In rotation: 11/29/17

Digs at Bigs: It’s all about the vinyl: Adelaide vinyl collectors and DJs will be selling records spanning funk, soul, disco, boogie and hip-hip at a boutique record fair and music event on Saturday that will spin off into a night-time disco street party. Nick Dawson, of Funk Bros DJs, describes Digs at Bigs Vol. 2 as a curated record fair that emphasises quality over quantity. Taking place from 1pm to 4pm this Saturday in the basement and laneway at Biggies at Bertram, Grenfell Street, it will see around 10 sellers each offering up to three crates of records from their own personal collections. Unlike larger record fairs, where you might expect tables piled with classic rock, pop and folk, plus a liberal spread of Kamahl, the focus of Digs at Bigs is more specific – predominantly soul, disco, funk and hip-hop.

Vinyl record store pulled back from closure: Lucky Seven, a shop that has been operating on Stoke Newington Church Street for eight years, will stay open until at least January 2018 after financial support from owner Jason Gore’s family and friends poured in to help make payments for rent and business rates. Gore received a bailiff’s letter last week, demanding rent payment of £6000 for the September to December period, a 60% rent increase from the £3750 he used to pay per quarter five years ago. Gore has struggled to make rent ever since and had to borrow money every month. Since the business rate revaluation was introduced on 1 April 2017, Gore now pays £200 a month for business rates, a 35% increase from a monthly bill of £148. These increased running costs have made operation difficult to sustain for small businesses like Lucky Seven in Stoke Newington.

Fueling a vinyl resurgence, Redwood City’s The Record Man store stands the test of time: Though the thousands of records that fill the small rooms and winding hallways at The Record Man store in Redwood City are enough to make anyone’s head spin, for store owner Gary Saxon, it all makes sense. Having spent the last 30 years organizing the records lining the walls of his store at 1322 El Camino Real, it wouldn’t take Saxon more than a few minutes to find a customer’s request among the sections he’s dedicated to musical genres including soul, rhythm and blues, big band and rock, among many others. And that’s all before he’ll dive into the room that holds his jazz records.

America’s New Vinyl Bars, Drawing on the Japanese record bar tradition, American bars are swapping streaming playlists for vinyl and turntables. Even in the age of streaming music services that constitute the majority of public soundtracks, a growing number bars are incorporating vinyl—not just for their playlists, but as central to their ethos. Tokyo Record Bar pays homage to the intimate jazz cafés and vinyl bars discoverable around Tokyo since the 1950s. The postwar popularity of jazz in Japan’s capital led to a proliferation of venues that were dedicated to group-listening to records. These refuges for audiophiles have evolved over the years, but there are still a good number that continue to place music at the forefront of the experience, boasting album collections in the thousands.

Eschewing High-Tech Hotel Amenities in Favor of Old-School Record Players: When Schafer Newman stayed at the Goodland, in Goleta, Calif., last year, it wasn’t the hotel’s proximity to the beach or downtown Santa Barbara that impressed him the most. Nor was it the extensive cocktail and spirits list at the property’s watering hole, the Good Bar. While these features were welcome, Mr. Newman, 28, from San Diego, said that he was blown away by the record player in his room, accompanied by a selection of rock ‘n’ roll records, including “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones. “I had never used a record player, much less really seen one before, and I thought it was the coolest touch,” he said. Mr. Newman isn’t the only guest at the Goodland to think so.

Kai cashes in on vinyl: A young entrepreneur is cashing in on the current trend for playing vinyl records. Kai Jensen, 10, from Middle Rank, Bradford on Avon, has set up a stall on the town’s Saturday market in Lamb Yard. Selling new and second hand vinyl records sourced from a store in Frome, and guitar plectrum holders, he has so far made a £119 profit after expenses. His mum, yoga trainer and teacher, Sasha Jensen, said Kai got interested in vinyl after being bought a record player. With encouragement from Sasha, and his father, Troy Jensen, a business psychologist, he set up KJ Records and acquired a street trader’s licence.

Jeff Mills reveals new Axis Vinyl Stabilizer: Jeff Mills has revealed a new vinyl weight prototype that will be on sale soon via his label Axis Records. In a post on Facebook, Mills teased the new vinyl stabiliser, which he explained would “eliminate unwanted vibration which can affect the sound and stability of your needle’s tracking”. The weights are also designed to temporarily even out records that may have been warped or curved. While no release date has been announced for The Axis Vinyl Stabilizer, they’re limited to a run of 100 units, each one engraved and numbered. Head to Axis Records’ website for more. If you’re looking to stock up on records, Ransom Note are opening a new record store in East London – but if you’re too broke to afford real records, maybe this VR turntable set is for you.

Celebrating the record cover’s limitless canvas: The cover of a vinyl album represents much more than a means of holding the music inside – some sleeves have become touchstones of art and design, while the LP format’s unlikely resurgence is putting imaginative images back into the collections of enthusiasts. “People like something physical, especially when their lives are lost to digital things,” says Jason White, curator of a new exhibition that puts the spotlight on record cover art. “The format brings creative minds together. It’s quite unique.” The show, in Barnsley, is running concurrently with exhibitions in Budapest and Bologna, and celebrates a global award called Best Art Vinyl. The prize, given annually to a standout design, is now in its 12th year, and all 50 nominees for 2017 are being shown together for the first time at The Civic.

Willie Meighan – Mr Rollercoaster Kilkenny has passed away: Willie Meighan’s death at 48 years of age this morning has had a profound impact on many people in Kilkenny and far beyond. The wonderful, joyous, happy-go-lucky owner of one of the country’s few independent record shops, Roller Coaster Records succumbed to serious illness at his home in the city at 7.45am surrounded by his family and by the love of his life, his wife of just a few weeks, Aisling Hoy. Willie Meighan was one of the few people in this world who liked everyone and was above all, a tolerant person. He was a major part of the reason for the success of the Roots music festival of which he was a board member. The gigs he organised were always well populated while his discos, with him as DJ, were a must for any one of his generation.

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