In rotation: 11/27/17

On Record Store Day, prices vary, owners react: Bundled music lovers braving the morning chill lined northern Indiana sidewalks Friday for Record Store Day, the biannual celebration started in 2007, aimed at pulling people through the doors of independent brick-and-mortar shops. Often, it’s limited-edition pressings, unreleased material or reissues that magnetize consumers and collectors to record shops nationwide, once in April and again in November. “People started to print things just for Record Store Day and they print them in quantities in as low as 500 and up to 2,500,” said Steve Martin, owner of Ignition Music Garage in Goshen. Record Store Day organizers set forth a criteria for retailers to meet before being accepted as an official outlet. Even then, titles requested by shops during ordering are never guaranteed — a luck-of-the-draw situation for both business owners and consumers. Business owners are also held to a no-gouging pledge.

Rise Records in Crowngate Shopping Centre, Worcester will close next year: Rise Records in Crowngate Shopping Centre, Worcester has announced it has decided it will not be renewing its lease after six years in the city and will close permanently on Sunday, January 14. It comes after news that Rise’s sister store in Bristol is being taken over by Rough Trade. A celebration of the record store will be taking place at The Old Rectifying House on North Parade, Worcester on Saturday, January 13. Manager Tom George said: “It’s sad but these things happen. I don’t want it to end on a negative note, I want it to be more of a positive thing. That’s why the night at The Old Rec will be more of a celebration.

30 years of BPM Records: This is the 30th anniversary for Dave Hill and BPM Records, a haven for hordes of fans of vinyl. The shop, based in the re-located and rebuilt, 15th century remnant of Newcastle House, combines the very best in 60s, 70s and 80s, rock, pop, jazz, blues and reggae within the classical attractions of Derby’s most prestigious independent shopping street – the UK’s ‘Best Shopping Street 2016’. Dave has a unique style in the second hand record retail world. He’s different, his attitude’s different. Instead of piles of albums BPM Records offers easy, methodical, customer-friendly browsing. He encourages music fans to flick through the extensive displays – all clearly, alphabetically marked – at their leisure, while the music of that wondrous era suffuses the store.

Sweat Records Helps Keep Indie Music Alive in Miami: “There’s a return to sound quality. People are into things sounding good again. People are spending money on headphones and sound systems and turntables. To me, one of the best things about it is everything is digital and the people that grew up just a generation below us have maybe never had a physical format music collection. And what better way to rebel or, you know, dive into the counterculture than by buying a giant analog piece of vinyl. And we love that we’re able to provide that service. Every time a teenager comes into the store and walks out with a great record, our hearts swell and we know we’re doing our job we’re supposed to be doing.”

VANISHED: Second Hand Rose Records: For a few weeks now, there’s a been a sign on the door of the Second Hand Rose used record shop on 12th Street, saying they were closed temporarily for renovation. As Alex at Flaming Pablum noted, “maybe they are just renovating, and will re-emerge, Phoenix-style, from the ashes of their former ignominy with a robust new outlook.” But “I’m not holding my breath.” Today the sign just says “CLOSED,” no more note about renovation, and the shop is empty and dark. A few Bob Dylan posters sit in the window. When I asked, an employee of the building said, “They’re closed forever.” We do not know the reason for the closure.

How Got What U Like Records became a cultural beacon in south Kansas City: Mark Harper was a child when he dug his first crate, rifling his older brother’s vinyl collection. His brother, who is 10 years his senior, had moved out, but he often invited Harper over to hang out on the weekends. “There wasn’t much to do, but there was a crate of classic rock,” Harper says. By the time Harper enrolled at Ruskin High School, in the mid-1990s, his tastes had shifted more toward hip-hop. He had his own set of turntables, and his mother would sometimes drive him to area record stores on the weekends. He recalls frequent stops at Bannister Mall — home to both a Musicland and a Camelot Music — and to 7th Heaven, on Troost. These treks eventually expanded beyond south Kansas City to stores along Independence Avenue, where Harper would snatch up every new R&B or hip-hop release he could manage.

New ’80s vibe coffee and vinyl store has big plans for Baldock: Stylus opened its doors at the weekend and welcomed the public in for something a little different. The front of the former electrical store now caters for customers coming in to get some food or drink to enjoy in the café area, lounge or as they browse the record room or gift shop. The team were working in store before opening, paying special attention to the finer details like the feel and volume of the music, and the height of the flowers, ensuring that every detail was accounted for before the big opening – which has been a long time coming for owners Jason Kitchener, Susan Kitchener and Abigail Skinner…One of the shop’s most unique quirks will be the ‘phone-free zone’ in the coffee lounge. Customers will have the option of putting their phones into a ‘Yondr’ pouch, which locks your phone so you can keep it on your person, but eliminates temptation to stare at your phone.

Vinyl revival: D.C. area will be home to one of the nation’s biggest record-pressing factories: Vinyl records had their day. Then they nearly died. Then they were revived. Now investors are so confident in the resiliency of the revival that they are investing millions of dollars so the record industry can keep spinning in abundance. And a big part of the future of this nearly bygone medium could unfold in the Washington suburbs. Eric Astor of Falls Church is opening a record-pressing facility early next year in Fairfax County that he says eventually could increase the production of records in the country by almost 20 percent. The United States produces about 50 million records annually, and his business, Furnace Record Pressing, will have the capacity to make about 9 million a year.

Commentary: How vinyl fills a generation’s need for human interaction: The record player and the Polaroid camera, both antiquated technology, are making a comeback within my younger generation. These modernly useless machines have been embraced by “hipsters” and have assumed their own spot in a sort of new counterculture. But what makes people willing to pay for such impractical things? I have the most experience with the record player, having asked for one a couple of years ago for my 16th birthday. At first, my parents didn’t understand why I would want this bulky machine that would take up place in their basement. Why would I want to spend my money on the giant pieces of plastic they would have to find somewhere to store when I could have a nearly infinite music library on my computer through Spotify? To answer this question I need to describe my first experience in a record store.

More DJs Are Spinning More Vinyl in Houston Bars and Clubs: Long gone are the days when we could turn on our radios and choose from a variety of stations with live DJs on the air. DJs that knew what they were spinning and took the time to craft their playlist and answer calls from the audience. Though Houston may only have a handful of flesh and blood DJs left on the airwaves, we are lucky enough to be able to head to many of our local bars and find vinylphiles spinning records of their own. Houston has been home to big name DJs like the late, great DJ Screw and a plethora of dance clubs featuring live DJs. More recently, bars such as MKT Bar, Nightingale Room, Continental Club, The Flat, and Alley Kat have been essential in maintaining a platform for local DJs who spin to audiences looking for more than the typical dance club scene.

The Invention of the Vinyl Junkie: It would seem that records were always meant to be amassed and cherished. The Post’s 1939 story, “Meet the Platterbug,” explored the early obsession with thrift store finds and rarities. The “platter industry,” as it was called, suffered from the advent of the radio in the 1920s, but records were selling even better within 10 years: “The paradoxical theory that radio produced this unexpected boom is pretty plausible. While smothering the phonograph with fresh, free entertainment, radio was also educating its public into listening to music.” The new, musically-versed people wanted to be their own deejays, and they had tastes.

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