Vinyl Record Giveaway Nights

vinyl record like they play at saloonDiamond Jim’s Saloon¬†always had a lot of special events nights. I guess that’s obvious. I mean, it’s a gay bar. Of course there were tons of event nights and usually with garish decorations, ridiculous themes and everything else you associate with gay bars. And it was amazing. Every single time.

One of my favorite nights, though, was the record giveaway night. There were a couple different DJs who played at the saloon and they always played unique music. They each had their own styles, but they played wonderful tunes that you didn’t hear a lot of other places. And they all used turntable record players. There were no fancy CD or laptop setups with controllers. No, it was just two turntables and a mixer. The way it should be.

Most of the DJs who played there also played other bars, but they played different music there. The vinyl records they played at Diamond Jim’s were unique to Diamond Jim’s. For this reason, after spinning them a few times, they didn’t really need them anymore. The saloon owner took advantage of this, by holding giveaways.

For these giveaways, they would have various contests, like karaoke nights (always a huge favorite among the queer crowd), dance contests, costume contests, drink making contests (I believe this is where the obsession with tea drinks began) and so on. They were all a blast and the winners would get various vinyl records to take home. I actually won a couple of them, but I didn’t have a record player at home to play them on.

cheap turntable record playerObviously, I decided I should get one. I always thought they were really expensive, but it turns out you can get a ton of great record players for under hundred dollars. The reviews on that helped me a lot in deciding on a good turntable for my home. I bought one that has speakers in it and that also plays CDs and radio and other types of music. That way I could use it for anything.

It also allowed me to record from my vinyl records to my MP3 player. That was really cool, because the records were unique and not really available in other formats. You may have noticed that I’m using the past tense. That’s because most of them are now broken or have¬†disappeared. Luckily, because I recorded them to MP3, I still have the music. But I do miss having the actual records and I wish they were still around.

I recently taken up going to record stores and browsing through their vinyl collection. This is really fun to do, but it can become an expensive hobby. I find that every time I do that, I stumble across tons of old music I used to love, but forgot existed.

Naturally, I then have to buy all those vinyl records and rush home and play them on my little record player. The records are not hugely expensive, but when you buy a bunch at once and you go every single week to buy more, the costs do add up. And now we have record store day coming up….

I always wondered why the hipsters were so into vinyl all of a sudden, but after I got my own record player, I started to understand. There’s just something really cool about the sound these records produce. It just sounds so different, so much warmer, so much more the way you think music should sound. Even on the little speakers on my player, they sound great.

I do plan on upgrading my stereo system, so that I can play my records on better speakers in the future. I suppose at that point, I will have an excuse to buy even more and I will spend even more money. Oh well, at least it’s going toward a good cause, right?