In rotation: 1/7/19

Brighton, UK | Customers race to rescue Brighton independent shop Vinyl Revolution: Loyal customers have come to the rescue of an independent record shop that was running out of cash. Vinyl Revolution announced last month that it was urgently seeking an investor to buy ten per cent of equity in the business. The shop, in Duke Street, Brighton, endured a slow Christmas. The owners, Rachel Lowe and Simon Parker, said shoppers were reluctant to spend due to the uncertainty of Brexit. But it has been a good start to the year as they have received positive responses from investors who were keen to help the shop get back on its feet. Ms Lowe said: “We had 45 customers from four different countries choose to become shareholders and several of them also offered their professional expertise. “Last week was an emotional rollercoaster for Simon and I. We went from being in a pretty bleak place to being inundated with goodwill and support.”

Wallingford, UK | Lack of footfall closes Wallingford’s Music Box record store: Tough trading conditions have closed Richard Strange’s Wallingford record shop for the second time – but he is considering giving it one more spin. In 2015 Mr Strange opened a pop-up shop in Castle Street after leaving his previous record store in the Market Place in 2008. Then, in 2016, the trader returned to the Market Place on the back of a vinyl revival and opened Music Box. The shop built a loyal local following, selling second-hand and new vinyl records and reasonably priced record players. But during the past few months footfall has reduced significantly so the record shop boss, also a DJ, has decided to pull the plug, opening for the last time on Saturday. He said: “Footfall has really dropped off in the past few months – my lease is coming to an end and I’m not renewing it. “I’ve been looking at one or two places in Didcot to open a new shop but I’m not sure about the timing yet.

Rocky Mount, NC | Record shop to expand operations: People wondering where to purchase vinyl recordings of tunes from the 1960s and 70s can go to a place in downtown Rocky Mount. Station Square Records has been in business for approximately a year and a half now, with the store being the venture of Kellianne Davis, 26, and her fiance, Richard Draper, 33. The two, with part-time help coming aboard, are going to be open longer hours starting on Saturday. They also are expanding to offer a variety of used books and newer vinyl records. Still, the sight of record covers from way back when is the immediate eye catcher. A walk inside shows someone brought in a stack of the recordings of the early songs of a then-mop-topped Fab Four. That is evident by one of the covers from 1964, saying, “Introducing The Beatles: England’s No. 1 vocal group.” One album in stock is the sound track to the 1962 movie “Dr. No,” which was the first of the big-screen fictional British super spy James Bond series starring Sean Connery.

Brighton, UK | ‘Why we are hoping HMV will survive’: Vinyl shops in Brighton have their say: An independent record shop owner says he hopes HMV will survive to prevent further competition being drawn to the city. The music retailer went under administration just after Christmas, leaving thousands of jobs at risk. The announcement left independent vinyl record shop owners in Brighton pondering what would it mean to their business. Frank Taylor, owner of Cult Hero in Brighton Place, said: “As an independent shop, we need a big anchor to step on. However, if anyone else tries to take it away all they end up doing is messing up the retail landscape. “I want them to survive because if it doesn’t it will upset the status quo we have now. “Mainstream customers do visit HMV, but they also come to our shops to look for more specialised vinyl. “HMV covers a big range of DVDs but with the ever-growing selection of taste it can be a challenge in the long run. “I do feel for the employees because they don’t know what will happen.”

Madison, WI | Vinyl Cave: Dollar bin diving with George Russell, Pete Candoli, Brothers Four, Marty Marsala Band, Random, Top-Notchmen: An appointment on a recent Friday left me on the south side around 10 a.m. Which is when Madison’s professional pickers have a daily appointment with the St. Vincent de Paul Dig & Save, a thrift store where many items are sold by the pound. There will reliably be a line outside to get in if one arrives before opening, and woe be unto to the neophyte who gets in the way of the cart driven by one of the pros in a race to the electronics area after the door opens. One thing not sold by the pound is records. They are still 50 cents across the board, no matter the format. There is also a dedicated group of regulars who watch the record bins avidly and can be recognized by carts stacked high with LPs. The trick to finding much of interest at Dig & Save is being there right after the records go out. A few hours later you will still have a shot at finding some interesting records. A day later? You’d be lucky to find a clean Herb Alpert. Long story short: My timing on a recent Friday was on. Here’s a few from that dig, as well as a couple interesting items from other bargain bins around town.

