Vinyl Me, Please Subscription Box Review – February 2016
Vinyl Me, Please is the modern equivalent of the old “Record of the Month” clubs. As a long-time audiophile and vinyl collector, I had to sign up as soon as I heard about it!
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription: Vinyl Me, Please
The Cost: US – $27 per month / $75 per 3 months / $284 per year
International – $44 per month / $120 per 3 months / $450 per year
The Products: A specially selected limited edition vinyl LP, a cocktail recipe to be paired with the music, an original piece of art, access to “The Standard” (VMP’s online magazine), access to forums, special deals on other albums
Ships to: everywhere, cost included in membership
Ships via: USPS
Check out all of our Vinyl Me, Please reviews!
This month’s album is “Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs”. I know there’s a bit of a glare on the picture, but I left the plastic on so that you could see the sticker in the lower left corner. This album is a special release for Vinyl Me, Please subscribers from the Smithsonian Folkways collection. I knew when I saw that sticker that this would be an important record, but that’s about all I knew! From the Smithsonian’s Folkways website:
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. We are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials we seek to strengthen people’s engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. Smithsonian Folkways is part of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
The music itself is recordings of Big Bill Broonzy, a blues singer and musician from Mississippi who recorded from the 1920’s through the 1950’s. Surprisingly, the recordings are crystal clear!
This is the reverse side, without the plastic. You can see from the texture that it’s a really nice cover, but it was a little unyielding when I tried to put the record and insert back into it! Anyway, the tracks are listed here.
This is the album insert, complete with lyrics and two essays on the history of Big Bill Broonzy’s contribution to American folk music. I love how academic this feels!
Here’s the record itself. It’s nothing too fancy, but I will mention that the sleeve has a protective plastic liner on the inside that helps keep the record in mint condition.
Also inside the sleeve was this little card from Smithsonian Folkways. If you register for their monthly e-newsletter by mailing this card in, they will send you a coupon 25% off your next purchase. Score! I’m checking out their catalog right now!
This month subscribers got a bonus 45! I am very excited about it because this has never happened before! It’s a promotional item from the series “VINYL” that just premiered on HBO on Valentine’s Day. It has one of the songs from the soundtrack on it – “No Good” by Kaleo.
This is the inside of the cover. Isn’t every decade the decade that changed music forever? In any case, I’m happy they are talking about the 70’s this time; many of my all-time favorite songs come from that decade.
This is the record. You can barely see it in this picture, but it has a black hologram that says “VINYL” across it. So cool!
I love this month’s art pairing. It’s a wonderful abstraction of a microphone from the era. The artist is McKenzie Nelson.
Every month the inner packaging is printed with a poem or some prose penned by Vinyl Me, Please’s co-founder, Tyler Barstow, to support the album selection.
The cocktail this month is the Sidecar. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks yummy!
Verdict: This was a great package from Vinyl Me, Please! This is not the kind of music I would normally seek out, but that’s exactly what I love about my subscription. I learn about new-to-me artists, and in this case it comes with a serious side of history. It feels special and important, and like a good album to have. The art and cocktail recipe were also great this month! It’s a win!
What do you think of Vinyl Me, Please?