Author Archives: Special to TVD

Ruby Rose Fox,
The TVD First Date

“I was an ’80s kid who was raised in a small insular Christian cult. My parents’ vinyl collection and the radio was one of my only portals into discovering what was really out there.”

“I spent a lot of time with about twelve records. Carol King’s Tapestry, the West Side Story soundtrack, Man of La Mancha, a Bill Cosby comedy album (I know), James Taylor, Debussy, Mozart, and Billy Joel. I loved them. I loved the way they felt and smelled and even more so that they were mine.

When I started making records it was really important that I always had vinyl available. I say that I don’t have a vinyl collection because I’m always pouring the money I have right back into the next record, but it’s probably because my mom threw away all my records when I went to summer camp and I just never got over it. I did just receive a killer Erykah Badu record from a very special person, so 2018 could be the year!

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My Brothers and I,
The TVD First Date

“I had a vinyl collection before I had an actual record player. I’d go to a record store and see a cool LP from an artist I really enjoy or an old school best seller on discount and figured I should buy it, because I’d eventually get something to play this thing on.”

“After some time, and as my personal collection of unlistenable vinyl got a little bigger, my parents took out their collection from the attic to basically quadruple what I had accumulated. I’d spend hours just looking at the covers, opening up the albums and reading the descriptions. (Still no listening).

Around the same time, my grandparents had begun the process of moving homes. As it just so worked out, they discovered a record player that they had in storage that they weren’t using. They asked if I had a record player, to which we all know by now was a no, and gifted me their old one. It was in need of a new needle, but otherwise was in great condition.

I researched record player needles on the internet and found one that I thought would work. Well, as it turns out they don’t make some types of needles anymore, because they don’t make some types of record players anymore either—so why would they? Anywho, I ordered it online and checked the mailbox everyday for nearly a week.

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Love Ghost,
The TVD First Date and Video Premiere, “24-7”

“I love the anticipation, the “chum, chum” as the turntable spins before the drop of the needle. That countdown before you hear the authenticity of the record is really exciting. With vinyl, you get an experience of being in the room of the actual recording, the analogue sound is so present, so real for me.”

“I have had great experiences at record stores as well. There used to be a store called Penny Lane in Pasadena 2 blocks from the house I grew up in. I used to go there with my Dad and shop for hours (then they moved to Upland—a sad day both my Dad and me).

At the time we did not have a record player at home, so it was mostly CDs back then, but I was always looking at the records. There is another great used record shop in Pasadena called Poo-Bah (the guy who owns it knows so much about music, it is crazy). Just holding an album in your hands is great, I love the feel of it, the weight, the size of the artwork.

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10 String Symphony,
The TVD First Date
and Album Premiere, Generation Frustration

“I grew up on cassettes and grew into vinyl. We’d listen to classical music in the morning and Neil Young and Paul Simon at night. There were times when I thought of the classical morning hearkening as boot camp. Once I got a taste of the musical ’60s and ’70s, that’s all I wanted, and my impatience showed. But, as a classical violin student, homework came first.”

“My parents had gotten rid of their record player before I was born and replaced it with a Pioneer tape deck and receiver to match. I still remember my Dad saying, “Pioneer is a great brand. Lasts forever.”

I bought my first vinyl record fresh out of college. Neil Young—Hearts & Doves. I figured if I bought the record first, then I’d have to get a player, receiver, the whole bit. I found a vintage player and some speakers at a warehouse in Pittsburgh. The guy who sold it to me, Dan, had a serious range of options. I bought the Pioneer.

I love the physicality of vinyl—taking time with the artwork, digging into who played on which track. But the listening experience is why I think vinyl is standing the test of time. We’re all up in our phones all day, every day. Lots of people listen to music now the way they scroll through Instagram—jumping from track to track, maybe not even finishing a song before they jump to the next one. Even music lovers are guilty of this. Sadly, even me.

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FITNESS,
The TVD First Date

“I started collecting vinyl when I was in the 9th grade. There was a record shop called Poobah in Pasadena that only sold vinyl. Me and my friends would go there every weekend and walk out with like 4 records for 10 bucks.”

“Listening to an album on vinyl is an event. It’s a commitment. The ritual of pulling the record from its sleeve, setting it on the table, lifting the needle and setting it down, hearing that comforting crackle. I’d lay down on the floor, close my eyes, and import the dark sarcasm of the Dead Kennedys, the stonsey punk of the Meices, the controlled chaos of Sonic Youth, right into my suburban bedroom.

