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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 Ana Cubas!

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Ana Cubas grew up in Riverside and is currently a student at New York University. She is pursuing an individualized degree in music criticism and curation, and a minor in music business. Ana has written a bit for Paste Magazine, so you may find some of her reviews there! If you’re as much of a fan of radio or discovering music as she is, tune into her psychedelic 60s show on NYU’s student radio station, WNYU, where she is also Program Director. She previously hosted a radio show on South American rock, and just finished studying abroad in Buenos Aires, hence all the Vinyl Views picks below!

Artist: Los Gatos
Album: Rock de la Mujer Perdida

Los Gatos is the perfect gateway drug into the enthralling world of Rock Nacional, Argentina’s widely-varied and dynamic twist on British and American rock, brimming with folkloric and cultural twists – creating a perfect blend between the sounds. The group was the first in the country, and really on the continent, to achieve a non-cover Spanish rock song with “La Balsa” – proving that the genre had a potent future in the Spanish-speaking world. What began as a group more intrigued with the Beat sound quickly turned into experimentation with psychedelic sounds and a later obsession with Blues. Here’s where Rock de la Mujer Perdida (Rock of the Lost Woman) comes in – a moody, bouncy and yet oh-so-suave South American take on Blues. There’s not one song that lacks on this album, and it’s certainly my favorite of the group’s discography. 

Check out the track Rock de la Mujer Perdida

Artist: Secos & Molhados
Album: Secos & Molhados

When I had the privilege of traveling to Brasil, it became my mission to find this album. And when I got my hands on it, nothing has been more satisfying in my life – and since then, my record player has never played something more frequently.  The group’s self-titled album is a flawless representation of the beauty of MPB – a swift melding of Brazilian music and foreign influences, with Secos & Molhados ingesting a whole lot of tropicália and folk in the process. The album emanates a mythical aura, in a charming, sugary way.  

Check out the track  Flores Astrais


Artist: Los Amigos Invisibles
Album:  The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera 

This album brought forth my perpetual obsession with South American rock – and just proves how diverse, inventive and all-around genius the genre can be. The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera is not an album I’d exactly categorize as ‘rock’ though. It’s as if rock serves as the very basis for the album, with influences ranging from house to disco, bossa nova and mambo, all flooding in. It creates a modern reflection of what can be done with traditional South American sounds, toying with them in the most playful of ways. This is the kind of album you blast, and make sure to listen to it in an open space – you’ll want to dance. 

.Check out the track Sexy

From: Shayne:

This playlist is what happens when you’re home sick and delirious on Nyquil, for better or worse…


Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   

Bird & The Bee

Song: She’s Gone


Kate Bush

Song: Suspended In Gaffa


Cocteau Twins

Song: Lorelei


Dead Can Dance

Song: The Host Of Seraphim


This Mortal Coil

Song: Song To The Siren


Loreena McKennitt

Song: The Mystic’s Dream


Charles Bernstein

Song: Terror In The Tub


Soul II Soul

Song: Back To Life


Artist: Bladee
Album: Icedancer

This week, to celebrate that everyone at the store has now recovered from covid, I will reflect on the albums I listened to while in isolation. Here are three records on a more constant repeat throughout that week.

First day of lockdown. I’m locked in my room. I’m bored out of my mind. I decided to grab my old DS and, for the first time in years, replay a bunch of the Pokémon games that I grew up on. This album was a soundtrack to doing that; it’s cloudy beats with extreme autotune feeling so hazy and lovely, just numbing myself out. The snares on this album are cold and crisp, rattling around in the mix. The vocals are manipulated to the point of them just melting into the instrumental. This album is just a complete zone out and is a go-to when I am just out of it. Check out the track The Silent Boy Cries, which is an excellent outro to this mixtape.

Check out the track The Silent Boy Cries


Artist: Sadness
Album: I Want To Be There

This album is one of the best Shoegaze albums of the past few years. There is something so hazy and cloudy about this album that makes it so calming yet so heavy. The atmospheric production drowns out the elements of extreme metal influence that they lose all of the drive and become a dark texture. This album was played a lot late at night during my time in lockdown. It’s just a tremendous atmosphere-driven record. 


Check out the track I Want To Be With You

Artist: Daniel Johnston
Album: Don’t Be Scared

This is my personal favorite Daniel Johnston album. His songwriting is so heartbreakingly personal and works with his super DIY sound in such a unique way. There is a reason why Kurt Cobain sang Daniel’s praises repeatedly. I have been on a Daniel Johnston kick again, which started right before quarantine, so he was on constant rotation throughout isolation. Check out my favorite Daniel Johnston song, Going Down. 

Check out the track Going Down

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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