16.2.11

at last, a record player



Yesterday I decided to buy a turntable, finally. I got this Crosley portable model at Sonic Boom in the Annex (thanks, Carly, for the tip). I did think about how Beth warned me against this sort of turntable, but I was feeling a bit down (for no good reason, or possibly the reason was "February"). When I'm feeling a bit down, I operate almost completely on impulse and instinct. I didn't want to wait to retrieve Geoff's old Bang & Olufsen (!!) turntable & have it repaired, I wanted a turntable in my hands right away. I also bought a copy of one of my favourite albums because it suited my mood so perfectly.

The turntable works and sounds just fine, but it's probably not the most well-made piece of equipment (the parts feel a bit flimsy). When we had it working, I put "Some Velvet Morning" on and laid down on the rug and felt really fantastic.

(But then I had to turn it off because our 14 year old neighbour downstairs was practicing her harp and I always love hearing her play her harp.)


So much nostalgia is wrapped up in those black discs. When I was little, my parents instilled in me a fear of dropping the needle down; if I wasn't careful, I would scratch the record. To this day I'm a little apprehensive about it. Many years ago I used to buy records because my boyfriend at the time had a turntable, so I would keep them at his house and we'd listen to them there; I'm not sure if he still has them. When Geoff & I stayed at the Ace Hotel in Portland we had a turntable in our room and we listened to St Vincent while packing calendars in their archival plastic sleeves. I really have no idea why it took me so long to get a turntable of my own. I miss listening to albums the whole way through, and I love the crackle-pops.

When I think of the records I would love to own on vinyl, these come to mind:

1. Slowdive, Pygmalion (currently $200 on eBay)
2. My Bloody Valentine, Loveless, or Isn't Anything
3. Serge Gainsbourg, La ballade de Melodie Nelson
4. Blonde Redhead, Mélodie Citronique (3 & 4 go together very nicely)
5. Stereolab, Refried Ectoplasm, Switched on Vol. 2
6. Heart, Dreamboat Annie
7. Fleetwood Mac, Tusk
8. Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans (the first album Geoff introduced me to)
9. Kate Bush, Hounds of Love (of course)
10. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies
11. the entire Smog catalogue
12. The Walkmen, Lisbon (I can't get enough of this one lately)

It just goes to show you how formative high school is, because I fell in love with most of these records before I turned 18 years old. If I have a "dreamy" aesthetic now, it's probably because I listened to so much Slowdive under the covers.


Additionally, I was one of the lucky girls who received a bouquet from Coriander Girl on Monday. Katie got one too!






REPLIES

Jane Flanagan: It is, isn't it? I love all her pieces. So beautiful.

Janelle, caroline, Lucy, Celine, Claire * Lola Is Beauty, EvaForeva, Ameesha Lee, Miss Moss, etre-soi, m.bardeaux, Andrea~CrowNology~, lizzie, Maggie, elle :: diana mini love, Same Length Pinkies, If Jane, Kate @ lovelornunicorn.com, conversationpieces, Hannah Percyowl, bigBANG studio, Elise / Pennyweight, wildflowers, julia, hila, CoCoon: Thank you all for your sweet thoughts for Pony! She is doing just fine, a monkey as usual. Only one more day of the cape, hooray! Although I do have to admit that nothing is funnier to me than seeing her trot along with that collar sticking up around her head. Satellite / clown / spaceship / flower / hair salon / Queen Elizabeth!

Terri: Oh yeah. She had a plastic cone for the first couple of hours that she was home and she was so miserable. She kept dragging it along the floor and bumping into things. Plus she broke it within seconds of me opening the door of her carrier! Cracked it clean in half. This one crinkles a little bit but I imagine it's far less annoying for her! Poor Willy! We do give her supervised breaks from it so she can keep up her grooming.

in dreams: You should get one! I definitely approve of people who will be good to cats getting cats.

yuko: I don't think blue is her colour, either. Or not that shade of blue!

Enia Is (Almost) Here: It was really hard to get it on her, let me tell you! The plastic cone she had for a few hours before she had this one on was even worse. I suffered quite a few bites and scratches and felt sad that my cat was so unhappy about it. Such a struggle! It's easier to get on and off her now, but luckily she only has one more day of it.

brittansalisbury: Yes! I love the heart kittens too.

Bantik: I'm sorry to hear about your dog and I hope he or she feels better soon!

arounna: Oh, haha! I thought that might be the case! I'm sure I'll pop in again!

nice-etc.com / caitlin: I know, that veil is so beautiful! I don't even really like veils. It's kind of medieval-looking to me. I wonder where the tape is from too! Gotta try it.

Lexie, Little Boat: I love it too!

bigfea: Pony is so pretty! She's not sick, but she got spayed last week. No kittens for this kitten!

sherri lynn: I'm glad you like them!

Meltem: Your ring is beautiful!

56 comments:

  1. that's one sexy record player! chris' grandma has one of the big wood floor standing record players from the 40's (that still works!!!) in her basement collecting dust that she may let us have one day (soon, i hope).

