The summer of 2011 is the most miserable one (weather wise I mean) that I can remember. It’s even worse here in Amsterdam this year than the four summers I lived in Ireland. The Irish summers are notorious for their rain and relatively low temperatures, but they’ve got nothing on this Dutch one. And so, as it continues to rain outside, I focus on music. Playing music, buying music, watching YouTube videos or music documentaries.
And my favourite passtimes during miserable, rainy days are buying vinyl records or going through my vinyl collection, reading the sleeve notes, putting some records on I haven’t played in a while… Geeky stuff, I know. Let’s face it, the vinyl record is so much more beautiful than a cd (even though I’ve got quite a selection of those as well). And as much as I would like to encourage people to buy mp3’s instead of downloading them for free, digital music doesn’t do it for me. Yes, I’ve got an iPod to listen to music while on my way to work. But buying from iTunes doesn’t give me the same exciting feeling as going to a record shop and buying a real life record (or two… or three…) after browsing for an hour or so.
I actually feel sorry for the generations who aren’t aware of the beauty of all of this. There are plenty of kids out there who don’t know what a record is. They probably still know what a cd is, but it’s just a matter of time before they have mostly disappeared out of the shops as well. Although… there is hope on the horizon! I recently read that vinyl sales in the first half of 2011 are up 55% and that vinyl is making a come back.
Just the other day I came across a series of photos of the HMV record shop on Oxford Street in London in the sixties. I swear, if I had a time machine… that’s exactly where I’d go!