13 April 2011


Jesse got me a record player for my birthday last month. I've been meaning to write about because it's incredibly cool, but I've been busy being depressed.

Here's why I love it so far...

Records don't sound "better" than CDs. They sound warmer and more unique (nothing compares to the clarity of digital). Records, in contrast, have a very physical, imperfect sound. There are variations in record flatness and turntable rpms that change the way the music sounds every revolution. Things just sound amazing on it. The Beatles? Van Morrison? It's like a time machine. It completely transforms the way the music sounds.

I love that records aren't convenient. It places so much emphasis on just listening to music. You can't listen to records in the car or during a workout. You put on one album at a time. No shuffle. No impulsive changes. It's for start-to-finish album listening. And you have to flip it at least once during the record! (GT's Night Ripper is two records meaning TWO flips!)

I love that I'm buying a physical copy of the music. I don't like buying mp3s. Records typically cost what CDs used to cost ($15-20) so they aren't cheap, but you get everything with it. You get the biggest copy of the album artwork (which is all but lost on mp3s) possible. You get a code to download the digital copy free with the record. And the best thing to me is that I have a physical (and probably limited number of) copy of this music; a physical copy that I can pass on to my kids. I can't wait to pass Bon Iver and Neutral Milk Hotel on to my kids. I love that.

(Look what Jess just got us! AMAZING album.)

And finally, I think records are going to be around forever. They've made it this far whereas several other mediums haven't. In fact, it's the only one still around that's been surpassed by something else, isn't it? So unlike a collection of 8-tracks (which I've had) vinyl will be useable forever. That's pretty freakin' sweet.

So it's definitely given a new form to my passion. I'm not interested in collector's editions this or that, just great albums. And there are lots of great ones out there.

(My first flat TV and wall mounted speakers! Record player sits atop the shelves Sam and I installed.) 

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