D.C. punk legend talks vinyl with WTOP
Neal Augenstein, WTOP
WASHINGTON - Sunday will be a little bit like Christmas for local audiophiles. The D.C. Record Fair is back with more than 40 vendors selling vinyl to hundreds of music fans.
The playground will span two floors and include everything from classical and jazz to punk and rock.
Since its founding several years ago, the D.C. Record Fair has grown in size. In 2011, about 1,500 people packed into the Black Cat on "snowmageddon" weekend to score new tunes and find old favorites.
The event's popularity speaks to the resurgence of vinyl as record sales continue to soar in the U.S. Last year, vinyl reached 4.6 million sales, breaking 2011's record of 3.9 million sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"I've seen it re-embraced in such an interesting way," says The Vinyl District's Jon Meyers, who is also one of the fair's organizers. "I was really surprised to see how vinyl has come back into the public consciousness again."
D.C. musician Danny Ingram, who worked at Orpheus Records in Georgetown in the 1980s and will be spinning records Sunday, says nothing quite compares to going out and buying vinyl.
"There's this great expectation as you flip through the racks of albums, wondering what's going to be behind the next record," he says.
He owned close to 5,000 records and 1,500 singles, but sold them when he got married to help with a down payment on his home, he says.
Music labels are cashing in on the success of traditional records - many now come with free MP3 downloads to make listening more portable. This has attracted the attention of listeners who didn't necessarily grow up sifting through vinyl bins.
"People coming through the door aren't your typical older males," Meyers says. "They are kids and teens and people in their 20s. It spans every generational niche."
The D.C. Record Fair kicks off Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Penn Social in downtown D.C. Early birds pay $5 at the door until noon. It's $2 after. Don't forget the live DJs, food and bar.
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