What does your record collection mean to you these days?

OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
edited October 2014 in Strut Central
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  • skelskel You can't cheat karma 5,033 Posts
    Virtually every sentiment expressed therein is chiming with my own.
    Uncanny in its resonance,
    Cue now the anti-elitist haters; yet they must deal.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    Read this morning and thought of everyone here.

    Why shouldn't someone just getting into music go for the deepest rarest funk? It's as easy to find as the Supremes.

  • volumenvolumen 2,532 Posts
    I didn't read the whole thing but it seems to be devaluing record collecting into a competition of who has the most music or I have something you don't have. I have a music collection and records happen to be a large part of it. I still have stuff that hasn't been released on CD or digitally and the article seems to imply everything is on the internet. There are also records I'm still looking for because I can't find them on CD or digitally. I'm more than happy to listen to something on the minty 25 cent thrift store LP score I made rather than pay $10 for an itunes copy.

    What am i missing?

  • OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
    I'm not going to summarize the whole thing but..

    In part, he's kind of echoing a sentiment expressed on here numerous times in recent years, that record collecting / music collection currarting (whatever you want to label it) used to be journey that you had to travel to reach certain points. You had to put in the time and with that time came experience, knowledge and reward. Now you just go on google and it's yours in an instant. The majority of the collections people spent years, even decades building up, can now be downloaded in a few days. TheStrut response to this, in part, has generally been 'little dudes don't deserve *insert raer*, cause they don't know *insert common staple*'. But as LaserWolf said, why shouldn't they. That's argument has been lost and the world has moved on.

    Which leads us to the question, what does your (physical) music collection mean to you, now that it's cultural value/meaning has been somewhat lost.

  • GrafwritahGrafwritah 4,184 Posts
    My records are in tubs sitting. It is true, it's easier to just download songs to the phone instead of bothering to drag out the records.

  • Future fuel for my spectacular Viking funeral.

  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Hey,

    To me, my record collection is in large part my autobiography. Records have been a part of my life since I was 5 years old, so there are so many memories intertwined with my records. Records take me back to Sunday mornings in Aberdeen (MD) getting ready for church, with "Standing in the Judgment" (by The Sensational Nightingales) blasting over the console stereo. I get a big smile on my face and think of my dad when I hear that song. I swung by Aberdeen on the way to Baltimore a couple of years ago. The old "Doc's Shop" building (but not the store) was still there were dad picked me up "Fly, Robin, Fly" on 45. Or, my brother's going away gift "Zenyatta Moondatta," was our first introduction to The Police when we were moving away from Silver Spring, MD back down to NC. Lovebug Starski's "Live at the Fever" takes me back to DJ Zo's crib when I was learning how to DJ. When I play "Freakin's Fine" by Mandre, I think of my uncle Phillip and the memories attached to our NC trips, and how he'd blow our minds with his records. The records I've searched for all through the years have taken me to interesting places far and wide, domestically and overseas. There are so many stories attached to each and every record, and I can't imagine such lore, joy, and life experiences being associated with an mp3 on the computer. Maybe that is possible, but my almost 45-year old mind can't process it.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    The article was entertaining and touches on a number of interesting points.
    BITD record companies devalued music, and bands/artists, by only promoting hits and letting all else wither and die.
    But, Haha, now not only bands are making no money, record companies aren't making any either.
    Those of us who understood how evil the record companies were showed our hatred for them by... buying records.

    It used to be if you were into an obscure genre you could find a fellow traveler and instant friend when you found someone else who had the same records.
    Now you wont find someone who took the time to search the bins for the same gems, just someone who typed a name into google.

    Likewise dating.

  • ostost Montreal 1,375 Posts
    There are TONS of records that were never released digitally (cd or online) and probably never will be. To me that's one of the big reasons why I keep digging. The day I have nothing left to discover is the day I quit. I go to record stores, flea markets, garage sales, & compnay to discover new music and new records but also to interact with other like minded people. My records represent me (the things I'm into, the condition, the attention to detail or meticulousness of some of it, etc...) but also the blood, sweat, and tears that I put into obtaining them. Getting something online isn't usually very gratifying. I enjoy the hunt. There have plenty of times where I finally found a record after years, got home played once, then filed it and never played it again.

