In rotation: 8/29/17

40 years of vinyl dreams at Birmingham’s Charlemagne Record Exchange: Take a walk up the stairs to Birmingham’s Charlemagne Record Exchange on 11th Avenue South, and it’s also a walk back – in time. Marian McKay started the business in 1977 with $500 and albums in five peach crates. She’s been selling and collecting music long enough to see vinyl eclipsed by the compact disc, and then reborn. The decor ranges from vintage rock posters to funky reminders of the last four decades of pop culture. The music playing over the speakers may be McKay’s favorites – Billie Holliday, Sam Cooke or Frank Sinatra. The Beatles share floor space with the latest in rap. Now it’s time to celebrate. Charlemagne’s 40th anniversary celebration will happen Sept. 7 at Trim Tab Brewing Co. from 6 to 10 p.m. A pop up record store will be there, and prizes will be available by drawing.

The Groove Record Shop in downtown Norfolk will close this week: “It has been our pleasure to serve and get to know all of you. But, we are going out with a BANG,” according to a Facebook post. “Be sure to stop in if only to say farewell. May our paths cross again. Brad, Nate, Paul, Mike & Frances.” The reason for the closure wasn’t clear. A call to the store, located at 401 Granby St., wasn’t returned. Mike and Frances Levine opened the original store on Church Street in 1949 and eventually moved it to Granby Street. The store operated there until a fire forced them to close in 1961…The shop will close at the end of business Thursday. The store is having a sale on its stock, including equipment and fixtures, according to the Facebook post.

Record Theatre, Main Street mainstay, closes for good: Record Theatre’s history is like an LP; its Buffalo location has stood the test of time since 1976. However, on Sunday, their vinyl countdown ticked away to mere hours as folks young and old bid adieu to the Main and Lafayette icon. Shoppers had until 6 p.m. to dig for precious music treasure, all deeply discounted at 80 percent off. Ed Hoffman says taking numerous trips to the store was a bonding experience for him and his brother, he was hoping to snag something to frame at home. “I came here in my brother’s ’69 Camaro, lot of memories,” said Hoffman. “We figured we’d come down and give it one last farewell.”

New vinyl record shops heat up local music retail scene, The vinyl revival looks set to stay: While digital music and streaming services continue to grow strength to strength and dominate, latest statistics from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry also showed vinyl sales here growing fivefold last year to US$150,000 (about S$204,000). Which explains why Hear Records (hearrecords.com.sg), set up in 2013 at Burlington Square, has been operating a second outlet at Chinatown since last September; while The Analog Vault (theanalogvault.com), founded in 2015, is soft launching a new concept space The Analog Room adjacent to the original store at the Esplanade today. And just last week, Black Gold Collections welcomed its first customers at The Plaza in Beach Road.

Why Toronto publisher BookThug is getting into the record business: This month, BookThug announced Chaos & Star, a new record label (and offshoot of the press) that just released its first three seven-inch vinyl recordings, which pair notable Canadian musicians with BookThug authors: Whiteman teamed up with Jacob Wren to adapt the latter’s 2016 novel Rich and Poor; Carlin Nicholson and Mike O’Brien of Toronto indie-rock quartet Zeus paired with Liz Worth to score her book No Work Finished Here, her poetric remix of Andy Warhol’s A, A Novel; and the husband-and-wife team of John K. Samson and Christine Fellows joined forces with Jennifer LoveGrove to transform her most recent collection of poems, Beautiful Children With Pet Foxes, into music.

Breck DJ who works for free celebrates year on the radio today: “I just like the way it sounds,” Murphy said of vinyl records. “I always have. I’m 44, and when I hear that sound — the needle before the music actually starts, the hissing and the popping — that’s a nostalgic moment every time I put a record on.” After working at his college radio station and with a background in television production, Murphy and his wife sold their house in Philadelphia and moved to the mountains. In March 2016, Murphy pitched the idea for a weekly, all-vinyl radio show to managers at KSMT, and it didn’t hurt Murphy was willing to do it for free.

Vinyl has nostalgia, but sound quality? Still, never mind the argument about sound quality. I’ll leave that to the experts. The real pleasure in vinyl for me comes from the physical experience, handling the full 12 inches of artwork, the gatefold sleeves, the feeling of excited anticipation that comes with placing the needle on the record and hearing the thrilling preliminary scratches. At Laxton Hollow’s Vinyl Night, it’s all about the shared experience. Listening to the music and passing around those classic album covers. If they can even get someway close to recreating the feeling of hanging out in a friend’s bedroom playing records, they’re onto something.

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