A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/21/18

Turntable sales fell in 2017 despite rising record sales: Turntable sales fell by 5% in 2017 from the 2016 total, according to new figures by industry watchdog Gfk, What Hi-Fi reports. Despite rising sales in the UK and abroad, optimistic forecasts of continued growth, and expansions at some of Europe’s biggest turntable makers, sales of decks didn’t reach expected heights in 2017. As we reported last year, turntables were forecast to be the highest selling tech product for Christmas 2017, although the majority of these will have been cheap, faux-vintage decks capable of ruining your records. After over ten years of continued growth in vinyl sales, it’s not altogether surprisingly the growth in turntable sales would begin to plateau as the majority of record buyers stick with their current set-ups or buy second hand, a metric not included in the survey.

Napan Sherry Moser spins successful record business: Sherry Moser’s business is going in circles — and that’s exactly how she likes it. Moser’s business, RebelGirl Records, sells vintage vinyl records. RebelGirl Records was launched in in 2016 when Moser decided to try her luck at selling a handful of records at her booth at the former Tews Treasures resale shop. To her surprise, the records were popular with customers. Moser began buying — and selling – more and more records. Today, “business has skyrocketed,” said Moser. RebelGirl Records now has more than 7,000 records for sale. “It’s amazing to see how large the collection is now and how that small stack of records started my journey,” said Moser, who lives in Napa.

Records, furniture or tattoo? Speakeasy a unique one-stop shop in Decatur: Brian Abbott said he knows it’s risky operating a unique, even “kitschy” sort of business in Decatur. But where else could someone find a one-stop-shop for vinyl records, furniture or a tattoo? “On the one hand, it may seem really bold because it’s like, ‘Well how is that going to fly in Decatur?’ But on the other hand, it’s not like we have a lot of competition here,” said Abbott, one of the three owners of the building and main proprietor of Speakeasy Records & Oddities. The business is approaching its one-year anniversary at 530 N. Water St., the site of the former Rupert’s Sport Shop, slightly off the beaten path north of downtown’s main shopping and dining district. Three businesses have opened in the space since April, and a coffee shop, The River Coffee Company, could be open by the end of the month, Abbott said.

dig! music up for sale in Ukiah: Rare though they have become in American life, Ukiah has its own record store. Yes, it’s called a record store although much of what you’ll find in it are compact discs, but not all by a long shot. Mike Roumbanis is the friendly face behind the counter and the promoter behind loads of in-store concerts at dig! music, the store he and his wife, Denise, (they met in a record store in Santa Rosa in 1979) have owned for 15 years and are now getting ready to sell – or close on June 30 if no buyer comes along. Mike just turned 65 and is ready to retire, but he wants the store to live on. Its been-there-forever vibe and “Gosh, look at all this stuff!” atmosphere draws customers who love music, love vinyl, love classics and can’t help themselves.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live: Sara Evans
at the Palace Theatre, Albany, 2/15

In a partnership with Country Music Television, ACM, and CMA Award winning country music artist Sara Evans took the stage at Albany’s Palace Theatre Thursday, February 15 as part of the Next Women of Country: All The Love Tour. The Palace is one of 15 shows in her coast to coast travels featuring artists RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr.

“We’re doing this tour because there ain’t enough country women on the radio,” said Evans smiling. “I grew up singing country music from the age of four years old and I’ve built my entire life around it so I’m so incredibly grateful that you’re here tonight.”

The tour recently kicked off in New York City, where Shorr (“Fight Like A Girl,” “Two Hands”), who opened the show, got to see her name in Time Square for the first time. “It was amazing,” she said. “I’m so excited to be here with these amazing, inspirational girls and to do something I care a lot about and that’s women supporting other women.”

RaeLynn whose current singles include “Lonely Call,” and “Love Triangle” shared that her first album WildHorse, recently debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Albums chart. “Only a few females have done that, one of those is Shania Twain—I can die a happy girl,” she said. “I’m so honored to be a woman in country music right now.”

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TVD Radar: Tank Girl OST on vinyl for the first time, in stores 4/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | It’s a tough call which is the bigger cult classic, the Tank Girl movie or its accompanying soundtrack, but on balance, we’d have to go for the soundtrack.

Yeah, the film had a cast composed of some of the most colorful characters (Iggy Pop, Ann Magnuson) and character actors (Malcolm McDowell, Ice-T, and of course the almighty Lori Petty!) in show biz. And, its dystopic, resource-starved desert setting, intense action sequences, and lead female character mark it as a feminist (albeit funnier) precursor to Mad Max: Fury Road.

