Chattanooga Times Free Press | Some teens turn tables on mp3s

By Garrett Peace

Valley Voices Staff Writer

Even though theirs is a generation weaned on mp3s, some teens still find value in listening to music on vinyl records.

“I have, last time I checked, just under 200,” said Dakota Henry, a senior at Heritage High School whose collection began when his stepmother gave him about 20 records.

Dakota cited a number of reasons for his love of vinyl, ranging from the album art to the experience of maintaining and cleaning the album.

According to statistics from Nielsen Soundscan, sales of vinyl albums last year were up 33 percent over 2008, which was a banner year for the format, increasing 89 percent over 2007.

Chris Banister, another senior at Heritage High, said he appreciates the ritualistic experience of listening to music on vinyl.

“You can’t skip tracks,” he said. “You have to listen to the album in order, as the artist intended.”

So where do vinyl enthusiasts find their records?

Locally, Chad’s Records on Vine Street offers a wide range of vintage albums, as does McKay, a used-media store on Lee Highway. Regional outlets include Criminal Records and Wax N’ Facts in Atlanta and Disc Exchange in Knoxville.

“I carry mostly older music, but I’ve ordered new music, re-releases as well, and they’ve sold well,” said Chad’s Records owner Chad Bledsoe, who opened his store in 1988.

There’s been an increase in vinyl interest among young and old alike, he said.

“I’m happy to see people getting excited about it,” Mr. Bledsoe said. “A lot of young people are getting into it.”

The Internet is another source for vinyl shopping.

Amazon.com has a vinyl store with thousands of vintage and re-released albums. New releases are arriving weekly, including recent hits like Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster” and Vampire Weekend’s “Contra.”

Chris Banister’s collection numbers 30 to 40 records. He buys vinyl almost exclusively through the Internet as a member of The Vault subscription service founded by White Stripes frontman Jack White and offered by Nashville-based Third Man Records.

With the growth of the Internet, however, there also has been the growth of music downloading. How does this affect record stores?

“My store is better than it’s ever been,” said Eric Levin, owner of Atlanta’s Criminal Records. “We do have our own digital store, and it’s quite good, but our customers are saying loud and clear, ‘we want to own things, we want to cherish our items, display them, show them off and listen.’ “

Garret Peace is a student at Heritage High School.

Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog

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~ by lprevival on February 8, 2010.

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