In rotation: 1/22/19

Oakland, CA | Bandcamp is opening some sort of brick-and-mortar “record shop,” whatever that’s supposed to be: Those digital wunderkinds at online music retailer Bandcamp have done it yet again: Combining bricks, mortar, and, presumably, the raw stuff of pure, inspired genius, the site has announced it’ll soon be opening a physical store for music—a sort of recorded music shop, if you will—in California next month. Located in Oakland, the Bandcamp IRL venture will serve as both a music store and an event space, showcasing some of the hundreds of thousands of groups affiliated with the site, and reveling in the organic novelty of experiencing music in the disgusting, fallible, analog-imperfect flesh. The new Bandcamp location will begin playing host to people’s gurgling organ sacks on February 1, allowing fans of the company’s free-for-all publishing vibe to buy music pressed—as if by some dark and mysterious wizardry—onto vinyl, much like our distant ancestors are speculated to have done.

Newark, MD | Record store cafe planned for old Fusion Fitness location: Though Brian Broad only recently signed a lease to open a record store cafe in Market East Plaza, he has spent the last 14 years thinking about what Long Play Cafe could look like. Broad, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., got the inspiration for his vinyl-infused cafe during his more than 10 years living in the Netherlands. “During the time living there, that’s when Long Play kind of came about because I had friends who owned record stores, friends who owned cafes, and we were trying to figure out a way to bring those things together,” he said, adding that a friend had a cafe that was in need of a helping hand. “I said, ‘Look, man, I would be happy to come in on a weekend, clean the place up, make it look good, get it up to Dutch code’ – which is probably more stringent than an American code – ‘and see what happens,’” he said. “When we did this, I said, ‘This is cool, man, I want to do this. I really want to bring this all together.’ So that’s what we what we did.”

John Carpenter’s They Live Soundtrack Reissue Announced: Death Waltz unveils a newly designed vinyl repress of the cult classic 1988 film. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s original score for Carpenter’s cult classic 1988 sci-fi film They Live is getting a new vinyl reissue via Death Waltz, as Forbes notes. A new package designed by Alan Hynes mirrors the film’s truth-revealing sunglasses and subliminal messages. See what it looks like below. The reissue is available on different colors of vinyl on January 30. They Live, starring Roddy Piper and Keith David, is a sci-fi movie where a working class dude fights to reveal the aliens and subliminal messages that hide in plain sight. The film proved influential in popular culture and the world of graphic design. The new reissue follows the just-released book They Live: A Visual and Cultural Awakening, which features contributions from John Carpenter, Shepard Fairey, and others.

Cleveland, OH | Shuffle: Cleveland’s Wax Mage Records Cooks Up Custom Vinyl Creations: Heath Gmucs has worked as a press operator at Cleveland’s Gotta Groove Records for about nine years. Now, he’s turning the mostly automated process of making vinyl into customized, hand-crafted works of art. ‘We’ve put coffee, shredded money and glitter in records’ Vinyl’s resurgence has led to bands and artists venturing away from the traditional black finish to requesting vibrantly-colored records they can sell as collector’s items. Gmucs has mastered the art of making splatter patterns — sprinkling in vinyl scraps during the pressing process to create stripes and swirls. Now, he’s taking his creations to a new level by experimenting with different materials to create intricate designs. Gmucs has his own work station set up at the back of the noisy pressing plant. “If you see my set up, I sort of feel like a chef over here, cooking up vinyl,” he said.

Sales Surge For Vinyl Records: The business models for music sales have continued to evolve over time, with the industry shifting in recent years to a model based mostly on subscription streaming services. But one surprising thing about music is the continuing durability of vinyl records. They haven’t been the dominant format for music for nearly 30 years, but more people are buying vinyl every year. Sales of vinyl records have not only risen every year for 13 years, but vinyl album sales jumped 14.6 percent in 2018 to 16.8 million, Billboard reported this week, citing Nielsen Music figures. In fact, vinyl records made up more than 19 percent of physical album sales last year. The numbers also show that people who enjoy old technology also prefer old music. The top-selling artist of vinyl records was The Beatles, a band that broke up in 1970, with the top 10 list dominated by such classic rock acts as Pink Floyd, the late David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, and Queen. Panic! at the Disco and Metallica are among current acts in the top 10. The report also said that the final week of 2018 was the highest-selling week for vinyl records since the start of Nielsen Music tracking in 1991.

The Best Budget Turntables Under $200: Whether you’re new to vinyl or have built up a solid collection over time, you’ll want to invest in a reliable turntable that can fill the room with full, unfussy sound. In 2018, sales of vinyl records grew for the 13th straight year in the U.S. Vinyl is now more collectible than ever, and it continues to be a preferred method of listening for millions of audiophiles. It’s also the preferred method of physical delivery for artists, and not just rockers and rappers. A number of current pop artists have released vinyl versions of their latest records (see everyone from Ariana Grande to Mariah Carey), proving the format isn’t going away anytime soon. Whether you’re new to vinyl or have built up a solid collection over time, you’ll want to invest in a reliable record player that can fill the room with clear, full, unfussy sound. We’ve picked out six turntables that deliver the goods when it comes to sound quality, price point and ease of use.

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