The Vinyl Comeback: Putting Digital Music To Shame


In an ever changing world, technology has changed the way we view things and go about our lives, especially the mediums that we use. The internet allows us to look up information in seconds, as opposed to countless hours spent looking through books in libraries. GPS has replaced the need to use maps. Most people have adapted to the “Out With The Old, In With The New” way of life. However, there is one old fashioned medium that just won’t go down without a fight. Vinyl records have made a huge comeback in recent years, showing newer mediums of music who’s boss.

According to an article from NPR, in the last six years, vinyl sales have tripled, and in the first part of 2014 alone, more than 6.5 million vinyl’s were sold, and 9.2 million vinyl records were sold in 2014 overall. A decade ago, vinyl records made up 0.2 percent of music sales. As of 2014, they made up 3.5 percent of music sales, and according to an article from TIME, as of 2015, vinyl record sales now make up 6 percent of music sales.

Wax Trax prepares for Record Store day in Denver, Co. repo

These numbers of course are numbers of sales in brand new copies of vinyl records. It doesn’t account for the millions being made in used copies of vinyls throughout record shops worldwide. While it seemed for awhile that record shops would go out of business due to declines in CD sales and an increase of digital sales and file sharing, vinyl records saved the day. Record shops are thriving off of vinyl sales, which is keeping them in business, creating jobs and stimulating the economy. It’s become a powerhouse. F.Y.E. now sells vinyl records and record players, as well as places unthought of such as Urban Outfitters.  Reasons why vinyl has made such a strong comeback is a need to hold a physical copy of music, with your bare hands. Not something that is just a file on your computer. The listener can appreciate their music more because of this. Vinyl records deliver a rich and warm sound, that CD’s, tapes, and digital albums just can’t do. Plus it just looks cool! Its a giant frame full of artwork and you can put a wheel of music down and make it spin and it plays music. Try doing that with an I-Pod.

Opinion leaders and tastemakers also play a big role in this. Most artists are seen always talking about how great vinyl is, and if you’re a fan of these artists, of course that’s going to influence how you view vinyl. In fact, most artists release their albums on vinyl nowadays. Even people such as Jimmy Fallon, who every night before an artist plays, shows their record in vinyl format.  jacky dubsOne artist who has contributed to the huge success of the vinyl comeback is Jack White. Jack White’s album “Lazaretto” was the highest selling vinyl record of 2014, selling more than 86,000 copies in the U.S. alone, as well as over 150,000 copies worldwide. This is just in vinyl sales! It doesn’t even account for his CD and digital album sales. According to The Tennessean, it was the biggest selling vinyl album since 1991. Obviously tastemakers have influenced the resurgence of vinyl as well. Mainly artists, as well as people like Jimmy Fallon.

j fal vinyl


Jack Lule had a great quote on tastemakers, in which he said: “Historically, popular culture has been closely associated with mass media that introduce and encourage the adoption of certain trends. We can see these as “tastemakers”—people or institutions that shape the way others think, eat, listen, drink, dress and more”The year is 2015, and we are surrounded by all sorts of fascinating and mind blowing technology. Even so, the way your grandparents listened to music is still relevant in today’s world, and that was extremely unplanned. The future of vinyl record sales is still up in the air, but if recent years has shown us anything, it’s that vinyl records are here to stay.


Philly DIY: Turning Your Basement Into Music Genius

Within dirty, slimy, broken down houses in Philadelphia, lies one of the most unique and well respected music scenes, and it all takes place in basements. Referred to as “The Philly D.I.Y. Music Scene”, these basements shows have gained lots of momentum and popularity amongst youth culture. The purpose of these basement shows is to support the music scene and let local artists be heard. For local artists, booking shows can be difficult at times. Venues don’t want local and unknown bands because they feel these bands aren’t profitable for their sake. For the venues, it’s all about making money. The owners of these basement shows could care less about being profitable. They’ve literally opened their homes to artists, allowing artists to be heard, and music fans to hear them.

nest 1nest 2

Since venues reject most local bands, the owners of these venues have created a Do-It-Yourself attitude, hence the Philly D.I.Y. name. They want artists to know that they can play a show without having to deal with the pressure of venue owners. These house party shows take place all throughout Philadelphia, giving music fans, usually college kids, a reason to go out every weekend and hear great music. What’s great about the Philly D.I.Y. scene is that artists don’t have to promote much because people will just show up. People want to let loose and hear great new music and be a part of the music scene and promote art. Bands from all across the country are realizing this and flocking to Philadelphia, hoping to become a part of the music scene, and have their voices be heard. This isn’t happening anywhere else. An artist can’t go to a random city and expect there to be basement shows, it just doesn’t happen, thus making Philadelphia unique. The Neo Gramscian Hegemony Theory applies to the DIY scene very well, in that now that Philadelphia has established a unique music scene, people from other cities are trying to recreate the philly scene in their own hometowns. There is even a facebook page dedicated to the Philly D.I.Y. scene, allowing bands to post about their shows and this also allows D.I.Y. music fans to find out about local music.

Some well known D.I.Y. venues include The Nest, The Petting Zoo, Golden Tea House, 502 South, 3rd & Girard, Mile High House, and the Michael Jordan House. The Michael Jordan House is very well known for launching the career of the band Modern Baseball. Modern Baseball was just your average band who were a part of the philly music scene and played basement shows, and because of this music scene, they are now an up and coming band with 2 records under their belt, recently selling out a headlining tour at the TLA, touring relentlessly and internationally, opening for big bands such as The Wonder Years, Brand New, and Dropkick Murphy’s. All of this happened just because they played in these dirty and grimy basements.
Even NBC 10’s meteorologist Sheena Parveen has talked about it!

Lots of more bands are beginning to gain the attention that Modern Baseball had gotten, making the Philly D.I.Y. Scene more and more popular. As a fellow musician who has played in these types of shows, I can attest for how amazing it is to play in a random basement at midnight and have a bunch of fellow music lovers show up and mosh and sing their hearts out. It is truly something remarkable, and it is something worth knowing about.