Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

So, I finally bought a turntable.  I have been wanting one for a long time but for some reason I thought it was way too late to start collecting vinyl.  I have so much music, and would want to get ALL of my favorites (probably hundreds of albums), and I have been to so many shows where I could have gotten the record and…I don’t know, these are pretty stupid reasons but whatever, those were my thoughts.  I kept hearing that small nagging voice randomly telling me that I need a record player in my life, possibly fueled by my nostalgia of listening to records as a kid and flipping through my parent’s record collection.  I remember listening to The Police’s Synchronicity and Michael Jackson’s Bad on vinyl, and I have missed the feeling of having a great album in my hands, tearing off the plastic, pulling it out of that paper sleeve with as much care as my trembling hands could give, putting in on and dropping that needle down, hearing the slight fuzz as the needle settles into the grooves and then a sweet sweet feeling sets in when that clear beautiful sound comes blasting out of the speakers….ahhh, bliss.  I would always reverently soak in the album art, the liner notes, lyrics and pictures, anything that was on the album sleeve, as I went through my first few listens of an album, trying to get a feel for it all, reading every word as if they were the most poignant and meaningful words ever spoken (written, whatever).

My first record?  Radiohead, The King of Limbs, one of my favs from last year.  As I listened to that record I was BLOWN AWAY and have vowed to get every one of their albums on vinyl so I can hear it all like that.  The clarity of it all, the subtle nuances and complex layers of sound, the Thom Yorke mumbling that suddenly sounds like words or lyrics or something, it is truly an experience to listen to it in that format.

Don’t y’all miss that?  Wasn’t it a great time, when you so looked forward to something new to be released by your favorite band and the happiest moments were when you brought that sucker home and popped it on and cracked out on it for days and weeks?  There was no internet to leak the album onto or download or stream before you decide to buy it.  These days there is so much great accessible music out there and all you have to do is spend some time online to find it.  I can get lost online searching and streaming and listening and buying and downloading.  I can get 3 or 4 albums at once, throw them on a playlist and listen to it over and over for a while.  And I love doing all that, I really do.  But, but…..something is different, there’s that old feeling that seems lost now, the ritual of buying some coveted album and hearing it for the first time and just getting lost in it forever.

That feeling doesn’t have to be lost.  We can still buy and listen to vinyl.  We SHOULD still buy and listen to vinyl.  I found a really rad turntable that also plays CDs, tapes, iPods, and radio.  I now have a way to play every single method of music I could want, all in one appliance.  And I have some old tapes I wanna play,  I still have CDs I wanna listen to.  And of course I have everything on my iPod as well.  One thing I did not realize as I bought my first few records was that they all came with a CD or access to a digital copy so you can enjoy it on the turntable at home and on the iPod on the go.  That is a pretty great deal, I think.  I recently purchased a record from a small label in Boston and although it took a week to get the album I was able to download it immediately.  So, overall I am so pleased with the quality of sound from of the records and the availability of the music in different formats.  I don’t know why it took me so long to come around to this, but I’m arguing for buying vinyl whenever available for the ultimate listening experience.

And yeah, I know that a lot of people aren’t willing to buy music at all these days, and I understand that.  Vinyl is for the serious fan or collector, I agree.  I just think that if I want to actually buy something, vinyl is now my preferred format.  I feel like I’m getting the most bang for my buck now.

And yeah, I know that there’s a lot of pretentious fucks out there who act all self-righteous about only listening to vinyl and all that, but it doesn’t have to be like that.  I promise you can listen to vinyl for all the reasons I talked about without becoming a jerk.  I mean, look at me.  I write for The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever so I’m proof that you can do some things that may be seen as pretentious without becoming that way.

~Leah

If you are anything like me, then the chances are you appreciate a good cartoon. I grew up on a variety of great cartoons, one of which was Dexter’s Laboratory; a show that will always remain in my personal top five animated series.

Let’s start with some quick background info:

Dexter’s Lab was the creation of the amazing animator named Genndy Tartakovsky (Notable for creating Samurai Jack as well as  many other awesome cartoons). The show was originally cancelled in 1998 after only two seasons, though the popularity of the re-runs caused a revival of the show in 2001 with two more season before finally being cancelled permanently.

Most unexpected album I've ever found.

It was during this revival that magic happened. In 2002 , Warner Bros Records released an album titled Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip Hop Experiment  as a promotional tool for both the network and the show it’s self. Cartoon Network had been trying to push music into their programming at the time (I would speculate that the album was also a “fair-well” to this beloved series which was cancelled soon after). The album was a compilation of six Hip-Hop songs inspired by the show, written and performed by various famous artist at the time. This type of music project isn’t completely unheard of. The Aquabats (and many many other bands) have been featured on shows like Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street had some big name performances aswell, and I’ve even seen promos for cartoon shows by artists like The Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants; but it’s not every day that you see a compilation of songs by multiple artists about one specific show.

Since this particular compilation is about a cartoon show targeted at children, the songs remain relatively clean in lyrics, (I swear I heard reference to smoking chronic) but there’s nothing wrong with that. For some reason the overall concept of this album blows my mind, here we have famous hip-hop artists like Will.i.am and De La Soul writing catchy songs about a red-headed boy genius. Most of the tracks on this album are highly repetitive and I have a sneaking suspicion that the artist didn’t put all of their effort into writing these lyrics. Despite all of this, the songs remain damn-catchy (especially “Secrets” by Will.i.am) and given the target audience, I don’t blame them for not writing epic hip-hop ballads. Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment is a great album if you’re a fan of the show and are looking for some nostalgia,  if want to annoy your friends with useless trivia, or want to experience a “what the fuck?” moment. If you ever find yourself in any of these circumstances, then look to this album.

Note: This album might actually be more “obscure” than I thought. Contributions to this project are not mentioned on any of the artist’s discography or Wikipedia pages. Furthermore, I could only find two tracks that could be heard online, the rest have to be downloaded from a few specific sites that for one reason or another happen to have a copy. This being the case, I have taken the liberty of posting the songs below for your listening pleasure:

Dexter’s Lab Theme  

Secrets -Will.i.am  

Dexter (What’s his name?) – Coolio  

Love According to Dexter- Phiphe Dawg feat. Slick & Rose  

Sibling Rivalries- De La Soul  

Mandark’s Plan- YZ

Back to the Lab- Prince Paul  

~Darion  

 

Update: I found this freestyle rap a while ago, I think it belongs in this post: