Vinyl record fans will be in heaven come Sunday

By From page A3 | March 14, 2012

Paul Wilbur, manager of Armadillo Music in downtown Davis, culls through the store's collection of vinyl records as plans for Sunday's Vinyl, CD and Music Fair take shape. The fair is co-sponsored by Armadillo and KDVS, UC Davis' volunteer-run free-form radio station, at 90.3 FM. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Not every modern music collection exist in a digital cloud. Many of us still enjoy buying physical albums in brick-and-mortar buildings.

These record enthusiasts and music fans won’t want to miss the Armadillo Music & KDVS 90.3 FM Vinyl, CD and Music Fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 :30 p.m. Sunday at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St. in Davis. Admission is free.

“This really brings out the most diehard of music fans,” said Paul Wilbur, manager of Armadillo Music in downtown Davis. “There seems to be an undercurrent of people who don’t want their music scene just to be on a website or iTunes. Getting out and hunting for good music still has a passionate fan base.”

Armadillo Music has seen a huge increase in interest for vinyl.

“It’s mostly with the younger demographic,” Wilbur said. “My own daughter, who is 14 years old, loves records. The No. 1 complaint we hear at Armadillo is, ‘I wish I still had my turntable’ or ‘I wish I didn’t throw away my records.’ ”

Longtime residents may remember Armadillo Music and KDVS putting on “record swaps” in the past.

“They’ve held them for years, anywhere they can get the space to do it,” Wilbur said. “But the term ‘record swap’ gave people the impression that they were supposed to bring records and trade them for other records.

“In fact, all they need to bring is money to buy records. There is very little swapping at these events, except maybe from vendor to vendor.”

Since Wilbur has taken on this project, there have been five such events in two years.

“The Natsoulas Gallery has been so gracious with their space that we have used them for the last five music fairs,” he said. “The space is perfect for 16 vendors.”

But with the increase in vinyl popularity, the interest in vendor space has grown. The last fair sold out vendor space two days before the event; this one sold out a month in advance.

“We turned away vendors,” Wilbur said. “We’re already gearing up for Aug. 5, at the Senior Center, which will have three times the vendors as this one.”

What can shoppers expect to find?

“Both great deals and rare finds,” Wilbur said. “You might get a Bob Dylan record for $4, or you might find a mobile fidelity sound recording of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ for $100.

“I am always surprised at the great cheap records, as well as the willingness of people to shell out big money for the rare records they can’t live without.”

Besides great records, what else is available?

“Some vendors bring CDs, T-shirts, posters, stickers, memorabilia and other music-related items. You never know what they are going to bring,” Wilbur said.

He also offered some advice: “Bring cash and a bag; you will need both!” Cash is important, as many vendors don’t except credit/debit cards.

Representatives from UC Davis’ volunteer-run free-form radio station, KDVS, also will be at the music fair, selling T-shirts and old records, and promoting their fundraiser in April.

“If you want to donate to the station at that time,” Wilbur said, “I am sure they will take your money to support free-form radio!”

— Reach Landon Christensen at [email protected]

Landon Christensen

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