Vying for Vinyl

Turntable Tuesday

Tuesday is new release day in the music industry. It’s also new product release day at PALATE BOTTLE SHOP AND RESERVE when new wines and craft beers are available to patrons. ANDREW BOPES, general manager of Palate, thought to combine the two into Turntable Tuesday, where patrons bring albums to share with everyone in the shop.

The inspiration came from a conversation with one of his colleagues.

“It was something that was brought up by Jason, one of the bartenders here, he was talking about a group of his friends that get together once a month and (listen to records) at each others’ houses,” Bopes says in an email.

Held since early January, it’s been well received with a rise in attendance and participation each week. People have been bringing music from a range of genres.

“Everything from The Smiths and Kishi Bashi to Fat Boys and De La Soul,” Bopes says.

Gravity Records is another place in town with regular vinyl events. One of the biggest events of the year is coming up next month.

“Every November and April we participate in worldwide events known as Record Store Day,” co-owner Lindsey Zimecki says in an email. November’s event is called Record Store Day Black Friday.

Vinyl has been increasing in popularity with over eight million vinyl records sold last year, up 49 percent from the year before, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Both Bopes and Zimecki attribute the resurgence in popularity to the physicality of the format.

“Because it gives you something tangible to hold, and the sound quality is far superior,” Bopes says. “When you download a song from iTunes it only lives in the ones and zeros of whichever device you have it stored on.”

He says they only play vinyl on Tuesdays at Palate because, “there is no intimacy if it were a plug-your-phone-in-and-play-some-tracks night. There are no mixes or omissions of songs. You put on side a, sit back, and let it play til the needle reaches the end.”

Zimecki says about the appeal of records, “people want to see what they’re paying for. Purchasing vinyl gives you so much more than just the music. You’re buying the artwork that goes into the album cover.”

She agrees that the sound quality is an important factor, as well.

“It’s closer to the sound the artist intended you to hear. The way music is mastered for vinyl allows for greater dynamic range. There’s a strong contrast in the highs and lows,” she says.

But Zimecki also feels that building a record collection is more than just obtaining songs.

“Record collections are also just that, collections. They’re pieces of art,” she says.  “It’s not very hard to obtain a bunch of digital downloads. Collecting vinyl takes years, and for some a lifetime.”


To view more of photographer Erik Maasch's work, go to http://websta.me/n/emaasch