Don't take my vinyl away

Or so says Urge Overkill.

Pearl Jam tells me to spin the black circle.

Slint tells me that their "...recordings [are] meant to be listened to on vinyl."

And Drive Like Jehu, not a band to mince words, kindly scrawls "CDs really ----ing blow."

Not to mention to the zillions of bands that only release tunes on 7" singles, or bands that dump extra tracks on vinyl releases of their albums, or even bands that release two record versions of their albums (whilst those stuck in the CD age only get one).

But this isn't about vinyl. I'm writing about recording medias period.

Everyone seems to have their favorite way to release stuff. The hipsters dig vinyl. The majority dig compact disc. The elderly and mix tape fanatics dig cassettes. The brain-damaged dig 8-track. Frank Black digs whatever ancient thing he can get his hands on. And some just dig live performance, forgoing that silly recording idea altogether.

Vinyl does (honestly) have a warm, warm, cozy sound to it. Hearing the needle slide into the grooves is a wonderful sensation. Compact discs have a nice "mastered" sound and are easy to use and carry. Cassette tapes have the unbeatable side dynamic, forging an art form on the spot. 8-tra--okay, that's a lost cause.

Bicker about these, please. It's only right.

But get this. Digital audio is taking over. In a sense, it's TAKEN over and not entirely settled in. Pshhh...forget CDs, dude. I gots me an iPod! I can carry FIFTEEN THOUSAND SONGS in the palm of my hand. Music has become so advanced that you don't have to lug a stack of vinyl over to your friend's house just to check out some new tunes; you can IM someone an MP3 or swap iPod playlists.

I think iPods are neat, and Apple has a nice gadget on their hands.

But there's a problem. Digital music is destroying an art form.

People don't care about album art. People don't care about song titles. People just want the catchy beats without any sort of intrusion whatsoever.

But that's like tossing water on a Monet painting just so you can carry the colors around in your hand. Forget that. Digital music has its place, but overuse of it is frankly destroying art. One of my favorite things to do is open a new CD (or cassette or record or 8-t--joking) and check out the song titles and album art and liner notes and thank yous and lay-out of tunes. I'm in a minority, especially when you can zip over to Napster and snag whateverthatsongiscalled for free so you can put this song that rocks the party that rocks the body into your MP3 player.

Art? Who cares about that?

I'm greeted by a chorus of crickets.

Hope it's available on vinyl.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 6/30/2005 10:30:00 PM,


At 9:21 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

"People don't care about album art. People don't care about song titles. People just want the catchy beats without any sort of intrusion whatsoever."

It is sad that people seem only interested in the temporary...whether it be tunes or in plastic. The enduring and classic forms of art and beauty are being put in museums while they should be a part of a person's daily life. Art and beauty and durable forms of such are meant to be enjoyed as the gifts of God. Man in this culture seems to be losing this good gift in various ways.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Cymru said...

You're a blogger? Cool. : )

Alas, I have a huge album collection and currently nothing decent to play them on. Still looking...

In the meantime, they look great in frames!

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Cymru said...

Oh, and one more thing. I've noticed a new disturbing trend in the cd's I've been buying. You pop the disc in, crack open the liner notes, and....nothing. Just pictures of the band. If I want to know the lyrics, I have to look it up online. And, they don't even tell me who's who in the pics! I don't know who the vocalist is, the drummer, etc. This annoys me to no end. I feel like I should get some sort of refund.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Erica said...

I love the warm sound of vinyl too, but finding something sturdy to play them on is a whole nother story. I have a CD or two that were originally on vinyl, but then transfered onto CD without being digitally remastered. Those hold some of the same feel, but not as well as the real thing.

cymru -- I know exactly what you mean. I hate it when they skimp on the notes. It drives me insane.


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