I was recently perusing the aisles of Electronic Express, which is generally not a good idea for me as I am a horrible impulse buyer. I still have to work on the part of growing up where I don’t waste all my money on nonsense. I came across a record player for $100, and it was $50 off. I bought it without hesitation. I didn’t want it. I needed it, and it needed me.
People usually fall into one of two categories when it comes to vinyl, they either love it or they don’t see the point. My computer has thousands of songs downloaded on it and literally every song ever is only a search away. Why buy a huge fragile CD with only eight songs?
Vinyl just sounds better. However, don’t let anyone tell you it sounds that much better because I promise it doesn’t. But sound quality isn’t why I listen to music, and it isn’t why I like listening to records.
I also like watching movies. The past few years I’ve seen remakes, reboots, and more remakes. Hollywood’s fault, not mine. Like sequels, no one ever seems to think remakes are as good as the original.
The same goes for The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Which isn’t even a proper remake because he learns kung fu, not karate! I don’t know how they got away with it but whatever I guess.
Spoiler alert. Jaden is taken to a kung fu temple to see some kung fu monks. One of which is standing on the edge of a cliff with a snake. Jaden watches as she uses her righteous kung fu skills to control the beast.
Obviously the soon-to-be Karate Kid wants to try, but Jackie Chan says it takes years to master and he isn’t focused enough. He says it in a much more “young grasshopper, take the pebble” kind of way though.
Jaden complains a little more (he does that a lot) and Jackie Chan says my favorite line in the entire film:
“Being still, and doing nothing, are two completely different things.”
Listening to music while you clean the house or do homework is great, but vinyl is probably the worst way to do it. As soon as you get any sort of rhythm going you have to break it just to flip the record!
When I put on a record it is simply just to listen. I’ll wear my roommate’s big green headphones and just lay there with my music. I don’t spend that time doing nothing; I spend it being still. I firmly believe people need to take more time to just listen.
I’m a very critical thinker, excuse me, I’m a very critical over thinker. My thoughts go a million miles an hour and I never seem to be able to hit the brakes. At night my brain is exhausted because I tend to over analyze every single thought I have all day long.
If I’m wearing those big green headphones I’m not over thinking anything, I’m actually not thinking at all. The only thing going through my mind is Steve Miller or Dire Straits. Both of which are rather therapeutic. Sometimes not thinking is exactly what the doctor ordered.
When it comes to music you’re either a song person or an album person. I’m an album person. I used to be a song person because I didn’t understand albums. I thought bands just threw a few songs together and thought of a cool cover. The first time I heard The Cars’ self-titled album I became an album person.
I like greatest hits albums but I don’t like greatest hits albums. They’re essentially just albums for song people. Sure you hear your favorite songs in a row but you miss the whole point of an album. You miss the story the band is trying to tell.
I’m a really big Star Wars fan. Obviously the best part of each movie is the lightsaber fight you’ve been waiting two hours to see. But what if Star Wars was just one movie with only the lightsaber parts from each back-to-back. Now that would be an awesome movie. It would also be a terrible story.
Without context those cool lightsaber battles are just eye candy. You wouldn’t know why they’re fighting or who to root for. A greatest hits album is like that kind of Star Wars movie. It’s chock full of awesome songs that you love listening to. But it doesn’t tell the same story; there isn’t any context.
If you didn’t have to watch for two hours to see lightsabers start clashing it wouldn’t be as awesome. I’m sure the fight would still be cool but you wouldn’t be invested in it. You wouldn’t have that same satisfaction seeing the hero prevail.
The right album makes you feel the same way. Each song gives you a little more context for the next. It begins to snowball and you get more and more excited for each song. Forty-five minutes later — it’s over, and you’re lying on your bedroom floor with a goofy smirk and goosebumps.
Thinking is good and everyone should do it. But don’t be afraid of not thinking and simply feeling every once in awhile.
I believe everyone should own a record player. Not because vinyl sounds better (which it does) but because people spend too much time thinking and not enough time lying on their floor with a goofy smirk and goosebumps.
my top 10 goofy smirks & goosebumps:
Steve Miller – Fly Like An Eagle
The Strokes – Is This It
Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
The Cars – The Cars
Arctic Monkeys – AM
Weezer – Weezer (Blue Album)
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
T. Rex – The Slider
John Mayer – Continuum
Joe Walsh – But Seriously Folks