Back when I was in high school the vinyl renaissance hadn’t happened yet so we bought our record players at the Salvation Army because it was the only place you could find them. Mine was a piece of shit, but it didn’t matter. Watching that big piece of plastic turn and hearing the music come out of the speakers was magic. It seemed both primitive and the pinnacle of technology.

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Kurt Baker Combo,
The TVD First Date

“Hi, nice to see you, you are looking wonderful! Thanks for meeting here, I really enjoy this spot. There is a good ambiance here, and oh… shit, my friend Todd is working tonight! He’s gonna take care of us.”

“Well, listen, I guess I should get this out of the way first… vinyl records have followed me throughout my entire life. Each chapter of my life has its corresponding LPs. From the very beginning, I grew up with LPs around, even though I was born in the heyday of CDs. I was pretty late when it came to the CD in terms of my peers. Growing up my parents had a turntable and tape decks in their cars. My Dad used to take me up to Enterprise Records in the early ’90s on Congress Street. They had a plastic bag tacked to the wall with a bunch of broken compact discs next to a sign that read “Our CD Selection.”

Back then vinyl was so outta style that you could find original Beatles LPs in near mint condition for under $10 bucks. I still have all those LPs that my Dad bought for me—the foundation to a still growing record collection. I’d wake up at the crack of dawn and put on the White Album and listen to it on headphones. It was a true musical experience. Heck, even in high school I’d drive around in my Mom’s ’90s Chevy. No CD player, but the tape deck sounded so nice, warm, and punchy.

Especially, “Talking In Your Sleep” by the Romantics. Their album In Heat got a lot of mileage in the car, and later when we’d have parties, the LP would stay on the turntable with everybody dancin’ non-stop. Man, the record would be skippin’ all the time, but we didn’t care. It wasn’t ‘84, but ‘09. Go figure.

I guess all I’m getting at is that CDs are the worst, and I ain’t gonna miss ’em! I’ve always preferred that analog sound that came with vinyl. It’s the real thing. Yeah, I realize that people still listen to CDs, that’s why we still press them and sell them at shows, but personally, I’m a vinyl guy. Well, anyway—would you fancy a drink?

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The Davenports,
The TVD First Date

“The story of my first record is a complex one. There was, in fact, a first, that I bought personally, but then there was the collection I was already exposed to through my older brother. And it’s that collection that gets props for being so strong that it could keep my first record in its proper context.”

“The first record I ever bought was Kiss Destroyer. I loved Kiss. I was like 10 or 11. It was a great thing to have on LP (which is all there was then) because of the art–it was like having a freaking painting. That first purchase lead to a buying spree of all things Kiss–records for sure, but that right down to the Tiger Beat or Hit Parader that had one, meager, tiny black and white picture of Gene Simmons puking blood.

I would like to say that I, like many young ’70s suburbanites, was merely overcome by that perfect blend of theater and rock–taken in by the hype. But somehow, I actually loved the music as well. Listening to it now it’s sort of hard to image how you ever liked it. I mean the words are really dumb–guys singing about their love guns and such–there was a lot of bombast. But the tunes could rock and had some great pop hooks. Anyway, I loved it all at 11.

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Matt Mays,
The TVD First Date

“I did all of my records with A and B sides in mind. Even though they were going to compact disc or digital at the time of release, I always followed the vinyl template to ensure maximum Musical adventure. After a long, strange, and cold digital journey, I feel like these albums have finally made their way back home to where they belong: on warm vinyl.”

“My first album I started in my parents’ basement and finished at the legendary Charles Austin’s studio, called Ultramagnetic, in Halifax. It was where my heroes Buck 65 and Joel Plaskett did albums. It was on the very teeny top floor of the Khyber building art space that just recently was spared from wreckage. We included my original version of “City of Lakes” as a bonus track, which I believe was held back due to my very questionable drumming.

El Torpedo and myself recorded the second record pretty much live off the floor in Halifax with Don Smith, a producer who worked on some of the great early Tragically Hip albums. Don also engineered a few Tom Petty albums and also The Traveling Wilburys albums. You could say we were pretty excited to get started on that one…

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Barbudo,
The TVD First Date

“I always remember my mum putting on disco records when I was a kid, I always thought they were nostalgic and maybe a bit cheesy and didn’t really appreciate the great songwriting, the arrangements, and the vocal harmonies until later on. I especially remember liking the soundtracks for both Saturday Night Fever and Grease, they just made me want to get up and dance. C’est Chic by Chic is another album I distinctly remember being played a lot along with the early Michael Jackson records.”

