Tag Archives: record

Last Christmas: Farewell George Michael

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I absolutely cannot believe it.  I have to say goodbye to yet another favorite artist in 2016: George Michael passed away on Christmas Day.  I truly thought we could escape another passing in 2016, but alas, it was not to be.  I was looking at pictures of the record collections of some people who I follow on Instagram, when one of them mentioned that he was sad that George Michael had passed away.  In disbelief, I exclaimed what I just heard to my husband and rushed to the computer.  Instantly, my fears were realized and George Michael was gone.  At that time, information was scarce, but it soon came to light that he passed in his sleep due to heart failure.

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I came to know about George Michael when he was in what I first heard about Wham! UK.  I remember going to The Warehouse at Plaza Bonita (a former chain record store), asking for the newest Wham! UK song.  The person behind the counter answered, “We don’t have Wham! UK, but we have Wham!  Is that the same?”  He handed me the seven-inch single, which was Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (pictured above).  I was 14 at the time, so I just smiled and paid for the single.  My mom bought me and my sister the Make It Big album, and soon Wham! was everywhere.  I never saw Wham! in concert because I don’t recall them ever touring in San Diego.  I also don’t recall the exact moment when I heard that Wham! dissolved, but I did purchase their last musical effort in the US called Music From the Edge of Heaven.  I’m Your Man is one of my all-time favorite songs, and the album itself is quite wonderful.  I still listen to it to this day over both Fantastic or Make It Big.  In my senior year in high school, I distinctly remember missing out on seeing George Michael live because the concert sold out very quickly.  One of my classmates said that he had concert tickets and went to retrieve them from his jean jacket pocket, only to see that his mom washed his jacket and with that, his tickets.  I’m happy to report, that has never happened to me.

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I finally saw George Michael in 2008 with my sister, Rholnna, and best friend, Janice.  It was a fun night filled with hits from his days in Wham! to his own amazing music.  I remember thinking, “I just want to hear I’m Your Man, Father Figure, Hard Day, A Different Corner and Careless Whisper and my life will be complete…”  My wish was granted and I got to hear all those songs live, including so much more.  Prior to the show, a band of friends dressed in 80’s gear roamed around the arena and asked random people to “Pose With George”.  Silly me obliged and here is my only picture with George Michael from his concert (and the set list below).

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It was also memorable because not only because of Mr. Michael himself, but because it was a day after the announcement of same-sex marriage being legal in the state of California.  During the show, he said something to the effect of “I heard a lot of you ladies were able to get married yesterday!”  My mind instantly traveled back in time, and I recalled my friends and I having discussions about George’s sexual preference due to the Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go video because although we all had his pictures up on our walls, there was always a question about his sexuality  in the back of our minds.  It got even more confusing when the I Want Your Sex video came out, hearing that he was dating the girl who was staring in the video with him (Kathy Jeung).  No matter what the circumstances are or what swirls around the gossip columns, I always want my idols to be happy because in the end, they will continue to do what they love, which means I get to enjoy a wealth of their artistry.  I mean, David Bowie released an album right before his untimely death at the beginning of this year.  I worry about my idols and I think that’s why this year has been difficult.  I care about the music so much, but I never forget that there are people behind the hits with emotions and lives to live.

I have read a couple of things that give me such mixed emotions about George Michael: how he was recently afraid to face the public due to his weight gain and then news about his quiet generosity.  I’m saddened by the fact that George became recluse in his last days because he was nervous about how he would be perceived by the public.  I know we all have an image of him, but it was his voice and musical talents that have endured over the years, and that’s what I will remember about him most.  I also find it heart achingly lovely that he gave so much to so many charities and people over the years.  I read recently about how he gave a large tip to a waitress who was upset about her debt and that he donated a generous sum of money to a charity at the same time annually.  One charity even stated that they would not have been able to stay afloat had it not been for George Michael’s financial backing.  These are the instances that make the images in those posters on my walls when I was a teen come to life.  This is what makes me ache and cry over their passing.  Last Christmas will be a bittersweet testament to the sadness of lost love during an otherwise joyful holiday season, as well the loss of a beloved artist.

