Wax works! At one bar, it’s BYOV

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Finally, a chance to take those Parliament records, 1990s dancehall singles, and, yes, even those uncool REO Speedwagon 45s, off the shelf and give them new life.

It happens at “The Vinyl Club,” Sycamore’s monthly spin-your-own-disc night that celebrates every type of music ever laid down on wax — except digital.

“Sycamore is a record-only bar,” said Naomi Donabedian, host of the Vinyl Club, which invites acetate advocates to spin 20-minute sets from their own collections. “If you don’t play vinyl, they don’t want you.”

The next set is Nov. 7 — and it might sound like a risky venture in musical crowd-sourcing or worse, 20 minutes from somebody’s collection of Gregorian chants — but it’s actually been a smashing success.

“Vinyl Club been one our most consistent, well-received events,” said John Hagen, the bar’s booker. “It’s very rare that someone can throw five records under their arm and walk to their local bar to share music with other people.”

While the event at Sycamore does draw a mix of experienced DJ’s, rookies need not be shy about their musical selections: no one has ever been booed off stage. Plus the hosts might even show you around the two turntable set-up.

“If a customer shows up totally unaware of the set-up, we’ll have someone show them a little about mixing and fading — then give them the headphones and let them go at it,” said Hagen.

Impress enough people and maybe you’ll even get a regular slot: two Monday Vinyl Club fixtures have gone on to hosting their own nights at Sycamore.

Talk about an incentive to power down your iPod — if only for the night.

Vinyl Club at Sycamore [1118 Cortelyou Rd. between E. 11th Street and Westminister Road in Ditmas Park, (347) 240-5850], Nov. 7, 8 pm to midnight. No cover. For info, visit

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow his Tweets at @from_where_isit.
Updated 12:19 pm, November 1, 2011
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