Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Off-topic post II: Speaking of ancient history. . . Althouse had a post relating to music and much of the commentary ended up being about old vs. new music and who all just listens to the stuff that they grew up with. Perhaps not "grew up with" but probably that which they liked in their late teens and 20s, which seems to be the time people end up fixating on as their best years. We all know the type. "Ain't nuthin' good since 1969. . . .". Or 1947 or whatever. Back then I swore I would never end up like that. I swore a lot of other things, too, like I would never be bald and fat. (still true, although #1 is gettin' a little close these days)

So anyway, I submit two photos for your approval:

Anyone over the age of, oh, 35 or so ought to know what most of those are. The three objects to the left are, for those under that age, implements for cleaning what were called "records". Us audio geeks would religiously clean our LPs (those were the large 33-1/3 rpm ones) so they wouldn't become all knicked up and scratchy sounding. The liquid is called "D4" and what you did was take the little brush and brush the dust off of the black thing -- it's got a knobby-fabric pad for a top -- then rub some of the liquid onto the pad. Then you'd hold the pad onto the record and turn it around a couple of time with your finger (our records would end up with a dirty ring around the paper center where our fingers would rub while spinning it). It got the dust and other junk off.

The headphones are Koss Pro4-AAs which it seems Koss still sells. That's kind of amazing. I would wager at least half of the top records of the 1970s were mastered by a guy wearing these headphones. For a long time they were the standard. Interestingly, a few years ago this pair of mine were getting kind of ratty. The wire going in kept shorting out, one of the labels on the outside was missing, the rubber cups were all flat, etc. So I just boxed them up and sent them back to Koss with a note asking if they could fix them up and to just send an invoice and I'd pay for it.


Couple weeks later they came back in the mail good as new. I even bought a newer pair of moderately-priced headphones and, really, they sounded very inferior. These things have held up remarkably well, soundwise. You can't really wear them around with an iPod, but the sound quality is something to be heard. So heck, go buy a pair and see. Only $99.99!

Second pic. This may be the first album I ever purchased:

Yeah, it's Styx, Pieces of Eight. It's either that one, Hot Streets by Chicago, or perhaps Point of Know Return by Kansas. Memory from those days is a bit hazy. They're the first band I saw live, too (Styx). Played with a warm up group called New England.

My old college roommate -- still a good friend who moved out to Seattle (from Wisconsin/Illinois) too -- could go through his entire collection of records and tell you when he bought it, where he bought it, why he bought it, and probably how much he paid for it.

Ha! Check out the earrings for an archaeological connection. I didn't even think of that when I took the picture. Maybe that's what did it to me in the first place. . . .