Analog Cabin…


Love In Decay…

Digital music, without me ever realizing it, has eaten away at my love of music.  I don’t think digital music did this intentionally.  It was just another cultural subsystem, doing what systems have done to societies for years; taking mankind on rides that humans can barely see and rarely control.

As vinyl gave way to CDs and then to digitized files, as speakers gave way to earbuds, and as collecting the finite gave way to downloading the infinite, my pallet for music has deteriorated without me realizing it.

To keep me hooked though, digital music has regurgitated bits and pieces of what I once loved, and sold it as the only nutrition I would ever need – much like orange juice concentrate would improve the state of hand squeezed orange juice back in the 1960s.

Because of this process, my love of music has been neglected and misfed for decades.  Like other aspects of my life left to neglect, my love of music is reawakening…

The Paycheck Process…

The system was simple.  From the age I began to work, 15, until CDs choked vinyl out of the music retail scene, I would direct the $1 line and the $.00 lines of every paycheck I ever eraned toward buying vinyl.

Example:  If my paycheck for being a sandwich maker in 1978 was $42.73, $2.73 would go toward music.  If my paycheck as a Coast Guardsman in 1985 was $419.38, $9.38 would go toward music, and so-on.  And for years, that was the most important product from any paycheck.

Through this process I accrued a catalog of albums ranging from Herb Alpert, Aztec Camera, Molly Hatchet, Joe Satriani, Steely Dan, Lee Ritenour, The Fabulous Poodles, Mental As Anything, and on and on.

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Not saying I’m proud, but I once owned their entire catalog…

Eventually though, turntables became scarce, new music was released on CD only, and my record collection became boxed and stored where it remained until my daughter graduated from high school in 2008.  At that time my daughter, who was raised on punk and classic rock, asked if she could have my albums.  She sensed a comeback that I didn’t buy into.  So the albums became hers.

In the meantime, the infinite Spotify and decent earbuds became my music only source.  With so much to choose from, I spent more time assembling playlists than I would ever spend listening to them.  And all of this became tedious and secondary.  I might still be in-like with music, but the love was gone…

What Goes Around (and around and around)…

With the advent of social media, and a growing outrage over the poor quality of digital music, the demand for vinyl now swells.  Much new music is released on vinyl, and buying a turntable is as easy as buying fresh oranges.

As I have witnessed this, it’s occurred to me to begin the process all over again; if a client pays me $1188, then $8 would go into a vinyl fund.  Starting from scratch though, has seemed too daunting.

Earlier this week I was searching Amazon for a vintage style radio for my studio and ran across one with a turntable onboard.  I figured, why not…?  Maybe it will inspire me to find a Herb Alpert album in good condition, or the soundtrack to Brigadoon.  But it didn’t end there.  Twenty-four hours later, and under the influence of inspiration, I purchased a console stereo for my living room.  Now what to do about the necessary vinyl…?

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To arrive this Friday…

Shortly after I purchased the console stereo, I asked my next client if, by chance, he had any old vinyl.  I was floored when he told me he was in the process of cataloging several hundred pieces to sell on eBay.  Quality be damned, I’ll be picking them up later in the week.  The symmetry of my designed universe never lets me down.

Lessons In Love And Appreciation…

This isn’t about the quality of music for me so much as it’s a romance thing.  It’s about the act of removing the disk from the cardboard jacket and running the Discwasher over the album.  This about placing the needle gently onto the glossy rim and waiting for my soul to rise…

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It’s a romance thing…

Once again I want to listen to and to appreciate albums as bodies of work.  The most soul-smothering problem with playlists on digital music is this:  You take just a piece of the painting and line it up beside a piece of another painting. You may create an interesting mosaic, but the point of each painting has been lost.

Through digital music I have lost my love of music, and that’s 100% on me.  I guess it’s time once again for me to learn the lesson I seem to keep on needing to learn; that when you truly love something, you don’t box it up and put it away, because you’ll probably never take it out again.  And even if you do take the box out of storage, what’s in the box will remember how you treated it.  Love what you love, and love it with passion – always.  Be well…  rc

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If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head.  Oh, and there’s this from Aerosmith.  The Sgt. Pepper remake movie may have sucked, but the soundtrack had one great cover.  Enjoy…

15 responses

  1. Great post! I feel like I can safely announce that I have an actual record player! As you say, nothing sounds as good as the real thing. Not so different with digital photos versus real film.

    I need to tell you that when I first started reading your posts, I was a little out of love with music, but you introduced me to some great artists and rejuvenated my passion.

    I’m going to look through a box of old albums I have and don’t be surprised if one of them shows up in your mailbox.

  2. Right On Brother, Music Soothes the Soul……Listening to old school music takes me back to some good times,wild and crazy times,all fond memories……….

  3. Hahaha… We are so on the same wavelength again, my friend. About a month ago I started moving/rearranging my giant cd collection and just looking at the album covers brought back my old love of not just listening to, but experiencing music again. So that project I mentioned yesterday involves me listening to full albums again (whether they be cds or vinyl LPs – I say album in terms of a collection of songs) instead of strictly random mp3s. And two weeks ago I bought five new vinyl albums (of not new music – 3 Frank Sinatra, 1 Led Zeppelin, and 1 Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings) at the store. New albums are expensive, FYI, but there’s a reason I like buying new, several actually, but I won’t go into them here. I’ll write my own post sometime soon. 😉 Anyway, super stoked to hear you’re ready to enjoy music again! And I love your system for saving up! We’ll chat more about this journey as it continues, no doubt. 🙂 Listen on, my friend!

    • After our dialogue the other day, this literally fell into place. Was going to be an October project but then I bought the huge console for my house. Bam!

      Anyway, in writing this I was nervous that I was going to trump your idea/project that you spoke of. I like what you plan to do. I’ll be writing later this week on my Contemplative Fitness Facebook page on how this is going to feed into my client’s and my own workouts. Hint: Full albums at a time 🙂

      • If Mo shows up at your front door with three “Peaches” crates of records mostly from the 1960-80s, be suspicious…. 😦

        One of these days we might road trip out to Fallbrook to add to your collection even though it will tough to give them up.

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