A fun and endearing Christmas album.  The first side consists of pop Christmas songs, with several Beach Boys originals, which are a little dorky but amiable. The sentimental classics on side two are genuinely lovely.

The arrangements, especially the vocal arrangements, throughout display the usual Beach Boys mastery.



This album, New Morning, came as a relief after Dylan’s fascinating but uneven and puzzling Self Portrait.  It was a sign that Dylan was back on track — but in fact the album is excellent on its own merits, not just compared to Self Portrait.  It’s one of Dylan’s best.  The lyrics contain some simple but beautiful poetry and the easy, country-inflected arrangements fit the songs perfectly.

The eccentric, deadpan Three Angels, not much remarked upon in the Dylan literature, ranks among Dylan’s best religious songs (though the more conventional, psalm-like Father Of Night does not.)



. . . on Front Street in Wilmington, North Carolina, across from my grandfather’s men’s clothing store.  I saw movies here in my youth — now it’s a parking lot.

My grandfather’s men’s clothing store is now a brew pub, though with much of its old interior still intact.



Sales of vinyl records are going through the roof, relatively speaking.  Around eight million were sold this year — up six million per annum since 2008, two million per annum since last year.

The industry’s capacity to produce vinyl albums has remained relatively flat, however.  New pressing plants aren’t being built, nor are new pressing machines, and the supply of old pressing machines that can be refurbished and put back into service is all but exhausted.


Because vinyl sales currently represent only 2% of music sales in America, and because the potential for the vinyl renaissance is unknown, people are not willing to make the large capital investments necessary to expand production.

Hence the looming crisis for vinyl — the rapid expansion of demand for vinyl records is about to be stopped in its tracks by an inability to produce them in greater numbers.  In the short term it’s bound to lead to higher and higher prices for LPs, which will in the long term inevitably put an end to the vinyl renaissance, limiting vinyl sales to the small niche market of specialist collectors as it existed twenty years ago.


It’s hard to see a way out of the dilemma.

Thanks to The Wall Street Journal for the information in this post:

The Biggest Music Comeback Of 2014: Vinyl Records


Lumina Movies

Lumina, a dance hall by the sea, was still around when I was growing up.  It had become a roller rink.  In my mom’s youth it had hosted big name dance bands.  Folks from Wilmington, about 10 miles inland, would ride out to Wrightsville Beach for the dances on special trolley cars, then ride the trolleys back after the dances were over.

I vaguely remember seeing “movies over the waves” there — which dated back to the 1920s, the era of the postcard above — but I may just be recalling my mom’s tales of same.

Click on the image to enlarge.