Keep your iPods and MP3's --
I want my music on vinyl
November 11, 2008 | On my 21st birthday something magical
happened. No, it wasn't that I was finally allowed into
the ever-elusive dive bar or even that I could finally
gamble away my meager savings. Instead, on my 21st birthday
I finally received a record player.
I had been dreaming of this day since I was 14. In
anticipation I had begun collecting records, both old
and new, of my favorite bands. I scoured thrift stores
and record stores, squealing in delight every time I
found a classic record hidden in the dusty bins. Unfortunately,
each Christmas, birthday and other miscellaneous holidays
worthy of gifts passed without that dream being fulfilled
-- until seven years later, when I ripped the wrapping
paper off of my new record player.
It turned out to be perfect timing, as my birthday
falls on National Record Store Day. So, in lieu of this
little-known holiday, I dutifully ran to the nearest
Graywhale and stocked up on all kinds of vinyl goodies.
It seems silly in a world of mp3s and iPods to covet
something so retro, but trust me there is nothing quite
like listening to music from a record. Each sound is
magnified and every crackle and skip makes it somehow
Plus, my dad pointed out as we listened to his master
copy of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon given
to him by a roadie for the band, records force you to
enjoy the entire album. Every song, every word, every
note. There is no skipping with records, no picking
and choosing. Rather than being bits and pieces made
from hopeful hits, an album has to be cohesive and a
work of art in it's entirety.
Unwittingly, my dad had imparted some of the truest
wisdom concerning the state of music today. It's tailored
for those with musical A.D.D. who want a quick 2:45
song that fits nicely in an iPod shuffle play list.
As I searched through my music collection, I faced the
sad truth: music just ain't what it used to be.
That's not to say all is lost, popular stores like
Urban Outfitters are doing their part to revive the
art of listening to records by keeping a constant stock
of various record players. Another testament to the
small, but thriving, audience who still believes in
vinyl is that there are still quite a few bands out
there who strive to make a record that exudes musical
magic from start to finish. To them, I say thank you
for making records worthy of playing from start to finish.
Preferably on a record player.