“Later on in my life I rediscovered the art of buying vinyl and started off building my collection by searching eBay and charity shops. The first album I bought was Loaded by Velvet Underground which really got me hooked on the band. I once went into a charity shop and bought a bulk load of records and some of them turned out to be first pressings, like Please Please Me by The Beatles and The Doors’ self titled album.

Since getting into vinyl more and more I’ve really got into scouring various record shops, be it Sister Ray in Soho, Pie and Vinyl in Portsmouth, or Flashback Records in Shoreditch where I found my original copy of Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Pie and Vinyl is such a great shop, who would have thought of putting Pie AND Vinyl together and it going so well?

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Lucy Rose,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up listening to the radio. I had a few CDs that I shared with my sisters but no record player in my house. When I moved out and headed to London over 10 years ago, my mum let me go through her old vinyl collection and take some with me. I remember she had so much Barry White and Rod Stewart. That was the beginning of my record collection.”

“I was also really lucky with my mum’s friends. As their kids weren’t so into records, I was given a fair few to start me off. For a while I didn’t have a record player but loved looking at the artwork and reading all the notes inside. By then I had some of my favourite records, Blue, Harvest, and desperately wanted a record player. My birthday came around and my parents had found the perfect record player for me in eBay selling for £4! They drove to Leeds to pick it up and I still think to the day it’s one of my most treasured possessions.

It now sits in my kitchen. It’s an old ’60s cabinet record player with speakers built in either side—open the lid and their lies the record player. It’s become a big part of my life, putting on old and new records, sitting down and enjoying the quality of music and character that you can only get from listening to vinyl. It’s something I can’t explain but somehow everything means more when I listen on vinyl and study the details in the artwork that the artist has spent so much time considering.

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Rue Snider,
The TVD First Date

“My parents had a record player with a spindle that you could load 9 or 10 albums on at a time. The circles would drop one by one, making a faint smacking sound as they landed on top of each other somehow never doing any damage. That’s one way records are different from people. Once all the A sides finished playing my mom would flip the entire stack and drop the needle again.”

“This strange loading apparatus, which I have never seen on any other turntable, caused my early listening experiences to be fraught with anticipation. When “Dogs In The Yard” played on the Fame soundtrack, I knew it might be 2 or 3 hours before I heard “Red Light.” After “Chances” from Air Supply’s Greatest Hits I had to wait to make love out of nothing at all and if I’m being honest that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I learned to live with that like it was normal.

This was helpful during the holidays because my mother’s extensive collection of Christmas vinyl wasn’t just John Denver and the Muppets, and Elvis. There was a substantial amount of Sears and Roebuck bargain basement Christmas “classics.” They were the aural equivalent of reindeer murder field recordings played back on a scratched record, stylus stuck in the groove, broadcasting the last pained screams of Prancer shaking off this mortal coil over and over in high fidelity. Not having to endure both sides in a row was a December blessing.

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Deaf Poets,
The TVD First Date

“My Euro parents were heavily into disco, preferably dancey rather than neck jerking. Now at 28, I remember being a kid waking up to the Bee Gees blasting in the AM. I was too young to really care, but seeing their LPs rotating on top of that table always caught my attention. WTF… just wax and a needle?”

“Coming from the generation of Nintendo and Gameboy, music didn’t really wag my tail until my sister Gina showed me Zeppelin. Then, like a slap in the face, all those talks about the Stones and Dylan my dad would share made sense. I inherited my parents’ records ranging from the obvious disco to random Dutch tunes. I’ll still play it for laughs. It wasn’t until middle school when this hobby became more of an obsession.

My friend’s dad loved ’60s, ’70s-era rock, and occasionally lent me vinyl from The Who and Hendrix. Back then, MTV was still a thing—exposing me to newer bands like Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand. (A funny memory was when I’d record their music videos over an old VHS copy of Home Alone 2.) From what I remember it wasn’t really easy getting newer music on vinyl living in Miami Beach (this was before Urban Outfitters started carrying a selection, and before Sweat Records and Radio-Active Records existed).

