Vinyl Nation begins by focusing on Record Store Day. For those not familiar with it, the annual April event celebrates record stores across the country, and several exclusive records are printed just for this day. Shop owners explain that this day is their busiest of the year, by quite a bit. Customers reconnect every year and are eager to share their impressive finds with one another.
Springboarding from there, directors Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone take the audience on the entire journey of the vinyl record. From the pressing of the record to making the sleeve, all the way to it finding a home with a happy collector. They also travel the U.S.A to interview collectors, musicians, and industry insiders to offer as broad a spectrum of vinyl’s recent re-rise and the reasons for it as possible.
“…the entire journey of the vinyl record. From the pressing of the record to making the sleeve…”
Lead singer of The Dirty Ghosts, Allyson Baker, loves putting her band’s music on vinyl, as she also collects. Marc Weinstein, co-founder of Amoeba Music, wanted to have a job where he could himself and hang out with the, as he puts it, other weirdo collectors. He now has three storefronts, and Record Store Day is busiest at all of them. DJ Ashleyanne Krigbaum collects, not just to play at gigs, but also because she loves the feel and weight of vinyl. Of course, there are more people on camera than just them, but where’s the fun in spoiling all the stories?
The directors focus on how this current rise is also helping to diversify the idea of the collector. Up until comparatively recently, the concept of the record collector has been one of a middle-aged man obsessively hoarding albums while scoffing at any and all those who deign to listen to anything but. Now though, with places such as Urban Outfitters selling entry-level record players, and along with big box stores, a handful of records, it is more accessible to everyone than ever before.
This trend is of great interest, as it correlates to the various record shops that have opened across the country. Most of the owners interviewed realize the need to stand apart from the others to some degree. This will bring a crowd, and people from said crowd will become regulars. None of these owners care about the shoppers’ gender, age, or anything else. They want to help them find the perfect record to showcase who they are and their musical interests.