Our Website of the Month is ‘Parent Core’ http://parentcore.tumblr.com, the blog of 31 year old Ian Gibbs from South London, who at the start of this year set himself the task of working his way through his parents’ vinyl collection from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and then writing about it.
Each week Ian writes about a different item from the collection. There have been postings so far, among others, on Ike and Tina Turner, the Everly Brothers, Helen Reddy, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Elkie Brooks, the Supremes and the late Donna Summer.
We spoke to Ian about the variable rewards of his parents' collection and 'Parent Core'.
PB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
IAN: Hi. I guess I've always been a bit of a amateur music enthusiast. Over the years, across ongoing attempts to DJ, play in a band and generally amass a record collection of questionable taste, it's really occurred to me that I have a worryingly lax musical filter and seem to like pretty much most "stuff". I think this high tolerance of most noise has equipped me well for the task of listening to my parents' record collection. Although there are limits...
PB: What inspired you to set up ‘Parent Core’?
IAN: My parents’ old vinyl record collection. It's not a particularly noteworthy collection and doesn't even feature many of the hallmark albums you'd expect from the 60's, 70's and 80's. It's just a very average set of records, but one that means something to me and one I therefore want to celebrate one record at a time until I run out.
There are only two rules to featuring on ‘Parent Core’. If it's on vinyl and it's in my parents' record box it's in.
PB: Do you only feature music you like?
IAN: Absolutely not. If it's in my parents' vinyl collection, it's getting a listen whether it's a gem or total dross. Listening to a Helen Reddy record is not my idea of time well spent I can assure you. Although I suspect it did cause a temporary uplift in the number of Australian feminists that Google misdirected to 'Parent Core' that day. That said, for every Helen Reddy there's a Donna Summer. Legend. RIP.
PB: How do you interact with your readers?
IAN: Mainly down the pub. A lot of my readers are my mates. Who needs a disqus commenting platform hey? It probably helps that they get an occasional name check too.
Some of the biggest interaction actually comes from my buddy PJ's beats which he generates from the Record of the Week on his MPC500 and which just sort of grew organically after I launched 'Parent Core'. Quite frankly many of his remixes are vast improvements on some of the unlistenable originals. He has a whole bunch of 'Soundcloud' followers from around the world who litter his remixes with sometimes unintentionally hilarious comments. He's collaborating in some experimental noise project with a random Dutch man he found on the internet at the moment. I don't know where he gets them from...
PB: What is the best thing about blogging?
IAN: It can be a nice little creative outlet and is a brilliant leveller - there are minimal barriers to entry to setting up a blog. It's also quite cool being randomly added to loads of bands' mailing lists and being sent loads of new music to listen to.
PB: And the worst?
IAN: Being randomly added to loads of bands' mailing lists and being sent loads of new music to listen to in the hope i'll give it a mention. Unless my parents have a resurgent interest in adding to a record collection that has hardly altered in over thirty years, it's unlikely that any of these new records are going to meet the key parent core criteria.
PB: Why should Pennyblack readers come and check out 'parent core?'
IAN: Because they have a sense of humour and can recognise music for what it is. Because they want to reminisce about that musty smelling record collection from their childhood. Because they like beats and breaks. But mainly because they like Melanie Safka. Be warned, there's a whole lot of Melanie coming....
PB: Thank you.