If Instagram has done one thing well, it’s connecting vinyl lovers worldwide. People post photos of the LPs that they’re listening to in real time, and it causes a constant cycle of music appreciation both present and past.
My vinyl collecting started back in 2009 after a close friend opened my ears to a truer, warmer sound; I never looked back. Until the day I die, vinyl will be my exclusive choice when it comes to purchasing music.
An LP sits on a shelf until someone is compelled to pull it out and lower the tuning arm. That’s why Strings & Laces is introducing Vinyl on Instagram: a series of stories behind past photos posted by @jordyjamzz (that’s me!) on Instagram. It’s a way of finding reason for why I bought a record in the first place.
Strings & Laces is going in chronological order from the first @jordyjamzz post to ever feature vinyl, and it starts on a fateful Record Store Day on April 21, 2012:
Darkside Records & Gallery in Poughkeepsie, NY is large and in charge, and it’s owned and operated by two old friends, J.J. and Birdo. Darkside always gets a healthy turn out for Record Store Day; the line stretches around the corner at 10 a.m. Once in line, someone hands you a list of releases; it’s front come, first serve. I bring a red pen with me so that I can check off what records I really want (it’s always more than I can afford). I scored pretty big on this day, and here’s what I came home with:
Tyler, the Creator : Goblin (XL Recordings; 2011)
Quotation marks are important when you’re quoting a detrimental rapper, so, here we go: “Nigga, fuck a mindset;” “Because the fisherman is raping everyone in the pool; “If I say fuck everybody, guess I’m a pervert.”
Tyler, the Creator is the leader of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All — a rap collective originally based off the minds of a bunch of teenage, middle class juvenile delinquents — and Goblin sees a 19-year-old Tyler fully realizing his capability as a bipolar solo artist. The guy is talented, but he’s also evil and politically incorrect, which is partially why Goblin is great.
Goblin is a 2xLP that I spin about once per year, and a recent Thursday afternoon with a refreshing Arizona Sweet Tea made for perfect indulgence. Impressively, Goblin is equal parts mellow and violent, and guest features from the Odd Future crew are vast, but not overbearing. Although, Jasper the Dolphin is a terrible rapper. Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have been compared to the Wu-Tang Clan; Tyler, the Creator does sound like Method Man on “Tron Cat.”
Normally, an album full of such insensitive lyrical material would make me feel sour, but Goblin plays out so well. It’s an entertaining product.
Queens of the Stone Age : Rated R (Interscope; Record Store Day reissue)
High up in a jet plane with Queens of the Stone Age. This copy of Rated R plays at a lower volume than most of the other records in my collection; more reason to blast this sucker. Honestly, the vinyl reissue doesn’t sound as good as the original recording, but it’s not much to fuss over; Rated R burns so many barns.
Atlas Sound : Parallax (4AD; 2011)
Bradford Cox knows how to record music. Parallax was meant to feel the warmth of vinyl, and it took folk music to a new level. And 375 mL of Maker’s Mark as a listening partner enhances the liquidity of the album.
Arctic Monkeys : R U Mine? 7′ (RSD release)
Matt Helders’ drumming cannot be undermined, and Alex Turner has the golden voice.
Built to Spill : You in Reverse (2006; Warner Bros.)
Built to Spill’s magnum opus; climax of its career. Starting the album with the nine-minute melodic motor of “Goin’ Against Your Mind” sets the bar really high, but Built to Spill mastered engagement way before You in Reverse came out.
Pelican / Playing Enemy split 7′ (RSD release)
Never really knew much about Playing Enemy, but seeing Pelican’s name on this special release was enough. Pelican has songs way better than the one featured here, and if you have Botch, you may not need Playing Enemy.
FEISTODON split 7′ (RSD release)
Feist doing a Mastodon song, and Mastodon doing a Feist song. Awesome. Some of the best music news that I ever heard was when Feist announced her Mastodon fandom and that they made this record.
Handsome Furs : Sound Kapital (Sub Pop; 2011)
Underrated pop record; beautiful, naked woman on the cover; and the vinyl color is the most fire blood orange I’ve seen. Dan Boeckner (famed Wolf Parade member) wrote all nine songs on keyboards, but Sound Kapital has plenty of guitars. Also, it has anything that you could ever hope to hear.
— Jordan J. Michael