My Name Is Myles And I Live My Life Like High Fidelity
It starts with a single, then a cheeky EP or two, pretty soon you’re hooked on LPs and that’s it… you’re a crate digger, a vinyl hoarder, a record collector.
And you’ll never walk or drive past an op-shop or garage sale again without thinking, “maybe there are records in there”.
Look, it’s perfectly fine, you’re in good company -- I myself am one of those tragics.
You’ll see me among the ever-growing hoards at record fairs flipping through someone’s musky old vinyl ... and yes it’s ‘vinyl’, not ‘vinyls’.
I’ve seen people receive death threats on social media for making this faux pas. Because, the first rule of vinyl hoarding is … don’t use the term ‘vinyls’.
The second rule is … meh, there are no other rules.
So why do I collect records?
As a child of the 1970 and 80s, I grew up listening to music on cassettes or vinyl, vinyl being my preferred medium. But around the early 1990s I fell for the great CD con … being that CD's apparently ‘sound better than records’.
READ MORE: Would You Buy A Vinyl Record Of Silence?
This is not so much a blatant lie, as it is just a completely different sound.
The digital sound is indeed cleaner, crisper perhaps, but it’s utterly soulless.
The real world we live in isn’t a digital one, life is analogue -- it’s scuffed and just a little mucky. So by rights, shouldn’t we experience our music the same way -- with imperfections, scratches and dust pops included?
My return to records began eight years ago when I bought an old 1960s stereogram, had it completely reconditioned, and started buying vinyl again.
For me, putting on a record is like going on the creative journey of the artist -- I’m with them all the way from side a to b or more (if it’s a double LP).
I read the cover front to back, follow the lyrics, wonder who all the names being thanked are, and these days… nap.
Saturday April 13 is the annual worldwide event known as Record Store Day. Yep, even records has its own day. And rightly so.
Millions of vinyl hoarders like myself will be heading out to their favourite record stores to hopefully purchase a limited release Record Store Day record, or just buy a record to support their local.
In the era of music streaming, we need to keep these little music-loving havens alive and thriving.
Why? Well, no one owns or buys a record store to get rich. They’re usually owned by music fans who live, breathe and talk music -- and boy oh boy if you get a record store clerk or owner talking about music, you’ll be there until they cash up.
So here’s my top three record stores you may find me in this Saturday:
Sandy’s Music – Dee Why, NSW
Owners of the oldest independent record store in Sydney, Nigel and Jenny Fry took over the store in 1976 and they’re not only the loveliest of people, but they have one of the best selections of vinyl I’ve seen.
Music Farmers – Wollongong, NSW
When is a record store more than just a record store? When it’s Music Farmers.
Not only did the store just put on one of my favourite music festivals of the year, Farmer and the Owl, but the store's regular customers include artists like Hockey Dad, Tumbleweed, Maddy Jane, and generally just about every local or visiting artist -- of which there are many in Wollongong’s thriving music scene.
Rocksteady Records – Melbourne CBD
Tucked away on Level One of a beautiful old art deco building in the heart of Melbourne, this amazing store has stacks of great records and for a very reasonable price.
Again, they are passionate about music and you will find yourself staying longer just to chat. There’s also a regular parade of performers putting on a show in store.
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