In rotation: 11/28/17

Local record shop celebrates Small Business Saturday: Waterloo Records and Video is one example of everything that’s good about small business in Austin. The store has been selling records in Downtown Austin for 35 years and is one of the most successful record stores in Austin. Owner John Kunz said that he owes the success of his business to the community it serves. “Austin has always been a very supportive and boot strapping sorta place,” Kunz said. “All the indie businesses just really realized that we’d be a stronger voice together than we are separately.” Kunz is a founding member of the Austin Independent Business Alliance, an organization that supports local business in Austin. For 15 years, the organization has helped to bring more exposure to local shops like Waterloo as a way to keep shoppers buying locally.

Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz rides a vinyl wave: Sure, some folks went shopping on their phone looking for Black Friday specials but for music lovers, the happening place was Streetlight Records. The shop on Pacific Avenue opened an hour early for the promotion to let shoppers hunt for special release vinyl records. That’s right, records — those ebony disks that predate cassette tapes, the Walkman, compact discs, the MP3, Napster, iTunes and iPods. “Thank God for the vinyl resurgence,” said Roger Weiss, Streetlight Records store manager, who helped open the place for owner Robert Fallon 20 years ago. A new generation is discovering the value of vinyl records, with sales rising for the 11th straight year and hitting 13 million — an all-time high — in 2016, according to Nielson’s year-end report.

The Ransom Note opens record shop in East London: Online magazine The Ransom Note is opening a record shop in Forest Gate, East London, on December 2nd. Situated beneath a railway arch on Avenue Road, Ransom Note Records is a partnership between the magazine and Aiden​ ​d’Araujo, a dance music journalist and vinyl digger who’s been contributing to the site since 2014. Most of the shop’s stock will be second-hand, spanning house, techno, hi-NRG, Italo, new wave, synth, boogie, disco, funk and soul. There will also be new music, including records on The Ransom Note’s own label. Customers will also be able to book in appointments with Neil​ ​Macey, the shop’s in-house turntable technician. Ransom Note Records will launch with a party on Saturday, December 2nd. Doors open at midday.

New downtown Macon store puts a new spin on music: A city known for its musical history now has a place to recapture a bit of that nostalgia in vinyl. Falling Star Records opened recently at 362 Second St. next to the Cox Capitol Theatre, offering new and vintage vinyl for music enthusiasts, according to a release. “My parents owned and operated a record store on Vineville Avenue while attending college at Mercer,” said Wes Griffith, co-owner of Creek Media LLC, the company that owns and operates 100.9 The Creek FM, 11th Hour and now Falling Star Records. “It’s an honor to bring it full circle and open a vinyl shop in downtown Macon under the same name — Falling Star Records. “Vinyl is making a comeback, and we are excited to help grow the vinyl culture in Macon.”

Owner of the Berkshires’ last independent record store, Toonerville Trolley, is looking to sell: After 40 years in the record store business, Hal March wants to see if there’s a worthy soul to come on deck and put a new spin on his iconic Billsville shop. Toonerville Trolley CDs & Records is the last known independent record store in the Berkshires. While it has humble beginnings in the back of a used bread truck that March used to peddle vinyl records from on Spring Street, it’s best known as a music lover’s destination located at 131 Water St. Swing open the screen door and to your right, you’re likely to find March at the counter, flipping through files, talking shop with customers or just swaying slightly, likely to a jazz recording of his liking.

West Quay Records in Bridgwater under new management: A Bridgwater born and bred music lover said he delighted to get the chance to turn his beloved hobby into his job after taking over West Quay Records. Ian Nicholas has taken over the store which had previously been run for more than 25 years by Adrian Fraser. Mr Nicholas said: “It has been a fantastic first week, we have had people from all walks of life come in, young and old. We have restocked and redecorated, brought in new memorabilia. “This is my first record store but I have been a passionate record collector since a young age. I have thousands of records and this opportunity means I can turn my hobby into my job,” he added. The store sells all genres of vinyl records from 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as well as records in today’s charts.

Paper Bag Records launches vintage Canadian vinyl offerings: It’s becoming apparent that the excitement over vinyl records isn’t a passing fad. Fans of the ancient analog sound-storage form known as “LPs” have an almost religious devotion to the medium. And they have their preacher: Jack White, the former White Stripes guitarist who was a keynote speaker for the recent Making Vinyl conference in his home town of Detroit, where earlier this year he founded Third Man Pressing, a new record plant with brand-new presses. “Vinyl in the music world is one of the most reverential ways that you can experience this music,” White explained at the conference. “It’s very hard to pause vinyl … vinyl is dropping the needle, sitting down and paying attention.”

‘Record Safari’: How the owner of Coachella’s record store travels across the country to find vinyl for the festival: As the owner and curator of Coachella’s on-site record store, Alex Rodriguez has a keen eye for unique and noteworthy vinyl. In the past four years, leading up to the annual California music festival, Rodriguez has embarked on months-long, cross-country road trips to stock the festival store up to its typical quota of around 30,000 used records. He travels to well-known stores and obscure stops, seeking out hard-to-find records and other vinyl he sees potential demand for. For this year’s trip, the concept of Rodriguez’s search for records caught the eye of an independent film crew, who joined him on the trip and is producing a feature-length documentary about it, titled “Record Safari.”

Resurging popularity of vinyl LPs faces abrupt halt in S. Korea: In a maze of alleyways and narrow byroads packed with hundreds of small stores selling everything outdated and old-fashioned from TVs and antiques to expensive transistor audio systems sit a 45-year-old vinyl shop with a worn-out sliding door which is reminiscent of a doorway into a dungeon. On the walls of Dol Record, filled with a sweet and spicy smell of old vinyl paper covers, tens of thousands of LPs were tightly shelved. And Kim Sung-jong, a 63-year-old shop owner, silently wiped the dust off LPs with a few regular customers watching the graceful handiwork or being immersed in deep consideration over what to buy. Almost every vinyl available in South Korea is on display, ranging from old Korean pop songs released back in the 50s and albums of foreign artists such as Bob Dylan to hit songs in the 1990s.

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