A Vinyl Revival
Hi. I’m Walking Bob and one of my regular stops when I’m walking downtown is Armadillo Music. There is always interesting music playing amid a collection of new and used CD’s and DVD’s. Manager, Paul Wilbur, and the many friendly and knowledgeable people who work at Armadillo are always there to help people find the latest, or the most obscure, CD or DVD or get tickets for upcoming shows at The Palms Playhouse.
However, if you’ve visited or just walked by the store in recent months you’ve also seen the return of something that was thought to be dying, vinyl albums. When CD’s first arrived on the scene, they were seen as a death knell for vinyl. CD’s had no scratches and background noise, they took up less space, and you could play them in your car. R.I.P. Vinyl.
Not so fast. In 2009, CD sales dipped by almost 20% while digital sales grew by 8.3%, which probably doesn’t surprise anyone. What is surprising is that from 2008 to 2009 vinyl sales increased by 33%. Sales of vinyl were at the highest level in the past twenty years and it’s not just baby boomers buying it. Artists like Justin Timberlake and Coldplay were making sure to put their new music out on vinyl and although The Beatles had the second most vinyl sales in 2009, the biggest seller of vinyl was Radiohead.
Aficionados of vinyl will tell you that the sound quality of a pristine vinyl album is superior to the best sound you can get from CD’s or digital downloads and the difference between the 147 square inches on a vinyl cover and the 23 square inches on a CD means you get six and a half times more cover art with vinyl, as shown here.
Armadillo has built on the vinyl resurgence by holding vinyl sales twice in recent months. Another sale, co-sponsored by KDVS, is scheduled for October 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This time the sale will take place on the third floor of the John Natsoulas Gallery at 521 First Street.
That means vinyl fans can visit the latest show at the gallery, which includes “The Beat Generation and Beyond” and the work of 92-year-old Horst Trave . After you find your way through the many levels of the gallery, go to the third floor and browse through hundreds of LP’s and singles from collectors and dealers across Northern California. Whether you’re buying the albums for the sound, or the art, what better place to do it than at The John Natsoulas Gallery?
Admission to the gallery and the sale is free. In addition to vinyl, there will also be CD’s, tapes, DVD’s, music memorabilia and Armadillo even found a way to make something out of the vinyl that was too scratched up to sell, creating unique coasters that will be on sale for $1.99. In case you can’t read the fine print in the sign, it says “No playable vinyl was harmed in the making of these coasters.”