Thursday, March 31, 2011

Surrender to vinyl (again!)

I've given in. Kind of.

I still have a lot of hesitation with beefing up my vinyl LP collection. These days, it's still CDs in the car while I have my iTunes at home. There's no reason to change things around. Vinyl is big and clunky and there's always that snap, crackle, and pop on playback. To me, vinyl is staying in, taking it easy, and listening to music for hours. That's not where my life is on most days.

Yet something happened while I researched my feature story on True Widow: I could only hear the record on vinyl.

Under strict instructions by their label, nobody in the band could burn me a copy. They couldn't burn a copy for anyone. I had to listen to a test pressing on vinyl while hanging out with the band. That was it. No driving around, listening to it in my various moods. I had one chance, so I took copious notes as I sat at Nicole's dining room table and the band sat on the couch. I still stand behind my views on the album. But I will say the record sounds incredibly better on vinyl.

This past week, I've listened to my CD version (thanks, download code!) while driving around. The guitars' propulsion sound toned down. The echo found in the vocals is also toned down. It's not a mastering sort of thing: this is purely a format issue.

I'm happy to say I forked over a little more to have the record on vinyl. Yet hunting down Hot Water Music 7-inches on orange vinyl is not on my horizon. Now, this vinyl-only Foo Fighters compilation of covers? I'll be looking for it on Record Store Day.

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