Author Archives: Special to TVD

Matt Hectorne,
The TVD First Date

“My first experience with vinyl was limited. When I was growing up, my parents didn’t play a lot of their records; they had moved on to 8 tracks by then. They had (and still have) an old record player/ 8 track player/ radio tuner combo with a huge speaker attached simply called “Trendsetter.” It’s a pretty dope piece of machinery.”

“It hasn’t been used in a good decade or two, but when I was a kid we had a couple of records we would play on it. The one I remember most though is the Chipmunks Christmas album. We’d play it every year around and on Christmas, and I’m sure it drove my parents crazy. I loved all the songs on it and loved the ritual of putting on something and having an interactive experience with it. Unfortunately my parents, who had no idea vinyl would ever make a comeback, stored all of their old vinyl in the attic. That might not seem too bad, but in Mississippi attics aren’t as well insulated as they may be in other parts of the country. So, I’m sure after 20+ years of hot, southern summers that those things are toast.

So I didn’t have a relationship with vinyl again until I was in my late teens/early 20s when I started collecting my own. My first record I bought was an Anathallo/Javelins split from the early/mid 00s. It was a translucent blue with clear packaging that had red balloons on it. I loved it, but didn’t know how to take care of vinyl and ruined it by accidentally leaving it in my car. I know, I know.

After that I started buying older records. I think the first one was definitely Rumours. I got it for $.99 at a bookstore in Louisville while on tour over a decade ago. I was shocked that it was only a dollar, not realizing that there were literally millions made back in the day. As I started to grow my collection of vintage finds, I found more and more bands releasing on vinyl. So I started collecting new records for the first time in earnest.

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Caleb Caudle,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl, what a beautiful thing. Some of my favorite memories are attached to pulling a record out of the sleeve, putting it on the turntable, and dropping the needle. There’s a lot of ways to take in music these days, but there’s only one way to make you feel like you are in a different world.”

“The first time I remember buying a record was at a flea market when I was in 10th grade. I was mostly just there for the boiled peanuts, but I found myself combing through the bins at a stand that was about the size of your average walk-in closet. I came across a copy of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. I bought it and left 10 dollars lighter.

I didn’t have a turntable at the time, so I rented one from my high school library. The librarian dusted it off and told me no one had rented one of these in a decade. I proudly took it home and dove right in. Spinning records became the most important thing to me right away.

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Raye Zaragoza,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up with CDs. I grew up with big pink headphones in the late ’90s, early 2000s in a New York City that was still very welcoming and accessible to artists.”

“My headphones were always on. The Beatles, Elliott Smith, Led Zeppelin, Queen… was the soundtrack to my adolescence. I remember getting a Walkman for Christmas when I was 8 or 9. I listened to Jewel and Avril Lavigne mostly in those days. In middle school, my best friend Kalina and I used to swap CDs. I would lay down in bed and listen to Led Zeppelin songs that I had never heard before. I remember the first day we listened to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. With our headphones on, dancing down the hallways of our middle school. Music made us feel unstoppable. It made us feel heard. Made us feel unique. We wore band T-shirts almost everyday to school, and wore ties and jeans under our dresses like Avril Lavigne. Music was everything.

When I was 11 years old, I fell in love flat on my face for the kid who played guitar in our class. He was cool, was also always listening to music, and would play guitar solos on the playground during lunch. He was everything that I wanted in my life at the time, and I made it known. I even started playing guitar to get his attention.

He used to make me mix CDs. Songs that took me to a whole new place. He had headphones that must have cost over $100 and they were ‘noise canceling.’ I had never heard of this before, and I was very excited. We used to take the bus an hour from the city to his parents house upstate. He would put the expensive ‘noise canceling’ headphones on my ears and play Elliott Smith songs during the bus ride. We only had one set of headphones, so he would just watch for my reactions during every song. I would look out the window, and see the city leave us as Elliott Smith sang “the city’s been bled white.”

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Steve Barton,
The TVD First Date

“It is nearly impossible for me to pinpoint just one particular vinyl album that got the ball rolling for me.”

“My parents, although artists in their own rights (both were actors), were not deeply into music. That said, I do remember original cast recordings for Broadway musicals being played quite a lot at home on the turntable. Oliver, Flower Drum Song, Sound Of Music, and more. I loved those! Even as a child I can vividly recall loving the sound of the production on those albums. Of course, I had no idea what “production” meant in terms of records, but there was something about the 3-D aspect of the listening experience with those soundtrack albums that really got to me.

