In Massachusetts towns, people seek vinyl records and vintage collectibles

UPTON, Mass. (AP) — With music from artists like The Beatles, The Monkees or George Harrison playing in the background, some might feel like they took a step out of 2017 and into the past when they walk into The Nevermind Shop. Vintage collectibles in glass cases, shrink-wrapped vintage promotional posters leaning against the walls, and vinyl records grouped by genre.

In the new age, where we digitally stream music from apps like Spotify, iTunes and Pandora, one might wonder how record stores like Nevermind continue to survive during these times.

“It’s a unique place to find things you cannot find anywhere else,” said owner Mick Lawless. “These are relics from the past.”

The shop, located on 1 Milford St., has been open since 2008. Lawless said his shop is a buy/sell organization, which means visitors are not only able to buy items from the shop, they can also sell and trade in items. According to Lawless, 70 percent of the merchandise come in from visitors selling their items. The rest come from auctions, yard sales, house calls, trade shows, and record collector conventions that Lawless attends in his spare time.

Lawless said music on vinyl records is recorded using analog recording, while CDs are recorded using digital recording. Lawless said he can notice a sound difference between the two, and he believes music on vinyl records is meant to be heard using high fidelity record playing systems. At his shop, Lawless said he sells high fidelity components to build old style systems, where music can be heard from the 1920s through the ’80s.

“People really want to get into the sound of vinyl,” said Lawless. “People want to go back to the basics.”

The same goes for Natick’s Deja Vu Records.

“You get the actual vibrations of the music as opposed to digital reproduction,” said Deja Vu shopper Rigel Fuller, 22, of Saint Albans, Vermont. “A lot of stuff on vinyl, you can’t really find online or find a CD for it; for records you can really find some obscure stuff.”

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Along with the difference in sound quality, some shoppers also like the artwork on the album cover of the record.

“It’s more of a thing you can collect,” said Fuller. “As opposed to a small CD case, people like to open up an album cover and see the art.”

Eleni Vlahou-Dimeo, owner of Deja Vu Records, said she thinks vinyl records have made a comeback because people were disappointed with CDs and how fragile they were.

“If a CD is scratched or broken, you cannot play it anymore,” said Vlahou-Dimeo. “If a vinyl record is a little broken, you are still able to play it.”

Lawless said he noticed more people buying records and record-playing systems during the holiday season. He also said the deaths of Michael Jackson, Prince and David Bowie spark a higher demand for items pertaining to that particular artist.

“Celebrity deaths seem to peak people’s emotions,” said Lawless. “Michael Jackson was off the charts, people were banging at the doors.”

As for the future of vinyl, Fuller said some stores are selling higher quality records.

“New vinyl is coming back as well,” said Fuller. “They release thicker and heavier remastered versions of records now.”

Vlahou-Dimeo said younger people getting into this method of listening to music generally listen to classic rock, jazz, blues, and soul.

“It depends on what genre of music you listen to, that will determine if you like listening to vinyl,” said Fuller.

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Information from: MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Mass.), http://www.metrowestdailynews.com

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