Capitol's WAX Event Is Vinyl Enthusiasts' Dream
October 27, 2015 at 4:00 AM (PT)
It might have been unseasonably warm in SOCAL this past weekend but that didn't stop vinyl enthusiasts from heading to the back lot at HOLLYWOOD's iconic CAPITOL RECORDS building for WAX, the first-ever music industry event focusing on vinyl, music goods and record collecting culture. The two-day event (10/24-25) featured rare record collectors, independent record stores, and record labels providing visitors the opportunity to check out and purchase a wide selection of vinyl records, rare music merchandise, artwork, and collectibles.
JEFF BOWERS of FEDERAL PRISM RECORDS co-founded WAX, along with the CAPITOL MUSIC GROUP. BOWERS is one of the principals credited with building the international RECORD STORE DAY phenomenon (planned for APRIL 16th, 2016 -- mark your calendars).
Vendors for the event included CAPITOL STUDIOS, BLUE NOTE, VIRGIN, HARVEST and CAROLINE DISTRIBUTION, and local independent labels including STONES THROW and INNOVATIVE LEISURE (who provided fantastic DJ sets each day), BURGER RECORDS and DELICIOUS VINYL, among others. Several record stores were represented, including AMOEBA, ROCKAWAY, HIGH-FIDELITY and the RECORD PARLOUR.
"My vision for WAX was to bring the energy around vinyl culture together in a live event setting so that record collectors, record stores, labels, distributors, artists and fans can get creative, have a dialog, collaborate and of course, buy, sell and trade," said BOWERS. "CAPITOL, HARVEST and CAROLINE are full of creative people, with awesome ideas who appreciate how important the vinyl scene is to the sustainability of music."
Guests at the event could attend two panel discussions on SATURDAY, one moderated by BOWERS with several panelists including BERNIE GRUNDMAN and CHRIS BELLMAN (BERNIE GRUNDMAN MASTERING), and a later panel hosted by ANALOG PLANET editor MICHAEL FREMER featuring a number of album art designers including JOHN KOSH (BEATLES, ELO) and ANDY ENGEL (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MICHAEL JACKSON).
Vinyl sales of both new and used records have hit chart-breaking levels, the highest sales numbers in 20 years, and due to that increased demand, CAPITOL STUDIO's mastering experts keep two lathes running full-time. As a special treat, guests were given the rare opportunity to experience the mastering process performed right there inside the historic Tower. Top 40 Editor ED BROWN was lucky to witness the process first-hand, courtesy of CAPITOL STUDIOS & MASTERING's KAREN LUCENTE, as vinyl engineer IAN SEFCHICK cut vinyl lacquers from analog tape on a CAPITOL NEUMANN lathe.
WAX's weekend of fun concluded with an auction, featuring some very rare items, including a signed piece of a smashed PETE TOWNSHEND guitar, an original ELVIS PRESLEY SUN RECORDS 7-inch, a FENDER TELECASTER signed by TOM PETTY and the 12 acetates cut during the vinyl mastering demonstrations.
A big thank you to everyone who made this terrific event possible. See you next year!