But check out the soundtrack’s bonafides: assembled by Courtney Love herself, it features a Who’s Who of ‘90s female rock including Hole, Björk, L7, Veruca Salt, and Belly among others.

Plus, it even has tracks that were exclusive to its release, like a unique version of Devo’s “Girl U Want,” “Mockingbird Girl” by The Magnificent Bastards (a side project of the late Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots), and a duet of “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” between Joan Jett and The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg.

There’s one more thing, though, that elevates this particular release from the mere cultish curio to gotta-have-it collectible: because it came out in 1995, the Tank Girl soundtrack NEVER came out on LP! Yup…this marks the first-ever release of Tank Girl on vinyl, and if there ever was a score that needs to be on wax, this would be it.

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The TVD Storefront

Emmy Wildwood,
The TVD First Date

“I was born in Tucson, AZ where records melt. In the summer the heat would rise to 117 degrees sometimes, so both people and vinyl had to be stored in a cool, dry place.”

“My father was a musician turned businessman and avid record collector. He made a media center with our record player in the cool and dim living room of the house I was born in. I’m not sure if I’ve been told the story a million times or if I have retained the actually memory of my mother rocking me before bed in an old wood rocking chair while she played Joni Mitchell’s Blue.

When I close my eyes I can see the electric melon color of the dial in radio lit up in the dark and I can remember the needle on vinyl’s subtle fuzz as an indicator that I going to be wrapped up safely in loving arms and carried peacefully into sleep. Even though I wasn’t a crier (then), she rocked me every night to their collection of Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, Crystal Gayle, Juice Newton, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles to ensure we bonded. From time to time, a song comes up on the radio that I feel like I’ve never heard before and somehow I know all the words. Most likely, those are songs my parents put on the turntable before bed.

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TVD Video Premiere:

Today we have the pleasure of premiering multi-instrumentalist RIPL’s video for his latest single “EMA.”

“EMA” is undeniably catchy from the offset, filled with captivating folk-pop sensibilities and RIPL’s rich, eclectic vocal taking centre stage. He’s been regularly compared to the likes of Frank Turner, and its easy to see why in “EMA” as his vocal soars over the uplifting, feel-good instrumentation. The video features various pieces of imagery related to the song’s theme of “reflecting on those times in life when you try desperately to make yourself heard.”

“The video was done by Glaswegian artist called Alan Graham. He drew all the images and animated them as well,” RIPL says. “This project was one of the best and most professional experiences for me as an artist, to work with another artist.”

RIPL now lives in Scotland but is originally from Germany where he taught himself to play guitar at the tender age of just six years old.

“EMA” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap (on Tuesday this week) of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Belle of the Fall – Rise Up
Nathaniel Bellows – How High
Lowpines – Broken Wing
Candace – Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Irma Thomas cover)
Red Black Red – The Scientist
Moviestar – Technology NWOBHM – version
Fovea – Cost Of
Jeremy Bass – The Greatest Fire

The Orange Peels – Running Away

Berel – Blind Man (Xavier Omär Cover)
Jason S. Matuskiewicz – Can We Put Out The Flames?
Peelander-Z – Yeah Yeah Yeah
Boy Rex – Golden Standard
Youth Man – I Don’t Know
Soul Mate – Chris Rivers
Frank Knight – Black Panther Music
Bingo Players – Devotion (Boehm Remix)

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Graded on a Curve: YoshimiO / Susie Ibarra
/ Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Flower of Sulphur

If you’ve a hankering for unadulterated improvisation, the new record featuring the talents of multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO, avant drum titan Susie Ibarra, and multidisciplinary artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe will likely sate that need, if only for a little while. Documenting the meeting of the three in performance in front of an audience at Brooklyn’s Roulette, Flower of Sulphur isn’t likely to convert those agnostic to improv’s qualities, but for ears just growing accustomed to abstract ambiance, it could prove inviting and ultimately satisfying as it reaches a bit beyond the style’s norms. It’s out February 23 on double opaque lavender vinyl and compact disc through Thrill Jockey of Chicago.

As a fan from back in the days of Boredoms, I’m eager to soak up any project with YoshimiO’s name on it, mainly because she’s yet to disappoint. Amongst other activities, there was U.F.O. or Die with Boredoms cohort Yamataka Eye; the indie supergroup Free Kitten, which teamed her with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Pussy Galore’s Julia Cafritz and later, Pavement’s Mark Ibold; and the ample discography her own group OOIOO. Last year, she debuted SAICOBAB, a quartet combining ancient Indian traditional music with contempo methods and sounds.

