For the Record
by Defne Karabucak
Photography by Rhiannon Jeselonis
Thanks to the obsession with everything throwback, records are back in style. More students are expanding their musical platforms from solely digital to include vinyl records. Vinyl production started as early as the 1950s, but with record popularity on the rise, places that appeal to young people are increasing their sales of record players and records themselves.
The appeal of records comes from the enhanced quality of the music. In addition, many people like the satisfying feeling of owning hard copies of music. Luckily, students do not have to go far in order to find record stores. In Your Ear Records and Nuggets are both located on campus and have an extensive variety of music.
In Your Ear Records
957 Commonwealth Ave.
This hole in the wall attracts students, professors and anyone else passing through the city. In Your Ear Records is located right underneath Blue State Coffee. The door next to Blue State has stairs that lead to a giant opening of stocked vinyl. All of the records are placed in boxes, labeled with their respective genres. These marked boxes give record enthusiasts a guide that makes navigating an overwhelming sea of records easy and enjoyable.
The owner, Reed Lappin, has been in the record business for 32 years and says a lot of the excitement of looking through old records comes from the exploration of music that isn't mainstream. “There are a lot of records out there that are complete unknowns, unusual records, masterpieces and that’s always the case, you just find things that can blow your mind.”
His love for records is shown through his dedication to constantly finding different collections to cater to all types of music lovers, and is in the store every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thousands of records fill the room, with prices ranging from $2 to $10.
Lappin's favorite part of working at In Your Ear Records is his own exploration of the musical world. He encourages people to look through boxes, with the incentive that you never know what you might find.
“You always discover unusual records you don’t know about, and it’s an ongoing process,” he said. “People have come to understand that there is no end to discovering new music.”
“It can be fun to check out records stores on the weekend, and if a band I love comes out with a new album I'll nearly always buy it on vinyl,” said Casey Lewry (CAS ’19). “In general, though, listening to records is just something that I enjoy.”
486 Commonwealth Ave.
If the idea of traveling to West Campus exhausts you, Nuggets in Kenmore Square is the perfect place to visit in the afternoon. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., it is conveniently situated across the street from the Boston University Bookstore. Owner Stuart Freedman makes sure there is always music playing that can be heard from the streets. This attracts music lovers, who enter the shop and look at the widespread layout of records. Even if you're not into records, the music gives a liveliness that is appreciated by anyone who passes by the store.
Freedman opened up about the appeal of records, saying there was more to it than just the music.
“Records have packages that are more interesting than CDs or online music,” he said. “When you buy a record, your friends come over and you look at the lyric sheet, and if it is opened up, it has a cool cover.”
Stuart explained further that his store is a representation of how inclusive records are. He tries to collect and sell all types of music to people who enjoy and appreciate listening to it.
Whether you’re just browsing or are interested in a certain genre of music, both Stuart Freedman and Reed Lappin are helpful record enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their love of records. Affordable and on campus, these stores give people an opportunity to explore a past musical medium and learn some history.