I Am Obsessed With My Record Player

Nicole Shaker, Editor-in-Chief

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I’d consider myself an old soul. I’m not entirely sure what that means, besides the implication that I listen to The Doors, own at least one Beatles shirt, and put every penny I earn into a fund for new vinyl records. Although only the latter is true in my case, I am so devoted to this hobby that it makes up for my lack of Rolling Stones trivia knowledge. I am obsessed with collecting records.

I own a Victrola portable suitcase record player, which I saved up for myself, my parents unsupportive of this pretty useless hobby of mine. After all, records are large and quite annoying to store, easy to scuff and scratch, and not at all dependable for sound quality (not to mention the inconvenience you’re faced with whenever you want to switch a song). These days, why turn to an archaic and expensive way of listening to music when digital music is available everywhere? Well, although one may blurt out several reasons (“The sound quality of a new record is without comparison!”), it really boils down to one silly motive: for the aesthetic.

Although I would like to think I’m different, having a record player is the definitive mark of a 2018 hipster. I’m actually quite basic, especially if you take into account that mine is tie-dye print. But I promise, I purchased my record player because of my infatuation with music and musical history. I love the idea of owning a 12 by 12 inch album cover sleeve which contains a disc of music to put on a turntable and listen to amidst the slight scratching sound of spinning. It’s really quite a beautiful concept, and it looks great— I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for the aesthetic.

As of now, I only own two vinyls because unfortunately, being a sixteen year-old girl implies that any hobby of mine must be completely endorsed by my parents. Alas, buying vinyl records off of Amazon does not constitute an endorsement for them. So, I spend as little as I can on lunch (“Who needs lunch? Music feeds the soul!”) and scrape up every penny from when my mom tells me I can keep the change, putting all of it towards the cause of buying records. I’m not entirely sure as to why I feel such a passion towards this avocation, but all I know is that I feel a surge of pride everytime I record a black-and-white video of The Neighborhood being played on vinyl. That pride is worth the twenty-or-so dollars I spend on every record, even if my heart drops a bit when the money leaves my card and I know an admonition from my parents is imminent.

Besides The Neighbourhood, I own Harry Styles. I know, it’s a contrast. What can I say? I love all types of music. My record bucket list (which is 70 records long as of now) contains indie, pop-punk, alternative rock, classic rock, pop, and R&B-rap. I’m quite proud of my musical taste, as I know, or believe, it is a lot better than that of many other teenage girls of this era. I really am an old soul— Oasis’s Definitely Maybe is currently top priority on my list. Despite that, I’m also a basic trend-obeying hipster who takes pride in posting quirky videos of her records to her social media. I possess no shame about it either. One Direction’s Four is next on the list.

So, I love my record player more than most things in the world. As I analyze the reasons for this, I always come back to my extreme devotion to music and style. I’m sure many people can relate, no matter what music tastes they may have. The sight and sound of a vinyl record rotating, amid the satisfying background noise of a turntable’s scraping, truly has no equal in the musical universe. Ask any music enthusiast—record players may be antiquated, but they give albums new life.    

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