Saturday was the last day of South By Southwest’s music conferences and exhibitions.
Shay attended “Where Will the Vinyl Industry be in 2018?” by panelists Eric Astor, Ben Blackwell, Billy Fields and Cameron Schaefer. So, is vinyl just a fad? As we at KZSC already know, it is far from a fad. With 30,000 records under our roof, record collecting isn’t anything new. It’s been around since the 1880s, and has transitioned through many mediums since that time. However, the more recent phenomenon is color vinyl. Some argue that the sound quality of color vinyl is not as great as regular pressings. Astor confirmed: technically, color is not as great because it is pressed as a novelty, not for best quality. On the topic of limited edition color pressings, Blackwell, of Psychedelic Stooge and Third Man Records, said “If you’re a record collector, Third Man is going to f*** with you.” If you really think the sound quality on a limited edition record is not as good, you can always sell it and buy the black vinyl version. While press time varies for each record and each company, the four panelists all had similar predictions that the general market for vinyl will go up. As general stores shift their focus away from physical albums due to streaming services, more record stores are opening up, which is in part due to the popularity of “Record Store Day”. When asked what could ultimately crush the vinyl industry, Blackwell made a point that the vinyl industry is dependent upon the oil industry. When oil prices rose several years ago, record prices went up, but when the oil prices dropped back down, the same did not happen for records. The medium’s price and popularity is growing, but will this rise lead to its revitalization, or its downfall?
Nikhil and Chelsea had the most fortunate opportunity of meeting the one and only Nardwuar the Human Serviette of CITR! He shared some of his watershed interviews over his career, highlighting his encounters with artists like Questlove and Pharrell who were taken aback by his extensive research and kindness, as well as other bands, such as Blur and Sonic Youth, who were less than kind to him. He encouraged the audience to persevere in their interests and take the time to do the the hard work that others won’t, for that is what will set you apart. Nardwuar also incredibly approachable and gave KZSC a nice little station ID, which will be gracing our airwaves in the near future.
We caught a few shows Saturday evening, including Yonatan Gat, Froth, T Hardy Morris, and Charles Bradley, who may be the only soul to have ever brought an audience to tears whilst wearing a sleeve-cut Diana Ross shirt on stage.
Visiting Austin for South by Southwest was a fantastic experience. Huge thanks to our friends Toni and Jeff Albrecht for allowing us to crash in their home for the week. Also a big thanks to Keith Rozendal and Lucy Rojas for helping us arrange the trip. Until next time Texas.
KZSC Santa Cruz