Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TVD First Date With | Aloud

You know how it is with first dates--very often they rely completely on happenstance and timing. There's simply no way around it.

Fortunate we be then, to have Boston, Mass's Aloud right here--in DC...yep...tonight. Now, you do with this info as you will, but we here at TVD think it'd be wise to be front and center at Velvet Lounge later, saaay...about 10PM or so. (And I'd come with flowers. It IS Valentine's Day week after all.) Meanwhile, Henry Beguiristain (vocals/guitars) has a valentine for us:

"It was a few years ago I was reminded how wonderful listening to vinyl can be. I was hanging out with a friend of mine one evening and was amazed that she'd never heard Strawberry Fields Forever on vinyl. I promptly dusted off the record player, placed the Magical Mystery Tour LP onto the turntable, and did my best to carefully place the needle where the track began (or at least my best approximation). Fireworks. Well, maybe fireworks and the musky smell of old record sleeves. Anyway, I was 13 years old all over again, listening to that song for the first time after I'd raided my mom's stash of records one afternoon, poring over non-extant hidden meanings and figuring out WHO exactly buried Paul.

Nostalgia aside, what really pulled me in was simply how great it all sounded. This is how these songs were meant to be heard. Rich, WARM, with a bit of hiss, crackly at times, and not compressed to hell. These are all the qualities that fewer and fewer albums coming out seem to lack—sacrificed on the Altar of Blandness, often mistaken for some vague notion of Loudness. One can go on all day about sound, though, which is ultimately in the ear of the beholder. At the end of the day, I guess the main allure of the LP is that, by its very nature, it DEMANDS to be appreciated. The packaging is too large to ignore. The disc itself is extremely fragile and must always be handled with care. A little after twenty minutes you have to get your ass up off the couch to flip it over. And, unless you're willing to put in the work, there's no shuffle function here; THIS ALBUM WILL BE LISTENED TO. As a result, something happens, something important, that has been seemingly bred out of us in the 21st Century: you stop and smell the roses.

While I'll freely admit that my iPod is my constant companion, there's something to be said for vinyl outlasting audio cassettes, 8-tracks, and—soon enough—CDs. So while I'm not suggesting this magnificent format is going to overtake mp3s in popularity anytime soon, I'd be willing to place my bets that vinyl would make for good cover during a nuclear explosion. At least that's what it says when you play Octopus's Garden in reverse..."

Aloud - Fan The Fury (Mp3)
Aloud - Sometimes I Feel Like A Vampire (Mp3)

1 comment:

Beca said...

I remember that night! It was one of the better ones, to be sure.