When this new-age obsession with vinyl records first began to resurface a handful of years ago, I had to tape my eyes shut to keep them from rolling straight out of my head.
“The sound is so much better,” said every plaid-and-dreadlocks-donning person within earshot.
“Right,” I would unfailingly scoff. “Let’s go watch my 101 Dalmations sing-along VHS and lose our minds over its pristine image quality.”
I guess you could say I was the anti-hipster. The whole thing just sounded like a bunch of baloney (or, rather, kale smoothies? Vegan cookies? A Mason jar filled with anything? What do hipsters eat?) to me.
While everyone else seemed to want to jump on the bandwagon (a fitting analogy for those intent on living their lives in the past), I maintained there was nothing better than the state-of-the-art sound of a modern music player.
So upon hearing that Fredericton had acquired a new vinyl record store, I was about as skeptical as I am about how good kale supposedly tastes.
Surely no one actually thought the sound was so much better; surely this was just another example of our society’s tired tendency to reminisce over the “good ol’ days” they never actually experienced. Surely Fredericton didn’t need another vinyl record store.
What I realized the other night, however, while watching a friend carefully place the needle on her Abbey Road record and seeing the subsequent grin spill over her face as the album crackled to life, was that maybe it’s not all about the “so much better” sound.
Maybe it’s more about the physical act behind that sound, something our generation has lost with the irrepressible rise of iPods and iPhones and iLiterallyeverythingelse. Maybe we miss just doing stuff that doesn’t involve the click of a solitary button or a touch screen. Maybe it really sort of is all about the good ol’ days.
I’m not saying go buy a VCR (some things really should be left in the past), but maybe indulging in a little old-timey routine is sort of weirdly good for us. And it’s sort of cool to see local businesses recognizing that.
And frankly, the sound is so much better, God damn it.