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Now I know how much vinyl I have

Now I know how much vinyl I have Now I know how much vinyl I have


I recently embarked on one of those projects that only gets done on a lazy weekend afternoon. On the spectrum of importance, it ranked a few steps above rearranging my sock drawer, so I had to wait until I had absolutely nothing more pressing to accomplish.

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I am a collector of music in all of its forms (well, except eight-tracks). The spare bedroom in our apartment is filled with CDs, tapes and two boxes of vinyl records. I’m not exactly a vinyl fanatic, as in I don’t really care that much about the supposedly unique sound quality that comes out of old-fashioned records.

When I do buy old records, it’s for two main reasons: the obscurity of the band and the quality of the album cover artwork. Oh, and price is also a factor, since I don’t mind handing someone a dollar bill for an entire box (This is why I have 11 Kenny Rogers albums in my collection).

For awhile now, I’ve wanted to catalog my vinyl collection, just so I know what’s in those two boxes lying on the floor next to the turntable. Since my early 20s, I’ve belonged to a music geeks’ website called Rate Your Music. It not only allows you to list your own collection of music and write reviews, it’s a wonderful resource for exploring different genres and artists you’ve never heard of before. Because the site is maintained by a worldwide community of music fans, it has amazingly comprehensive charts and lists for everything — from Abkhazian folk music to zydecko.

ItturnsoutIhaveroughly90vinyldisks in my record collection. I say “roughly,” because even though the site does include a lot of obscure titles, I’ve managed to buy a few records that are just too far off the beaten path for even this site’s collection (I can add an entry later if I want).

Out of the 88 records I cataloged, one of the more wonderfully obscure titles I have is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” by a guy from Milwaukee named Sigmund Snopek III. With a name like that — and the weird cover art featuring what looks like a woman’s face eroded by acid rain — I couldn’t pass this up when I found it at Inner Sleeve Records in Wausau a couple years ago. The 1972 album is listed under “progressive rock,” and the only review is in French for some reason. I’ve tried listening to it a couple of times, but it seems to have been recorded at the bottom of a well, so it’s hard to say if I enjoy it or not.

Now that I know all the album titles listed, I’m making a point to listen to the songs themselves on YouTube. Some aren’t too bad, but a lot of older songs just make me fall asleep. Maybe my next goal will be to get an even 100 records, as long as it doesn’t cost me more than five bucks, that is.