Records aren’t just for your parents anymore. If you've been living under a rock, vinyl is making a huge resurgence these days. After a steady increase in popularity starting about 10 years ago, record sales have really hit their stride as more and more younger folks rummage through their household basements and attics, come across bargains on classics in thrift stores or see their favorite artists offer exclusive vinyl editions to fans.
For those of us infected with the collector bug, it can be one of the most exciting (and bank account-draining) scenes to be a part of. There’s a certain thrill to it; a quirky musical treasure hunt, if you will. And for anyone just starting out on the hunt, or for a seasoned vinyl vet, you’ll have a great opportunity to flip through some records at the bimonthly Vinyl Junkies Record Swap Meet going down at the Casbah on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
Not only will there be thousands of records for your perusing pleasure, in genres ranging from soul, jazz and funk to indie rock, hip-hop and metal, you’ll be able to drink some fine alcoholic beverages while you browse, and ao be treated to DJ sets by some great musicians and music-lovers including David J (of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets), Mike Halloran (91x DJ), Matt Molarius (singer/guitarist for Transfer), Mike Delgado (of the band Moving Units) and Jeff Terich (San Diego CityBeat music editor).
Everyone has their own story of how they got turned on to the vinyl experience.
"I basically just got kind of fascinated with the sound of vinyl -- like, just the warmth of it and at the time [I started collecting], not that many people were buying records, so it was pretty inexpensive," Terich said. "I picked up some Zeppelin, and Rolling Stones records for, like, $2 each, and it became an obsession not long after that."
Sounds familiar: My own experience was similar. At 18, my first record purchase was a double-whammy blockbuster: Led Zeppelin's III and a dusty all-white covered album by some unknown band called the Beatles. It's almost kind of a strange rite of passage, your first brush with the wax.
Transfer's Molarius fell in love in a slightly different way.
"I’m actually relatively new to the collecting culture," Molarius said. "I had inherited an old Pioneer turntable from my great aunt a few years back, and I took it in to audio repair shop to get it dialed in. Once the gent put my record player through the system he had in the store, it sounded incredible. I was hooked from that point on. After that, I started my eternal search for good s---."
And while part of the fun is having no idea what you’re going to stumble upon, a lot of us have that one record -- that holy grail if you will -- that feeds the search. For Terich, it’s "probably Deceit by This Heat. As far as I know, it’s never been reissued and would set me back a lot of cash." As for Molarius, he keeps himself open to whatever pops up: "I don’t really care too much about first pressings and limited imports. I’m just as stoked on a used Frank Sinatra album I picked up for $1 as I would be with a limited pressing of a Radiohead album. It’s what on the wax that matters!"
Indeed, it is...but if any of you find Beck's Midnite Vultures LP -- drop me a line pronto.
The Vinyl Junkies Record Swap Meet (Holiday Edition) takes over the Casbah Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are $3 at the door, and the event is 21+.