LYNN — The vinyl open mic night that became well known at White Rose Coffeehouse is making a comeback.
When the local coffee shop closed down late last year, residents became worried about what would happen to the hosted weekly events they had grown to love. Seth Albaum, curator of Lynn’s turntable show-and-tell, decided it was time to bring back the event, a favorite among locals.
“My first thought after deciding to do it was how people have been asking me if I’m going to do it again, and now I can tell them that I am,” said Albaum. “I hope the old crowd finds it here and maybe new people who never went to White Rose will walk by and see it and maybe even run home to grab a record and come back.”
Albaum’s newest stage will be at IronBound Marketplace on Mt. Vernon St., the most recent addition to the list of downtown Lynn’s hottest hangout spots. The 33⅓ Thursdays Vinyl Open Mic Night will happen on the third Thursday of every month starting June 21.
“Justin Morley, my administrative coordinator, is the one that talked to me about it because he had seen Seth doing it at White Rose before and said how fun it was, so I’m fully for it,” said Cisco Meneses, owner of IronBound. “Music and art are going to be the key pieces down here, you have to have some reason to come down here, and I think spinning some old vinyl is a great idea.”
A few years ago, Albaum was hanging out at a bar in Cambridge on a Sunday when he saw people walking up to a record player, which was propped up with no one spinning it. Strangers began picking vinyl out of a box and queuing them up without hesitation and Albaum immediately became intrigued. Shortly after is when he brought the event to Lynn’s former coffeehouse.
“The response was really good, I only had a couple slow nights and what really blew me away was the age range,” said Albaum. “There were so many older people who live downtown who showed up with their old records to play because they didn’t have anything to play them on themselves.”
The host’s favorite part about the event is the ease in which people share their own stories that relate to whatever record is spinning on the turntable. Albaum, who has hundreds of vinyl in his personal collection, will bring a mystery box of records, with every possible genre of music you could imagine, for attendees to choose from.
“I’m hoping to build the same community of music enthusiasts here, regardless of the age or the genre of music, there isn’t anything that I won’t play,” he said.
Aside from locals choosing from his own collection, Albaum encourages anyone who has records to bring them and stop by the event. As a DJ for the last decade, Albaum acknowledges the ease in which music can be obtained digitally, but also notes the recent epidemic of younger generations jumping on the vinyl bandwagon.
“Other formats of music have come and gone, but records haven’t gotten old,” said Albaum. “I don’t know if it’s the action of queuing one up, holding one in your hands, or even the full-sized album art, but there’s just something special about records.”
Albaum invites everyone to come and listen to the feel good sounds of vinyl, but he wants locals to know this is not a DJ night where people can come to play around with and scratch some records. Albaum will be on a stand with his turntable and a microphone with a time slot sheet that people can sign up on so everyone gets a turn to listen to what they like.
“The main thing is turning this street into what it used to be, don’t forget it was a train on grade and when they elevated it they didn’t want to kill anything underneath and it was for a reason, this was Central Square where central things happened,” said Meneses. “This is like the Grand Canyon, when you close this off, it’s one of the few streets where anything can happen and it’s just a great feel.”