The Jaguar Club,
The TVD First Date

“I have always bought vinyl and I’m embarrassed for my bandmates when I say that I am the only one of us (5 adults!) who has the passion. Growing up I was introduced to the format, as many kids my age were, by Disney and Sesame Street records. My sister is older than me by enough that we still had these around the house when most people had moved on to cassettes. I was also strongly influenced at a tender age by an Alf flexidisc I received with my kid’s meal from Burger King.”

“Eventually we no longer had a turntable in the house and the stash of family records was moved to a shelf in the basement where they sat for roughly a decade until I did what every late ’90s teenager worth his piercings did and decided to become a DJ. Inspired by Beck lyrics, that first actually-really-good Fatboy Slim album (you know, with Santa Cruz on it?), and DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, I obtained some turntables and a grossly-underpowered little DJ sampler. The pile of mildewed vinyl was rescued from my brother’s friends’ frisbee games and I started exploring.

In addition to kids albums there was a lot of show tune stuff and classical albums, as well as my personal favorite at the time—the soundtrack to the TV show Mission Impossible. I tried, in vain, to make my terrible 8 second Gemini sampler do the impossible while drooling over MPCs in the Musicians Friend catalog. I never got to the point of making songs from samples like Mr. Cook or DJ Shadow (I don’t think I even really knew how they did it then) but I did develop some basic DJing ability and could eventually match beats and was mixing bits of my parents’ old collection in with current 12”s I was buying.

Like all good stories about American teenagers, this one ends at a High School dance. Enjoying our positions as seniors, my friend Dave and I obtained the position of DJs for the big annual Halloween dance. Dave was armed with a CD player and various hits of the day, and I was on the decks (and that cursed little sampler) stocked with a selection including Underworld, Orbital, 808 State, Chemical Brothers, Air, Boards Of Canada, Moby, and the like. This was not universally popular music in my suburban Massachusetts school but I stuck to the uptempo and better known songs, Dave tossed in some crowd pleasers, and between us we kept the dance floor full.

After a while I felt confident enough to take a “risk” and put on ‘Teardrop” from Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, my favorite song from my favorite album at that particular moment (and it’s still great!). It is, of course, a very slooooow song. I knew this but for some reason I was shocked when, instead of staying in the moment with me and admiring this slice of pure sonic beauty, every single teenager in the room headed for the food. I literally cleared the dance floor. It was traumatic at the time. I’ll never forget the image of one lone kid, a good friend of mine with fine taste, spinning slowly under the disco lights on an otherwise empty dance floor. Aware of the disaster at hand, Dave flipped the channel to his CD deck. And with the first notes of “Rappers Delight” the dance floor was suddenly filled with screaming kids again. I just hung my head in shame.

These days I still collect vinyl and one of my turntables is a fixture in our living room, but the second turntable lives in the basement waiting to be used for spare parts. I turned more towards the guitar, my voice, and synthesizers to fulfill my musical urges—though I did finally learn how to sample properly as technology became more obtainable. The Mission Impossible soundtrack is still there on my ever-expanding record shelf though, filed right next to Jane Fonda’s Workout, “Born Slippy,” and all the other classics from my brief high school DJ career.”
William Popadic, vocals, guitar

The Jaguar Club’s EP, “Close” is in stores now.
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