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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Pueblo Record Club Looking for Vinyl Enthusiasts

Photo by Theoren Gernazio
Thad Stelter, founder of Vinyl Destination record club, during last month’s meeting on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Beginning in October 2023, Pueblo City-County Library District and Analogue teamed-up to bring a record club to town called Vinyl Destination. This collaboration came from Thad Stelter, who works as a program and outreach specialist for the library district. 

“I love vinyl. I wanted to try and bring it into my library programming. I first started doing it here at the library in 2017 and we had a good little group going. We had to stop it with the pandemic, but I had been looking for opportunities to resume it and an opportunity arose to hold the record club monthly at Analogue Books & Records,” Stelter said. 

Analogue Books & Records is next door to Solar Roast Coffee. Both businesses are owned by Mike Hartkop. The record club meets once a month, and every month, a different record is selected.

When deciding on what record to highlight for the month, Stelter takes into consideration any themes for the month, as well as discussing with Hartkop the availability of getting enough copies for anyone wanting to purchase the record. In February, for example, the library program themes were centered around Black History Month, so Stelter thought of a favorite record of his, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, to be the highlighted record for February. 

“To become an official member of the club, all you have to do is show up to our monthly meeting,” Stelter said.

The record club previously met the last Thursday of every month. Starting in March, members plan to meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  

The meeting lasts from 7-9 p.m. Guests are welcome to grab a beverage from the Analogue Bar if they like. The group gathers around a table in the record section of the store, listens to the record, and talks about it.

The album “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye was the record club’s highlighted record for the month of February. (Photo by Theoren Gernazio)

“The expectations and etiquette in short for Vinyl Destination is that there isn’t any. If people would like to listen to the album in advance and have discussion points, they can. One thing I’ve found so far is that usually folks come well-versed in the album already and so it’s pretty easy to start up conversation around it,” said Stelter.

The discussions the record club have cover a variety of topics. Sometimes they will talk specifically about the music, the history or the life of the artist, or world events going on during the time of the record release. 

Stelter hopes to increase membership of the Vinyl Destination record club and hopes to see more people at the monthly event itself through continued promotion.

The club and its collaborators use Facebook and Instagram for their social media. The library does two posts over a couple of weeks leading up to the event and Analogue mainly focuses on using visuals of the record in their shop through Instagram. Stelter recently created a Facebook group for the group itself and uses Facebook event pages to spread information about his Vinyl Destination record club.

“Over the last decade, I think there’s been an increase in interest in vinyl. It’s kind of had a resurgence. It’s not to say that it’s necessarily better than any other form of music, it’s certainly much more fun for sure. It’s fun to look at album art and listen to the vinyl and just how deep the sound is and because of that growing popularity, that’s why we choose to focus on vinyl as opposed to other formats,” Stelter said.

Local records are put on display at Analogue Books & Records. (Photo by Theoren Gernazio)

Analogue Books & Records is one of the last record stores in Pueblo. The former Independent Records on Fourth Street closed in Pueblo last year, along with the locations in Colorado Springs. With the increase in digital forms of music and online streaming, the preservation of physical media is in question.

“There’s always that concern that vinyl may disappear again. I think you can look at that with other forms of media, books for example. If you look at a general library collection, there’s far fewer physical books and there’s a greater focus on digital materials. I think that will probably continue and I don’t worry too much because vinyl has come back, and I think there’s enough folks that love it enough to keep it alive in some shape or form,” Stelter said.

Stelter’s goal is to connect people through music. He wants people to know that the record club is there for people to join. 

“It’s still a relatively new program and I think there are a lot of vinyl enthusiasts in Pueblo. I think it would be cool to just gather folks from all different ages and backgrounds and share the music that they love and then talk about a record that they may connect with other people,” Stelter said.

The next Vinyl Destination record club meeting will be Wednesday, Mar. 27, at 7 p.m. Analogue Books & Records is at 216 N. Main St.

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