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Our eleven year old son loves his Legos. A few years ago he built an amazing scale model of the record store.

photo 1

All the Legos are still there, but the little store has been disassembled and built into something new time and time again. At eleven Gus has a better grasp on the ongoing impermanence of life than either of us.

As our old friend Ben Weaver sang, “It takes a fire to open up the seed of the pine.” That song (“Frank’s Getaway Car”) appears on an album we released on the Hymies label five years ago. Ironically, it was a fire, an actual fire, that led us here to the record store in the first place. Out of the darkness of our despair we found solace, friendship and healing here at Hymie’s. So much has happened it hard to imagine its only been a decade and some. It’s been, well, a long, strange trip.

It’s time for us to build something new, but fortunately we don’t have to disassemble the actual record store as we depart. Maybe we’ll make a spaceship, or maybe a getaway car of our own. There are some nice folks who will be taking over the record store this week, and we’re certain it will remain the magical place it has always been — “A crossroads of the Universe,” a friend once called it. This is Laura and Dave, and Gus and Nova, and of course Irene, signing out.

Thanks for sharing some songs with us. It really has been a long, strange trip.

spitfire LP
montrose LP

Dragons are one of the most universally cool things in the world, and like all such things — for instance spaceships or girls on roller skates — they appear on album covers a lot more often than they do in real life. For the life of us we can’t imagine why a band that’s actually called Dragon wouldn’t put one on all their album covers.

dragon lp

Our favorite album about a dragon is the one where Spider-Man saves the Earth from Draco, King of the Dragon-Men. Our second favorite is “Perci the Dragon” by folk singer Ken Lyon.

This copy of the Stones’ Some Girls has some pretty sweet art. We like it better this way.

Friends have advised us that record stores entice their social media followers with pictures and videos of recent arrivals. Apparently posting pictures of the dog doesn’t have the same effect.

So here’s a hefty haul of the classics we brought back from long ago and far, far away. Irene approves.

Since his tragic death in 1998, Phil Hartman has been mourned by fans as one of the greatest comic actors of his time. His performances, from Pee Wee’s Playhouse to Saturday Night Live and News Radio, displayed a comic genius far beyond his peers, and his film career was far too brief. Many like myself remember him best as two of television’s funniest character: Struggling lawyer Lionel Hutz and washed up actor Troy McClure, beloved residents of The Simpsons‘ Springfield.

What many may have not known about Phil Hartman – who’s name was actually spelled with two n’s before he got into show business – is that he had a career as an art designer when he was younger. Hartmann designed at least twenty-five album jackets for bands in the 70s, notably several for chart-toppers Poco and America.


(History: America’s Greatest Hits, by the way, is one of my least favorite Greatest Hits albums even though I like the band all right.  Here’s why:  George Martin started producing America’s albums in 1974, after they had already recorded three albums.  Tracks from those three records – America, Homecoming and Hat Trick (the only really good America albums) – were remixed by Martin.  It’s subtler than what he did with, say, “The Long and Winding Road”, but unnecessary nonetheless.  It’s also sort of anathemic to the idea of a Greatest Hits album.)

We haven’t found a list of the complete Phil Hartmann covers – send us a link if you have.  The Silver album was surprising because it came a few years later and was on the then-new label Arista.  It’s also interesting because it’s credited to Hartmann and Goodman, so must have had a partner or started a firm.  Phil Hartmann’s album covers are pretty cool, anyway, and Cantamos is pretty awesome.  We’d bet you have an album with a Phil Hartmann cover and you never knew it.

Today’s musical entertainment will be the original, pre-George Martin 45 of America’s “A Horse with no Name”.

sonny stitt burnin


southwind what a place to land


big noise from winnetka

fireworks billy mure

Did you ever get the impression that Herbie Mann was the first guy at the picnic to take his shirt off?



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