  • ostost Montreal 1,375 Posts
    A lot of things are available online but in shit quality. And, the stuff that's online is there because someone else had to find it. Just think how much is still out there.

  • GrafwritahGrafwritah 4,184 Posts
    ost said:
    There are TONS of records that were never released digitally (cd or online) and probably never will be. To me that's one of the big reasons why I keep digging. The day I have nothing left to discover is the day I quit. I go to record stores, flea markets, garage sales, & compnay to discover new music and new records but also to interact with other like minded people. My records represent me (the things I'm into, the condition, the attention to detail or meticulousness of some of it, etc...) but also the blood, sweat, and tears that I put into obtaining them. Getting something online isn't usually very gratifying. I enjoy the hunt. There have plenty of times where I finally found a record after years, got home played once, then filed it and never played it again.

    And that, my friend, is why I am dedicated to digitally releasing the entire Firestone Christmas catalog. Blood, sweat, and tears right there my friend.

  • I agree with the sentiment. In general, my records don't mean much to me. Life changes (kids mainly) pulled me away from them. However, I had some time this weekend and realized why I liked them so much. Putting on an LP is different than a playlist or stream. Just the physical act of taking it out of the cover, flipping it over, etc. connects you to the music more than a digital file. I'm not some "warmth of vinyl" type elitist, it's just a more satisfying experience. Less passive.

    I binged on some Axelrods, Electric Prunes. So good.

    I was surprised at how good the Double X Posse album was. That's one of the things I like about having a large collection of records, you can forget about stuff and then be surprised by it. Yes, this happens with digital/streaming, but it's less of a surprise, it's more like everything is a surprise because of the way it works.

  • discos_almadiscos_alma discos_alma 2,164 Posts
    It means a lot. It's exciting to have a catalog of amazing music within reach to play on a decent system and not some shitty computer speakers or iPhone buds. It's definitely not the most convenient format for listening (or for having space in your apartment), but it's fantastic when you just get in the zone and play a bunch of stuff back to back. Stuff that takes you back to certain times in your life or music that inspires you to push forward. To me those feelings come through most when playing music from vinyl.

    I could really care less about what the public view of collecting is these days because my friends and I have never been more serious about finding cool stuff and constantly pushing outwards on the fringes of our collective knowledge. Yeah, the "I have this record and you don't" contingent is as big as ever, but let's be honest, that's one part of why digging and collecting records is so exciting (to me, at least): to have something unique and cool that might not be widely known. In fact, having access to all this music on the internet only underscores how special the special stuff on vinyl really is.

    b/w

    Big_Stacks said:
    The records I've searched for all through the years have taken me to interesting places far and wide, domestically and overseas. There are so many stories attached to each and every record, and I can't imagine such lore, joy, and life experienced being associated with an mp3 on the computer.

  • FrankFrank 2,370 Posts
    I still have maybe 200 post punk records from my late teens to mid 20s which I frequently play at home. I've sold all of my soul jazz and latin soul records and all of my funk 45s which I had bought and played out from 1998 to 2005 until I got into African records. My African collection is pretty much all I own, the result of years of intense digging and the investment of all of my life savings. I haven't had a bank account in 20 years, when I want to make a larger purchase like a car, furniture etc, I sell a handful of my spares but so far I don't let go of singular copies. At some point though I will sell everything and turn my life's focus onto something entirely different. I don't view records as an unreplaceable part of my life or a symbol or embodyment of my life's story. In a way they are all that but I don't feel the need to keep them around forever and turn my house or apt into a museum. It's all just things, beautiful and meaningful things but essentially just things and at some point I'm sure I will want to find meaning and beauty somewhere else.

  • NabozoNabozo 48 Posts
    Okem said:
    record collecting / music collection currarting (whatever you want to label it) used to be journey that you had to travel to reach certain points. You had to put in the time and with that time came experience, knowledge and reward.

