The Student Who Remembers a Forgotten Musical Medium
By Nick Ceraso
The words “vinyl record” create a flashback to music from the 1950s and 1960s and illustrate an image much different than the music of today does. Present day music is more of a tool to fill our time or hide from silence rather than relish in the beauty of music.
Jessica Passione enjoys today’s music, but it doesn’t provide the same charm that she gets when she listens to vinyl records.
A Brooklyn native and third-year student at CSI, Passione treats each song she hears on vinyl as a private experience.
“Theres’s nothing like pulling out a record, blowing off the dust, placing the pin down and hearing the crackle before the music starts” said Passione. “I love that. Pressing a button to start a song doesn’t give me the same feeling.”
With YouTube, iTunes, and the iPod, the music experience has changed. Finding a song now can take a matter of seconds.
Although the ease and quickness to listen to music has its benefits, it diminishes the anticipation and beauty of music. The extra effort of searching for a vinyl record and playing it on the record player adds to the pleasure of listening.
When Passione was young, she took trips to Mexico to visit her family. They introduced Passione to the music from the 1950s and 60s.
During the trips, particularly during car rides, they would listen to cassette tapes of 60s musicians such as The Temptations, The Supremes, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
For Passione all the music on her records function as a connection to her family. Whether cassette tapes or playing the vinyl records, the ability for Passione to share a common interest with her grandfather was established.
At home, Passione’s family has two record players and 200 records; she has begun to start her own.
“I bought my first records at a flea market up the block from my house” Passione expressed, “They were ‘Hey Jude” by The Beatles and an audio recording from Woodstock.”
This past Christmas she recieved the vinyl record “White Album” by The Beatles from her family, which increased her collection to five.
While vinyl records are still produced and distributed, it is hard to find places that still sell them.
Passione listens to all kinds of music. In addition to 60s music, she incorporates today’s. She tries to attend concerts three to five times a year, with most held at Terminal 5, and has recently been to Green Day and Rihanna concerts.
“I go to shows completely sober. I’d rather be in the club and remember it,” said Passione. “It doesn’t seem like people are there for music.”
Unfortunately, from the time of Woodstock and up to now, there is always a concern of drug-related substances at these events, with a stigma being drug use as the main attraction for attending.
Passione asserts that she’s there for the music, to see the live performers, and to build memories.
Weekends, Passione defines, are a time for rest, fun, and relaxation, and it wouldn’t be hard to guess how Passione spends her’s.
“Listening to vinyl’s the ideal type of weekend–with a six pack of beer.”