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Spinning The Vinyl

Duke Ellington is one of those prolific musicians of an era of music that we’ll never experience again. Ellington, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Red Garland, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, and Charlie Parker… These cats made the music scene of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Of course, with the exception of Rollins and a few of the old guard that are still kicking around, the old jazz sound has all but dried up. Unless you listen to NPR or go out searching for it, you’re not gonna stumble into it.

1956's 'Ellington Uptown'
1956’s ‘Ellington Uptown’

Nonetheless, the digital age has made it possible for younger generations to connect to the sound of yesteryear through ITunes and GrooveShark. I, on the other hand, have ventured into the realm of vinyl like so many of my other hipster-generation colleagues. People say that music on vinyl sounds better than digital. I’m not sure if that is true or not. I get more enjoyment from the physical side of it all. Pulling that record out of a tattered sleeve that smells of old mold from where it was stored in someone’s basement or attic for decades… Bits of fiber sticking to your fingers… Placing the record on the turntable and carefully dropping the needle…

Then the record spins and the little pops in the sound let you know that this technology is far from perfect. There’s something comforting in listening to music that is not genetically modified to sound good. It’s basic.

Finding good vinyl deals without searching the Web is often difficult. It’s also part of the fun! I’ve found several great records at Goodwill and other thrift shops. Still, there are vendors that sell records as though they are an actual relic from the 1800s. For instance, I recently saw Queen’s ‘News of the World’ selling for $300 at an antique mall… What a crock.

I think I have more than 100 vinyls that range from jazz, comedy, rock-n-roll, to Ray Stevens. I’ve started to post photos of the covers on a tumblr. Check em out here!

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