I am a record enthusiast. Before you pre-label me, let me clear up a few things:
– I’m not a vegetarian/vegan.
– I do not wear skinny jeans or winter hats in the summer.
– I have never owned a Ramones/Iron Maiden t-shirt (for ironic reasons or not)
– Any coffee over $3 isn’t coffee: it’s highway robbery!
– Soy enthusiast? Not a fucking chance in hell.
Just your normal red-blooded American male, who likes Lite beer, cigarettes, lawn games, and fart jokes.
Ok, we set now? Good.
I am a record enthusiast; not a collector. Collectors buy things to own; they hunt, they locate, they buy and for what? To brag about owning something, while letting their hard sought collection ‘collect’ dust. I buy records to use. I like physical music. I like seeing the artwork as it was intended to be seen. I like dissecting linear notes to see what other artists/bands were thanked. I like reading actual lyrics while listening to a song and realizing my own perception of the lyrics are WAY off. (I blame you, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band for all my preconceived notions of actual lyrics; what you said isn’t the lyric that was written!)
Everything about life right now is fast paced. Need a coffee? Boom. Done. Download a song while commuting to work? Boom. Done. Have your dry cleaning delivered to you? You’re fucking lazy, but yes, Boom. Done. What happened to home cooked meals? Or self-rolling your own cigarettes? Or courting a nice young lady before asking to ‘come inside for coffee?’ Who has time for that when you can microwave, buy pre-rolled, and fuck on the first date! There are never enough hours in the day and every aspect of society is reflecting that. Cue the needle: With a record, a person can sit down for 20 minutes, take in the music, flip it over, and do it again for 20 minutes. Call it a therapy session: always makes me feel better.
Why were cassette tapes so popular? Because you could bring it anywhere you wanted. Home stereo, to a car stereo: friend’s house to your Walkman: the possibilities were endless. I have fond memories of keeping a tape in my BoomBox at all times so I could record a song directly from the radio. (My pirating of Metallica tunes started WAY before Napster). Then came the compact disc: like the cassette tape, it was versatile, but you could skip around from track to track much quicker than you could with a tape or record. iPod? Forget about it: Even quicker and easier to maneuver around; not only from song to song, but from artist to artist. I won’t lie: I love my iPod. I love having all styles of music within a push of a button. The other day I listened to In Flames’ ‘Pinball Map,’ Saves The Day’s ‘Ups and Downs,’ and Sade’s ‘Sweetest Taboo,’ in a row; and it was amazing. But we’re starting to see a major pattern (or flaw) here. Bueller? Frye? Easy access DOES NOT make it genuine quality. Don’t believe me? Listen to anything Wavves did. (the dude is a fucking waste of audio tape, or hard drive space).
The manufacturing of music now is meant for quick, instant gratification. If someone can’t get what they want (noticed I did NOT say need) within minutes of their desire, then forget it; who has time for that? Make the production of music quick, and you will start to see a decline in the quality of the music. Change the format, and you will also see a decline in the finished product:
ORDER OF MUSIC QUALITY
Live (in the flesh)→Vinyl→Tape→CD→MP3.
Every time a new format of music comes into fabrication, the music suffers. Watered down mp3’s won’t lose their quality, IF someone has never heard the same songs coming from a record player. I was spoiled: my parents were always playing records for me growing up; preparing my pallet for a lifetime of musical adventure. I don’t need to hear LoFi, indie rock on vinyl. Classic albums, like ‘Dark Side Of The Moon,’ or ‘Nevermind,’ should be listened to the classic way; and it doesn’t get more classic than a record on the record player. You don’t have to believe me, but I stand by that statement and suggest everyone fish around in their parents’ attics for record players and vinyl: pull out ‘Frampton Comes Alive,’ (because let’s face it: every one of our parents owned it,) and give it a spin. The perm and TalkBox are guaranteed to make you smile.