Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vinyl Confessions From a Man Cave

From my latest post for Boston Magazine dot com:

Since today is June 15, 2011, known in Boston as Stanley Cup Game 7, I have a confession to make: watching hockey makes my eyes glaze over. I know this is ridiculous coming from a baseball fan who can spend four hours watching (and with intense interest) a meaningless Sox-Angels game in April. I try, but after a few minutes of watching bearded Canadian dudes skating back and forth and bumping each other into the walls while slapping around a little black speck (I thought HDTV was going to vastly improve this aspect of viewing), I am soon paying more attention to the music at the Garden or the Rogers Arena.

At the home ice, the Boston stereotypical classic rock comes out — a bit of the Cars, Boston (the band), and, of course, Aerosmith. For some updated flavor, they might throw in “Shipping Up to Boston” from the beloved modern classics, the Dropkick Murphys. All of this is an improvement over present-day Fenway. One would be forgiven for thinking that the “lyrical little bandbox” has been transported to suburban Nashville for all the lamestream modern country-pop music played there this season. And I guess we can be grateful that at least hockey players and the fans of the sport share a reputation for the sort of toughness that would not allow for the unfortunate tradition of “Sweet Caroline” (made worse as a post-Fever Pitch phenomenon) played between periods. (Or is it? I am never at live hockey games, but I can’t imagine that would fly.)

Either way, during the series, I’ve found myself turning down the volume (though I really enjoy the excellent play-by-play of Doc Emrick) and reaching for my records — yes, my old, dusty records. They reside in my basement man cave, which just was improved by the addition of a knock-off of the classic Eames Lounge. Mine is a Plycraft recliner variation and, damn, if it isn’t one of the most comfortable listening/viewing spots. Coupled with some recent turntable tweaks, I have been back to enjoying the vinyl experience again on a regular basis.

Now, I am not one of those old record-collecting SOBs who will bore you with tales of what has been lost with the age of digital music. For me, it has been less of a revolution (excuse the pun) and more of an evolution, embracing the new without forsaking the old. However, I actually had the old records in the attic for a while after we moved house. They were up there for a couple of years during which I did not play records at all. It wasn’t until trying to describe to my daughter the experience of acquiring Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour LPs that I decided to get all the records out again and actually show her.

Read the whole post here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Richard Bouchard said...

Thanks for the mention in the Boston Magazine piece, Bill. We're actually though, the magazine piece is linked to dot com, which is a tribute page to Boston-the-band, not us. If there's anyway to get that corrected, we'd really appreciate it. Thanks for the love!
-Richard Bouchard
Assistand Publisher, Boston Band Crush

JohnK said...

Thanks tons for the blog info!-- My regular rounds just got longer! You're absolutely right about the bounty of music that's out there nowadays. I wouldn't trade my "good old days" of digging through vinyl bins and hoping to strike gold, and the great desperate joy of wanting whatever crumbs, half-truths and rumors we could scrape up on all those bands and artists. At the same time, it would take a small, cold and hard heart to begrudge anyone all this wonderful stuff that's practically handed to us on the web. An embarrassment of riches...

Timmy said...

Hmm, little my opinion.

man with van in London

Randy Reichardt said...

You wrote: "It’s impossible to separate the nostalgia from any music that has lasted for more than a few years. Music and nostalgia go hand in hand. Embrace it. Wallow in it. But I have never felt more open minded about searching for and discovering new music than I do now."

At the risk of repeating myself, given that I have commented on this before, I agree completely. I embrace and wallow in music that brings back memories all the time. Last night it was the Dave Clark Five. But the discovery of new music remains important and vital to me.

Unlike you, however, my albums remain in boxes. I'm too lazy to hook up a turntable my brother gave me a few months ago. But when I do, the first album I listen to will be Skins.

Jeff from NH said...

I got the new Buffalo Tom on vinyl (thanks for the digital downloads too!). I also got some good new/re-issued vinyl at the past two Record Store Days. My turntable is not yet set up, but that's part of the master plan...

Note that in you can bring your own vinyl to play at "Sunday Spins" from 3-8pm at TOAD in Cambridge.