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Want to take a spin? Vinylpalooza takes a turn in Barrie Sunday

Vinylpalooza takes over Ferndale Banquet Hall this weekend
record display
A sampling of what you can see this weekend at Vinylpalooza. (Contributed photo)

A vinyl record, spinning on a turntable, from which the tunes emanate just like they used to – and damn the tics and pops and scratches; to one devotee, it’s a sound and a feeling that “fills your hands, your heart and your ears all at once.”

If that describes you, and you’re tired of a life of nothing but technology and streaming and CDs, check out the happening known as Vinylpalooza this weekend in Barrie.

One of the organizers, Charlotte Parliament, tells BarrieToday that an album just provides more fun.

“When you listen to an album you are involved in the music and the story behind it," she said. "When you play a record and hold the cover you are involved. It isn't a passive exercise.”

To Parliament, the whole shape, texture and sound of the old-fashioned platter is what it’s all about.

“For me, the beauty is in the unique sound from the grooves, the searching for something new in the bins of old records and at the record shows - there is no shortage of people who are thrilled to talk with you about the record you select - when it was released, what label it is on, who was in the band at the time of the release," she said. 

Charlotte also says, while there’s still a place for CDs and streaming – especially in cars – you can also find seemingly endless variety in the way records look, especially in the colours.

“You can be pleasantly surprised to peek inside and find a bright coloured disc, a picture disc or even a heart or boot or any imaginable shape - which of course I have about a hundred or so in my collection and on display - most of which I bought at the record shows," she said. 

Parliament, while confessing one of her favourite record albums contains the music of John Denver, reckons a lot of record collectors probably could not name any one given record as their favourite.

“And, I'll bet, you'll never get a true answer anyway, because everyone has their guilty little secret about the music they listen to when they are all alone.”

She says event-goers may get lucky and see the occasional turntable brought in, but the show centres on what’s on disc, with the odd bow to the modern age (modern, read “post-1985”).

“The show is more about the records with some CDs, concert DVDs, posters, music magazines, band collectibles, books and you might even find some cassettes and record carrying cases, and record cleaners.

Indeed, the show features 25 dealers from across the province that you can talk to, “all with their unique collections of vinyl and related, and (bringing) their passion for music,” Parliament says.

“The dealers are always excited to be there and share their experiences and talk vinyl, music, bands, and if you get there early enough for the early bird entry, you will see the dealers buying, selling and trading with each other, too.”

And there’s not just listening and fun involved; there’s a worthy cause you can support, with proceeds from Vinylpalooza going to support reading.

“The Barrie Literacy Council has been helping adults upgrade their skills for 39 years. It is a not-for-profit organization working with limited staff and many volunteer tutors. Adults wanting to improve their lives at home, work or for further education can get one-to-one support and individualized learning.”

Come on out to Vinylpalooza, this Sunday, Sept. 23 at Ferndale Banquet Hall, 24 Ferndale Industrial Dr., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $9 for early birds, $10 after 10 a.m. Door prices - $10 for 9am early bird, $3 for 10am regular admission.  Purchases are mostly cash.

Glenn Wilkins

About the Author: Glenn Wilkins

Glenn Wilkins, in a 30-year media career, has written for print and electronic media, as well as for TV and radio. Glenn has two books under his belt, profiling Canadian actors on Broadway and NHL coaches.
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