In rotation: 11/8/18

Champaign, IL | ACE Business Award winner has ensured local musicians always have a stage: A dozen music acts in seven days. That’s not the lineup at a big-city venue. It’s the local record store — Exile on Main Street. The circular stage at the store — a 10-foot replica of Side One of the 1972 Rolling Stones LP “Exile on Main Street” — is busy in a seven-day stretch that began Saturday with five local performers and a touring act, Lowkeylife, a hip-hop group from Chapel Hill, N.C. It continues Wednesday, with a single release party featuring a national touring singer and two more local musicians. On Friday, four more acts, including a touring group from Detroit, will play there. Raised on the local-music scene in Champaign-Urbana, store owner Jeff Brandt said it was always part of his original business plan to have as much local music as possible — both on the store’s shelves and its stage.

Longton, UK | Let the music play! This record shop is celebrating five years in business thanks to vinyl revival. Strand Records has gone from strength to strength. A popular record shop is bucking trend after celebrating five years in business in a struggling town centre. Kendall Trigg was told he was ‘mad’ when he opened Strand Records inside Longton Market, on The Strand, in 2013. But thanks to the increasing popularity of vinyl, the business has gone on to mark its fifth birthday this month. John Whitehurst, who joined the business earlier this year, said: “When Ken started the business the industry was very different. Everything was digital and everything was driven by the second hand market, but he did it for the love of music.

Nairobi, KE | The world’s best record shops #130: Melodica Music Stores, Nairobi: What’s the story? You’ll be hard pressed to find a person as enthusiastic for what they do as Abdul Karim of Nairobi’s Melodica Record store. Inheriting the shop from his father, Daudia Pravinlal, who opened his first music shop in 1952 in what Karim calls “a small, one horse town in Kenya”, Melodica was later established in 1971. Now it’s a cornerstone for east and central African music, encompassing a publisher, a record shop and multiple record labels. “Imagine a perfect sunshine day in Nairobi,” says Karim, painting a picture of life at Melodica. “Day in and day out, it’s a beautiful day. The first customer comes early in the morning. He has a tune, a song in his memory, he’s come so far and he hums a tune and any tune from our region we find it and provide. It is always a pleasure to serve our folks.”

Huntsville, ON | Viva las Vinyl! – The Record Shoppe opens in Huntsville: There’s a very cool new store on the Main Street. The Record Shoppe has opened in the heart of Huntsville’s downtown billing themselves as vinyl specialists. Offering to buy and sell records, the business also conducts repairs on equipment and sells record players. Cara Henry, the co-owner operator, said they aim to be a part of the local music scene and have ambitious plans to support artists. “We’ve done a massive life change, and we want to be part of the community. It’s part of why we want to be here,” said Henry. Moving to town from the city, Henry and her life partner Trevor Marshall have a variety of experiences with the music industry. The store provides a curated musical experience with a collection that mostly fits between the 1960s and 1990s. That doesn’t mean they won’t have new music available or that they can’t get you that new Taylor Swift record.

Madison, WI | Ear Wax Records, a longtime punk and metal haven, has closed: Ear Wax Records, at 254 W. Gilman St., has decided to call it quits after 23 years of serving metalheads, punks, and lovers of local record shops alike. “The landlord has other plans for the space,” owner Rob Cleveland said in October, while weighing the future of the store. Ear Wax has been upstairs at its Gilman Street building, just off of State Street, for almost 20 years, and has occupied its current space for almost 10. In the last year, the building has come under new management and as of August 31, 2018, Ear Wax’s lease expired and was not renewed. Another shop in the building, A New Hope Comics, has already relocated to 444 State Street, while another tenant, Koi Sushi, has been struggling to hold onto its liquor license. The building’s property management company, NAI MLG Commercial, declined to comment on the future of the space or why Ear Wax’s lease was not renewed.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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