Music News & Reviews

SLO Record Swap aims to connect local vinyl enthusiasts

San Luis Obispo DJ Malik Miko Thorne started his record collection in fourth grade with the choicest of selections — a copy of New Edition’s “Candy Girl.”

Over the years, the self-described “vinyl nerd” has amassed about a thousand records in genres ranging from Afrobeat to classic soul. He’s drawn to the tactile and visual nature of the medium, as well as analog sound quality he considers superior to CDs, cassette tapes and MP3s.

“It’s the perfect medium for music,” explained Thorne, manager and buyer for Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo.

Thorne and fellow DJ Manuel Barba will share their love of vinyl Sunday at the first-ever SLO Record Swap. The free event, which is aimed at everyone from hardcore collectors to casual fans, runs 8:30 a.m. to noon in the main hall of the San Luis Obispo Grange Hall at 2880 Broad St. There will be opportunities to swap records — and buy or sell them.

The duo modeled Sunday’s swap after the Beat Swap Meet, a traveling flea market for record enthusiasts eager to sort through stacks of LPs and singles. It’s like a comic-book convention or film festival for the musically inclined, Thorne explained.

“You start meeting people who have similar tastes. Suddenly you make a friend,” he said, which inevitably leads to exchanges. “You may have a record at home that you’re sitting on that he wants.”

According to Thorne, Sunday’s event will feature up to 12 registered vinyl and audio equipment vendors, including Boo Boo Records and Vinyl Isle in Morro Bay. Non-vendors are invited to bring a few records to swap, he said.

In addition, Live Local Apparel of San Luis Obispo will sell regular merchandise as well as freshly screen-printed SLO Record Swap T-shirts.

Thorne and Barba hope the SLO Record Swap will help the area’s vinyl enthusiasts connect with like-minded folks. Currently, Thorne said, Central Coast residents with high-end record collections are often forced to sell their wares online because they can’t find buyers locally.

“We know there are other people out there who like (vinyl) as much as we do,” he said.