and whitney came from nashville with a suitcase in her hand
Yes, I have joined the company of people who buy vinyl.
I bought an absolutely hideous, tacky, and ridiculous record player last night; it is so ugly that I can’t even bring myself to think of it as endearing or charming or nostalgic. So basically, it’s perfect for me. And yeah, the speakers might not be the greatest, but the scratchy-scratchy sound of the needle on the record is just too beautiful to resist.
I got a little bored yesterday afternoon and decided to check out Grimey’s on 8th Ave South. It had that quaint, independent record store feel to it, and the staff were much less snobby than the staff at Crooked Beat in Adams Morgan. I knew exactly what I was looking for, but that didn’t stop me from spending almost an hour browsing the shelves before I checked out. I didn’t want to go too edgy for my first vinyl purchases, so I went with my current musical staples: The Hold Steady’s Stay Positive, The Gaslight Anthem’s The ’59 Sound, and Ryan Adams & The Cardinals’ Cardinology.
Rather obviously, The ’59 Sound is a perfect album to listen to on vinyl. And it makes a wonderful soundtrack to assemble heavy furniture to. Cardinology came in the form of a bright red, translucent disk that made me really happy when I pulled it out of the sleeve. (I’m also excited to mention that I bought tickets to see Ryan Adams & The Cardinals on March 15 at the War Memorial. If rumors are to be believed, it might be the only opportunity I have to see him live, ever.) And Stay Positive is a four-sided, behemoth of a thing, with two discs and very pretty lyric sleeves.
I’m already plotting my next purchases: Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde–an album I don’t even own on CD!–and possibly Marah’s Kids in Philly if I can find it, or If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry if I can’t. (More live music news: Marah have recently been recording their new album–and doing it here in Nashville, no less!–and have re-grouped after their little break-up last year and are going on tour. They’re making an appearance at The Basement on Feburary 21 and this is probably the best news I’ve had in months.)
Moving on to other topics, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is making me remember why I used to want to be a writer. And why I used to want to be more Jewish than my great-grandfather on my mother’s side allowed. Here’s just a quick example, because I’m saving a full-length review for later:
2. WHAT I AM NOT
My brother and I used to play a game. I’d point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I’d say. Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I’d say. "THIS IS NOT A CEILING." We’d go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I’d point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!" We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you’re only seven," I said.
Rereading that, I think I had it wrong before. I didn’t used to want to be a writer. I wanted to be the writer–of all my favorite books and poems and songs. I think that’s maybe why I have so many books: I can’t compete with what’s already been written, so I collect all the lines I can get my hands on.
Well, I guess there’s always the possibility that someday I’ll quit my job and become a war correspondent so I have a legitimate excuse to write a memoir. (How’s that for combining a BA in English and a semester’s-worth of an MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs?)
Filed under: books, music | 6 Comments
Tags: life got in the way, priorities, record players, things i used to want to be, writing