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Paper Monitor

10:46 UK time, Friday, 20 January 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The weekend looms and Paper Monitor is looking forward to spending a couple of days indoors, shielded from the cold, playing music.

Newspapers understand the demographic to which Paper Monitor clearly belongs. Hence pleasingly munificent coverage targeted at record-lovers.

The Guardian's revamped Film and Music section - basically, the former Berliner standalone has been merged into G2 - kicks off with a rather marvellous interview with Leonard Cohen.

Yes yes yes, Paper Monitor is aware that received wisdom depicts Cohen as a gloomy miserablist.

Received wisdom is, however, wrong. Cohen is a reliably thoughtful and witty (albeit laconic) interview subject.

Though his worldview may be bleak, he refuses to take himself seriously, as evidenced when asked about songwriting:

Song operates on so many levels. It operates on the level you just spoke of where it addresses the heart in its ordeals and its defeats but it also is useful in getting the dishes done or cleaning the house. It's also useful as a background to courting.

Paper Monitor will not be soundtracking any future courtship with Songs of Love and Hate.

However, the Times is not to be out-done in the battle to win the hearts and minds of music fans.

Its arts section today is dedicated to the wonders of vinyl. Sales of a format once considered obsolete are soaring, and the paper celebrates all that is black, crackly and spherical.

As well as listing 25 albums that apparently must be listened to on 12ins (Paper Monitor concurs with Surf's Up by the Beach Boys but disputes that The Man-Machine by Kraftwerk isn't better appreciated via a more austere digital format), the Times tasks writer Pete Paphides with explaining to sceptical readers why investing in vinyl makes good financial sense.

However, the highlight comes as Bob Stanley of electro-pop band St Etienne desribes how he washes his collection in the sink:

Run the record under lukewarm water from a tap, add a couple of dabs of antibacterial handwash, gently rub it into the grooves in a circular motion with your fingers, and rinse. Then leave the records to dry on the dish rack, causing amusement (and mild concern) among friends and family.

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