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Blackbyrd Myoozik opens during vinyl revival

By Rachel Woodward, November 26 2015 –

An independent record store based out of Edmonton, Blackbyrd Myoozik, is launching a Calgary location on 17th Ave SW. Following the store’s grand opening party on Nov. 26, the shop is set to fully open for business.

The store was founded in 1993 — before the modern resurgence of vinyl music — by Arthur Fafard and Mark Davis. According to Fafard, the industry has been a bumpy ride ever since.

Louie Villanueva

Louie Villanueva

“I’ve seen it all come and go, and I’m a little surprised that it’s continuing on as long as it is,” Fafard says. “I thought it would have peaked, but the people are definitely continuing on. Vinyl is going really strong.”

Fafard also notes that during the span of Blackbyrd Myoozik’s existence, the CD industry has risen and fallen, returning full circle to vinyl’s popularity.

The store is launching only blocks away from long-standing local favourite Sloth Records, but Fafard thinks the stores will “coexist pretty comfortably” because of differences in stock.

“Every store can only have so much stock. There’s definitely crossover,” he says. “But we stock more electronic music that has been underrepresented in Calgary.”

Blackbyrd Myoozik is also participating in the Nov. 27 Record Store Day Black Friday tie-in to coincide with their opening. The event, which features specially-made vinyl and discounted records, was created in 2007 to support independent record companies and their owners.

Independent record stores have popped up throughout Calgary in recent years after a resurgence of vinyl records sales — 2014 marked the highest record sales since 1996, despite the convenience of digital music.

“I have an iPod and a computer. I stream music and I have thousands of songs, but they don’t really mean anything to me. I just end up skipping them very quickly,” Fafard says. “But with a record, it’s more of a commitment. You have to take it out, put it on. You sit down, you listen to it. There’s definitely more of a connection for that reason alone.”

With more artists pressing their albums to vinyl, Fafard says the industry has never been better.

“People love it. It’s not just nostalgia — kids are buying it, old people are buying it. There’s something appealing and romantic about it. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s going to last some time,” he says.

Blackbyrd Myoozik is located at 1126-17 Ave SW. For more information, visit blackbyrd.ca.

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