A few weeks ago, Doc and I fell upon an incense-filled, Marley-shirt stocked, dusty, musty record shop in Cleveland. We went in so I could ogle over old Beatles live albums and so he could work on building up his Zeppelin collection. As I perused the colorful glass-blown display case ornaments, smelling the Lavender Dreams incense, and wondering what my hypothetical child would look like in a Janis Joplin onezie, Doc carried around an armful of albums. I helped peruse the rows of vinyl. I filed through The Wailers, lots of Floyd and Zeppelin, Clapton, Stones, and all variations of 1960s nostalgia. Then I came upon Franz Ferdinand, Ben Harper, The White Stripes. What?? I did a double take and showed Doc. He gave a knowing nod and informed me that lots of band record onto vinyl these days.
I initially just thought this was a cool trendy thing to buy records because retro and hippie chic is so hot right now. But the more I thought about this, there are many a reason for this revived industry of rock. One is the hipster pastime of DJ mixing. I’ve heard some SICK (yes ma’am; sick) mixes of oldies melody lines with techno beats. Why not modern it up with some Beck and his two turntables and a microphone. Another reason for the vinyl revival may be the physicality (I’m pretty sure I’m just making words up now. Two glasses of wine will do that to you). My dad brought this up in an earlier post about people that may actually want a hard copy of albums. And an interesting fact from a business woman’s point of view is that new indie bands today are slipping their albums between Deep Purple’s ‘Stormbringer’ and Cat Stevens ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ (Before he converted to Islam and got that crazy name -Yusuf Islam – which I didn’t even know was him last time Rolling Stone reviewed one of the albums. ANYways…) to get their association in there while the gray-haired men sift through the oldies to find something a little new, boosting their credibility among the rock gods true critics, their fans.
I realize this isn’t the retro takeover that in the back of my mind I may be wishing it would be, but the growing variety of uses for the good ol’ material (I used to make notebooks out of the cardboard covers of Linda Ronstand albums) is a refreshing little revolution to the digital revolution. Just what music needs – a revolution of the revolution.