Penticton & South Okanagan News
It's Vinyl Record Day
August 12 is Vinyl Record Day, which celebrates everything pressed and played under a needle. However, the day seemed to have slipped by many people unnoticed.
Vinyl records have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, with stores such as London Drugs claiming a 40 per cent increase in vinyl sales this year over 2013.
August 12 is the day Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877.
"Every day is Vinyl Record Day, for me," said Peter Jeffery, owner of Milkcrate Records in Kelowna.
"In the nineties, no one put anything on vinyl," said Jeffery, who was unaware of the unofficial holiday. "Then in the early 2000s, Jack White from the White Stripes and his indie-rock compadres, they started releasing on vinyl."
Now he said there are two markets, "The boomer group and they buy the used stuff more, and young kids want to buy their favourite band."
For vinyl lovers, it's all about sound quality and a different experience with the music.
"There's a part of it that's like the slow food movement. It's everything from dropping the needle, to looking at the art; it's a great sharing medium," said Jeffery.
National Vinyl Record Day - not to be confused with Record Store Day - was not being officially celebrated at any stores Castanet contacted. However, it did not go unnoticed by all.
Troy Stewart said this was the first Vinyl Record Day he was aware of. He has been collecting vinyl since he was a little kid.
Now into his forties, he figures he has more than 2,000 records.
"If I don't come in everyday, I feel like I'm missing something," he said as he rifled through albums at The Grooveyard in Penticton. "The sound is just much more rich, it's more clear. When you listen to an album, you hear things you would never hear on a CD, different instruments and stuff like that."
"My dad always had records, that's all we had as a kid. It's a little bit of nostalgia, but the sound quality is incomparable," he said.
Jeffery echoed that sentiment, saying there's a "real warmth" to the sound.
He noticed the resurgence of vinyl when he was driving his kids to and from shows at The Habitat in Kelowna.
He said he believes live performances are driving the sales of vinyl.
"Every band up there started saying their new records were on vinyl up at the merch table. This morning a guy came in and bought two Arcade Fire albums after seeing them in the Gorge."
Jasmine Lamont, assistant manager at The Grooveyard in Penticton said "In the past year or so, I find it's definitely been increasing. A lot more young kids are getting into it. A lot of artists are coming out with both."
"It is definitely a better experience. You take it out, you have giant cover art, you have to take time to play it and flip it over," she said. "It's more of an experience compared to just listening to the digital copy."
As for the unofficial holiday, as with records, it's a special experience for those who take the time to spin some vinyl.
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