Author Archives: Special to TVD

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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Steven Page,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up with parents who loved music, so there were always records playing on our stereo at home.”

“My folks had a record collection that, to a seven-year-old, seemed slightly impenetrable: jazz artists like Joe Williams and Oscar Peterson, folkies like Ian and Sylvia or Buffy Sainte-Marie, or stuff I thought was just plain mushy like Charles Aznavour. Of course, years later I realized the awesomeness of all of these artists and am grateful for being exposed to them at such a young age.

However, looking back, it strikes me that my Dad must have bought in the neighborhood of one rock album per year: Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, Hey Jude (aka “The Beatles Again”), Blood, Sweat and Tears, Joni Mitchell’s Clouds, CSNY’s Deja Vu, the Chicago album with the chocolate bar on the cover, Bee Gees’ Main Course, Clapton’s Slowhand, Hotel California, and then the descent into Dad buying only singles, ones like Kansas’ “Dust In the Wind,” because he didn’t much care about getting to know the rest of the album. For which I say thank you, Dad.

Dad loved to sing along to songs on the radio in his clear, high tenor, especially ones that had intricate beats to which he could drum his rings on the steering wheel and dashboard. He’s a great drummer and this rare display of abandon was both thrilling and embarrassingly intimate to my little brother and me in the back seat of our AMC Matador. The most exciting would be when Dad enjoyed a song so much that he’d buy the 45 of it. Like, for example, the double A-side of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” / “We Will Rock You.” That was exciting to have in the house. I liked “We Will Rock You,” Dad liked “We Are The Champions” because of the high anthemic singing. I was seven. He later bought “Another One Bites The Dust” and I played it over and over and over until he told me to stop. I said, “But I thought you liked that song?” to which he replied, “I did.”

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Belly, The TVD First Date
and Dove Vinyl Giveaway

“The first vinyl I ever bought with my own hard-earned babysitting money was The Go Go’s Beauty and the Beat.”

“I know the phrase ‘it changed my life’ is thrown around pretty freely, but I sat in my basement bedroom listening to this album for hours and hours that day, alternately cross-legged on the floor studying the cover and then dancing like crazy. It changed my life.”
Tanya Donnelly

“The first record I bought with my own money was the debut album by Boston. At that age it was probably birthday money.”

“I chose it over Kiss Destroyer. I’m not sure if it was the art that tipped the scales or because I already loved the track “More than a Feeling.” I can remember playing it over and over at my friend Nick’s house (his family had a serious stereo) and we beat the stuffing out of his couch with his brothers marching-band drum sticks.”
Chris Gorman

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The Innocence Mission,
The TVD First Date

“I wish I had more of my early life’s moments at such clear and instant recall as this one: standing in the record section of Nichol’s department store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, happily holding onto my first album purchase, The Beatles’ double ‘red album’ of early singles.”

“This was not a purchase made lightly, (and where would the money have even come from? Maybe from cards I received for my Confirmation), but with it, I joined the privileged world of my older brothers and sisters and other People Who Owned Music. More importantly of course, I gained a soundtrack for my middle school years, a thrilling and understanding companion that echoed and sometimes intensified, sometimes calmed all of the emotions of eighth grade and beyond.

When I say I was holding my first album in the store, what I picture is holding on with both arms—besides containing music I loved, the red album was physically substantial. I liked that it opened to that wonderful black and white, Linda McCartney photo of John, Paul, George, and Ringo amongst a crowd of friendly looking people of all ages, in what I imagined to be Liverpool. The photo spanned both sides of the album’s interior. I also loved the white and green Apple labels which were such a visual connection to great music since I was very young.

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Peking Duk,
The TVD First Date

“My (new) relationship with vinyl.”

“Before I was born everyone was already using CDs… I am a newcomer to vinyl. In fact the first vinyl record I ever owned was one I bought only 6 years ago, and the purchase was just out of irony. I was eyeing off jackets in a thrift shop in Sydney, Australia, when I stumbled across a record called Hey Joe! Hey Moe! by Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley.

The cover was two cheery men, hanging out their car doors sporting cowboy shirts, holding beers, with massive ear to ear grins with their thumbs up. And, as indicated by the speech bubbles above their heads, one was shouting “Hey Joe!” and the other replying “Hey Moe!” I was hooked. Not on these guys, but the fact that album covers could be so shit, yet still make it to press. I started spotting bad record album covers all the time and kept buying them to tile across my walls at home.

A favourite and many-times repeat offender on my wall was a bloke called Richard Clayderman, who would always be found leaning painfully awkwardly on pianos, keys, or sheet music. The fun never stopped and my wall slowly tiled to multiple rooms of the apartment. I was becoming unnerved though with the number of records I had collected, as I had not actually owned a record player even once at this stage. I needed to hear what these faces on my wall had to say. I needed to know what was going on through their heads whilst these terrible photos of them were being taken. I needed to hear their music. So, at a point roughly 4 years ago, I went to the local record store to buy a record player.

The record store changed me.

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