Get your fix at the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap

by Ryo Miyauchi

Finding new records should be more than a simple shopping trip. For those looking to hang out as you shop for your favorite music, a visit to Vinyl Junkies Record Swap gets you more than new vinyl in your collection. The bi-monthly record swap event, held at The Casbah, invites music lovers to enjoy the search for new music while having fun in the company of other fans.

Vinyl Junkies Record Swap began from a simple chat between friends. Eric Swarth, former owner of local record store M-Theory Music, spoke to Tim Mays, owner of The Casbah, about starting a record swap in San Diego. As they planned it out, the two decided to change the event  from traditional record swaps with the addition of their own ideas.

“I thought I could start something and add other aspects to it,” Swarth said. “We have DJs involved. Food and drinks. We start ours later, at 11 a.m., when traditional record swaps start at six or seven in the morning.”

Swarth chooses local music supporters or members of his favorite bands to spin records at each event. For the April event he brought Robin Roth, the music director for 91X, and Dale Crover, drummer for punk band, The Melvins, among others to DJ for an hour or two. Food vendors are also on site and drinks are available courtesy of The Casbah.

Beyond an ordinary swap meet, Vinyl Junkies Record Swap provides a fun social gathering welcoming all music fans. The vendors at the event sell records from a wide selection of genres, from rock and jazz to hip-hop. Even if the records in the bins don’t particularly stick out, the food, drinks and live music at The Casbah should make it a worthy hangout event for friends. As an event, the swap brings something that record shops, physical or digital, can’t offer.

“I want this event to be, even if someone is not familiar with records or own a turntable, still a cool event to hang out,” Swarth said. “Listen to the DJs. Eat some food. Have a couple drinks. It’d be just a good opportunity to hang with friends.”

The first swap in August packed a full house, and the event has been growing since, Swarth said. The fifth swap took place earlier in April, and Vinyl Junkies Record Swap looks forward to its next event on June 7. Currently, the events are only for fans 21 and older, and admission is only $3. Come for the records, stay for a great hang.

Also read: Weekend Picks: Young the Giant and a Record Sale