The Record Collectors

Feature photo by Caveman_92223

Did anyone notice that the introduction to this piece was exactly 45 words? This is not a slight against records, so much as it is an homage to the collectors of music’s past paving the way for music aficianados of the present and future. I am well aware of the shit I will get for this from all the true record collectors out there, but my…ahem…CD collection is my musical pride and joy. So there!

Rhetorical question #1: Can a record import tracks directly to your computer? Everything from Aesop Rock and Digable Planets (yes, THE Digable Planets) to Flight of the Conchords and Zap Mama is at your fingertips to share with those interested in passionately pursuing their musical collection. Let’s face it music lovers: nothing’s better than sharing music with another music lover. Music is something that unites us and divides us at the same time. Music is our lifeblood. It can tell the story of one’s life. Music is my religion, so passing music to other disciples becomes a modern day communion. Supporting little, local record shops becomes the new age pilgrimege. Introducing friends and lovers to new, awesome tunes becomes a sort of baptism. A band or artist reinvent themselves over and over and finally deliver their masterpiece after being in the game forever becomes a metaphorical reincarnation (I’m looking at you Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips). A band “breaks up” but forms separate mind blowing experiments afterwards (At the Drive-In, I’m looking your way). These musicians are my missionaries spreading the word of life changing music. That is just how serious I take my music. I know that not everyone sees music as a life changing entity as powerful or mystical as an actual organized religion, but I definitely do.

That being said, I am going out on a limb here and declaring that the best way to collect music is via the compact disc. Now before you jump down my throat for making such a declaration, check out rhetorical question #2: Can you play your vinyl in the car? This has turned into my favorite place to play music these days. I respect the hell out of record collectors based on my dad’s ridiculous collection of thousands and thousands. But that was in the 70s and 80s. The year is 2010, cars have CD players now, and CDs allow for so much more possibility than a record. I’m talking about being able to burn one for a friend. I’m speaking of putting endless tracks on itunes for playlist creating and gift giving, for music seriously is the best gift. I’m really just speaking about sticking up for the artists and the super cool artwork many of them put together in their album’s packaging and presentation. Records just don’t offer this type of musical exploration anymore, do they? Sorry Dad, sorry hard-core record collectors, you may have paved the way for us to feed our musical addictions, but you had your fifteen minutes, and music has evolved and moved on to the CD and this thing called the internet. Maybe it’s time you got with the times? I do appreciate the era of the record and its place in history (I have a small, special collection of my own), but in terms of musical capability in the 21st Century, the CD rules supreme in my book. I even appreciate sharing music via the download, but I can always go with the flow until my itunes gets all glitchy and shit…

Fellow CD collectors: the time has come for us to stand up and establish ourselves as recognized music media right there in the (pun intended) record books with other musical platforms. The CD: Going places vinyl never could. Hey! I even made up a slogan for us! Neat fun…

Rhetorical question #3: What is good music anyway? The privelege to be able to call ourselves cool enough to distiguish between good music and the soul-less crap in the so-called mainstream, this distinct privelege is what unites anyone actually taking time out of their day to read a piece by some renegade talking about musical media progression. It’s as if moving this topic forward will somehow make the world a better place? Well, in all honesty, music makes my world a better place (although I consider the world a pretty cool place to begin with), so I would be a happy camper if this message resonates with someone reading this and they go ahead and take music more seriously and maybe other things less seriously as a result. Everybody’s got their something…flaunt that something! Be you. Be bold. Play your music loud for it’s never too loud. Just don’t try to fit your records in your car’s CD player or try to burn one. I assure you, they will NOT fit, and you will have records aflame, melted record messy everywhere!

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2 thoughts on “The Record Collectors

  1. I’m going to try not to sound too disrespectful, and I know your probably waiting for the first vinyl enthusiast to comment here and start a heated argument, but I just want to say either live in the present or the past but not in 1994! It’s the digital age brotha, move on from your Compact Disc’s. If you really wanted to make a case against vinyl you should have skipped the whole cd speech and preached the saving power of the mp3. Digital formats are the way of the future, I mean think about it. Is there a more conducive media format for sharing/introducing music to others? Or how about the sheer awesomeness of having your entire music collection with you in your car on a single handheld device? You talk about cd packaging like it’s something to be revered, instead of the bastardized, watered-down version of a record sleeve that it is. I mean ok, I’m not a complete hater. Cd’s have their place, but as a temporary means of transportation of music. Not an item to be collected and respected. Discard after use. If you want portability stick with mp3’s, but if you care more about having a musical experience vinyl is still far superior to cds. Without getting into the technical stuff with compression and frequency ranges, I will say nothing beats coming home after a long days work than sitting in the Eames lounge with a cigar in hand, and listening to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue on vinyl. Simply enjoying the music as it was intended. No distractions. Just you and the artist. Listening to the entire album like you were reading a classic piece of literature from cover to cover. Sure records don’t fit in your car cd player, but they were never meant to. They come from a time when listening to recorded music was an actual pass time. If that’s not your thing than no sweat, but I think it might be time that you retire your old Discman and get yourself one of those new iPod things. It will save you from having to carry all those cds around in your back pack. Your chiropractor will thank me, and someday you will too.

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