The D-Side: Finally catching the ambulance

The D-Side / March 2, 2012

The D-Side is an opinion column which allows the writers of Modern Vinyl to give their thoughts on various vinyl-related events. If you have a passionate opinion that you’d like to share with others, either leave it in the comments or send us what you’d like to write about, at

Don’t bother to read the statistics.

Statistics will tell you that physical music is dead. And statistics will tell you that despite your best efforts, digital tracks will slowly, but surely, mark the extinction of first the compact disc, and then the fringe area of the vinyl record. But like I said, don’t bother yourself by delving into any of that. Because sometimes, and especially in this case, numbers do in fact lie.

During the early hours of Tuesday morning, I was witness to the falsity of those proclamations. Tuesday of course marked the vinyl release of both Thrice’s “The Artist in The Ambulance” and Blink 182’s “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” both through Hot Topic. And during the morning and into Tuesday night, our Twitter timeline was flooded with jubilation for those who were able to purchase one; and pure anger for those who passed out before they went up in the middle of the night.

We had Twitter followers waiting outside a Hot Topic before they opened; we had followers go to the store’s counter, only to find out that people had already reserved every copy; and we even had someone travel two hours to make sure they picked one up. I was even at the post office on Thursday, sending one of our readers a copy that they unfortunately missed out on.

But I think one Tweet says it all. After a few more copies of “The Artist In The Ambulance” were put on sale at the Hot Topic webstore, we tweeted the link. Moments later, we received, “THANK GOD FOR @MODERNVINYL THANK GOD FOR @MODERNVINYL THANK GOD FOR @MODERNVINYL I JUST ORDERED THE ARTIST IN THE AMBULANCE AND I MIGHT CRY.”

And besides giving me a good chuckle, the tweet reminded me just how special the purchase of physical music can be. The Hot Topic pressing of “The Artist and The Ambulance” was only the second in its nine-year history and I was unaware as to just how many people were waiting (not so patiently) to add it to their record shelf. Another tweet stated, “Thanks to @chriscartermi and @Modernvinyl, I just bought my favorite Thrice album, the Artist in the Ambulance, on vinyl. Nice piece added!” Another read, “Ive been searching like crazy for their (hard to find!) vinyl, so I’m stoked about these represses.” The Blink 182 repress was met with similar enthusiasm and both were sold out before you knew it.

As easy as digital music is to get, transport and trade, it will never surpass the feelings that the readers of Modern Vinyl, along with Thrice fans around the world, felt when the Hot Topic site finally switched days, revealing those releases in the “new music” section. And those feelings are exactly why we all spend ungodly amounts of money (and time) in putting together our collections.

Physical music is not dead, readers and fans. You just have to know where to look for it.

And in terms of flippers, yes there’s now over 50 “The Artist and The Ambulance” items up for bid. You know who you are. And you suck.

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Christopher Lantinen
Chris Lantinen is the owner and editor-in-chief of Modern Vinyl. Along with his modest collection of sad sounding records, he collects his share of soundtracks and previously adored indie up-and-comers. Chris is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at Edinboro University in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

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