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Oct 25, 2011

Revisiting Vinyl



Readers, you are to be forgiven if you assume that today's blog post is about my three-plus yards of faux snakeskin, which has been sitting in my fabric stash for nearly two years now.  I am still waiting for the perfect project for it and I don't think it will be Prachee's dress.

No, today I am writing about something related to my daily ditch ritual, which continues, btw, though I sometimes forget to mention it.  Remember how I recently sold my oversized bike on Craigslist?  Well yesterday I finally dumped all the bike-related clutter: helmet (did you know those had expiration dates?) and lock (This is one of those Kryptonite designs it was later discovered could be picked with a hairpin or something, but I still had the bracket and keys, so it might be worth something to somebody.).



One of the best results of the daily ditch was that I have rediscovered my record collection.  To those who have no familiarity with records, this was a form of recorded music on vinyl.  Most people bought lp's or long-playing records that came in albums, named thus because at one time they were stored photo-album style in multiple sleeves.

I hadn't had my stereo set up for many years, and I had winnowed my record collection down considerably over the years.  But I still had my favorites.  Hundreds of favorites.







I decided that, not only would I not ditch my turntable and receiver, but I would set them up again, and listen with headphones.



Then, lo and behold, over the weekend I found a pair of Advent mini speakers in the trash.  Not great, but adequate.



Yesterday, for the first time in nearly five years, I bought new (to me) records, $1 each at the Salvation Army.  I don't think either will be available on CD any time soon, do you?



If you haven't heard Robert Goulet sing "Both Sides Now," you're in for a treat -- or something.  Seriously, I love Robert Goulet and was privileged to get to see him "La Cage Aux Folles" a few years back on Broadway and chat with him briefly after the show.   He was extremely polite and down to earth.  And short.

Friends, do you now or did you ever own records?  If the former, do you still play them?  Even on relatively cheap speakers, I find they have an aural "presence" you just don't get on CDs.  Maybe I'm biased.  Even the occasional hisses, pops, and skips sound charming.

And now I must away for rehearsal -- we open Thursday!  Come see us at the Duplex.


What am I going to do with my faux snakeskin....?

Have a great day, everybody!

46 comments:

  1. i love my vinyl. i don't think i could ever ditch it - no matter how obsolete record players get. i am so glad you decided not to ditch yours. the idea of all that in the trash makes me want to cry :(

    and yes, i still listen to my records! i don't even own a cd player - i just listen to my records & cassette tapes when i'm at home.

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  2. Oye, cassettes. I have a zillion of those too. I'd tape treasured records on them so I wouldn't wear the record out.

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  3. I love my old records, partly for the sound, the way each side was put together create a certain sound, but mostly, the cover art. Yay for new to you speakers!

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  4. Records! Oh my gosh, my mom had tons of them when we were growing up. My first tape player was actually attached to a record player, it was HUGE! Though, now we have no more records. I need to find some so I can explain them to my daughter. She's 6 and I can't believe how the world has changed since I was little. She was reading Wacky Wednesday and one of the things she thought was wrong was the telephone, because it had a cord.
    The faux snakeskin, I have a friend who would make it into pants and wear them daily... but trust me, she shouldn't.

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  5. We have MANY records in my house. My husband is quite a collector (hoarder?). We listen to them occasionally. One of my favorite records (to look at, not play) is a blue vinyl put out by Jack LaLane. It includes lots of pictures and a stretchy band. He got it at a garage sale.

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  6. be still my beating heart...I love our vinyl collection...when i say our, i mean mine and MrSW66's combined collection. I brought Duran Duran to the table...he brought the entire Beatles collection to the table. Our turntable is hooked up to our Bose entertainment system & speakers and i adore that crackle sound that is so very 'vinyl'. I would however, like to swap our turntable for one of those turntables that records your records in MP3 format....I don't know :/ why since most of what we own on vinyl we also own on cd or have it in MP3 formal from iTunes.

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  7. Oh do I have records, vinyl ones. At least a 100-150, but maybe 200 even. They take up appr. 2m of shelfspace.

    Some time ago I connected an old tuner receiver to my desktop pc and connected my old record player to the tuner. I can now actually digitize my records! But only for the most popular I go through all the trouble. It is an elaborate process - think 4h/lp (but than they are 'crack-less')

    So much fun to hear that old music again.

