NEW YORK — Lifelong Neutral Milk Hotel fan Connor Hardin recently purchased the band’s new vinyl box set online only to be surprised that the records are all 78 rpm and play exclusively on a wind-up gramophone, slightly miffed sources report.
“Thankfully, we put my great-grandparents’ analog old-timey wind-up gramophone in storage after they died just in case I might need it one day,” said Hardin while struggling to lift the fifty-pound object. “Sure, I had to travel to Long Island to pick it up, then carry it on the subway to get it home, and I needed a tetanus shot at the urgent care after poking myself with the almost 100-year-old needle, but still the sound quality is superior to anything I’ve ever listened to. It was totally worth it.”
Jeremiah Walton, an antique collector, and five-star eBay seller since 1999, noticed a sharp increase in antique gramophone purchases since the beginning of 2023.
“For years, I’ve rarely sold gramophones, since they are impossible to ship with these huge horns and it sort of sounds like you dropped your earbud in a tin can and turned the volume all the way up,” stated Walton as he stuck his entire head inside the gramophone horn to accentuate its size. “I didn’t know that anyone would want to fork over upwards of $800 to buy an antique German gramophone, but since that Milk band put out that box set I have people riding up on penny-farthings every day to buy one, I just can’t keep these old clunkers in stock.”
Neurobiologist for the Research Centre of Music and Sound Studies in London, Dr. Anna Potter, said that an increasing number of indie music fans in the 25-45 age range are becoming obsessed with obsolete music-playing devices
“We are currently studying this phenomenon as it pertains to not only gramophones, but also to 8-tracks and regular cassette tape players,” said Dr. Potter while showing off her collection of Zunes. “What the studies have shown thus far is that despite a clear cognitive understanding that digital music has a superior ease-of-use, and are comparatively high-quality recordings, indie music fans desire social recognition that comes with owning a nearly useless piece of machinery.”
At press time, Hardin was seen buying a 100-ft coil of copper speaker wire and RCA cables in an attempt to invent a device that transfers digital recordings into 78 RPM vinyl.