Hello again, blogoverse. It's been a while; you've changed, I've changed. We're not great about keeping in touch, but sometimes I need someplace to vent my hyper-fixations at, so here we are. Today we're talking music. 'Wait a minute, "Video 🎥, Gaming 🎮, and Smart Home 🏡"? This is none of those!' My blog, my interests, my rules. 😎
Back in my college media-writing class, we had a weekly assignment of a blog post with prompts. I didn't care to archive that for some reason. I remember one of the topics being along the lines of "10 of your favorite songs and why". At this point, the music video playlist I keep on YouTube was in it's early (under 100 videos probably) days, so I had the music videos embedded in the post in a slideshow with descriptions of what each song meant to me, the spread of my music tastes and some joke entries. Even though I have lost that blog, the playlist is still going (7+ years later), with over 700 videos! I had the recent realization it's a sort of mood tracker of my life, because of how I listen to music. I'll binge the most recent tracks for a while, then I end up adding more when I want to listen to something else. Yes, I use the repeat button, and the repeat-one button.
That's not really the direction my brain is pointing in at the moment, so let's talk vinyl records. Sure, they're no longer the most convient way to listen to music anymore, but with that big beautiful album art they've always caught my eye. When I was younger I was obsessed with putting things up my bedroom walls (well some things never change) so I raided my dad's albums and put a few up. Now knowing how much out-of-print albums go for, yikes. I took the records out though! Years later, I ended up buying a copy of The Blues Brothers soundtrack at a rummage sale, which was my only vinyl until 3-4 years ago.
I'm going to end up using vinyl/record/album pretty interchangably here; When I say 'album' though, it's usually referring to the collection of songs the artist has made
I don't know what compelled me? Or what order I got the earliest albums in? I think it was the Donut County soundtrack, which is just wonderful background music for a wonderful game. It might have been my occasional urge to make sure I have all the media I love physically. If Spotify were to some reason fall off the internet tomorrow, I'd atleast have (some of) my tunes. Why not CDs? Don't get me wrong, I have some. These days artists seem more willing to release in vinyl? CDs were to be the way to listen to music, now streaming is the convenient option, so selling physically is much harder for musicians. Since there's been this resurgance in the format, It's basically another piece of exclusive merch.
🎧 Albums in my collection
This is vaguely the order I bought them in, bought new unless the decription says otherwise.
- Donut County OST
- Cowboy Bebop OST
3️⃣2️⃣1️⃣ Let's Jam.
- One Of Us - Mystery Skulls
Not my favorite album, but I keep missing releases of his other albums.
- The New Abnormal - The Strokes
The cover for this annoys me. It's plastic with cut out vinyl stickers poorly attached, and art slipped inside. This is not going to hold up.
- Future Me Hates Me - The Beths
My copy is a cloudy translucent blue, I think they press it in a bunch of different colors. There's definately layers of music I can hear on the vinyl over Spotify. Thier 'Live From House' concerts were fun, and I wish I had someone to go with when they were touring here.
- Warm Blood - The Beths
- Jump Rope Gazers - The Beths
I think the color is 'Tangerine Orange"
- Commit This To Memory - Motion City Soundtrack
Hoo boy, this one is in such bad (listening) shape. A chip along the edge, a scratch, the first track skips terribly. I bought it used off eBay for pretty cheap, so it's about what I expected.
- Even If It Kills Me - Motion City Soundtrack
- Good Faith - Madeon
Genuinely one of my favorite albums of all time, vinyl or not. I honestly prefer the live mixes of most of the songs? Where's the Good Faith Forever concert album, Hugo?!
- No Fear No More (Single) - Madeon
- Adventure (Deluxe) - Madeon
Managed to grab one right when it was listed on his store, sold out an hour or so later. Mildly dissapointed that the secret song was spoiled for me on Reddit, and that I didn't get mine until another week later, but still great!
- Worlds - Porter Robinson
- Nurture - Porter Robinson
I want to figure out some sort of battery system so I can take this with the turntable and listen to it in the middle of a field on a nice day. Or maybe I'll just take it into the backyard.
