LINER NOTES

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Storage

Whether you have a big collection or you've purchased your first record, you need to understand the important ways to store your precious investments.

There are some people that swear by certain storage methods and all I can say is do your research rather than by the trial and error method. I see storage of records on tv shows / movies and laugh at the bad storage methods, which instantly draws me away from what is happening on screen. Think of records the same as books on a shelf in a library. They are usually stored vertically with support across the entire sleeve. Its good for the Wax and also much easier to retrieve the record you want to Spin next by having your records stored this way. 

Now you wouldn't overcrowd a shelf with books (if you really love them) so you wouldn't do it with your records. Always check out the weight limit of the shelf or area you are using for storage as records are heavy. There is usually a sticker with the maximum weight on the shelf itself or brackets used. I have the records with enough space to support one another but not to make it difficult to remove them from the cube. If you are rubbing the records together when removing them, then you have too many in that cube. Anywhere between 40-50 will fit nicely. 

  

I've used many different methods of storage over the years but the best method going right now would be the cube units from your local hardware/furniture supplier. Due to having small children, I was forced to come up with some doors and transform the television unit into a DIY hutch. Its effective as a deterrent for now but I'm sure our son will figure out how to get in eventually. 

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I started off with Plastic tubs that are similar to your standard flip box style (flipping through a 'crate' is one of the most therapeutical things you could do - trust me). For the set-up in our outdoor Entertainment area, we have the Marshall Woburn II speaker and Audio Technica BT turntable. It doesn't provide the same range as our loungeroom larger set-up but its functional and lets us enjoy records in our backyard. I mention this because on the wall outside is a secured plastic tub that we use as a flip box at a height that our children wont reach - Yet. 

 

I'll bring out roughly 10-15 records at a time and we get that enjoyment of 'crate digging' (even though they are already in our collection). When we're finished out the back, I bring the records inside and store them in the cubed unit. The outside area is undercover but it can get quite muggy so prolonged storage of records in those conditions wouldn't be smart. 

 

Once our collection increased we had to expand and in that comes more challenges. While you listen to your wax it's fine to keep them piled on top of each other (obviously in amounts of 5 or so records stacked but I wouldn't do it for long-term storage). The weight can be problematic for the records on the bottom and most of the time the records are not aligned and increase the risk of falling over. 

Another tip - Don't leave your records hanging over an edge or with weight placed on them. The record over time will become warped and wont sit flat on the platter. Some tonearms can move up and down enough with the rotation of the record but some people have lost prized records due to poor storage techniques. Also your Pets might love playing with records but records don't love playing with your pets! 

Look around your room for windows that will bring the sunshine into your listening space. Don't let the sun shine directly on your wax family! I have a protected window due to the front room being an extension to the old front of the house and used as  the sun room. There is no way sunshine will trouble our collection but at the same time enough light comes into the room. People might set up their system and collection in the perfect spot, only to notice it's ever so close to the fireplace or heater unit. Please make sure the distance from the heat source is a good couple of metres away. 

You can use dividers to quickly see how you've categorised your collection but I haven't felt the need. Because I put them in categories, I already know where they are so it would just take up room for another record by using a divider. If you do prefer to use them, make sure they are flat and the size of a sleeve in order to support the records around them. I've seen a couple of wooden ones online that seem to do the job. I have purposely left the collection sitting further back in the cube due to prying fingers of our children but you can always add a small piece of wood at the read. This is cheap and effective in stopping the record being pushed too far back. I've used this method before and it provides a better aesthetic to your collection by bringing them all to the front of the cube. 

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Record Club Subscriptions 

When it comes to record clubs and monthly subscription services, all I can say is explore a couple of options and check out reviews before you sign up. A lot of people on reddit will provide some honest feedback that can steer you in the right direction. There are some really good companies out there providing quality products but can be quite expensive, especially if you are signing up for a subscription outside of your country. Below is a list of subscription companies that I think are worth checking out: 

Vinyl Me Please (VMP) - Colorado, USA

Waxx Lyrical - Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia 

Black Box Record Club - Illinois, USA

Gimme Metal Vinyl Club - California, USA

'Vinyl Me Please' was something my music loving friend 'Dr Jazz' got me into after he had discovered it. The Record of the Month (ROTM) is sent to your doorstep every month anywhere from $55-70AUD. You can purchase multiple records to be sent at the same time to make the most of the free shipping for members. The ROTM categories are 'Essentials, Rap/Hip-Hop, Classics and Country. I've used this company and they are set up well to deal with your questions or faults with presses. Personally, I have not experienced a fault with a record but someone close to me has and 'VMP' send you a replacement copy once you've explained the fault. If there is a ROTM that you don't really want to spend your hard earned money on, then you get an opportunity to swap to other records within their store from previous ROTM or store exclusives. There are a number of records in our collection from 'VMP' so keep a look out for them when they come up as a Spin. 

