Hobbies, Crafts & Activities

Take those old records off the shelf

The music industry has been in something of an overhaul for the last decade. Faced with declining rates of physical sales, musicians are now relying on streaming services, but streaming services like Spotify are difficult to monetise and easy to inflate. Physical sales have declined dramatically, but coming up from behind is a resurgence in an old staple – vinyl.

Vinyl sales have been growing steadily for the last 12 years now. Vinyl sales in Australia doubled in 2014, although real figures can be hard to track, as many independent record stores can’t afford the cost of ARIA membership.

Most indie labels will put out a vinyl release as well as a CD. Cassette tapes are even starting to make a comeback.

There’s lots of appeal in owning vinyl. It’s a solid, physical sale, and usually worth the money; most modern vinyls come with digital downloads or apps to access the music digitally. Instead of paying $20 for a digital album, vinyl owners can pay anywhere between $30 and $50 for a new release and have the best of both worlds.

Vinyl is also the only way to purchase music and get a return on investment. There’s no resale on CDs anymore, but a vinyl collection will always sell. With the resurgence of vinyl, it can be time to bring out your old collection again – or start from scratch.

Here’s a few handy things to remember when starting a vinyl collection again:

Have a good turntable.
There’s a happy medium between shelling out a few grand for a state-of-the art turntable and sound system and those nasty, tinny sounding cheap set-ups made to look like suitcases. You don’t have to be one of those intense types who can go on at length about replaceable cartridges and belt-versus-motor. Look around for something in the middle of the road. If you’re feeling brave, buy a decent turntable and sound system second-hand. The turntable my dad bought in the 70s still plays Fleetwood Mac just as well as the day it was bought, and it hasn’t burnt the house down yet.

The one thing to keep an eye on, though, is the tone arm. This holds the cartridge and the needle over the vinyl, and greatly affects the playback. Most tone arms will have a counterweight to allow for control over tracking and pressure.

Remember to store your records properly, usually in an upright position. Records stacked on top of each other can warp the vinyl, and once it’s warped, it’s gone. Keep them in a cool, dry place, and if you can keep the dust off them, even better.

Go high, go low – lots of second-hand shops will sell records for not a lot of money. Check the records in-store for scratches (a big no) or dust on the grooves (fixable). Cleaning equipment for records is easy and won’t set you back much.

There are always going to be records that everyone wants, and that always sell. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best selling albums of all time, staying in the Billboard album charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. It’s still on the Billboard 200 today. The best selling vinyl in 2017 was the Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

It can be tempting to play it safe to start with, but don’t be afraid to wander into unexplored territory. Discover new music! There’s nothing more fun than treasure hunting for music. You never know what’s hiding in the bargain bin. Buy what’s familiar, but don’t be afraid to try something different.

Model Car-lecting: your auto passion on a smaller scale

Collecting car models is a fun way for automobile fans to collect versions of their own favorite and dream cars – most luxury and exotic vehicles are out of reach of anyone but the wealthiest individuals so a satisfying, not to mention cheaper, alternative is to collect model cars, particularly die-cast scale models.

Riverina Model Cars Plus is the place to visit if you are a model cars enthusiast or just want some memorabilia to decorate the pool room. It is a family operated business located at Unit 7/23 Copland Street, Wagga with over 30 years of collecting experience.

The owners aim to provide the biggest range of high quality Autoart, Biante, APEX, Authentic Collectables, Classic Carlectables and many other brands in diecast and resin model cars and trucks to both dedicated collectors and first timers.

They offer friendly customer service, value for money and expert advice to help enthusiasts get their hands on the latest release model cars. They stock an impressive range of model cars, accessories, memorabilia and merchandise from the big names to the big moments in history – F1s, V8s, motorbikes and more!

Although based in Wagga Wagga, they can arrange postage anywhere in Australia. With friendly staff and reliable on-time delivery, Riverina Model Cars Plus help customers build a collection with grunt. They are Wagga’s official supplier of Biante and Classic Carlectables diecast models and stock a big range of model cars including legendary Aussie cars, as well as motorbikes, trucks, Peter Brock memorabilia and other collectables.

Formula 1 cars, V8 Supercars, Bathurst models, they’ve got the lot and can also help you track down those hard-to-find models.

Got a paint project or some furniture in need of a facelift? See Mezzi + Frank…

Mezzie + Frank is the brainchild of two Queensland women who started with a can of paint, a passion for colour, furniture redesign and a couple of pieces of used furniture.

From its inception, they had a vision to create a superior Australian range of chalk based paints to offer to the Australian painting enthusiast market. Their colour selection is much more in tune with Australian interior décor and lifestyles. Over the past three years the colour range has grown from 14 to 38 colours. Today, they have over 70 stockists Australia wide who sell the Mezzie + Frank extensive range of chalk effects and finishing products, and offer workshops. Second Chance Narrandera is one of these stockists.

Mezzie + Frank Chalk Effects Paint is crafted in Australia by a boutique paint manufacturer; it is formulated from scratch using environmentally friendly ingredients. Everyone loves to use Mezzie + Frank because it requires no surface preparation and no priming, and it spreads with ease. And because it’s water-based, it’s easy to clean up once your project is complete.

Fans may have noticed that Mezzie+Frank Chalk Effects paints are named after great Aussie icons. Their colour inspiration truly comes from Aussie landscapes, icons and our way of life.

“We love including nature in our styling too, and plants are so easy to use to showcase the gorgeous paint hues,” they said.

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