In rotation: 5/24/17

At this Maryland vinyl fest, the wax will never wane: The Arbutus Record & CD Show happens monthly in the volunteer fire department hall in Arbutus, Md. On the third Sunday of the month — usually; this month’s show is the fourth Sunday, May 28 — dozens of dealers haul in LPs, singles, box sets, CDs, posters and other music-related ephemera. (Visit arbutusrecordshow.net for info.) Some of the records are new pressings — examples of the vinyl resurgence we’ve all heard about — but the vast majority are old. Once, someone wanted them. Then someone didn’t — their owners outgrew Rush or the Monkees; they converted their records to MP3s; they died — and now these dealers hope someone wants them again.

Meet John Damroth of Planet Records in Harvard Square: At 27 years of age, after a short career in advertising I decided to be my own boss and open a record store in 1983. I managed to cobble together a business plan and get a loan to start Planet Records. Located in Kenmore Square in a renovated parlor floor apartment I did the remodeling with my brother and in November Planet Records opened its doors. We were an immediate success and I paid back my loan at the end of the first year. Our success was due to a large selection, high standards and efficient organization. We carried all types of music and over the years went from LPs to cassettes to CDs. There were some lean years for vinyl but I always believed in the medium and its value.

Stacks and Stacks of Vinyl: Tower Records in 1971: Some amazing footage has surfaced from the Sunset Boulevard store of the once powerful Tower Records chain —“Tower on Sunset” as it was known to all in the Los Angeles area, over the years the site of many huge in-store album release events, strategically situated near many record label West Coast offices. As the clip starts, the needle drops on Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).” The camera follows an employee carrying cardboard boxes on the sales floor, and we pass stacks and stacks of pristine vinyl, in that unique way that Tower sold music, with the top box open sitting atop more of the same title below.

Gramovox puts a new spin on enjoying vinyl: The phonograph — that is the record player — turns 140 this year, and while vinyl is on the return, the record player has hardly changed dramatically. That is until you set eyes on what Gramovox has made. A little different from your mum’s record player, or even the one you keep next to the Sonos so you can send the warm sound of crackling vinyl playing your favourite tunes throughout your home (this is actually us), Gramovox is taking the record player and giving it a different spin. Specifically, it’s making it go upright compared to flat on a platter, essentially creating a record player designed to be seen and heard, rather than the latter.

Vintage vinyl record sale to raise money for Farleigh Hospice in Maldon: A Vintage vinyl record sale will be returning to Maldon to raise funds for Farleigh Hospice. The annual sale is being held on Saturday and is expected to be the biggest yet, lasting for around two weeks. More than 2,000 LPs, Eps, 7” and 12” singles will be available to buy from Farleigh Hospice Shop, in High Street, Maldon. All genres of music will be on offer, from folk and jazz to rock, country and blues to soul, easy listening to reggae and much more.

Coming soon: the ‘gramophone’ Bluetooth speaker that’s made of vinyl: There’s no shortage of vinyl-inspired projects on Kickstarter, but this is one of the most innovative we’ve seen. It’s a wireless speaker to which you stream tunes from your phone over Bluetooth, but it takes its design cues from a classic gramophone. The main selling point? The speaker itself is made out of reclaimed vinyl. You can even choose which musical genre the record is from, to suit your own taste in music. Pick from ’60s or ’70s rock, the ’80s, R&B, diva, show tunes, crooner, disco, jazz, classical, opera, folk or classic country, and the makers will craft the speaker from a vinyl album from that genre.

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