Will vinyl records ever truly come back into vogue for the masses?
Maybe. Probably around the time iPods fall out of fashion. That said, a growing number of audiphiles – young and old – are dipping their toes (and wallets) in the retro record-buying waters. The latest vinyl store to splash down in what Tony likes to call KC Proper; Vinyl Renaissance on 39th Street in Midtown.
"I don’t like that Vinyl Renaissance at all," says journalist, author, scholar and vinyl collector Joe Miller. "First of all, it’s the most expensive record store for used records. I mean, just everything is (marked to) full value. You’re less likely to find a diamond in the rough there.
"And I think they’re a little snobby. It’s the old man’s record store. I mean, they’re polite enough, but it’s more like collecting records as a status thing as opposed to just doing it. You know at Love Garden they’re all very knowlegable, but it’s like on every level they’re $2 to $5 less than Vinyl Renaissance."
Not that Miller is short on suggestions…
"What I would like (Vinyl Renaissance) to do is start a charity program. So if someone buys an expensive turntable they can donate their 10 percent savings (on records) for a year to a poor person who can only afford a used turntable. Because if you can afford an $8,000 turntable, you don’t need a discount."
For the record, Miller’s Record Day vinyl binge buy included Akron / Family, a Phish limited run, hand-numbered 45 RPM and a 1963 Bob Dylan concert bootleg "that’s actually going to be released on CD."