Vinyl

VinylMy brother Ted, aka Jackson, is a serious vinyl collector.

Check out some of his recent posts regarding his obsession and his collection.

Jackson, and his buddy Tony Alva, have filled the comment section of this blog with pro analog anti digital commentary every time I post on the virtues of some new digital music thing, like delicious playlists, podcasting, etc.

I know Jackson and Tony appreciate the virtues of digital music but they also fear the loss of analog music, which also has its virtues.

So this morning I am blogging about analog music, specifically Jackson’s obsession – the vinyl record.

The Gotham Gal and I keep our vinyl record collection in our beach house where we are this weekend celebrating the fourth of july weekend.

Our collection isn’t large by collector’s standards, but we’ve got about 600 records.

Our collection is the combination of The Gotham Gal’s collection when I met her in 1981 with my collection at the same time plus vinyl records we bought together between 1981 and 1985.  We stopped buying vinyl and started buying CDs some time in 1985.  Then our friend Leslie gave us his entire vinyl collection sometime in the late 80s and we kept the best of his stuff.

So there isn’t anything in our vinyl collection that is newer than 1985 and most of it is 1960s and 1970s rock and folk.  There is some jazz, some classical, and a few comedy records.

In our beach house we’ve got a simple multi-room system driven by a single amp.  We can listen to music in almost every room in the house and outdoors on our back patio but we can only listen to one input at any given time.

We’ve got a bunch of inputs to this multi-room system:

Turntable for the vinyl collection
Casette tape player for our fairly large mixed tape collection
Tuner (not yet HD) for broadcast radio
CD/DVD player
An audio request digital music server that synchs with the audio request in our NYC house
A PC with Rhapsody and iTunes on it.
We use Rhapsody for playing music we don’t own
We use iTunes for playing podcasts

So that’s a pretty large array of inputs to choose from.

There’s not much we can’t listen to if we want to.

So what have we been listening to the most this weekend?

Vinyl.

Why?  Not sure. 

Maybe because we only have access to our vinyl collection here at the beach, we tend to listen go in that direction when we can.

Listening to vinyl is different for sure.

It takes more time to find the records.  Even though we try and generally succeed in keeping the records in alphabetical order, it just takes longer to find the record and put it on.

Also you have the option of not flipping the record to the second side.  We mostly listen to our vinyl records on both sides.  But not always.

And, yes Jackson and Tony, the record cover is a better experience than a jewel case or the Rhapsody screen for "augmenting" your listening experience.

This morning we’ve been doing a Dylan thing, we played Infidels, John Wesley Harding, and Planet Waves, all on vinyl.  It made for a really nice morning.