Tag Archives: Music

A return to vinyl

I remember the first record I ever bought. It was the 45 single of “The Tide Is High” by Blondie. I remember the day I bought it at the Spokane Valley Mall when I was out with my friends for the day, hanging out. I was in 6th grade. I remember standing in the record store and staring at the cover and thinking that Blondie was the coolest woman on the planet. I played the record to death. And others, too. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with music and records.

I sold my record collection in my grandmother’s estate sale. I’d become a born-again Christian and didn’t think having them was wholesome. So I sold them for a song. Yes, including my beloved “The Tide Is High” 45. I have regretted doing this many millions of times. It hurts even now, just thinking about it.

Eventually, like everyone else, I moved on to cassette tapes, then CDs, then mp3.

A few weeks ago I went on a search in Portland for a record album released in vinyl for my Dutch friend. It was a special USA release and I offered to have a look. Unfortunately It was a special Black Friday release of the Big Lebowski Soundtrack and, being Portland, it sold out very quickly by the time I hit the stores. However, my prowling around in the fabulous indie record stores of Portland re-ignited my love for record albums. The whole tactile feel of thumbing through the albums filed by genre in bins. Picking up the 12×12 album cover and holding it in my hands and looking at the cover art.  I might have bought a family member’s Christmas present in one of those stores…

I have decided to jump back into this world of vinyl records. I have a turntable back home in Spokane but I can’t even wait for my mom to drive it here. I am going to use my Christmas money to buy a record player (I swear to god I probably said these exact words when I was 11). And my first vinyl purchase will be Pixies Doolittle 25.  Actually, the impetus for this desire to listen to music on a record player again, the thing that put me over the edge, was seeing that Doolittle was being reissued on vinyl. Doolittle is my favorite album of all time, period. I can’t think of a better re-introduction.

“Random Song Lyric Photo Title” playlist

Featured Image -- 19660

One of the things I am trying to think about when I make a photo is the storytelling element. I think the title is one of the very important elements in the storytelling that goes on in photography. The viewer doesn’t have much else to go on, there is the title and then there is the image. It is up to the viewer to create the story in their mind.

With that in mind, I was looking at the image above that  I took the day after our Ice Storm. I kind of liked it and thought I would upload it to Flickr. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of a title. I thought of my standard “state the obvious” (ice on branch) but I’m sick of stating the obvious. I wanted to come up with something better than that. I decided to do something else, since my brain was being uncooperative.  I would let fate title this photo.

I turned iTunes on random and thought, “the first song that comes on, the first line of that song, that will be the title of this photo. I don’t care what it is.”

So I pushed play and Metallica’s One came on. I listened to the beginning musical lines and thought “wow, if I could title this photo with music this would be perfect” because have you ever sat and listened to the musical introduction to this song? It’s really beautiful and sad and it seemed fitting. But then the first lines played: “I can’t remember anything, can’t tell if this is true or a dream.” It was perfect.

So I have taken to doing this exercise lately when I upload photos to Flickr and it’s been fun – a nice creative exercise for my brain.  The two random things together seem to create an interesting story. Sometimes the lyric is quite appropriate, like the one for the photo above.

Many of the songs that come up are songs that I have only heard a few times. I download a lot of music that I forget about. Doing this exercise has reintroduced me to songs that I’ve been enjoying lately.

I thought, for fun, I would put together a playlist of these random songs and post them here as a blog post.  At the end of the post is a gallery of the photos if you are interested in the seeing them as well.