|Vinyl shop owner takes a new spin on an old medium|
|Written by Lee Strubinger, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Tuesday, 03 April 2012 13:19|
Nestled in a little nook near Main Street, attached to the backside of a thrift store lies the psychedelic experience of John Anderson and his record store of new and second-hand music collections.
With nothing but a teetering black sign with red letters above the doorway and a few yard signs to indicate its whereabouts, Reverberation Vinyl is Bloomington-Normal’s newest hot spot for music fans that prefer listening to albums the old fashioned way — on a turntable.
April 1 marked Reverberation’s one-year anniversary as a new business.
While cars busily roared up and down the spine of these twin cities, Anderson sat in his red colored music box, 1302 N. Main St, Suite B, as the sound from Soft Machine’s self-titled album protrude from his Pioneer speakers and filled the room.
“It snuck up on me, you know?” Anderson said. “It’s hard to believe it has been a year already.”
For the past year, Anderson has been working a dream job, running his very own record store. It was a fantasy of his since before graduating college, but starting up the store took time to put together.
“It was a long time coming. I had the idea to start a record store back in the early 2000s,” Anderson said. “Whenever the opportunity presented itself, I wanted to be ready. It had to be the right set of circumstances and it all came together in a hurry.”
After quitting his day job after ten years, Anderson, with a closet full of records he had been collecting over the years from yard sales and thrift stores, found a good place to rent and within five months, his new business began.
“It happened to coincide, which is a total coincidence, with the resurgence of vinyl on a sort of wider cultural level,” Anderson said. “As a record guy that was always going to stores throughout the 80s until present, there wasn’t a time when I wasn’t shopping for records, but I noticed that more and more records were being issued in the early and mid 2000s, and it’s just gotten greater and greater.”
For mostly everyone in college, growing up with CDs and MP3s was the only way to listen to music.
Many music lovers are realizing that digital music is not the best sounding format for listening to their favorite artists.
“Both myself and my girlfriend are big music fans,” Chris Gibson of Peoria, Ill., said while flipping through the letter ‘T’ records in alphabetical order.
“My parents gave us their old turntable and we just started listening to their albums. We basically realized that vinyl sounds much better than anything you can get on CD or MP3 format. The sound quality alone is what keeps us buying more and more records,” Gibson said.
Modern day vinyl collectors are rejecting the notion that digital music is the best way to listen to music, proving that technology can be soulless.
There is a need to participate in the human experience and go to a record store, instead of scrolling through the lifeless abyss of iTunes.
“[Buying records] is kind of a rejection of the digital thing,” Anderson said. “Digital is great, but records give you that three-dimentional thing to hold and something that has value.
“To me, digital music has no value. I can rip it from a CD, I can download it for free, or pay, but you can’t take it and then sell it. With a record you can trade it, buy it, sell it, read it, look at it, and it has visual and intellectual appeal. It’s got a lot going for it,” he explained.
“I think that is why younger people have turned towards records, there is like a seek and find situation or a treasure hunt, maybe something will catch your eye and find something you’ve been looking for forever,” Anderson added. “Sure, you can go on Amazon or eBay to find whatever it is that you want, but that’s not very much fun, you’re losing an experience when you do that.”
Bloomington-Normal has always had a good record scene, according to Anderson. This store just adds to that reputation. It is a unique store, unlike the other two in Uptown Normal, but they all work together. In a tanked economy, Anderson started up his dream job and the year flew past him.
“Have your mind open for opportunities,” Anderson said. “If you are passionate about doing something, absolutely do it. When it’s the right thing, and you know it’s the right thing to do, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Everybody says that, but it’s true.”