Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TVD First Date With | Blind Pilot

Portland's Blind Pilot, the duo consisting of drummer Ryan Dobrowski and singer/guitar/songwriter Israel Nebeker are making some fine music indeed--reminiscent to us in the TVD office of early Turin Breaks, Grant Lee Buffalo in a way, and even The Shins might come to mind.

But the band name may be a bit of a misnomer when it comes to their thoughts on record stores and vinyl in general. We're thinking they're seeing quite clearly, thank you:

Ryan: "There is something very exciting about finding something new in a record store as opposed hearing it on a computer for the first time. There is definitely something to be said for the hunt. I think that is what draws me to Record stores the most. It's like finding a great shirt in the bins at Goodwill is way more exciting than going to Urban Outfitters and finding the same shirt.

As far as vinyl goes I am a very new convert. In fact I don't even own a record player. Yet. When we were just in New York, we were pretty tired as we had just gotten off of the bike tour. we hung around my friend apartment and listened to a lot of records. With a lot of the albums, even though I was familiar with them, I felt like I was hearing them for the first time. There was something that made me listen everything a lot more. It felt like more of an event than just something happening in the background. Also being a visual artist, I really like the larger album art."

Israel: "These days the thought of having a vinyl collection, rather than owning all your music on digital, backed up, synced hard drives and portable devices, sounds like a major inconvenience. But that's my favorite part.

I hear a song on my friend's myspace page that I really like. I go to iTunes and download it and put it on my ipod. From here, when do I listen to it? Consistently, I listen to my iPod while I'm doing other things: painting, or at work, or riding my bike, etc. And it's amazing that I can do that so conveniently. I love doing that and I'm grateful I live in a time when I can put on headphones and have an intimate relationship to music while I'm doing something very impersonal-while out in public.

But when I hear a song or an album or I'm at a show that I REALLY like-when I love it, then I go to a record store or the band's merch table and buy it on vinyl. Reason being that I'm unable to take it everywhere. I'm unable to let it distract me or let the world distract from it. The only place I can listen to it is very specific. It requires the labor of taking out a physical disk, holding it by the edges, keeping my player and all the records clean. It even requires me to say that I'm devoting the next 20 minutes at least to listening to this side of the album. All these things that require effort by me are the most important part. I'm not doing them for nothing, but rather, each task is a way of giving to the music and giving to the person who made it. Everybody in some sense wants to feel this when art resonates with them. We don't just want to experience it one way. We want to give back to the conversation. So to me, owning music on vinyl makes it more valuable and makes me feel more a part of that conversation.

It's a similar situation with record stores. Internet downloads might be the dominating seller in the market right now, but it's so impersonal and so easy. I believe a person that walks into a record store, spends the time to look at new stuff coming out, feels all the tangible cases and sleeves of music, and has a brief conversation with the clerk about the album he's buying-that person is going to open his ears a bit more when he puts the music on, rather than if he downloaded the album in a minute and thirty seconds off iTunes.

On top of that, vinyl SOUNDS better. That statement should be reason enough why vinyl will continue to be a relative format. I'm completely baffled why the crappy CD standard of a 44.1 kHz sampling rate hasn't become obsolete now that everybody listens to their music on portable hard drives. ...Yay vinyl."

Blind Pilot - One Red Thread (Mp3)
Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds And A Sound (Mp3)

1 comment:

studball said...

So will we be seeing Blind Pilot on vinyl anytime soon?