“A couple years ago, my dad gave me a record player and records from his collection [to start mine] for Christmas. He used to be a radio DJ at the University of Toronto, and hadn’t listened to them in years. He stole a lot of the records from U of T, but most were lawfully acquired.
My husband Simon’s dad has also given us some of his old records, and it’s very clear which ones came from which dad based on their tastes in music.
Simon and I often add to our collection, and currently own around 150 records. At some point
in my life, I’d like to have a wall filled with records, but for now, we keep them in milk crates that
he gets from bodegas.
We buy records at neighborhood shops, like Turntable Lab — they have a great hip-hop selection — and Good Music, in New York City’s East Village. I’m always down to buy whatever album jumps out at me, but I’m not totally into getting current albums on vinyl. Simon and I have an aversion to buying records online, because part of the fun of collecting them is going to the store, and browsing through the options. It feels like you’re unearthing something special if you
find a really good one.”
“This live-recording of The Band’s [farewell concert], The Last Waltz, is so good. I recently watched ‘The Last Waltz,’ the documentary about that concert, and everyone who performed with them, like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, looked like they were having the time of their lives —they were also all high as fuck. Listening to the record afterward made me feel a sense of community.”
“This Jay-Z vs. Bob Marley and The Wailers album is weird and super rare; it doesn’t exist anywhere else, not even on the internet. Someone must have just randomly pressed it, and then moved on.”
“I had been looking for this Fugees record for a while, and then my friend gifted it to me. I’m not sure if it’s hard to find, or if Simon and I just literally go to two record stores and they didn’t have it.”
“My dad stole the George Harrison record from U of T, and it’s been through the ringer. The cover is worn out of years of use, but the record itself is still in good condition. It’s definitely the most well-loved album in our collection. I went through a really big George Harrison phase a couple years ago, and listened to ‘The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp’ all the time. It’s one of my favorite songs in the universe.”
“We somehow ended up with this very rare and special Fela Kuti vs. De La Soul album,
and play it a lot. It’s an instrumental mash up of their songs — so weird, but so good. I always want to listen to it in the car, but obviously can’t. I’m equal parts happy and bummed about that.”
“I like live-recordings, because there’s always an aspect of storytelling, which adds a lot of depth to the album. Johnny talks a lot on this one, creating a very unique, very cool experience for the listener. When I play it, I can hear people in the background [of the recording studio], and I feel like I’m there, too.”
“Another one from Dad, who was — and still is — a huge Beach Boys fan. ‘Pet Sounds’ makes me very nostalgic for summers during my childhood, as my family used to listen to it at our vacation cottage in Canada. ”
“Whenever people come over, they’re always like: This is a cool one, let’s put it on! Fleetwood Mac is easy to listen to, and ‘Rumors’ is a record for people who don’t like looking through a pile of records. So, it gets played often. Stevie [Nicks] looks so beautiful on the cover!”
“I love The Boss, and this is record is a go-to. I’m obsessed with the album’s cover art: he looks like such a babe standing against that floral wallpaper. We have a bunch of Bruce Springsteen albums — whenever I see one while I’m shopping, I’m like, Oh, another Bruce album! — but don’t play them as much.”
“Reggae sounds really good on vinyl. It’s one of those things that is noticeably better. Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Struggling Man’ is a really nice album to listen to the whole way through, which is the nature of albums, but I usually don’t do that with reggae.”
“I bought this because of the cover art, but it just so happens to be a really amazing soulful country record. It was pressed in the UK, and features badass ladies like Patsy Cline, Nancy Sinatra, and Loretta Lynn.
My dad was a big Patsy Cline fan, so I have a soft spot for her.”