If you were to ask me how life was panning out, having moved in with my handsome gentleman companion, I would wax lyrical about the many things that are just lovely. But right now, I'm going to tell you about just one of them.
Life with a record player.
I haven't lived in a house with a record player for years. My parents had a record player with accompanying magnificent old school fabric covered speakers on wooden and steel 70s stands. I used to adore playing my story book 45s, turning the page when the bell dinged. I also danced daily to Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat at the age of 3. I remember falling asleep in our tiny Frances St house with the reassuring sounds of the music (usually an opera or else Gilbert and Sullivan) my parents were listening to filtering into the room. Later I found their old copies of Hair and the Beatles box set and danced away to them. When my parents seperated, the record player went with Dad.
Later, my brother Tristan bought one, and as a student I lived in a house that had one. But they weren't my record players and I didn't buy records for them.
And now I live with a man for whom music is fundamentally important, and has a considerable record collection, half of which I adore and half of which is just not my thing. But I have rediscovered the warmth of sound that vinyl gives you. It's not like other sounds. And I'm not sure how much of this I associate with my early childhood, but regardless, it's wonderful, and it's opened me up to new kinds of music, and new ways of listening to it.
Sunday mornings Leith has a habit of putting on Jazz - Coltrane or maybe something like the Swingle Singers (!) and I can't recommend this enough, accompanied with eggs and the newspaper.
I also tagged along a few weeks ago with Leith record shopping. And I got the bug. I got it bad. Because all of a sudden I realised: these records can become instrinsic to my home life. I enjoy playing Leith's music, some of it more than others, but in the record store were albums guaranteed to send shivers down my spine. Artists whose tracks had not been released on cd and nor were they likely to be in future. And artists who belonged to a vinyl era. I bought Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. And oh my I love those records. And I fantasise about going back to buy more!
Another realisation I had was that the songs that most move me, that send me outwardly catatonic while inwardly I get all stirred up, are the most pathetic, tragic and anti-feminist love songs. They're the songs I go to when I know I'm tense and need to provoke a good cry. I don't know quite what this says about me. And I don't know whether I can untangle what I perceive as the tragedy of the love the women feel from the tragedy that the women should feel love for such objects in the first place.
All I know is that these songs slay me. I'd like to leave you with a few, but trying to find them on youtube is like trying to find a diamond in a big pile of poo. I thought about providing the lyric, but the lyric without the music and the delivery are hollow at best and do nothing to convey the heartwrenching truth of these songs. The only one I can find is Aretha. For the others, the best I can do is provide a few links and urge you fervently to check them out, with a box of tissues handy, and preferable on vinyl.
Good for nothin' Joe - Lena Horne
I don't want him - Nina Simone
Pine mushrooms, pasta and not much else
3 years ago