To many people, vinyl records are a thing of the past. An anachronism. Dinosaur technology.
But ask a true audiophile — say Mark Browning, owner of Cosmic Dave's Vinyl Emporium on Kathleen Street — and you'll discover what he, and thousands like him already know: vinyl, unlike disco, is not dead at all.
“I feel like there's something special about records,” Browning said when Northern Life visited his shop recently.
With his alt country band, Ox, Browning and his crew have been mainstays on the Canadian indie music scene for a decade. And while he loves making music, Browning said he always wanted to own a record store.
Five years ago, he did just that and became an entrepreneur.
And it isn't just folks who remember when vinyl was king who come to Cosmic Dave's. Teenagers, those who grew up with CDs and MP3s, have discovered the warm sound of records.
“The cool kids are getting into records,” Browning joked.
It's become a minor trend for some artists to release vinyl records again and many CDs are being re-pressed as records to capture a piece of that market.
The 45s he sells are popular as collector's items.
Reflecting on his childhood a bit, the 42-year-old always remembers a healthy collection of records in his house when he was growing up.
“My father was the general manager at (former Sudbury radio station) CKSO,” Browning said. “We had a collection of records already in the house.”
It wasn't just his father, though, who kept the the younger Browning in vinyl. His uncle would often buy records and leave them at the house for him to listen to — something Browning said likely contributes to his love of classic, late 1970s-era tones.