UK | These were the best-selling vinyl albums of 2018: Vinyl profits are at a 25 year high, but growth has plateaued. The best-selling vinyl albums of 2018 have been revealed, packed with a mix of new releases, classics and movie soundtracks…According to the Official Charts Company, the top spot was claimed by Arctic Monkeys‘ acclaimed sixth album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino‘, which has shifted 38,000 copies on vinyl since release – having previously been named as the fastest-selling vinyl of the last 25 years. Predictably, the huge success of The Greatest Showman soundtrack also makes a high appearance at number two, which shifted 32,300 copies on wax. Completing the top five are Fleetwood Mac‘s classic ‘Rumours’ (32,000 copies), Queen‘s ‘Greatest Hits’ (31,500 copies), the seminal ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ by Pink Floyd (26,000). In the top 20, the only other new from 2018 studio albums to make an appearance are George Ezra‘s ‘Staying At Tamara’s‘ at number six, and The 1975‘s third album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships‘ – which was named as NME’s Best Album of 2018. The rest of the top 20 is completed by compilation albums, soundtracks, old classics and albums from recent years.

UK | UK artists help music consumption hit four-year high: British artists have helped music consumption reach a four-year high, with figures from the Official Charts Company (OCC) revealing 2018’s biggest hitters. George Ezra released two of 2018’s most-streamed tracks with Shotgun taking the number three slot and Paradise landing in eighth position. 2018 also marked the year that Jess Glynne achieved the most number one singles for a female artist, the OCC has reported. The Rudimental, Macklemore, and Dan Caplen featuring single These Days reached the top spot in March and I’ll Be There in June respectively, taking her tally to seven UK number one singles…The success stories chime with the BPI’s report today (Thursday), which revealed a total of 142.9 million albums were either streamed, purchased on physical format or downloaded over the past 12 months…Vinyl achieved its 11th consecutive year of growth, with 4.2 million LPs purchased in 2018. Sales of the format rose by 1.6 per cent in comparison to 2017 figures, and wax accounted for over one in 10 of all physical album purchases. Meanwhile, CD sales plummeted by a fifth, but cassettes hit a niche high achieving a 125.3 percent increase and 50,000 sales overall.

Ariana Grande Is Releasing ‘Thank U, Next’ And ‘Imagine’ On A Vinyl 7-Inch: Ariana Grande had perhaps the biggest song of 2018 with “Thank U, Next,” and she’s definitely produced as much content related to the song as possible. Aside from the track itself, there was the epic video and so many teasers and behind the scenes clips for the video, which helped keep the song at the forefront of the pop culture consciousness for quite some time. Now it’s 2019, and she’s not done with “Thank U, Next” yet: She just revealed that she will be releasing a vinyl 7-inch record featuring “Thank U, Next,” as well as her most recent single, “Imagine,” as the B-side. It looks like Grande is keeping things pretty straightforward with this one, at least according to the item’s page on her website. It seems the release will feature the same cover art as the digital single, the songs are pressed on traditional 7-inch black vinyl (with “Thank U, Next” as the A-side and “Imagine” as the B-side), and the purchase will include a digital download of the songs, although it’s noted that “digital downloads are not available to customers outside the U.S.”

Sydney, AU | Graham Nixon on 20 years of Resist Records: One of the most interesting things about Sydney’s Resist Records in my mind is the difference in the size between their releases and artists. The Marrickville-based label has had great records coming out from bands like Oslow, Vices, Jacob and Homesick, yet those records definitely aren’t hitting the charts like Parkway Drive’s ‘Reverence’ or Polaris’s ‘The Mortal Coil’ did. Resist, as a record label, goes from these smaller local acts to national and international dominators within the span of just a couple of releases. A circumstance that sets them apart from most other Australian labels. “We just put out what we like, basically”, owner Graham Nixon tells me. “Right after a Parkway record once (Horizon’s vinyl re issue), we actually dropped a Shackles album [‘Lifeless Paradise’] and I thought some people would think I’m schizophrenic in how I do releases. We also did that Tempest 7″, and Tempest is a band that’s made up of Sea Shepard crew and they’ve never played a show, but I did it because it sounded sick. They hadn’t yet played a show and more then half of the members don’t even live in Australia. I didn’t do it cause I thought it would sell, I did it because it was good…”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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