Home improvements

Dot writes: I’ve been flirting for a while with the idea of starting to buy vinyl. As a 37-year-old mum of two who never had the knack of being either an encyclopaedic music nut or in any way cool even when I was a 22-year-old working in a record shop, I don’t fit the part, but what the hell. Let not society’s ageist and sexist stereotypes limit my bold consumer choices! People are always saying that vinyl sounds warmer, sharper, just better somehow. CDs and mp3s both work by breaking the musical information into little bits and, in the case of mp3s, throwing a lot of it away. And I’ve had a further nudge from The Basics (a band I am very fond of, as excitably demonstrated in this gig review from last year), as they (probably Kris, in fact) recently posted on Facebook to ask who would buy their new album* on vinyl when it is released. First I thought no – I don’t have a turntable. Then I thought, well, it could be worth it in the short-term, as it would come with a digital download so I’d be able to listen to the music that way and have the physical copy for the artwork, which is much better in a larger format. But really I would want to play it. Records are for playing.

See? Much bigger artwork on an LP...
See? Much bigger artwork on an LP…

So, in order to play the new Basics record that I plan to get, I need to do the following.

– buy a turntable and speakers and whatever other bits I’d need, depending on the type of system.

– find somewhere to put them. That would have to be the front room.

– to make the space in the front room, get rid of the television.

– to make the front room into a listening space for adults rather than a telly-watching, lego-strewing, sofa-dismantling space for children, move their toys into their bedroom and buy a new sofa-suite.

– to make the space for the toys in the bedroom, rip out the built-in wardrobe.

– to make the bedroom halfway bearable after ripping out the built-in wardrobe, completely redecorate the room and put in a new carpet.

– to find the money to buy the system, sofa suite, paint and new carpet, come up with a workable blackmail plot, since we don’t seem to be doing too well at saving right now and what we are saving is earmarked for the next trip to NZ.

– to come up with the blackmail plot, engage in covert surveillance of prominent figures, the only one of whom I’d have much of a chance of watching is probably the head of the university where I work (not that I’m aware of any blackmailable activities on his part, but you can do a lot with editing, I believe).**

When I am sacked and sent to prison, you’ll know I did it all for The Basics.


*Current indications are that the album is called The Age of Entitlement and is likely to be out in August, though the release date hasn’t been confirmed. There should be a single soon, Roundabout (a sensitive meditation on the traumatic human cost of certain types of traffic intersection) (previewed here).

**It’s ok. I wouldn’t really do this. After all, at the moment the only camera I have is the crap one on my phone.


3 thoughts on “Home improvements

  1. Katimum

    You also have to make the space to store the vinyl; and reconcile yourself to the fact that, however careful you are, vinyl ends up scratched. And you have sons who are capable of destroying DVDs, never mind vinyl. I’d leave it a bit if I were you.

    1. Dot

      Well, yes, this is a bit of a long-term plan. Though the part about ripping out the wardrobe and redecorating needs doing anyway. I would also like to find an alternative to the surveillance/blackmail/prison part of the scheme.

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