Life in a Blender,
The TVD First Date

“I was sucked into the spinning vinyl vortex through my older sister. Irene was heavily into The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, and Queen. When she was out, I would take her vinyl into my room and listen to her albums. “Killer Queen” especially grabbed me. I mention “Killer Queen” in a song I wrote called “Falmouth.” I figured why not listen to her records , then I can save money and maybe buy my own albums later if I absolutely had to.”

“The local radio station WPDH in Poughkeepsie played more fringe music than other stations at the time—so some of my earliest vinyl was Tom Waits and Randy Newman, but I was also into 10cc, Jon Anderson, Pink Floyd, and Crack the Sky.

Album covers loom large in my mind because they are so large. Getting vinyl was getting a work of art—CDs could just never compare. That’s a major reason for buying vinyl still today. “Killer Queen” had all the cool glamour with the four longhaired Brits–some shirtless–draped in a circle on a black backdrop. Jon Anderson’s Olias of Sunhillow scratched the sci-fi/fantasy nerd itch with some sort of elaborate flying contraption from another dimension on the cover and its overly ornate typeface.

Monty Python’s Matching Tie and Handkerchief stands out as a vinyl wonder because of the three sides. Side one would play a whole different bunch of skits depending on where you dropped the needle, so the A side really gave you two sides in one.

All the hundreds of records I collected since then have moved in crates along with me, from home to home and they now live in the basement. I especially like older used vinyl and go to used record shops in Seattle. I work part-time at the Swedish Club where I book bands that old Swedes will like. Last year I booked a band that plays exclusively Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. They are called the Rat City Brass.

As it happens, Dolores Erickson, the model on the cover of Whipped Cream and Other Delights, lives not far from here. So, I asked her to come to the club one night when the Rat City Brass would be playing. The night Dolores came to the club, I had to run to Bop Street Records and buy about eight copies of Whipped Cream and Other Delights so she could sign them. A signed copy sits prominently on display on the bookshelf.

On a recent rainy day flipping through albums at Fat Cat Records, I picked up Oscar Brand’s Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads and a soundtrack of all different Northeastern bird songs. Vinyl and used record stores gives you that chance to stumble upon the weird and it’s those unexpected finds that makes buying vinyl so great.

We’ve only done one Life in a Blender record in vinyl—the first one, Welcome from the Jelly Days. We were lucky to get Terry Allen to do the cover, and Jim Trainor to do the sleeve art, and Pete Friedrich designed the label on the vinyl itself. That’s also on display on the bookshelf.”
Don Rauf

Satsuma the new release from Life in a Blender arrives in stores on November 20, 2020 as a 5.5″ x 8.5″ CD booklet with lyrics, custom artwork for each song, and a custom cocktail recipe for each song crafted by a crew of of the band’s favorite mixologists.

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PHOTO: DAVID BARRY

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