Where artists present themselves in their own words
Monday, 26 January 2015
Ears and Eyes Presents: Vinyl Listening Party - this Friday @ cafe Natura
The tinderbox sat down with Shane Erikson, aka DJ Seith,
the man behind the Vinyl Listening Parties, to talk turkey and get funked.
Let's start with when did the listening parties first start and who runs them?
I first had the idea back in May of 2014 at a Youth Social Infrastructure camping retreat during a World Cafe where I got to sit down with Lisa Hollingshead and talk about the music scene in Northern Ontario at length. The idea gestated from that talk and sat on the backburner until early September when I was speaking with Jessica Bolduc of Ears And Eyes and we worked together to make the first one happen at Cafe Natura on Elgin St. The parties are run by Ears And Eyes with promotional help from The Rad Zone.
Why do you believe the medium of vinyl to be so important?
It is the medium of music delivery with the longest track-record in the history of mankind, second only to playing music live. But why do I personally find it important? As a turntablist DJ, I love the feel of manipulating wax under a needle to create cool sounds. There is really no substitute for that feeling of working to mix music in such an immediately understandable way. As a listener and collector, I really enjoy going to a record store and spending time rooting around in their wares for something that catches my ear. I primarily look for oldschool hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, afro-latin, anything with a funky drum to it. That or very quirky electronic sounds, those make for lots of fun to scratch with. And when I find a good record, there is a rush to that. I'm all for listening to and mixing music in any form, digitally or otherwise, but I put vinyl above all the others, for sure.
Word. So how do the events aim to share the experience of vinyl?
The events are designed to provide a warm, inviting atmosphere for people to get together and enjoy the vinyl-listening experience in a social setting. For collectors, it is a chance to share some stories of collecting and/or music history with others, as well as bring out interesting pieces of vinyl and play them to a crowd, and for non-collectors, the event can act as a "gateway" into new styles of music that they may not have heard before, and it can also act as a starting point for would-be collectors, as we have a crate of hand-picked vinyl at every party, with reduced party-only prices courtesy of Paul and the gang at The Rad Zone.
We even have a draw every month for a 25$ gift certificate to The Rad Zone, good for use on any used vinyl in the store.
We also support local art and music at the merch table.
It's a really neat community activity. Do you feel that the ease and scope of what's available digitally has robbed people of the opportunity to DJ together?
I would say it has changed the way we share music. It is much easier to share music with others and start dialogue about music online, but that has given way to a listener's need for the personal element. Part of the appeal of the vinyl listening party comes from exactly that; people in a cafe listening to records. It brings the romance back to listening to music in a way online interactions never could.
It's a little daunting to think of the great progress we've seen in our lifetime as far as access and sharing goes. It's almost as though we never missed the romance of the communal listening experience until it began to disappear