Quick, a show of hands. Who’s surprised that a relatively dated medium for music is seeing its resurgence courtesy of a relatively dated medium for music purchases? I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, of course, but it seems on par with expectations that vinyl, with all of its nostalgia-based appeal, is currently avoiding (to a degree) the millennial fad responsible for burgeoning anonymous penis exposure. What happened to the good ol’ days of trench coats and dark alleyways, and what’s it called, again? Oh yeah, the Internet.
As an addendum to the recent news that vinyl sales are currently pushing the seams of one’s pants, it’s been revealed that more than 50% of all those sales are taking place in independent record shops — the kinds with physical doors, that you open. Returning to the nostalgia aspect, it might be an extension of the “ritual” that vinyl enthusiasts often espouse as a reason for their ongoing love. Or, it might stem from an aversion to perceived paradox. You can’t buy vinyl online, just like you can’t buy food from a dumpster, or purchase a winter parka at a shop bordering the Amazon. Well, you can maybe do these things, but I hear the risk of spontaneous brain explosion increases exponentially.
Context breeds feelings unfortunate, in this case. While independent record shops do account for a disproportionate percentage of vinyl sales, they play a minimal 3.2% role when it comes to all album sales, regardless of format. Kind of interesting to see record stores revert to the limited purpose prescribed by their name, though, as we’re all keenly aware of the CD’s porcelain future.