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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 Val’s halla Mt. Rushmore LEGEND Bill Kavanagh! Have you enjoyed a live show at Val’s? Then you probably owe him a debt of gratitude!  I know I do, and I won’t even sing out loud outside of the bath!

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Bill Kavanagh moved from the west side of Chicago to Oak Park at age 14 in 1967 and first met Val in 1968, when she sold him an album with a long-forgotten title. Over the years Bill played bass and sang in many local bands and opened BobDog Studios, a digital audio recording studio in Oak Park in 2002. After a 17+ year run, Bill and his wife closed the studio and retired to central Mexico, where he is active in the local music scene. Here are his choices this week…

Artist: Los Lonely Boys
Album:  Sacred

“My Way” was the second single from the second album (Sacred) by Los Lonely Boys which was released in 2006.

These guys can do it all. However they, for a number of reasons, have been victims of a combination of bad press and no press that have left their albums relatively unheard. An amazing family band comprised of three brothers with great songwriting, outstanding technical prowess, and killer harmonies like only siblings can attain. This song does an excellent job  (with the help of a horn section they don’t employ live) of translating their live show energy into the studio — no easy feat, because these guys pull out all the stops live.

Check out the track My Way

Artist: Tal Wilkenfeld
Album: Love Remains

Tal is one of my favorite bassists and all-around musicians, probably because after releasing her first album, an obligatory Jazz lick-filled instrumental extravaganza of bass shredding, she followed it with this compilation of brilliantly composed and performed oddities that grab the ear and won’t let go. She leads the band and sings her songs with unexpected melodies while playing angular, quirky bass lines. A modern rock masterpiece.

Check out the track  Killing Me


Artist: Lucinda Williams
Album: Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

When this album came out, Kate Fitzgerald, of FitzGerald’s Nightclub fame, played it in the club every chance she could get, and in doing so allowed it to creep into the ears and hearts of all those who frequented the weekly Open Mic. An Americana classic

.Check out the track Drunken Angel

From: Shayne:

For my playlist this week I am featuring some of the bands/musicians who played the stage this weekend and helped make this our best “Record Store Day” ever!  Thanks all around!  We’re very fortunate to have such talent eager to play our stage!  Also that people like Bill would help us give them the opportunity! 

Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   

Ricky Liontones

Song: I’m Leaving You


The Dennies

Song: Flesh


The Dennies

Song: Down


Summer Drive

Song: On Time


Summer Drive

Song: Good Guy


School Of Rock Show Team

Song: Burn


Artist: Quinn
Album: Drive By Lullabies

Quinn is one of the most exciting artists in the underground. She originally blew up under the name P4rker, with her song “i don’t want that many friends in the first place” blowing up on social media platforms like Tik Tok. The songs emotional trap stylings and experimental noisy textures were a perfect combination that fit in with the trends on TikTok. But here is the kicker. She was only 15. She has continued to make absolutely amazing music, experimenting with every genre imaginable. Her debut album was a super unique and emotional blend of Electronic, Hip Hop, Hyperpop, Emo, Singer-Songwriter, Field Recordings, and like 15 other genres. She has been pushing tons of boundaries, and the fact that she is making such amazing music at such a young age (even younger than me) makes me feel kind of unaccomplished. But that is just a sign of something amazing going on.

Check out the track Perfect Imperfection


Artist: Boscoe
Album: Boscoe

This album was a very recent discovery for me. But I have absolutely fallen in love with this record. Boscoe was a soul band from Chicago in the 70s, who released a single album on a private label. This album is a super poetic, psychedelic, and soulful record. The percussion here is out of this world. The lyrics are super politically driven and super passionate, spoken at points, heavily reminiscent of someone like Gil Scott-Heron. There are tons of amazing horn parts and just a super full sound. This album is an extremely amazing listen!


Check out the track Writin’ On The Wall

Artist: Blackout
Album: Dreamworld

Memphis rap from the 90s has a timeless feel to it. Is it because of how perfectly polished it is? Absolutely not. It has the same timelessness that Horror B Movies have. The extreme violence portrayed in the majority of the Memphis Mixtapes are comparable to a lot of Slasher movies in that way. It’s just grim horror vibes produced in a super infectious low fidelity way. This is one of my favorite Memphis tapes, and it is just great horror vibes back to back.

Check out the track No Witness

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!

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