Thursday, October 14, 2010

TVD Label Spotlight: Yep Roc Records | A chat with John Stirratt

By day, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone are members of rock standard-bearers Wilco, but for over a decade the pair have fronted passion project The Autumn Defense, whose Yep Roc release 'Once Around' hits stores on November 2nd.

John joins us today with a few thoughts on—you guessed it—vinyl.

Cool older sisters. The unsung muses that launched a thousand bands. I can still see the Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy poster, feel the shag pile underfoot as I asked for the umpteenth time what the significance of this POW bracelet was. "Well, it's a remembrance of a soldier who is captured over there, and if he's returned home, you break it in half." Over where? Breaking the bracelet was fine, but don't touch the record player, and I'm sorry, but you're a little too young to handle the... records.

These records Elizabeth had were not groundbreaking - at the very least MOR: Beatles, Queen, Stones, James Taylor, Elton... but the time spent in that room staring a hole into the jacket, spending large amounts of time listening to what was the real golden age of analogue recording - that was a shared, communal experience that so many people of my and earlier generations had in common, and for different reasons, what later generations didn't.

Myspace music player

QuantcastThe experience wasn't only about 'simpler times' - it seemed long gone even during the pre-internet /gaming mid to late 80's when it seemed that stereos got crappier, listening went inside the car. It had something to do with the large artifact of vinyl, the visual.

My first record: Band on the Run - 1973, and I remember growing up in the New Orleans area and hearing the single alongside other regional hits on the radio - 'They All Asked for You' by the Meters was all the rage that Carnival season in February-March 1975, but I guess local NO radio was still playing 'Jet' a year later. Anyway, I asked my parents for it - and they got it for me. I still have it, and I feel like I'm in a time machine looking at the 3-peice Wings, with the coffee-stained passports and pre-mullet do's.

It's hard for someone who grew up with vinyl LPs to not be nostalgic about the medium, but the fact that the technology remains superior - even with higher sample rates - is some weird comfort to me, that things weren't improved upon. And like the streetcar, it remains an example of perhaps a slower paced, but richer point in time.

The Autumn Defense - Back of My Mind (Mp3)
Approved for download!

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