In rotation: 6/30/17

Sony Music goes back to vinyl records: Sony Music, one of the big three global record companies, says it will start pressing its own vinyl releases again for the first time since 1989. The firm will resume in-house domestic vinyl production at a Japanese factory south-west of Tokyo by March 2018. The move comes amid renewed demand for old-fashioned black plastic records, which now occupy a key market niche. At one time, the format had been expected to disappear after the rise of CDs, digital downloads and streaming. During vinyl’s long decline from the late 1980s onwards, many vinyl record factories closed down, with production confined to a few specialist independent firms. But this year, global vinyl revenue is expected to hit $1bn (£770m), with many consumers swearing by its supposedly superior sound quality.

Rooky Becomes a Veteran, A steak joint, record shop, and psychology club all received legacy business status this month. Three longtime San Francisco businesses received legacy status from the Historic Preservation Committee last week, potentially preserving their futures in a city undergoing rampant change…Rooky Ricardo’s Records, which opened on the 400 block of Haight Street in 1987, was one of the recent recipients. The vintage record store specializes in soul, funk, jazz, and rock tunes from the 1950s and ’60s, and it experienced a setback last year, when owner Dick Vivian’s original storefront at 448 Haight St. underwent an earthquake retrofit. He moved to a small shop across the street at 419 Haight St., with the belief that he’d be able to move back once the construction was completed. A steep rent hike, however, made that move impossible, so he’s settled into his shop’s new home for good.

Second-hand bookshop in Brimscombe starts selling vinyl records following thousands of donations: Donations of around ten thousand LPs and singles dating back as far as the early 1950s have been given to The Cotswold Canals Trust Bookshop. The shop at Brimscombe Port Business Park raises funds for the restoration of the local canals by selling second-hand books on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Once the canal restoration reaches Brimscombe the site will become a working port and marina again. Volunteers at the bookshop are currently sorting through thousands of donated books and records and with music on vinyl currently undergoing a revival and prices starting at a pound, collectors have been picking up both low-price bargains and some high-priced rarities.

Excellent vinyl collection at Area 51 Records is a real hidden gem in Braintree: Surrounded by vinyl, we walk into a small backroom and Paul Everett, owner of Area 51 Records, invites me to sit down. Area 51 is a small shop on South Street near Braintree Town Station, and an album from the Jam is playing quietly in the background. Famous album covers decorate the walls of the shop, and I recognise a few of them from my dad’s generation. Pink Floyd, the Human League, and David Bowie are on display but the most popular, he tells me, are the alternative genres at the back of the shop, with all types of house, garage and drum and bass.

Soundbites: The Best Albums of 2017 … So Far (Part 1): The midyear marker always sneaks up on me. But here we are, roughly halfway through 2017. Temperatures may be rising, but the days are getting shorter. Thanks a lot, summer solstice. You’re as cruel as you are beautiful. Given that we’re crossing the invisible line that separates early 2017 from late 2017, it seems like a good time to look back at the freshest local albums Seven Days has reviewed this year. All of the major music publications are likely doing the same thing, so why shouldn’t we?

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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