In rotation: 4/19/19

Little Rock, AK | New record shop headed to Little Rock’s Hillcrest neighborhood: A new record store selling and spinning new and used vinyl is headed for Little Rock’s Hillcrest neighborhood. Control Little Rock is set to open in the coming weeks as the owners and friends continue setting up the shop at 2612 Kavanaugh Blvd., which previously housed a real estate office. For the past nine months, co-creators Wes Howerton and Michael Shaeffer have been testing the waters by selling records at various Little Rock pop-up events ahead of looking for a permanent space. Howerton said it’s given them a chance to build a fanbase. He said pop-up customers have frequently asked him: “When are you opening?” The store’s focus has been on finding quality records, such as rare or iconic albums, over quantity, Shaeffer said. The opening is expected in the coming weeks, but a firm date hasn’t been set.

Lockhart, TX | Owners of new music store go on the record with LPR: Bluebonnet Records is open for business, adding another feature to a downtown district that already boasts a brewery, several eateries, clothing stores, antiques shops, art galleries and a community theater. The shop located at 112 E. Market Street sells new and used vinyl, CDs, cassette tapes, turntables, CD players, tape players, record care supplies, audio accessories and music-related gift items that include pins, stickers and jewelry. Bluebonnet Records is owned by Kana Harris, 31, and Cody Kimball, 27. The two are both musicians and began dating four years ago shortly after their band played a show together. The two recently took some time to answer some questions from the Post-Register about their new business venture and how they fit it in with a busy schedule that includes still performing with their respective bands.

Bandcamp Announces New Vinyl Pressing Service: Launching this year, the service will streamline the “financing, production, and fulfillment of vinyl records.” Bandcamp has announced a new service that allows artists to launch crowdfunding campaigns for vinyl releases. Once a campaign reaches its minimum goal, Bandcamp will press and ship the vinyl record directly to fans. Artists will maintain full control of the record’s design as well as its price. The service—which aims to streamline the “financing, production, and fulfillment of vinyl records”—is set to launch for all artists and labels later this year…Today, Bandcamp has announced its first four vinyl campaigns: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s Ancestral Recall, Jim Guthrie’s Below (Original Soundtrack), Juliette Jade’s Constellation, and Mesarthim’s Ghost Condensate. Earlier this year, Bandcamp opened a brick-and-mortar record shop and performance space in Oakland, California.

New York, NY | VP Records Launches The Reggae Trail: VP Records, the world’s largest reggae label, continues the yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary announcing today the launch of the first phase of The Reggae Trail, an interactive map of locations in New York City that helped make the music genre an integral part of life in the city over the past five decades. “The first phase of the project, launches in conjunction with Record Store Day 2019, includes New York area reggae and Caribbean record stores with significant in-house record labels,” said Carter Van Pelt, VP Records’ Director of Catalog Development. “These include several dozen initial locations, chosen from literally hundreds.” …The Trail’s first phase highlights top record st ores that brought the music to the people starting in the early 1960s. One of these is VP Records, which moved from Kingston, Jamaica, to Brooklyn and eventually Jamaica Queens in the late 1970s, becoming a major distributor and label in the global spread of reggae. After 40 years, VP Records’ flagship retail space is one of the oldest continuously operated records stores in the Northeast.

Birmingham, UK | Where’s the vinyl? The hidden gems of Birmingham’s record shops: Birmingham has produced many legendary musical artists and bands such as Black Sabbath, UB40, Steve Winwood, Jamelia and Ocean Colour Scene for more than half a century. The city also has some incredible record shops. Wherever you are in Birmingham, trawling through the record draws and CD shelves to search for a piece of music history is a day well spent for the ardent music fan. Here’s some of the hidden record shop gems in Birmingham that are worth checking out.

Record Store Day Retailers Find an Unexpected Online Ally: eBay. eBay has allied with Record Store Day to allow independent stores access to 179 million eBay buyers. Record Store Day is a celebration of independent record stores across the United States, and a decidedly offline event. In fact, the entire point of RSD is to steer music fans into physical stores. That makes a recent deal with eBay a bit surprising, though the alliance could be win-win. Ahead of the latest RSD weekend, eBay highlighted its partnership with RSD’s Authorized Seller Network to open their inventory to more than 179 million eBay shoppers. The aim is to complement in-store sales, especially from buyers who can’t easily access a brick-n-mortar RSD location. Theoretically, that could diminish in-store traffic among nearby music fans, though the records themselves are all flowing through participating RSD store inventory.