    Now you just go on google and it's yours in an instant. The majority of the collections people spent years, even decades building up, can now be downloaded in a few days.

    No, and no.
    This is pure "old days vs. new days" nostalgia bullshit.
    There's no place on google where you can download yourself an accomplished taste.
    Youngsters into music know their shit because they obsess over the stuff, just like you did in the godforsaken decade you discovered vinyl.
    Ipods and stuff offer portability and instant access, but nothing more.
    You think wikipedia offers people better music knowledge than magazines ?
    You think YT videos allow people to get a grasp of music scenes ?
    And it's not like you had to dig with a shovel to find great music in the 70s or as if people/the media didn't talk about it

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,902 Posts
    The article rings true, but there's one aspect not touched on.

    Attention span is inversely proportionate to choice.

    When you were young and had to pay actual money for music of your choice, you listened to these pieces of music a lot, because most folks did not possess the means to purchase all the music being made. I bought, what, maybe an album or two a month as a teenager?

    There was not a million other new things you could listen to if you got bored - skipping an entire album was pretty much unheard of. You could swap rekkids with other kids and get to make friends that way. And so, tracks and artists would grow on you because there was not infinite choice.

    Nowadays I doubt kids listen to 1% of new stuff from start to finish. There is nothing special about saving the money for it, or having detailed gatefold artwork, or wondering who the musicians were. There is no need to persist with something long enough for you to change your mind or spot a nuance that was not immediately obvious.

    I reminds me of the clandestine shots of the Sultan of Brunei's car park. His own multistorey, crammed with exotic and bespoke vehicles from every corner of the world. Most of them with a handful of miles on them, rotting away, because he seldom drove them, because there was always something new.

  • tabiratabira 856 Posts


    Humans collect "originals" because they exist. There's a process going on where some like Frank may move on, leaving others, myself probably included, waking up to the fact that once you strip off the layers of lifesyle, status and biography etc, the naked reality left behind is that you're just a greying antiques collector. Hence the anguish.


  • ostost Montreal 1,375 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    Putting on an LP is different than a playlist or stream. Just the physical act of taking it out of the cover, flipping it over, etc. connects you to the music more than a digital file. I'm not some "warmth of vinyl" type elitist, it's just a more satisfying experience. Less passive.

    As someone who pretty much exclusively buys records, I think it also has to do with the fact that with a record you usually stay somewhat on 'standby' waiting to flip the record over and your attention is more focused on the music. When I play a record, I sit next to the turntable and stay there. A digital file or a cd is likely to be played on a computer or some sort of device that enables you to do other things at the same time and the music becomes part of the background.
    In regards to the warmth of vinyl, records played on a decent setup definitely sound better than an mp3. It's apples and oranges. But, if you compare two high quality formats like a record and a lossless digital format, I wonder if part of it has to do with the physical object. A CD is hard, has sharp corners, and it's stiff. A record cover is made of some organic materials, is softer, less sterile, and the record itself is often flexible.

  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Hey,

    Simply put, music is the soundtrack of my life. Records have been there from the very beginning. Hell, "Journey to Satchidanada" (Alice Coltrane) was instrumental in pulling my wife! We bonded around our mutual affinity to music.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • LoopDreamsLoopDreams 1,195 Posts
    I'm with Stacks and Del Alma on this one. A paragraph like this:

    "My record collection is no longer a lifestyle, a biography, a status. The identities that I and a generation of fellow aesthetes spent our lives fashioning are suddenly obsolete. They turned out to be mere patterns of consumption, no more resilient than the patterns of production that provoked them. Not content to ruin music for the first three decades of my life, the major labels have collapsed and ruined dating too. I will probably never forgive them, if I ever get around to forgiving myself."

    is in itself so dated it has lost it's relevance. This sentiment was being tossed about by people 10+ yrs ago as a reason to join the rats and swim. You either do it cuz you love it or you don't at this point I think. The path is the way and so on...

  • OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
    Nabozo said:
    Okem said:
    record collecting / music collection currarting (whatever you want to label it) used to be journey that you had to travel to reach certain points. You had to put in the time and with that time came experience, knowledge and reward.

    Now you just go on google and it's yours in an instant. The majority of the collections people spent years, even decades building up, can now be downloaded in a few days.

    No, and no.
    This is pure "old days vs. new days" nostalgia bullshit.
    There's no place on google where you can download yourself an accomplished taste.
    Youngsters into music know their shit because they obsess over the stuff, just like you did in the godforsaken decade you discovered vinyl.
    Ipods and stuff offer portability and instant access, but nothing more.
    You think wikipedia offers people better music knowledge than magazines ?
    You think YT videos allow people to get a grasp of music scenes ?
    And it's not like you had to dig with a shovel to find great music in the 70s or as if people/the media didn't talk about it
    You know nothing Jon Snow.

  • i prefer listening to records, they sound incredible on my old school set up, if i own a record its something i listen to at home or can play out, often both. i dont listen to much new music but if there is something new i really like i will buy a copy, i do download a lot of new club stuff for Serato money gigs but rarely is it shit i want to listen to at home.

  • tabiratabira 856 Posts
    Big_Stacks said:
    Hey,

    Simply put, music is the soundtrack of my life. Records have been there from the very beginning. Hell, "Journey to Satchidanada" (Alice Coltrane) was instrumental in pulling my wife! We bonded around our mutual affinity to music.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

    Damn of all the records.Sorry Stacks but I love your wife already

  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,917 Posts
    tabira said:
    Big_Stacks said:
    Hey,

    Simply put, music is the soundtrack of my life. Records have been there from the very beginning. Hell, "Journey to Satchidanada" (Alice Coltrane) was instrumental in pulling my wife! We bonded around our mutual affinity to music.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

    Damn of all the records.Sorry Stacks but I love your wife already

    As date music goes, that is kind of out there...

  • staxwaxstaxwax 1,474 Posts
    whaaaaat - Im sorry but there is no way in hell spotify or blogspots offering vintage funk cd comp downloads are f*cking with my record collection.

    In my experience doing a vinyl only monthly radioset and playing vinyl only sets in bars and clubs gets waaay more props and attention than the dime a dozen laptop djs out there all playing the same tired ass shit with the entire digital world at their finger tips.
    Even the kids can tell the difference between some guy whos downloaded 5 gigs yawning behind a macbook versus someone playing their own hard fought grips.

    I still get people coming up to the decks and asking to see what record im playing - that does not happen to mp3jays- their obviousness and commonplaceness works against them - crowds are jaded to that because they know how easy it is, unless the guy or gal in question is transcending the format by being -that good-.

    Matter of fact - in my experience Ive rarely heard casual mp3jays come close to an og vinyl dj set in terms of originality and surprising selections. Physical collectors always seem to be more quirky and interesting in their choices.

    So yeah it might be harder work to pull out records vs. playing mp3s in the house, and i do both, but I find just making an effort to keep your vinyl and turntables close at hand is definitely more rewarding than streaming, unless youre just too lazy or otherwise indisposed.
    My kids have their own little section with mgmt and pharrels happy and fairytale story records and ish, they get a big kick out of staring at iron maiden record covers, and they still fukcs with the youtubes but I know they can tell vinyl collecting and record listening parties with the homies are in a different league (and better fun) than an itunes shuffle stream.

    Plus, some of the most fun ive seen my seven year old son ever have with music is putting on the instrumental flipside of that yellow see through happy 12" and pitching it waaaaay down dancing in slowmotion and collapsing into hysterical laughter. a physical, visceral, musical experience you cant replicate online

    9 times out of ten a hardworking old ass record collector is going to be more clued up and unique in his taste than any smart ass online e-digger offering up hip ironic and pitchfork approved tunes du jour. These hipsters -still- aint fucking with us.

