The mail woman opened the door to the office and dropped off the large square envelope. Everyone in the office thanked her, as was the custom. My supervisor brought the envelope over to me and let me know that it was for me. I gleefully opened the stiff folds and slowly pulled out the treasure held within as technology bends backwards into history to create a new aesthetic for today.


It was a split record containing a track by The Mountain Goats called Thank You Mario But The Princess is in Another Castle — the actual reason that I decided to buy the record the second that my coworker told me that it was still available for sale. The prompt decision that I made might have been made based on events that had transpired a couple of weeks earlier.

I got an out of the blue e-mail from my father asking me if I had any records by one of my favorite bands and I said that I did not and wondered why he was asking. It turned out that my mother had misunderstood something I had mentioned to her and my father had started selling the vinyl records that I had collected starting when I was in high school. It turned out that he had already sold six, most of which were sold for well below their actual value — and one of which was now impossible to find at all.

Not too much later one of my colleagues told me that The Mountain Goats were going to release their new album on vinyl and that there would be seven hundred and seventy-seven copies that would be purple colored vinyl. He told me about it on the first day of the pre-order availability and I immediately put in an order. Actually I first asked if he could double his order and we could therefore save on the shipping but he said that the company through which we were ordering would flag it as a potential order that was destined to end up on eBay and not fulfill it.

Since then, things have escalated just a little bit. I was tempted to order the new Phish album with the limited edition box set that contained posters artfully explaining each song on the album but I decided that it would be better to pay the electric bill that month. It didn’t stop me from excitedly getting in on the official lottery to have the opportunity to purchase one of the seven hundred and seventy-seven purple vinyl copies of the new Mountain Goats album, however – or asking a few friends to enter as well.

I suppose I just couldn’t help it — they’re purple! It also might make up for losing a few priceless albums from my youth. The key word, of course, is might.

9 Comments

  1. Love the review, Gordon! Your taste in music is a delight to share and learn from in every way.
    It must be pretty amazing to travel back in time to the wonders of vinyl.
    Can you still buy a “record player” new today that has some quality to it?

  2. David,
    If you have a lot of money to spend, you can get a record player that plays with a laser needle — no damage to the record and, according to the various sites, considerable improvement to the sound.
    http://www.elpj.com/
    If you’re not quite ready for that, there are lots of record players that are being built and shipped today — even ones that have a USB out to export to your computer.
    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turntables/8b88447e3530f153/index.html

  3. Great question.
    They are a band that is composed of John Darnielle, who does the writing and guitar playing – especially on the early albums, which are just John and his awesome guitar.
    You should check them out if they happen to be in your neck of the woods.