Dubbed as “the best damn record club out there,” Vinyl Me, Please (VMP) leads members into a whole new world of music. In this world, one incredible vinyl is celebrated each month and delivered right to your door. More often than not, they’re an exclusive pressing or reprint that the club thinks you should know about. In addition to receiving an album from Vinyl Me, Please, members receive a 12×12 album-inspired art print, a cocktail recipe and more. Previously featured records include Beck’s Odelay, Moby’s Play, Gorillaz’ Demon Days and Tennis’ Yours Conditionally.
303 Magazine recently collaborated with Vinyl Me, Please on a Colorado compilation record, 303 Music Vol. 1. Both teams — Vinyl Me, Please and the music desk at 303 Magazine — selected 12 local musicians to be printed on wax. The album has splattered wax, a photo book and John Vogl artwork, plus, 80% of all profits go to Youth on Record. We sat down with Cameron Schaefer — head of music at Vinyl Me, Please — to talk about the company and their Denver connection.
303 Magazine: What is your favorite part of VMP?
CS: I don’t know that I’ve ever been asked that question in an interview and I love it. I would say my favorite part is discovering great albums that are off the beaten path or things that I wouldn’t have discovered on my own, but I feel like as a company we have a lot of really good voices that are finding stuff that’s a little left of center and then being able to highlight and tell really good stories around it.
303: How do you choose the monthly albums?
CS: We have to start with some high-level questions that guide our curation. The first question we ask is, “do we want this in our collection?” and then we ask if we can tell a real story around it. Then we ask kind of how it’ll look in a 10-year timeline for the company meaning when we look back at our catalog in 10 years, will this be something that stands out as an important project? So we start there and then if it passes all those tests, then we start looking at things like when was the last time it was released, is it a reissue project, are we going to have access to the artists or people around the project to tell a good story? There’s a small team of us that’s constantly kind of vetting all the different opportunities and building out our schedule.
303: Who from the Colorado music scene have you been listening to lately?
CS: I would say in terms of listening to the most through my headphones would be Tennis and that’s mainly because we’ve worked with them on their last album release and so I kind of kept up with them since their latest EP dropped. I think Sunboy is another band that I was introduced to a couple of years ago and continue to find myself coming back to.
303: How are you enjoying Denver?
CS: It’s amazing. We’re right on Platte Street over by Denver Beer Company and it’s brighter and all that stuff. So it’s nice to be able to have a lot of great places to go eat and drink that are nearby. I think our company’s super glad we relocated to Denver.
303: Why did you decide to work on a record with the Denver music scene?
CS: Tyler Harvey reached out and said the 303 Magazine was looking at putting together a local music compilation and they specifically wanted vinyl components. For us, it was a really good way to get to know more about local artists and engage more in local music scene and at the same time work on something in terms of like pressing a really cool vinyl record that we feel is our expertise.
303: Have you had the opportunity to stop by Youth on Record?
CS: Yeah, I got to visit about eight months ago and was super impressed with what they have going on. I think it’s a great organization and it’s cool to see how they’re giving real opportunities to kids to get involved in different aspects of the music industry. The fact that they’re able to get school credit for it and that they have artists coming through while on tour stopping by and connecting — it’s pretty amazing.
303: Now, you’ve worked with John Vogl in the past already, haven’t you?
CS: Yeah. For our Essential Subscription, each record comes with 12×12 art print and, it was for The War on Drugs’ Lost in the Dream. He did the art print that month. So that would have been about three years ago. He was the artist for the 12×12 prints that came in the member packages. People were pretty stoked on it.