Starting today, vinyl enthusiasts can purchase a monthly subscription to a series of t-shirts, each one featuring a different logo from record stores across America, from the Vinyl Shirt Club.
Missouri-based husband and wife team Lea and Ashley Bailes created the Vinyl Shirt Club after revisiting record stores and falling in love with vinyl culture. The shirts will be printed in Kansas City, featuring record store logos used with the proprietors’ permission.
Lea Bailes said he grew up as a music lover, spending hours in CD stores, until the digital age began. While working with a partner on a vinyl cleaning product, he began researching the difference in audio quality between vinyl and digital music. When he found that vinyl sounds better, he said, he began visiting record stores. The community of dedicated, knowledgeable store owners and fellow vinyl consumers kept him coming back.
“As we started spending more time in there, we just really enjoyed it,” Bailes said. “We wanted to do something celebrating that independent business spirit and revival of vinyl records. Plus, record stores have really good logos.”
In comparison to digital streaming services, Bailes said he thinks vinyl records increase people’s appreciation for music.
“When you have it all on your fingertips, you lose the appreciation for it. And what’s crazy is, you can go to a record store and flip through all these thousands of records and you find one and you love it and it’s just this amazing thing, when you could have jumped on to Spotify and pulled it up. The difference I think is the appreciation for it,” Bailes said.
The Vinyl Shirt Club wants to keep each month’s record store logo a surprise, so Bailes can’t say for certain what stores are in the mix, but he said he hopes to include a Tree House Records logo because of the Minneapolis store’s rich history in the record industry.
Monthly subscriptions start at $23, with the option to subscribe for every month or every other month. Until 1:00 p.m. today, the price is further discounted to $17. More information can be found on the Vinyl Shirt Club’s website.
Jackie Renzetti is a student at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities and is a projects reporter at the Minnesota Daily.