the cover and title, I could tell I was in for a psychedelic journey, but I didn’t expect as fascinating of a story as I got. The band is more well known as a graphic design group, who helped form the art style that is associated with the posters of the psychedelic artists. They had designed some of the most famous and sought after show posters for artists like Hendrix and Pink Floyd. While their art was their biggest contribution to music history, they also influenced Amon Düül and other krautrock bands, as well as The Rolling Stones on there album Their Satanic Majesties Request. The stand out track for me is the 15 minute freaked out closing track, Empires Of The Sun, which takes up the entirety of side two.

Check out the track Empires Of The Sun


Artist: Mongo Santamaria
Album: Mongo ’70

Oh what a wonderful experience digging in the dollar bins can be. I love me some funky music with world music vibes. And if this cover doesn’t scream that, I don’t know what does. This album is some Jazz Funk with Latin influences. It heavily features the bongos, which gives it a distinct rhythmic feel. If you are looking for a fun jazzy listen with some killer drums, you should check this out. 

Check out the track Windjammer

How Do I Order Music (Or Other Things)?

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 distributors every week. We sell records (as well as turntables), CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, DVDs and more.  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?