Author Archives: Special to TVD

Glassio,
The TVD First Date

“The first vinyl record I ever bought was The Velvet Underground & Nico—I don’t think it gets more cliché than that. I was 14, and in boarding school in Monterey, CA. I started making monthly visits to the record store downtown and each month picked out a record—sometimes just based off whether or not the album art gripped me. I miss that process of uncertainty.”

“I remember bringing the album home and it made my empty, undecorated dorm room feel full. Having the actual vinyl with you forced you to stare at the artwork and listen to the music at the same time. Today that audio-visual experience is replaced by a Spotify banner photo—usually a self-obsessed band photo (not that there isn’t any merit to that). It’s just a different experience. It’s less tangible. You don’t live through the ritual of sitting on the seat of a bus going home and gripping onto the texture of vinyl itself.

Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament, and Kool and The Gang have some of my favorite album artwork, but you wouldn’t be able to cherish it with the small window that streaming platforms provide you to view artwork. The ’70s took album art to a whole new level. There was such detail and such storytelling in the artwork itself—almost like a comic designed to propel you into the music, or at least provide a focus for your mind. Also, the layouts of some of these records were incredible. The best vinyl record in terms of layout that I own I think would have to be Black Moses by Isaac Hayes—the whole thing unfolds into a 5-foot, cross-shaped photo of Isaac at the edge of lake in robes with his arms spread out like a prophet.

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Jessie Munro,
The TVD First Date

“I feel the same way about vinyl as I do classic movies. No matter what it is, it’s just better. Vinyl has a sound you can’t get anywhere else and that’s why I love it.”

“Growing up my dad always had a large vinyl collection but I got my first one in my late teens. Adele’s 19. I remember listening to it and already being a big fan of the album but hearing it on vinyl and thinking “what a treat.” It’s not always the most convenient or practical way of listening to music, but it’s one of the most special.

My favourite record of all time is Carole King’s Tapestry. I was lucky enough to get in on vinyl last year. I’ve listened to that album a thousand times but every time I listen on vinyl it’s a new experience. Almost life-like.

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CLOVES,
The TVD First Date

“Where do I begin to talk about vinyl? It’s the most fulfilling way you can consume music. It sounds better, it looks great proudly displayed on your mantel, and unlike a streaming subscription or a download, you can keep it forever (if you’re responsible with your things).”

“Vinyl for me has always been a real ‘treat’ to myself or a gift from someone who knew me well. I remember when I was younger I would save all I earned from my shitty part-time jobs and buy my favourite records on vinyl. So now you know I hold vinyl to the highest regard. Here are some of my all times classics plus two songs I think people should hear—I’m not 100% sure if they’re on vinyl yet, but shh—don’t tell anyone…

Radiohead, OK Computer: I don’t care if this is the most obvious Radiohead album choice—it’s obvious because it’s fucking great. I look forward to debating with you on this topic. Plus they’ve done a repackaged anniversary edition with this lovely blue vinyl.

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Spirit Award,
The TVD First Date

“I was never into vinyl much growing up, my family never had a record player.”

“One of my earliest memories of vinyl was going to my grandfather’s house and he had a record with “Big John Davy” by Jimmy Driftwood on it. I remember replaying that song over and over, and loving the sound of the needle scratching as I clumsily turned the needle back.

My first vinyl I got was Abbey Road. I found an original Apple pressing for sale at a coffee shop. I didn’t have a record player at the time, and I hadn’t even heard the record, but I knew it was important. I went to Goodwill and got a cheap player and put it on. It was the first time I realized that The Beatles were in fact musical geniuses (something I shrugged off in my younger years). This was really one of the first records I sat intently and listened to all the way through.”
Daniel

“I’m was fortunate to have grown up in a household with a vintage 1950’s jukebox in our living room that worked and played 45s.”

“One of my first vinyl memories was as a young child (between the ages of 3-4) listening to 45s being played on my family’s jukebox. My favorite songs at that time were Steppenwolf’s “Wild Thing” and The Rolling Stones “Satisfaction.” I was always selecting those two tunes to get played.

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Rachel Eckroth,
The TVD First Date

“I’ve recently rekindled my love for vinyl. After watching the CD format flourish and decline, and not loving the idea of earbuds in my ears or streaming music on my phone, I met a man with a record player.”

“Everything just fell into place and it just so happened that he had a lot of records I grew up listening to, and a ton of current stuff that I love. We now have a joint obsession with finding records that will warm our home and bring life to our little wooden house.

The experience of listening to vinyl is similar to having a home cooked meal or planting a garden. It is so down to earth. It is as simple as it gets with music these days. Lately, I’m looking for ways to feel simply human again. Putting records on, and I suppose it’s the intention of the inventors of the medium, feels like a way to escape or find yourself.

