Vinyl, cassettes popular with music fans

Older forms of music revived thanks to passionate students bringing it back

Vintage cassettes are on display on the shelves at Turn Table Records. Not only does this store have cassettes and vinyl records, he also sells vintage clothes for a reasonable price.

Sarah Luna, Student Life Editor

Spending hours at a time rummaging through stacks of dusty vinyl records and tapes in retro music stores, thrift stores or garage sales is a favorite past time of music lovers intent on finding that one album or artist that they truly love.

I really like the original, classic, vintage feeling they have in them,” said junior Nathan Tavarez.  “I grew up listening to Elvis vinyls with my grandpa because he was his favorite so it’s a bond that we share and something that grew on me.”

“Popular requested vinyls are usually classic 80’s bands such as, The Cure, The Smiths, Simple Minds and U2,” said Turntable Records manager Thomas Hernandez.

Turntable Records, located in South Austin, has been opened since 1986 and started out with Hernandez’ personal vinyl collection. Starting out selling used and slowly adding a specialty in electronic music, Hernandez notices new trends and is happy to see that parents are passing down their favorite music.

“I have sold quite a bit of cassettes but not nearly as much as vinyls,” said Hernandez. “People usually favor vinyls over cassettes because they like to have a visual perspective of the artists rather than the tiny cassette box that the cassette comes in. Also, cassettes tend to wear out over time whereas vinyls do not.”

I got my record player about a year and a half ago from my cousin, said junior Julia McCarley. “I had vinyls before but no record player so they bought it for me as a gift.”

I had had used vinyls before but I didn’t have a way of listening to them so I mostly just collected them,” McCarley said. “Now that I have my record player I really do look out a lot for records. I usually go to Half Price because it’s more local but Waterloo Records and Friends of Sound Records have a wider variety which is pretty awesome.”

“At first I never listened to cassettes because I didn’t have a cassette tape player,” said senior Caleb Reyna. “But after I got my car, it only had a cassette player so I thought I’d keep an eye out for tapes.”

“My favorite part about cassettes are how small, easy and cheap they are,” Reyna said. “Even though they’re a bit more complicated than just downloading music, they’re a lot more personal and they fit moods.”

Reyna owns a selection ranging from obscure 80’s punk bands to local garage bands.

“I usually get my tapes online from websites like craigslist or at garage sales,” he said.

Manuel Soza however, doesn’t collect tapes or even buy them.

“I like making them rather than buying tapes that

are made of one specific artist,” Soza said. “My girlfriend had a huge radio that had a CD and a tape player and I’ve always been pretty fond of it so after hunting for one at a series of thrift stores, I finally found one for myself at Thrift Town and then decided to make a mixtape for her.

“Personally I believe that mixtapes are more of an art,” Soza said. “Timing must be precise, they’re a lot more personal, and you want to make sure the audio is clear which requires a bit of work, but seeing the reaction of whoever you’re giving it to is priceless.”

Many record stores in Austin have a flier called “Vinyl Around Austin” with a map telling music fans where local mom-and-pop businesses that can be really helpful for vinyl hunters,” Hernandez said.

Collectors might want to participate in the upcoming Record Store Day on the third Saturday of April where most record stores in Austin and all over the world where music lovers can view live performances and purchase rare records.

“People should definitely explore tapes and vinyls,” McCarley said. “The quality is no comparison to iPods or CDs. They all just sound so much more genuine and beautiful.”