1.10.2014

what's good: records

Last summer, I interviewed several women about their vinyl record collections. I'll spare you the scholarly journal research, but needless to say, there are more male vinyl collectors than women to the point where some people see it as being exclusively a guy thing. One theory is that the very nature of collecting is a masculine task akin to hunting. Some see it as a technical hobby and non-relational, which tend to be for dudes. However, some less tangible aspects, such as the sense of nostalgia, are shared by all collectors, regardless of sex.

I have records, because I love music. I have my whole life. I love every form it comes in. I have cassettes, CDs, and MP3s. I'll start to groove in the grocery store if my song comes on. Just feed it to me any way I can get it.

What is uniquely cool about records for me is that it's a chance for me to collect a lot of albums from my early youth, before I had money and could buy music on my own. They still print new records on vinyl. I have John Legend's first record. But that's not my aim. I enjoy a good used store where I can find an old Heart album for $3, because someone didn't know what they had.

So, it's nostalgia, yes, but it's also a chance to exert some independence back into an era when there was none. Now, it's my copy of Madonna's Like a Virgin or Whitney Houston's first album. I get to listen to it whenever I want. It's a good feeling.


By the way, I'm on the hunt for Bangles' Different Light circa 1986. Let me know if you see it.

~jennifer.

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