Jake and I are spinning records on Friday. We’ve been working out our set list and pulling LPs from Nat King Cole to Tribe Called Quest. At one point Jake asked me “where does the music come from?” At first, I thought he was joking. Then I realized for him the black disc, that unique physical object is a alien token of some other world and era.
A kid of twelve is accustomed to pushing a button to hear and get their music. Jake had no idea why anyone would want to capture music on a black plastic. Having 1000s of songs in your hand makes such better sense. I walked him through the “vinyl-has-warm-tones-logic.” We listened to Mile Davis “Kind of Blue” and the Beastie Boys “Five Boroughs.” I think Jake bought my argument.
More surprising to me is watching Jake try to master the art of the needle drop. Anyone over 30 has been around records enough to know how to lay the stylus lightly on a spinning disc. Remember playing the 45s of School of Rock in your room on your orange plastic Mattel record player?
For Jake, the needle drop was akin to jump roping with one hand. The only way he got it was when I explained how the turntable works. He did eventually master the pinch and drop. The Digital Divine could not be more clear. As clear as the analog pops on my single of “Mona Lisa” sang by Nat King Cole.
NOTE: To my Seattle crew. This Friday night, Aug 13th Seattle closes the main drag in our neighborhood: Phinney Ridge/Greenwood/Green Lake. Come and join us across from Ken’s Market. We’ll be spinning some records with my freind’s Spin, DJ Alex and El Rey(me) and DJ Jiffy(Jake.)
The City picks different neighborhoods throughout the summer and gives the roadway to it’s residents.