In rotation: 8/8/17

Iowa music store sees success with popularity of vinyl: Weird Harold’s in Burlington has been selling music since 1972, and a good portion of that has been classic rock from the 1960s. “We would have bands come into the store and take pictures and sign autographs, but you don’t see a lot of that anymore,” said Weird Harold’s owner Danny Bessine. Ironically enough, Bessine, 69, didn’t listen to a lot of music during the 1960s. He was in high school at the time, and had a lot of other things on his mind. But music is unavoidable at any age, and he remembers the soundtrack to his teenage life.

Grant Smithies opens record shop in the Free House beer garden: A record shop has sprung up in the unlikely setting of a Nelson beer garden. Avid vinyl collector Grant Smithies has opened Family Jewels Records with his wife, artist Josephine Cachemaille, in the Free House beer garden. He said Family Jewels Records was “possibly the only record shop in the world that’s in a beer garden”. Free House owner Eelco Boswijk had used the small garden office, but readily agreed with Smithies’ idea of turning it into a record store. Smithies has held regular vinyl fairs at the Free House. But he reckoned the city was “desperate” for a record store after Everyman Records closed down three years ago.

Weathering a sea change in industry, Yep Roc Records marks 15 years: “Back in 2000, something like the Tift Merritt record we just put out would have us focused on chain stores for CD sales through traditional publicity and radio,” he said. “We still do that. But now there’s also satellite radio, Pandora, digital downloads for single songs, album downloads, streaming, artist-direct sales at venues, artist-direct sales from their website, label-direct sales from our website, vinyl. There’s more to keep track of. But it all adds up to a healthy music business where we hope to give consumers the choices they want. That’s the goal.”

Q&A with Plan 9 Music’s owner: “Our love of music and various music-related backgrounds drove us to seek work in a record store….Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, folks used to shop as a way to spend time, as well as their money. The act of shopping was a pursuit in itself. Nowadays, consumers are definitely more prudent in their spending as lifestyles, tastes and technologies have changed. We got into record selling during the early to mid-1980s right at the end of vinyl production and the dawn of the compact disc. Now here we are again, back to selling LP vinyl records. Only in this business can change also be a reversion!”

The Return of the Vinyl Record: There has been a fair amount of suspicion about this so-called re-emergence of LP records. Some have dismissed it as a case of old sentimentalists buying countless re-issues of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Others say it is a passing fad, driven by millennials who don’t even own turntables; that half the records sold will never actually be played. You can’t blame them. The graveyard of music replay technologies is filled with the headstones of so many bright lives, cut short almost tragically—the audio cassette, the walkman, the compact disc. But year after year, even in this convenient digital utopia that we have built for ourselves, there has been a steady growth of LPs.

Creepshow 2 Soundtrack Gets an Awesome Vinyl Release from Waxwork: Waxwork Records new Creepshow 2 vinyl set will also be remastered for the first time, but even more importantly, it’s the first time that the soundtrack has been available in any official physical format. The soundtrack is spread out over two records offering “The Raft,” which is a Coke bottle clear and Black Blob colored vinyl and an “Old Chief Woodenhead,” which is a Metallic Golden Brown and Deep Teal Swirl color. A separate color variant for Waxwork subscribers only will be “The Hitchhiker,” which is a Yellow and Red Starburst color.

CLASSIC VINYL: Smell the salt in the air and the cry of the seagulls on Procul Harum’s A Salty Dog: When it was first displayed in the window of a record shop, this imposing album cover made you stop in your tracks, it caught your eye, brought a smile to your face and generated interest. It was hand painted by the girlfriend of the mostly invisible member Keith Reid who rarely appeared onstage with the band but remained as a lyricist. It is a humorous pastiche of the picture on the Players Navy Cut cigarette packet of long ago…Procul Harum are still sailing the seven seas and flying the flag.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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