Vinyl to the people, for the people, by the people


Afaq Pooja in the groove. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

North State Vintage Record Society held their first-ever Vinyl to the People event Friday night at Blackbird books, gallery and café. Guests were invited to bring their own records, learn how to DJ and discuss their love for vinyl music.

Inside Blackbird
The homelike feel decore makes Blackbird very comfortable to hang out. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

The purpose of the night was to educate people on how to properly play records and allow guests to hear their favorite songs played on vinyl.

Turn Table
With Vinyl records you can create interesting sounds just the touch of your fingers. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

DJ Byrdie, one half of the Record society, hosted the event. She set up her turntables and sound system in Blackbird’s main room. Many guests had mutual connections within the Chico art and music scene. DJ Byrdie began the night by playing LPs, a standard-sized vinyl, from her personal collection, creating a soft and welcoming atmosphere inside the coffee house.

DJ Byrdie
DJ Byrdie talking about the magic of vinyl records. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Behind Byrdie was a pile of LPs and an antique box filled with 45s which are smaller vinyls that only hold a few songs. She stressed the importance of having both 45s and LPs in one’s collection, allowing for moments of drawn out stretches of music on LPs, but also balancing that with straight forward tracks on 45s that can be switches out frequently. Both types of vinyl had their pros and cons.

Afaq talking to DJ
DJ Byrdie giving Afaq pointers on how to create sweet music. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

The first guest to play a record from home was Afaq Pooja, Byrdie introduced him to her set up and showed Pooja how to merge one turntable sound into another, mixing the separate tracks. Pooja played a few vinyls varying from obscure artists to singers like Nina Simone, overlapping their songs using the technique DJ Byrdie had taught him. It was evident that the DJ enjoyed watching others learn her craft and genuinely wanted to share her world with others.

DJ Byrdie explained that her idea for the Vinyl to the People event came from one of her first encounters with vinyls.

“I’m from the East Coast and when I moved to San Francisco, all of the clubs and events I went to didn’t play any of the funky soul music I liked,” Byrdie said. “But one night, I found a DJ that played my kind of music on LPs and helped me learn how to DJ myself.”

Ever since then, DJ Byrdie has been playing her vinyl collection at various events in Northern California with the other half of the Record Society, King Tommy.

Watching the relationship between the DJs and their music was entrancing. There is something ethereal about vinyl that can make music sound more raw. Vinyl to the People brought together people of all different tastes of music and taught how to apply their musical interests through vinyls.

To learn more about North State Vintage Record Society and their impact on Chico’s music scene, you can find them on Facebook and at [email protected].

Melissa Joseph can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @melisstweetz.