Summer is here and suddenly you don’t feel like staying inside and getting cosy with your record collection. Never fear, there are still plenty of ways to keep your musical (and creative) feet wet during the summer months. From streaming your record collection in the garden to making yourself a new wine rack, we’ve found some of the best solutions for spending time with your record collection inside and outside of your home – and a little bit further.
Since magic was brought to the masses around ten years ago with apps and Bluetooth and streaming, if you can think of an idea, you can be sure someone has already invented it. Listening to your record collection outside brings to mind a lot of heavy lifting, complicated wiring and broken records. Invest in a RokBlock and you can listen to vinyl outside of the comfort of your own living room. Like a pendulum, the small block rides along your records and serves as both needle and speaker. All you need is a flat surface to place your records on and set the RokBlok away. Dubious about something dragging across your precious records? The RokBlok was designed with this in mind as to not damage your records. Even better, it connects to external speakers via Bluetooth, so you can make sure your music is heard loud and clear! RokBlok is available on Kickstarter for around $99.
Looking for something a little closer to home? Yamaha’s MusicCast is a turntable that will stream music to every internet enabled device in the home. For something more permanent, invest in MusicCast-enabled hi-fi systems around the home to enjoy the sound of vinyl away from your record player. Included with the turntable are Spotify, Tidal and Deezer as well as TuneIn Internet radio. Take one of your MusicCast wireless speakers outside to listen to your favourite tunes in the garden! Crack open a beer and rejoice.
With the brighter weather, so comes spring cleaning. Maybe you didn’t notice the cobwebs and dust bunnies surrounding your record collection in the darkness of winter. But now that sun is streaming through your windows, maybe it’s time for a little clear up. Pull everything off your shelves before giving it a good a dust. Have a check inside dust jackets to see if your records are looking clean. If they need a spruce, take them for a dunk in the Spin Clean Vinyl Record Washer MKII Record Cleaning System. Even better, if it’s a nice day outside, you can do this in the sunshine. Make sure to spin dry before putting straight back into their jackets. Don’t want all those chemical bonds to break down in the sunshine now, do we? Once everything has been wiped, dusted and cleaned, it’s time to put your record collection back in its place. Sort alphabetically, by genre or controversially, by spine colour. The choice is yours.
Maybe the old creative itch is knocking on your door. If you can’t quite bear to throw out those records you no longer want, but don’t really want them polluting your carefully curated collection, there are other options. Make surplus records into bookends, transform into a side table, or craft a new clock using the vinyl as the face. More options include a wine rack, a cake stand, chip bowls, coasters, placemats, and our favourite, a magazine holder. Most of these projects can be done in an afternoon and require minimal materials, so fire up your glue gun and get started!
Venturing further from home, get yourself down to a music festival. One of the best things about festivals are the merchandise tents. Rows upon rows of independent record labels and their imaginatively put together vinyl packages, mini merch and apparel. Get out there in the sunshine, taking your pick from Toronto’s NXNE (June 8-17), Montebello’s Rock Festival (June 14-16), Sled Island Music & Arts Festival in Calgary (June 20-24), Le Festival d’été de Quebec (July 5-15), Ottawa Bluesfest (July 5-15), Winnipeg Folk Fest (July 5-8), Funky Moose-sponsored Chesterfest in Prince Albert (July 5-7) or New Glasgow’s Riverfront Jubilee (August 3-5). Get out there and go see artists you love and find new ones to covet.
We hope we’ve inspired you to crash into summer with a bang. Enjoy your records outside, have a clear out, be creative and get outside. Before you know it, the drizzle of fall will return, so get out there and get moving! Have a cracking summer and let us know what you get up to in the comments below.