Unsurprising for an artist frequently identified as belonging to the jazz realm, Susie Ibarra’s appearances on record are considerable, though her discography is nowhere near as daunting as some of her peers. She’s played with David S. Ware, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Sylvie Courvoisier, William Parker, Dave Douglas, Eugene Chadbourne, Mark Dresser, Marc Ribot, and Matthew Shipp, in duo with Denis Charles, Assif Tsahar, and Derek Bailey, and to move outside the jazz/ improv zone, Yo La Tengo. Having witnessed her at the kit behind Prefuse 73, I can attest that she can kill it in a variety of contexts.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe first emerged through the post-HC band 90 Day Men, then lit out on his own as Lichens and eventually under an expanded moniker (initially, he went by just Robert Lowe). Like Ibarra and YoshimiO, his collaborations have been wide-ranging, including The Cairo Gang, Om, and Rhys Chatham, plus co-credited releases with artist Rose Lazar (’08’s “Gyromancy” and ’10’s Eclipses, both for Thrill Jockey) and the early electronic-proto New Ager Ariel Kalma (’15’s very cool We Know Each Other Somehow, for RVNG).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/20/18

Nuggets reflects on 40 years of spinning records: Nuggets, a record store in Kenmore Square, has remained relatively unchanged despite opening 40 years ago. While a small collection of Blu-Ray discs near the front door acknowledges the 21st century, most of the store’s floor space is still filled with boxes of records covering everything from classical opera to rock. “People come in and they keep saying it looks like we’re in the time machine going back,” Nuggets owner Stuart Freedman said. Nuggets began as three men selling records out of cardboard boxes in Harvard Square, Freedman said. Forty years ago, they pooled their money to open a storefront at 486 Commonwealth Ave. and hired Freedman — then a student at Northeastern University — to work for them. It was several years before the original proprietors were bought out and he became the sole owner.

Is the Price of Vinyl Going Too High? Is the vinyl industry at risk of pricing itself out of existence? In its Year in Report 2017, researchers at BuzzAngle Music noted that streaming music consumption surged in the US and Canada. Physical and digital album and track sales, however, continued their slow descent into obscurity. The anomaly? At a 20.1% increase over 2016’s numbers, vinyl records sales actually increased. The medium now comprises 10.4% of all physical album sales in the US. Nielsen Music also reported a similar spike. Last year, vinyl records accounted for 14% of all physical album purchases, a record high. Bandcamp also reported a 54% increase in vinyl sales for artists on its online music distribution platform.

This Is How Bad Your Vinyl Obsession Is for the World: The term “vinyl” is short for polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a common plastic polymer used in everything from credit cards to window frames. The vast majority of new plastics are made from crude oil, although a small but growing proportion are now being made by recycling old plastic. So what’s wrong with it? “When it comes to vinyl, there are environmental impacts related to anywhere energy is used,” explains Andie Stephens, associate director of corporate carbon footprint measuring company Carbon Trust. “This includes the extraction of crude oil from the ground, refining it, the subsequent processing of [turning] that refined oil into PVC, then using PVC to manufacture a vinyl. The black colour comes from the addition of carbon black, which is also made from fossil fuels.”

Bolingbrook students learn about record players: Tibbott Elementary School in Bolingbrook celebrated its 50th anniversary. As part of the festivities, students learned about what school looked like for students their age in 1967. For students and teachers 50 years ago, the audio/visual technology to enhance student learning was, to say the least, limited. But there was an ancient device known as the record player used in classrooms all across the country. Tibbott Principal Ana Wilson showed her students how the record player worked and what a vinyl 33 1/3 RPM album looked like.

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The TVD Storefront

We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the President’s Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday, 2/20.

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TVD Washington, DC

Record Fair returns
to Penn Social, 2/18!

Back for its 9th year is Washington, DC’s (almost) twice yearly record rummage, The DC Record Fair which sets up shop on February 18, 2018 in the cavernous confines of downtown Washington, DC’s Penn Social.

As with each event, we’ll have 40+ vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the DJ line up, the bar, the food, raffle items up for grabs just for coming through the door, plus the random other surprises that make the DC Record Fair a special community event.

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together the above feature a while back that outshines any descriptive copy we could devise—hit play.

Mark your calendars! 

Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Penn Social, 801 E Street, NW
11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $5.00
12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $2.00

RSVP and follow via the Facebook invite!

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