In rotation: 12/5/18

New York, NY | RIP Bleecker Bob Plotnick, the Man Who Gave America New Wave, Punk, Power Pop in the 1970s: It’s a couple of days late, but I’m reporting to you that Bleecker Bob Plotnick died November 29th at age 75. If you lived in Greenwich Village in the late 1970s or cared about music at all from that era, you will know Bob’s name or the name of his record store. He — and it– were seminal in bringing New Wave, punk, power pop, whatever you want to call it to America. Without him it’s unlikely there would be the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, New York Dolls, so many acts now so well established in the music firmament but 40 years ago just whispers from Melody Maker the NME.

New York, NY | Robert Plotnik, ‘Bleecker Bob’ of Record-Store Fame, Dies at 75: Robert Plotnik, a lapsed lawyer better known as the namesake of Bleecker Bob’s Records, a Greenwich Village vinyl mecca that survived the dawning of cassettes, CDs and downloading and the death of CBGB, the nearby club where punk rock was cradled, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 75. The cause was kidney failure, his partner, Jennifer Kitzer, said. He had been incapacitated since having a stroke in 2001. Bleecker Bob’s was immortalized in a 1993 episode of “Seinfeld” (when Kramer and Newman fail to make a windfall selling used records there), in the opening credits of “Saturday Night Live,” and in Colson Whitehead’s 2009 novel, “Sag Harbor.” It was also where a customer named Patti Smith met a record salesman named Lenny Kaye more than 40 years ago and invited him to accompany her on guitar at a poetry reading. He’s been accompanying her ever since.

Kidderminster, UK | Kidderminster man jailed for ‘fake’ vinyl records scam: Stephen Russell, 65, of Puxton Drive, Kidderminster, was part of a group which distributed unlicensed recordings of 1960s northern soul artists. On Friday (November 30), a court heard how 55,000 unlicensed records were seized by police following an investigation by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents record companies in the UK like Warner Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. Unofficial copies of original recordings included Marvin Gaye’s This Love Starved Heart Of Mine, Bettye Swann’s Kiss My Love Goodbye, Major Lance’s Investigate and Art Freeman’s Slippin Around With You. The BPI stumbled upon the operation after test-purchasing vinyl records sold online, which were found to have defects like misspellings, blurred typefaces, and a large quantity with the words ‘not for sale’, ‘promotional copy’, and ‘DJ copy’ written on them.

Syracuse, NY | Record collector opens shop in East Syracuse: Tom Little has been collecting vintage vinyl records for the past 10 years, and has already accumulated more than 40,000 records to date ­— a kaleidoscope of classic rock, blues, psychedelic and doo-wop records from the 50s through the 90s, now being sold at his new record shop in the village of East Syracuse on W Manlius Street. Little, 53, is a record collector and owner of Syracuse Vintage Vinyl, a used record store that opened in the village on Thursday, Nov. 15. Located on 205 W. Manlius Street along a strip also inhabited by two tattoo shops and Serres Donut Shop, this is the business’ first storefront. “I buy all the time, and I love to buy the stuff that sells quick,” said Little, citing records like Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” as best-sellers. “It’s just something fun to do,” he said. “I mean, how cool is it to own a record store? Pretty freaking cool.”

Vinyl record production has finally joined the modern age. Viryl’s breakthrough “steamless” tech brings economic and environmental benefits to an outdated industry. …Toronto-based Viryl Technologies joined the market with its WarmTone presses. These machines weren’t clones, but built fresh from the ground up including a modular construction, fully automated operation and remote machine monitoring (even from a mobile device) with its ADAPT software. Viryl’s tech support can log into the system remotely to help troubleshoot any problems. Still, like Newbilt, they required a large boiler system and network of piping to support their operation. Anyone looking to start a pressing plant still faced hefty startup and maintenance costs, a difficult permit and zoning process, as well as a less-than-ideal impact on the environment. Very recently, this all changed. Viryl has developed a first-in-the-industry: A steamless system that will make massive boilers and piping systems a thing of the past.

How to throw a vinyl record listening party: …Written by sibling authors André and Tenaya Darlington, who together previously penned The New Cocktail Hour and Turner Classic Movies: Movie Night Menus, Booze & Vinyl comes complete with linear notes, spinning suggestions, definitive tips and techniques for divining top-notch drinks, plus some assorted snack recipes too. With four mood-inspiring chapters including “Rock,” “Dance,” “Chill,” and “Seduce,” the range of artists starts in the 1930s and runs straight through the 2000s. The guide also includes insights on how to host a boozy listening party; the authors’ favorite two- and three-ingredient drinks; and a section called “Bar Code,” which features everything you need to make great drinks at home, bar merchandise worth buying, how to batch cocktails for a crowd, and more.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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