THE TRAP ROOM
What: The Trap Room is inviting customers over for a weekly series in which they can play their favorite vinyl records on the bar's hi-fi stereo system.
When: World-Herald music critic Kevin Coffey will kick off the series Tuesday with vinyl from his own collection, so stop by the Trap Room at 733 N. 14th St. to meet Kevin, listen to good music and talk records.
Join in: While you're there Tuesday, sign up and list the record you're going to bring for the next date in the series on Jan. 13.
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Playing your new favorite record on a sound system designed to play records is always a treat.
Down at the Trap Room, the intimate bar with a basement feel next to Slowdown, that's exactly what's been going on lately.
Vinyl sounds great when played on the bar's newly installed hi-fi system, and anyone is welcome to bring in new or old records to play while sipping a craft beer or a tasty cocktail.
While the system is pretty cool, it came to the bar by way of an Omaha musician, a pool table and Karen Carpenter.
Guitarist and songwriter Jake Bellows was offered a pool table that was left in a house purchased by his friend's parents in Downey, Calif. They told him the house belonged to “this carpenter,” and Bellows dropped by to pick up the pool table.
It turned out the table had already been grabbed up by someone else and that “this carpenter” was actually The Carpenters. Karen and Richard Carpenter's parents owned the house previously, and Karen lived there for a while before her death in 1983.
Since the pool table was gone, they offered Bellows some of the speakers, amplifiers and other audio equipment that had been left in the basement.
“I found out it was a bunch of their studio monitors and stuff,” Bellows told me. “It's the nicest hi-fi equipment you could buy. It's really pretty extraordinary.”
Bellows borrowed a truck and a trailer to haul the equipment back to Omaha, where he put it in storage. He currently lives in Los Angeles and wanted to do something with the gear. Once friends Jason Kulbel and Robb Nansel, who also own neighboring music venue Slowdown, opened up the homey Trap Room, Bellows asked if he could install the stereo equipment.
“It's awesome to listen to your favorite records on that thing,” he said.
Kulbel encourages people to bring in records. He often brings in new vinyl and tests it on the 4-foot-tall, quadraphonic speakers.
“It's like a self-service jukebox,” he said. “We're slowly gathering this collection of records that people bring in and leave behind.”
Older records recorded analog — Kulbel mentioned Fleetwood Mac's “Rumours” — sound especially phenomenal on the rig.