Lady Lazarus,
The TVD First Date

“I think the best way for me to articulate my love and appreciation of vinyl is in moments. Because vinyl is so tangible, analog, “in the room,” it dictates in its essential form how and where you listen to it.”

“It’s not easily portable—unless you’re a DJ and that’s your thing. It’s physical, a “slow” form of music consumption, and best for home listening. And unless you have a fancy, multi-vinyl-flipping record player (which I don’t), you’re forced to actually sit down and listen to a whole side of a record before turning it over or changing albums. The whole mechanics of playing vinyl naturally lends itself to listening to records in their entirety. Vinyl both forces and creates intimacy. And the most memorable moments in my life I’ve experienced listening to vinyl reflect this push to human closeness.

Growing up, my parents had a big old, wooden record console and we’d play Thriller, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, and many other records they had in their small but solid catalog. Me and my little brothers were even entrusted to use the thing ourselves, and we’d put the records on, and dance and play around in the living room for hours. Looking back, I don’t think there was a time beyond that in our family where we were as close, and vinyl happened to be one of the things that united us then.

When my ex-boyfriend and I started dating and later moved in together, he didn’t have a record collection, but we immediately spent a lot of time playing the records I had, smoking, and drinking wine. It slowed us down. Made us sit and just be, and it was beautiful. Over time, we inherited a box of some incredible records from our friend and neighbor—All Things Must Pass, The Concert for Bangladesh, Van Morrison’s Beautiful Vision, and others—records that would come to have a great influence on me.

We bought more records, and grew my/“our” record collection with Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, Tom Waits’ Closing Time (a birthday present from my ex), Big Star’s #1 Record, and many more. When we broke up about a year later and I moved out, all the records came with me except for the Big Star, which was the only one he really wanted to keep.

Sharing music we love with others can often express parts of us we can’t quite articulate as deeply or as aptly ourselves through words alone, and vinyl seems to be the best medium (besides live music), for sharing these deeper parts. It was many months later, but I was still having a hard time with the breakup, and my friend Joseph Salazar (of Technicolor Hearts) came over one night and the only way I could express my weary heart was to put on one of my favorite records, Tom Waits’ Mule Variations, and have Tom speak for me in all his world-worn, human wisdom.

We listened together in the dark, and I sang the lines that touched me that I knew so well, and my friend listened, really listened with me, and got it, and I felt heard and listened to, and so far less alone.”
Melissa Ann Sweat

Impossible Journey of My Soul Tonight, the new release from Lady Lazarus arrives in stores on Friday, October 18, 2019—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: NICK CHAO

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