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Year of Record

My friend Charles has sworn off iTunes for 2010 in favor of the humble vinyl LP. Why would anyone do something so progressively insane you ask?! I could waste my time explaining it or I could just copy and paste his explanation. Here’s what he has to say about it.

I promise this will be the only post of philosophical musings on here, but people have asked so I think it needs to be said: Why am I doing this?

Literally as long as I can remember, I’ve been “into music”, whatever that means. My parents claim that they got me playing an instrument when they walked into the kitchen to find I had constructed a xylophone out of building blocks, playing “Camptown Races”. I’ve played in various stupid indie rock bands, full orchestras, and recorded solo, but this blog isn’t about creation. This is about consumption.

I’m a collector, and a pirate, with a maximally efficient way of acquiring new media. Literally thousands of albums, months of music sit on my hard drive, a string of 1s and 0s magnetized on discs spinning hundreds of miles per hour. I try not to discriminate when it comes to music, downloading everything from the new Lil John rap-rock-autotune debacle to Daniel Johnston, to Phoenix, to Trentemøller to La Bouche to Steely Dan to Shearwater. Which is great! I get a wide variety of music and influences, and am always hearing something interesting as I make my way through recent downloads.

The problem is that I’m always making my way through recent downloads, never able to focus on any music and give it the respect it deserves. The music I do care about has equal footing with the dreck, making it hard to zero in on what should be at the forefront.

Not only that, but when I do find something I love, something important to me, it’s still barely real, a digital representation on a storage device. That’s not to say that it’s not about the music, it most certainly is. When I moved abroad, I culled and razed, and got rid of everything physical, moving to all-digital. I showed up with a suitcase, a laptop and an iPhone, and that was enough to keep me going. But for the longest time, I’ve had what I care about be bits of data, and the physical media I own be the hilarious 1 dollar records from Half Price Books, the CDs I bought in high school and hung on to for no reason, the stuff that I never return to.

This year is about turning that around.

Starting Jan 1, 2010, through Dec 31, 2010, I’m giving up the digital, as much as is possible. I’ve moved my iTunes library to an external disk for safekeeping, bought as many of my favorite records as I could afford, and will be listening to only records, cds, and tapes to the best of my ability. If I want to listen to a record, I’ll have to go over to my pile of actual music, choose something, put it on, and listen to it.

There’s no shuffle, there’s no thousand songs in my pocket, there’s just albums. Wish me luck.

Neat. Keep en eye on his progress at his site, Year of Record.

By the way, that’s him, rocking out to Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love” with his pinky raised all genteel and shit, in the post below.


  1. Ariel Oakley Ariel Oakley January 6, 2010

    “After the apocalypse you think we’ll have to figure out how to hand lathe our own records onto old x-rays?”
    “no, I think they’ll just be a lot more singing”

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