Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Pickled Personality?

Ol' hawkeye spotted these a while back and we knew they were instant must-haves. Six personality profiles celebrating lowered inhibitions and ruptured psyches—and each with an appropriately Cubist backdrop.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gremmie Out Of Control

Strange how the innocent perusal of Craigslist can turn into a nearly two month long saga...over a record I only wanted, and still only want, for its cover!

Here's the abridged version:

9.25.09: Record found mis-listed (it was retitled "Sounds of the Weird-Ons") in a batch of 78s.
Payment ($10) mailed because the seller is located 1hr away and I'm convinced that this record, like most kids records, is going to be trashed.
Record (allegedly) mailed out.
Record (allegedly) returned.
Picked up in person in a poorly coordinated parking lot rendezvous (8:30am).

So, not only was I totally off the mark on the actual condition of the record, but I would've also screwed myself out of an un-split and intact inner sleeve, had it been mailed. All's well, I guess.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Making Time

Available for a few, fleeting moments in 1967, the Duke and Duchess of Carnaby tapped into the booming Mod scene already underway in the UK. Moptops manufactured by the same company responsible for the (American) Slurp, the couple represented another attempt to cash into the thriving teen market. This shaggy duopurchased from two dealers on opposite sides of the USare prized googly-eyed fixtures in our subterranean record room.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remake / Remodel

It's been a little over a year now since I bought my first home. Renovation has been a slow process, as I move from room to room, and as finances allow. Featured in this post is the house's Great Room—it's the most complete and satisfying room to date.

Luckily, this room required the least amount of work
... although I would still love to get more original art in here. At least the saloon doors and hideous light fixture are no longer present.

Here are three photos taken before I moved in last September (2008):

Some shots of the room in its current state:

This is the view entering the room from the foyer.

Here we find Otis silently stalking all of the squirrels, birds, feral cats and rabbits that enjoy frolicking in our backyard.

Still not sure what I'm going to do about the doors to the fireplace. It'll most likely get painted.

Here's the dinette we found in Phoenix. It replaced a vintage Chromcraft set I'd owned for years. I did, however, recycle the Chromcraft's glass topthe one the Arkana set was sold with was beveled and way too small (I don't think it was original to it, anyway).

I initially wanted to do one big wall tile treatment for the dining room, but it ended up being way out of my budget. Ideally, I'd like a big piece of original art to go there instead.
I've been spoiled by the awesome Screaming Lord Sutch painting my good friend (and favorite local artist) Tim painted for me—maybe I'll beg him to paint something else for me later on!

This shot leads you to one of the two entrances to the kitchen... which is halfway done. It's still in need of new flooring and counter-tops. Finances and me being new to doing my own renovation work means this is a really slow process. I'm at the point where I need to hire someone to help me with the counter-tops since they require a lot of attention.

The view from the kitchen.

You can see my covered deck that leads to a wrap-around patio through the wall of windows. One day I hope to replace the wagon-wheel-esque railing that is currently there to something more appropriate and modern. I've also neglected to change the horrible light fixture that's still dangling out there. It will get done soon!

I've reserved this little nook for my vintage robot collection. You can also see the spiral staircase that leads down to the finished basement. Painting the stairwell and ripping out the carpet are two big priorities on my checklist.

Finally, Sof' Boy stands guard over the entire house. He's also responsible for feeding the carnivorous plants in our terrariums. Thanks, li'l buddy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Space Age Love

While visiting Arizona this summer, we took a day trip up to Phoenix to hang out with our good friend, Mike, and to do some record and antique shopping—we also ended up waiting for four hours (!) for some yummy pizza at Pizzeria Bianco (but that's another story...).

Most of the day was spent browsing and finding small scores here and there ...that is until we entered an upscale mid-century modern store and I couldn't believe my eyes! There sat a perfectly preserved vintage Arkana dinette—it was my dream set come to life! I'm sure Tony and Mike were amused to see me running up to and hugging its chairs like a complete freak. I knew right then that I needed to
get it back to Atlanta.

So geography was the first problem ...and then there was also the matter of the asking price. The owner of the store had priced it far beyond my budget. There was absolutely no way I could afford to pay that much. I talked to Tony about it and he volunteered a possible solution: why not have his brother, a local architect and firm owner, talk to the proprietor to see if they could arrive at some mutually beneficial decision? Sure enough, a week later, his brother spoke to the guy—who, as it turns out, loves pleasing architects (future clients)—and he agreed to shave 1/3 off the asking price. Phew!

A few months and multiple rolls of bubble wrap later, we successfully transported it from Phoenix to Atlanta in a filled-to-capacity 17ft U-Haul. Miraculously, it survived the 60+hr trek across the states intact.

Stay tuned: pics of the dinette in its new home ...and more!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Freddy Brown, The Squirt: The Operator

Nothing signals the passing of a good year like the arrival of a vintage—this was made 20+ years ago—masterstroke by Daniel Gillespie Clowes. A quick convert since high school, I've spent the past decade down in the trenches, tracking down and collecting his original artwork. Its pursuit is maddening, wallet-detonating and (oftentimes) heartbreaking, but the overwhelming pride of ownership his pages confer make all of the hassles worthwhile.

This particular story, which appeared in the third issue of JD King's Twist anthology (a semi-continuation of STOP! Magazine), has always been a favorite, and I can distinctly remember reading it for the first time one afternoon while I was killing time at Toxic Ranch Records in Tucson, AZ. My teenage self never would've imagined that I'd own these pages someday.

I'm sure we'll post more photos once we've got these framed up and displayed in the house proper. Until then, please enjoy the pics below.

Eternal indebtedness and gratitude to Mike and Damian for their undying devotion to charity! Special thanks to Mitch O'Connell for having the foresight to pick these up when he had the chance. And an extra-special thanks to Valery for putting up with my fanboy slavishness.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TV Freak

Never having run across one of these in the southwest, I was really pleased when we walked into a neighborhood antique store and saw it perched atop an uppermost shelf. Flush with cash and eager to add this to our vintage electronics collection, I succeeded in getting the owner to knock 1/4 off the asking price. Although I still don't think it's superior to the JVC Videosphere, Panasonic's Orbitel makes an effective argument.

A period ad announcing the arrival of Panasonic's space-age classic.

Unfortunately, this one didn't come with a box, but we found an image online and figured it was worth including.

Here it is resting peacefully in its natural habitat: our den.