SPINNING VINYL YESTERDAYS

The Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA) is reporting that measured shipment values on vinyl records have increased from 36.6% from 2006 to 2007. Even though this is significantly lower than CD and digital record sales figures (a half a billion CDs compared to 1.3 million vinyl records purchased in 2007), a considerable market is emerging. Audiophiles and serious music collectors have always regarded vinyl as the “medium of warmth and richness” while dismissing digital recordings as “cold and antiseptic.” They say that CDs lack the “spatial sense” qualities of a live music experience and that audio outputs are often squelched rather than enhanced.

This spin down memory lane can be extremely expensive. Amplifiers and turntables can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars with a cartridge needle alone, designed by Japan‘s Koetsu, costing up to $15,000. Japanese limited-edition versions of The Police’s “Ghost in The Machine” and Bob Marley‘s “Burnin” can set a vinyl spinner back $60.00 plus shipping. “Higher-end buyers represent the extreme tip of the market,” says Jonathan Atkinson, editor-in-chief of Source Media at Stereophile.com. He adds that those groovy sounds of yesteryear are still available to more budget conscious (and saner) people with turntables costing less than $500, a pair of speakers less than $600, and an amplifier less than $1,000. (Business Week)

Brooklyn, not a stranger to the rare, unusual and marketable, has always had a steady if fluttering presence of dealers in vinyl records. Shows featuring LP and 45 collectibles have come, gone, and reappeared again on a regular basis since the 1970s, becoming even more prevalent in recent years. “Record Riot” at WARSAW in Greenpoint (261 Driggs Avenue at Eckford Street) will hold its third annual record bazaar on February 15. Crates of nostalgia-charged vinyl will be available for sale at nostalgia-charged prices. Record connoisseurs of all ages and of all budgets will be offered beer, kielbasa, pierogies and the presence of live DJs spinning the old discs on the platter, while browsing through their favorite things.

‘”New York doesn’t really have the same type of record shows that other cities have,'” said Steve Gritzan, owner of a Jersey City record store. This is not due to a lack of demand but rather to neglect on the part of retailers. ‘It’s insane how many people buy records in Brooklyn. It’s disproportionate to any other place I’ve ever seen.'” (Brooklyn Paper)


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