Jason Falkner,
The TVD First Date

“I’ve been obsessed with vinyl records my whole life.”

“Literally my earliest memories are of playing my dad’s small but cool collection of records on a portable phonograph in my suburban bedroom in LA. Pretty choice records too. Everything from Da Capo by Love, Deja Vu by CSNY, to the bizarre experimental synth meditation of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air and Taj Mahal.

I used to inspect every millimeter of the artwork looking for hidden details—meaning and or clues as to how this music was created. The art, band photos, fonts, and music were all part of the same experience for me at that very young age. I clearly remember the cover of that Love record scaring the shit out of me. Of course it had to do with the violence of some of the music but they (some more than others) also looked like they would fuck you up pretty bad if you disrupted their photo shoot at those ruins they are posing in.

The first record I bought with my “own money” (pretty sure my parents gave me the money as I was in elementary school) was the double LP Beach Boys compilation entitled Endless Summer. I was obsessed with the early Beach Boys ballads like “Warmth of the Sun” and “In My Room,” but the stand out track for me was “Don’t Worry Baby.” I credit that song’s teenage longing and palpable sweetness for ushering in my feelings for the opposite sex long before they would’ve naturally arrived!

When my parents upgraded their home stereo situation years later I inherited the Garrard turntable, a Realistic (Radio Shack brand!) integrated amplifier, and my dad’s homemade speaker cabinets. All of that was now in my room and by this time I was pretty into prog and FM rock. Yes, Boston, Van Halen, The Sweet…oh yeah, and I had all those posters in my room as well.

I remember a girl who gave me a ride to school a couple of times playing this music that sounded tough, like the punk and new wave I was just starting to hear about, but also classic. When I asked who it was she barked out “David Bowie” and though she didn’t actually say “idiot,” it was there in her tone for sure. That was the Ziggy record and it blew my 14 year old mind. Many years later while touring I became obsessed with collecting Bowie 7″ records and bootlegs and I have a pretty crazy collection at this point.

My friend KC and I used to ride his Vespa to the record shops in the LA San Fernando valley. My fave was Moby Disc. I used to take a chance on a record just because of the artwork or if I recognized any names on the back including the producer or engineer or even the studio where it was recorded. This was when I got really into the weirder post punk stuff like the early Rough Trade recordings by Scritti Politti, The Swell Maps, Monochrome Set, The Fall, etc.

Back then you couldn’t audition records at the shop to see if you liked them and there certainly wasn’t an internet, so what the gamble ended up doing was forcing us to give the music more of a chance to grow on us because we couldn’t afford to replace them with something else. This is how I got into all sorts of different things from the beautiful cold wave of Sad Lovers and Giants and the Chameleons to my pal R. Stevie Moore and beyond.

I’ve had many turntables over the years but have found true love with my 1977 Thorens TD126. It’s probably the most beautifully designed deck I’ve seen and with a Grado Reference stylus, it’s pretty damn good sounding as well.

I still have a ton of CDs but the poor things get no love at my house. Unlike many people I never got rid of any of my vinyl when CDs were all the rage. It was never even an option for me and I continue to buy vinyl almost exclusively to this day.”
Jason Falkner

Jason Falkner’s collaboration with R. Stevie Moore, Make It Be is in stores now via Bar/None Records—on vinyl. TVD’s review is here.

Jason Falkner Official | Instagram

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