By Kris Lancaster, Point Park News Service:
On the ground floor of Dave’s Music Mine on the South Side, the newest record by indie rock band The Head and Heart plays as customers flip through records by Justin Timberlake and The Weeknd.
In the basement, classic vinyl by the likes of Peter Frampton, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen line the walls of the store. It is these records that helped Dave’s to survive the digital craze of the last decade.
“Vinyl is huge for us,” said Dave Panasiuk, owner of Dave’s Music Mine. “Vinyl is one of the things that is allowing independent record stores to have a bit of a comeback.”
According to Panasiuk, vinyl surpassed CDs as the most popular form of music in the store. Some of that has to do with its trendiness among young people as well as the sound quality of the record.
“The sound quality of a vinyl record is really the purest sound you have,” he said. “It’s the truest replication of the music before it’s changed to any other format. It’s really a beautiful format.”
Panasiuk said the demand for vinyl causes them to order more of it when a new album is released.
“Whatever the hottest releases are this week, we’ve ordered five times as much on vinyl as we did on CDs,” he said.
The highest demographic of vinyl customers, according to Panasiuk, has been college women, making up about 70 percent of vinyl customers.
“It’s something they enjoy,” Panasiuk said. “When is the last time your girlfriend told you, ‘I really liked that necklace you got me?’ But then you hear them say, ‘I really like that record you got me’ and you see it hanging on the wall or on the record shelf, and they’re playing it all the time.”
To Panasiuk, vinyl is “the new accessory.”
“It’s the hip thing,” he said. “But it’s also just a really cool thing, and it’s the same as it was 60 years ago.”