Every Tuesday night, a small group of Kent State University students gathers on the Student Center's third floor to share a mutual passion: a love for the age-old vinyl LP.
From 8 p.m. to midnight, the members of the KSU Vinyl Club wax poetic about favorite artists, album artwork and dollar-bin finds while dropping the turntable needle on whatever tunes their ears desire. Whether it be hip-hop, folk, classic rock, oldies, indie or jazz, nothing is really off limits and everyone gets their turn to spin.
Though their musical tastes differ, the club's members all agree that the old analog music format is more appealing to the ears and eyes than its digital successors.
"The argument that stuff sounds better on vinyl is absolutely true," said Chris Kolar, who founded the club in the fall of 2012, adding that listening to records opened his ears to bands he'd previously written off. "I hated every Rush song I'd ever heard until somebody played me on of their albums on vinyl and I loved it. There's a different sound to it."
For club member Justin Bollinger, the art design of new LPs is as much a reason to cop a record as is the sound quality.
"Records are prettier," he said, pulling out a transparent Between the Buried and Me LP decorated with a red, white and blue splatter pattern.
Now, after one year of existence, the vinyl club is seeking donations of unwanted albums, turntables, speakers and stereo receivers to help further its mission of sharing music.
"I want to start a record library as well as get a couple sets of extra equipment and then be able to check them out to members of the club," Kolar said. "A lot of members don't have their own equipment and it would be really nice for people, especially if they're just getting into this, to be able to take out albums and equipment."
Kolar said those who wish to donate can contact him at email@example.com or 330-842-7721.
As CD sales decline and mp3 sales plateau, vinyl is on the upswing. In 2012, sales for the decades-old medium hit $177 million -- the highest figure in 15 years, according to an April report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Because of vinyl's growing popularity, Kolar said he assumed a record club existed in Kent prior to enrolling at KSU.
"Kent has four working record stores. How did they not have a record club already?" he said. "I was surprised when they didn't have one so I got it going."
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