In rotation: 1/4/18

U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Hit Nielsen Music-Era Record High in 2017: Once again, yearly vinyl album sales have hit another Nielsen Music-era record high, as the configuration sold 14.32 million (up 9 percent) in 2017. That’s up from the previous one-year high, registered in 2016 with 13.1 million…2017 marks the 12th straight year of growth in vinyl album sales. The format continues to increase in sales as more new and classic albums are issued on vinyl, promotion from retailers like Amazon, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, as well as annual vinyl-oriented celebrations like Record Store Day.

Vinyl LP sales represented 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 – up from 6.5 percent for the configuration’s share in 2016. Further, LP sales were 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017 (a Nielsen-era record share for the format) – up from 11 percent in 2016. Further, vinyl album sales were driven by an array of titles, not just a handful of hot sellers. In total, 77 different titles each sold more than 20,000 copies on vinyl LP in 2017, as compared to 58 in 2016.

After This Weekend, Music Saves to Close: We have fond memories of standing in a line that stretched down Waterloo Rd. in North Collinwood with other local music junkies on Record Store Day to buy limited edition vinyl releases that Music Saves would stock. Alas, Music Saves will close its brick and mortar business this weekend and will focus solely on online sales. It’s a significant loss; store owner Melanie Hersh opened the store, which is located next to the Beachland Ballroom, in 2004 and regularly stocked local and national releases. It also hosted in-store appearances from indie acts like Frightened Rabbit and Jeremy Jay.

The beat goes on at South Jersey record shop: Howard and Nan have long passed away, but their names linger on a sign at one of the oldest businesses at the Berlin Farmers Market. Hanging outside the store they founded inside the market 65 years ago, the sign still reads, “Howard and Nan’s Record Shop.” It’s a tribute by the shop’s current owner Joseph DiPietro, who used to work for Philadelphians Howard Horne and Nancy Ferraro. Had it not been for DiPietro’s dedication, passion for music and his respect for both tradition and the store’s founders, the Record Shop might have disappeared like the small downtown record stores that grappled with regional and national chains and fought to stay open as listeners moved away from vinyl albums and into CDs. “I just love music and our music was great…”

Cheapies’ 40th Boxing Day bash could be the last, Owner mulls future of iconic downtown record store: How is this man still standing? Brian Jasson runs a record store, and everyone knows that business is dead. Ask failed music giant HMV. And Jasson is downtown, which has seen many dark days. Yet here we are, Dec. 26, 2017, and he’s staging his annual Boxing Day sale again. Somehow, it’s his 40th. We find him at a cluttered desk at the back of the store, a long walk from the front door on King East. He’s wearing a weathered, black leather jacket. “I got this in 1972,” he says. “A little snug now.” Jasson got into the business because he liked music. Punk rock, especially the Ramones. All four of that band’s original members are gone, but Jasson rolls on.

What’s up with The Bazaar of Roanoke? Well, not closed, exactly. But forced to move, proprietor Jamie Booker Cheatwood said, due to issues with the building that had recently escalated. On a sign she put on the door of the record shop/consignment store/music venue, she wrote that the building requires work that could not be done while it was occupied. Cheatwood said she wants to find a new space for the store, but until the right space comes open, she is focusing on events, both musical and sales-related. “We are also putting together a mobile record shop, a record mobile, if you will, and we’re looking to debut that in January,” Cheatwood said in a phone call last week. “If we find the right place to land, then we will. It was kind of unexpected to have to move right before the holidays. And it’s our busiest time, too. “But we’re trying to focus on the positive…”

South Carolina’s Stephen Colbert spotted in Palmetto State over the holidays: Lots of people go to their families’ homes for the holidays. Why should celebrities be any different? One of South Carolina’s most famous sons returned to the Palmetto State recently, and was spotted making the rounds. Stephen Colbert was recently seen at Shem Creek Music in Mount Pleasant. The “Late Show” host grew up in Charleston and still has family in South Carolina. It looks like the comedian and talk show host took time off from making jokes about President Donald Trump to go record shopping. “Donnie Polk and I did a good job not blowing his cover and he seemed to enjoy our little shop. Came back in a few days later with a family member to get records as well. Super cool guy, hope he stops in again soon!”

Dallas Vintage Music Store Plans to Sell Inventory and Slowly Close Its Doors: Shake Rag Music is located in a tiny strip mall on Live Oak Street in Dallas. You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but inside, it’s a claustrophobic music time capsule. “If we get more than 4 or 5 people it’s a traffic jam in here,” said owner John Gasperik. The aisles have narrowed as Gasperik has collected more and more guitars, memorabilia, and records. He hopes to sell off collections of guitars and records and close his business by the end of next year. “It’s amazing what you can find when you’re out looking for guitars and records, stuff to fill in the empty spaces here,” Gasperik said smiling. “If there’s such a thing in this store.”

Not dead yet: Record executives making sure the compact disc still has a future: Adrian Doran knows he’s clinging onto what many consider an obsolete music format, but for him there’s still plenty to love about compact discs. Not long ago he made browsing the CD aisles of HMV Canada part of his shopping routine, but when the retailer went bust last spring he was confronted with the possibility of migrating to a streaming music service. He chose to start picking up CDs at his local independent record store instead. “I just bought into them big time,” the 52-year-old Toronto resident said of his appreciation for CDs. Whether it’s the inferior sound quality or the inaccessibility of rarities, Doran finds streaming music services don’t stand up to his extensive CD collection.

Most Collected Vinyl Album Color Variants on Discogs for 2017: “The color variant data aggregates from Discogs user’s adding the release to their collections. The album can be purchased outside of the Discogs Marketplace ecosystem considering users can exclusively use Discogs as their preferred method of cataloging their record collection. Managing collections, no matter how small or large, allows Discogs users to track to things like median value… and who doesn’t like to check up on what their limited edition, red color variant, 2xLP version of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ is worth?” – Jeffrey Smith, Discogs

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