The Very Unexpectedly Musical Month of July

A funny thing happened on my way to a midlife crisis. Rather than buying a sportscar that I couldn’t drive anyway (between you and me, I haven’t had a valid license since 1999), instead, I bought a turntable – and it has completely changed my life for the better.

Some background: I got my first turntable when I was 9 years old and was hooked. My first albums were a bunch of those shitty K-Tel “Solid Gold” type compilations, and Bee Gees Greatest – I’ll make no apologies for the latter, the Brothers Gibb are gods. Anyway, from age 9 to around sometime in my thirties, I ate, slept, drank, and injected music of all forms. If I wasn’t listening to it or collecting it, I was playing it. Music was pretty much all I thought about and served as a soundtrack to what I look back on as a damn interesting life, up until about a decade ago when I became a dad.

This is my first turntable, made by Lloyd’s – it was crap, but it was mine. After it performed its music-playing duties it was converted into a gerbil exerciser for my little sister’s pet rodent.

Now, I’m not about to blame fatherhood on my separation from music; no, I blame that on conforming to the everyday needs of a soulless job that has always promised an outlet for my creativity and then wildly underdelivered – for about 11 or 12 years now. In other words, I blame myself because I played it safe and kept the job, knowing full well it was destroying me with tedium and boredom in equal measure. I became abrasive, mean, and any number of other undesirable adjectives. I’ll own that. I won’t bore you (or me) with the details but suffice it to say that once music (and most other art) left my life, so did my spirit. I turned to other vices and pastimes to fill the void, but none of them did the trick.

Fast forward (or is it rewind?) to early last month when I purchased a turntable on a whim. It started with a couple of records and then turned into an obsession, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

Music is back in its proper place, front and center in my life.

Music is an activity – listening to vinyl is a physical act that removes the screens, requires me to get up and walk across the room and make a commitment to listening to something for at least a 22-minute stretch.

Music is prompting discussion between myself, my family, and my friends (online and off) that I haven’t experienced in ages.

Music is exciting, and not just in an “I wonder what Amazon will deliver today” sort of way. It makes me downright giddy to revisit long-forgotten artists or discover new music that I didn’t even know existed.

Music is inspiring. I’ve been more interested in picking up the guitar or the bass or the synths in this past month than in the past half-decade combined.

And to think that the catalyst for all of this was a simple marketing email from Best Buy. Weird.

Anyway, I’m going to go listen to Dead Man’s Pop by The Replacements. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend it. They revisited an old album and rereleased it in its intended form vs the overly polished version that was officially put out way back in 1989. The difference is night and day.

I take full responsibility for this.

I Bought a Turntable and Now It’s Like I’m a Teenager Again

After resisting temptation for a number of years, my resurgence of interest in music saw me pick up a turntable last weekend and I couldn’t be happier – though my wallet might disagree.

Secondary achievement unlocked: picking up the entire Love and Rockets catalog and every New Order vinyl box set on the market.