Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TVD First Date with | Olivia Mancini

It must be a record of sorts—this is Olivia Mancini’s third appearance here at TVD and we’re just now doing a proper ‘First Date’ feature. But it’s timed well indeed as Ms. Mancini and her Mates open for our guest bloggers this week, Exit Clov, Saturday night at Iota (for which we have free tickets for you to join us.)

Now, First Dates just like first loves come in varying guises. For example, my first love was KISS. (No, really.)

Olivia has much more of a discerning palette:

Who was my first love? Umm. Judy Garland.

I would put her Live at Carnegie Hall album on my Fisher Price turntable and imagine us singing “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” together. She blasted “Over the Rainbow” and my little kid voice would try to match hers note for note coming through those built-in plastic speakers. I wrote her love letters–or maybe I just sent her LP love letters, taping a Garfield Post-It note to the record sleeve. “I Love This” I scrawled in four-year-old handwriting. I adorned the rest of the love letter with big red hearts, to really drive home the point.

Fast-forward to 1987 when my dad gave me for Christmas my first “big girl” stereo. If it was an overly large gift designed to mitigate the birth of my little sister, it worked. How I loved that single unit Magnavox with its familiar turntable, radio and state-of-the-art dual cassette player. In the box was an accompanying present, one that my dad never could explain buying. The 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Collection: Jukebox Saturday Night was a three-disc vinyl box set (on discount? An impulse item at the checkout counter?) that blew my eight-year-old mind and made me forget all about Judy. (Perhaps this was Dad’s ultimate goal.) I traded “Putting on the Ritz” for “Earth Angel” and “Stormy Weather” for “Teenager in Love” and never looked back.

Cassettes and CDs and MP3s. Even vinylfiles shouldn’t hate them. They made music portable even as they modified our expectations of sound quality and changed our relationship with the collection of songs known as the album, and I, for one, wouldn’t want to go back. I’ve got the best of both worlds: my iPod in my purse and my favorite LPs stacked on my Garrard RC-98 at home.

But I know because I couldn’t resist throwing on Live at Carnegie Hall when I dug out the records listed above in preparation for this “First Date.” An MP3 is not going to do Judy any favors. But her voice coming through my living room console made me think the four-year-old me was pretty right on the money with that Garfield Post-It note.

Olivia Mancini and the Mates - My Old Ways (Mp3)
Olivia Mancini and the Mates - Turn On The Jets (Mp3)

1 comment:

Dumbek said...

Is there anyone in this town who doesn't have at least a slight crush on Olivia? I think not.