“We have always recorded our history, our art, and our stories in order to safeguard them—to make sure they aren’t forgotten, and to ensure they will outlive us. I believe that physical media is important because it’s the proof that a moment existed.”
“You can hold it in your hands, and take comfort in knowing it’s really there. And as far as music goes, wax is the best. It looks great. It sounds great. Hell, it smells great. This digital thing is the pits if you ask me, because one day the lights are gonna go out, and its all going to be gone–like a dream you forget in the first five minutes of a new day.
Those of us who collect vinyl are more than mere music lovers. We are historians. We’re anthropologists. Digging around at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets is more than just a hobby. It’s like being freaking Indiana Jones. A decade into my career as a vinyl collector, pulling a gem from a pile of wreckage is still a rush.
Traveling the country, both with the Borrowed Beams, but also with my other group, Invisible Hand, record shopping and crate digging has helped preserve my sanity, given me something to do, to look forward to as we pull into each new city, road-wrecked or homesick.
And I love my collection. I love asking my wife to shout out a random letter of the alphabet, then choosing a record from that shelf, putting it on and cooking dinner. I love pruning it like a garden–pulling out the weeds (the busted covers or doubles) and making room for the new acquisitions.
I have about 500 LPs and when I come home from touring with the band, clutching a bag of new wax, I tell the wife, “It’s cool. It’s like an investment. I have impeccable taste, you know. These will all be worth more than I’ve paid for them.” To which she replies, “Well what good does that do since you’d never sell them?” Touché.
And as for my bands and pressing our music to wax. I want to be a part of all that. I like seeing my Borrowed Beams of Light records in their place on my shelf, crammed in with Belle and Sebastian, Blur, Bowie, and Jacques Brel. It’s good company to be in. And more than anything, I want people to hear this music—for it to comfort them, and elevate them. I want it to make the rounds and hop from soul to soul, spreading the embers of a particular moment that I used to live in.
But I know these things take time, and I take comfort knowing that these records will outlive me. I know that someday, some kid will dig out a Borrowed Beams record from some forgotten basement. And he’ll throw it on the table, and I’ll be there, with my bandmates and friends and my wife and my cats and my parents and sister and everyone that shaped that moment, spinning into infinity.”
—Adam Brock, Borrowed Beams of Light