Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today is Record Store Day

"The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally." -

Some people are surprised that I still have turntables. Counting the non-working ones, I have four. And turntables are still manufactured by hundreds, if not thousands of companies throughout the world. Records are still pressed in the United States and abroad, even of some major-scale releases. If it weren't for the fact that I'd have to hire roadies to carry the equivalent in vinyl of the amount of music I carry digitally to a DJ gig, I'd still play it out. Nothing beats it. Not CD's. Definitely not lossy ear-bleed inducing mp3's.

Science backs up the claim that vinyl is superior, even with its occasional surface noise, but I'll leave you to scour the internet for that data on your own, as I'm sure most of you would skip over this paragraph anyway. To the layperson, something should be obvious by just looking at a closeup of a digital vs. analog waveform. Or, just listen to a properly setup rig.

And when you play your records, make sure you have a proper setup. The affordable way to do this is with a good used table that's had a once-over by a qualified tech. If you have money to burn, it's all in what you want to spend. Anywhere between $300 to $24,000(no joke..) can get you a decent new table. But $300-$600 will do just fine. Then, you'll notice most home receivers, marketed more for home theater these days, lack proper "phono" inputs. Without them, you can not connect your turntable. A so-called phono pre can set you back another $100 or more if you want respectable sound. Don't settle for a cheap one. Another option is to buy a used, old integrated amp or receiver, which will likely have a decent phono pre already in it. And if you're halfway handy with Google and Bing, you won't need me to tell you where to find this stuff. Oh yeah, and good equipment doesn't come with a set of same-branded speakers. Put in a little effort, people!

So wait, what about those Ion USB turntables? The answer is that they're simply awful. Avoid them like the plague, as well as the mp3's being traded over the internet made from them. They suck at playing records. That's the problem. If you want to digitally archive your collection, you'll want a proper turntable and a proper sound card or outboard USB interface into your computer. Irresponsible fools are sending awful mp3's of rare and out of print recordings into the wild because of this mass produced trinket.

So back to Record Store Day...
I'm sad to report I don't know of any proper record store in Lynn anymore. But here's where you can spend your hard earned dollars on these aural  treats:

Record Exchange
256 Washington Street,
Salem, MA 01970-3641
(978) 745-0777

Mystery TrainAddress:
21 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930-5708
(978) 281-8911

Newbury ComicsAddress: 
240 Andover Street
Peabody, MA 01960-1537
(978) 531-9713

In Your Ear Records  
957 Commonwealth Ave 
Boston, MA 02215 
(617) 787-9755

All these stores also carry CD's, other formats and other items...
Plus, there are more, which you can add in comments if you'd like. I wanted to spotlight the ones I know of on the North Shore in addition to a personal favorite in Boston.

Record Store Day on FB

Artist: The Sea and Cake
Song: Hotel Tell


  1. Having bizarre formatting/spacing issues in blogger today. I'm glad I did everything else in Wordpress.

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