Records resonate with panthers

Where do people go to listen to music? Today, they might reach for an iphone, a laptop or even a pair of airpods. However, for some students, their preferred listening device can be found in the 1950s or at an Urban Outfitters — a record player.  

Records have recently experienced a surge of popularity. For many, they provide an experience that is vastly different from modern music streaming services.

“I think it’s such a unique experience that we don’t get when we plug in our iphone to listen to our most recent playlist,” Catie Parker, senior, said. “I think it’s unique that you get the opportunity to listen to music how the artist intended it, on a record from the start to the end.”

Parker has been collecting records since seventh grade, when her father bought her a record player and the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. Parker’s family has a small collection of records. Her favorite records are “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young and “Rubber Soul” by the Beatles.

Record listeners also tend to gravitate towards them due to the difference in sound quality. Thomas Kitchell, senior, has a collection of over 300 records, and believes that sound does make a difference.

“This could totally be placebo, it’s hard to explain, but it almost sounds warmer and happier on the actual vinyl,” Kitchell said.

Katie Rose, senior, experiences the same effects from sound as well. “It’s a better sound quality because it’s not digitized, and I have compared it before and I could see a difference, but that might also be the placebo effect,” Rose said.

Rose collects records from the Record Outlet in Thousand Oaks and has been inspired by her brother to hold a collection of albums she likes.

“My brother was a fan of collecting records as well, and he bought me my first record and said that I should start a collection, and I really liked the idea of having a nice collection of albums that I like,” Rose said.

Rose has been collecting records since her sophomore year, and enjoys listening to “American Beauty” by The Grateful Dead and “Planet Waves” by Bob Dylan. She has around 20 records in her collection. For some, collecting records can be about more than the music itself. Parker collects records while traveling.

“I picked up one when I was in Scandinavia this last summer, most recently when I was up in San Los Obispo there was a record store and I picked a few up from there,” Parker said. These records help memorialize her experiences.

“I think even for people who don’t have a record player yet it’s still a valuable experience to start collecting records because with each record there comes memories and everytime you pick up a new record it comes from a new location,” Parker said.

Although student’s reasons for collecting records may differ, it is ultimately about the experience. “There’s something awesome about listening to your favorite music on vinyl,” Kitchell said. “It’s entertaining to watch the record spin around and to hold the album cover. They’re basically like pieces of artwork. I have them hanging on my wall and I also have friends who collect records so it’s awesome to bring records over to each other’s houses and listen to them and just share the experience together.”

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