I also have a deep recollection of holding the Frank Sinatra Songs For Swinging Lovers album cover in my little hands while standing in the den, the room where the hi-fi system was kept. I totally dug the size and vibe of the cover. There were several 78 rpm records around as well, remnants from my parents’ younger days. The weird tinny, scratchy sound from those discs was really cool to my childhood ears.

However, I will try to nail it down to one album. The Beatles were a new band, at least, a new band to kids in America. Hell, before they came to New York for the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, they had already played the Royal Command Performance in London. They were absolutely huge in the UK and Europe.

One day, I was standing in the dining room in the front of the house I grew up in. My dad came through the front door (I swear that I can still see this scene in my mind). He had a surprise for his 9-year old son. I held out my hands and he gave me a brand new copy of the Vee-Jay Records release called Introducing The Beatles. The red/brown/sepia toned cover, a full-bleed photo of the band wearing fab brown suits with black collars and black around the sleeves, was stunning to me.

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ash.ØK,
The TVD First Date

“When my parents came from India in the late 1970s to attempt making a life for themselves in the United States, they arrived with only a few essentials and not much more. My dad often recalls having $7 in his pocket as he first got off the plane, hitchhiking his way to a small Catholic parish outside of NYC where his brother was the resident pastor. By the early ’80s, my parents eventually moved to West Philly, living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment to begin their new life. While my mom worked as a nurse, my dad worked nights in a factory and spent his days putting himself through printing school.”

“I was only a few years old at the time and I don’t remember much about that apartment, but I do remember two items very clearly. One was an old nylon six-string guitar that my dad bought from one of our neighbors. There’s no name or label attached to it, but this first guitar has stood the test of time, still playable and very much alive after decades of rough abuse by me and my siblings.

The other thing I clearly remember was my dad’s first sound system. It was a solid silver Quasar unit that multitasked as a single cassette deck, radio, and a phonograph. The cabinet was beautiful and heavy and I can remember trying to lift that glass lid just to see the turntable spin, the mechanics of that arm catching my attention anytime it went about its single job. The front of the system was loaded with large silver dials and a two band equalizer that beamed red lights in sync to the audio.

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Inara George,
The TVD First Date

“I remember first hearing about compact discs from an engineer at some recording studio I was visiting as a kid. I was probably about ten years old?”

“The engineer spoke about these mysterious discs with that blissful haze and awe that is so distinctive of an audiophile. ‘The quality of sound is nothing like you’ve ever experienced. And these things don’t skip! You could take one into the parking lot, stand on it and spin around and it will still play as just as perfectly.’ He said that, or something like it. I was a kid, so my memory is vague. But I remember being impressed. And when the CD finally made its way into every record store, I was ready. I wanted to experience what he was talking about.

I had grown up with vinyl. That’s just how one listened to music. The first album I ever bought for myself was Around the World in a Day by Prince, which was actually right about when CDs started making their way into record stores. And so I started to make the switch. You could argue that vinyl had limitations when compared to the futuristic compact disc. You had to turn over your vinyl records and with a compact disc you could just keep listening without any interruption. If you didn’t take care of your vinyl they would scratch and skip, CDs weren’t supposed to do that (although they do). CDs were small and compact, they felt like the future.

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Permahorn,
The TVD First Date

“I’m not sure exactly where my attraction to vinyl came from. Growing up I had aunts and uncles living nearby and they would all have a small collection under a record player—so for my eldest uncle that would be ’50s rock ’n’ roll; my aunt would have a lot of Motown; the youngest had a massive Rolling Stones collection. And my granddad had the 1812 Overture, Edith Piaf, and Dean Martin! All on thick, inky black vinyl in heavy card sleeves.”

“Despite being a classic Scottish indie kid, I never really collected singles. It was always albums. I liked the journey they took you on. They seemed a better deal because you got more for your money. When I was very small I’d ask for stuff—Suzi Quatro, Adam and the Ants, Eurythmics, David Bowie—based on what I’d seen on Top of the Pops (for non-Brits, think MTV in tank tops).

I still have them all—and the beauty of vinyl is in them. For example, Kings of the Wild Frontier had a picture inner sleeve and a booklet which detailed the history of the band, their influences and discography. I’d pore over that for hours, while listening. It was a piece of art—with sounds and images that you could touch. And from that booklet I went off into the Velvet Underground, David Bowie, and the Stooges.

