In rotation: 7/17/17

Take a vinyl vacation every once in a while: It’s hard to take a day off when your job consists of writing about exactly what you want to write about whenever that inspiration strikes. I’m usually inspired to write something daily, but sometimes a vacation can go a long way in refreshing your thoughts and disconnecting your brain from all things work. That’s why I went vinyl record shopping on Sunday. Vinyl’s comeback is no secret. I’m 31, and while my parents had a record player and used it often when I was a kid, I didn’t get into records until more recently when I started listening to them with friends. It became a kind of ritual. After our days listening to radio at work, whether traditional or online, and mp3s from our phones during our commute, we needed some art we could touch — something tangible.

Haight Street staple, Rooky Ricardo’s receives legacy status: Dick Vivian interrupts our phone call to address a customer who compliments his Liberace shower curtain. “I used to have a shower in the back,” he says. “It’s now my drapes.” For 30 years, the small-business owner has been at the helm of Rooky Ricardo’s, a vinyl record store on San Francisco’s Haight Street that specializes in soul and oldies. On Monday his store received Legacy Business status from the city. “It’s a bit of publicity,” he says. “Just getting the recognition is the most important thing. I don’t have employees. I don’t have a lease. I think I get a check every year.”

IKEA launch new storage unit ‘EKET’ and guess what…it’s perfect for vinyl records: IKEA have just introduced a new storage unit called EKET. If you have a record collection you may well be familiar with Ikea’s Expedit storage unit which came in a small number of colours and size permutations. A couple of years back Ikea caused an uproar (alright, let’s get things in perspective, some hardened record collectory types were a mite peeved) when they announced they were discontinuing the Expedit range – only to be swiftly replaced by the very similar Kallax…”EKET is the ultimate in fun, friendly and functional storage furniture. The potential for customisation with colours and the patterns you can make is unmatched by any other storage solution” – the dimensions are a little more snug but will still handle 12″ vinyl

Escape the summer heat with a cool vinyl party: These days, the commercial return to vinyl, a thriving though still very much niche market, has brought back a varnished feel to the listening party. Those who weren’t around during the LP heyday can create that sense of community again, rediscovering albums that originally sold millions on CD now in vinyl form. Since it’s not a good idea to spin records in direct sunlight, a nice air-conditioned space for your summer listening party will work. We’ve rounded up a list of newly remastered vinyl releases to check out, all of which can be found in some of the best record stores in Hampton Roads, including Birdland and Vinyl Daze in Virginia Beach, The Groove in Norfolk and American Oldies in Newport News.

New music listening habits: New turntables now come with two important features. The first is a built-in phono pre-amp, an electronic element that is a must to play records, and that used to be integrated in amplifiers, not in turntables. The second is a USB output port that allows you easily to digitise the record you are playing back and to convert it to digital files, such as MP3 for instance. It brings the best of both worlds, the analogue and the digital. Before this USB-based feature was available converting LPs to digital used to require complex equipment, time, effort and technical knowledge.

Deadpool & Logan Comic-Con Exclusive Vinyl Sets Unveiled: The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Fox will release the soundtracks for Deadpool, Logan, The Kingsman, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But these aren’t just ordinary pressings of the soundtracks. In edition to coming with Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and digital versions of the movies, they come with expanded art that is sure to get collectors reaching for their wallets. 3 out of the 5 are pressed on double LPs and Logan even comes with the noir version of the movie. Not much information has been given about the weight of the records, but it’s safe to assume that they’re pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

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