I consume music, movies and media of all varieties. I have OCD in my blood, and therefore I collect. Much to the dismay of my wife (and eventually my daughter, I assume) I often seek shelter among this stuff, these collections, these Threadless t-shirts, books, movies, video games and music.
When I contracted some of that uniquely first-world depression that’s been going around, I sought help in *gasp* therapy, a practice I’d long regarded as frivolous self-obsession; however, when I found myself unable to function, unable to enjoy anything about life, I could think of nowhere else to go. From these ongoing therapy sessions, I took away an important concept: I hadn’t been present in my own life for some time now. As I clawed myself up out of this pit, I found solace in a new collection. And true to my repressed inner hipster, I went retro and cutting edge and kitschy and blended them all up into a new obsession.
I returned to the turntable and the vinyl record. I returned for childhood nostalgia, for the albums I hadn’t heard in twenty years. I returned for the soundtracks of the 80’s, and the cover art and, most importantly, to be present in the moment and aware that life is going on all around me because someone has got to flip the damn record. I returned because new artists are once again embracing the medium. I returned because visiting the record store and sifting through new records became something I could do with my daughter. Even though she doesn’t yet understand the thrill of the hunt, sifting through stacks and stacks of tattered sleeves fishing for a curiosity (like the 1984 soundtrack for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis headlined by Freddy Mercury, Bonny Tyler, Adam Ant and Loverboy), she’s begun to love music of all kinds. I’m proud to be the parent of my very own vinyl-loving toddler, a hipster toddler. When she wants to listen to “tunes” she walks over to the turntable – not the CD player or the iPod dock – and presses the power button on the receiver. I couldn’t be prouder.
Thanks to the Internet, I fumbled my way through setting up my dad’s turntable (which he graciously donated to the cause), replacing parts, and learning how to properly care for records. Now I seek out local record shops, plan trips around Pittsburgh and search for new (and old) records with nothing specific in mind. Hopefully these endeavors lead to some interesting stories. If not, I’ll just make them all up and sprinkle in plenty of my own unsubstantiated hyperbole about music, writing, movies, video games, hockey, antique maps, baseball and why wanting to be a fiction writer is just a godawful idea, you know, just to waste some extra binary code out there on the interwebs.
“Love Kills” by Freddie Mercury (from Metropolis)