Record Machine: The Art of Drowning by AFI

Released in 2000, The Art of Drowning is one of the few albums I have on vinyl that belonged to my husband first. We’d both seen AFI perform at the same show in Bozeman, Montana, though we didn’t know each other at the time. He had no turntable, but he still purchased the record, and copied a friend’s CD. Two years later, we received a turntable as a Christmas present. My fondness for the album may have a lot to do with our coincidental concert-going, but The Art of Drowning is one of AFI’s best, if not arguably the best album.

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Record Machine: Led Zeppelin I

It is a point of pride that my record collection boasts original Zeppelin albums in good to excellent condition. Some albums must be treated with a certain amount of reverence when they lay the groundwork for so many forthcoming bands. Channeling the blues and with Robert Plant’s otherworldly yowl, Led Zeppelin’s first album makes the impending decade of rock possible, and it is likely one of the most important albums I own.

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Record Machine: Auscultation of The Heart by J.B. Barlow and W.A. Pocock

Released in 1966 to assist students in the Medical School Program of Warner-Chilcott Laboratories, Auscultation of The Heart has to be the most unusual record in my collection. With auscultation defined as “the act of listening to sounds arising within organs (as the lungs) as an aid to diagnosis and treatment” by Merriam-Webster, this album is literally the sound of heartbeats paired with medical commentary.

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Interview with a Middle-Grade Reader + Book Review: Gameworld by C.J. Farley

Akashic Books has long been at the indie forefront of interesting literature. Along with other fun releases like Simon’s Cat and Go the F—k to Sleep, they’ve expanded their stable to include books aimed at middle grade and young adult readers under their new imprint, Black Sheep. Game World by C.J. Farley is one of their first releases, and it’s a diverse, impressive world aimed at the advanced elementary school-aged reader on up to adults. My almost 10-year-old daughter and I both read it, and I asked her thoughts on the book.

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