Among the records I was given, one that really stood out was Harvest Moon by Neil Young. I’d blame my mom for my love of chill rainy morning vibes, the room smelling of incense while we’d laugh as she’d recall when she bought whatever LP we were listening to. These stories came from a different time when people would wait in line all day to grab their copy of a band’s release.

Vinyl always felt nostalgic, presenting music in a way that you felt rather than heard—the only physical format that a presence and warmth is so apparently sitting in the room next to you. Just close your eyes and listen to the words, the melodies, and the soul.

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Marie Miller,
The TVD First Date

“The art of vinyl is one that should never be lost. It is a precious time capsule for our musical memory, a moment in history worth preserving. It reminds us that technology should always ask the question whether something new is always something universally better.”

“My latest album Letterbox answers that question with a no. I love handwritten letters, because they are physical pieces of paper with ink spilling out into this beautiful, physical world. In the story of our lives the words we write can not be backspaced, a bit like real letters. Like those handwritten letters to loved ones, my songs were are true stories of pain and joy, of hope and loss, of all the things this broken and wonderful life has to offer.

I grew up in a small little town in rural Virginia about an hour north of Charlottesville. My parents bought an old house named Glenway, built in 1804, and planted in us a love for things that last. They inspired my siblings and I to hold on to the good things of the past, to love tradition and culture.

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Extravision,
The TVD First Date

“It’s 2018, a fascinating moment for music, a moment which I find shockingly easy to discover new music I like, to create playlists of favorite songs, not to mention it’s cheap af. Other than losing my dongle daily or Siri misunderstanding my song request, it’s amazing how effortless it is to listen to “Pink and White” by Frank Ocean several times a day whenever I want.”

“That’s why I think the renaissance of vinyl is important. Convenience is wonderful, but vinyl is powerful. It helps me connect to music uniquely. Vinyl is a multimedia art form. The cover artwork, the guts, the colors and designs, the weight of the record. If I’m purchasing a vinyl record, it means I’m intrigued by a more complete sonic and visual story the artist is trying to tell at that moment in their life. In a world rapidly teetering toward serving-size consumption of so many things, music at the top of that totem, I think vinyl is keeping music listeners like me more connected and engaged with music and with the musicians making it.

My vinyl collection is all over the place. My grandmother gave me her collection, consisting of Sinatra, Herb Alpert, The Four Freshmen and the like. I’ve since ballooned my collection with artists that inspire me, make me want to dance or clean the house. My favorites over the last couple years have been Crosby Stills and Nash, Simon & Garfunkel, Vestiges and Claws by Jose Gonzales, Fields by Junip, The Waterfall by My Morning Jacket, Clouds by Joni Mitchell, Burst Apart by The Antlers, Sufjan Stevens (the state albums), a Hall & Oates greatest hits, as well as a lot of my friends’ records like Land of Blood and Sunshine and JE Sunde.

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Smoke Season,
The TVD First Date

“I can distinctly recall pulling out a 45 RPM record from my dad’s collection. It had a green apple in the center, and I thought it was funny that there was a fruit right in the middle of this small vinyl.”

“I threw it on my little record player and out popped this magnificent sonic magic. It was the song “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Beatles. Those harmonies blew me away and changed my thinking on music forever. I don’t think if I was to have pressed play on a computer to hear that same song, it would have affected me in quite the same manner.

Through the years I developed an affinity for many of the bands and artists I heard on my dad’s vinyl collection; Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sly and the Family Stone… and the list goes on. The ’60s and ’70s had so much pivotal music made, in all genres. Even with all our technology and hi-fidelity capabilities, you hear countless hip hop artists sampling from this period. If I had to guess, I would say it is likely the most sampled time period that is still relevant and vital in music today. Just listen to “Amen, Brother” by The Winstons. This gem came out in 1969, and since then it has been sampled over 2,000 times. You probably don’t know this group, but you undoubtably have heard at least 1 song containing the famous drum break.”
Jason

“Vinyl has always carried a kind of unique listening magic for me since I was born in the age of tapes and CDs. All my early vinyl experiences revolved around finding old Tori Amos, Portishead, or Kate Bush albums on vinyl and re-experiencing music I had already consumed on CDs through the warmth of vinyl.”

“As a band, we try to capture that unique energy through the way we release vinyl. Our most recent release, “Ouroboros” EP, is actually the only place our fans can hear the score for the short film we released in conjunction with the EP—outside of the film itself. We wanted to make sure there was a bold, surprising experience awaiting those who took the time to listen through our vinyl completely.”
Gabby

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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