In rotation: 5/28/19

Liverpool, UK | The lost world of Liverpool’s record shops: how a huge part of our city’s musical history faded from view. They used to be a fixture on every high street – but most of our record shops are now a fading memory. Long before the age of Spotify , record shops were an essential part of growing up. The rite of passage – at least for those of a certain age – went something like this. Your first record purchases were usually made for you by your mum from a local store (which probably only sold records as a sideline to something else, such as electrical goods). In their heyday, these stores were everywhere, on high streets and tucked down side streets. These retailers were the beneficiaries of an insatiable public appetite for vinyl, mainly driven by a Top of the Pops-obsessed youth. This would later transmute into a fascination for more obscure releases, championed by music mags such as the NME and cult DJ John Peel. So deep an impression is made by these formative experiences that whole novels have been set in record shops, most notably Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity.

Alton, IL | Score Fest a celebration of living the dream for record shop owner: It’s been a year since Rebecca Peterson realized her long-held vision of running her own record shop. On Saturday, The Score Records owner will celebrate the milestone, throwing “Score Fest 2019” — an all-ages concert featuring seven bands and musicians, at Jacoby Arts Center. In May 2018, Rebecca Peterson opened the shop after seeing a small commercial space for rent at 210 Market St. in Alton near the old Grand Theater building. “I saw this building and thought, ‘I’m going to open a record store,’” she said. The store — which features new and used vinyl, CDs, tapes and other music-related merchandise — occupies less than 400 square feet of retail space, but Peterson hopes to expand in coming years, better utilizing the display area and bringing in more inventory. Since middle school, Peterson recalls wanting to fashion a career around music, and dreamt of owning a record store or music venue. Now that it’s a reality, she’s finding what works and what doesn’t. She thinks it’s important to keep a growth mindset.

Pensacola, FL | Sweets and beats: Dolce & Gelato, Revolver Records join forces in old City Grocery building: There’s now a place in East Hill to go grab gelato and some Grateful Dead. Or a little espresso and Elvis Costello. How about a beer and some Beastie Boys? This is all possible at the former location of the locally revered City Grocery on 2050 N. 12th Ave., where two preexisting downtown Pensacola businesses — Dolce & Gelato and Revolver Records — have teamed up under the same roof. “When you go to bigger cities, you see a record shop that’s got coffee and it’s like, why wouldn’t it work here?”‘ said Dolce & Gelato owner Brenda Mader. “This is exactly the type of neighborhood for it.” Revolver Records owner Eric “Elvis” Jones rocked out on 12th Avenue at the former East Hill CD Exchange for 13 years, just about four blocks north of his new digs. He then ran Revolver Records from 2010-2018 on 9 E. Gregory St., the soon-to-be home of the Nomadic Eats cafeteria and event space.

Monticello, IN | Family record store opens in Monticello: Local bands will have the chance to jam out among vinyl enthusiasts with the recent opening of the Amplified RPM record store on Monticello’s main square. The owners, the Newland family, got the idea to start the music shop in late 2018. The shop opened Wednesday (May 22), about nine months later. “We’re big music lovers,” owner Debi Newland said, explaining how her husband Chad caught (and spread) the “vinyl bug.” “We’ve lived here for about 20 years,” Debi said. “We just love the area.” She explained how she liked that the shop was on the main square, especially since students may pass by on their way home from school and stop in. Her college-age daughter, Hannah, helped with the shop’s opening. She said her choice is the second album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while her mother prefers classic rock and currently listens to bands like Dead Weather. The store feels like home to Debi and her daughter, with beige plush carpeting and burgundy red walls that Hannah said took a lot of painting.

Hickory, NC | Back to the future: Record store opens downtown: Crate Diggers offers vinyl, CDs, vintage shirts. …Friends and business partners Allen Ward and Brent Goodson were looking for a space in downtown Hickory to move their already established buy-and-sell business, Crate Diggers Vinyl and More, when Bottega owner Sarah Frisbey offered the space above her art gallery and boutique. “I think vinyl is back and it’s popular,” Frisbey said. Based on Ward and Goodson’s business over the last four years and Billboard’s January article, they believe Frisbey’s statement holds true and Hickory is ready for its first record shop in over a decade. “We’re confident enough to walk out of a full-time, $40,000 a year job,” Goodson said. There are several stores in the Hickory area selling new or rereleased vinyl, like Barnes & Noble and Target. Those products can come with a hefty price. Crate Diggers avoids overhead expenses and aims to offer competitive prices. “We don’t price to keep. We price to sell,” Ward said. “Our thing is we want to give you what you want for a fraction of the price.”

Roslaw Szaybo, designer of Judas Priest logo and album cover, dead at 85: Szaybo’s hand appears gripping razor blade on iconic cover of ‘British Steel.’ Rosław Szaybo, Polish painter, photographer and artist, has died at 85 years old. Szaybo was the creative force behind more than 2,000 album covers, including several for NWOBHM pioneers Judas Priest, whose iconic logo he also designed. His talents reached far beyond the scope of rock and focused mainly on classical music, but he managed to squeeze in covers for Elton John, Roy Orbison, Santana, Janis Joplin, the Clash and others in his lengthy, prestigious career. Fun tidbit: It’s his hand that appears gripping the massive razor blade on the cover of Priest’s British Steel. “It’s actually the art director, Rosław Szaybo’s hand,” photographer Bob Elsdale — and Szaybo’s collaborator on the British Steel cover — told Revolver in a 2010 interview. “We made an oversized razor blade by having the album title and the Priest logo screen-printed on a cut-out piece of aluminum. There was no Photoshop in those days, so everything was shot for real.”

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