Sunday, July 6, 2014

Am too a Luddite!

A long time ago, in a city about 2700 kilometres away, Springy G was a for-real DJ at a college radio station.

Okay, it was a mere 30 years ago; and it was a CEGEP -- which is a fancy Québec way of saying "college" -- but I was quite adept at finding and spinning interesting and sometimes insufferably obscure vinyl.  Quicksilver Messenger Service, anyone?  How about Mandala?  Maybe a track or two from Tubular Bells -- No,that would take up half the show.  (Besides, the guy who comes on after Me usually plays it.)

Every Tuesday I would show up at the station with a Girl Guides canvas knapsack full of vinyl, hand-picked from My collection of 400+ albums.  The only thing you could count on is that I'd always play one track each from The Guess Who, Steely Dan, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin.

When I came west to live in Winnipeg circa 1977, I left about half the collection behind in Montreal.  After My turntable succumbed in the late '80s, and a very young Ludwig von Snow mistook a shelf full of albums for a scratching post and destroyed most of the jackets and a few of the discs as well, I sighed heavily and invested in a CD player.

That all changed last Saturday, when I traded a chronically disused bass guitar for a new turntable -- Uh, an old turntable.  (An ADC LT-31 linear-tracking turntable, to be precise.)  And I'm playing Gerry Rafferty's album City to City on it, no less.  My all-time favourite sax solo, from "Baker Street" (played by Raphael Ravenscroft), sounds great.

I'd forgotten how much I like analog recordings.  Smooooth.  I'm not what you'd call an audiophile*, but I can actually tell the difference between a standard CD and an .mp3 sampled at *whimper* 128 kbps.

Welcome to 1978!   Put down the smartphone and the ear buds and back away slowly.


* audiophile n. Humanoid life-form that thinks nothing of spending $10,000 on a stereo amplifier, $5,000 on a preamp, an indeterminate amount on parts for homemade 3-way speakers with 18" woofers, and another $5 grand on a turntable, to reproduce sounds that can only be heard by bats, cats and moths.

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