How are you? This may be one of many questions rolling through our heads in these troubled times. I don’t feel the need to educate any of you on the ongoing crisis that has all but taken over our lives, and greater society. If you haven’t been living in total isolation, chances are you already know. If you have been living in total isolation, then you’ll be right at home in these troubled and bizarre times we find ourselves living in. I don’t have any music reviews, or album recommendations for you this week. No top-5 lists, or new artist spotlights. No tributes to pay, and no obituaries to write. No, this week I felt it prudent to address this “thing” the only way I know how.
Are you feeling Isolated? If so, I am here to remind you that just because we aren’t able to go out and do the things we are used to doing, doesn’t mean we need to feel totally alone. Take this time to get closer to your loved ones. The hustle and bustle of everyday life has a way of isolating us from one another. Isn’t that ironic? Sometimes, great tragedy can spur on great opportunity for the better. Life is a long game, and I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason. For most of us, all we have now is time. Instead of lamenting your boredom, take this opportunity to reconnect with one another. Get to know your wife and kids again. We aren’t truly isolated, and those that you don’t live with, are only a phone call away.
What have you been up to? In times like this, it’s easy to become consumed with anxiety and dread. Some of us tend to do that anyway, regardless of the situation. I am at times, one of those people. However, sometimes it takes a change of scenery, or a global pandemic, to give us perspective. I am now one of those people, too. This situation is out of our control. All we can do is wait it out. The worst thing any of us can do, is fester on the couch, waiting for the invisible monsters to come and consume what’s left of us. What do we as vinyl addicts all have in common? Records! And of course, a love of music. So, take this time to dust off the forgotten corners of your collection. Reconfigure the way you organize things. What’s that you say? Your collection isn’t organized at all? Well, then now is the time! Focus on the good in your life. Make the best use of all this extra time. In life, our most valuable commodity is time. This crisis is loaded on multiple levels, but we have been afforded the gift of time. Don’t waste it. Water your soul. Keep the weeds out of your head.
How do you pass the time? Listen, I’m no dummy. I get what’s happening. It fucking sucks. Today, I am avoiding the grimy and indignant details of this shit storm. With good reason. This isn’t for that. That being said, just know that I get it. Don’t dwell on it. We as record collectors are lucky enough to have a world of art and music at our finger tips. We spent years accumulating music. Preparing for the inevitable. Now is our time. Who is your favorite artist? How about you listen to their entire discography from A to Z? Or, try this: make a playlist of your favorite songs on Spotify, and then pull those records from your collection, and take the physical journey. While you listen to each song, carefully examine the art work of the jacket. Is the album a gatefold? Flip that open, and spread it out on your coffee table. Get lost in the artwork, while your favorite song plays in the background. Think to yourself – what was the artist trying to say? You see, just because we can’t go out, doesn’t mean we need to be truly locked away. The circuitry of our minds are still firing little bolts of electricity. Our hearts are still pumping life’s blood through our veins. We are still alive. Act like it. Don’t despair.
How are you feeling? We all have a few simple things in common here. For starters – we are all human. We all feel “things.” That being said, we are all going to process this situation differently. Each day it seems we get more bad news from one corner of the earth, or another. I, at times, have felt inundated with it. It’s important to stay informed, but its also very important to shut it off. When you shut it off, shut it off for more than a few minutes. Shut it of for a long while. Remember, when you shut it off, you have many options.
One last thing. While we may not be able to go out, I want to remind you that many of your local record shops are still selling online through their websites, and through Discogs. They need you now more than ever. They are hanging in the balance by a thread, without a net to catch them. If we want them to still be there for us when this thing ends – don’t forget about them now. Amazon won’t be there for you, and they never were to begin with, but when this is all said and done, your small independent shops, will be. One of our greatest problems as a society is our single minded, “I got mine” attitude. My great hope is this situation gets our “leaders” and fellow citizens alike to step back, and remember that we need one another. Our greatest resource in life aside from time, is each other. Don’t forget that. Do what you can to pick one another up. Have you made any friends through your vinyl groups? Send them a message or text. Ask how they’re doing. It will help.
Consider this my way of reaching out to the community, with a gentle reminder that along with your friends and family, vinyl addicts and your record collections are still here. Allow them to be your oasis in this deserted dumpster fire we find ourselves in. The world isn’t on auto-pilot anymore. For us vinyl addicts, that isn’t an insurmountable thing. We are used to analogue. We all will be just fine.
Dig this article? Check out the full archives of Stories from the Stacks, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/stories-from-the-stacks-archives/
Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.