An Old Spin
I spent almost 100 dollars on vinyl over the weekend. I’d only ever shopped for Vinyl at Wax Trax, Amoeba, or online and had no prior knowledge of Twist and Shout, until last Saturday.
I had wanted a vinyl superstore like Amoeba or the late Tower Records for a while. My boyfriend, drawn by the colorful gift section, pushed me to go inside. We had been shopping at Tattered Cover, finding nothing of interest.
Confronted by the rows upon rows of new and used vinyl, I could barely stand. Weak in the knees, I perused the bins from Big Brother and the Holding Company to The Velvet Underground. I could hardly decide what to buy.
For the uninitiated, vinyl can masquerade as a pretentious extravagence. I remember buying a few records at Wax Trax and getting judged for my selections. Clearly there are issues with the vinyl hipster crowd. I hate it, I really do. However, there are plenty of good reasons to respect vinyl.
First, vinyl really does come through your speakers more clearly. It’s the reason Elijah Wood still spins records in his DJ sets as Wooden Wisdom.
Secondly, physical records and our ownership of said records creates a relationship between listeners and their music that doesn’t exist with digital. Your records will grow old with you; you’ll remember when you bought them, when you rushed home and listened to them, when you played them on your anniversary during dinner. You’ll come back to these albums years later and respect them.
Finally, support your artists! Streaming and even digital downloads pay so little in royalties that artists are forced on to the road all the time. They’re tired; they can’t take time to think, and so they can’t create quality content for you if you don’t pay them.
Artists record albums like an author writes a book. To listen to a chapter or two out of order is to miss the journey they’re asking you to take with them. In turn, the record will stay with you as you set out on your own journey, spinning on the turntable until it spins its way into your life story.