Getting back into vinyl

two small shelves of vinyl records

Back in 2010 I bought my first record player, a suitcase-style Crosley for $50. We had a bunch of records Clay’s dad had given us and over the next years I casually collected a couple handfuls of albums—mostly from bands I saw live or special Mondo pressings.

Earlier this year we saw New Found Glory play at Celebrity Theatre and Chad mentioned that their album Nothing Gold Can Stay had been removed from Spotify, unbeknownst to them. It’s back now, but it reminded me why owning physical copies is valuable. It’s hard to balance that with wanting to own less stuff in general, but for my very favorite albums, it feels worthwhile to have them around.

(And now it sure seems like a growing trend with streaming services pulling films and series completely with no way to even purchase them. Thanks I hate it.)

Collecting records can get expensive fast, so I’ve been limiting my purchasing to albums I really, really love. It’s been fun tracking down ones that are now out of print and having lucky timing on cheaper or special edition represses. Lots of ’00s pop punk classics and gems from the ’90s.

Crash Test Dummies “God Shuffled His Feet” The Presidents of the United States of America self-titled Drive Thru Records’ Welcome to the Family compilation

I’ve been letting myself get a tiny bit obsessive with collecting all the 7" singles from my absolute faves like Fountains of Wayne and New Found Glory. I got this FlipBin holder for them and it’s great.

metal tabletop holder that fits 7-inch records

I think I’ll probably soon reach a point where I’ve got all the existing albums I want or can actually get (some albums are pretty rare and I just can’t justify spending so much 😭). Luckily lots of albums I love are getting special anniversary represses lately.

Besides the joy of collecting, this has made me actually listen to music. I’ve been sitting down and revisiting beloved albums and not doing anything else. For a while there I got in the habit of having music as background noise while doing five other things. It’s been fun to focus on listening the way I used to.

And finally, that little Crosley player eventually died and I decided it was time for an upgrade. I still wanted the convenience (and price) of an all-in-one turntable. I opted for an Angels Horn H019.

woodgrain turntable with built in black speakers and clear plastic lid

Thanks to some helpful YouTubers I was able to calibrate things, balance the tone arm, and get listenin’ in no time. It sounds pretty great for what I need and I also like that I can close the lid while it’s playing. So far so good!

Now all I need is for Mondo to finally press That Thing You Do.