By Brianna Brey
According to an article published in the New York Times last week, the Consumer Electronics Association estimates that shipments of new turntables in the United States will have grown by 5 percent this year, totaling about 84,000.
This is good news for Keith Schuman, owner of Recycle Music, a shop at the end of Bond Street between Downtown and the Old Mill that buys and sells vinyl CDs, DVDs, posters, patches, band shirts and vintage stereo equipment.
"We try to bring high quality vinyl that makes people happy to find," explained Schuman of the shop that he opened in 2012. Bend isn't exactly a big city where people make appointments to show their stuff, we have to hit the trail to find the stuff for the store. We're just trying to make it higher quality and have rare stuff that people like to find. It's fun for them and it's fun for us."
Vinyl has been steadily making a comeback among old-school audiophiles and young hipsters, not old enough to remember a time before the age of digital music, but desperate for physical mediums and the nostalgic sound of records. To that point, Jack White's summer release, Lazaretto had sold over 60,000 copies by August, officially making it the best selling vinyl album since Pearl Jam's Vitalogy was released, way back in 1994.
Shopping at Recycle Music isn't a quick job, the bins are relatively alphabetized, but by no means perfect and every corner of the store holds eye-catching distractions. A stack of randomized DVDs, a Tammy Faye Baker album, the shining knobs of refurbished record equipment, the chubby grey-and-white cat batting at your feet as you flip through bins, a picture of a young version of the man working the counter with Alice Cooper's hands wrapped around his neck. But that's the point, the place has a High Fidelity, neighborhood record store charm, it's got character and characters: a group of familiar fanatics who frequent the place and stand around in meandering music discussions for hours. You can't get that from an iTunes gift card.
"We depend on the locals to survive year in and year out," said Schuman. "As far as small business goes, we can't do it without them."