El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Friday, April 8, 2011

SF Murals - Hampshire Street Paper Lace

I'm disinclined to write anything about this at all. Cut paper. Deteriorating.  Ephemeral, you could say. Hampshire @ 24th Street. You can see it on Google Maps. Swoon-Wiki.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Flying Saucer of 1970s Sound Systems

You can file this under the heading of  
Things I WISH I still owned from the 1970s...
My grandfather was a whiz at fixing things, electronics in particular, and when he retired, he opened a repair shop. One of the great things that came out of that Las Vegas repair shop was an early 1970s Electrohome Stereo Turntable. Is this cool OR WHAT?? I had this all through my childhood, but it disappeared when I went to college. Argh! I've missed it and the record collection my dad had, notably, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Smokey Robinson, even Neil Diamond.

Space Ship Listening Center

I have a hodge-podge of records, and the slap-happiest entertainment center. That is, it works in spite of the fact that no one device is fully functional unless plugged into one or more partially functioning devices. My current sound system has a component list that reads like Grandpa's nightmares:  
a non-functioning 3-CD changer; non-functioning dual-cassette deck, a working tuner (no antenna), non-functioning volume control, a secondary device with non functioning cassettes, working AUX input, a second working tuner (no lcd to see the station numbers)...
 Frankly, it shouldn't work at all. Not only does it work (more or less), but it  has  a working turntable. Patched into a bunch of other devices. Audiophile? Uh, no, not the high-end kind anyway.

I won't begin to explain the intricacies of getting pictures and sound out of the television-like device, or how many components wire together. 

Today, I'm all about the TURNTABLE. I've been listening to vinyl, reminiscing about warm days next to the stereo from outer space.

Now I'm just wishing I'd used those old Mary Poppins records as frisbees back in college. Because now, I'm cursed with having to listen to that after a side of Genesis or the Beach Boys.

In honor of the upcoming "RECORD STORE DAY" on April 16th, Amoeba Music (formerly Amoeba RECORDS), is hosting a contest giveaway:

Contest ends 4/30/2011. I make no endorsements, just passing along the link to those who still enjoy vinyl.