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Author Information

James is a contributor at The Hudsucker and Indianapolis Monthly. He's also a full-time student at IUPUI where he's one year away from a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Sociology. Music and friends are his main interests. He also loves sports, vinyl records and photography. Born and raised in the Midwest, he loves Indiana. But in a perfect world he would take Nashville, Tennessee and place it on the coast of St. Augustine, Florida, where he would live and never leave.

Why Vinyl?

If you’re a person who doesn’t know why they like music and are content with it just being there, this isn’t for you. However, I can relate to those folks at times. But the core of why I love music is rather complex. Vinyl is just a small, yet important, piece of the puzzle. Here’s a few reasons for why I spin in.

Artist Support

A top reason I buy vinyl is to support the artist, while feeling like I truly get something in return. Obviously, it’s hard to buy every piece of music we support in today’s world. We simply have too many ways to get ahold of the sound we want for free. It’s hard to say if the money spent on physical music is truly helpful for the artist, but I look at it this way. If I believe in the artist and their contributions to society, I’ll buy it. So when my favorite musicians release new material I always check for it at my local vinyl records stores, which are flourishing again in a generation obsessed with local-organic-anything.

Let me use The National for example because their new record, “Trouble Will Find Me,” is my favorite vinyl release this year. These are guys that literally play actual instruments, and literally jot their own words down to flow on the top of their sound to create music, literally. It’s hard not to respect and support artists doing this in a computerized industry scratching for mainstream mega hits .

I love everything about music, and vinyl forces me to not skip through tracks. It’s also delicate, so I’m inclined to take good care of the music and not brush it off as just any ol’ part of life. Music does unexplainable things to people. And it’s spiritual in the way we’re able to connect with other humans through sound waves and personas. Perhaps my favorite part of listening to music is the sit down. Most folks that buy vinyl can’t wait to spin it without any distraction. The only time we get up is to turn the record over. It’s nice to detach from the super-technological world for an hour or so to totally focus on the music I love to support.


Personally, it feels good to hold the music I buy. The artwork is blown up and the liner notes are easier to read. It becomes a true novelty in my life I will pass down to my children. Spending 20 dollars on something I could easier get for free online that can make me feel something, with the ability to act as a nice decoration is a win-win.

CDs are great and I have no issues with them. However, unlike CDs, vinyl doesn’t look exactly like the same object you use to store random data on. Vinyl has an original look and demands your attention. Older folks seem to have their stash stored away. It’s time to dig through your garage and bring them to the light again. Storing records in the living room is a trendy feature that actually looks good. “Modern Vintage” anything is an extremely popular style nowadays, and a vinyl record is a spinning definition of the word.


Another reason I buy is for sound. And this is where a lot of people are ready to attack. It’s hard to say if us 20-somethings have simply romanticized the vinyl record sound with our overdramatic blog posts, or our urge to be apart of something quietly on the rise, especially when it’s an old trend thriving again. I’m happily apart of that trend, but I do have my take on it.

In 2006, before the vinyl explosion, I listened to John Mayer’s “Continuum” thousands of times before my first record player in 2011. Like I said, I’m definitely apart of the clingy trend, so I bought a record player with great speakers (which is very important). “Continuum” is one of the “warmest” records I’ve ever heard so I purchased it as my first vinyl record. When I played the second track, “I Don’t Trust Myself With Loving You,” I was sold on the fact vinyl spins the elite sound. Sure, a lot of it has to do with tricking myself out and wanting it to sound better so I didn’t look like a typical young hipster.

But I still believe with most of my heart vinyl sounds better than any other outlet. If it’s mostly due to being brainwashed or wanting to prove someone wrong in a pertinacious music scene, then so be it.

It’s also about delving into the roots of a song you can’t easily skip through, and conversing about the sound quality of artists that seem to respect the days when vinyl spun music with actual instruments. I will take someone attempting that over blindly listening to whatever the radio has decided it will force listeners to believe is good, by overplaying the same idea regurgitated through different puppets known as musicians.

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One Comment on “Why Vinyl?”

  1. "Vinyl Connection" August 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    mp3: intangible, impersonal
    CD: robust, clinical
    Vinyl: corruptible, personal

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