Records. Red Wine. Nice.
Man, last night was nice. Really, really nice. Even though we had to do a big shop at the supermarket so we can feed my bloody mother when she visits this weekend, and even though we spent ages emptying our overflowing recycling bins. Even though Mrs. Toad spent a long time on the phone counselling one of her best friends.
It was nice, because after all this, we opened a bottle of wine and sat in the living room, played records and just chattered about fuck all for about three hours.
Mrs. Toad is away a lot with work, and I am out a lot of evenings, either at gigs, meeting people about music stuff, or sometimes just on the lash so we actually don’t get as much time together as we should, especially considering we have no kids. We don’t really watch the telly but we do have a bad habit of lying in bed, both wasting time on our respective laptops, which is a bit stupid really, but so easy to lapse into.
As a consequence, it is such a treat to just put a record on and sit on the couch together and talk. Even if it’s basically about fuck all, which in all honesty it generally is. We actually became friends by doing stuff like this, you know. Back when we were fifteen years old and she was way too wild for me and I too square for her, we still managed to become good friends, and whenever one of us was having a personal drama we’d lie on the couch and listen to Bob Dylan records and talk shite for hours.
Even when we first got together as a couple we’d do the same. I’d take the train up from London to come and visit her here in Edinburgh, I’d bring a couple of new mix CDs because her previous fella kept all the music in the breakup, and we’d get slowly pickled, sitting on the couch and listening to music.
And funnily enough, you know, the records we listened to last night sort of fit nicely into this ramble, because one of them happened to be Micah P. Hinson & the Gospel of Progress which I just so happened to play all the time when we first got together and Mrs. Toad would come down to London to visit me, when I was living on a boat down there – in fact, if I recall, at the time she said ‘Jesus, you don’t half listen to some depressing shite.’ I don’t know if she made the connection last night, but I did.
We also played some Kurt Vile: God Is Saying This to You, which I bought in End of an Ear Records in Austin, when we were at SXSW this year. That was the shopping trip where we both went wandering around the shop separately, and both came back to the counter with a Pavement record.
I don’t know if vinyl is better than CDs for this sort of thing, but it feels like it to me. It certainly feels better than a playlist on iTunes. There’s something about the ritual of vinyl, a bit like the ritual of a bottle of wine, which is much less of a guzzling drink than, say, beer. It seems to fit with the deliberate, unhurried nature of spending an evening together doing nothing. It’s sort of like the slow food movement I suppose, purposely slowing down and taking the time to enjoy something. Playing records, drinking wine, talking pish.
I like Mrs. Toad, you know. I really do.