Jay Reason, local record store owner and music aficionado, has been in the process of creating a reality show focused on the culture surrounding the vinyl community. The first episode began filming this past Record Store Day on April 22 and wrapped around August. He is optimistic about the prospects surrounding the future of the show.
Reason has been involved in various areas of the music industry since he was 17, both on stage and behind the scenes. Currently, he manages his Static Era Label and consults for a couple of clients.
Static Era Records, located at 43 River St. in Milford, Conn. opened its doors in 2020 after Reason was left with plenty of inventory as the pandemic began and live shows were halted.
“I opened the store thinking, ‘Okay, if me and some like-minded people who love music and need it, come, that would be awesome,’” said Reason. “A field of dreams kind of thing: if you build it, they will come.”
With the first year being a testing ground for what customers are searching for, the community
has blossomed greatly since. Reason desires the shop to be reminiscent of the record stores of his youth and aims to capture that nostalgia for people or instill in them a new way to shop.
“I try to run the shop more like a band or venue versus a record store. We want people to come in and hang out,” said Reason. “We encourage you to talk to each other.”
Vinyl, along with other forms of physical recordings, has been experiencing rising popularity. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, 41.3 million vinyl records were sold in the United States in 2022. Reason credits this rise to the artists.
“The younger artists taking their time to put love into this format shows people that music doesn’t need to be streamed,” said Reason.
The idea for the reality show emerged after a meeting with a client in which the show’s director Paul Travers was also in attendance.
“We were talking about something for a client, and I pitched the idea of ‘Antique Roadshow’ meets ‘Pawn Stars’ but about records,” said Reason.
The show has evolved since its initial pitch, with the first episode centering on the madness of Record Store Day and a tour of Burlington Pressing Plant in Burlington, Vt.
“Season 1 we already have mapped out, with a few record stores across the U.S. that we would go to along with a few people, who work behind the scenes in the industry,” said Reason. “Such as distributors, women in vinyl and different groups I’ve gotten to know and admire.”
Reason described the potential layout in which each episode would entail. An episode would feature a shop, a person within the industry along with segments that are hosted by Doug Liggins or as he is known on YouTube, Giggins. According to Reason, the segments with Liggins are the “Pawn Stars” aspect of the show.
“People who like this format would be so into the show, the response has been amazing, and people are really receptive to the idea,” said Reason.
He aims for the first clips to be released in January, but as of right now, the order of business is to get the show sold and to finish the season. To look out for these clips and follow Reason on this journey follow Static Era Records on Instagram, @staticerarecords.