Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's a Vinyl World

Yeah, yeah, Happy 2012 and all that. Now. LOOK AT THIS!!!

For some reason, I've been itching to buy- and listen to- records. I missed the slight hiss and pop, the album art, even the skips and jumps. This has been an on-and-off yearning for a while, but while I was at the Culture Crawl last month, I saw a suitcase record player in someone's studio, and I was hooked. No complicated (and expensive) hi-fi system. No external speakers. Just a small, funky unit, minimum dollars, and I could start buying used records and become an audio nerd!
Well, after much online research, and then after traipsing around downtown today, I ended up with this little guy for all of SIXTY DOLLARS. And no, it's not as retro cool as the suitcase turntable I originally wanted, but let me repeat, it was SIXTY DOLLARS. And I got it from the drugstore two blocks from where I live. Not only does it play vinyl, it also rips it to MP3 format (so I don't have to haul the turntable or the records up north with me this summer). AND there's a CD player, an FM radio, a headphone jack and USB and memory card ports. I think I'm in love. Right now I'm listening to Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music while I blog. Heaven.
Of course, it wouldn't have been smart to buy a record player and then have no records to actually play, right? Right. So I stocked up while I was visiting Dad in Kelowna. Well, 'stocked up' may be an exaggeration. I bought 6 records.

As well as the aforementioned Duke Ellington album (featuring the Duke himself), we have:
The Police, "Syncronicity" (an absolute '80s classic, in my opinion)
Alberta Hunter, "Amtrak Blues" (this was a shot in the dark. She's great. Now I know)
Baaba Maal & Mansour Seck, "Djam Leelii" (I LOVE jangly, hypnotic, repetitive African pop music!)
Stan Rodgers, "Turnaround" (...and I love Stan. He's a Canadian troubadour, and he died way too early)
a Smithsonian Folkways recording of someone reading the poems of Robert Service. (Two words: Gold Rush)
So while I don't have too many albums yet, I think there's enough variety to keep me going for a while.

January 2nd-
New Year's Day was on a Sunday this year, which means that today (Monday) has still seemed part of the holiday limbo, the last holdout before all the stores reopen and everything gets back to dull, rainy, winter-in-Vancouver normal. The lights are coming down. Soon my little tree will get tossed in the dumpster and Christmas will officially be over. I didn't want to mess around though; I wanted to at least start the new year on a high note, so I've been making lists and crossing off 'To-Do's' as I get through them:
Study for Learner's License
Tally receipts for 2010 & 2011
Apply for a recording grant
It helps that I can now listen to music (records! radio! hee hee!) while I apply for grants and get my tax stuff ready.
The year is young, but so far I've been a good girl.


hunter said...

Neat! I saw one of those in the store (on my one day spent Xmas shopping) and the price tag made me do a doubletake. I was very curious about how it actually sounded; it seemed like so much awesome rolled into one tidy package. And vinyl is available so cheaply in sally-anns and such so you should easily build up a nice catalogue. Oh, and in the trash too - I found a pristine record of The Pointer Sisters on top of a Dumpster!

AJ said...

I'm loving my turntable so far, Hunter! Probably it's not for hard-core audio nerds, but for someone who wants to play records with the option of ripping them to a memory stick later on, it's just perfect.