By Tom Westoll

I don’t know how you consume the majority of your music, but I have been appreciating albums on vinyl as the main staple in my musical diet for about the last two years. The reason that I have renewed my interest in albums is in the experience. Listening to the whole thing from start to finish – honestly, what better way is there to actively listen to an album, than on vinyl?

For me, my preferred way to support artists I like is to buy their record. I barely go to shows these days. Why? Dunno.

I do know that I love listening to records though, and I love supporting the things I like. And one of the things I like is music made by fellow Canucks. It gives me a sense of pride, I don’t know why though. Perhaps it’s the same gene that makes me choke back a tear when I’m watching Hockey Night In Canada and the Timbits commercial with Sidney Crosby in it comes on.

I’ve got records by The Sheepdogs, Lisa Leblanc, Chixdiggit, The Crooked Brothers, The Sunparlour Players, Arcade Fire, The Creeps, Cold Warps, Doug & The Slugs, Michael Rault and of course BA Johnston, to name just a handful of Canadian albums, that I have and were not made by a guy named Neil Young. I listen to them all the time. I’m always on the lookout for more that will compliment my collection.

Which is the other reason I am thoroughly enjoying the Vinyl Renaissance. I love the experience (there’s that word again) of being at record stores and flipping through albums. I started this habit of frequenting record stores as a young teen, although in my small hometown, aside from the pawn shops, there were only two CD and tape stores. Going to The City was an occasion, and one that had to include two stops – the skate shop and the record store. I could pass hours at a record store. These days I max out at like, 30 minutes, but oh, what a glorious 30 minutes. Maybe I get some finds, maybe I come out empty handed. It’s the feeling of music stores that I like.

So as I scrolled through facebook today and saw the article posted by, “Vinyl Collectors Are Middle-Aged Loners, According to New Study” , I thought “Middle Aged Loner? Trend Hopping Teen? Not me!”

Then I got to thinking. Sure I own a Crossley record player, but I’m not a teen like the article suggests. Far from it. I’m also not a perpetual bachelor (I’m quite happily married, thank you) with a record collection that encompasses half an entire living room wall like one of my best friends (Love you man). So I can’t be a middle aged loner, can I?

Maybe I am, increasingly so. Which is why I’ve taken to buying records rather than going to shows for the most part. Loner is a harsh word though. I can handle middle aged (although I would love it if my mathematical middle age didn’t come for another 10-15 years). But loner? C’mon!

How do you consume music? Are you a record collector? Why do you like it in that format? Are you nostalgic or forward thinking? Live music over records? Tell us all about it in the comment section.