Linda Draper:
The TVD First Date

“My earliest memories of vinyl are drawn from my parents’ record collection that ranged from classical music like Bach, Mozart , Haydn, Fernando Sor, to folk music, like Peter Paul and Mary, Anne Murray, and Joan Baez. I can recollect with the most clarity Anne Murray’s classic children’s record, “There’s a Hippo In My Tub” and listening to “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” when I was around 5 or 6 years old. That was one of the first times that I could listen to a song on a record and truly get lost in the story that was being told. And I was hooked.”

“There is a certain darkness in “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” —no, I mean it! Take it from a kid’s perspective, the lyrics: “If you go down to the woods today, you better not go alone! It’s lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home!” And then it going on to say that if you do go into those woods, you better be disguised as a bear, because there’s this whole mob of bears out there having this humongous mess of a picnic.

I mean, yeah ok, sure they were teddy bears, but still…that upbeat, gently sung like honey, yet ominously worded warning that “you are safer to stay at home…” leaves a kid kind of wondering just how soft and cuddly these so-called “teddy” bears really are. That was some cool, scary stuff! Yes, I was enchanted.

There’s so much that gets diluted and sugar-coated with many of the popular children’s songs out there today. Thank god my parents never subjected me to Barney. Looking back now I can appreciate that my imagination had a chance to be filled will both the lighter and darker side of things. It gave me and my imagination room to grow. The recollection of hearing an old vinyl record stirs up memories as warm and fuzzy as that ever-so-faint sound of the crackle right before the song plays—like a wrinkle in time unwrapping itself into that perfect present of just what I always wanted.

I remember back in school, learning in music class, how the sound wave of a vinyl record is so smooth, that if the sound were to be seen on a visual scale, it would appear like a gentle curve, most similar to what a flute sounds like. Even the way that the sound of vinyl resonates into the ear canal is so different from any sort of digital replication that one hears on a CD. If the digital representation of the same song were to be seen, it would look jagged and choppy, with sharp edges. This difference in sound affects us not so much by what we consciously hear, but on more of an instinctual, even primitive level—it affects us because of how we hear it.

Flash forward to present day. I am finally settled down now. I have been living in Brooklyn for the past couple of years with my husband Jason and two kitties. We are not planning on moving anytime soon. I’ve had friends who are record enthusiasts for years tell me that I should put something out on vinyl. Edgewise is my 7th full length release to date and the first one to come out on vinyl…finally! (Thanks Neil and Planting Seeds Records for keeping the dream alive and kicking!)

It’s kind of funny, but sad, that I still don’t even have a decent turntable. On a foolish impulse purchase, I recently bought a portable record player, the kind that folds up into a cool vintage looking suitcase…I guess there is that part of me that always wants to stay on the move (old habits die hard.)

But…I ordered it from Amazon and when it came, I played it right away and soon realized that the turntable, while it sure looked cool, did not sound quite right. It was loose and wobbly, making the vinyl sound warped and a little eerie. I tried it out on a few different new records for size, and they each had the same warped sounding effect. Amazon graciously refunded my return within just a few days. Now, it’s back to the drawing board!

I’ve been told that a direct drive record player outlasts the belt-driven kind but tends to be a bit pricier. I’m still doing my homework before making another impulsive purchase this time around. Now, I’m thinking it would be worth my while to wait it out and save up for something special and good. Something that will last.

Who knows, it seems that I might have some room left in me for a little bit of nostalgia, after all! Go figure. Thank you vinyl…”
Linda Draper

Linda Draper’s latest album Edgewise is scheduled for release on May 21st, 2013. The album’s first single “Hollow” is available now.

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