In rotation: 11/12/18

London, ENG | New record shop World of Echo is opens in east London: London denizens are getting a new record shop called World of Echo this weekend, reports RA. Named after Arthur Russell’s LP World of Echo, the shop will buy and sell new, used and rare vinyl – “including early electronic music, krautrock, noise, EBM, punk, post-punk, industrial, jazz, art rock and DIY” as well as London imprints. Stephen Pietrzykowski, who co-owns the store alongside Natalie Judge, shares: “”It’s vital to us that local labels and artists are supported within the shop, and we’ll be trying our best to make sure we fit within the local surroundings and that the local residents feel connected to the shop.” Located at 128 Columbia Road, in the heart of the city’s famous flower market, World of Echo will officially open for business at 12pm on Saturday 10th November. It follows a wave of openings in the capital over the past few weeks.

San Antonio, TX | Community rallying around Flip Side Record Parlor, owner to keep the San Antonio staple afloat: Along with battling declining sales in the face of streaming music, the owner of Flip Side Record Parlor is fighting cancer — again. On Saturday, a burger sale benefit will be hosted at the store to help save the nearly 50-year-old business and assist owner Clarisa Pena in her fight against stage 4 colon cancer, she told mySA.com. “Business has been really slow, CD sales are down and although vinyl is back, it’s not going to keep me afloat,” she said of the Military Drive store. “It’s really been a struggle.” Pena, a McCollum High School graduate, said her time at the beloved record parlor started when she was 20, when she was hired on Black Friday 1993. After the former owner Doug Leasein died, Pena took over ownership in 2011. “This is everything, this pays my bills, my home, this is my life,” Pena said, adding that she noticed a decline in sales starting in 2008. Pena was diagnosed with cancer for the first time five years after she took over the store. She went into remission but the disease returned this spring.

Austin, TX | Authentically Austin: Antone’s Record Shop: So many people and places make Austin one of the more unique cities in the U.S. One of those local spots is Antone’s Record Shop. One of the store’s current co-owners, Eve Monsees, says, “There is something about having something tangible in your hand and just – the feel of it, the smell of it. Takes you somewhere else” Antone’s Record Shop opened in 1987 which makes it one of the oldest record shops in Austin. The late Clifford Antone, known for Antone’s Night Club which has been a huge part of Austin as well since 1975, opened the store. Co-owner Mike Buck says, “If it weren’t for Clifford Antone there wouldn’t be the blues scene. When that music wasn’t that popular he was booking it and often paying out of his own pocket and helping some younger musicians here.” “At the time when the store opened the night club was across the street and in the back office here was the Antone’s record label – so at one point everything was within walking distance. And of course the night club relocated to a great location downtown (and the) label has moved on but we are still here in our original location,” Monsees says.

School of tubeism: the irresistible hook of vintage amp tubes: Today’s gadgets and devices are growing smaller each year thanks to the transistor, a simple device that has become the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices. Introduced in the early 1950s, the transistor revolutionized the field of electronics, allowing the development of smaller and cheaper radios, calculators, and computers. However, some argue that the transistor changed the way music sounds, possibly for the worse. Those who yearn for the purer sound of the early days have turned to the transistor’s predecessor, the vacuum tube. Used for processing or creating electrical signals, the vacuum tube was critical to the development of early electronic technology. It paved the way for the expansion and commercialization of radio communication and broadcasting, television, radar, and sound reproduction. Derived from the resisting property of incandescent light bulbs, vacuum tubes were created to regulate the flow of electricity, amplifying the frequency of an electric signal. This was necessary to amplify the minute vibrations picked up by the needle of a turntable running through the groove of a vinyl record.

The Album Is in Deep Trouble – and the Music Business Probably Can’t Save it, Sales are plummeting, and the music industry is returning to the era of track-led consumption. Is the LP doomed? Make no mistake, the album is fighting for its life. Sales of music’s most beloved format are in free fall in the United States this year. According to figures published by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the value of total stateside album sales in the first half of 2018 (across download, CD and vinyl) plummeted by 25.8 percent when compared with the first half of 2017. If that percentage decline holds for the full year, and there’s every indication it will, annual U.S. album sales in 2018 will end up at half the size of what they were as recently as 2015. To put it more plainly, U.S. consumers will spend around half a billion dollars less on albums this year than they did in 2017.

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