Farewell George…

(Top image is the “Cowboys & Angels” 12-inch single.  All pictured items are from my personal collection.)

100 Days of Vinyl

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We interrupt these beauty posts to for a very important musical bulletin:  If you are a DJ, record collector, or vinyl enthusiast, you should definitely submit an entry to participate in Preferred Classics100 Days of Vinyl” Project.

This project will run for 100 Days (of course) and each day a featured vinyl enthusiast will handpick one of their cherished records and share insight on its meaning to them. We will post a clip from the record as well as a short paragraph about YOU!! (so shine those accomplishments up real nice.)
– Preferred Classics

I sent in an entry and I am going to be a featured collector!  There are days still available, and it goes until all the spots are filled.  If you collect records in any capacity and have a story about a favorite record, you should participate to be featured on Preferred Classic’s site.  I’ll let my story and vinyl pick be a surprise once the project launches!

Record Store Day 2014 Fun & Finds

 

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Another successful Record Store Day has come and gone, and of course, Lou’s Records has come through for me, yet again!  This time, my hubby and son came with me, and we all woke up early to make the trek to Encinitas to grab some #RSD2014 exclusives.  If you recall, my main goal was to grab the An Ideal for Living EP re-release by Joy Division.  I actually ended up getting that and so much more.  But I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  If you went to Record Store Day this year, what was your most favorite find?

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There was quite the line when we arrived.  I was number 99 at 9:30 am.

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Doing a little record shopping while waiting for our turn.  Dominic helped daddy look for something special…and it looks like he found some Depeche Mode for me!

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Dominic is so very patient and can keep himself occupied in any situation, as long as he has my iPhone.

IMG_1867 (2)Ready to get home with my treasures!

DSC03729 (2) (1280x960)#RSD2014 finds:  An Ideal for Living EP re-release by Joy Division; Indie Candy by the Pixies; Ready Boy & Girls? by Tears For Fears (it’s a white vinyl 10 inch).

DSC03730 (2) (959x1280)Awesome #RSD2014 freebies that came with every purchase, and I had two bags worth!  The Beatles bag was on the counter, and were free upon request (I got two and gave the other to my niece).

DSC03733 (2) (1280x960)An exclusive #RSD2014 shirt made by the folks at Lou’s Records.  LOVE IT!

DSC03732 (2) (1280x1104)“Vintage” finds:  Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls/Tubular Bells by Book of Love promotional 12 inch; 2×4 by Guadalcanal Diary; 1987 Tour promo of New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen & Gene Loves Jezebel 9 inch flexi-disc (the Lou’s folks said they had two on hand for a long time, and they both sold on RSD); Happy Families by Blancmange; U.K. Squeeze promotional copy; Queen compilation CD; Turn Back The Clock 80’s compilation CD for Pottery Barn (close up below because it’s a great CD).

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January Record a Day Wrap Up: Days 22 Through 31

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It’s time to wrap up the “January Record A Day” Instagram photo project with records 22 through 31.  I’m already into week one of the “February Record A Day”, and I’m finding it a little bit tougher than last month’s because I’m having to really dig for items like a re-press or marble colored vinyl, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.  Cheers and have a great weekend!

(Top Photo) Day 22:  Double LP – “20/20” by Dilated Peoples. Another from the hubby’s collection.

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Day 23:  Red colored record – German import of “Never Let Me Down” by Depeche Mode.

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Day 24:  Favorite Record Friday – “All I Need is Everything” by Aztec Camera. Such a wonderful & happy song!

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Day 25:  Rainy day record – “Rio” by Duran Duran. I can listen to this album during any kind of weather!

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Day 26:  I don’t own any vinyl that’s split color. So here is my sister’s OMD dual color picture disc in pink & blue for the song “Locomotion”.

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Day 27:  Album on classic black vinyl – “Mistrial” by Lou Reed. My husband bought a bunch on boxes filled with records, not knowing what was inside. There were a few gems & this was one of them.

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Day 28:  More than 2 colors – “New Sensation” picture disc by INXS.

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Day 29:   1st record I bought – “That’s Rock n Roll” by Shaun Cassidy. I was 7 & my sister was 4 when she drew all over it in red crayon!

