James Supercave,
The TVD First Date

“The first vinyl record I ever bought was Kinda Blue at a thrift store in San Luis Obispo on a weekend getaway with friends. I didn’t own record player at the time, but Miles Davis had become one of my undisputed music heroes and the contemplative cover portrait of him mid melody just pulled me in.”

“I took it home under my arm and thus began my late long love affair with vinyl. I say late because I was in my late 20s. I grew up in a musical household, thanks in big part to my mother, Carmen. She would always be singing in the kitchen to the Bee Gees or an old bolero. She also played guitar and would wake my sisters and me with a serenade of “Las Mañanitas” on our birthdays. You could say mom was my first music programmer. She showed me The Beatles, Doo-wop, and Motown, but she had abandoned the record player of her day for the convenience of the digital era.

My mom’s brother, my uncle Abel, had a record collection that I would dare to thumb thru everyone once in a while but they seemed so antiquated and crude, I didn’t it. I thought they were more for nostalgia than anything else. When I was old enough to buy my own music it was cassette tapes. One of the first being Kriss Kross. (A purchase which I wholly stand behind, by the way.)

In high school it was 50 page CD jackets full of every album you love, riding around with you in the car with your friends. Not to be outdone by the iPod, which changed everything. Or so I thought.

All of a sudden you have all the music in the world at your finger tips, at all times. I ate it up and I devoured every album I could get my hands on. I’d have get-togethers with friends where we would swap music and get hundreds of albums in half an hour. It was a kind of gold rush and I felt this insatiable appetite to consume more and more.

But to what end? I had so many records I couldn’t dream of listening to all of them. I definitely tried, but I would always end up going back to my favorites. My cherished little pieces of flickering gold. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles from my hometown of Murrieta and rented a room from my Aunt Lupe that I experienced life with a turntable, and most importantly, her extensive record collection!

Lupe was known as the ‘crazy aunt’ in the family. I didn’t know her very well at the time, but she was the only relative I had in LA when I started music school and she agreed to take me in. Auntie Lups [loops], as I like to call her now, has been collecting records since the ’60s and earned her nickname the ‘crazy aunt’ from a being a rock ‘n’ roll rebel and a true lover of all things music. Everyday before and after school I would raid her records, getting lost in Bowie, Talking Heads, and the Stones. She turned me on to the Blues greats Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and of course Robert Johnston.

And that was just the beginning. Her collection is far-reaching and takes up the better part of a wall in her multi colored duplex. I spent countless hours listening and reading liner notes. Just the smell of the records had an intoxicating effect on me. What really got me though, was the way it pulled me into the world of every artist I listened to. It engaged me, both physically and sonically. By having to physically move the needle and flip the disc I, in a way, became apart of the whole process. It becomes a very personal experience.

Then comes the sound. There is a richness from music being played on a vinyl record that is undeniable. The low-end feels like a warm blanket and mids and highs are creamy and crisp. The tone sounds alive. I also love the imperfections of old worn records. All the pops and cracks give them a life and quality that is literally music to my ears. I can honestly say that listening to music on vinyl has rekindled my love of purposeless listening, and what I mean by that, is that it isn’t music to help me get thru work, music to jog to, or music to keep me awake on a long drive. It’s not music on the go. You just listen. Just listen.

I’m glad to say that I now have a record player in my room with a slowly growing collection. Therein lies another element of the whole process that I enjoy—the hunt. I especially like to frequent the thrift stores around the neighborhood. I love the feeling of finding some gem stashed away in some old crate.

Now that the James Supercave album is finished and coming out on the 12th (shameless plug…) we will be on the road quite a bit and can’t wait to raid those unexpecting towns in the rest of the States. I’m coming for your gold.”
Andrés Villalobos

James Supercave’s debut album, Better Strange arrives in stores on February 12.

James Supercave Official | Facebook | Twitter

IN-STORE AT THE FOLLOWING RECORD SHOPS:
2/10 – Los Angeles, CA at 7PM – Amoeba Hollywood
2/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Resident (Record Release Show)
2/13 – San Diego, CA at 7PM – M Theory
2/19 – Phoenix, AZ at 7PM – Zia Records
2/20 – Las Vegas, NV at 7PM – Zia Records
2/22 – Long Beach, CA at 7PM – Fingerprints
2/23 – San Francisco, CA at 7PM – Amoeba
2/27 – San Luis Obispo, CA at 5:30PM – Boo Boo Records

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