How do you organize your records? Alphabetically? By Genre? The way you organize your records can have an impact on how you enjoy them. So, as your collection grows, think about how you think about your music, and organize accordingly. Here are some popular strategies and the pros and cons of each.
Decorating with album art. It seems like a no brainer. You like albums. You like art. Albums have art. Just put the albums up on the wall as art, right? So why can it feel so weird?
You wouldn’t think twice about hanging a painting you like. But album art isn’t just album art. It’s the brand of the artist. It’s where the artist sits in the culture. And where that culture meets politics.
When it’s on your wall, that Fleetwood Mac record says you buy your vinyl at Crate and Barrel. That Bob Marley record says I hope you brought rolling papers. That Gang Starr record boasts you know way more about hip-hop than you actually do. That Steve Reich record says you are either an insufferable aesthete, a charlatan, or likely both.
Which type of Puzzler are you?
The “Try Anything”er: No chance it fits, but you’ll be damned if you’re not trying it. I mean, the the colors look kind of the same.
The Contemplator: Sits back. Does nothing for hours. Then grabs a single piece. The one everyone’s been looking for. The one that would unlock all the others. Fits it without hesitation or ceremony. Sits back. Does nothing for hours….
The Short Attention Span: Sits down and says things like “ohhh puzzle time!” Three minutes later retreats with with a flimsy excuse and a “ugh, puzzles are just NOT my thing...”
We have some thoughts on underappreciated genres that yield you some very reasonably priced gems (funk and swing jazz, for example). We will dive deeper in a future post. But country is one of those genres.
If you are a country fan, you can skip down a couple of paragraphs. You don’t need to read this sales pitch. If aren’t a country fan, because, say, you’ve heard Toby Keith or Shania Twain and that will be enough, thank you… let us ask you to reconsider. We will not pretend to be experts, but there is some really good country out there, and a lot of it is sporting a $5 price tag and is gathering dust in your local record store. As Laura, co-owner of Hymie’s Vintage Records in Minneapolis told us on a recent visit, “if you are looking for a Led Zeppelin record, it’s going to get snapped up before we even get it to the shelves. But we have all kinds of country that people walk right by.”
If you have records or you want to start getting into records, you should probably have something to play them on. Maybe you have your killer setup already. If you don’t, here is our advice about how to set one up.
We’ll be frank: We aren’t electrical engineers. We aren’t audiophiles. And we don’t aspire to be. But we have set up our share of systems for friends, family, and people we owe favors. It’s a minor hobby. So we’ll run you through some basics and point you to where you can do your advanced research.