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Day 30:  Any album before the 80s – Mott The Hoople “Greatest Hits”, from my hubby’s collection. I think this is from 1977.

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Day 31:  Any record you want – “Cookin’ on the Roof” by Roman Holiday. Finally found this at Amoeba Hollywood a couple of years ago. “Don’t Try to Stop it” & “Stand By” are my favorites!

Wanted: The Crosley Radio Executive USB Portable Turntable

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With all of the vinyl I’ve been posting from my personal collection lately on Instagram for the “January Record a Day” photo project (and now the “February Record a Day” one), I’ve been trolling the internet for a stand-alone turntable with built-in speakers that doesn’t require a hook up to a receiver, but that can be hooked up to better speakers as necessary.  I remembered my mother-in-law’s vintage inspired radio from Crosley Radio, and my husband reminded me that they make turntables as well.  After checking out their official site, I found the perfect little record player:  meet the Executive USB Portable Turntable (but I’ll most likely get it from Nordstrom here).  It comes in three color combinations, but I adore this brown & black one because it looks like a vintage piece of luggage.  In addition to the turntable, I’ll be purchasing this cabinet stand, and these shelves to start moving some of our vinyl to our room (our records currently reside on the empty book shelves in our son’s room).  My next purchase from Crosley will be the Audiophile Shelf System (most likely from Target here).  I know Crosley has full consoles with turntable, radio, CD and USB capability combined, but I just can’t get over how adorable that portable one is.  I’ll be sure to post pictures of our mini music area set up once it’s complete!

(Photo courtesy of Vale Vinyl)

January Record a Day: Days 13 Through 21

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What I love about this “record a day” photo project on Instagram is that it really allows me to become reacquainted with my collection and to really explore my husband’s collection.  Here is a recap of days 13 through 21, enjoy!

(Top photo) Day 13: Splattered – “Stripped” by Depeche Mode. My first colored vinyl (when I was just 16)!

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Day 14: Record from the used bin – “Live and Let Dance” by The Untouchables. Got it for a dollar!

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Day 15: An album from high school – “The Circus” by Erasure (1987, I was 17). Also saw them in concert in high school, too!

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Day 16: Live album – Depeche Mode, Live at Crocs Night Club, recorded 1981.

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Day 17: Most recent purchase – Sub Pop 1000. Isn’t it cool?!

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Day 18: Record that was a gift – The Police 4 track  12 inch single for “Wrapped Around Your Finger”. It was a Christmas present from my friend back in the 80s.

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Day 19: Album from the 90s – “Family Values Fall Tour ’98”. From my husband’s record collection. He’s a deejay, so you can imagine our combined vinyl collection is quite large!

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Day 20: Any black artist. Another from my husband’s collection. “1999” by Prince.

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Day 21: Artist’s debut album – “Speak & Spell” by Depeche Mode. This is the UK version.  I have the US one as well, without “I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead”.  Any Second Now trivia:  This is the album with the song that became the title of my blog.

January Record a Day: Days 5 Through 12

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Here is another recap of the “record a day” photo project I’m participating in on Instagram.  Have I mentioned just how much I’m loving this?!

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Collage 1 (top photo, clockwise from the top left):  1) Day 5: Compilation/soundtrack – I bought “The Exposed 2” compilation because of The Hitmen & OMD. The Hitmen was a group Alan Wilder was once in; 2) Day 6: Picture Disc – “Fantastic Day” by Haircut 100.  This is from my sister’s collection (which is at my house); 3) Day 7: Any 7 inch – Oblivious by Aztec Camera, one of my faves;  4) Day 8: An album from the 80’s – “Mange Tout” by Blancmange from 1984.

Collage 2:  Day 9: Transparent colored record -“Closer” by Joy Division, purchased from Third Eye Record Shop during Record Store Day last year (post here).

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Day 10: Any 10 inch – “Backwards and Forwards” by Aztec Camera. I thought I lost this!

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Day 11: Collection of an artist – My largest vinyl collection is by far that of Depeche Mode. These are just the singles (not yet pictured are my 12 inch records, albums and special editions).

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Day 12: Artist that starts with J – Japan. “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” is my favorite song by them.