Monday, May 24, 2010

Preserving the spin

By Jenny Hopkins
POCATELLO — A few years ago, a father telling his teenage son or daughter that he was going to get out the turntable and listen to some 45s was probably met with a confused look and some words expressing how uncool he was.

But as Bob Dylan said, “times, they are a changin’,” and now the dad with the extensive record collection may just be the coolest one on the block.

Records, or “vinyl” as they have been nicknamed, has been considered by many to be a dead form of sound storage.

But recently, records have again begun to gain popularity, so much so that Jay Reeves, co-owner of Vinyl Perk in Pocatello, has decided to start a local chapter of the Vinyl Preservation Society of Idaho.

The society started in Boise with the intent to preserve the heritage of records by caring for and about vinyl records and to share history, knowledge and passion for them.

Reeves, a self-proclaimed vinyl “junkie,” heard about the society and immediately wanted to create a local chapter.

“I have been pleasantly surprised by how many of our customers love records. There are many, many hobbyists and enthusiasts here. It was natural to start this,” said Reeves.

The Pocatello chapter held its first gathering on May 20. Participants will gather at Vinyl Perk, 150 S. Main St. in Pocatello, from 7 to 9 p.m. each third Thursday of each month to swap, spin and talk about records. The next will be on June 17.

The gatherings may have themes, such as jazz night, where enthusiasts are encouraged to bring music of that theme.

“It is open to anyone who wants to bring their own records,” says Reeves, “It is an opportunity for people to learn about new music.”

Reeves says that extending the group to Southeast Idaho was a no-brainer.

So why, when there have been so many advancements made in digital sound, are people coming back to and staying loyal to vinyl?

Reeves says that vinyl offers things to the listener that digital music just can’t compete with.

“The sound of a record is better than anything I have ever heard digitally. Analog is a warmer, more textured sound. It’s truer to the original music,” he says.

Rich Graves, owner of Budget Tapes and Records in Pocatello, agrees.

“From the time CDs came out, there were a lot of people who said records had a better sound. It has a warmer, more natural sound,” says Graves.

Reeves says that teenagers in particular are playing a huge part in the vinyl revival.

“It’s tactile, it’s something they can hold in their hand, they can read the album liner notes, they may know the music to some of these classic rock albums, they may have downloaded them, but they have never held a record in their hands and looked at the picture of the band on the cover.”

For more information about the Pocatello chapter of the Vinyl Preservation Society of Idaho, call Jay Reeves at Vinyl Perk, 478-7375.


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