The TVD First Date

Vinyl runs in my veins. It’s a birthright.

“Each and every year, I wake up on my birthday with The White Album cued up (can you guess which song?), even though the record sounds like popcorn, as it was previously shared between my dad and no less than four siblings in the 60s.

Maybe it’s the ties to another generation, maybe it’s the smell and feel, or even the fragility of records that number them among our most favored belongings. Be you collector, obsessor, or casual listener, their value beyond mere objects is damn near universal. Records have always served as a bridge to new music for me, and as invaluable as being able to stream a quick tune on the internet is, it takes the next step of commitment to truly endear you to an artist, album, or even a whole new style. How else would I have discovered the Abbey Road medley as a teenager, or find out that the Led Zeppelin equated to far more than rock radio had to offer if it weren’t for those twenty minute journeys I took in my formative years?

Beyond that, records create strong bonds. Looking through someone’s collection may well be the first thing you do when you’re invited into someone’s home. Whether you’re trading, gifting, or borrowing someone’s albums, you’re sharing a part of each other, and creating a shared history that is to forging friendships as asking for a light is to meeting strangers. That’s why so many of my favorite records are those with a story beyond just the music. I can tell you who gave them to me, who first played them to me, or who they really belong to and how sad I’ll be to return them…

One afternoon while I was still in high school I came home to find that my brother had left me Harry Nilsson’s The Point! The stitchwork art cover did little to betray the sing-song melodies that lay within. And though I was no stranger to children’s albums, Peter Cottontail and Johnny Appleseed being very dear friends of mine in my youth, it took me a few weeks to finally plunge into an album that I now see as life-defining.

Truly bridging the gap between ages, generations, and varying states of sobriety, The Point! is the ultimate concept album. What other album is as relevant at 3 as it is at 30? Furthermore I struggle to think of any other albums that come with such a captivating storybook. And for those who have lost their childhoods and can no longer connect with Oblio’s plight, they just may be beyond help.

“Think About Your Troubles” is probably the only heartfelt, soulful song in history to reference a whale carcass, and it’s also one of the all time great ballads, sung like grandfatherly advice on a rainy day. Everyone who loves this album has their own story to tell about it, and discovering a fellow fan is an instant win. Sharing it with someone for the first time is gift in and of itself, and helps create their own story.

My own collection truly began with the gift of The Ramones’ It’s Alive. There are few better offerings one can make than a fine record. In fact there was a time where I was skeptical of listening to modern music on vinyl at all. That is until I received Pavement’s Wowee Zowee. It’s amazing to discover a work’s true medium, and I thank god I didn’t acquaint myself with Pavement’s magnum opus via CD; in spite of it’s inherent greatness in any form, there’s a certain ritualistic quality to spinning that record, almost as a sign of respect.

You don’t wear shades into an art gallery after all, at least not until you’ve earned that right. Magnolia Electric Company, that mighty work of Songs: Ohia holds a similar place in my heart. It also features some of the finest album art out there, which I never would have fully appreciated in any other format.

The totality of one’s interaction with a record cannot be replicated by any other medium, and these, my favorite albums of the past fifteen years just drove that home.

Now the possibilities are endless. Thanks to vinyl’s resurgence there are infinite ways for me to lighten my wallet in any city in America at any time, no matter how broke I am. Who are we to resist? Birthdays, holidays, leap years, there are few things I look forward to passing off more than that ubiquitous square wrapping, whose shape always betrays its contents in the best of ways. I’ve got shelves full of stories, good and bad, and though I won’t be organizing them chronologically by relationship any time soon I know that’s always an option to me, and that’s comforting.

All thanks to a simple gift.”
—Charles Whistler, Bassist

Chamberlin has teamed up with Paste Magazine and Stetson Clothing for an exciting new promotion for their next EP. The band is asking fans to vote on the songs they will record for a covers EP – where they’ll take current tracks and “cabinize” them into stripped down, acoustic versions in their cozy, Vermont cabin. Head over to the band’s website to vote! Voting ends September 5th and a track list will be announced shortly after.

Chamberlin Official | Facebook | Twitter

Chamberlin Tour Dates:

8.12 – Stanhope House – Stanhope, NJ
8.13 – Grace Potter’s Grand Point North Fest – Burlington, VT
8. 20 – River Roots Live – Davenport, IA
8.23 – Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
8.25 – Bluebird – Denver, CO
8.27 – The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT
8.29 – Saint Rocke – Hermosa Beach, CA
8.30 – Soho – Santa Barbara, CA
8.31 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
9.02 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
9.07 – Varsity Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
9.08 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI
9.09 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
9.11 – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI
9.13 – House of Blues Cambridge Room – Cleveland, OH
9.14 – Tralf Music Hall – Buffalo, NY
9.15 – Water Street Music Hall – Rochester, NY
9.24 – Mid Point Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH

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