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Touch Vinyl – Shop Review

By Kevin Osborne

There was once a time in the not too distant past when people listened to music on vinyl records. The round flat discs were physical objects that contained an album of songs, usually, but not always, from one specific musical group. People would often gather together to listen to an album in a group setting, passing the album cover around so everyone could look at the artwork, and maybe the lyrics, or a picture of the band or artist. There was something comforting about taking an album out of its sleeve and putting it on a turntable, and the music itself seemed to have a richer, deeper, warmer tone than what was to follow.

What was to follow, in order, was the eight-track tape, cassette tapes, and then the compact disc or CD. CDs revolutionized the music industry by digitizing music and storing it on a medium that could be read by a laser and converted to sound waves to be sent out of speakers. CDs had a very clean, pure sound that many found to be a revelation compared to albums, especially albums that had been played a lot and had worn.

But there were some quietly dissenting voices that still liked the rich tones of albums, and still enjoyed the larger graphic packages of albums compared to the quarter-sized CD cases. This quiet dissent slowly became louder as more people discovered or re-discovered the pleasure of album listening and collecting. Albums began to make a comeback as people started unpacking their old album collections or starting new collections, and enjoying the ritual of playing albums on turntables or record players.

An unlikely product of this new world was the reemergence of the record store. One of the agents of this album renaissance was Touch Vinyl, a special record store located at 1646 Sawtelle Boulevard, in Los Angeles. Touch Vinyl was founded with a mission to build community through music. They have achieved this mission by curating and recommending classic albums old and new, hosting DJ sets, live shows and listening parties, and getting vinyl virgins into the culture. They even carry some crafty local products like Ocean Park hats! Now preparing to celebrate their 5th anniversary on July 1st, Touch Vinyl has become a part of the local music community, and has created a cool space to collect and enjoy album music.

If you are an album aficionado, or want to learn more, be sure to drop by Touch Vinyl and check out the shop. And mark your calendar for the 50th Anniversary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Listening Party, June 1st, at 8:00 P.M.

Touch Vinyl
1646 Sawtelle Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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