Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani.
Music nerds will gather book club-style for the first edition of The Wellington Record Club, taking place in The Wellington Gastropub’s ground-level private White Room on Tuesday, July 3.
That’s when some 18 people will sit around a harvest table and listen intently to the four sides of the vinyl collector’s edition of OK Computer by Radiohead, which features the singles “Karma Police” and “Paranoid Android.”
Drinks and nibbles will be served and once the record is finished playing, organizers offer guests a chance to geek out and discuss the finer points of the British band’s 1997 release.
To help with the discussion, Ottawa Magazine is providing a “wordle” with key words used in critical commentary about the album, along with some facts culled from the second edition of the The Rough Guide to Rock (a rock encyclopedia). You’ll find those below.
But first, a few words about the record club:
It’s a new endeavour started by Shane Waldron, who co-owns the Gastropub. One of the pub’s regulars brought him a BBC article about record clubs and he got to thinking about pivotal albums from the past few decades that were worthy of discussion.
He put together The Wellington Record Club and plans to host it once a month. He invites people to tweet their record requests to @thegastropub for future club nights. The $25 cover price covers one beer and canapés. Everyone must be seated by the time the needle hits the record at 7:15 and, like your high school librarian, Waldron is insisting that there be no conversation and phones should be shut off during the session — because, as any purist will tell you, it’s all about the music.
When you attend the record club you are hearing a record right out of the sleeve. A resurgence in vinyl production means re-issued albums, made on hefty platters of 180 grams, are on the market. For each record club, Waldron sources an unplayed copy to spin over custom Tetra speakers.
“You’re hearing the record without bumps and scratches on this amazing sound system,” Waldron says. “With iTunes, the warmth of music that you would’ve heard on vinyl on a good system is lost.”
Music nerds bought out all the tickets for the first edition of The Wellington Record Club — but you can call 613-729-1315 to check if there are cancellations or to book in for the next edition.
6:30 p.m. start, 7:15 listening time. The Wellington Gastropub, 1325 Wellington St. W. For more information see www.thewellingtongastropub.com.
OK COMPUTER DISCUSSION POINTS
-When the album came out, there were plenty of Pink Floyd comparisons.
-The first single, “Paranoid Android” clocks in at around six minutes.
-The band headlined Glastonbury in 1997.
-The band started off as On a Friday and released an EP called Drill in 1992.
-Veteran music critic Robert Christgau slammed OK Computer: “Radiohead wouldn’t know a tragic hero if they were cramming for their A levels, and their idea of soul is Bono, who they imitate further at the risk of looking even more ridiculous than they already do.”