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Vinyl Destination

Record Raid Returns for Spring Fair

For any music lover, it’s hard to beat the rush that comes with finding a hard-sought LP. “It’s a bit like treasure hunting,” said Hunter King, a WTUL DJ and founder of Record Raid. “There’s a sense like, ‘I can’t believe this found it’s way to me.’ And to play vinyl, it’s a bit ritualistic. There’s a ceremony to it, you know?” On Saturday (5.13), audiophiles and physical format neophytes alike will share in the day of digging with the music-focused flea market offering live DJs spinning music, raffles, food trucks, and of course, vinyl. 


A New Orleans native and lifelong music fan, King delved into the musical history of his hometown during his time at Wesleyan University. Hurricane Katrina had recently struck, and the devastation to his faraway roots encouraged him to celebrate the rich heritage of the city.


The history of New Orleans, King said, is best explained through recorded music. “You could listen to the radio or read a book, but that is curated. You get a breadth of understanding through discovery of the musical outputs of a place and time.” 


Record Raid made appearances in the Marigny and Bywater over the years, before settling into The Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, the fair’s home for the last 4-5 years. From 11AM to 5PM, over 20 vendors from all over the Gulf Coast will be selling music both old and new. For $5, an early bird pass will get you admission to the event a full hour earlier. Expect to dig through crates of LPs, 45s, cassettes, and CDs, each containing everything from dollar-bin bargains to rare-pressed collectibles. 


Entrance is free — a rarity among most record fairs, but guarantees that the market’s attendees will be joined by no other factor than their love of music. “The experience of listening to music, that’s pretty personal,” explained King. But with Record Raid, "all these people who are passionate about records are all in one big building, they’re all talking and sharing about their collections.” 


With plans to expand one day to nearby cities like Baton Rouge, King is first and foremost proud of Record Raid’s role in supporting the re-burgeoning vinyl scene. Before setting up shop in the Bywater, Euclid Records took part in one of the first Record Raids, back when it was still affiliated with WTUL. Alabama-based Mobile Records also made early appearances at the fair before becoming brick and mortar, as did Captain’s Vinyl, Disco Obscura, and Lagniappe Records. 


For King, Record Raid is for the music fan — whether the vendor or buyer, the newbie or longtime collector. He, too, gets to enjoy it as a fan. "I don’t go through the goods before the doors open and scope out stuff for myself," he laughed. "I’m sharing in that experience with everyone else.”


Be sure to look for King today around Record Raid, and say hello. He promises to be wearing a t-shirt printed, fittingly, with the message “I’m the Boss.” 



Record Raid

Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 146 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.


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