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  2. That's the same record player we have... works great for us! It's true how a record can really make you feel better... Mine is spinning right now as I type. :)

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  3. It's amazing, I love it! Love your record choices, too :)

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  4. Man, that bouquet. It is gorgeous.

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  5. Listening to records is pretty much the only way to listen to music in our apartment...or from our old wooden Sony radio. Brian's parents gave us their entire record collection three years ago! When we alphabetized them a few weeks ago, we rediscovered so many gems.
    I love listening to Led Zeppelin while I sew! ha

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  6. What a perfect first album to play on your Crosley! Maybe it's the approach of spring, but I've been wanting to listen to dreamy Bill Callahan songs lately.

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  7. I loooove Dreamboat Annie so much I framed the album cover. I see it used for cheap all the time!

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  8. So great! I think the Crosley is a good move... still repair Geoff's B&O of course, but it's fun to have something a little more portable too.

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  9. Hey, I'm the kinda girl to drink my wine (euro style) out of tumblers. So I totally appreciate the kind of casual convenience that the Crossley represents, as opposed to a more precious and pretentious path (represented by a bang and olufson or a crystal wine glass - which are awesome too, in their own way, but not what's needed everyday).

    The vintagey Crossleys are pretty darn cute, after all. Our Sony is awesome, but definitely not very cute.

    Really though, you should still check out Criminal! Even more so now that you have a player. I know all the band t-shirts in the front are a bit daunting, but they are really nice people, who will match pretty much any price in town on new vinyl for you. Which is what they specialize in - brand new vinyl. I mean, I love my vintage Stevie Wonders, but having Kanye's latest on Vinyl is a lot of fun.

    And yeah, I'm feeling you about February. I think all us Torontonians fall prey to a bad case of SAD around this time of year.

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  10. I've been meaning to get a record player for ages too. A few days ago I actually looked at the model you bought. Would you recommend it?

    Nothing beats the sound of vinyl. It's beautiful. My parents had an amazing record collection. I have a few, but nothing to play them on! I need to sort that out pronto.

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  11. What a lovely turntable! I have one, too, and mine is not the most well built piece of equipment, either. But there is just nothing like listening to vinyl. You music wish list is amazing, by the way!! :)

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  12. you know what? i was just talking about crosley record players this past weekend. i grew up in louisville, ky where they are made and a friend of mine works for crosley in their design department. i drove past the factory just a few days ago.

    can i also point out that Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle is one of my favorites? i <3 bill callahan. this post of yours makes me feel like we should be friends.

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  13. I used to have that record player! Now we have a hi fi that needs to be fixed, but the dude who fixes old records players is NEVER at the shop. Have you ever stalked records on Gemm.com? You might be able to find the Slowdive for less money! Also--Dreamboat Annie is a really good laying on the floor record for sure.

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  14. That's so nice - there's nothing that creates atmosphere like a real live record player. It's like a film camera I suppose, in its way. Your bouquet looks so fresh and spring-like - February is almost over!

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  15. i bought my turntable in college (same one, actually!!) and it seriously changed my life as far as listening to and discovering music. suddenly i was buying lots of old albums for less than $5 at the record store that i was interested in, but wouldn't have paid $15+ for on CD. those ended up being some of the most amazing purchases i ever made and heard and led to some pretty awesome musical discoveries. i hope your new turntable is just as transformative and fun!

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  16. You're making me soooo sad I gave all my records & player away when we moved! I just never listened to them. I had so many Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell... Sigh.

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  17. Mmm, vinyl. There's a record player in my house but it's in my sister's room so I often go without using it.

    The urge is building though, oh yes.

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  18. well aren't you the cool one! ;))

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  19. oh i love bill callahan! and that turntable is really just perfect. i've been thinking about getting one too lately. hm. anyway. lovely post as usual...!

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  20. i have every one of these records except the sufjan + the walkmen lps! including 3 copies of hounds of love + 2 copies of tusk, every time i see them at record stores for cheap, i pick up extra copies to give to friends... they are the best best best gifts.

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  21. Turntables are a lovely way to listen to music ... I love the beautiful sounds of its imperfections too.
    I also adore Bill Callahan / Smog. I love the lo-fi sound to his music and his incredible song-writing abilities (my favourite of his is 'Our Anniversary').
    xx

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  22. Hooray and congratulations on the acquisition! My guy has definitely brought me around to record players and vinyl. The sound is much warmer than CDs or MP3s. Initially I was apprehensive about handling the records and dropping the needle. Luckily, our player has a little lever that does the dropping and lifting so you only have to move the arm to the position you want and flick the lever.

    I will ask my guy if his shop (Kops Records) has any of the albums on your list. Enjoy your player!

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  23. Your valentine flowers are so lovely! I think the tiny white blooms are perfection. nice job Geoff!

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  24. What a beautiful record player & bouquet! I've been listening to really sad music on our turntable lately too. I;m definitely feeling very "February" these days. xo

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  25. oh lady, we listen to so much fleetwood mac and stereolab around here. and new order, as you know!

