STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Ringwood Home store to chat music with the manager of the Vinyl Department: Shaz Halyburton.
While Shaz Halyburton patiently watches her own LP collection slowly fill her shelves at home, she has another method for experiencing the excitement of the black wax. “Part of the joy of being in the Vinyl Department is that when I see people buying it, I kind of live vicariously through them,” she smiles. And with such a varied clientele at the store, she’s gotta be satisfied: “We make sure to keep the funk and soul crates nice and full; blues does pretty well too – like Joe Bonamassa,” she says. “I make sure we have whatever’s really hot for [triple j] – Dune Rats, Sticky Fingers, Angus and Julia Stone, Camp Cope. We have a lot of punk fans as well.”
That last genre is close to Shaz’s heart; she admits she has a “soft spot” for pop-punk, which was her “coming-of-age” dish of choice. “It’s my secret love,” she laughs. “And now when I listen to that music, I just get the best energy, because I remember how it felt at the time.” Last year she saw Arizona alt-pop-punk act Jimmy Eat World at the Tennis Centre, and got herself a front row spot. “I’m a bit shy, but my boyfriend pushed me in to get a selfie at the end,” she says. “That was a huge highlight! I can’t remember what I said – it was probably something really daggy. Because what do you say when you meet an amazing songwriter? I was crying in the moshpit at one point!”
While she’s a perennial fan of classic songwriters like Cash, Petty and Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem’s Handwritten is her most-loved LP. “That one’s really special,” she says. “It’s like a good book. There’s not a bad song on it – I just put in on start to finish. It’s a gatefold; it has lyrics quoted on the inside, and when you pull it out of the sleeve, it’s blue.” All hail the coloured vinyl. “I know, right? Even if I don’t like the band, I wish I did, because the vinyl’s so cool.”