Pebaluna:
The TVD First Date

“My introduction to the world of vinyl has proved to be a very lasting and visceral one.”

“My parents first bought me a Fischer Price portable (and I believe battery powered) record player when I was probably about 4 years old. It was one of those old super Eighties looking tan and brown colored plastic ones that were popular at the time, the ones that only played 7inch 45s, with a built in speaker and a knob for volume. That thing would ultimately become my prized possession until a (then new) Casio SK-1 “sampling” keyboard forever de-throned it.

If I can remember correctly, the first records I had were a veritable cornucopia of Eighties staples and one hit wonders. Their staying power however had little effect on their integrity, to me they were all amazing and as far as I was concerned, the only music worth listening to in my little 4 year old world. I had Stacey Q’s ” Two of Hearts” (forgot the B-side, I think it was the instrumental), Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone” (sick!!) The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” The Fixx “One Thing Leads to Another,” and The Romantics’ “Talkng in Your Sleep”.

While those were pretty much all one hit wonders except for Peter, they are still really good tunes, forever etched into the annals of memory. It’s funny when I read back over them because I see quite blatantly where my propensity for minor keyed pop songs comes from.

I am admittedly a sucker for minor key pop tunes and at times kind of a weirdo about chord analysis and its correlation with what makes a song interesting. For example, the progression of “minor 1-flat 6-flat 7” is used in the chorus of that Gotye song that’s all huge as well as “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson. Both awesome. I digress…

I used to sit cross legged in the corner and listen to these records over and over again in my room by myself, I was in love with the textures they created and lost in those fleeting moments of aural beauty. The physically tangible aspect to vinyl is something I still appreciate today. People don’t listen to records today, they listen to songs. Part of the beauty of vinyl is its relative difficulty when it comes to changing songs. It’s much easier to just place the needle and listen thru than to be picking it up after every song.

I truly feel that when one is left without the convenience of switching around like we are all so accustomed to doing, it allows the listener a different type of listening freedom. I’m not saying that one way is better than the other, but merely that it is a really cool and refreshing approach to something we are used to experiencing a certain way. There is that ritual, that sort of extra human connection that comes with picking something out, taking it out the sleeve, placing it on the turntable, etc.

I think even as a four year old I found great satisfaction in putting a record on, as if I had something to do with the sound that would soon follow. That feeling has resounded within me for nearly 30 years and multiple albums of my own creation, and still convinces me time and time again that it is more than worth it to haul heavy ass crates of records from place to place each time I move.

Part of me is still that little kid rocking out to Stacey Q.”
Matt Embree

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