    Shame that the big albums are gone forever. There were real pieces of art among them.

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  8. We still have records and we still have a turntable. When we have time, we load the vinyl onto the computer via a A to D converter as MP3s. But I don't want to get rid of the vinyl because I love the cover art.

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  9. i love my old lps & 45s and hope i never get rid of them. there is nothing like setting the needle in the groove & hearing that unique sound quality. Even though i've digitized a few of them that are damaged or old enough i should likely stop playing them altogether, I still prefer to listen straight from the vinyl. :)

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  10. I think the problem with the bike locks was the ones with the circular keys, which could be picked with the lid of a bic pen. It wasn't just Kryptonite, and not all kryptonite locks were like that. It just happened to be the brand that was in one of the videos. But looks like you have flat keys, so your lock may still be useful for someone.

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  11. I have a Victrola with lots of records (I like the old Hawaiian ones the best). But talk about hisses, pops and skips! They do add a lot of charm and character. But, yes, I still have a few of my old LPs AND a turntable. Some of those things are out of print; you can't toss them out. And I still call CDs (and even stuff I get on iTunes) "records". But then, some people still call refrigerators "ice boxes". Gosh, I'm old.

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  12. Mine are in the shed. I'm a real fan of youtube. Nearly anything can be found there and listened to.

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  13. I have lots of vintage vinyl. Love it! Plus a vintage 1950's player to listen to them on. I also have a new turntable with a usb port so I can record the records to my computer.

    Can't wait to see you Sat. :)

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  14. We listen to records every day. We actually don't really listen to cds at home at all- only in the car. I think my obsession with records dates back to when my father had an awesome record collection that he forbade me to touch. What do you suppose I did whenever he was out? My baby will someday be reading my lit books on the sly.... I'm glad you rediscovered yours.

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  15. I'm going to date myself. While there are some records around, it's because they belong to my parents. As an 80s child, I had some tapes, but I have more CDs! After all, by the time I was a teenager, tapes were on their way out and CDs were in....

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  16. We (really Mr. Harriet, though I bought a few of them) have thousands of LPs. Also hundreds of CDs. Plus all the digital files in iTunes. I agree, I think the sound can be better on vinyl. They take up an entire wall in one room of our house, though.

    (Hey, about the show: do you really want your loyal readers to show up? We are considering it because as it happens we will be in the city during your opening weekend.)

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  17. I still have my vinyl collection, as well as ones I'd "borrowed" from my father years ago. Sadly I have nothing to play any of it on any longer.

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  18. I teach a university course on popular culture (when I'm not teaching my other course on Disney... I love my job!). The first class meeting of the semester includes me dragging my record player to class to play vintage vinyl for students, some of whom have never seen a record (Oy!).

    I start with some 78's from my grandmother's collection. My favorite: The Tatooed Lady by Skeets McDonald. It's hard to reconcile the image of my white-haired, Bible-toting grandmother with that song. I also have my folks' records (lots of 45s)... The students have no idea. But I get a thrill out of playing one of the original Beatles 45's.

    Crystal clear music is great and all, but there is something magical about the cracks, pops, and noise of a needle on vinyl.

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  19. Considering the season, I think costumes for the Kens would be appropriate. Giant, to them, snakes with Ken heads emerging from snake mouths. A tasty treat?

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  20. Love love love my vinyl, and shellac! Have hundreds (prob thousands, but I'm in denial about that) of all sorts, my favorites being late 1950s/early 60s stereo LPs issued by Command, Phase4, etc, designed for the audiophile. I have at least 4 turntables, as well as a full size 1959 jukebox for my 45s. Even my kids (ages 3 & 6) know how to play records!

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  21. I have that Robert Goulet record! Well actually it was my Nanna's, she played it ad nauseum.

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  22. Sadly, my parents got rid of all the vinyl when I went to college.

    Break a leg!

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  23. We have vinyl. We have several turntables. We have LOTS of speakers and assorted audio equipment. We have two stereo systems set up: one in the finished basement with the turntable near my sewing area, and one that's CDs only in the living room. Aerial 5 bookshelf speakers downstairs; Aerial 10's upstairs. We listen to the vinyl, but I must admit that only a few were originally mine. Most are recently acquired by us via Craig's List or lucky curbside rescues.

