VINYL DIARY #11: Tennis (Don’t Look Right)

Vinyl Diary Tennis Vinyl me Please vinyl junkies

I’ve got the Tennis album on again.  First morning spin, three days running. Went to bed humming and woke up humming, you know how that goes.

Tennis came as a surprise, but ear worms don’t take requests. Yeah, their whole deal feels kinda put on and I can see how it could get in the way, but it’s about the music. If I could not pay attention to the album cover and the whole look/presentation/perm, I’d probably enjoy Tennis a lot more.

Despite not caring much for the whole Tennis (feels like) faux-70s presentation, when I listen to “Baby Don’t Believe”, the only thing left is….perfect.

I have the same issue with Father John Misty, he looks far too affected and insufferable for me to give a shit.  Still, I loved “Honeybear” and I’ll probably pick up the new one. Sometimes, you just gotta listen with your ears, that’s the main tool at work. I realize the look is supposed to tell you something as well, metal lp covers have informed many a purchase before a single note was heard.In some cases though, that extra layer often only serves to obscure the music. I don’t care about the FJM persona and I don’t imagine it will change, but that’s missing the point.  My ears can still enjoy while keeping my eyes on other things. My eyes aren’t qualified for the job, dancing about architecture and all that.
Despite not buying into the whole Tennis faux-70s presentation, listening to “Baby Don’t Believe”, strips everything down to… perfect. The music, the entire point of this exercise.  It succeeds. Eyes-shut listening places me in my pool, surrounded by friends, family and frosty drinks with umbrellas. I am high and “Baby Don’t Believe” is playing while I float around on a donut.  A stoned walrus at play, my zen place. “Baby Don’t Believe” blends in with the rest, a new piece to the every evolving Summer Pool playlist. That’s the value; any piece of art that succeeds in painting a pleasant scenario is a winner. The human ear is both blind and illiterate, looking past the rest is sometimes required.