Spin City: 5 Reasons You Should Be Listening to Vinyl
City living means moving to music. Whether we’re walking to the T, running along the Esplanade or hitting the gym, we plug in our earbuds, dig into our digital playlists, and go about the day in our independent audio worlds. But what about when the day is done and we’re settled back in our cozy apartments with friends? May we suggest unwinding with a more “mature” musical medium—one that’s been making a serious comeback. You heard us. When the sun goes down, stop the streaming and ditch the devices. Drop the needle (delicately!) onto those classic, crackle-inducing vinyl grooves, and let that warm sound fill the room.
Not sure where to start? Meet Emily Greenstein, event manager at Vinyl Me Please (VMP), a “unique and engaged community for vinyl collectors and music lovers,” also known as “the best damn record club.” Greenstein swears by vinyl records, noting it’s about much more than just great music and authentic sound. It’s a lifestyle and tight-knit culture, and they’re excited to bring a taste of it to The Fenway through weekly VMP-hosted spin sessions at Hojoko and The Verb (keep reading for details!) And here’s why she says you should consider hopping on the bandwagon.
The Physical Experience
Listening to vinyl is a pleasant, multi-step process—the anti-on-the-go experience. Song-scrolling on your fingerprint-smudged smartphone has nothing on thumbing through a box of albums and pulling them out of their sleeves. The tactility of it all from start to finish tends to bring about a deeper appreciation of the music itself. And instead of hearing a smattering of songs from a playlist, records require listeners to experience an entire album as a whole versus just one track. Not to mention, the depth of sound is unparalleled.
The Cover Art
Squinting at a tiny thumbnail on iTunes just cannot compare to holding the artwork that is a 12x12” album cover in your hands. It becomes a physical connection to the music you’re about to consume. And as an awesome extension of the artist’s point of view, it often makes a statement, social or otherwise.
A vinyl record has two sides. When the “A” side is over, you physically have to flip it over to the “B” side. This allows the listener to stretch, maybe pour a drink, relax, and reflect on what they just heard. And if you’re not feeling the album, you can simply head over to your collection and select something else.
Vinyl records have been around for generations. Thus, from used vintage vinyl to the latest pop or rap release, the breadth of options are endless. Need a little guidance? VMP has a subscription service, so you can get a new album in the mail every week. In fact, VMP designates time each month to a “team record store day,” where everyone in the company is given an allowance to go and hand-select records to add to VMP’s offering. How’s that for an eclectic collection builder?
According to Greenstein, the “vinyl industry, as a whole, is an ecosystem,” and there’s a close community around it that’s all about supporting and helping one another. Seeing a need for a place where everyone who’s passionate about vinyl can connect, VMP created an online forum. Now, thousands of active members “meet up” there to discuss, recommend and trade vinyl albums amongst themselves. If someone is anxious to hear something that isn’t available nearby, it’s not uncommon for someone across the nation to pick it up and drop it in the mail for them! That’s the kind of community-minded culture vinyl has nurtured.
Want in on all this musical magic? VMP hosts “The Spins” at Hojoko and The Verb (1271 Boylston Street in The Fenway) monthly, where a live vinyl DJ not only plays VMP’s record of the month, but also a set based on it. And for every drink you purchase while you’re moving and grooving, you get a raffle ticket for a chance to win an album at the end of the night. The next one is on April 20th, 5:30-8:30 p.m...see you then!