Tuesday, February 20, 2007

For the Record: Walk Through the Fire

As late, I have picked up a couple of things that will liven this blog up a bit.

(Oh, yeah, but first another correction: last time I went to my mother's house my sister got all uppity about my misspelling John Mayer's name, so OKAY FINE THE SPELLING IS 'MAYER' WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME)

The first item of interest is an old copier-scanner-printer; the printer part hasn't worked for months (if not years) now, and for as long as anybody can remember my little brother has been using it as a dirty-plate holder and a Slurpee tray.

That's okay! I'm not too interested in the printer part, and whether the copier works or not I can't imagine what I would be making copies of. (Actually, I can -- but that'll be a summer scheme, not a winter one.) It's all about the scanner, for me, and the scanner looks like it'll work okay.

The other item I'd mentioned is one that made perfect sense the longer I thought about it; I have a record player (which I got as a gift last Christmas), and I have a computer (which I got six years ago, but let's not start that again), and so obviously anything that would connect the two is a good idea.

So! A scanner for scanning images (which I desperately needed; up until now I've been laying things flat and then taking pictures of them with a two-megapixel digital camera, which is a horrible way to go about it), and a cable between my computer and record player for playing records through my computer (which I'm sure everybody else I know is years ahead of me on, but let me have my fun here).

I'm stoked about this, you guys!

The scanner means, for example, that I can do this --

-- and the cord means, for example, that I can do this.

Peter Gabriel - Walk Through the Fire (Promotional 12'' Remix Version) [official site]


Anybody with even the smallest collection of records (and believe me, mine is tiny compared to my CD collection) has at least one or two possessions they want to make noise about. A rare pressing of a favourite album that later went to cassette or CD, or an obscure notable that you just don't see any more (if you ever saw it in the first place), or something that someone grew up listening to and loving regardless of quality, or what have you.

Some records are so good, it's amazing they never made it to CD; some records are so bad, it's a wonder they ever made it to vinyl; some records are so weird, it's a wonder anybody even had the idea in the first place. It was a simpler time, then. probably because stealing everything was so much harder, I mean holy damn these things are huge

This selection above is an example of something I never expected to actually physically see in my lifetime. Peter Gabriel is by far my favourite artist (which explains much about me and yet explains nothing about my musical tastes), and damned if I wasn't looking for rarities and previously unheard material right from the minute I learned there was -- of all things! -- music on the internet.

As far as I knew, for almost a decade, Walk Through the Fire existed entirely as a quiet and scratchy unreleased track. Those were the days -- everything was encoded at 32kbps tops, nothing ever hit two megabytes in size, and people considered themselves lucky to ever find a complete song out there in the (world wide web of) wilderness amongst the shitty thirty-second samples and Tripod 404 notices.

We were kids and we were stupid, of course. That hardly needs to be said. God, we were basically internet cavemen.

So anyway, a couple of months ago I ran into the actual physical record in Into the Music, marked out like an idiot, and bought it for four dollars. The song as I'd known it for years was originally released as a 1984 promotional single, with a less interesting version of the song later appearing on the Against All Odds soundtrack. Go figure that the mix I heard way back then was the one specifically harder to find, and that I would go on to find it entirely by chance. Go figure!

You know, this isn't really such a good story after all, is it? Kind of a letdown after all of that.

Still, though! This is one of my favourite songs ever, and nothing makes me happier than knowing I hold it as a material possession. Records are awesome! Go records!

So, yeah, that's what's new with me. Fun with technology! Good times. The next post will either be me razzing Spirited Energy or me razzing Rod Bruinooge, depending on which one raises more comically overzealous outrage from me at the time. Until then!

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