Magpie Journals # 6: Holding Audio

Magpie Journals # 6: Holding Audio

When we moved to New Jersey The Other and I discovered the joy of Buy Nothing groups on Facebook. We try to be sustainable in ways that we can, and this seemed like a great way to reclaim what others might throw out, and give life to old things of our own that we didn’t want to hold on anymore.

This is how we saved over 400 vinyl records from the dump.

I usually say that my first love was reading, but it was probably music. Now, I’m a casual vinyl collector. The Other is a more serious vinyl collector and the reason our collection is growing from that 400 to…well, I don’t actually count anymore. Records show up, we find a spot for them on the shelf*, and take them out when we’re feeling musical.

In the same way that books hold stories, vinyl holds sound. It takes the experience out of the air and into something physical. There’s something about the feel, sound, and weight of a vinyl record that makes the music it holds seem so much closer to you. It’s yours. The crackling before the audio fully starts, the smell as the needle runs across the ridges and grooves, the click of the arm as the record ends. It’s all something you own when your audio is on vinyl.

This is why I want podcasts on vinyl. I want to own episodes of podcasts, I want to feel the weight of the time in my hands and be able to share them in that physical way our phones have prevented us from doing. You can’t hold audio, but like books hold our words, and pictures let us hold light, vinyl lets us hold sound.

Stuff You Should Know released their episode "Vinyl Records: Black Magic at Work" on vinyl (Podlink Here). I scooped that up as soon as the announcement came across my Instagram, and it definitely made me really consider what podcasts I would like to be able to hold in my hands. Below are the podcast episodes I think about a lot, that packed a punch design and content-wise. Some would be two sides, some would just be one side, but all are episodes I’d love to hold in my hands.

Tennesse Mountain Trance - Dolly Parton’s America

I legitimately almost had to pull over when I listened to this episode. The weight of this episode fits in as a part of the emotional journey that is Dolly Parton’s America but also on its own. It reminded me of myself, my history, and why so much of music is so important as a human person.

Podlink Here

The Saint - Dear Alana,

This is one of those podcasts I want to have the full series on vinyl, but I’ll take the final, wrap-up episode. An emotional journey, this episode feels hopeful, mournful, tragic, and peaceful all in one.

Podlink Here

Died on the Same Day (with special guest Anderson Cooper) - Mobituaries

Another podcast that I would take every episode on vinyl for, but the first episode of this season is just a chef’s kiss of audio. Not just the content of the episode, but also the emotional journey you’re taking on with Anderson Cooper

Podlink Here

Relearning Boléro - Twenty Thousand Hertz

A story originally from Unexplainable - It was a toss-up between three episodes for me for Twenty Thousand Hertz, but as I said, I was thinking about the emotional punch for these episodes as well as the audio quality. I think there’s an extra emotion to this episode about audio illusions and what it means to have a relationship with sound, to lose it, and then to relearn it.

Podlink Here

Grainne O’Malley - You’re Dead To Me

This one is more of a personal emotional punch. This was the first podcast episode that I relistened to because I wanted to. It’s funny, and basically a pinnacle example of what You’re Dead to Me is as a podcast. I would love to hold this podcast episode in my hands.

Podlink Here

There are a lot of podcasts I’d love to have on vinyl, a whole collection of audio dramas, and a lot of those limited series I love so much. These are just my top five choices if I could press episodes myself. Which leads me to ask: what would you like to have on vinyl?

Michael over at Audio Drama Reviews has a great overview of podcasts on discs and how to decide if you want to put an episode on a disc. Link Here

*If you're a vinyl collector and haven't found a shelf, we like the Kallax ones from IKEA. They fit records perfectly.