- Discovery - Daft Punk
The cover is not in the greatest shape on the edges, unfortunately that's how it arrived in shipping. I was too excited to have found it for a decent price I didn't care. I don't know if it was used? The vinyl is in great shape, but there was no shrinkwrap.
- Cross - Justice
Arrived on Easter, how fitting.
- Razzmatazz - I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME
This is the first album I've gotten with interstitials! There's little bits between songs that you can't hear on Spotify. A fun discovery when I listened to it the first time.
- Scaled and Icey - Twenty One Pilots
Somehow this was a double impulse buy? I bought the CD on clearance at Target, then when I started lookin at vinyl on Amazon, it was around $10. I figured why not, it's listenable. Also, Amazon shipped it in a bag? No bubble wrap or anything? I'm very surprised it was undamaged.
- Now, Not Yet - Half Alive
Released in 2019, thought I was buying it used on eBay, turned out to be new! Doublemint Green.
I'm waiting for these to arrive...
- Shadow Academy
I just happened to start listening to the album the night before the vinyl preorder! That'll arrive sometime in September. (Lead times are apparently crazy right now)
- Auckland, New Zealand 2020 - The Beths
- Chillhop Essentials Fall 2021
Oh no. Lofi mixes on vinyl? This is dangerous.
I buy albums that I know I can listen to all the way through. That is more music than I used to listen to. Growing up I didn't have many favorite bands. I was always too worried about people judging me for my music tastes, that I never talked about music with anyone else. Spotify's social features helped me eventually break that ice with a few of my friends, and then YouTube's reccomendations wided my horizons. There are a bunch of albums I would love to have, but wow, they are not cheap. The game these days is to follow your favorite musicians, and be ready to preorder the vinyl the day it's listed on the store. It's insanity. Oh you want an older, popular album? Be ready to pay a few hundred. (No thanks.)
When I started actually caring about vinyl, the turntable I was using was gift for my significant other at the time. She had a bunch of records she hadn't actually listened to, but had as display pieces. In the end I had used it often. We kept it in the kitchen with our small shared collection of albums. We split a couple years later, and I decided to get my own, since it had been a gift. Initally, I bought a cheap briefcase-like turntable off Amazon– That was a horrible mistake. The first one I got skipped on even brand new records, the second (a different model) turntable, I went to play Madeon's Adventure, an album I know by heart, only to realize the playback was ever so slightly too slow. At that point, I decided to just get the turntable I knew already, an Audio-Technica AT-LP60X. Super basic, nothing too fancy, and in my (now slightly higher, because those first two were so garbage) budget.
My listening setup isn't that much right now, a joke for enthusiasts. After the move, even though I don't really have a space for it, I tried setting up my grandpa's amp. It was used to play radio both in the kitchen and living room, but something must be wrong with the relays or power inside it now. I can get one channel of audio out of it, but running both channels causes a bunch of clicking sounds from within the amp. I decided not to mess with it. Eventually, I'm going to run the music through my old 5.1 surround, but I would need to bother to set that up. What's the current solution? Cheap PC Speakers? Nah those sound awful. My desktop Logitech G560 speakers? That would make too much sense! Did you know the Amazon Echo 4 has audio input? Yup. That's my speaker right now. It's sort of disgraceful. When I want to use headphones I just, plug them into the back of turntable? No volume control, but with my in-ear headphones it's the perfect level anyways. I would like to get a DAC at some point to remedy that, maybe another set of over ear headphones too.
As for accessories, I do have a transparent yellow acrylic slipmat that was a late night impulse buy; had I remembered at the time that the turntable platter has holes in it, I wouldn't have bought it. There's a cleaning kit from Big Fudge I've had to use a couple times, and a little stand to hold up the cover for the album I'm currently listening to. The reconds are currently in a milk crate, which I hope isn't permanent. It'd be nice to find a small piece of furniture that could have the turntable on top, with some vinyl storage below, maybe space for some bookshelf speakers. I know they exist, I don't care enough to buy one new though.
A KALLAX unit, cozy lighting, and a nice comfy chair? That's the dream.