Next on the list is 'Waxx Lyrical', which is out of Fortitude Valley - Australia and one that I've wanted to sign up to for a while now . From all accounts they have put together a nice product similar to 'VMP' - but an option for all the music lovers Down Under. For $65AUD per month they offer the ROTM mixed with different exclusive items that change on a monthly basis. 'Waxx Lyrical' also provide a Feature Album service in which they will offer an additional record that they feel you must have in your collection for no extra cost. You just need to see what record is being released and make sure it's not one you already have in your collection. They provide a store section similar to VMP where you can browse through lots of additional records and add them to your box for free or select to ship separately for an additional cost. Super personable via their emails and will include in reviews once we have experienced personally. {EDIT: I have since joined this wonderful music community and have had the pleasure to call Ben a friend of R'nR With Rylo! Upon sign up we received Waxx Lyrical stubby holder with our first month records and regular chats on socials. Highly recommend you support this record club}. 

A new style experience is the 'Black Box Record Club' based out of Chicago, USA. This record subscription has a very interesting idea - link your Spotify listening habits and link your Discogs library and each month they will send you 2 x mystery records based on who they think you need to listen to. For my wife and I , we would need to clear out our listening habits otherwise we would end up with the Wiggles or Baby Shark on wax! (Thanks son). Because they have access to what records you already own there shouldn't be any double ups being sent your way. Unfortunately this one is only available if your live in USA or Canada but hoping for this idea or company to expand once they get a bigger following. For approximately $60-$70AUD per month you will receive 2 x records along with custom merch items and invitations to members only events/giveaways. Also if your lucky enough to live in the USA then your shipping is always free. 

Last on my list is 'Gimme Metal Vinyl Club' based out of San Francisco, USA. This one focuses on Metal and all things metal. I would have tried this when they started up for the $40-$50AUD per month cost but they don't ship to Australia yet. If you're into bands such as Khemmis, Death, Ghost or Amon Amarth then check them out. It is a bit cheaper than the other subscription services but if you don't enjoy pulling metal faces whilst listening then this probably isn't the sound for you. 

If you have the money and think subscription services on a monthly basis could be worth a try then give it a go. They all seem to be available on a 1 month plan (which is the most expensive for long term subscription). You don't get the feel of crate diggin' but you get to be apart of a record loving community, even for a little while, which is the best feeling there is. 

Make sure to comment on our socials and talk all things music! 

 

Come back soon for more Liner Notes with Rylo! 

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What's In The Record Jacket? 

When you purchase a record there are varying factors that might make one stand out more than others, due to added extras within the cover. Most of the modern records come with a mp3 downloadable code as a standard or sometimes a compact disc (Black Sabbath repress and Dream Theater to name some examples). In the 60's, 70's and 80's there were usually posters thrown in the sleeve so you could put your favourite musicians up on your bedroom wall. I know that that bands like 'Ghost' include a lyric booklet with accompanying illustrations that really add to the overall record.

Other musicians tend to go with the minimalistic approach when it comes to the vinyl package - no poly sleeves, no lyrics, no gatefold, no track listing on the back cover etc. It can be a way to either make you purchase the record because you want to know what's inside or be enough to make you walk away from that purchase. I don't know about you but I am a sucker for a lyrics sheet (even though most of the time the lyrics are wrong) and little trinkets included. It makes the overall experience that much better when you place the LP on the turntable and look at what's included whilst it spins. I'm sure that musicians and labels will find more extravagant items to include within the record covers to entice buyers. 

I feel the minimum should be a lyric insert and poly bag for the record itself. So many times you get a new record and you struggle to get the record out of the paper slip due to the static build up. This can cause ripping or paper sticking to the record which could easily be avoided by including the anti-static record bags. 

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