In rotation: 8/9/18

Leamington, UK | Musicians celebrate reopening of Head with intimate gig: Musicians ditched the stage and took to a slightly different venue to celebrate the reopening of a Leamington record store. Customers of independent music store Head, which is based in the Royal Priors, were left devastated when the shop closed last year. But it recently reopened its doors under new management and to celebrate the owners held an acoustic gig with performances by local bands Luna Kiss, The Ellipsis and Freezacrowd. Luna Kiss frontman Wil Russell said: “We have a record store that is supporting local artists and an opportunity for local artists to get involved with their local record store, which is something not a lot of places are doing. “This is a sense of community which has been lost in the industry for quite a while.”

Racine, WA | Harbor PC Music record shop plays to the tune of variety: Kevin Conrad smiles as he looks at the makeup-covered face of KISS front man Gene Simmons, printed on the jacket for his 1978 self-titled album. At age 9, “Gene Simmons” became the first album Conrad ever owned. Thirty-nine years later, Conrad has more than 20,000. About 4,000 of Conrad’s albums are on display in his record store, Harbor PC Music, 3208 Washington Ave., with another 16,000 stacked floor to ceiling in the basement. Conrad opened the record store in West Racine in 2016. He already owned the storefront; it had been a photo studio, but that had stopped being profitable. Half the building’s floor space is still dedicated to his PC repair business, which has been going strong for more than a decade.

Ontario, CA | Flooding forces beloved Kingston record store to hit pause: Future of Brian’s Record Option unclear after rushing water soaks stock. A beloved Kingston, Ont., record store is hitting pause after flooding damaged much of its inventory on Saturday. Brian’s Record Option on Princess Street has been a treasure trove of dusty vinyl stacked from floor to ceiling since the early 1980s. The 1,200-square-foot store holds 80,000 albums, 20,000 CDs and thousands of cassettes, posters and books. Brian Lipson, the store’s owner, told CBC Radio’s All In A Day he was downstairs in the basement when he heard water gurgling. It began to flow pretty fast. The water filled the basement and rose to the main floor, flooding through the store and out the front door, taking CDs and records with it.

Grandview Heights, OH | Pub, studio put new spin on record store: The combination record store, pub and recording suite will open Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 1806 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus, just outside Grandview Heights. Stacy has spent the past year renovating the former thrift shop into an open and airy storefront. “It’s not your grandfather’s record store,” he said. Craft & Vinyl offers a small bar that serves craft beer, two floor displays of used vinyl records and new albums displayed on the wall. Two couches with music magazines arrayed on a coffee table are placed near a wall with concert posters designed by Mike Martin of the Columbus-based Engine House 13. Visitors also can play pinball on their choice of Rolling Stones or Kiss machines.

The 70th Anniversary of The Vinyl LP: This year marks the 70th Anniversary of what we now know as vinyl LPs. Although the format has been called many things including albums, phonograph records, 33 1/3 RPM records, 12” records and now vinyl records, the basic premise has remained the same since the beginning. The basic vinyl LP is typically black; however, they have been made in various colors and even as picture discs. However, how many people know why they were made in the first place. Why was this format needed? The vinyl LP has been the one recorded format that simply refuses to die. With the invention and rapid distribution of the CD in the late 1980’s, the vinyl LP was practically led to extinction; however, the format began a resurgence that continues to increase in demand to this day. We will investigate the long history of the vinyl LP beginning with its predecessors in this series of articles.

‘Hipster kryptonite’: will CDs ever have a resurgence? …Though secondhand CD are an increasingly popular alternative to vinyl, their relative affordability also serves as a sign of their decline. Richard Farnell, the co-owner of Vinyl Exchange, a record shop in Manchester, says: “We still sell a lot of CDs but at much cheaper prices than five to 10 years ago. There is no evidence of a CD revival – the majority of newly opened record shops generally don’t even stock CDs.” These shops sell vinyl instead – to DJs, to those who want to fulfill a nostalgic need, and to younger patrons trying to bolster their retro cache. None of these roles is currently filled by CDs. “CDs lack both the romance of vinyl and the endearing clunkiness of cassettes,” says Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, author of Personal Stereo. “They may not be as conducive to nostalgia because we may not have had the chance to miss them as much. By the same token, we may not associate them strongly with any particular bygone era.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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