Tag Archives: LPs

Only Child welcomes the return of vinyl records

thumb_record_vinyl_45_rpm_record_gerald_g__01Vinyl records are making a big comeback and that makes me feel happy. Not just because I kept my old turntable from years back. But because I see this movement as a sign that not everything technological is going to hell in a virtual hand basket.

During the last few years technology has been on a roller-coaster ride, bombarding us, with so many of us now plugged in 24/7. Every trend, every movement hits its peak at some point. Perhaps modern technology already has. When that happens, the equilibrium needs to be adjusted to a more even keel.

Vinyl records may just be what technology needs to get a grip, to maybe even (dare I say) slow us down. For the past few years musicians have been recording both CD and vinyl. That includes my son Martin and his band Beams. They have a 45 (yes, you read this correctly) with the required two songs – one each side – coming out this week. It’s not called a 45 anymore – but a seven-inch. For those of us old foggies with old 45’s, measure the diameter and then it will twig in.

Did I say old foggies? The vinyl revolution is grabbing all ages – both for recording and buying. While I still have my really old Sears basic turntable (don’t laugh, but I have to physically place and remove the needle on and off the record) there are newer modern versions being manufactured with the built-in feature of converting to digital.

The stats show that vinyl sales increased from 2013 by 71 per cent from 2013 in 2014 in Canada. That’s 400,000 pieces of vinyl sold. In the United States vinyl sales reached 9.2 million in 2014, an increase from 2013 of 51 per cent.

And the vinyl presses can’t keep up with the demand. The old companies have to expand and upgrade or give up, but new ones are popping up. It is an expensive venture. I’ll let Ben Rayner, in his Toronto Star article, January 24, 2015 bring you up to date at

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2015/01/24/vinyls-pressing-problem.html

But this vinyl movement might signal the way of the future, the answer – combining the old with the new. Think “radio.” Yes, radio; you know that audio device that’s been around for longer than me. Radio was the main way people found out quickly about events in World War II (The other modes around then, print news and film newscasts shown in movie theatres were not so up-to-date).

When television became very popular, pundits said radio would die. It didn’t. I’m sure the same has been said about both radio and TV since the Internet got going and spawned more and more technology.

Not true. Radio and television, while still operating on their own (somewhat. I’ll clarify that in a minute), are also connected to the Internet. You can watch TV programs online. Radio programs are broadcast online, often live-streamed. And there are online only radio and TV channels. For those of us who still like to watch our TV on an actual TV instead of online (the screen is larger for one thing), cable companies and the like offer program packages. There is also satellite TV.

True, a lot of the broadcasting companies for radio and television have amalgamated. But there is also more diversity on what is broadcast with all news stations, all sports stations and my favourite, an all classic music radio station (96.3 Classic FM for those who want to know).

Maybe this combination of old and new technology is the answer to the frenzied technological mess we are in. Maybe this is how the world gets back its technological equilibrium. And none too soon – before anyone else texting while crossing the street collides with a moving vehicle.

Now, if only all other extremes in the world (like the weather) could find their happy medium.

Meantime, my son’s band Beams will be holding a launch party for that seven-inch late this Thursday evening (January 29) at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Check it out at http://beamstheband.com/shows/

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under 1960s, LPs, Music, Nostalgia, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Sign of the Times

Only Child turns down the technology

Only child buzzed by too much technology

I think I’m all tecked out – at least for a little while. Now you have to bring in the technological gadget to get a part replaced. For example, for a new working adapter for my external hard drive, bringing in the old adapter isn’t enough – they need the whole external hard drive because the adapter comes with a new case and they have to set it up with your external hard drive. Ditto for a new battery for my wireless phone handset. If you don’t know beforehand, that’s two trips for one replacement. Then there is that social networking get together coming up next month. It’s in person but you can’t just reply “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” There are four categories to sign up for – some free, some not. And just now when I went to update my Firefox browser on my laptop (as “it” was urging me to do), “it” told me I had incompatible ad-ons that had to be updated first. So I closed the box. Too technical for me. I’ll have to bring my laptop to my son’s place so he can do this. Strange, as when this happened on my desktop PC, I had no problem updating Firefox. Could it be because the laptop is using Windows 7? Maybe. But I think it’s more that technology is getting away from us.

Stop the world, I need a break.

When I was growing up (back in the grey ages) our biggest technological gadget was the transistor radio – complete with its mono output and one earphone. But I loved taking it to the beach or sitting out in my mother’s garden hooked up to my transistor and listening to the latest top 40 hits – Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, etc. Check http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/transistor-radio.html to see what I’m referring to.

I still have one of the updates from the transistor radio – a Walkman, and it works. And yes, I still have some tapes sitting around. Of course, I moved on to CDs years ago, but I also kept my turntable, records, and as it turns out (pun intended) turntables and LPs are back in style. What does that say for our current technological state? Some of you might think “old foggie baby boomers.” True. But I also wonder if it is a grasp at something less mind-blowing technological, something a little simpler. True you can’t cart it around with you like an iPod, but I’ve heard reports the sound is something better from what you can get from today’s technology. Don’t know if that is true, but there has to be some reason many music artists are recording on both CD and LP.

Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t have anything against the iPod – except maybe some people’s penchant for turning it up so loud, their “music” escapes into the surrounding atmosphere. The iPod is today’s answer to the transistor radio – one way to drown out today’s outside noise and excess technology. The latter may be an oxymoron, but if you are strictly using the iPod listening to music, you are ignoring the constant buzz of e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, not to mention the in-person noise around you. Just be careful and attentive when crossing the street.

So for the upcoming holiday weekend (Canada Day, July 1 in Canada and July 4 Independence Day in the US) why not tone down the technology or even give it a temporary rest? Sure, listen to your iPod but send Twitter, etc. to another planet. Me, I’m going to the beach with a good book (print) and also taking that book out into my garden.

Staying wired almost 24/7 (excluding sleep time, for those of us who still get some sleep) is draining.
Happy holiday.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Balance, iPods, Music, Only child, Stress