In rotation: 4/1/19

Detroit, MI | Paramita Sound launches Kickstarter for permanent record store and bar downtown: Anna Atanassova and Andrey Douthard, founders and co-owners of the West Village record store Paramita Sound, moved out of the original storefront at 1417 Van Dyke St. about a year ago following reports of noise complaints…They recently launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to keep them on track for a projected Mother’s Day reopening date. “We weren’t expecting to be this short, but we are,” says Atanassova. Paramita Sound is a familiar name to members of the local music community and beyond. It started as that one little neighborhood record store that earned a reputation for its free, all-ages Beat Profile parties featuring well-known acts like Nick Speed, Illingsworth as well local lesser-knowns, but soon found that throwing parties out-of-pocket and trying to sell vinyl records wasn’t the best way to add to their bottomline.

Nelson, NZ | Record Store Day: A vinyl love affair: In an ideal world, it would be a national holiday. There would be brass bands, jet flyovers, marching teams in flashy outfits. There would be streamers and confetti and speeches from podiums erected in the main street. But instead, we will have to make do with a slice of cake, a few ales, maybe a band or DJ making a racket in the corner. Saturday, April 13th is International Record Store Day. All over the globe, music nutters gather on this hallowed day to celebrate the fact that their local record stores have survived another year against the odds. They congregate in noisy rooms crammed with record crates and fellow music obsessives, and together they rejoice that these stores have somehow made it through another 12 months despite rising rents and intense competition from digital streaming, downloading, cut-price chain stores and Trade Me. This is a big deal, believe me.

São Paulo, BR | The world’s best record shops #144: Disco 7 Vinil, São Paulo: It’s no secret that São Paulo is a haven for record collectors. From Locomotiva Discos and Cel-Som Discos to the former World’s Best Record Shop inductee Casarão do Vinil, São Paulo is the beat that keeps Brazil dancing, but before Brazilian lacquer demanded big bucks on Discogs there was Disco 7 Vinil. Opened in November 2001, Disco 7’s physical store was a natural progression for its owner Carlinhos, who had been collecting records with his uncle since the age of 14. Since then, Discos 7 has evolved into a beloved shop operated by one of the most welcoming (and knowledgeable) dealers in all of South America. “I’m not a specialist really but I always try to find a way to satisfy people’s music tastes,” says Carlinhos – all too humbly as his knowledge of samba, jazz and Brazilian soul and funk is second to none. “Disco 7 is one of my favourite record stores in São to buy Brazilian 7”, ‘compactos’ as we call them,” shares London-based Brazilian DJ Fabricio D.Vyzor. “There’s always good stuff – not just 7”s, but so many rare Brazilian albums too.”

Minneapolis, MN | South Minneapolis record store Solid State Vinyl becomes SolSta Records, launches label: On April 13, South Minneapolis record store Solid State Vinyl will retire its name in favor of a new identity: SolSta Records. SolSta Records will function as an “independent record label and retail store” in its current location at 4022 East 46th Street. Husband and wife Phil and Hannah Borreson opened Solid State Vinyl in 2016. The couple combined Hannah’s artwork and handmade accessories with Phil’s vinyl collection to create the retail store located in the vintage shopping hub of the Minnehaha Mile. When they make the change to SolSta Records, they will continue to sell their collection of used vinyl records out of their physical store and online. The label’s first release arrives on Record Store Day, April 13. SolSta is pressing a limited run of 300 opaque pink vinyl records of Ocurrens, an album from Minneapolis post-rock band Falcon Arrow. SolSta is also hosting the band’s album release show on the evening of the 13th.

Tucson, AZ | Tucson sounds: Remembering Toxic Ranch’s Julianna Towns: In the late ’80s and early ’90s, when your humble local music scribe was a baby rock and roller, Downtown and especially Fourth Avenue looked a whole lot different…But probably the best place to hang out on the avenue – well, technically, just off of the avenue on 6th Street- was Toxic Ranch Records, a hardcore-punk-leaning indie record store with its own label and a subversive treasure chest of fantastic things to buy including zines of all kinds, obscure band t-shirts, weird bumper stickers and stacks and stacks of CDs and cassettes by local and not-so-local bands…This columnist was saddened to learn recently of the death of Julianna Towns, co-founder of Toxic Ranch and a fabulous musician in her own right as frontperson for goth/punk project Skinner Box. Details were minimal at press time, so expect a more detailed obit in the coming days, but until then, remember to raise a glass to one of Tucson’s fairy godmothers of punk.

Guelph, CA | Guelph’s free Vinyl Drop Box returns for another season of give-and-take record collection: …“It’s basically take a record, leave a record, trade a record — there isn’t really any rules, just whatever people want to do,” said Anbeek. “There are always records in there, there has never been a case of more takers than givers. I think it’s actually been a case of more people dropping off records that taking.” Anbeek first put the box in front of his home at 252 Arthur St. N. in the fall. He was inspired by a similar box he read about in Toronto, which itself was inspired by the Little Free Library movement. “He put it out front of his recording studio in Leslieville and got a lot of press in Toronto. I just thought it was a cool idea,” said Anbeek of the Toronto box that inspired him. He enlisted the help of friends to build the box and its stand and filled it when it first opened. “When we first put it out we put a few records in it just to seed it, but other than that it’s just been people filling it,” said Anbeek. There’s always a good number of records in there, it’s never empty.

Houston, TX | Physical Media: Exploring Our Desire for Vinyl Records and Books: In our modern age, the inventions of old have been tossed aside in favor of new digital versions of them. Instead of having to hunt down an Elvis Presley or Chet Baker vinyl record all over town, thanks to Spotify and iTunes, all one needs to do is type the name of the artist into the search bar. This 21st century innovation has all but gotten rid of the need for physical copies of music, movies, and other media. Since everything can be uploaded digitally on a smartphone or a computer, old forms of media should be obsolete. However, that does not appear to be the case when now, more than ever, young people are gravitating back to analog.

The resurrection of an obscure, niche vinyl format: The 3-inch record. Partially thanks to Jack White—perhaps its biggest cheerleader—the 3″ returns for RSD 2019. History is littered with dead audio formats, from Elcaset to 8-track tapes, wire recording to “talking rubber.” Yet so far, vinyl has consistently resisted going quietly into that good night. Today, unit sales are up 800 percent from 10 years ago, and companies continue to produce turntables of all shapes and sizes (they even steal CES headlines from the latest Internet-of-whatever device). So while we may no longer want them in our automobiles, in-home record players appear to be thriving whether due to an appreciation of physical media, tactile rituals, or multi-sensory experiences. And on this wave of modern record appreciation, one of the most obscure vinyl formats is getting a second lease on life thanks to Record Store Day.

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