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  24. Have you heard "Camelounge" by "Bob Gourlet" on Forbidden Broadway?

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  25. I have a very small vinyl collection from my college days in the early 70's. I never had much money to buy new ones so these are definitely worn out, but there they sit on a shelf in the garage and have made it through numerous garage sales, even though I have nothing to play them on. I just can't seem to give them up. Too many memories of younger days.

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  26. I have records, but only a small amt of favorites because of lack of storage. No turntable though; an ex boyfriend broke it yrs ago & I never replaced. I keep saying I'm going to one day.

    Both my parents were in WWII & when my mom was at basic training, she recorded a message to my grandparents on a 45. My brother had the record on display at her funeral. My nieces & nephews (the oldest 17 at the time) looked at that 45 & said in awe: "is that a record?" It was the 1st time they had seen one.

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  27. I have a lot of albums...from back when their coverart was as important as the music (remember?)...I think I still own somewhere around 300+ per my last cataloging session.

    Once, I tried to sell the entire collection before a cross-country move in '89. The only thing the store really wanted was my copy of Sgt Pepper's. Kept my album and my collection is still intact to date. I just bought a new turntable a couple of years ago and enjoy them often.

    I've learned recently to refer to them as vinyl...and to drop the term 'records'...I keep living...lol

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  28. I never owned a record - I was born in 1980 and not very interested in music until I was about 15 - and then it was all cds. My friend the audio technician (I hope that's the right term for what he does) tells me vinyl gives superior sound though.

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  29. Re the vinyl - material that is - my suggestions are a 70's jacket or a knock off Kelly bag for Cathy or chihuahua sized dog beds ..

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  30. oh my I've just done the exact same thing! I've created a cocktail area in my house - everyone should have a cocktail area dahling - and got something nicer to store a 1/4 of my vinyl collection which in essence is probably all I will listen to! I'm just about to set it all back up and listen to some vinyl this coming weekend. YAY to vinyl!

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  31. I love my small record collection! I get them all from Salvation Army and play them on my dad's record player.

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  32. Mr Elle and I still have our complete record collection, and several years ago I got one of those fugly "vintage styled" record players. Occasionally we haul it out (it's too ugly to be out all the time) and torture our friends with Name That Tune, you remember (if you are old enough) "I can name that tune in 4 notes" or whatever. You can't play it with CD's or tapes. Ah the good old days of vinyl.

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  33. Love old records, but don't collect them.
    I also go to youtube and listen to whatever I want from any era.

    Josette

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  34. The snakeskin vinyl would make a fabulous (if slippery) beanbag in which to lie while listening to the vinyl LPs.

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  35. Glad you explained those records thingys- of course I am really not over forty.

    Break a leg or two!

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  36. Oh I miss my turntable and records! (They are currently in my parents' house across the country.) I have a recording of Doris Day and Robert Goulet singing the songs from Annie Get Your Gun!...another one that probably won't be going digital anytime soon.

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  37. @Elizabeth: try this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsmimYoYrk4).

    I'm not sure if this is what you were referring to?

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  38. Completely off topic, but break a leg each and very best wishes to you and Michel for the first night of Noah's Unusual Insights. I'm sure lots of Aussies are wishing they could be in NY for it

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  39. I wish I could be these days in NY to see you at your show, but I wish you all the success - you are very talented and I love your blog! Xoxo fm Brazil Carina

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  40. Do tell... How was the show???

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  41. I adore vinyl and can't seem to keep my record collection in check! My band has put out 3 full-length albums, and I'm proud to say each of them comes as a CD or vinyl...yep, it's still being done! I find the vinyl product to be a little more cumbersome, but love the packaging and the longevity. Even with a scratch, they'll still play pretty well---can't say the same for CD's!

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  42. @Jan-Theo Yes, that's it! That is my record. You're amazing. Thanks :)

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  43. Elizabeth, that's on CD, if you're interested -- Doris Day is still very popular!

    http://www.amazon.com/Annie-Get-Your-Gun-Studio/dp/B00133KEGI/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1320075815&sr=1-1

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  44. @Peter: CD's are sooooo 2010 :)

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