Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly Rant 10/28/12: The Rise (Again) Of Vinyl

Ownership of vinyl seems to be easily categorized, breaking down into four different groups:

First, you have the old school vinyl owners. These are the people who own original pressings that they purchased, or inherited, for decades past. There is an appreciate among these people that seems to be disappearing; that notion that, at some point, this was the widely accepted format. Sure, it typically starts with the phrase "Back in my day," but that isn't entirely bad.

Second, come the hipsters. This group, which is the largest of the four, only keeps vinyl around just so they can say they have it. They own all of their favorite indie rock albums, classic rock notables, and a myriad of bands you've probably never heard of. It is this group that demeans the medium, but can be held largely responsible for the triumphant return.

Third, the artwork junkies. There are those fans who own a vinyl pressing of an album, simply because the artwork is bigger and easier to display. Justin, for instance, owns a small collection of records, but doesn't feel the need to listen to them. Instead, they are in frames, waiting to be hung for proud display of the different art styles. It would be short sighted to dismiss it, but far sighted to embrace buying music for art.

Last, the audiophiles. If you have ever had the opportunity to sit down and listen to an album on both CD and vinyl, you know exactly what is coming. While it isn't fair to say one is better than the other - they both have their merits in the audio world - the sound of a needles moving through the grooves of your favorite record is a sound that you will never forget. The entire experience is warmer, with every pop and crack woven into the music itself. Imperfections are gold, sometimes.

Regardless of which group you find yourself lumped into, the second wave of vinyl is good for everyone. And every time I see a band, big or small, offering their latest work on vinyl, it is hard to resist. If you are a fan of all things metal, listen to the latest Fister EP, "The Infernal Paramount" on your favorite turntable. Grab Baroness' "Yellow & Green" and let the deck spin. Maybe you will become a bigger fan of 45's or 33's than you ever imagined.

- Darrell

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