"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gary Calamar & Phil Gallo, two record store vets, present and sign Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again...

Record Store Days is a great book to have out now in print: to celebrate the sonic beauty of vinyl in a digital age that has somehow, against all odds, re-embraced the sound of analog. Maybe it has something to do with nostalgia and a desire to be authentically hip. But, I like to think that it has more to do with a growing realization amongst newer music lovers that analog simply sounds better, and that it is a wonder to be able to go into a record shop and be able to ask questions and meet people who know something about the music they're selling and buying.

This type of cultural interaction just isn't possible on Itunes or Amazon. Yes, buyers and sellers can write up reviews and trade information via message boards. But... it's the not the same as meeting a person in a record store who shares your love for The Del Vikings' perfect mono recording of "Whispering Bells" or who will be able to give you a recommendation or five if you happen to be a Stooges fan. "Whispering Bells" will always sound better on vinyl, pumped through a set of nice speakers, than through a set of crappy headphones attached to an Ipod.

If we as a society completely remove this possibility from the social landscape, it's just one more link in the chain that separates us from one another. It's just one more reason to never leave the house. And how boring is that?!

And so Calamar and Gallo celebrate the glory of record stores with a history of them in a nicely packaged book with a foreword by Peter Buck of R.E.M.

Do yourself two favors: 1) Get this book, and 2) Buy vinyl for Christ's sake (and let Steve Jobs have his digital empire).


Cathy Davis said...

Nice Blog. Keep it up.

Tosh said...

Record Store Days is a cool book. mp3 is mp3 and vinyl is vinyl. Totally different listening/aesthetic experience. You really can't compare the two mediums. People have to be aware of that.

D. J. said...

You're right, Tosh. The two are totally different listening/aesthetic experiences. I think mp3 is just fine for a more casual listen: strolling down the street with an mp3 player, on an airplane, in a car.

I prefer vinyl and CD if I'm really really going to be cranking the volume and I want a more complete sound for me and others.

That said, in my car where my CD player is broken and my Ipod adapter is, too, I use cassettes and absolutely love them. Just love the analog goodness.