Amoeblog

Vinyl Confidential, 3.1 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 3, 2010 05:05pm | Post a Comment
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any art work from the ol’ 45 room, AKA Vinyl Shangri-La. So this month I’ll be spotlighting some of our finer art brut escapades, high jinks, larks, monkeyshines, roguery, romps, shenanigans and simple low art sagacity.
 
“Art used to be a game of nuts in May, children would go gathering words that had a final ring, then they would exude, shout out the verse, and dress it up in dolls' bootees, and the verse became a queen in order to die a little, and the queen became a sardine, and the children ran hither and yon, unseen.” Tristan Tzara
 
The Elvis collection, Elvis 1.0 and Elvis the Sequel ...

Vinyl Confidential, 1.2 – the odd order of oblong boxes

Posted by Whitmore, July 26, 2009 10:15pm | Post a Comment
The record geek can be recognized in his home by the lovingly quick glance he gives the album covers framed on his walls -- next to the original Family Dog, Fillmore and Frank Kozik posters -- a look both swift and penetrating, but thoughtful, as if he was recapturing a fine moment ... or simply undressing them. This is either followed by pained reverential silence or a thought in his head like, “I really wish I could find a Japanese or Thai pressing of that record.” The record geek will stand back from the framed album at a distance, his head slightly cocked to one side, in his hand a Scotch or Irish whiskey, eventually, after a long moment of wishing or searching Ebay, he -- and it is always a he -- will cautiously slink forward to within a millimeter of the frame, study the blur of lines and color in the cover art and remember being fourteen years old again. Then he'll return to his former distant position by the sliding door in the living room, give the framed art piece one last glance, wander over to his stereo system and play the Import CD version of that very record, grimace as he recognizes the inferior digital sound of the classic disc he still can’t believe everybody doesn't own. He sighs exhaustively. But that’s where the Scotch comes in; he pours himself one more drink, collapses in his mid-century arm chair and contemplates a better tomorrow.  

Vinyl Confidential, 1.1 – the odd order of oblong boxes

Posted by Whitmore, May 26, 2009 08:34pm | Post a Comment

Why the record boxes? Why the art work? Why the hell don’t I write more about dumpster diving? Many questions are piling up here on the ol’ TV tray…
 
The theory goes: Disorder increases with record collecting because we measure collecting in the direction in which disorder increases.
 
Any theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it, no matter how long you may scream into somebody’s contrarian ear, or pound your fist into a table or a disagreeing face. And no matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time around the result will not contradict your precious little theory. But as philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation and survive.
 
For example, each time a new box of records with distinctive artwork is observed to agree with the predictions, like selling quickly, that’s a good thing. The theory, ‘art covered record boxes are cool', not only survived but found revival. Hallelujah and pass the collection plate! Our confidence is increased! But if a new box, covered in great artwork, is put out on the floor yet contains only random, scratched, dusty and chipped records, sprinkled with rat poop, the resulting observations may be a bit negative. We may feel obligated to abandon or modify the theory, even though this collection of records didn’t match the usual criteria. Nevertheless the theory of ‘artwork on record boxes’ is still solid. However, amending our assumptions is not out of the question, especially if we have to deal with irate customers and a significant berating by management. A slight re-adjustment in the theory might conclude that the art work is just the carrot, and yes, you can lead a record geek to water, but without any water in the 45 box to wash down that rat poop stuck in his throat … well, you know … anyway, next time around we should just toss those ruined, scratched records in the dumpster and note; disorder increases because we tend to measure in the direction in which disorder increases.

My Favorite Color Is Love And Other Ways To Sell Records

Posted by Whitmore, April 5, 2009 09:16pm | Post a Comment
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