You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Like a Record Player

Vinyl rocks my antiquated, little world! (Literally, I boast my height as a lofty 5’5″ on a really good day). Recently my roommate moved out to pursue bigger and better things downtown on Orchard Terrace, taking with him, among other things, his stereo and speakers, as well as his radical archive of live Yonder Mountain String Band shows; both greater losses than he (Danno, you know I just love you for the Yonder). This absence left me with the opportunity to transfer my home stereo, along with my daddio’s most excellent record player, up into my room at school upon returning for second semester. Accompanying the record player: records, approximately fifty of them which find their home lined-up in box formerly belonging to a toaster oven; pretty maids all in a row. I acquired most of these records from my parents’ personal collection; a collection of a few hundred which makes up most of the interior design of our living room. The remaining albums composing my headstash were primarily found at basement vinyl shops or given to me as gifts by friends or relatives over the years. Since being reunited these artifacts, I now find myself in a bliss I hardly feel I deserve: the possessor of a fine record player, along with an excellent selection of music, by my standards, and a new roommate in accordance with my unrelenting love for The Beatles (Abbey Road is the greatest album ever recorded, there’s no use trying to deny fact). During a time where the physical act of listening to recorded music has been made such a simple endeavor by the “button pressing” technologies of file-sharing and CD’s, I take great pleasure in listening to vinyl. There’s something very spiritual about unsheathing my father’s copy of Pet Sounds from its album cover, placing it on a turntable, lining up the needle with the desired track and watching the spindle travel elegantly towards the center of the record. In this way, you’re physically much more involved in the act of listening, essentially giving life to the artist(s) and becoming a part of the piece, much like when you sing along as your friend plays his or her guitar. I find this to be so much more interesting than merely clicking through a library of song titles on my computer; there’s no character in that! Also, the fact that you’re listening to a recording the way the artist(s) originally mixed it and intended for it to be heard is very special as well. Bob Marley wasn’t producing his songs in hopes that one day they would be digitally re-mastered and re-released on CD with better sound quality; the record was the final, polished product. I urge all of you with any ambition and an appreciation for a “pure” and “genuine” listening experience to invest some time in digging out your parents’ or grandmother’s manky, old player, cooking up some lentil soup and chillin’ out with some close buds while the motion of the turntable mesmerizes and tantalizes.