In rotation: 1/23/19

Coventry, UK | Coventry’s HMV could be saved, administrators say: After HMV’s announcement at Christmas that the company was calling in administrators, Smithford Way’s HMV remains under threat. The Coventry store is trading as normal during the administration period and is staying open for now. HMV’s administrator KPMG has said the entertainment chain could be saved, with concrete offers made this week for its rescue. The music retailer, almost a century old, has fallen victim to a malaise across the British high street – figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today showed a 0.9 per cent decline in sales month-on-month for December, usually traders’ busiest month. The ONS’s head of retail sales, Rhian Murphy, commented: “Following the increased growth in November, where shoppers snapped up more Black Friday offers as they continue to bring forward their Christmas shopping, retail sales weakened in December.”

Cincinnati, OH | Bogart’s joins vinyl records craze with new record fair: Bogart’s has never been one to shy away from taking chances. Over the years, the historic concert venue gambled on plenty of “unknowns” who later became household names. Prince played Bogart’s in 1979. U2 was there in 1981 while touring for “Boy.” R.E.M. rolled through in 1983, Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1989, Nine Inch Nails opened for Meat Beat Manifesto at the venue in 1990, Pearl Jam played there in 1993 just as “Ten” was exploding and, oh yeah, The Afghan Whigs were pretty much the house band for a few years. Now the concert hall is taking another chance – but this one seems a sure bet – as it transforms into an intimate record expo showcasing thousands of albums, singles, cassettes, ephemera, clothing and more. More than 30 tables chock full of jazz, punk, psych, garage, industrial, blues, hip hop, electronic, prog, soul, world, classic rock and classical will be for sale at the record fair.

Hamilton, CA | The beat goes on for vinyl without the country’s leading distributor. Stores, manufacturers and customers scramble and wonder how long the vinyl fad can continue in the wake of the closure of the country’s leading vinyl wholesaler. The announcement came out of nowhere, like a sudden skip on a shiny LP. One moment, the song was chugging along. The next, there’s a big scratch across a major bright spot in the music industry. Earlier this month, RPM Distribution, the country’s leading independent distributor of vinyl records, abruptly announced it was “closing all operations effective immediately.” It meant orders from record stores across the country would not be processed and the businesses would have to scramble to restock their Christmas-depleted shelves. For the foreseeable future, customers won’t be able to find titles as readily, and the scarcity of supply could bid prices upward by as much as 10 per cent, one retailer predicted. But the big question was whether RPM’s failure might be a sign that the vinyl resurgence of recent years was being tapped out.

Port Coquitlam, BC | Pinball Alley owners hope shop won’t go tilt after sale: The purveyors of Port Moody’s popular repository of the past are hoping their shop won’t fade into history. Pinball Alley Vintage on St. Johns Street is for sale. But Heather Wallace and her husband, Johnny Barnes want to find a buyer who will keep the store open as a going concern. That’s why they’re giving themselves more than a year before they embark on their next adventure — moving their family to Spain. Since opening Pinball Alley five years ago, the little shop crammed with clothes, curios and all manner of knick-knacks, doo-dads and geegaws from the not-so-distant past, along with more than 5,000 vinyl record albums, has become a bit of a destination for people looking to drop into a bygone era, and maybe bring a piece of it home…They debated opening a taco truck but Wallace’s family history with antiques and Barnes’ love for vintage vinyl sent them in a different direction.

Bromsgrove, UK | ‘Final Countdown’ to first Bromsgrove vinyl record and CD fair of 2019: People wanting to improve their record collection can go along to the first Vinyl and CD Fair of 2019 next Sunday, January 27. There will be more than 40 tables at the event which is held between 10am and 4pm at the Bromsgrove Hotel and Spa, Birmingham Road. There is free parking on-site and records range from 50p bargains to collectables. Visit for more information.

‘Yes’ Album Cover Artist Roger Dean Talks L.A. Art Show, ‘Avatar’ and Moon Bases: To fans of prog rock, Roger Dean is an art icon, his work gracing the cover of numerous albums by bands from Gentle Giant to Uriah Heep, but mostly Yes and the band that grew out of it, Asia. Dean’s images of otherworldly landscapes seemed inspired by the bands’ flighty orchestrations, astutely capturing the zeitgeist of the genre. “For me, in that very brief period when vinyl was king, we’re talking about a period of barely 25 years, the idea of the art and the music really made the perfect gift. You don’t think that way about a download, you don’t really think that way about a CD,” says Dean, whose work will be presented by Trading Boundaries at the 24th L.A. Art Show, Jan. 23 through 29. On display at the Los Angeles Convention Center will be work including eight acrylic canvases, 16 pencil drawings and 16 logos and smaller works. “We have sold many millions of posters and prints, but not many people have originals,” says Dean. “To be honest, there aren’t that many originals. If you’re talking major paintings, maybe at most, 130. Over 50 years, that’s not very many.”

Streaming Music Grows 40% In Germany — But Vinyl Sales Decline 7%. Germany still remains a strong market for physical formats — at least for now. According to a new report, streaming music has sharply grown in Germany. Physical sales, including CDs and vinyl, however, have experienced a significant decline. That’s according to the German music association Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI). With a record 79.5 billion streams, streaming music grew 40% in Germany in 2018. CDs declined with 48.2 million units sold, down 23% over 2017. In a shocking drop, vinyl sales fell 7%, with BVMI tracking only 3 million records sold. Dr. Florian Drücke, CEO of BVMI, stated, “Looking at the sales in the past year, we see continued strong growth in the area of streaming. The new streaming records set every year clearly demonstrate how massively the way music is consumed today is changing. Many younger fans can be found almost exclusively online. This change underlines how the earnings of artists and their partners will, in the short to medium term, have to be generated to a large extent from digital uses.”

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