Hips[ters] Don’t Lie


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Needles aren’t scary – at least not the ones on the arms of record players.

I drop the needle carefully on the outside of the record, careful not to scratch it. “Que Sera” by Doris Day starts and I wait. That signature scratching sound begins, then the first line:

When I was just a little girl / I asked my mother / What will I be / Will I be pretty / Will I be rich / Here’s what she said to me / Que sera, sera[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azxoVRTwlNg”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]With no thought of my mom asleep in the next room, I sing along as loud as I can to the record spinning on the retro-style player.

Going old-school isn’t always a bad thing. As record players and Polaroid pictures come back, the “hipsters” are pitted against the new-age techies, but I side with the hipsters who say the inconvenience is worth going back a few decades.

My grandmother, affectionately named “Nanny” by my family, doesn’t know the first thing about iTunes, SoundCloud or Spotify. Frankly, she can barely use Facebook. She doesn’t know much about Taylor Swift, Kanye or Frank Ocean but she does know about Nat King Cole, the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

When she found out I had a record player, she ran home and brought Elvis’ Christmas album and Nat King Cole’s “Rambling Rose” for me to add to my collection. Once she exhausted her own collection, she moved on to garage sales, bringing me a new artist almost each time she visited. After several months, I had enough to fill up two record holders.  

And pretty soon, she made a habit of coming to my room and singing whatever record was most recently on the player. When it was Doris Day, we belted out “Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be.” When it was Nat King Cole, she swayed and we sang “Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6NWlKlE8d0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]We can’t talk about Selena Gomez and Calvin Harris, but we can sing “Love Me Do” by the Beatles together. She makes the argument that songs with lyrical lines and melodic tunes don’t surface anymore in the current pop culture, and I agree with her. The effort of dropping the needle and switching sides is worth the raw, unedited sound that comes out.  

The same argument can be made for wallet-sized Polaroids. Nanny doesn’t have the easiest time printing out pictures, and with a 10-year-old bluetooth printer that rarely actually ends up printing, I can’t count on phone-to-print photographs. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_animation image_url=”11215″ animation=”Fade In” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]So I ordered a purple instant camera off Amazon and some film and got started on the most Pinterest-y craft I’ve ever done. I strung up a twine line over my bed with thumb tacks and clothespinned Polaroid pictures and photo booth strips to it.  

From prom to my 17th birthday, all the major events in my life have their own picture with a clever caption written in Sharpie beneath it. Nanny even brought a picture from 1957 of her with an accordion and my “Dandad” with a guitar that I added to my timeline.

Records take maintenance, film is expensive and Polaroid cameras require adjusting the light settings, but both carry a piece of history and connection that their technological counterparts don’t. Along with Ray Bans and high-waisted Urban Outfitters jeans, I’ll join the hipsters on this one. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]