In rotation: 8/21/18

London, GB | The world’s best record shops #120: Rat Records, London: Rat Records is a no frills record shop. You won’t find polished counters, ostentatious box set compilations, or shop assistants sniffing at your selections. Instead, it offers rare reggae, funk, soul, Afro, prog and fuzz-drenched punk records that are meant to be played and enjoyed, not gather dust in racks or be sold on Discogs. A favourite haunt for crate diggers, especially on the weekends, you’ll have to visit Rat Records early to get your hands on the real prizes. “We have a queue every Saturday at 10.30AM without fail,” boasts Tom Fisher, a record dealer since 1989 and owner of the Camberwell store since 1999. “The reason is because we always have a fresh selection and our prices are very reasonable. We not only undercut the competition, we are better than them, and I like selling records, not looking at them.”

Wellington, NZ | A Vinyl Affair – Record Fair: Saturday, October 6, 2018: Following the success of June’s pop-up record fair at the Rogue and Vagabond – the good news is that A Vinyl Affair – Wellington’s Record Fair will be back there, doing the day shift this time. It’ll be Saturday October 6, from 10am-4pm. As always there’ll be a huge range of vinyl treasures – new and second-hand – and there’ll even be some spot prizes. Follow the Facebook page for further details, for some hints at the giveaways on the night and to join the community…A Vinyl Affair – Wellington’s Record Fair is always a well-run event filled with great people selling and buying, lots of music fans all in the one place. And it’s FREE to attend.

CLASSIC VINYL: Cool contenders who challenged for Britpop title: …The band Blur fronted by Damon Alban were at the forefront of music that became known as Britpop. In the nineties the UK press attempted to concoct a Blur versus Oasis campaign when both acts released singles on the same day; in the event Blur won the chart battle with Country House but remained diplomatically silent. But in the long run it was Oasis who took over the headlines on a daily basis. Blur disappeared to Iceland to work on material for this, their fifth album. On its release it disappointed both critics and fans alike but has become acknowledged as containing their greatest work. Inspired by bands of the sixties, the best track is Beetlebum a homage to The Beatles.

This straight-up audiophile turntable costs less than you’d think: Looking to step up your vinyl game? The $999 MoFi StudioDeck looks, sounds and feels terrific — and it’s made in the US. While I rarely have a need to physically touch my speakers or digital converter, turntables are all about how they feel when you play a record. Vinyl is the most tactile of all music formats, so if the turntable feels awkward or cheap, playing music won’t be much fun. Even before I listened to an LP, the MoFi StudioDeck turntable scored high on feel and design, it’s a joy to use. Turns out it sounds good, too. The MoFi StudioDeck is a belt-drive turntable with a medium-density fiberboard base which is embedded with a smidgen of aluminum inserts. On top sits a nicely machined Delrin platter that spins on an inverted bearing, and it’s accompanied by a 10-inch aluminum tonearm that looks snazzy and feels solid.

RIAA Awards the Eagles with #1 and #3 Top-Certified Albums of All Time: The Eagles can now add another accolade to their unparalleled resume – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best-selling album of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which recently certified the album 38x Platinum, accounting for sales and streams of more than 38 million copies since its release in February of 1976. Later that same year, in December, the band followed up with Hotel California, which is now the third best-selling album of all time, certified 26x Platinum by the RIAA for sales and streams of more than 26 million copies. “Congratulations to the Eagles, who now claim the jaw-dropping feat of writing and recording two of the top three albums in music history,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA.

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