Happy Venereal Disease Day.

Today is Valentine’s Day! Here is what I think of Valentine’s Day.

That’s a middle finger, in case you can’t tell. And a rather long one at that. Right. I’m glad we got that out of the way.

In less romantic news, at long last I have a turntable worthy of my growing vinyl collection. Big thanks to Liam at Dr. Disc for recommending a place in Tecumseh called Audio Two.

It was one of the only experiences I’ve ever had where I said, “I know I could easily spend an insane amount of money, but I’d like to get something good while avoiding the need to scream profanities when it hits me how much money I ended up blowing,” and the person I said that to didn’t even attempt to sell me something more expensive than what I was looking for. I’ve already invested a considerable amount of money in a good stereo system, and I think it was well worth it, but I wanted to try to find something I could incorporate into the existing system without things getting ridiculous. I’ve heard of some people spending upwards of eight thousand dollars just for a turntable/stylus/cartridge combo. Eight thousand. Dollars. That doesn’t include speakers, a preamp or anything else.

Those people must have a shitload of money to throw around.

Anyway, I had my heart and libido set on a Technics SL-1200 MK2. Alas, they’re not so easy to find around here, and while I imagine there are more than a few DJs who have one or two of them kicking around, I doubt they’ll be looking to get rid of them anytime soon. Putting aside their reputation for striking a good balance between price and performance, they also have some serious sex appeal.

technics SL-1200 MK2

I ended up getting this thing instead.

thorens TD 166

It matches up aesthetically with my system much better than the Technics would have, so that was a nice little accidental acorn toss. Better still, I ended up getting a turntable, stylus, cartridge, preamp/phono stage, and even a record cleaning kit, all for less than I was expecting to spend on the turntable by itself. You say direct-drive, I say belt-drive. Either one can drive just fine as far as I’m concerned.

It was an eventful day. I also ended up picking up a few harmonicas and a triangle, among other things. Obviously, the triangle is going to have a profound influence on my music from this point forward. But that goes without saying.

If you’re in Windsor, you should pick up a copy of the new edition of The Lance, because I’m in it. What more you need? You need no more. Thanks again to Cristina for wanting to write about me. She wrote some mighty nice things. My head began to inflate while reading. Luckily I always carry thumbtacks so I can deflate myself during those moments.

It looks like my mug will also be in the paper in the next week or two. I can’t remember anymore which day the Scene section runs. But whatever day that is, that’s where I’ll be. Whenever I show up. Yes. I’ll let you know when it happens.

It’ll be interesting to see how the article comes out. The night I was interviewed my brain was pretty mushy, so I’m not sure I gave much of any useful information. I would also warn you to avert your eyes from my picture, for I am the least photogenic person who ever lived. But I think you’re well aware of that by now.

In keeping with the spirit of sharing diseases and other things too, I put a rough mix of something new up on Spyspace. It’s been a little while since I’ve done that. I’m not sure if this track is any indication of what to expect from the next album, but it’s the first time I’ve pulled out the Fender Strat in quite a while. It’s also in 6/4, which is an interesting time signature to play in. I don’t know if I should add more window dressing to the song or not. I kind of found myself wishing for some plucked viola notes at odd moments, and I might have been able to emulate that sound to some extent using the ukulele, but instead I threw in some bugle flatulence and improvised piano bits.

Still can’t quite get away from relative austerity. Maybe that’s as it should be. Who can say?


  1. hey johnny, my sentiments exactly about v-d. i’ve tried to extinguish it from my mind!

    congrats on the new turntable! i’ve got a old (very old) wooden table top one that i am afraid to plug in (hopefully one day i’ll get enough nerve to try in out). vinyl is lovely, although i’ve sold most of my collection to dr. disc last year. vinyl is still the best.

    btw, the ‘scene’ is usually on mondays, but since monday is ‘family day’ — couldn’t they given it a more interesting holiday name? — it’ll probably appear in tuesday’s paper. yay! who interviewed you btw?

  2. Not sure what you just said in your blog, because I was too busy looking at the hot guy in the pic. Leave the hair DOWN. (and I’ll let you keep the markers on the table..lol)

  3. Me? Hot? Impossible! Although, the other day in the car the heated seat thing was accidentally turned on, and there were certain parts of me that got a little toasty. That was a strange feeling. It’s funny — I used to wear the hair down all the time, and I kind of hated tying it back. Now I’m so used to pulling it back, it would be strange to go through a day with it all hanging out. There’s so much of it at this point, I think it would probably blind me on a windy day.

    And Leesa — it was initially going to be Trevor Wilhelm, but then the torch was passed to Dalson Chen. I got the impression that it might have been done to accommodate my messed up sleep…which is funny if it’s true, because I ended up fixing the sleep and returning to the land of the living just before the switch was made. It was a pretty surreal experience. I didn’t think I would ever be interviewed and posing for a photographer for the Star, or any newspaper for that matter.

  4. hey johnny,
    did the star ever run the story about you? i looked for it but didn’t see it in print nor online. have i missed it? maybe it’s this week?

    enjoying cinders on myspace too 🙂


  5. It seems I got the idea that it would be printed earlier than it actually will be. I just found out it won’t be showing up in the paper until March 9th, which i think is a Monday. Or a Tuesday. Either way, it’s probably for the best — it’ll give people time to prepare for the moment my plans of world domination are finally set in motion. SOON ALL WILL KNOW THE POWER OF MY SCRAGGLY FACE BUSH!

  6. man, turntables and vinyl. what make/model is that? i remember wanting to get a rega planar 3 a long time ago. nice new track bytheway too….

  7. It’s a Thorens TD 166 belt-driven fella. Some people prefer a motor-driven turntable, and I understand why, but I kind of like how it takes a few seconds to work up to the right speed. You get the sound of a record staaaaaarrrrrrtiiiiiinnnnngggg offffffff reeeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyy sloooooooowwwwww aaaannnd then speeding up, and it amuses me. It probably wouldn’t amuse me so much if I were a vinyl-spinning DJ working the club circuit, but I ain’t, so it do.

    Rega’s supposed to make some nice tables too. The only thing that kept me from looking into them is their reputation for running a tiny bit fast. Most people apparently just interpret it as the music having a bit more energy, and they like that. My ears are pretty sensitive to pitch, so I think it would drive me crazy after a while.

    I really had it bad for that silver Technics turntable for a while, though. I even started dreaming about that thing. It was kind of funny.

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