Column

Vinyl Roots

Scouring indie stores and personal collections for rare vinyl finds

Devon is a folkie from a family of folk musicians, and also a music historian who runs online mag Kithfolk and PR firm Hearth Music.

Vinyl Roots

Scouring indie stores and personal collections for rare vinyl finds

Devon is a folkie from a family of folk musicians, and also a music historian who runs online mag Kithfolk and PR firm Hearth Music.

Give the Gift of Vinyl: Barnes & Noble, Crosley Turntables, and Third Man Records

I'm having a bit of a problem following the logic in the resurgence of vinyl and turntables. Vinyl sounds warmer/better more organic than the CDs. Debatable.  But buying vinyl to play on a retro/portable turnatable circa 1970 that sounds tinny (shitty) is a curious choice for music lovers professing to be audiophiles. But then again maybe the kids are alright and this really is simply a non-ironic way of getting back to the music and having fun and the mode of delivery and quality of the sound isn't really that important at all.

As Jonathan Richman declared in Roadrunner "I got my AM (radio on)!"

 

 

I have not one, but two Crosely's.  The first was a birthday gift from my wife, it can convert vinyl to CD.  This was her attempt to get me to sell the 1000+ vinyl records cluttering her basement shelf and populating mine with memories. The second was another gift from her, this one converts vinyl to MP3. This was her attempt to get me to sell the who knows how many CDs I have.  She accomplished neither goal! I also have my old JC Penney MCS turntable hooked into my receiver along with a 5 disc changer and cassette deck. I found a box of old cassette mix tapes and love playing them. When we rehabbed our house we wired each room on the first floor with very nice built in wall or ceiling speakers. So whatever we play sounds good. But those Crosely's are fun, they are social.  We can lug one to the back porch, neighbors come over with 45's and LP's and we break out the beer and have a fun evening. Wouldn't be as much fun if everyone brought their iPod and sat around listening separately on ear buds.  They sound like what we used to listen to as young kids before we all got decent stereos. So nostalgia is a factor. Beyond all that I still like the idea of having a music collection and one doesn't get that from files and Spotify. Not knocking these things at all. So I can see where younger people would find value, fun, a social connection in vinyl. Gives them something to do together...hang out in a record store together, discover new treasures, make it an event. Can't play on devices all the time!

"Her basement".  Hilarious.  One question! Why is there no love/nostalgia for the true dinosaur of all portable media: 8-track tapes! I think I smell the next new/old trend!

Love has limits! 

I'm not so sure about that Jack.

That you signing in as Hal, Will?

That's a good one Jack!

My father in law (87) has the only 8 track player in the family...he has all my old ones...he had "For Everyman" on the other day while he was puttering around in the garage...sounded pretty good...I'm feeling it too Hal!

With all due respect to Devon and Dom, those suitcase turntables are crap. If you're going to be completely off your rocker and buy a reissue of American Beauty for $25, playing it through such a device is darn right reckless. I still have an expensive and fancy pants system courtesy of one of the record labels I used to work for, and at least once a month we let the brush from the vacumn cleaner run over the damn thing to pick up the dust mites. Let me tell you how two college kids, one majors in music and the other new media, digest their music. The oldest is extremely traditional: mp3 and cassettes. Right...in the world of experimental music such as the sound of a nail being hit by a hammer while in a raging thunderstorm, cassettes rule. The youngest, a freshman and avid concert-goer, buys vinyl BUT NEVER PLAYS THEM preferring to use his Spotify Premium service and hear them on his laptop and iPhone. Why does he buy them? He likes to collect them like baseball cards. Momentos. Hard to set him straight when he sees my own leftover small but robust single and album collections sitting in the closet. So here's the punchline. Earlier this year I wrote my last will and testament, and asked each boy is there was anything special they'd like to have to remember me by. They both said no thanks. So I prodded. Finally the youngest says, 'I'll take your original copy of American Beauty if that's ok'. 

Dust mites on the expensive stereo...here too Ed...

As for the kids...they all need to be different from Dad when they are young...but they'll probably eventually turn into you...hopefully the youngest will eventually ask for your fancy pants system...

 

Damn funny Hal!