One of many gifts I bought Atomique (the artist formerly known as Mrs. Viper Pilot) for her birthday this year was an album by TISM, Australia’s answer to the nebulous void that is novelty-but-not-too-novelty rock. The album in question is Great Trucking Songs of the Rennaissance, and it was indeed a true album, being pressed in vinyl. Atomique had of late been lamenting the passing of her CD copy some great many long years ago, lost in a far away and far colder country to the (great white) north.
As I placed disc 1 on my Vestax HandyTrax portable turntable, I paused before lowering the needle. “Dear,” I said, “you are about to listen to something unique. Because this peice of vinyl is a weak and simple analogue medium, it is subtly different than any other copy of this album. Were this a CD, everything would be copied digitally and reproduced exactly the same on every single digital medium; the only ones who’ve truly heard something new then were the people in the recording booth. What you are about to hear now is something that no-one has ever heard before.”
(I think I impressed myself almost as much as I did her with that little monologue. Needless to say, there was some quiet reverence when we heard the familiar crackle of the needle finding the groove.)
In this day and age, there are very few things that any one of us are exposed to that no-one else has already experienced before us. A record player and a piece of vinyl are a very inexpensive way to treat yourself to something truly yours – there are minute differences between each and every pressing of a record. And, better yet, once you’ve listened to the album, you can invite friends over for a listen and sneer at them behind your brandy snifter because you beat them to it. If you’re an evil genius, that is.
Here, listen to some crap that someone else has already listened to: TISM’s myspace page.