Book Review: The Trouser Press Record Guide by Ira A. Robbins

 Originally published in 1983, The Trouser Press Record Guide: The Ultimate Guide To Alternative Music (4th edition 1991) packs a punch for those of us who prefer the sprawling wilderness of the post-punk era to today's paltry offerings labeled as 'new music'. With a focus on the often unknown bands, to the well-known within the Punk, Post-Punk, New Wave and otherwise alternative bands from all over the radar. Robbins and his crew offer highly opinionated, but detailed information, providing much more insight than the usual fare given in a typical issue of Rolling Stone.

The added beauty of the book is the additional info of vinyl releases for each band, as, if you remember, the majority of popular (and not so popular) music ceased to be pressed on vinyl when the almighty CD began its reign near the end of the 80's. Leaving vinyl production (mainly) to the rare artist who insisted on a vinyl pressing or special vinyl-only release.

I am not in the habit of posting pre-written material for my blog, however, the following review by Timothy P. Young sums it up pretty well:

"What makes this book great isn't the reviewing they do (concise and well written, always) but rather the fact that Trouser Press provides histories for each band before jumping into their material, and traces the progression of bands through their careers... If you want to understand the individual formations of bands, their original vision, how and why they changed and a full critical accounting thereof, buy the Trouser Press Guides."

If you would indeed like to purchase this buried treasure of the alternative dark ages, Amazon currently has it available for a price suitable for all budgets here: The Trouser Press Record Guide 4th Edition . Ira Robbins has since published a 5th edition called The Trouser Press Guide to 90's Rock: The All-New Fifth Edition 1997 of course including the 'influential' bands of the 90's Grunge movement. And you can bet your most valuable record I will be purchasing The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records for myself this Christmas.

Trouser Press began as a fan-zine in 1974-1984 publishing 95 issues featuring rare interviews, reviews, obscure photos and much more in its 10 year life span. Highly recommended.

A Formal Welcome...and a Brief History Of LaCreeperie


Since LaCreeperie's inception, it has undergone many, many changes in it's 6 year lifetime. What's that, you say? 6 years?? Yep. I dreamt up the LaCreeperie name 6 years ago, and immediately opened an Etsy Shop. At that time, I didn't really know what to carry in the shop, I just wanted to lock in the name and figured the rest would come.

At first I carried anything Halloween, Horror or Gothic related I could find, within the 20 year-or-older vintage parameter. Then I moved on to children's Halloween books, which did very well and sold out almost faster than I could list them. That's about the time my other shop JustCoolRecords began to skyrocket, and I could no longer afford the time to nurture LaCreeperie. Somewhere after that the shop remained completely empty and sad for more than a year until April 2014, when a new and improved LaCreeperie was born and remains as you see it today.

In November 2014, the website was launched, and has come to be the most successful website I have ever created in 13 years of online retailing. I have many loyal followers to thank for this, and I never cease to be amazed at the constant flow of positive feedback it receives. I guess I finally got it right.

So now it's time to build LaCreeperie's blog, by sharing books, art, websites, blogs, artists, writers and anything else I find interesting and fitting in the beautifully shadowed world of the horror enthusiast. Join me, won't you? And don't hesitate to drop me a line to share your favorites of the above mentioned so I might pass them along. Stay tuned for much more to come....


How To Safely Remove Stickers From Book Covers

Heads up book lovers! Today I'd like to share with you a way to remove those nasty price/store stickers from your precious book covers--WITHOUT DAMAGING THEM! 

I know, I know, I've done it too, plenty of times, and ruined an otherwise great looking cover all in the name of either impatience, ignorance or sheer stubbornness thinking I could remove it carefully without peeling a part of the cover picture overlay off. Well, no more of that I say...read on!

                                                       THE TOOLS:

1. Lighter fluid (yes, I know, it sounds terrifying, but TRUST ME). It works amazingly well, and it's CHEAP.

2. Exact-O Knife (or tweezers would work great too)

3. A soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel

4. Q-tips (optional)


STEP 1:
First off, you'll want to be doing this on a flat surface, with plenty of light to see the fluid/glue residue.




Saturate the sticker with lighter fluid CAREFULLY, it will come out of the spout very quickly--so watch it. Make sure you get the whole sticker thoroughly wet with fluid. The fluid will start to run/bleed quickly--don't panic, it's ok--wipe off excess with your cloth or paper towel. Fluid will immediately start to soak into the sticker, then begin to evaporate.





STEP 2:
When the fluid has nearly 'dried' (10-15 seconds), take your Exact-O knife (or tweezers, knife, fingernail) and gently pry up a corner or edge of the sticker to see if it will come off easily.

If it looks like the sticker won't come off cleanly or very easily--no worries--do step #1 again. Re-saturate, and wait for fluid to evaporate. Now sticker should come off really easily and cleanly. Repeat process again for extra stubborn stickers. 

STEP 3:
Depending on the type of glue, the kind of paper and what kind of cover you have (matte and textured or glossy) there may be a little glue left behind. This is where the Q-Tips come in handy. Put some fluid on either your cloth/towel or Q-tip and rub in a circular motion to remove any stubborn glue or bits of sticker left behind. Most all stickers I have found come off without this step, but I've added it here because there are so many variables; how the book was stored, how old the book/sticker is, paper and glue types, etc.

Now. If you see what looks like an 'oil spot' or residue from the fluid on the cover DON'T PANIC this WILL evaporate in a short time. Unlike alcohol, lighter fluid won't remove any color or texture from the paper. And unlike GooGone, it won't leave a nasty, smelly, oily residue that you'll be stuck with forever. Just let the cover sit for a bit, and it will return to it's original state.




                                                                                                                                There, now wasn't that slick and easy? Hope this helps, and now you won't be deterred from buying any books that have stickers all over them--you can restore them (and it's actually kind of fun!).

RELATED TIPS:

Sharpie/Permanent Ink: Alcohol works well for Sharpie marks and grease pencil, but be careful--as stated earlier, it can/will remove color from the cover if you rub too hard. Use a Q-tip and work small areas at a time.

Stubborn Stickers: So far, the only type of cover/sticker I have had trouble removing is on covers that are matte and old. Generally, only the top layer of the sticker seems to come off, despite several attempts of removal without damage. The result looks something like this: