The Vinyl Revival by Allen Henson At Live Fast Mag

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*Sing this* “You say you want a revolution, well, you know, we all want to change the world.” This year it’s all fire and brimstone politicking, mudslinging and how someone’s going to make us great again. I thought we were actually pretty good, police reform and ending the war on drugs aside. All that being said we get so caught up in progress, social, technological, hell if we don’t have the newest iWhatever with the iOS update, well it’s all going to come tumbling down isn’t it. Collectively we’re currently entertaining the notion that somethings may be worth hanging onto. As this next generation of Americans put down the Spotify and dust off Mom and Dad’s vinyl collection, the next great vinyl pandemic has occurred and it’s friggin awesome.

We’re hitting the record stores instead of thepiratebay.se and I think, it’s really about tangibility; and album art!!! On the cover of Queen’s 1977 release of News of the World, It’s the Frank Kelly Freas giant Robot holding up the limp body’s of the band members pleading “Pleasefix it, Daddy?” It’s real! Hell you could frame it and put it on your wall!

Vinyl can connect us, Vinyl can heal us. In a fractured and disconnected world where social medial has reigned supreme and bolstered our inner narcissists. The cold sterile world of trading hard drives and sharing Soundcloud playlists is finally being challenged by that one contender that has never really left us; circa 1888 Emile Berliner and still running strong. The commercial introduction of the Long Play Record was in 1948 by Columbia Records. After an extended face off between them and RCA Victor starting in 1931 in regards to formats, Columbia reintroduces the 33 1/3 in 1948, RCA dumps the format for the 45, regrets it forever.

After Vinyl, media format innovations have been led entirely by the Dutch company Philips; cassettes in 1962, the CD in 1982, and the coding behind the MP3 in 1993.

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So during 60 years of innovation how have we not just discarded vinyl entirely? How has it survived? It has been the duty of the caretakers, the mom and pop stores, the loyal vinylists, the die-hard audiophiles, record sommeliers, diggers, sorters, hoarders, organizers, the gut instinct buyers. I decided to seek out some of these keepers of the faith for a first hand perspective. I had the immense pleasure of crashing Human Head Records (@humanheadnyc) over in Williamsburg, Travis Klein & Steve Smith, co-owners, were kind enough to host me. Oddly enough, the process reminded me of being back in Iraq, sans the war. I didn’t mention when I was coming over I was bringing nine cases of LP’s and a case of 45’s. Surprise! The aptitude and speed at which they assessed, filed and generally dispatched the multitude of records was almost frightening. They move volume and clearly are used to doing so. From Williamsburg to Croatia and everywhere else, thousands of LP’s a month ranging from the dollar bin upwards to those extremely rare $500 pieces. Human Head is a well-oiled Modelo’d machine. I can’t even keep my sock drawer organized.

Thanks to livefastmag – read more here

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