Jordan Klassen,
The TVD First Date

“High school for me was a cliché of rupture, angst, and moving far from home to a new town. I was a creative kid who, like many, reveled in existential crisis. During that time in Calgary, Alberta, Canada’s Texas, I was happy to be a lone ranger. Everything was dark and angry, and so I found refuge in the past. The ’70s were very cool at the time and I engaged with the trend with all of my heart. Bell-bottoms, hemp jewelry, shaggy hair. The only thing that kept me from going full-blown pothead was my strict evangelical upbringing.”

“The centerpiece of my nostalgic hiding place was the little lounge I assembled in my family’s unfinished basement. An old thrift store couch, bead curtains, lava lamps. This was where I spent most of my time at home. It was where I hid my cigarettes. It was where I wrote my angsty songs. And most importantly, it was where I listened to my records.

My parents had given me their 1980s Samsung turntable when we moved and I loved how seamlessly it fit with my new identity. I only had one obstacle: the fact that I didn’t have any records to listen to. The obvious decision was to buy vinyl from the’ 60s and ’70s—embarrassingly because it fit the aesthetic of the lounge most consistently. What a happy coincidence!

And so began the great thrift store vinyl hunts of my youth. While Calgary didn’t have much to appeal to me during the early 2000s, it did have some really excellent thrift stores and I took full advantage. Many of my afternoons were spent sifting through boxes of musty vinyl in the furniture sections of Goodwill, Value Village, and Salvation Army thrift stores. At the time I didn’t connect the dots that records that were popular in the past would logically be the easiest to find, and so I was constantly jumping for joy at my amazing and rare discoveries. One of the first of these was The Beatles’ Abbey Road.

While I no longer own this copy, I remember it being quite warped and therefore having a lot of pitch issues, but I couldn’t have cared less. Previously, my musical tastes had consisted of a lot of modern rock and Christian ska, so to hear something so odd and melodic and imaginative, however scratched, just really shook me. The opening track “Come Together” just felt so good, like a hot summer day. I loved that the whole record created so many images, and music was changed for me forever.

I also recall when my illusions about the rarity of my vinyl collection came crashing down. I had acquired a near-mint copy of Led Zeppelin 2 at the bottom of an old chest at Value Village. It was my most prized possession. I also had discovered at this time that Calgary had stores DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO VINYL. My world was once again rocked. At long last I had a place that I could find vintage vinyl, talk about music, and you know—like, just be me. The memory of approaching the crotchety shop owner is still so vivid to me.

‘So,’ I asked nonchalantly, ‘What would a mint condition copy sell for if it was… Led Zeppelin 2??’

He seemed indignant and at the same time almost joyful to disappoint me. ‘Uh, I don’t know… like 2 dollars.’”
Jordan Klassen

Big Intruder, the new release from Jordan Klassen, is in stores now via Nevado Music—on vinyl.

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