In rotation: 5/6/19

Long Beach, CA | The 3 best spots to score vinyl records in Long Beach: Looking to score vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record sources in Long Beach, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for some vinyl LPs. 1. Make Collectives: Topping the list is Make Collectives. Located at 430 E. First St. in Long Beach, the spot to score vinyl records and more is the highest rated vinyl record shop in Long Beach, boasting five stars out of 45 reviews on Yelp. 2. Third Eye Records: Next up is Long Beach’s Third Eye Records, situated at 2234 E. Fourth St., Suite A. With five stars out of 37 reviews on Yelp, the vintage and consignment spot, which offers new and used vinyl records, has proven to be a local favorite. 3. Dex Records: Dex Records, a spot to score vinyl records and DVDs in Long Beach, is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 16 Yelp reviews. Head over to 3906 E. Seventh St. to see for yourself.

Decatur, IL | ‘Come on down, I’ve got an idea.’ Midwest Music Expo at Millikin brings together art, artists: Only seven weeks ago, Millikin University professor Martin Atkins had an idea for a conference. “On March 9, I called a town hall meeting of everybody I knew in Decatur and said, ‘Come on down, I’ve got an idea,’” Atkins said. “I proposed this.” The idea was to bring together arts-related businesses, Millikin students, artists of all kinds from the community, and speakers on topics ranging from album artwork to mental health to the do-it-yourself artist marketing that has taken off in recent years, he said. Scheduling was juggled to coincide with the Oakwood Street Festival that begins at 5 p.m. today (Saturday), celebrating its 10th anniversary of live music, food and community. The festival happens four times a year, with the next three scheduled for June 29, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28. “The Oakwood Street Festival is kind of our crown jewel,” said Shawn Schollenbruch of the Oakwood Business Association. “It’s been a fantastic community event for the last decade.”

Fort Wayne, IN | ‘It was something’ – Smoky’s Record Shop on Wells for sale: The doors on Smoky’s Record Shop on Wells Street have been closed for more than a decade. Now, his last surviving family member has decided it’s time to sell the building and the contents. That job falls to Bob Sluyter, a record dealer and family friend. “I knew him from years ago from shopping here,” Sluyter begins. “I was looking for some Jerry Lee Lewis records and I heard a noise from the back room. Smoky came out and started telling me all about his experiences with meeting Jerry Lee and other country stars. “He was quite a character and he always had a good story about what was going on with those artists. Yeah, it wasn’t like going to the mall. You got a chance to hear, you know, some really good stories.” Smoky was born Charles L. Montgomery. He ran his store for the better part of five decades. He died in 2006. At that time, his family didn’t want to run the store but they didn’t want to sell it, either. The sale will likely take a unique buyer.

Sacramento, CA | Don’t Call It A Comeback: Why Analog Will Always Have An Audience: Let’s play a game. I’m scratchy and sometimes temperamental. I’m hard to travel with. And I may have collected dust in your parent’s attic for years. What am I? You guessed it. A vinyl record. Digital streaming has been the industry standard for years — allowing consumers to listen to audio with unprecedented ease. But analog formats that people can put their hands on are still alluring consumers. In April, 827,000 vinyl albums were sold during the 12th annual Record Store Day week. According to Nielsen Music, that’s the third-largest sales week for vinyl albums since 1991, when the company first began tracking sales. Cassette tape sales are also on the rise, and some artists are turning to analog recording practices. What is it about analog that’s bringing consumers to record stores?

Baroness announce acoustic tour of indie record stores. The jaunt will celebrate the release of the band’s new album Gold & Grey: Sludge metal heavyweights Baroness are set to release their forthcoming album, Gold & Grey, on June 14th, and to celebrate the occasion, the band will play a series of intimate acoustic shows at select independent record stores prior to their previously announced lengthy full-on North American summer tour. The announcement of the June acoustic jaunt comes via Baroness’ website following a successful co-headlining spring run with Deafheaven. We caught that tour on April 12th at Terminal 5 in New York City, and it was a thrilling experience. The gig showcased new lead guitarist Gina Gleason as the band ran through staples from their back catalog as well as singles from the upcoming album “Seasons” and “Borderline”. With the more melodic turn the band’s music has taken in recent years and the grandeur of Baroness’ typical stage show, the acoustic tour will offer fans a rare chance to see the songs stripped to their bare essentials. A signing will follow each performance for all ticket holders.

Return of reel-to-reel as musicians reject digital for better sound of dated technology: It began with vinyl, and cassettes closely followed. But now reel-to-reel tape decks have joined the analogue revival and are making a comeback, as musicians reject new technology for the “unbelievable” sound of the classic machines. Pop stars including Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine and Tame Impala have all recorded albums through the dated technology for a warmer sound. Searches for the vintage machines on second-hand websites have also increased by a quarter in the last six months and the trend has pushed up the price of the best decks. Once associated with the 1940s and the tones of Bing Crosby, the clunky machines with their iconic dual wheels are now a staple in modern recording studios and all-star music producers like Mark Ronson are leading the trend to create amalgamated sounds that haven’t existed in the past.

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