I pop into The Red Barn Thrift Store in Woodbury today, enticed by the 50% OFF EVERYTHING sign. The usual tchotchkes abound, along with mismatched dishes, bodice-ripper paperbacks and racks of seasons-old granny blouses. I scan the room, and just before I’m about to leave, a box of dusty albums draws me in. $1 each. I flip through… Loggins & Messina, Bee Gees, Barbara Streisand (The Christmas Album!)… Nah. And then I spy a few gems that end up coming home with me: some Broadway musicals, a couple of 1950’s soundtracks, and a half-dozen classical recordings. Oh, and Perry Como. Five-fifty total.
When was the last time I bought an LP? 1984? Does anyone under 25 even know what an LP is anymore? Unless you’re a DJ, I’d guess not. My last turntable broke sometime around college and I never bothered to replace it. I was already on to CDs by then, and I haven’t even bought one of them in years either, not counting the random gift. So why now? Not necessarily nostalgia, as this batch of vinyl was mostly recorded before I was born. Rather, it’s the turntable in my furnished rental house. I wasn’t even the one to discover it – a friend recognized the retro record player hidden in plain sight … and now I can’t get enough of that ol’ scratchy sound. I even stumbled upon a specialty record shop in nearby Camden that has a pretty outrageous inventory – Balkan gypsy music, original 60’s folk, early bebop. I’ll be their best new customer.
In the meantime, if you happen to catch the crackle of It’s Only A Paper Moon, knock on my door. You’ll know you’ve found me.