Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting Into The Groove.

Getting Into The Groove:
Creating a record funded community organization.

This week I had to fly to LA. My best friend had a wedding to go to. I had practically forgot that I agreed to go until the last minute. I am glad that someone else handled most of this or I wouldn't of had any tickets. Originally I did not want to go...I am preparing for a huge record sale and I have hundreds of records on the floor and thousands of records in boxes. I was convinced that I needed a vacation so with that I went to LA...not much arm twisting needed.
We got there in one piece. The whole time I was carrying a pad and pen, writing notes on what I wanted RECORDHEADZ to accomplish. Of course, I want to sell records. I have collected close to 40,000 LP's, 12" Singles, and 45's in various conditions from rare to raggedy.

I had never really thought about what I wanted to do with all of the records. To be honest, I never set out to own all of them. They just kinda found me...at least in the beginning. I use to produce house and hip-hop tracks, and i started researching records with certain drums, bass lines, or horn licks. I was a deejay and I brought lots of disco, funk, and danceable tracks. I played electric and upright bass with hip-hop and jazz groups. I brought lots of records just for the baselines or the solos as I was studying jazz by following the records that highlighted its great players.

Off the subject...I think LA was a great place to go and think about records as they have some pretty cool shops. I have to remember that parking in LA is different than here in Seattle. We drove around for a while to find parking at every stop we made. All that driving and walking was a good "meditation".

While thinking on the flight, I realized that I really wanted to help young musicians make music. I wanted to figure out a way to support and sponsor organizations and events using only or mostly funding created from the sale of my record collection.

Great idea I thought...but what does it look like in the real world? Where do I sell them? Are the records I own enough? If not, how do we get more? Do we sell cheap and fast or hold out for big dollars? Do I need to hire a staff or do I get volunteers? As you can see, I had lots of questions to answer to myself first.

Since I was thinking so much about records and vinyl, I might as well take a look at what Los Angeles has to offer. I grabbed the phone book and went to work. LA has more people, more stations, and no surprises...more records. I am noticing that most of the Deejays I see are using Serato, Traktor, or some other computer based solution.

This could mean good things if you are looking for records...not so good if you are selling them. It seems that many Deejays and hardcore collectors still have a lust for vinyl as well as a new generation of music lovers that were not even born when records were first taken out of the major sales outlet and replaced with "soulless" and sonically inferior compact disc. I think the MP3 was the "last straw" for real music lovers. Yes, you can have thousands of songs on your phone or MP3 player...but they will mostly sound like crap (if your the type that cares about stereo imaging or bass response). I think that after Napster (of the '90s and early 2K) many folks just can't pay for a MP3 after getting them for free. You get no art, no lyrics, and nothing that you really own because of user agreements and copy protection.
Believe me...I own my records. If not, quite a few record companies owe me lots of $$$ for moving and storage.

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