Last night, I watched Almost Famous for possibly the 20th time. There are too many great moments, lines and songs to mention in this post, but I will remind you of the scene where William’s (Patrick Fuget) sister Anita (Zooey Deschanel) leaves him a collection of records under his bed with a note attached to one of them that reads “Listen to Tommy with a candle burning and you’ll see your whole future.”
I’ve been doing a whole lot of this recently – not necessarily the Who and the candle burning thing – but listening to records in general. For Christmas, I received a record player and I’ve been pulling up records from the basement (Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and the usual suspects plus a few really obscure orchestral stuff from Germany with perfectly coiffed 60s vixens on the cover) and playing them non-stop. I’m not going to wax poetic about how music sounds better on a record player (I’m not sure that it does – or maybe it’s that I need better speakers), but what I like about records is that it kind of forces you to listen to an album from beginning to end in the order that the artists intended. Yes, you can skip around. But it’s a bit harder than cherry-picking tracks to listen from your iPod. You gotta sit and you gotta listen to the whole thing – the record makes you hear songs you might have skipped on a c.d. – and so I’m listening to albums again, not just songs.
It’s sort of a beautiful thing. No television. Just the record and my knitting and the a glass of whiskey. I’ve become a bit of shut-in, but baby it’s cold outside, and I can think of worse ways to while away the hours.