  • staxwax said:

    Any hardworking old ass record collector is going to be more clued up and unique in his taste than any smart ass online e-digger offering up hip ironic and pitchfork approved tunes du jour. These hipsters aint fucking with us.

    agreed, i was just talking about this the other day, its funny cuz everytime iver heard a laptop jockey play its the same bullshit songs that everyone plays, seems kind of ironic considering they have gigs upon gigs of music in their harddrives. also, i do an all vinyl night and its my longest lasting and best attended night.

  • OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
    I never saw this as some mp3 vs records, or microwave vs my vinyl weighs a ton type argument. It's not even about young cats vs old ass record collectros. There's no halting progress, so it doesn't matter how much 'you' prefer one over the other. What I found interesting was the irrefutable fact that digital media has changed the cultural value and role of the music collector. It's fine to be happy in your little bubble of nostalgia, or to still be chasing down raers, or making 'real world moves' and livelihoods of this here thing, or simply wishing it was still the 90s.. All that is cool, but it doesn't change the fact that the game has well and truly changed. I mean, Napster was 15 years ago, these days with a little work I can build up a better mp3 collection (of practically any genre), than I could ever dream of owning in physical form. And any kid, from any town anywhere with a internet connection can do the same.

  • staxwaxstaxwax 1,474 Posts
    I dont disagree. obviously the landscape has changed irreversibly, but the ease of access and commonplace abundance of technology have somehow made (almost) total digital access mundane - and the unicity of certain aspects of physical carriers more valuable. Sure youve got spotify etc etc but that one weird remix on an old 12" will still turn heads, in some cases even more now than before. and spotify etc have huge white spots (the beatles?), as do other digital channels. A large physical collection has lost value as a badge of expertise and a means of access to music, for sure. But the personality behind a well mantained and carefully assembled library transcends ease of access. So a great selector wether using vinyl, serato or an ipod still makes all the difference. And the mere fact that any jackass with an internet connection can hoard music files doesnt change the fact that in most cases, theyre exactly that - jackasses with internet connections. people can still tell a genuine original selection apart from celebrity djs or run of the mill posers. And they do. Plus the more we're surrounded by faceless data, the more attracted we become to unique originals. Put a ten year old (or a twenty year old) in front of a hard drive with ten million songs on it and a gatefold copy of motor booty affair with the cut outs and see what gets picked up first - at some primal level that metaphor holds up in many ways, and increasingly so now that just about everyone has 4g acces in their pocket, in my experience.

  • DORDOR Two Ron Toe 9,901 Posts
    I would think it all comes down to a personal preference and/or a connection. Each and everyone of us is different.


    I think to Maya Angelou when she said ÔÇ£I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.ÔÇØ

    You can have music speak to you or just have it as noise. But ultimately you can have a piece of music make you feel something. Collecting records (Or anything for that matter) is just a further extension of an emotion or connection to it all.

    Because technology can give us many many things at our finger tips. It doesn't necessarily mean it can give us everything.

    You can have every comic book ever made at your fingers tips. And that might be all someone ever needs. But that still doesn't mean it's what everyone wants. Some want to further that connection. Be it collecting for monetary reasons, or because they miss the smell or feel, or whatever... It's only what reasons that the individual holds that matters. And that matters only to them ultimately and nobody else.

  • OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
    DOR said:
    I would think it all comes down to a personal preference and/or a connection. Each and everyone of us is different.


    I think to Maya Angelou when she said ÔÇ£I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.ÔÇØ

    You can have music speak to you or just have it as noise. But ultimately you can have a piece of music make you feel something. Collecting records (Or anything for that matter) is just a further extension of an emotion or connection to it all.

    Because technology can give us many many things at our finger tips. It doesn't necessarily mean it can give us everything.

    You can have every comic book ever made at your fingers tips. And that might be all someone ever needs. But that still doesn't mean it's what everyone wants. Some want to further that connection. Be it collecting for monetary reasons, or because they miss the smell or feel, or whatever... It's only what reasons that the individual holds that matters. And that matters only to them ultimately and nobody else.
    Sure, but that's purely thinking about it on a personal level, and there has always been a social / sociological aspect to collecting music. Maybe I should've titled the thread 'what your record collection says about you these days', but that too probably has the wrong focus.
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