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'Sexy and Scary' Vinyl Show Explores the Art of Album Covers

By Casey Cora | June 19, 2014 5:24am
 Record collector and artist Joe Wallace is hosting the "Sexy and Scary Vinyl" show at his studio in the Bridgeport Art Center.
Sexy and Scary Vinyl
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BRIDGEPORT — Outside a fifth-floor studio in the Bridgeport Art Center sits a handsome Crosley turntable surrounded by a few provocative album covers.

"That's how I bait the hook a little," said Joe Wallace, 45, before opening the studio door to reveal a collection of record albums that would make most vinyl enthusiasts swoon. 

Wallace, a freelance writer and video artist, specializes in collecting all sorts of niche records, from New Wave to comedy soundtracks, many of which he sells through Turntabling.net, his vinyl culture website.

On Friday, he'll put a unique subset of his collection on display for the "Sexy and Scary Vinyl" show, which shows off rare album artwork that fits somewhere in the the Venn diagram of horror movie soundtrack and softcore porno flicks.

"The music is all over the map. That's part of the appeal," he said.

Casey Cora explains the Bridgeport Art Center event:

On a flat-screen TV, a collection of drive-in horror movie trailers from the 1960s and 1970s rolls on, with voices of baritone announcers looming over grainy footage of bloody damsels in distress. Some of the scenes are laughably, outrageously gory and others alarmingly disturbing.

"I think people will come for the album artwork and stay for the trailers," said Wallace, a musician and horror buff who just penned an essay for "Hidden Horror," a new collection about overlooked slasher pics.

For Wallace, 45, the obsession with the genre is less about promoting gore and more about preserving the art and culture of the exploitation genre, films that intentionally ramped up the shock factor.

The Humboldt Park resident said Friday's event won't be a pop-up record store. He most likely won't even sell any of what's on display.

Instead, the soiree, filled with free booze and freaky tunes, will be more like a museum filled with hands-on relics.

"It'll be more about taking it all in. It's about the artwork and the culture," he said.

The Sexy and Scary Vinyl show begins 6 p.m. Friday at The StudioLab on the fifth floor of the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. The party coincides with the venue's monthly Third Friday open studio series.