Hello MotherLankers, I am Le Shroom.
For my first blog post I would like to talk about a specific matter called PVC (since geeks will say to avoid the term ‘vinyl’). Many people asked me why I love LPs so much, why I spend money on them and why I don’t just plug the AUX cable like most people…
…so here’s the TOP 5 REASONS WHY SHROOMIE LOVES PHONOGRAPH RECORDS
NOTE : I won’t try to convince anyone that this analog sound storage medium is the best musical format since I don’t think there is one. The debate over which one has better quality is stupid (we all know that we -the elite of professional listeners- use .flac) as well as pretty boring, if you ask me, and I won’t get into technical details either. So please, don’t let me be misunderstood (bam balabalabalabammm)
1 :: DIGGING
Becoming an LP fan got me to go out and find different stores in Montreal. Luckily enough, there are quite a few, plus the many thrift shops where you find gems like ‘How to quit smoking’. I found that spending hours digging through crates is a very relaxing experience. I’m usually by myself, scanning through the covers and previewing random bands on my phone. I spend a lot of time thinking, and i usually meet a few people with the same passion and share some of it with them. The treasure hunt is always fun.
2 :: LP STANDS FOR LANKY PLAY
When is the last time you’ve listened to a whole album on Spotify ? Or anywhere? Some of you probably do it regularly, but I find that a lot of people -like myself- will tend to only listen to playlists or to music on shuffle when its possible. When I’m home and feel like experiencing what an artist has put together as a whole, I simply carefully put the disk on the turntable, sit back and enjoy. I usually take this precious time to do nothing but to listen through it. If a song annoys me, it becomes less trouble to let it play than to skip it, and -who knows- I might expand my taste and learn to appreciate it.
3 :: SIDE A
Quite simply, even though having the record stop after a few songs (or one lanky Fela song) might annoy some, to me it’s part of the experience. I see it like a concert intermission : A time to briefly get out of your bubble, go to the washroom if you need to, get your ass up and flip the record to keep it going. *It’s the little things* (to read in a grandma voice).
4 :: WORDS
Not only is the front cover of an LP like a piece of art, (way more than a little CD, especially the ones trapped into those shitty plastic cases) just like the inside of it, but I think its best (and most unique) part is the back cover. Sometimes designed to be read while listening to the music, sometimes explaining the backstory of the artist’s inspiration, sometimes written to make you laugh, and sometimes written 5 minutes before printing and trying to fill the available space, the back covers are always entertaining.
5 :: MATTER MATTERS
There is something very precious and of great value in having a piece of music engraved on a physical object. My biggest fear with Spotify is -for whatever reason- to lose access to all my playlists and all the music to which i currently have access. My vinyls are my bunker for an eventual apocalypse : when the internet will be down, as long as I still have electricity, I’ll have music. It’s also great to look back at all the records you purchased, found, or were given. The ones you regret buying and the ones you’re oh so damn glad you did. It’s also a quick and direct look at your musical journey (whether it started with Dark Side of the Moon, Abbey Road or Crime of the Century). Finally, I just love the thought that one day, I can share this music that means so much to me with someone else. I will know that that person will have a different perception of this music because of the inherent added value that exists within getting something from someone who carried it with them for a long time and who cherished it.
In conclusion, does this still make the LP hype a ‘hipster’ thing that makes you feel cool and intellectual? Maybe. Do I listen to my LPs very often? No. But with what I just wrote, I hope you now understand why I think the experience is worth it, at least for some of us.
Inspired by a talk with Lena