I just opened the ‘new’ John Coltrane Both Directions At Once, The Lost Album and listened while I laid on the couch. The wood beams that my house is made of soak up the sound so beautifully it’s as if these walls were only meant to hear music that way. Next on the playlist is U2 The Unforgettable Fire then Resurgam by Fink, which I’ve been listening to a lot lately.

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Kelsy Karter,
The TVD First Date

“My walls are covered in framed vinyl. COVERED.”

“I change them out by what I’m currently listening to and right now we have…*looks at walls*…Johnny Cash and Arctic Monkeys. But my first introduction to vinyl records was by my Dad. He used to be a jazz musician and he made sure his kid was gonna know “real” music if it killed him. Haha.

I think Stevie Wonder was the first record he showed me that really caught my attention. And I think I was 5 years old when that happened. From then, there was a lot of jazz, soul, and blues. That’s how I learned to sing. Those days with Daddy were my lessons.

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William Methany,
The TVD First Date

“There’s a time and place for each music listening medium. There are a few albums that will likely never sound as good to me as they did when they were dubbed onto blank cassette and blasted through my teenage car stereo. Hell, I’m even kind of an apologist for CDs, but I know we’re talking about vinyl here.”

“I love the warm audio quality and big cover art as much as the next guy (maybe more than the next guy, who knows?), but I think my love of records has more to do with the fact that spinning vinyl makes listening to music a dedicated act. It isn’t portable, you can’t take it with you, and you can actually hold it in your hands.

I’m not usually home on weekend mornings, but there are few things in this world that make as much sense to me as a pot of very strong coffee and Hazel & Alice or John Wesley Harding on the turntable while my blood unthaws and I re-align myself with the things that made me love music in the first place.

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PublicART, The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Light Years”

“My earliest encounters with music were digging through my father’s vinyl collection.”

“He would categorize them meticulously and protect them with fine plastic sleeves, a treatment that undoubtedly influenced the way I would nurture my own stash of recordings, systemized my understanding of music history and probably also shaped the way I dissect music production to this day. It was a tangible relationship with music. The credits, graphics, faces, and fashions. We would load up each disc onto the old Sonab turntable with great care, drop the needle, watch the wide lines get closer as the song faded in, feel a sense of urgency if the vinyl was warped, wondering if it would glitch. It was precious.

Original copies of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and Milestones, War’s The World Is a Ghetto, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, Ella Fitzgerald… it was all there. A thorough education before I’d even picked up an instrument. I am forever indebted.

My first trips to NYC in my early 20s brought access to used vinyl stores, where I started my own modest but symbolic selection of LPs; Pat Metheny’s First Circle, George Benson’s CTI recordings, Prince’s Batman soundtrack. In the advent of iTunes and LimeWire, I painstakingly transferred my favorites of these LPs over to MP3. It sounded old but had the accessibility of streaming. But the original medium had instilled in me the passion for hearing the album from start to finish.”
Jan Ozveren

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Henry Nowhere,
The TVD First Date

“My first experience with vinyl was probably around third grade, listening to my Dad’s old Dr. Demento records. He’s the DJ that discovered Weird Al. I got a real kick out of “Flying Purple People Eater,” “Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini,” and “Camp Granada.””

“My dad’s collection was largely great bluegrass like Doc Watson, New Grass Revival, and David Grisman along with some country rock gems like The Allman Brothers’ Eat A Peach whose immensely psychedelic inner cover adorned my brothers wall for many years. My sister’s room was covered wall to wall with Beatles posters and what seemed to be every album cover of theirs. She was the cool one.

In High School my brother Jack (keyboardist for Day Wave) got turntables meant for scratching and mixing. So many funny, stoned, and ultimately embarrassing freestyles went down over that stack of breaks and beat records. The best beat I was able to make with that turntable was with a break beat and the 16 second intro track on George Benson’s album Breezin’, picked from my mom’s collection. I broke the needle while my brother was out skating one day and that was that.

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Harp Samuels,
The TVD First Date

“There’s a beauty to vinyl. Something nostalgic. It’s no wonder to me that it’s stayed around and is more popular than ever. It turns music into something important; something to stop for.”

“Growing up, we had a record player. My five siblings and I were fascinated with it. My Dad’s collection was much to be desired. We ended up listening to the instrumental band The Venturas constantly because it was basically all we had. I remember messing around on a record player at a friend’s place, trying to get those DJ style ‘squeaks’ and chipmunk vocals. We laughed for hours.

