Lend me your fears
We can assume Tom is being battered by the contact Buzz of the Murray even deep in his Laird's Lair. Perhaps that's why he slung across an idea for a blog that was deceptively simple - news of a new Vinyl Lending Library in London. Much like a lover of real regional Chinese cuisine spotting a Wok N' Roll in an American Airport I slunk into the inevitable Guardian link with mixed fear and nausea.What could this be? A clever DJ collective trying to get people spinning wax instead of MP3Ego? An elite club of record fiends who want to hear and hold what they could not find or afford? An Arts Council kind of thing maybe with love from the labels and artists - check out some sonic warmth in a cool zone with like minded heads, much like the Georgian concept of a Library?Of course not. It's just another caprice of the tragically hip.We live in an age of falling, stagnant and missing wages. Silent discos. Governments so obsessed with running the country like a GSCE home budgeting lesson that piles of free money to sort the place out (that's what Negative Real Interest rates mean - subtract inflation from the interest) are being angrily shoved away. Where ad execs, bankers, and tv producers who are living in N16 until that old need to breed takes off and Kent comes a calling band together proudly to deny hundreds of plum union jobs to the desperate locals they cross the street to avoid.So what is this vinyl library? I've not been because I could die at any time and don't want the last thing I remember to be some Rahs doing a Big Society thang up in my grill. But it looks like what the bitter fag end of my fear suspected - a Pimms pipe dream circling the drain before the press release was even pimped out. Some richkidz have sort of part of a shop in a cool area. People will "donate" no doubt duff or irrelevant vinyl and pay a pound to take some home for a while and maybe bring it back. Like all Big Society Social Entaprize stuff the actual details of what it will do, why, for how much and with whom are not worked out at all beyond Flat White powered musings. The Guardian journo did a great job of teasing out a bit of the smell of reality while being nice about the whole thing.I'm ancient enough to remember LPs at the local library. It was another desperate attempt of the local council to get people to read stuff and generally not be degraded apes. It did not work. Racks of battered James Last and MFP Classicalesque LPs stank in a corner until someone chucked them in a skip. I have seen a few ex-Library copies of classic rock records in ok shape, which suggests that those with taste kept out of this game, leaving it to the weird.Which makes perfect sense. Vinyl is something to own, cherish, love, feel and maybe lend to your closest mates sometimes, rarely. It is a physical manifestation of art - chosen by you, the individual, to reflect your own mind and soul. If you were into Sgt. Pepper, you bought it - not borrowed it off the Council. I still buy new CDs sometimes as in terms of value for money and symbolism downloads are like an unsolicited load in my mouth from the corporate goonage. If I really love a new record or artist - I opt for vinyl and a CD. It's the stuff that is really precious that needs that wax. And for less than a ticket to this novelty pop up shop slop I've been ranting about, you can snag some real love at your favourite record store.And what's in store for our new in?Classic 70's rock and a go go with a pinch of 70's reggae and soul for good measure. The usual suspects : Dylan, Stones, Fab Four, Who, Bowie, Clash, Neil Young, Cream, Zappa, Juicy Lucy, Led Zeppelin, John Mayal, Soft Machine, Deep Purple, Small Faces, John Martyn, Curtis Mayfield, Augustus Pablo, Love, Byrds, Pink Floyd... Loads of beautiful laminated original sleeves at nice prices! At the time of posting, Philippe is frantically opening boxes to unearth and price some disco, soul, hip hop and reggae 12"s in time for tomorrow.So lend yourself some love and come on down.