Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vinyl Experience (9) The youth without a turntable

Text:Fumimasa Hori

Although I think you can know the popularity for vinyl among the youth in a previous article, you may be surprised if you know the fact that the youth don’t have a turntable or a record player reach for vinyl. It was appeared on an article of Independent that youth without a turntable buy vinyl. I quote a statement by Gennaro Castaldo, HMV spokesman.

"We found there was a big pick-up in sales from younger consumers, many of whom didn't even have a record player, but thought they were cool. The fans want to associate with it, almost as a badge of honour. As a band it's a proper thing to do: it connects with the 'soul' of music."

People who buy vinyl mainly are the younger generation from 16-25 years old, next are their father’s generation. It was analyzed by Eliot Hedeman, the sophomore of West Michigan University.  According to him, listeners of father’s generation has regretted that they got rid of their record collection, but they seem to be getting back their collection.

Despite not having a turntable in 2007, Eliot bought  ”In Rainbows” of
Radiohead, he seemed to go to his friend’s house to listen to this album some times in a week. It makes us to understand that vinyl are not only for listening, but also for priceless items for fans. A statement by Ian McCann, an editor of Record Collector is also interesting. 

"I have had emails from young people asking me if there is somewhere they can play their parents' cast-off rock albums, dragged out of the loft. They didn't seem aware that you can still buy record players."

 I wonder how was an impact when young people who didn’t even know the existence of record players  found vinyl. I feel again when I read this statement, in USA not only consumption type listening which people buy vinyl from shops, but also share type listing which people listen to their parents or relatives may be increasing.

And I think it is wonderful more than anything that vinyl don’t obsolete but be taken over to the young generation. Scott Storer who has been worked in a record shop for a long time insists that i-pod generation change (from ipod) to their parents’s record collection. It is typical of nowadays kids that not only they consume vinyl, but also they share existing vinyl.

“I guess there might be no person who tried to play vinyl like him until then. Actually, the most of vinyl were in every home. Vinyl father or mother had. Kool harc played such records, so everyone borrowed vinyl from their mom or dad.” (Quote from S.H.Fernando Jr ”Hiphop Beats”)

Words by Jazzy Jay toward Kool Harc. When I read this remark, I thought there is common point among the youth in vinyl movement and people in early hiphop. It is that they listen to their parents’s or relative’s vinyl. Why did they listen to such vinyl? I think one of the reason is the aspect of sluggish economy.  Hiphop was come into being in South Bronx where people suffered extreme poverty. On the other hand, the vinyl movement started when subprime lending happened. If economy is in a good health, it is natural that they buy new vinyl, but it might be reasonable that they listened to their parents’s or relative’s vinyl without payment.

Although I often hear that vinyl were taken over from parents to children, I hardly hear children listen to parent’s mp3 or cd. It may be relational that mp3 or cd are mainly listened by alone, but vinyl are originally suitable for listening for some people with family or friends in living. If you take care vinyl neatly, they keep a longer time than mp3 or cd. From now, vinyl will be taken over the descendants from parents to children, moreover children to grandchild.

I hear vinyl swap meet is organized at St.pius catholic high school in Atlanta. Vinyl for selling are gathered from student’s parents. Chad, the director of vinyl
swap meet says students can experience to touch vinyl directly through swap meet.

A high school student, Christina bought a record player recently and started to collecte vinyl. Although she usually listens to new bands like Arctic Monkey, she gets into old music like Pink Floyd or Stevie Wonder since she go to
swap meet. Although the topic got sidetracked, the act the youth without a turntable buy vinyl is seen in not only USA but also in UK. Spencer Hickman, manager of UK label/record shop Rough Trade said like this.

“We have young customers who buy new records week after week... we also have people who come in and buy vinyl who don’t have a turntable and just want to own the object.”

Perhaps, this youth usually may listen to music by intangible digital sound sources with iTunes or spotify, but they aren’t satisfied with only that in regard to favorite bands or musicians, so they may buy tangible vinyl.

Vinyl have added value we can watch artwork and enjoy to collect those, they are impossible with intangible music. Such behavioral pattern reminds us old age when people listen to radio and they bought favorite vinyl. It is written such thing in “share” by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.

“But, they separate from modern values in baby boom generation of their parents, they are close to values in war generation of grandparents.”

This is the description about people so-called “millennium generation” who live with digital from children. Although values in paragraph isn’t about music, I think that vinyl oriented is a point in common between millennium generation and their grandparents generation.

Moreover, I think the process both go to vinyl is similar. Millennium generation had listened to files which was intangible music in childhood, then they got into tangible media, those are vinyl. On the other hand, grandparents genaraion used to listened to intangible music through the radio in childhood, but they jump up vinyl in teenager when vinyl come to be spreaded those days. The trend from intangible to tangible music are coming back again. (cont'd)

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