As I type these words, I am listening to a 180 gram vinyl pressing of the recently released TV on the Radio album Dear Science. I am, of course, listening to it on my brand new Pro-Ject Debut III turntable.
O tender reader, the questions you may have! Have I made a confusing, retrograde move to technology that is now twenty-five years obsolete? Have I made yet another vain bid for “hipness?” Am I finally indulging a long-suppressed desire to earnestly collect vinyl, an inclination that perhaps should have been suppressed forever? Have I chosen an aesthetically pleasing product over a convenient product? Am I just another datum for marketing analysis, the latest trend-follower in a notable consumer buying shift that has been several years in the making? Have I inched further down the path towards audiophilia? (Please note I’m far too cheap to ever succumb to true audiophilia.) Have I just thrown a fit of nostalgia and sentimentality to the tune of several hundred dollars? Will your judgment of these revelations be tempered by my assertion that I have listened to vinyl records for most of my life? Will you believe that even from the age of five I loved vinyl, playing actual 45s on my Sesame Street Fisher Price portable record player (the cartridge at the end of the tonearm is shaped like Big Bird’s head). Will you believe that I only stopped listening to my records for the past couple of years because my turntable needed a new cartridge and the cover was busted (not the Sesame Street one — it still works great and just needs a couple of new “C” size batteries). Will you forgive my confession that the ease of MP3 and iPod usage caused me to temporarily forget my love of analog? Did I always look longingly from the CD section toward the vinyl bins at Slowtrain, but never dared to walk over and flip through them? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, YES. However, one statement is no longer accurate; not only do I now flip through the vinyl records at my favorite stores, but I also dare to take my selections up to the counter and purchase them from an actual human.
[Click here to flipover to Side B – Dinosaurland.]