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Cherished vinyl: Boston’s Transit strips down at Record Theatre - INTERVIEW

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Joe Boynton views vinyl records as a ritual, a celebration of musical beginnings as we near the end.

“Most music is digital—and it’s jumped from different things,” the Transit vocalist, pictured right, explained. “Even though now music is in its final form, we still see [vinyl records] as a celebration for our love for music.”

This isn’t a musical apocalypse to which Boynton refers—it’s more an understanding of music’s evolution.

Boston-based band Transit visits Western New York for a 6 p.m. show Thursday at Record Theatre, 3500 Main St., Buffalo, across from the south campus of the University at Buffalo. Capacity is not expected to exceed 100 people.

Record Theatre, which celebrates the annual Record Store Day alongside Spiral Scratch Records, is the oldest and largest independently owned record store in Buffalo—quite the feat considering fewer than 1,600 remained in the country as of 2012. (According to Spiral Scratch’s reliable countdown tool, we’re just 72 days away from Record Store Day.)

Don’t confuse the venue with Record Theatre’s second location, planted at 1800 Main St. at Lafayette closer to downtown. Transit will not perform there.

Hit the Lights, Brian Marquis and Front Porch Step are listed as the show’s openers. You can find fairly detailed bios on that trio here.

Tickets range from $13 to $15, and admission purchased for the show originally scheduled for Waiting Room will be honored at the door. You can purchase tickets here.

With Buffalo set as an early stop on Transit’s 21-city Acoustic Basement Tour, the emo band pays homage to simplicity and intimacy.

The Rise Records five-piece tours in support its Dec. 2 EP, “Futures and Sutures,” a compilation of five of the band’s hits—just stripped down to bare-bones acoustic—as well as a new track titled the same as the EP.

Fittingly, limited edition 7” vinyls records in blue and gold are available through the band’s website, and it’s not the first time that Transit has ventured down the vinyl route.

“I love my vinyl collection,” Boynton waxed. “I love the artifact of it. It’s the full story of an album—CDs are very temporary in comparison.

“Vinyl is like a hardcover story—there’s artwork, really creative artwork, that reflects the time period. They’re like little time capsules.”

Not surprisingly, Boynton’s vinyl favorites—he mentioned the works of Moment, a Boston-band that broke up in the early 2000s, in particular—are tracks to which he attaches fond memories.

It’s not the fleeting popularity of the group that captivated him, it’s clinging to a singular emotion he felt from a song at a much earlier time.

For a metaphor, Boynton suggested how we view movie theaters—we watch the same movie from different seats, providing each of us a slightly different perspective on the media we consume.

Transit is no stranger to small venues—the band’s talent was honed through shows in VFW halls and basements, and a celebration of Record Store Day in April 2011 drew the band to a Newbury Comics location in Boston, a brand that thrives off retro.

Boynton was careful to highlight the celebration of art at large—art, which he defines as human expression in any form. He traced his education through industrial design in art school as well as a stint in mechanical engineering before meandering into music.

A chief lesson during his artistic journey, however, was that “the best designers are the ones who surprise and change what they do.”

For Boynton and Transit, the relative surprise of a stripped-down acoustic basement tour—at a record store in Buffalo, no less—illustrates a commitment to art across all platforms and a sense of respect to the history of music.

(Interior photos are courtesy of Robin David Brown from Transit’s Waiting Room show in May 2013—see that full gallery here).

TAGGED: futures and sutures, record store day, record theatre, transit, vinyl

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