Leah Capelle,
The TVD First Date

“I was eleven years old in the boiler room of my parents’ house, digging through holiday decorations, old ceramic pieces my mom had hand-crafted and fired, and bins of my childhood clothing, when I broke through to three shelves full of crates. As I climbed my way through the clutter, I realized they were filled to the brim with vinyl records. I jetted upstairs and dragged my mom from her lazy chair by the hand, giddily professing that I found hidden treasure in the basement. That evening, she went through the bins with me one by one and hand selected the records that had been important to her in her early twenties, and handed them to me with delicate care.”

“They had won a refurbished phonograph a few weeks before at a silent auction—and by the end of that night, that dinosaur was proudly displayed in my bedroom with my new records propped to the side. Over the next few days, I made a series of Radio Shack runs with my dad to get all the necessary audio supplies necessary to make the record player work. When everything was finally in order and I was given a vinyl-for-beginners lesson from my parents, I pulled out CSNY’s So Far, pulled a blanket around me, and sank low into my bean bag. From that point forward, listening to vinyl would remain a profoundly spiritual ritual for me.

My entire Junior year of high school, I would blast Michael Jackson’s Bad. I would dance around to the four-sided Yes anthology and scream “Roundabout” (to my siblings’ chagrin). I started piling some of my friends in my beat up 1994 Jeep Cherokee and venturing to local record stores, always ending up in the alternative rock, psychedelic rock, and folk sections. The records my parents bestowed upon me back then had a massive influence on my musical taste as an adult—I still have those records, and listen to them often.

When I moved to Los Angeles, I upgraded my sound system and expanded my collection monthly. I began dating another musician, and one of our favorite activities was going to record stores all over the state of California together, often coming back with old-school gems like Steely Dan’s Katy Lied, alongside contemporary favorites like Bon Iver’s self-titled record.

One evening, after we had found this incredible record titled Ella and Louis: Together (featuring the sweet soulful sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong), we drank a few bottles of wine and slow danced in my living room in candlelight. Another night, we laid on the floor and listened to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with the speakers placed on either side of our heads. When we moved in together, we would make frequent trips to Freakbeat Records in Sherman Oaks and listen to the entirety of our haul straight through—with a cappuccino in hand and the wind blowing in from the open balcony door.

The crackling of vinyl has truly been the soundtrack to some of my fondest memories and will continue to be. Though I no longer live in my parents’ house, and though that relationship has ended, my ritual remains: I pull out a record, curl up with a blanket in my beanbag, and lose myself completely in the music.”
Leah Capelle

Leah Capelle’s “Giants” EP is in stores now.

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PHOTO: RYAN SARADJOLA

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  • Ann Silberman

    this is fab

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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