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Fawns of Love,
The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Zine Days”

“2017 was an exciting year for vinyl. I had been eagerly anticipating Sparks’ Hippopotamus release. So much so I submitted a video for their “Hippopotamus Spoken Word Fan Video.” I got in (along with my pirate puppet), and it still tickles me that I (along with other die-hard fans) am on Sparks’ official YouTube channel. I have even made friends thanks to that video.”

“Sparks’ fans are so interconnected it’s literally like a cult, but in a fun way—I never want to be deprogrammed! I cherish my vinyl copy of Hippopotamus along with my signed lyric sheet. I also thought their Black Friday Record Store Day release “Check Out Time 11am” was fantastic.

My other favorite band, The Chills, also had a stellar Record Store Day Release in 2017, with “Rocket Science/Lost in Space.” The Chills are so eclectic and cool. They manage to maintain what you love about them and keep you guessing at the same time. In my opinion I think Martin Phillipps has taken up Pete Seeger’s torch, and is incredibly articulate about income inequality and environmental issues. I eagerly await The Chills new material.

Both artists have shaped me artistically. Sparks have instilled in me a sense of irony and fun, and while the rest of the world is sepia toned, the Mael brothers are in technicolor. The Chills consistently wow me with their ability to write songs that are both epic and intimate, hopeful yet realistic, and full of beautiful metaphors.
Jenny Andreotti

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Honey Child,
The TVD First Date
and Premiere, “She
Calls His Name”

“I was lucky to have been brought up in a vinyl household. I don’t think my parents had any clue how cool they were to have their giant vinyl collection, but they are to blame for my obsession.”

“The love affair started in the early eighties in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My uncle Eamon worked at some sort of record pressing plant or distributor and would get “free” records for my parents. One of my earliest memories is lying on our living room floor with Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in front of me and being fascinated by the artwork and the weird men in peculiar clothes.

The Beatles were a constant in our household but I remember staring at the inside of the album and asking my dad which one was dead. I’m guessing that John Lennon was just shot? Or, perhaps I was aware of the whole Paul is dead rumour?

By the ’90s I was living in Santa Monica, California and luckily lived in walking distance to The House of Records. My friend Naomi (who played on our album) and I used to go there all the time. I’m pretty sure I bought my first Pixies album Doolittle there.

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Haux,
The TVD First Date

“I remember breaking up with my first serious girlfriend when I was eighteen. It was young love, but it hurt nonetheless. I remember I was miserable. During those times it’s always difficult to find any music that doesn’t remind you of that person in some way or another.”

“There was an afternoon when I was over at my friend’s apartment who had a record collection that he treasured. I had never really understood vinyl. It always seemed to me like a pastime meant for people older than us. It felt like my friends collected vinyl for the art—to put it up on the wall—never to listen to it. Anyway, that afternoon my friend put on a Nick Drake record, Pink Moon. I said it sounded familiar while knowing I’d honestly never heard it before.

I remember watching the vinyl spin and realizing I’d never actually listened to a record before. The crackle and warmth made the songs sound so close. Hearing that album on vinyl finally made me feel ok again and ended up inspiring me to buy a record player soon after that.

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Craig Wedren,
The TVD First Date

“When I think vinyl, my mind splits into three distinct eras.”

“The first would have to be ‘Mom’s Records.’
My mother has a good ear, and a love of music she got from her father (Grandpa Elmer).
Mom came up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and was a real radio sponge.
Throughout the ‘70s we would listen to—and sing along with—whatever came on in the car, basically what we now know as ‘Classic Rock,’ although then it was impossibly new; it’s difficult to imagine ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen having just come out, but it had, in my mother’s orange Chevy, some Summer on the way tp Park Synagogue Day Camp.
Her record collection was slim, but essential to me.
The Doors, The Doors
Elton John’s Greatest Hits
Pippin, The Original Broadway Cast Recording
The Beatles, Abbey Road
Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water (or maybe Greatest Hits)
And most fundamentally, Hot Rocks by The Rolling Stones.
I still have these albums, and they’re in the DNA of music I make every day, from film/TV soundtracks to Shudder To Think songs, to more personal, experimental stuff of my own.
My new record, Adult Desire, is some kind of shattered, 21st Century inversion of Simon and Garfunkel…at least it feels that way to me.

