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There's not much that measures up, surreal-wise-speaking to the… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
September 18th, 2004
07:52 pm


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There's not much that measures up, surreal-wise-speaking to the following.

I have in my possession what may be the "hippest" thing my father owns. I know it's "hip", because it says so. It's Steve Allen's "Grimm Fairy Tales for Hip Kids". See how "hip"?

I'm currently transcribing it into digital media. Cause I'm that kind of loving son. Oh, I forgot to mention: it's a record. You know, black and round. Grooves. It's weird, I find myself thinking phrases like "drop the needle", phrases that kids these days (Cassie) never knew.

I exaggerate - I'm almost too young to be nostalgic about records. Cassettes were my thing. You know.

So, I'm revelling in artifacts from an era I wasn't alive for. I'm kinda surprised that my dad owned this record. So that's interesting.

Oh, and one more aspect that makes the whole experience even stranger: the record is a 78. The best I can do is play it at 45. It's almost like Miss Othmar speaking through Jell-o. Maybe backwards, too. At these speeds, I can't make out words most of the time.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2004 08:27 pm (UTC)
My first record player was my parents', refurbished after several years of disuse. It had a great little button that would let you choose the play speed -- I spent many amusing hours playing 45s at 78. Now I think about it, my second record-player (my 15th birthday present) also had that button.

I loved the precision of dropping the needle in exactly the right place to play my favorite track. I hated the way the records warped.
[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
My folks had a record player / radio / 8-track player combination. Probably bought at JCPenney, if I recall correctly.

And then, that thing died (perhaps the dust that gathered in the 8-track socket killed it), so they got a component system with a turntable, a cassette player, a GRAPHIC EQUALIZER, and a tuner. I guess the 8-track beast from earlier had some equalizer-ish knobs, but with the advent of the new system, I actually learned that cranking up the sliders on the left meant more bass. And that was good.

The cassette component there was a dual tape deal, so you could dub tapes from one deck to the other, and there was a feature which allowed you to do it at high (double?) speed.

It didn't take me too long to figure out how to play tapes at double speed without recording. Or how to record at single speed while playing at double speed. I have a chipmunks-sounding copy of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" around somewhere. Probably.

And, while my musical coming of age was through the medium of cassettes, I never thought of them as "serious" media - I knew that audiophiles had a relationship with their turntables that they never had with a tape player. I think I'm tapping into some of that wonder as I hear the pops, clicks, hiss, and assorted mechanical sounds of the needle dropping into the groove for the first time.

And I'm reminded that handling records is a more delicate affair than CDs. They're practically relics, and need to be treated gingerly.
[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2004 09:58 pm (UTC)
I hope my folks got rid of their 8-track collection, but I remember a box of tapes that almost never got touched. Maybe two or three times in my memory.

But I do remember that they had a copy of "Everything you wanted to hear on the Moog synthesizer (but were afraid to ask)". Man, I couldn't grow up as anything but a geek with that in the house.

I think they might also have had a soundtrack to "Man of La Mancha".
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:September 19th, 2004 06:47 am (UTC)
The guy who drove the carpool in the afternoons when I was in 4th grade had an 8-track of "Baby, I'm a Want You" in his dash every time he picked us kids up. Maybe if the band Bread makes a comeback, I can imagine 8-tracks having a market again.
[User Picture]
Date:September 19th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC)
Hee, I actually have a stereo with a record player. You know me well. :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 19th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC)
Of course - I forget myself. How can you properly listen to "I am the Walrus" without manually turning the record backwards? :)
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