In rotation: 5/31/16

Friendly Records – the first vinyl record store in a generation – to open in South Bristol: A new shop selling vinyl records is opening in Bedminster – the first record shop south of the river in a generation. Tom Friend is opening Friendly Records, in what is currently an antique furniture shop at the eastern end of North Street…The store is due to open in the first week of July, and has already had big name backing, with a celebratory retweet from Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.

The needle hits the groove at Leeds’s Crash Records: The shop on The Headrow in the city centre is home to thousands of albums, ranging from classic rock, dance, hip-hop and punk rock – something for every palette. Crash Records, like so many music shops up and down the country, has benefited massively from the recent resurgence of vinyl, stocking many times the amount it did just five years ago, as music fans once again turn to the warmth and comfort that the classic format brings. It’s easy to see why, you simply cannot beat the feeling of the needle dropping.

Rad Girlfriend Records pumps out punk product: As a punk rock musician, Josh Goldman had helped with some DIY 7-inch releases from his band Rad Company, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to run his own label. That’s when Brandi Smith, who is now his wife, stepped in and convinced him they could make it work. Rad Girlfriend Records began in Dayton in 2011, with a pair of 7-inch reissues and split 12-inch record. Since then the label has built up a catalog of more than 50 vinyl releases by punk acts like White Flag, the Soviettes and Pretty Pretty.

Sam the Record Man Sign Set to Light Up Toronto Once Again: Sam Sniderman’s Yonge & Dundas record shop was a musical landmark for generations of Toronto music lovers, but since Sam the Record Man permanently closed its doors back in 2007, the fate of its iconic spinning neon sign has been up in the air — unfortunately, not literally, though. Now, after years of confusion (during which the sign has sat in storage), the massive lit-up pair of records is finally slated to be raised again by the end of this summer.

Nashville’s Welcome to 1979 fills niche in vinyl record production: To appreciate the booming popularity of vinyl records, you can look at sales charts showing massive annual sales growth for the past 10 years. Or you could peek inside the Welcome to 1979 facility in the Nations neighborhood in Nashville. Launched in 2008 as a studio that recorded primarily on old-fashioned tape machines, Welcome to 1979 has evolved into a collection of niche businesses that is helping fuel the vinyl sales boom.

Early Record Covers By The Prince Of Pop Art, Andy Warhol: Before he was the Prince of Pop Art and arguably the biggest art star on the planet, Andy Warhol was one of the most sought-after graphic illustrators in Manhattan. Years before he designed two of Rock and Roll’s most iconic album covers, Warhol was responsible for a series of recently recovered Jazz record covers for Count Bassie, Thelonious Monk and Moondog. Rendered in his then-trademark ‘blotted line’ style (a technique Warhol mastered before screenprinting, where a single line of heavy, beaded ink was drawn on one sheet of paper, and then pressed against another which created a blotted monoprint), these whimsical and funky covers graced some of the best jazz albums of the 1950’s.

8 Album Covers Designed By Legendary Comedian Phil Hartman: Before his comic career took off, Phil Hartman was a working graphic designer. In fact, graphic design was Hartman’s first calling: He managed to get a degree in graphic arts at Cal State Northridge in 1974. In the decade that followed, Hartman designed over 40 record covers for bands such as America, Poco, Steely Dan, and the Firesign Theatre comedy group. He even designed the crazy Celtic-style logo for Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

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