Friday, July 11, 2014

I Spin You Right Round

Tonight I taught Precocious Daughter how to use a record player.

Very funny.
My kiddo is a bit obsessed with vinyl right now. Because of course all the hip bands are releasing their albums in multiple formats these days, including 180-gram, limited-release artisinal vinyl records. It's way profitable authentic to sell a record for 25 bucks that you then have to transfer to a digital format so that you can play it anywhere other than in the room where the freaking record player is. It's meta-retro-organic-ironic-roots-selfie. Man.

Oh, this guy approves? I hate this fucking century sometimes.
ANYway. I told PDaughter that I don't want her buying any overpriced records until I dust off my stereo components (Google it, goddammit) and also buy a new turntable. The only thing we have that can play records is a cheap Chinese Leetac (a ripoff of those cheap Crosley players) with built-in tinny speakers and a - hahahahahaha - cassette player in the side.

It is in fact this very model.
It looks the shit, and sounds the crap.
However, I told PDaughter that it's fine if she wants to play my old records on the Leetac, and she responded by moving my entire vinyl collection (maybe 100 albums) into her bedroom. Because she's a teenager, and what's mine is hers if she thinks it's cool.

We spent this evening organizing the records, and I regaled her with anecdotes and memories about these amazing, precious 12" discs that in my teens were to me what Prozac is to me now. Life, sanity, the ability to function in the face of a cruel, heartless existence. Damn, I miss records.

Also, milk and cookies, itchy woolen skirts,
and ever-so-slightly ethnic boyfriends.
After I showed her the amazing Milton Glaser poster from my original copy of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits and the beautiful gatefold of my Giorgio Moroder Metropolis soundtrack, I carried the Leetac into her room and selected a record to play. It was Queen's The Game.

OH. Let me stop here and say this: Last night, PDaughter got to see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert.

Meanwhile, I watched Sharknado again.
True story.
She was invited by a friend - and her friend's wonderful parents, Mr. and Mrs. Honest-to-God Judge - to attend the concert. Rather than stuff her in a closet and pretend to be her, I gave my blessing. Because Queen with Adam Lambert filling in for Freddy Mercury, bless his ass-kicking soul? Duh. I swallowed my extreme envy like a lump of Vegemite and sent her off.

The child has not stopped talking about the concert.

It's been pretty much this.
Aside: ChrisAndBekS, I  just learned that STheYounger also attended as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Honest-to-God Judge. So you understand. How did our kids go from snot-nosed little SpongeBob watchers to awesome cool concertgoers? I don't know. At all. Jesus.

Anyway, in keeping with her first real concert experience (totally see here for context), tonight I recommended she listen to Queen on vinyl. Specifically, the 1980 album The Game.

Love love love love love love this album.
I had to teach her all about records. Which freaked me out - I mean, records are it, right? But no; this child was raised on CDs and digital downloads. Wow.

So I showed her how a record player works. Where the needle is. How you choose the speed of the recording. How you place the tone arm on the outer edge of the record, and how you remove it from the inner groove when the side is over. What a 33 1/3 LP sounds like when played at 45 or 78 RPM. What happens if you don't place the needle gently on the vinyl (skkkkrrrrcccchhhh). I explained backward-masking and how to reveal the hidden messages by spinning the record backwards.

I had the best time EVER. PDaughter also had a wonderful time, to judge by her facial expressions and reactions. And of course, we got to listen to Queen's The Game, one of my favoritest albums ever.

I think I'm going to invest in a decent turntable so she can buy overpriced hipster vinyl by The Strokes and Jack White and other bands she loves. Hey, it's cheaper than designer clothes and more appealing than that Roku set-top box she keeps nagging me about.

App? Cloud? Stream? WTF are you talking about?
Oh gosh, it was fun teaching her about analog music and vinyl records.

Next: How to find clues that Paul is dead by spinning records backwards. Blowing a teenager's mind: Priceless.


  1. I've been trying to talk The Hubster into getting a turntable, but he has no interest on it. He's more into the "clean sound" of digital music these days instead of the lovely crackle of vinyl. Guess I'll be buying myself one for my birthday. And I can only hope to have the luck to rebuild my vinyl collection I had when we first married. He left it in a box in a storage facility when we moved. Said he went through and got everything. And no, 15 years later he's still not forgiven.

  2. I think I vaguely recall a record player my parents had when I was a kid. The arm went back to the cradle automatically when it reached the end with a sound like .

    Queen will not, will not, rock me. Nor will I bite the dust, mamma mia. Beelzebib, you see, has no devil set aside for me.


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