Let’s call Phase 2 ‘The Formative Years, Part 1 and 2.’
Part 1 begins with family members buying me records on special occasions—Grandpa Elmer loved me so much, he bought me the first Plasmatics album New Hope For The Wretched on an outing one day in Downtown Cleveland.
Butcher Baby.
Aunt Marlene handed me Diary Of A Madman by Ozzy Osbourne like it was a bag of vomit one Chanukah.
And my mom and dad would buy me albums and singles on occasion—chief among them Kiss Alive ll, which I would force my friends to air-play along to (they could be Paul or Peter; Ace and Gene were strictly reserved for ME) when they came over to play, and the Grease and Saturday Night Fever soundtracks.
I just assumed everybody felt the way that I did about music—and these records in particular—so of COURSE my friends would want to air guitar, spit blood, grease their hair and make up line dances all afternoon.
Every afternoon.
I feel like this must’ve been 1977 (I was 8ish) because I associate these particular obsessions—three in an endless parade—with a strange, sad apartment we lived in briefly just after my mom remarried that year.

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Dana Buoy,
The TVD First Date

“I remember sitting beside my mom’s console record player as a kid, ear on a speaker, while flipping through her vinyl collection.”

“These records had such awesome art and they were just standing in line with each other. They all should’ve been framed and hung on the wall to replace the flower printed wallpaper. Ooph. I was already into music at this point (thank you “Disco Duck”) so I understood the awesomeness that could be found in these records. I loved holding these square foot pictures in my hands and combing over every detail on the cover. I loved to put on Diamond Dogs. This cover blew my mind. But I think it made sense to me as I listened to “Future Legend.” Maybe?

Mom loved The Rolling Stones so these records were in frequent rotation. I got to hear her gush about how beautiful Mick Jagger was close to every day. Myself, I always liked the Talking Heads records she had. True Stories was my jam. And this was the record that was playing when I learned about revolutions per minute. That really spun me around. What’s wrong with the record player?! Did I break mom’s stereo furniture thing?! Ack!

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VanWyck,
The TVD First Date

“My parents were never really into recorded music. I think they had two records. There was Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, which my mother used to put on twice a year and cry to, and my dad had this Best of The Ink Spots album—I think I can still sing every line on those two albums.”

“The one thing we did have on vinyl were fairy tales. Like Grimm’s stories, those are some of the deepest memories of my childhood. Lying on a sheepskin rug listening to my favourite one about Vrouw Holle—I think that translates as “Mother Hulda”—where a girl jumps into a well and ends up in this magical land where eventually she is showered with pure gold. I remember trying to imagine how that would feel, all this gold over your body.

The first album I bought for myself was Prince’s Purple Rain. I still have it—I loved having that album, for me it opened up another world. Just knowing that it was there, that there were people who made stuff like this, with songs that were riddles to me, lyrics that I didn’t really get, but felt some way. On the back was this weird story that didn’t make a lot of sense but I memorised it anyway and later wrote it down on the gym floor of our school with a permanent marker. The only act of vandalising I committed in my teens.

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The Sound of Ghosts,
The TVD First Date and Premiere, “No Soul”

“My first experience with vinyl was as a child being obsessed with copies of “The White Album” by The Beatles and ABC by The Jackson 5.”

“Music always played an important role in my family’s household growing up. I can remember wanting to listen to these records over and over but eventually our record player died and that made way for a new tape deck and then CDs. It wasn’t until my twenties that my love for vinyl resurged into my life.

In the early 2000s my friends owned a record store on the Cahuenga Crawl in LA called The Beat Market and this was in the pre-Ameoba era which would end up opening right down the street and eventually put them out of business. I spent countless hours in that store playing records and just falling in love with the culture of vinyl and the way it sounded and made me feel. I always loved the idea of owning a huge record collection but my dreams wouldn’t turn into a reality until I was a little older and could afford to have a vinyl addiction.

There is something special about going to your favorite record store and digging through the bins to see what you can find. Mono Records and The Record Parlour in Los Angeles are a couple of those stores for me. I never leave empty-handed and always enjoy the conversation that happens while I’m there.

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Chloe Bodur,
The TVD First Date

“Records are my favourite conversation starters.”

“I share my flat in Brighton with two other songwriters. We keep all of our records together in a line underneath the glass coffee table in the centre of our living room, with the titles facing upwards. This way, whenever anyone comes over for a tea and sits down on the sofas surrounding the coffee table, they can look down through the glass and see what vinyl lives with us.

Owning a record doesn’t just mean you like the music, it means you’re proud of it. You don’t listen to it privately through headphones or exclusively when you’re in the shower and the sound of the water disguises your guilty pleasure playlist of Katy Perry’s “Swish” and “Reflection” from the 1998 Mulan movie. No. You’ve bought a 12 inch large body of work that you handle with more care than your own body. Someone scratches me by accident? No problem whatsoever. Someone scratches my favourite record by accident? YOU F*CKING WHAT MATE!?

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