Marti's Theory

Archive for April 2011

Dear Music Fans Under Forty,

You are lucky to exist in a time which offers such convenient access to music.  I mean that – it’s wonderful.  Even though navigating the world of ripping, iTunes and all things mpg is to me what changing the clock on a VCR was to my parents, I love having digital music at my fingertips.  In fact, the wonder of it extends beyond music.  Listening to my textbook downloaded onto an iPod, plugged into my car radio system is pretty amazing.  And don’t even get me started on the video aspect.  Instantly watching my Netflix queue over my flatscreen TV?  Wow.  Marti’s version of the future is here!

But you know what I miss?

Records.

Yeah, those big, clunky, breakable, unwieldy things we had to deal with in order to hear music.  It’s not so much about the sound – although records are like film cameras, distinctly different from digital.  What I really miss about records is the overall experience.

Sitting on the living room floor, shuffling through albums.  Reading the liner notes.  Opening the double LPs and following along with the lyrics.  Spontaneously inspired mixes.  Rediscovering  dusty jacketed tunes that we hadn’t listened to in way too long.  All resulting in a wonderful little impromptu concert – with friends or not – getting  joyfully lost in a little magic carpet ride to another world.

Wait.  That last phrase?  Perhaps I went too far.  Perhaps that dealt with what altered state I may have been in while listening.  Never mind.

It’s still possible to do all these things, I know.  All I have to do is Google “A Day in the Life lyrics” and there they are.  I can go to YouTube and find pretty much any song imaginable.  In fact, doing exactly that is what inspired this post.  I have to smile when I see a friend posting a string of songs to Facebook because I know.  I know.

The pinnacle of my record collecting days was in the mid 80’s and  I probably had about 300 – 400 LPs.  They were alphabetized, and the Beatles and Eric Claption were tied for the largest section.   Of course that many records pretty much took up all the floor or shelf space in a large room, so chalk one up for the digital world.  After carting Eric and Joni and Jackson and Miles and Ella and everyone else from Napa and  Los Angeles to Kona and Hana, I finally gave away my record collection.  It was like giving away a beloved pet because the landlord said no.  Ed – a fellow vinyl worshipper – promised to love them, keep them safe and play them often.  And it was done.

That was nearly twenty years ago and as I said – I do love new gadgets and digital technology.  But sometimes I miss the interactive-ness of playing with records.  And I can’t even imagine what flat, smooth surface  “kids these days” use for rolling a joint.  But I digress…

Point is – I am very happy to have experienced that little vestigial piece of life.

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