In rotation: 4/30/19

London, UK | Vinyl factories struggling to keep up with rising demand from music fans: With records enjoying a major revival there simply are not enough pressing plants to keep up with orders. Music fans are in a spin as pressing plants struggle to meet surging demand for vinyl records. Vinyl sales are the highest they have been since the early 1990s, but the small number of surviving vinyl factories are failing to cope with orders. Nearly 4.2million vinyl records were sold in the UK last year, generating £90million in sales…But their output is not enough to satisfy a suddenly expanding global market, say industry experts. Record distributor and music author Graham Jones says it’s a “huge” problem. “There are not enough pressing plants in the world to cope with the demand for vinyl,” he said. “We have to be careful that the vinyl revival doesn’t clatter out and that is a slight danger at the moment.”

New Ulm, MN | Go Johnny Go open under Marketplaz Mall: If you like music and have no particular place to go, visit downtown New Ulm’s latest music shop, Go Johnny Go. Go Johnny Go is located at 415 1/2 1st N. St. under the Marktplatz Mall. The store was formally a salon, but has now been retro-fitted into a retro-music shop. Manager Orlando Manoz said the store opened in March and he is excited to get the word out about shop. Go Johnny Go sells and buys second hand records, tapes, CDs and even 8-tracks. The shop will even sell the equipment necessary to play these old fashion recordings including stereos and speakers. The store is primarily a music store, but Manoz said they also sell nostalgia items and music memorablia. A customer could pick up a Dark Side of the Moon album and purchase a lava lamp at the same time. Customers will able to test the merchandise. Manoz is in the process of setting up a listening lounge for customers.

Cleveland, OH | A Cleveland company is part of the big return of vinyl records to the music industry. Vinyl prompts a seasoned Rock-N-Roller to reflect on the soundtrack of his life — especially those vinyl 45s. When I walked into the plant where vinyl records were being pressed, I had a flashback to the days when I hurried to a record store to buy a song which the radio disc jockey said was “climbing quickly up the charts.” The smell of vinyl reached my nostrils as I walked through the doors of Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, and I was immediately placed in a mental time machine whisking me back to my earliest days as a rock and roller. I am still a rock and roll lover, even though my hair is grey and I am not as fast afoot as I was in the 1950s and 1960s when I was buying music at a much quicker rate. Gotta Groove Records is turning a million copies of records per year. It has been in business for 10 years. “We caught a wave with vinyl,” said owner Vincent Slusarz. “We thought it would continue and that’s exactly what happened.”

UK | Forget vinyl – it’s time for the 8-track revival: There has been the vinyl revival and the resurgence of the cassette. Now the 8-track cartridge is the latest music format to be rescued from obsolescence by pop hipsters. A fixture in Ford Mustangs cruising down American freeways, the 8-track player reached a popularity peak in the mid-1970s. The 8-track magnetic tapes, housed in lightweight plastic casings, gave listeners 45 minutes of music, spread over four “programmes” instead of two sides. Ideal for travel, the 8-track cartridge threatened to replace the vinyl LP until the compact cassette stole its thunder. Vintage players change hands for up to £100 on eBay. However, Mark Ronson, the chart-topping musician and DJ, believes the 8-track is ripe for a reassessment. His new album Late Night Feelings will be the first major release on 8-track tape since Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits in 1988.

Tulsa, OK | Music & marijuana: Local guitarist opens new cannabis dispensary near Owasso Redbud District: Danny Baker has combined two of his passions and brought them to Owasso: music and marijuana. Baker, a renowned Tulsa songwriter and musician, has announced the opening of a new medical marijuana dispensary in Owasso near the Redbud District. The 54-year-old Collinsville resident has been hard at work renovating a vacant, 900-square-foot single structure at 300 W. 2nd Ave., just west of the railroad tracks on 76th Street. His store, called Bison Records Dispensary, joins the growing number of shops opening across the region since SQ 788 passed on the ballot last June. Owasso is now home to seven licensed dispensaries, Bison included, according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority…“It is a dispensary … and also a small record shop,” he said. “Music is a very healing thing, and so I want my music to bring joy to people, the same as I want the medicine to heal them.”

Wolverhampton, UK | Is vinyl in the groove – or stuck in a rut? Record store day was a big winner again this year – but has the vinyl revival hit the skids? And what can be done to keep the industry going? The queues have gone, the tills have stopped frantically ringing and record shop owners are reflecting on one of their biggest weekends of the year. The 2019 Record Store Day left most owners happy. But is this one day of the year reflective of the vinyl industry? “It keeps going and going, you think it’s going to plateau and stop but it hasn’t,” said Rough Trade’s Nigel House at the start of the official film for Record Store Day 2019. According to the British Phonographic Industry, 4.2 million vinyl LPs were purchased in 2018, the 11th consecutive year of growth. But the rate of growth is slowing down. Claire Howell is the owner of Vintage & Vinyl in Wolverhampton which has just celebrated its best ever Record Store Day – but despite that she admits there is a wider struggle on the cards. “I would say my sales of new vinyl has dropped 70 per cent…”

Los Angeles, CA | 11 Tips on Collecting Records, From a Guy Who Owns 100k of Them: Dig deep, embrace imperfections and focus on the cheap stuff. A record jacket measures 12 inches by 12 inches. A perfect square. Typical crates used for storage hold 50-60 albums, which weigh around 50 pounds. Extrapolate those numbers to a decent-sized collection — say, 500 to 1,000 volumes — and it’s plain to see that record collecting is a rather cumbersome hobby. But Chris Manak, a Los Angeles DJ who goes by Peanut Butter Wolf, doesn’t have a decent-sized record collection. He has 100,000 of them. Which begs a very obvious follow-up question: Where the hell does he keep it? A very meticulously organized library in his garage, for starters. But he also recently moved almost 10 percent of his collection — roughly 8,000 albums — to a wooden shelving system behind the pine at modish bar Gold Line, his new establishment in Highland Park, where we recently paid him a visit to learn everything we could about his collection, from its origins to his most memorable finds to the proper care and feeding of rare vinyl.

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