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  26. How perfect! I have a record player that I've had to fix up from a garage sale for a few years. I was really proud of myself when I replaced the needle all by myself though :D

    I feel like when I play music on it, it fills up the room in a way that doesn't really happen with my little ipod-bose hook-up.

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  27. It's always felt strange that I've never, ever used a record player, not even to drop the needle on someone else's. So I've always wanted one, but now I need one.

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  28. I'm glad you got the Crosley! If Andrew and I got one for ourselves, we would pick that one for sure. Then we could listen to our 3 records: Andrew's Nancy & Lee and Captain Beefheart, and my Eric's Trip 7". And, well, get more too! I feel like I would be more adventurous with trying new (old) music if I could pick up cheap interesting looking records in second hand shops by people I've never heard of that would probably be terrible but might be amazing. And it's great that this Crosley doesn't need a separate amp and speakers. Plus it's pretty good lookin' too. I'm so tempted...

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  29. Such a lovely post. And let me tell you, I love Bill Callahan. If I still lived in Calgary I'd go to Recordland in Inglewood and buy you a copy of that Heart album. It's such an amazing store, I'm sure you could get most everything on your want list there for pretty good prices. I haven't found anything quite like it anywhere else.

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  30. Ahh, so lovely. I too had one just like this at one point. I'm not really sure of the reason I gave it away, but I currently have two different ones that I'm not even using! :/ Lately, I've been sort of culling my collection and trying to get it down to things I love. With 3 Kate Bushs in my possession, I can pretty much forget everything else.

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  31. I just got the same record player for xmas! I adore it, I've been buying old records like crazy---I almost have every Joni Mitchell on vinyl now. I've been eyeing that Bill Callahan record at our local music store the last few times I've been in. Its such a pretty album cover, I must give him a listen!

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  32. i have a record player and it is probably the most precious thing i owned because my dad LOVES finding records for me. i got bowie for christmas this year!

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  33. crosley record players remind me of playing backgammon at my friend's kitchen table. vinyl is intrinsically tied to memory-thanks for reminding me of that.

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  34. I wish people my age still used record players! :( It's practically an object from another world, haha. (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but you get what I mean!)

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  35. Check out Kops Records too! They are super duper nice in there & there is an upstairs that carries tons of older/vintage records.

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  36. oh i have the same turntable! my friend gave it to me for my birthday!

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  37. I'm so glad you posted about this record player. My husband and I have been toying with the idea for weeks. :)

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  38. Nothing beats listening to vinyl! :)
    And having a neighbor who plays the harp sounds amazing!

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  39. Aw, my Dad had a record player and collection that I was never allowed to touch. He would only listen to them extremely loud (he's completely deaf in one ear) whenever he was the only one at home. Sometimes we'd catch him off-guard if we came home early. That player is his baby! Thus, I never really got to experience his records. I'm mostly of the mp3 generation. I guess that's a little bit sad, isn't it?

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  40. We have the same record player! Mine is in black (of course) ;)
    Sure it may not be made for intense audiophiles, but it's so cute and makes me happy. I've been buying only vinyl for the past three years, and nothing beats it. My recent find of Slowdive's 'Souvlaki' lp is proof. I have an extra copy of an old Smog ep, and one of them will be going to live with you soon :)
    xo

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  41. oh yay! it looks like such a beauty. My dad still has one, you've inspired me to go dig it out of his garage :)

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  42. I'm waiting for the day when I'll have one too. I used to have a little portable one which I loved so much. One of the minuses of being an expat - we left so much behind and became quite minimalist... Some day.

    Love your records selection by the way.

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  43. seven swans is on my list of albums id like, too. enjoy your record player :)

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  44. sometimes i wish we were an eagle could be among my favorite records..
    can't wait for the new bill callahan's album - apocalypse, out in march or april i don't remember!

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  45. I have the same record player! Although it's been collecting dust in my closet for a while now because my cat chewed through the power cord. Oops.

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  46. i think everyone feels little bit down in february. nice that you can listen to your neighbor's harp!

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  47. Enjoy the recod player - listening to music will be a whole new thing now :)

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  48. You lucky girl! I want a turntable so badly. There's something so dreamy and romantic about playing records. My dad has one and always plays his music, it's so lovely.

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  49. lady, it's as though you rifled through my record collection and found all my favourites! putting Slowdive's Pygmallion as your #1 just won me over totally. the rest is awesome, too. have you ever seen The Walkmen live? I saw them in a weird little show where there were less than a hundred people, it was awesome! :)

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  50. Well all of your record choices are ace, & I wanted to lt you know that I just picked up a copy of Dreamboat Annie for $3 and a (Japanese imported!!!) copy of Hounds of Love for $6! Eee! So I have every confidence that you can easily and affordably add at least these two records to your collection!

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  51. do you know what kind of flowers those are in the bouquet?

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  52. Hey Janis -- I'm actually not sure! I think they're all wildflowers of some sort.

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  53. I really loved this post. Your writing, and your wish list of records, so beautifully evokes the many feelings involved in wanting a record player (and captures so many reasons for which I got mine). I hope you find your Pygmalion one day.

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