Marti's Theory

Vinyl Thoughts

Posted on: April 19, 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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7 Responses to "Vinyl Thoughts"

They’re back, honey! Yes indeed, vinyl is back…and you’re right, there is nothing to compare with holding the album cover in your hands poring over it inside and out while the lp is on the turntable.

Mine turntable is hooked up, but I don’t like the way my receiver handles it, even with a pre-amp.

Nice post!

The best part of still playing vinyl today is the hisses, the pieces of lint the needle hits and the scratches on the vinyl…. that is what makes it special. All the mp3’s and digital downloads have taken out that part of the experience. I have a usb turntable that converts the vinyl to mp3’s, but it keeps the hisses and all sounds in the crossover…. still not the same, but it is real close. Great writing on the subject, Marti! Loved it!

Mahalo for your comments. Sharon, you were doing the cruising YouTube for songs thing the same day as me. And Doug, you were one of the people on my ‘rents living room floor playing records, lol.

Beware of new vinyl re-issues, some cutting huoses uses digital conversions in the spacing process, which makes the album like a CD printed on vinyl = mojo gone. Spread the awareness of it, I think it is a fraudulent practice because that info isnb4t stated on the product.

This made me think of my little collection of records I had and how I would do just what you were expressing here in this post, excellent write Marti brought back memories for sure.

There is nothing, nothing, NOTING like vinyl. I have a very small collection of (mostly classical) stuff, but I’ll tell you– say what you want about the older stuff, the Beatles, Miles, Ella, etc, but once you’ve heard Radiohead with the full warmth of a vinyl pressing, you’ll never want to hear it any other way. I haven’t unpacked my turntable yet, but it’s definitely on the short list of things I want up soon.

First off U2 sucks they are so over rated they only have a few good tracks thats about it. And why do you abultpry cut the video off at the end without even saying goodbye? So rude!

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