New HMV Boss Confirms Vinyl, Live Events Expansion: Incoming HMV boss Doug Putman has expanded on his vision for the company in a new interview. The troubled chain became a victim of high street compression during the final days of 2018, plunging into administration for the second time. Canadian businessman Doug Putman led a buy out, closing several branches including their landmark Oxford Street shop. The core of the chain remained, however, with Doug Putman now expanding on his plans during an interview with Music Week. Re-affirming his “100%” commitment to HMV, the businessman pointed to vinyl and live events as areas of potential expansion. He explains: “It’s more about innovation as in, Why didn’t we jump harder into vinyl? Why didn’t we promote in-stores a lot more? I think there were over 100 performances in HMV last year. I challenged the team that I want 10 times that. I want 1,000 performances.”

Super-rare pressing of Please Please Me by The Beatles unearthed – and this is what it could cost. Frequently cited as one of the greatest records of all time, it spent 30 weeks at number one in the UK album charts. A rare first edition of the Beatles’ first album Please Please Me has been unearthed and is going up for sale. The first pressing of the early ’60s Parlophone record had been hidden away for more than a decade before it was stumbled upon by Leicestershire auctioneer Mark Gilding. The debut studio album by the Fab Four was rushed out at the start of 1963 to capitalise on the success of the Fab Four’s first single, which had the same name. With the iconic image of Ringo, Paul, George and John looking down into a stairwell on the cover, it featured songs such as I Saw Her Standing There, Love Me Do, and Twist and Shout…Mark said: “The vast majority of these records are later mono pressings, but there were a small number of stereo versions pressed in 1963. “These stereo versions are rare as they were not readily available in records shops at the time due to being a special order…”

Grand Rapids, MI | Vinyl is back! Kent District Library opens large collection to the public. Kent District Library new vinyl collection, Grooves, has over 600 albums and turntables for rent. Break out your record players and head on down to the Kent District Library because vinyl is back! The Kent District Library “Grooves” vinyl collection has over 600 album titles and includes everything from classic rock to classical, jazz to hip-hop. There are 45 turntables available for checkout from the Beyond Books collection for up to three weeks at a time. There will also be 50 sets of high-end headphones available for use in KDL branches. Stacy Schuster, Collection Development Librarian for Kent District Library who is in charge of ordering music materials, was noticing a trend. New albums she wanted to order for KDL weren’t available on CD, only through streaming or on vinyl…The initial collection of 1,400 albums will include everything from classic rock to classical, jazz to hip-hop. Some of the featured artists include the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Cardi B., Childish Gambino and Metallica.

Streaming music hurts the environment more than records or CDs ever did: …Yet if consumers are paying an ever lower price for their music, the picture looks very different when you start to look at environmental costs. Intuitively you might think that less physical product means far lower carbon emissions. In 1977, for instance, the industry used 58 million kilograms of plastic in the US. By 1988, the peak year for cassettes, this had dipped slightly to 56 million kg. When CDs peaked in 2000, it was up to 61 million kg of plastic. Then came the big digital dividend: as downloading and streaming took over, the amount of plastics used by the US recording industry dropped dramatically, down to just 8 million kg by 2016. But if these figures seem to confirm the notion that music digitalised is music dematerialised – and therefore more environmentally friendly – there’s still the question of the energy used to power online music listening. Storing and processing music in the cloud depends on vast data centres that use a tremendous amount of resources and energy.

Bolton, UK | Bolton record fair returning to Market Place: The Bolton Record Fair is returning. This Saturday, the special Easter record collectors fair returns to Market Place shopping centre in the town centre. The popular event follows international record store day and will see dealers descend from across the country. A free expert valuation service for collectables will be on site. All are invited to bring along items that they may be curious about for information and details. The free record fair will run from 9am until 4pm.

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