Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Austin's Vinyl Hunt
Last night Colleen and I attended the first Vinyl Hunt at the North Door club in downtown Austin. We were invited by Brian DiFrank of Whetstone Audio; he was one of the main participants and organizers of this brand new LP swap meet event. While the first Vinyl Hunt was somewhat modest in terms of vendors--Brian, who recently obtained a huge vinyl collection for sale in his store, dominated the sales floor--hopefully it will grow into a much larger event as future hunts are organized.
That said, Colleen and I had a great time--despite the DJ in the back who didn't quite understand the meaning of the words "volume restraint" or "high-fidelity sound." We brought along the protoype of an old-fashioned milk/LP crate from our friends at Splintr Design called the Kreyt, and it received plenty of positive comments from the crowd. (One vendor pointed at it and said, "Cool, you brought your own shopping cart!")
I walked away with a few LPs including a great-sounding percussion record from Columbia--Sorcery! by Sabu, a $2 copy of Steely Dan's Gaucho in excellent condition and the soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange, something I'd always wanted. I also managed to score two newly remastered and sealed Ike Turner mono LPs from a Spanish label called Jerome Records. These were remastered by Mike Mariconda and were sold to me by a guy named...Mike Mariconda. He left Barcelona with a few extra copies in his backpacked (he joked that he was paid for his services in LPs) and was selling them at the event. These are archival recordings, which means the sound quality is "historic" at best, but the pressing is beautifully silent and the performances are rare and exciting.
Brian is confident that Vinyl Hunt will grow into something bigger. Austin's the right town for it; the crowd was mostly young people and curiously free of the typical middle-aged record geek (except for me, of course). I didn't have enough notice (or organizational skills) to promote Vinyl Hunt this time, but I'll be sure to let everyone know when the next gathering will be held.