Sunday, March 3, 2019

Vinyl Records Making a Comeback on W.S.

By Nick Lukasik and Zach Rohde
Buffalo Review - West Reporters
Black Dots Co-Owner Quinn Moore

Remember that old stack of vinyl records you left at your parents’ house 15 years ago? Or maybe the turntable you saw at your grandparents’ house and wondered aloud “what is that thing?”
            Well, you might want to head back and pick up those records, or ask your grandparents for one of their old record players.
            Vinyl records are in something of a resurgence, even in the current digital age of streaming music on platforms such as  Spotify and Apple Music. After seemingly being surpassed by 8-track tapes, CDs and cassettes, vinyl records are still being pressed and sold in record stores. The West Side is home to two record stores: Black Dots and Revolver Records.
Both Black Dots and Revolver Records find themselves in budding neighborhoods of Buffalo. Black Dots is located on Grant Street while one of Revolver Records stores is on Elmwood Avenue.
Black Dots co-owner Quinn Moore said Black Dots was originally located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street has been a really good place for the business to start. The store was originally located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street before moving into the more spacious location it occupies.
 “There were little things starting to pop up when we were starting like Sunday Skate Shop was over there for a little bit and that was one thing where I was like ‘Whoa. The ball is starting to roll’,” Moore said.
Philip Machemer, the owner of Revolver Records, started selling records online and at record shows, as well as weekly markets in the Elmwood Village.  He then opened his first store on Hertel Avenue before opening the other on Elmwood Avenue.
“Growing up, Elmwood was always kind of the shopping and cultural hub of the city and I feel like even with the renaissance that the city is going through, Elmwood is still kind of the center of what is going on,” Machemer said. 

Machemer, on collecting vinyl:

Jeff Allen is the administrator of the Facebook group WNY Vinyl Collective. The WNY Vinyl Collective is a group focusing on the record industry in Western New York, with over 3,500 members.
Jeff Allen, administrator of the Facebook group WNY Vinyl Collective, stated that local record stores play a very important role in the vinyl industry. Allen said he sees the industry focusing on the newer vinyl releases going forward.
“Local record stores are not just a place to buy records, this is where we go to learn about music and meet other people that have the same interests,” Allen said.
Both Revolver Records and Black Dots have created ways to separate themselves from larger retailers who sell vinyl records, such as Amazon. For Revolver Records, it is focusing on the used record market among other things.
Although online shopping is more convenient, Machemer considers record shops to be the best place to buy used records. He also admits that it is hard to compete with Amazon prices for new vinyl, but he has tried a few different things.
            “There are a lot of Indie exclusive releases for records on certain color vinyl and certain releases that are only released at record shops. you can’t buy them online and you can’t buy them on Amazon so we try to stock a lot of stuff like that,” Machemer said.