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Records of the Future

In today’s dorm rooms, record album covers are recycled as retro art for the walls.

By Kristin Belz August 25, 2011


The music may be downloaded to digital, but the album art can still sing, on the walls in ready-to-mount record album cover frames from Urban Outfitters.

Who would have predicted that in 2011 college students would still be packing up to go back to school in the fall with record albums in tow? But if they’re the trendy types who follow the lead of our trusty style-spreading friends at Urban Outfitters, they’ll be off to campus with at least a few albums in the back of the car, to mount on the dorm room wall in ready-to-go record album frames.

(Or at least a couple of album covers. Who knows if the vinyl the covers protected will still be inside, or in what condition. Even elderly analogue freaks are known nowadays to leave behind their bulky disks when they move – or just ditch them all when they go all digital all the time.)

Record albums have always been appealing – and appreciated – as art. The ostensibly casual display of albums around the home was a concise way to make a statement about one’s good taste (whatever that taste may be). So to have Urban Outfitters pick up on this historically self-evident truth and drag it into the digital age is quite exciting, at least to an ex-indie-rock DJ like me.

Urban Outfitters’ album cover frames are within the typical college student’s work-study budget, at $20 for a two-pack. They come in classic black. Albums themselves can be had for cheap at thrift stores, garage sales, and Mom and Dad’s basement, perhaps.

An even more DIY method of album art display would be to mount the covers frameless on the wall in all their finger-worn cardboard glory. The possibilities are as endless as the styles of music. And even a record that always sounded bad might look beautiful on the wall.

Urban Outfitters two locations in our area:
Northwest 23rd Street area
2320 NW Westover Rd.
(503) 248-0020

Bridgeport Village mall
7297 SW Bridgeport Rd.
(503) 639-8593

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