Member Monday #46: Sean McCarthy

Member Monday is our favorite part of Vinyl Junkies because it helps us celebrate the best part about this community: the patrons! We place the spotlight on our VJ Patrons by asking them to share what makes collecting records so special to them. This week, we’re happy to feature one of our first 500 VJ patrons, Sean McCarthy.

My name is Sean (drvbytrucker). I live in Omaha, and I’m a user experience designer at a speech-recognition software company.

What was the first album you ever bought on vinyl?

My mom bought me Pac-Man Fever when I was 6. With my own money…Talking Head’s Remain in the Light.

What drive you to collect vinyl?

Given how easy it is anymore to access music thanks to streaming, I love the inefficiently slow ‘ritual’ that comes with vinyl – the handling of a physical product, looking at the liner notes and lyrics, and just the ‘work’ it takes to manage a double album (four total visits to a turntable). It’s one reason I think people were more in shape in the ’60s and ’70s.

What genres do you collect? How big is your collection?

 I have about 200 albums in my collection.  The breakup is… 25% jazz and blues, 25% classic rock and singer-songwriter, 25% R&B, Soul, rap, and hip-hop, 25 percent “modern-day/indie.” 

What is your holy grail?

Luna – Penthouse  

What is your most cherished memory associated with vinyl? 

In college, when CDs and tapes were still the thing, I had a Sanyo receiver with a turntable, which was gathering serious dust. While I was at work, playing Radiohead, a doctor at the hospital I worked with asked what I was listening to (It was OK Computer). After a few talks, he invited me over to his place to talk music. I got him into Liz Phair, Beck, and Radiohead. In turn, he lent me three albums: London Calling, Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising, and the Minutemen’s Three Way Tie (For Last).That’s where I discovered a lot of ’80s-era alternative music (then known as college rock).  

Do you have a ritual associated with your collection? If so, what is it?

I have a system where I write the name of the album on a small strip of paper, and I put it in a bowl (along with strips of paper with album titles). I then have a corresponding notebook that also has the title of the album. I routinely ‘draw’ out of that bowl. The goal: to make sure that whichever album I have purchased will get at least two full, front-to-back listens.  

Please make us a Spotify playlist of your top ten tracks or albums of all time. I always allow a #11 as this is hard.

1. Bjork – ‘Army of Me’ – Post
2. Prince – ‘Sign O’ The Times’ – Sign O’ The Times 
3. The Clash – ‘Spanish Bombs’ – London Calling 
4. Aretha Franklin – ‘Pullin’ – Spirit in the Dark
5. Midnight Oil – ‘River Runs Red’ – Blue Sky Mining 
6. Liz Phair – ‘Divorce Song’ – Exile in Guyville
7. PJ Harvey – ‘Long Snake Moan’ – To Bring You My Love
8. Luna – ‘Freakin’ and Peakin’ – Penthouse 
9. The Stone Roses – ‘I Am The Resurrection’ – The Stone Roses
10. My Bloody Valentine – ‘Soon’ – Loveless

What made you choose to step up and support this community? What’s your patron number?

I forgot my Patron number. But I love the community that is Vinyl Junkies, and I believe in this age of gingivitis, the need for community is essential. In addition, with the disappearance of DJs from radio, there is a strong need to bring back the DJ – especially one who is a knowledgeable source of information and who is good with conversation (that’s referring to you, Sam).

Stay tuned for our next Member Monday post! We’ll be featuring more of the stories and collections of our Vinyl Junkies family!

View our Member Monday series catalog here:

Angela Daly is 34 years old, and lives on Long Island, NY with her husband, Andrew, and their four larger-than-life cats Oliver, Patrick, Charlie and Kevin. Angela is a Registered Nurse in Cardiovascular Research by day, and a lover of music, cats, and chai lattes by night. As a freelance writer, she is the creator of the Setting the Record Straight series and the NY Hardcore Never Dies series.

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Member Monday #46: Sean McCarthy