I have a beautiful stack of vinyl records.
About a year ago, I came across a stack of boxed up Beethoven music that had been culled together by some heritage minded society and probably marketed through late night TV ads. Perhaps one box per month was sent to someone with the symphonies arriving one month and then the lieder and dance stuff the next; just $29.99 a month, cancel any time…
There were actually about 20 boxes, stacked next to a trash can but not in it, in case anyone wanted them. I had only taken about half of them, actually thinking at the time that it would have been selfish of me to grab all of them. I could have carried them all the 300 feet back to my apartment, so that wasn’t the issue. I think I thought I was giving someone else dibs on some of the Great Music, envisioning some kid growing up on the classics and becoming a better person, because of me. I should have just carried all 20 back to my place, even if I had to put them down to rest half way…
The vinyl is of poor quality; with some of them having skipps in them, right out of the box. All of them are warped to some degree, signifying that the boxes were probably subjected to heat at some point. This surprises me, because they are German Grammophon “brand,” which I had been led to believe were the finest records available. Perhaps they are another line of lesser vinyls that the “Gesellschaft” designation, which is appended to the name, might indicate. Maybe that’s how they were able to partnership with whomever boxed them up and sold them so cheaply through the Home Shopping Network, or whatever.
But the quality of the music is irrefutable. Beethoven was pretty amazing, though not perfect. I think the Grateful Dead finally came along and outdid him, with some of their jams…
But the stack of records is something that I value and I keep looking forward to just spending days playing all 75 or so records that I have, which now includes boxes of Tchaikovsky (on much higher Time/Life Records quality vinyl) Luigi Boccherini, Brahms, and a few loose discs of other composers. That is one of the things that Youtube keeps stealing time away from doing.
But, when typing these posts, I am able to listen to them without too much distraction, and multi-task in that way…
The big concern now is the amplifier that I have conceded to be almost a necessity for busking.
When Jacob and I were tripping on acid and busking last Friday and the batteries died in the amp, I continued to play while he put a fresh set in it and it was a night and day type of drop off in volume, as the noise of the environment made it so I instantly felt like going from performing for everyone within 100 feet to everyone within 10 feet, and I felt like there was a uselessness to that.
After we got back to my place, we tried to record some music in my room using the same setup, but there was a loud hum coming from the amp, which might have been from me knocking my guitar against the jack where the mic plugs into the amp. I had rolled up the cable to shorten it, so it would be more manageable when in my backpack, but I made it too short, so that I was yanking on it at various times when I leaned too far in the direction away from the amp .
So I didn’t even go out Saturday night and potentially make another 100 bucks, or potentially not, because of being unplugged. Amps might just be a fact of life for the acoustic guitarist/singer on the street these days…
That has to be my number one concern as I prepare to go and get another hundred bucks for my plasma tomorrow.
And with that, I shut it down, and go to see if Jacob sent me any of the audio files of the recordings of us playing on Friday night.
The acid turned out to be medicinal in restoring my frame of mind to what it was when I was in my 20’s and music meant the world to me. One tab of acid cleared away all the cobwebs of cynicism and negativity which had insidiously accumulated over, especially the past 5 years or so. One might think is an inevitable attribute that comes with aging. “The curmudgeonly old man” has become a trope in our society, for a good reason*, and though I thought I had fared better than a lot of my contemporaries on that head, age had still taken a toll on me.
Especially damaging was seeing people whom I once aspired to be like, die and become forgotten 10 minutes later in this ADD world.
It’s important to focus upon the music and not care about any of the accolades or the “success” or fame or trying to be “somebody.” The music speaks for itself and, maybe you will be forgotten 10 minutes after you die, but that moment that you are in the music is the actual moment that matters and what will live on, outside of the constraints of “time.”
Time to flip a record over and put the needle back on…..
*Just read some of Alex Carter’s blog: “The Pie Is A Lie”on Blogger.com And see how, at the age of sixty, he is full of hatred at the homeless, the Christians, the Republicans, the white race, etc. He seems to get all his “news” from NPR and can’t seem to see through their agenda, but he may also have fallen prey to the ravages of age; plus a toxic diet of Ramen noodles probably contributes to his state of mind.
He is a classic bigot, lumping society into groups that, in his mind, all think and act the same way. The fact that there is probably a whole group of Alex Carter’s that all think and act in the same way is an irony that is not lost upon me as I label him a bigot…