Bring Your Own Vinyl Night draws disc jockeys and music lovers alike

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night, a weekly event at Funk 'N Waffles, draws students and community members to try out a new way of listening to music.

In a world of easily accessible digital music, listening to a vinyl record can be seen as either for older generations or contrarians. The format has seen a resurgence in recent years, but it still carries the mark of an item reserved for only serious collectors and aficionados. To the uninitiated, vinyl records can seem mysterious and a little intimidating.

Photo: Anna Gibertini
Sam Hirsh, of Cicero, spinning records at BYOV

That’s not the case at Funk 'N Waffle’s weekly “Bring Your Own Vinyl” night. Hosted by local DJ Kinyon Brinson (DJ Silenze) for the past eight months, “BYOV” allows casual listeners, avid collectors and experienced DJs the opportunity to explore the vinyl medium in a “judgement-free zone.” Each participant is welcome to bring his or her own records or pick from a box of provided records.  Participants create playlists or “sets” that typically range from 15 to 20 minutes.  All genres of music are welcome. Brinson also offers free “scratching” and DJing lessons to those interested in doing more than just playing music.

Brinson has been collecting vinyl and deejaying for over a decade. He said he originally began collecting vinyl records for the album artwork and was only able to hear them once he bought a turntable two years after starting his collection. 

He has also hosted “Open Turntable” events at the Barnes & Noble Clay location to promote the sale of vinyl records at that local branch. 

“They enjoyed the energy we brought to the store," Brinson said. "It was a retail scene, but we made it into something more through our music and our energy."

Mike Carlin, a Onondaga Community College student, said he came to BYOV looking for something new.

“I was looking for something different to do on a Thursday night," Carlin said. "There’s a very eclectic community here and a relaxing atmosphere.”

Taylor Riley, an SU sophomore, agreed. 

'It’s a great way to relax after all your tests and classes are done for the week.”

Brinson said he was also looking for a way to raise awareness of Bring Your Own Vinyl Night on SU’s campus.

“We’d love for them [students] to come in and if not participate, then just listen, enjoy and talk to other music enthusiasts that we have join us here," he said. "We enjoy a very diverse group and diverse sound.”

The event is held every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the restaurant’s South Crouse location. After the winter break, BYOV will be hosted every Tuesday night at the same time. 

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