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Column: The magic of music no matter its delivery method
Shannon Casas high res
Shannon Casas

When a band comes out with new music these days, they often release a record. As in one you can play on a record player. Sometimes multiple colors of vinyl are for sale.

I’m cassette tape old and have never owned a record. I remember rewinding tapes, both in the machine and manually with a finger. The first ones I owned were Mariah Carey’s “Daydream,” released in 1995, and Boyz II Men’s “II,” released the previous year. When you’re a tween girl in the 1990s, R&B ranks high on the listening list — never mind that most of the songs are about relationships and I hadn’t had even my first one. 

I don’t know what happened to those tapes, but I don’t have anything that would play them now, anyway.

In fact, we’ve only got one CD player left — in my husband’s 2009 Honda. He doesn’t have any CDs, so we keep all my old ones there. In fact he doesn’t own any music, which I will never understand.

Music can be an individual pursuit. Not many share my taste in music. My husband is the only person I know who doesn’t seek out some kind of music, though he does seem to know a lot of classic rock and oldies he must have picked up from his parents’ musical tastes.

He can sing most of the words to Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” but couldn’t name a currently popular artist.

Our kids therefore are picking up my musical taste, mostly. The youngest does have a strong preference for Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” but he also enjoys the albums I play. They also both like “Old Town Road,” but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone under the age of 10 who doesn’t like that one. 

Our oldest, though, also likes DJ Marshmello. I had to look that one up. He wears a giant marshmallow on his head as a sort of mask, a creepy smiling face painted on the marshmallow. He plays electronic dance music, and I detest it. He’s apparently very popular, though.

I don’t know if you can buy a Marshmello record, though you probably can. My kids just tell Google to play their music, and the Google Mini complies, creating new stations on my Pandora App like “Marshmello Radio” and “Kidz Bop 7 Years Radio.” 

The rest of my stations are a mix of rock and acoustic, but 90% of the time I’m listening to a rotation of about three artists, all in the genre of earnest, hopeful, loud rock music. And though I haven’t bought any of their CDs lately, I have bought their digital albums.

I can’t scratch them. They’re hard to lose. And I can carry the music in my pocket better than the old discman I used to listen to while riding home on the school bus. It’s certainly more portable than a record and record player.

Maybe one of you can explain to me why records have made a comeback. I can understand thumbing through old records in a shop, seeing what you might find. I don’t understand buying a brand-new record.

But the cover art is so creative, what about the liner notes and that “record” sound, you might argue.

There’s still cover art shown on my phone. I can pull up lyrics on the same device that plays the music. And though I don’t dislike the record sound, I don’t find it to be superior.

And then, of course, there’s that portability issue. Try jogging while listening to your record player. They make exercise clothing that can hold your phone — try finding stretchy exercise pants with room for your record player. I hate jogging, but my point stands.

I do love music, though — the way it can match your mood, express what you’ve been thinking and sometimes release emotions you didn’t realize had built up inside.

So put that record on if it makes you happy. And I’ll turn up the volume on my phone.

Shannon Casas is editor in chief of The Times and a North Hall resident. 

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