If you were born in 1975 – like I was – then you have seen a number of new media get developed, put on the market, be declared obsolete when the new format comes around, and within 10 years after that, becomes cool and retro so that all the hipsters have something to obsess over. Growing up, my parents had thousands of records, and eventually, bought a reel-to-reel player / recorder, a dual cassette deck, and by the time I was in High School, a CD Player. I learned how to handled records and tapes early; how to clean the discs and the stylus, and how to store them. I was never very great with my own stuff over the years, but these formative experiences turned me into the record collector I became when I took the four LPs I had with me to Eugene, met The Ramen City Kid, and began searching through record stores looking for something that I could never adequately describe to others.
In the time since I’ve acquired a few thousand records, not to mention a ridiculous number of tapes and CDs, too. But the LPs have been the primary focus, a place I’ve sunk a ton of money and energy into, and place that gives me happiness and excitement. I love sitting around listening to records, and if I could, I would probably just do that and read comics all day, every day, and find myself a fairly happy man.
Since the beginning I’ve incorporated actual records into my shows, and in 1998, it didn’t seem that odd that you would mix your show between whatever available formats you had. But as the years went on, I found that the radio booths I would enter had fewer and fewer records in them, and eventually I got to the point where I had to bring my own needles – and, in some cases, turntables – if I wanted to play records. As is often the case, the younger generations don’t realize the value of the older technologies until they experience them first-hand themselves, and I was often the person that had to remind people that there were a few of us that love music, in all its forms.
While it was not my first all-vinyl show, the first time I did A Vinyl Solution was in the Summer of 2009, and ever since I try to fit one in from time to time, to offer listeners a chance to hear some of the records that might get lost behind the iPod and the general disconnection we have between the music we enjoy and the physical world around us. That isn’t to say that you can’t have a meaningful experience with digital music, or even music that you hear “over the air.” But there is something about the physical origins of the media that adds a little something special to the blend, and gives these shows a presence that isn’t the same as when I prepare everything on the computer in advance.
The biggest challenge with doing these all-vinyl shows is, of course, logistics. While I brought in a third record player to help offset the limitations of two turntables, there were still a few hair-raising moments as I’m trying to balance the mix, fidelity, and the next track all while trying not to sweat too badly. Please forgive a few skips and imperfections. It is, of course, the way you can tell that these shows are live.
Basil Rathbone’s performances as Sherlock Holmes has cemented him as one of the actors associated with that character, and the LPs he made with Caedmon Records reveals what a fantastic voice this incredible performer had. His voice not only lends itself to the radio quite well, but delivers a great story in a form that is largely lost to modern audiences. It makes sense to mix this with plenty of other records, as he is not only a great fixture in my record collection, but a great cultural figure, too.
The Speckled Band
(A Sherlock Holmes Story, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & read by Basil Rathbone)
Part I: “There seemed to be no obstacle to our happiness.”
01.) Heaven And Hell (Part 2) [Excerpt 5] * Vangelis * Heaven And Hell * RCA (1975)
02.) The Adventure of The Speckled Band * Basil Rathbone * Stories of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1 * Caedmon Records
03.) metalized excitements of our shared dreams of technology [Excerpt] * Tärr * Tärr / Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III split * oms-b.org (2010)
04.) nine thousand and second amaranth shower [Excerpt] * Yellow Crystal Star * Rainbow Bridge to Nonlocality: Myriad Forms of You * oms-b.org (2010)
Part II: “A low, clear whistle.”
05.) Live At Café Oto [Excerpt] * Souls On Board * Meltaot / Souls On Board Split * Ash International (2010)
06.) Leading the Deer and Monoceros Through the Disintegrating Forest Mriga Marga [Excerpt] * Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III * Tärr / Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III split * oms-b.org (2010)
07.) Piece 7 (Excerpt) * ALTO! * ALTO! * Raheem Records (2012)
08.) Cocoon [Exerpt] * Brown * Lepidoptera * Anarchymoon Recordings (2010)
Part III: “I should be very much obliged if you would slip your revolver into your pocket.”
09.) The Fallow Field of Vision [Exerpt] * Dull Knife * Dull Knife * Debacle Records (2011)
10.) Invisible Limits [Excerpt] * Tangerine Dream * Stratosfear * CBS Records (1976)