Friday, December 19, 2014

A Groovy Christmas for My Kid

Precocious Daughter is very easy to buy for this Christmas.

She wants vinyl.

Seems like an odd request, but sure, why not?

No, of course, that means she wants records. My thoroughly modern 15-year-old child of the 21st century wants LPs for Christmas.

Literally, she would be happy if she saw nothing but 12x12x0.5" presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

Or this.
Of course, I'm not going to get her only vinyl. That would get dull. And I know damn well there are other things she wants/needs/has been begging for. Still, she wants records...and her mama is pleased as punch to buy her records.

Side note: I miss buying toys like crazy. I miss buying lots of things that have appeared under the tree on past Christmases. Pokemon. My Little Pony. Board games. Stuffed animals. Nintendo DS games. I still see these things in the stores, and I reflexively move in to see which ones she might like to have. But she doesn't want these things any more. She's given these things away and donated them to the local thrift store. I understand - a lot - why people have multiple kids. It's to stretch out the days of buying Fisher-Price Little People and cute outfits from the children's department. Because when you have a single kid, once she's grown out of a phase, it's gone forever.

But I digress.

I know what records PDaughter wants. We listen to a lot of music together. She tells me who she likes (and doesn't like). We've hunted vinyl together at local new and used record stores. If you recall, it was I who taught her to use a turntable just a few short months ago. She's bought a few albums since then, and she likes some of my old records. But come Christmas Day, her collection will be bolstered by some hand-picked selections that I know she'll like.

Oh gosh, it was fun to buy records. The feeling of flipping through the stacks. Pulling out the ones that seemed interesting and turning them over to read the track listings and credits. Cradling them in your arm as you collected the ones you were going to buy (or at least the ones you were gong to choose from, because you always picked  more than you could actually afford to purchase at one time).

Although, really, you could ever have too many.

Records are more expensive than they used to be. They're more expensive than CDs. Sure as hell more expensive than my monthly subscriptions to satellite radio and Rhapsody, which provide me with most of my music fix these days.

Still...there is nothing, absolutely nothing like spinning a record on a turntable and cranking the speakers.

What is that sound? Why, that's BASS. And that warmth and depth and texture? Yes, that comes from the tactile sensation of needle coaxing sounds from vinyl grooves.

It's wonderful.

It's sexy.
So PDaughter will be unwrapping gifts of vinyl next week. My challenge is to wrap them so that it's not incredibly obvious what she's getting. That will be fun.

This could actually be clever for two records.

I possibly bought myself a record while I was shopping for PDaughter. It just felt so good to hold it. (And to be fair, it's one that's long been out of print on CD and unavailable for streaming/download, so it was a bargain.)

Analog rules, people. That...that's really the true meaning of Christmas, isn't it?

Yes. Yes, it is.


  1. I love records! I've never actually bought one. But I grew up playing my parents' records. As latchkey kids, my brother and I used to spend a lot of summer afternoons sitting in the living room with the fan on, playing records and singing along and eating popsicles! To this day I cannot hear a Billy Joel song without flashing back to that memory.

  2. I haven't even seen a vinyl record in...thirty years? Something like that. My own music collection started with cassettes. Remember those?

    1. I always made my own cassettes growing up, recorded onto high-bias tape from vinyl run through an equalizer. That's what you learn to do when your dad is a bit of an audiophile.

  3. Living in Nashville I'm familiar with the resurgence of vinyl. I even regularly visit an art store next to Third Man Records, where Jack White oversees the pressing of new records. The fact that new vinyl albums are being made blows my mind.

    I do love the old days of being able to physically browse, of going through boxes where the artists are arranged alphabetically, instead of some pop-up saying, "Since you like Madness you might also like Perry Como!" I loved getting gift certificates so I could go and make my own picks, but it's great that you've made some for PD. Wrapping a gift certificate is pretty depressing.

  4. Gosh, I haven't seen a record in so, so, long that I almost forget what they look like.

    As for your side note - I can completely relate!

  5. So...which album did you purchase for yourself? Inquiring minds need to know!


  6. I can totally relate to the sadness of not buying toys anymore. But vinyl is a great substitute!


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