A confused Millennial tries to… actually play his vinyl collection

by Josh Gardner, who doesn’t have to revise for exams because an AI will do it for him

AS a serious music lover, streaming isn’t enough for me. I actually collect physical music on vinyl. Yeah. I know. Impressive. 

I’ve already got rare vinyls of cult older acts like Saxon, Timbuk 3 and Sir Mix-A-Lot. Stuff only us music connoisseurs have heard of. Seriously seminal bands.

And vinyl has a vibe to it you don’t get with downloads. It’s hard to describe, but I think it’s the way you can arrange them on a shelf and look as if you know loads about music. It’s authentic.

Even Dad was impressed. But then he said: ‘So are you going to play one of them? What about that Pantera album? Aren’t they heavy metal?’

‘You’re not meant to play them,’ I said. ‘You’d need a massive CD player.’

‘What d’you think they’re for then?’ he said. To be honest I’m not sure. I sort of assumed they were some sort of pre-digital NFT.

‘You’re in luck, my precious child,’ said Dad. ‘We’ve got that old Sony music centre in the loft.’ Then he made me help as he passed down a load of old electrical equipment. The ‘graphic equaliser’ confused me because it hadn’t got a screen. ‘Don’t worry about that,’ said Dad. ‘That’s just for hi-fi twats.’

All set up, it was a black tower of ancient, forbidden technology. It had no remote. It had no app. Apparently it made music by physically lowering a flimsy little spindle arm onto a spinning disc, translating the patterns into noise. It’s like something from The Da Vinci Code. 

When the music came out it sounded the same as Spotify, but with a hissing, crackling noise, which I presume is because it’s travelling so far from the past.

I asked Dad how you set it to shuffle. ‘You can’t,’ he said. I asked how you skip a track. ‘You can’t,’ he said. I asked how you make a playlist. Guess what.

You can only change tracks by lifting the diamond-tipped needle and putting it back in exactly the right place. The two sides of the record actually have different music on. It’s an absolute faff.

And there were plenty of shit songs. My records had two, maybe three, good tracks, then loads of boring ones. And some of them were shit all the way through, despite being valuable antiques. The bloke in the record shop said Daphne and Celeste were his favourite band.

It’s also a massive chore putting the records back in one paper sleeve then a cardboard one, so I didn’t bother. Turns out they get all dusty and scratched to fuck when you don’t, and then sound even worse.

I love vinyl, and it absolutely is my new hobby and passion, but I wish they’d make it out of something else.

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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

Why do live albums always include the venue? Nobody’s saying ‘The Killers live at Nassau Coliseum? Not interested mate. Live at the Royal Albert Hall? Count me the fuck in.’

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

Clowns are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

You’ve never seen Twin Peaks, but you have seen Emmerdale. You can’t imagine it’s too far off.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. A trip to B&Q really does have it all.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

God, after all they go through in All Quiet On The Western Front, you were really hoping the Germans would at least win the war.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

Life is full of highs and lows. In your case, high cholesterol and low libido.

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Remember, you’re in complete control of every element of your own destiny. Apart from how much tax you pay. That’s decided by Jeremy Hunt.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

Anyone who says ‘golf is a good walk spoiled’ wants to try stepping in dog shit.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

You see life through rosé tinted glasses by being constantly pissed on Zinfandel.

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

Apparently a Prince tribute act is meant to do more than just come on stage and talk about how great Prince was. So that’s that 32-date national tour fucked.

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

A friend claims a fancy restaurant near you serves a main course consisting of one single chip. You’re going to take it with a grain of salt.

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

*record scratch* ‘I suppose you’re wondering how your record got scratched.’