Q: You work in a record store and recently introduced vinyl at Tenn Street Coffee and Books. To what do you attribute the resurgence of records and turntables?
A: You know, I’m not really sure. I think the desire to own physical media is coming back, but in strange ways. When streaming became the preferred method of listening to music, it did affect the desire for vinyl. But I think, recently it’s started helping it again. People can hear an album, fall in love with it, and then want to buy it, which you weren’t able to do thirty or forty years ago. If you heard it on the radio, or if you followed an artist’s career, you’d go buy the album, and maybe like it. Now you can do all that work beforehand. Plus, unlike before, records are almost like collectors items now, they’re a musical commodity, not a necessity.
Q: Why do you think listening to records is a better experience?
A: I mean I could write a lot about the great quality of vinyl, fidelity, blah, blah, blah. But really, I enjoy listening to records because you are able to sit down and experience an album as a whole. It’s not so much that I love the “superior sound” of vinyl, but moreso, I love that records are proof that when I hold an album in my hands it confirms its place within my psyche. They are big, bright, material pieces of history I can add to my collection of inspiration in my pursuit of a more creative life. Records are meant to be listened to in one sitting. They aren’t a part of some bigger mix tape or playlist; you’re able to hear an artist’s true intention when listening to their work. Music on vinyl isn’t meant to be just some background noise, it’s meant to be an experience.
Q: Young people are turning to vinyl. Are they also turning to artists who recorded on vinyl back in the day and who do they like?
A: Yes they are, and it’s so cool! I remember being fourteen years-old and going into shops and being the youngest person there, surrounded by middle aged men looking solely for anything New Wave, or for “rare” Pink Floyd bootlegs. Now I see kids even younger than that coming in and I think it’s great. I think, typically, kids who collect music have at least developed a small knowledge of popular music history. What they like varies. I’d say more often than not, though, it’s classic rock bands like the Beatles or the Who. Goth kids still love Joy Division and Bauhaus. The really heady girls buy the Doors because Jim Morrison is still their God. Some things never change.
Q: What kind of music do you especially like?
A: I don’t want to be one of these annoying people, but… kind of everything? I have a few jazz composers and leaders I’m digging now like Carla Bley, Chick Corea, and Charles Mingus. Im honestly really enjoying the “hyper-pop” movement. I’ve been listening to a lot of Rina Sawayama, MUNA, and Caroline Polacheck. More often than not, I revert to glam rock – Bowie, T-Rex, Jobriath. But my heart is with folk. Leonard Cohen, Karen Dalton, Joni Mitchell.
Q: What are your favorite places to listen to music in Denver?
A: Well, believe it or not I do go to the symphony fairly often. Dazzle is a fun night out. I think my favorite venues would have to be Cervantes, the Ogden, the Gothic, and of course Red Rocks.