A Colorful Reminder Why Many of Us Still Love Records

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I had the postal service equivalent of finding a forgotten $5 bill in a pant pocket yesterday. Last week I purchased a digital album download via Bandcamp; I had forgotten that with each digital album purchase the band's label would also mail a vinyl LP. And so I opened the mail to discover this pink marbled wax beauty inside...

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Melody Miller's Gelaskin design is both an ode to vinyl and also symbolic of my own migration away from wax to digital.

I have to admit, I had stopped collecting vinyl since a few years back when I decided to downsize our book and music collection with the mantra "don't let the things you own own you" in mind. Out went all my graphic novels (to the library), Emily parted ways with several boxes of books (a painful goodbye for a former librarian), and we sold or gave away all of our CDs after converting them to digital format. We did keep a few records, because hey, The Smiths and Gangstarr just sound better on 12", right?

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After moving from one apartment to another, I never got around to reconnecting the Bang & Olufsen turntable system, remembering all the proprietary cables and cords made setting everything up a test in patience requiring an afternoon of sweat and tears (yet I find time to organize books by color!). But I think this latest colorful addition to my record collection – in a hue best described as strawberries and cream – reignited my motivation to get the vintage audio system all set up again.

The new album also sent me on a small hunt for where to find similar unusually colored and shaped albums, most often reserved for small indie bands and limited edition releases. I found a record press shop, Erika Records, specializing in unique vinyl record styles located just south of Los Angeles, in Orange County. Check out the dizzying variety of shapes, sizes, and colors available! 


(Images: Gregory Han; Gelaskin; Erika Records)

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