Mid last year, my Dad passed away. He was an avid music lover and a guitarist. Something I’ve thought about many times is the reality that my musicality comes from the very fact that my Dad introduced me to music at a young age, brought me my first guitar, a Mexican strat, when I was 14, and first loved music himself.

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Talk Time,
The TVD First Date

“American pop bands were always popular in Brasil, but by the late 1980s they were ubiquitous with every youngin in São Paulo. My teenaged big sister was no exception, and had saved enough to start her own little record collection. One evening after our family dinner she grabs me and through a giant smile tells me I’m in for a treat—she’s taking me on my first trip to the record store!”

“Of course being like 5 years old if it didn’t have wheels or big muscles I simply wasn’t interested. But that sparkle in her eye told me I was going. When we arrived at the record store, my sister went about the aisles. Imported records were expensive in Brasil so she decided to pick ones she thought had good replay value; The Police’s Synchronicity, Paul McCartney’s All The Best, and Aha’s Hunting High And Low.

I on the other hand knew what I wanted the moment I saw it. Amongst the releases posted on the wall, there was one album cover clearly staring back at me—a huge stark figure stood center over the frame, his eyes had the fury of a vengeful angel, his powerful arms stretched forth, searching for justice. He didn’t quite have a Batman helmet on, but for sure he had superpowers, and I surmised also fought evil, most likely. This thing had practically picked me. Written across the cover in bold letters was what I assumed was his superhero name: AMADEUS, (Original Soundtrack Recording).

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Mikey Mike,
The TVD First Date

“I remember being a little kid and having this mahogany chest in my house that was full of vinyl and wondering why my parents still kept it around. It looked prehistoric to me.”

“It wasn’t until many years later, when I was in 9th grade, that I got heavy into sampling music and making beats that the world of vinyl came alive for me. Suddenly I was riffling through every left over record and yelling at my parents for getting rid of them!

You could sample from mp3s, but sound wise it was never even close. Vinyl just had a third dimension to it. It’s like when the needle drops you can feel the band there in the room with you. It gives you the feeling that your standing inside the music, not listening from the outside.

I still feel guilty to this day about the fact that I used to swap the good records into the cheap sleeves at the pawn shop. I used to take the good soul records and slide them into the Barbra Streisand sleeves and walk away with 30 dollars worth of good soul records for 5 dollars. Poor Barbra, her records were everywhere in pawn shops!

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Megan Keely,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl records are beautiful and warm in a way no other format can compare.”

“The experience of bonding with an album on vinyl is infinitely more memorable than a digital introduction because of the record’s physicality and contextual weight. You get to sit down with a large piece of artwork, get lost in the text, smell the cardboard, and take in a thoughtfully curated set of songs from start to finish.

It’s more active and less passive. Unless you want to get up and move the needle, you’re most likely going to experience the album in its full sequence, and with an intentional presence that is lost in the age of streaming and clicking. That is what I love about the memories that emanate from my favorite vinyl records. They are memories that last.

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Robert Poss,
The TVD First Date

“I had been reading about this band called The New York Dolls for months in Ellen Willis’ “Rock, etc.” column in my parents’ The New Yorker magazines. There were a few photos, too, as I recall. The band fascinated me, and they seemed to me—then a rabid Rolling Stones fan—to be an updated wild, young, New York City incarnation of that (then) great band.”

“I think I was the first person in Buffalo, NY to buy the LP; I bought it the day it became available. I got the record home, studied the cover—the drag queen thing didn’t impress me all that much, but I liked the art/photo and credits in the field of pink on the back. I’ll never forget putting the LP on the family turntable and the teenage joy I felt when “Personality Crisis” started, blasting me into a new dimension.

The brilliant guitar playing made me smile. (I was a guitarist). It was as if Keith Richard had been transported to planet Anarchy. Those swoops and zooms and achingly poignant bends. And like the guitarists I so admired—Albert King, Mike Bloomfield, Mick Taylor—Thunders had a sound; his sound. I thought: Chuck begat Keith who begat Johnny. It was the birth of a generation of wild, spontaneous primitivism, especially in the context of bloated 1970s self-indulgent guitar rock. Johnny blew it all away. (I didn’t again feel such joy until the Sex Pistols and The Clash and X-Ray Spex blew my mind a few years later.)

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Taylor Janzen,
The TVD First Date

“The first record I ever bought was Paramore’s self titled record when it first came out.”

“I was obviously way late to the vinyl game, having grown up half in the CD age and half in the streaming age. But something about owning a huge, physical copy of an album I love, and also the way it sounds in vinyl format has always been something that I’m fascinated by.

I think the record I play the most these days is Andy Shauf’s The Party. It’s already such an incredible album, but being played on vinyl really adds a new level. There’s so many beautiful layers and textures to it.

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