In The Groove

16 May

In The GrooveI scored the last Butch Walker End of the World (One More Time) 10” at Shake It Records on Record Store Day last month. I held the record gingerly because it is the one form of playback everyone reveres. We jammed in 8-tracks, pushed in cassette tapes, and drop CDs. Records require gentleness. It is much like chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony) in which every movement the host makes while preparing the tea has purpose and care while drawing you into Zen. We cautiously slide them out of their protective sleeve, blow the dust off, hold it delicately between open hands, and carefully place it on the turntable. Don’t leave it in the heat or it will warp. Never grip it between your fingers or it can break or scratch. Set the needle down like you set a sleeping baby in their crib.

In The Groove 2

In the quest for a clean, perfect sound digital music was created along with auto tune (don’t get me started), and the new thing – Beats by Dre. We forgot that music wasn’t always about a clean sound or a perfect sound. If that were the case there would be no rock, punk, singers with raspy voices, jazz musicians riffing in the moment. One of the joys of vinyl is finding the perfection in the imperfections. Vinyl-lovers always return to the medium for the sound. There is nothing like the initial crackle and hiss when the needle makes contact with the vinyl. The grooves offer more depth than digital formats, making everything sound fuller, rounder.

I have a small collection of vinyl. Elvis, The Beatles, Jan & Dean, Cecilio & Kapono (contemporary Hawaiian music if you’re scratching your head), INXS, Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, Shaun Cassidy, and Tom Jones to name a few. But my favorite is The Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. The sound of the entire album is so rich and thick I can float on it. I get excited just before putting it on because I know what’s coming. The beats, the tinny acoustic line from Terence then BOOM! The striking entrance of everyone hits you hard and makes you pay attention. HERE I AM. Digital versions of “If You All Go To Heaven” lack the roundness of the deep, heavy bass on that entrance.

In The Groove 3

Vinyl should have gone the way of reel-to-reel, 8-track, and cassette tapes (really just a portable version of reel-to-reel) in the evolution of music formats. Vinyl flourishes in an age where we can hold all of our music in something the size of a men’s wallet (or smaller). It refuses to die because the sound each groove holds will always be purer than anything on an mp3 player or in a CD player.


Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


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6 responses to “In The Groove

  1. woodbeez48

    May 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    We have kept our joint vinyl collection from our youth up in the loft now for a few years, along with our Dual turntable. Then a couple of years ago, our eldest daughter decided she would like to have a listen to our collection (well, perhaps not all of it ;)) and now she is building her own collection of vinyl (very expensive) and playing it on the dusted down turntable in her room. It feels good to hear some of those albums on vinyl again, like you say, and it’s lovely to see it all get a second lease of life.

    • Debi Smith

      May 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      That’s great that your daughter is into vinyl now! I had buddies in college who deejayed for the college radio station. I loved going into the room with the floor to ceiling shelves of vinyl when they’d ask me to come to the station during their show. It’s just like books for me. 😀

      • woodbeez48

        May 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        I can see you now 🙂

      • Debi Smith

        May 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm

        hehehe 😀

  2. Jason Revis

    May 21, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Even if you don’t believe that the sound is better (which I do) I always try to remind people that vinyl is the only format that holds it’s value… or gains value most of the time. Files are worth nothing the second after you pay for them… cd’s don’t fare much better… most people won’t buy a 20 or 30 year old cassette… but vinyl, glorious vinyl, will always be worth something to somebody.
    Unlike all those other formats, most people can’t press there own records at home (if I only could) so, it really makes no sense why record companies would back and distribute formats that are so easy to pirate… maybe they finally caught on and are helping the current resurgence of vinyl… I’m the worst business man I know and I can see that.
    Money aside… there is nothing better than watching the music translate from groove to needle… the romance of sound being created right before your eyes…
    What junkies we are…

    • Debi Smith

      May 21, 2014 at 12:21 am

      This is one time I don’t mind being a junkie. 🙂


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