Weird Al Yankovic & Styx: How I Became a Vinyl Enthusiast

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (21578)

Contributor: Josh Christensen


Weird Al Yankovic & Styx: How I Became a Vinyl Enthusiast


From day one I loved music. The earliest memory I have in life is of hearing The Beatles’ “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” from the back of my Grandmother’s car. That, and many other of the more experimental offerings of many popular musical artists shaped my tastes and who I am today.

From a young age, I was raised listening to The Beatles and 60s folk music (Peter, Paul & Mary, Burl Ives, etc.). From about age five onwards, however, my parents decided that we should listen to nothing but Christian music (Newsboys, DC Talk, etc.) and Weird Al Yankovic. Weird Al was allowed due to the fact that his lyrics are clean. Hearing his music, though, exposed me to all the great classic rock hits, even though I didn’t know it at the time. When I did finally become old enough to make music listening-related decisions for myself, I already had a decent knowledge of classic rock through the guiding hand of Weird Al.

When I got to college, my musical selections had absolutely exploded in every direction possible, and at an extensive volume. Having gone to college in Virginia, there were tons of pawn shops around. One of which is where I first noticed vinyl records. Up until this point, I had never even thought of vinyl records as a listening option. I saw that they had a copy of Styx – The Grand Illusion and noticed the fact that a 12” album cover has an aesthetic value when held in your hands that is missing from digital music and even to an extent, from a tiny CD album cover.

I took it back to my dorm and proudly displayed the one vinyl LP that I now owned. I then set out to find a working turntable, which took a few tries with all the shady pawn shops in the area. Once I did acquire one, I went a little nuts rapidly expanding my collection, which is still growing 8 years later.

To me, vinyl records have a quality that is direly missing from digital music, and I can absolutely understand why this current young generation is displaying interest. Vinyl records can be held in your hands, appreciated visually, and physically shared amongst your friends amongst many other things. They allow you to hear music the way it was originally intended by the artist and can be appreciated in a whole new light.


Chuck finds a love for Bob Dylan

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1188)

Contributor: Charles DiFiore

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I've been buying records roughly the past 4-5 years or so.

Mostly through my local record store the vinyl closet... But one day in particular will always stand out to me..It was just another Friday which is when I would usually go there all the time... But after this day my life would be forever changed.

Now Jason knew I was a huge Johnny Cash fan.. I mean I've named my son after him.
So I'm browsing around as usual and Jason shows me a copy of Bob Dylan "The Times Are A Changin" Lp.. First thing he says is you would really like this album. And of course instantly I said no way.. I was always a creature of habit. Meaning I would literally listen to the same bands almost all of the time.. I can remember back then it consisted of mostly The Doors, Cash As always.. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, The Stones.

I knew Instantly I would never be into Dylan. I mean of course I've always knew who Dylan was. But the most I might have known then was that Jimi Hendrix made his songs better.... So Jason says you'll really like this. It's the first pressing textured cover and it's not even that expensive.. Maybe 20 bucks... So I said sure I'll try it.. I can remember thinking this is prolly gonna suck and I'm not gonna be into this at all.... So later on during the week I finally get around to listening to it... And Jesus Christ was my life changed instantly in the exact moment I got finished listening to the first track off the album...

I just remember being completely blown away by that album... A true life changing album.. That album is just amazing to me. Bob Dylan firing on all cylinders telling me stories of the way America was back in 1964.... Of course after listening to that it opens the door to every other Dylan album. And it led me to prolly my #1 all time favorite album ever "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" as I sit back and write all of this out right now I will never forget the day that simply walking into a record store that day truly changed my life. Or I guess Jason did. And he prolly never even knew it...

It opened my mind that I should try new music out. And not be worried about spending a few bucks on trying something new. To go outside of my box that I was stuck inside of almost my entire life!! A valuable life lesson was learned that day. And it will never be forgotten.

Never judge an album by its cover..