In rotation: 1/2/18

Owners of VIP Records Honored By Mayor for Contributions to Long Beach: Dozens of supporters gathered at the original home of World Famous VIP Records Thursday afternoon to witness Mayor Robert Garcia’s presentation of proclamations to Kelvin and Cletus Anderson, the brothers that founded and operated the iconic record store that helped shape the history of hip-hop in Long Beach. The mayor’s proclamations come the same week that the city council voted unanimously in support of an ordinance being drafted to designate the sign that sits on top of the original home of the business, which has since been converted to a 7/11 convenience store, as a historic landmark. “It’s really important that we recognize historical landmarks across the city but it’s also important that we recognize Black history in Long Beach, Black culture and the Black experience,” Garcia said. “And VIP was a very big part of that.”

New downtown Alpharetta record store finds its groove: It takes some nerve to open an analog business smack in the middle of the “Technology City of the South.” But, Comeback Vinyl owners Karen and Alex Vernon think it makes perfect sense to locate their record store at 1 N. Main in downtown Alpharetta. Besides, said son Alex, analog records – good pressings – use some of the best audio technology ever created. Though he grew up in the digital age, Alex, 26, is a big fan of vinyl, and he can tell you just about everything that makes its sound reproduction superior to digital products. While the wave of CDs and MP3 music virtually erased the vinyl record industry after 1990, Alex said the analog recordings have been making a comeback…But, for Karen, whose first job was working at a record store in Mississippi, there’s much more to it than pure numbers.

At 40, success and longevity of Boise’s iconic Record Exchange ‘a pretty remarkable thing’: There’s no other place like The Record Exchange in the Treasure Valley — and very few spots like it in the country — that can match its mix of retro cool, contemporary swagger and business savvy. It comes at you from all directions: the explosive colors and funky design of the facade to the rows and rows of vinyl records, the CDs, a wall of posters, racks of irreverent T-shirts, socks and cards, and shelves of sometimes profane bric-a-brac. And, of course, playing over the sound system, the music — new, alternative, classic and sometimes obscure rock, jazz, EDM, hip-hop and more. Aromas of exotic incense, musty record jackets and fresh brewed coffee hang in the air. The vibe draws everyone from business executives and high school rockers, to noted musicians and serious collectors.

Winchester music store gives vinyl records a second spin: When Anthony Matthews and his son Jamie Matthews took over Ear Food in 2006, the record store mostly sold CDs and DVDs. They never imagined that vinyl records would make a comeback. But on Thursday, Anthony Matthews, 64, said new and used vinyl records have grown to be about 70 percent of the store’s net sales some weeks. Generally, they account for more than half of all sales. “The sound quality you get by putting a vinyl record on… the younger generation is just discovering that.”…Once the father and son took over the shop, which is now located at 22 Weems Lane, they expanded the inventory, but they didn’t anticipate a time when customers would walk into the store asking for vinyl records — a form of recorded music that hasn’t been mainstream since the 1970s. “It’s a whole new generation buying the albums,” Anthony Matthews said, noting that record manufacturing has sprung up again in some parts of the country.

Interview with local record shop owner, Wayne Hopkins of Red Rock Records: “Middle age people who had children and stopped collecting have gone back to collecting because of nostalgia about their youth and also a big driving factor is the young people who are buying them because they have discovered the sound quality is a lot better than mp3…I think it’s because their parents bought vinyl or their friends bought vinyl. Quite often when you’re young you hear it somewhere. You just pick up on it – person to person… I use streaming myself. In a strange way, I think its helped the sale of records. People pick up on things they wouldn’t have heard of. When I was young if you didn’t buy the record you wouldn’t hear it.”

New record store opens in downtown Port Huron: Jeff Hardman has always had a passion for music — and a long history of selling it. “In 1977 I got my first record clerk job at Full Moon Records and it’s cursed me my whole life. It’s all I know how to do,” he said. “I’ve worked retail music over 35 years.” Port Huron’s Full Moon Records at Quay and Huron streets was important to many people who grew up in the 1970s when record stores were prominent. While Hardman has both online and brick and mortar experience, he recently opened his own shop in downtown Port Huron. State Perceptory is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 219 Huron Ave. Hardman said the name came from the film, “Wild Palms.” “I just like the idea of it; in the movie it’s a reference to a lunatic asylum,” he said.

Treehouse Records owner on closing legendary Minneapolis shop: ‘I’m just tired of it’: Music fanatics might be devastated when Treehouse Records closes its doors for the last time Dec. 31, but owner Mark Trehus won’t be. Sipping ginger beer at Uptown’s Caffetto Coffee Shop recently, Trehus looked ready to retire. The 62-year-old had dark crescents beneath his eyes. Sprigs of gray hair peeked out from beneath his New Orleans Super Bowl Champions cap. “It’s not economic reasons at all,” Trehus said of his motivations for closing. “It’s all about me reaching a point in my life where I realize that I’m just tired of it. I don’t feel like the store is relevant in the same way it used to be.”

This record store owner is possibly the luckiest guy in Glasgow at the moment: If there was ever a person fit enough to be a physical embodiment of Glasgow’s love affair with music it must be Lorenzo Pacitti. Owner of record store and label (and sometimes intimate gig venue) LP Records in Glasgow’s West End, Lorenzo has his finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to keeping his ear to the ground about the best new music coming our way be. And when Barcelona’s uber cool music festival Primavera Sound launched a competition to be among the first on the planet to see their lineup unveiled for next year, there was only ever going to be one Glaswegian in the running. After posting a video to the festival’s site illustrating how much of a fan he was, he was picked among 10 other music fans from across Europe to be the first in the know.

Turntables are golden as UK retailers report bumper Christmas sales, HMV predicts turntables will be its top-selling technology product, beating both headphones and speaker docks: It’s been decades since families gathered round record players to listen to the new pile of records stacked among the torn wrapping paper on Christmas morning. However, LPs will be crackling and popping in living rooms all over the country this year as Britons give new turntables a spin after the gadget became one of the must-have gifts of 2017. Retailers including HMV and Richer Sounds have reported bumper turntable sales this year, while John Lewis has sold out of eight of the 20 models it stocked, as millennials and fortysomethings catch the vinyl bug. Phil Jubb, purchasing director at hi-fi and TV specialist Richer Sounds, said turntable sales had increased by 70% in recent years: “This has been across the board at all prices. It goes to show that a great record player is part of any good sound system.”

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