The vinyl records subplot in Findependence Day

vinylrecordsAs noted on Twitter, there have been a fair number of stories in the press lately about the resurgence of vinyl records: as recently as Friday morning on BBC World News.

When I tell people vinyl actually plays a big role in the subplot of Findependence Day, I usually get some blank stares. So I’ll summarize it here. The Jamie character is 28 years old when the action begins, which makes him an echo boomer or member of Generation Y. He carries an iPhone everywhere he goes and, like most of his generation, listens to music mostly via MP3s, although he also frequents traditional music stores to buy physical CDs and DVDs.

After he meets a financial planner (Theo) on the financial reality TV show, Jamie “gets religion” about guerrilla frugality, and starts brown-bagging it and visiting a vinyl record store in Boston. Ostensibly this is to save money but also because the proprietor isĀ  a fee-only financial planner on the side, and recommended highly by Theo.

Will cloud-based music eventually vanish?

Jamie returns frequently for vinyl bargains and financial advice and ends up creating a hobby web site and selling vinyl through the site around the world. He starts blogging about the future of digital music, taking a bit of a “retro” approach as he champions the superior audio quality of the Boomers’ old vinyl records. He starts to fret that all the music held on the cloud and in mobile devices will eventually vanish. When a blog he writes entitled “The day the music died,” goes viral, his web site starts attracting interest from big social media sites, which spins the plot in another direction.

The other recurring theme in Findependence Day is real estate. This ties in to the vinyl subplot when Jamie decides to venture into commercial real estate, living in an apartment above a commercial unit that eventually becomes a vinyl-themed Internet cafe. When it too attracts attention for its franchising potential, the plot again advances. On top of all this, there are romantic complications, as Jamie’s marriage with Sheena encounters turbulence triggered — as is so often the case with modern couples — over disagreements about money.

You can read the first two chapters free at Amazon.com, which includes the very beginning of the vinyl subplot midway through chapter two, when Theo suggests Jamie should visit his friend Bobby at the Vinyl Cave.

About Jonathan Chevreau

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