Crate-Digging Prague: Antikvariát Vinohradská

Prague’s second-hand bookshops (antikvariáty in Czech) offer a novel hunting ground for the crate-digger who is not bothered with exchanging a little time for the prospect of finding something intriguing among the Karel Gott records. (Gott was a popular singer under communism and remains active today). Such finds are rare, but are all the more worth it for… Read more »

Off-Note: Making a Mixtape

Ah, the mixtape. You have grown from a simple necessity – a means to compile favorite songs and share them with friends – to a cultural artifact and badge of the musical obsessive. You are the subject of studies, novels and a plot device in a film. Your status has grown while supplies of your actual… Read more »

Leonard Cohen in Words

I have been a Leonard Cohen fan since a mother of one of my friends loaned me a copy of Various Positions back when I was fifteen. I had been looking for something outside rock, something with heart and intelligence. Mr Cohen’s poetic songs, as many of his fans know, delivered and continue to do so. Over… Read more »

Alternative Music and the Fade-Out

On Monday 15th September Slate ran an article by William Weir on the slow demise of the fade-out in popular music. From the 1950s to 1980s, the fade-out was the ending de rigueur. Weir argues it provided drama and additional musical treats for the attentive listener but fell out of favour because of psychology and technology…. Read more »

Prague’s Rock Connections

In the years after the fall of communism, and even on one occasion during the former regime’s final decade, rock music insinuated itself into Prague’s history. The city was never a cradle of style like New York or Manchester not a place where artists sought inspiration such as in Berlin, but among the famed spires, traces of… Read more »

Crate-Digging Prague: Happyfeet

Don’t be put off by this store’s small size. There are treasures within.  Happyfeet is a relative recent addition to Prague’s small but centrally located second-hand record stores (bazary LP in Czech). Its location, the Lucerna Passage Complex, seems odd at first since the complex tends to cater to tourists and slightly better-heeled clientèle. In its art-nouveau corridors you… Read more »