In rotation: 3/21/19

York, UK | Shoppers could lose York HMV ‘by the end of the month’: Shoppers in York are set to lose another high street favourite, with the closure of HMV. The Coney Street store was at risk just weeks ago, after HMV went into administration, but 1,500 jobs around the country were saved when Canadian retailer Sunrise Records bought 100 stores around the UK. Although the York shop was thought to be safe, staff were told on Monday, March 18, that the store would be closing. Signs appeared on Tuesday which announced the store was to close, and ‘everything must go’, while The Press understands workers in York expect their final shifts to be the weekend of March 30/31. HMV Managing Director Neil Taylor would not confirm the closing date, but said it “will be closing, despite our best efforts to keep this store open,” and praised “superb staff.”

Pittsburgh, PA | Who moves across the country to open a record store in Pittsburgh? Most people popping up with new record stores in Pittsburgh will tell tales of shopping at Jim’s Records, Eide’s or The Attic as a kid. Josh Cozby doesn’t have those stories. The owner of the Government Center, a new shop on East Ohio Street in the North Side’s East Allegheny neighborhood, grew up buying records in Southern California and was living in Salem, Ore., when he decided to move his vast record collection 2,600 miles to make them the basis of his first retail venture. What makes one quit his job and switch coasts to open a record store? “First,” he says, “I owned a bunch of records and came to the conclusion that I have more records than I was ever gonna use. And second, I was burned out on being a public high school teacher. “I was realizing the only thing I was interested in talking to students about anymore was what kind of music they were into and how that interacted with them trying to navigate adolescence. It was a good set of clues that it was time to figure out something else to do.”

Toronto, CA | Tokyo Smoke cannabis dispensary set to open in former HMV flagship store: The latest application for cannabis retail shows that one dispensary is moving into the former location of HMV’s flagship record store. According to the ACGO’s website, an application has been submitted for a cannabis retail location at 333 Young Street by Tokyo Smoke. The owner is listed as one of the five retail license lottery winners in the city, Colin Campbell. Tokyo Smoke itself began as part of the city’s cannabis scene in 2015 as a coffee shop owned by Alan and Lorne Gertner. Since legalization, the store’s parent company HIKU Brands, has been purchased by Canopy Growth, the country’s largest cannabis producer by market cap, and runs four licensed dispensaries in Manitoba and two cafe locations in Toronto. According to the AGCO, public notice period runs until April 2, which means this location will not be ready to open by April 1, the earliest date for cannabis retail locations to open in Ontario.

Summerland, BC | ‘Our sales are hurting’ Kelowna music hub takes hit after big competition moves in: Milkcrate Records still taking a hit after Sunrise Records moved into town 2 years ago. At least four nights a week, Milkcrate Records provides space for local musicians and artists to perform at one of the only remaining early shows in Kelowna. Record sales have fallen by 40 per cent at the record store since Sunrise Records’ opening two years ago in Orchard Park Mall. “Our sales are hurting… even though vinyl is still on the increase. We are also being hurt by online shopping. It’s something that everyone needs to be aware of. Even though it may be more convenient we need to be aware of how we are putting these brick and mortar business out of business,” said owner Richard Rafton, with Milkcrate Records. Milkcrate Records is not just a store in downtown Kelowna, it has grown into a cultural epicentre for the music and arts scene.

Huntington, WV | GINGER’S GUIDE TO: Starting a record collection: I’ve been collecting vinyl records since I was in seventh grade. It started when my appreciation for The Beatles exploded into full-on obsession. My parents had a respectable vinyl collection, which included a George Harrison solo album from the 80s. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I’m certain the first record I purchased was a vintage Beatles album from a favorite antique store in South Charleston. Since then, my collection has grown, and the last time I counted, I had well over 100 records, varying with artist and genre…And, by the way, the plural of vinyl is vinyl.

Seattle, WA | 10 Essential Record Store Day 2019 Releases: On Saturday, April 13, the “vinyl comeback”™ culminates once more in the annual capitalistic orgy known as Record Store Day, a fantastic and fulsome fête of the best musical format ever invented*. A potent booster shot to music retailers globally, as well as a huge hassle for small record labels seeking to get their releases pressed, only to be wax-blocked by majors re-releasing common titles for 20 times their worth, RSD is the definitive blessing/curse scenario for music aficionados. Despite all of these problematic issues, every RSD—now in its 12th year—delivers some crucial artifacts. It is my solemn duty to guide you through the deluge of product and tip you to some high-quality reissues and archival treasures. Grip while you gripe (and vice versa), sisters, brothers, and others.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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