In rotation: 6/4/19

Portland, OR | Oregon Record Store News: Beacon Sound, Little Axe, and Exiled Records: Three morsels of local record-store news, bringing you up-to-date on Portland’s many excellent purveyors of used and new vinyl. Beacon Sound will be moving late in the summer. The North Mississippi store is teaming up with the Nationale gallery to open a joint storefront at 15 SE 22nd (at the intersection of 22nd and East Burnside). Nationale, which was once located on Burnside, has spent recent years on Southeast Division, but will be returning to Burnside; the Beacon Sound/Nationale opening date is currently slated for September 1. In an email newsletter, Beacon Sound’s Andrew Neerman says, “Look for a new loyalty program, a dedicated studio available for workshops, and a cassette section curated by Randall Taylor aka Amulets, among other things.”

Soho, UK | The Golden Mile: Soho’s record shop survivors: Soho’s Berwick Street and the surrounding area was home to more than a dozen independent record shops in the 1990s before soaring rents, wholesale gentrification and the rise of digital music reduced them in number. Despite the many ongoing challenges, though, the stalwart survivors have ensured Soho remains a heartland of independent record stores, all of which are sharply tuned to the demands of their core customers. By the time Berwick Street appeared on the sleeve of Oasis’ second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? in 1995, the area had long been a mecca for record collectors prepared to dodge the market stalls and seedy doorways of sex shops in search of gratification within the walls of its many record stores. At 30 Berwick Street, the doors of Reckless Records were opened for the first time in 1984. The oldest record shop on the street, Reckless is managed by Duncan Kerr, who has worked there since the outset.

Yucca Valley, CA | Record store owner is ready to rock in Yucca Valley: …Owner Carol Schofield is a veteran in the trade and High Desert Records is her fourth record store. “There is definitely a buzz going around with people talking about the opening,” she said. “People have been coming in.” Schofield opened her first record store at age 23 with a couple of friends in San Francisco. As a young woman, she spent most of her time at the beach. “I had no ambition except rock ’n’ roll,” she told the Los Angeles Times in a 2013 interview. “I didn’t want to work.” In the ensuing years, she has owned record stores in San Francisco’s Castro and Mission districts and Sacramento. Her most recent venture was Foothill Records in La Cañada Flintridge, which she owned for 12 years. Vinyl is in a renaissance and Schofield hopes to attract local music enthusiasts looking for a rare record, or maybe even a CD or DVD.

Vancouver, CA | Man prepares to sell thousands of records from weird, wonderful collection: Brian is walking into his basement to search for the record that changed his life when he was younger. “We always had music in our house,” he recalls of his childhood. “We’d dance around the living room!” But he’s not looking through his collection of 10,000 LPs for The Beatles his siblings listened to, or the Frank Zappa that “blew my mind.” Brian is trying to find what he first discovered during his late teens, Dirk Bogarde Reciting Lyrics For Lovers When you hear a couple of the tracks you realize the title couldn’t be more self-explanatory. “Once I had that record in my hands,” he says with a smile. “I was hooked on finding the unusual.” Four decades later, Brian still appreciates the peculiar. He pulls out random albums with titles like Music For Plants – “I must have 20 records of music to make your plants grow” — Music To Nudge You To Sleep – “This was put out by a drug company” – and Hanukah Rocks – “It’s shaped like the Star of David and recorded by Gefilte Joe and the Fish!”

St. John’s, NL | Old but not obsolete, vinyl is still king at the Record Fair NL: As any vinyl record collector will tell you, newer does not necessarily mean better. Husband and wife duo, Doug and Melisa Jones certainly share this opinion. That’s why they decided to try and capitalize on the renewed interest in records and grow the local community of enthusiasts with Record Fair NL. They held the third Record Fair NL event Sunday at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. It was their biggest one yet. “It’s pretty fantastic,” Doug said. “The more the merrier I say. It builds the community. Everybody here is having a fantastic time buying, selling, talking about their favourite albums.” In just the first hour of the fair, at least 300 music lovers stopped by. The previous event, with fewer vendors, drew a crowd of about 750.

WI | Preserving India’s Folk Music Roots On Vinyl: Indie Record Label Transports Traditional Indian Folk Music From Desert Villages To Mainstream Audiences: In December of 2010, equipped with microphones and tape recorders, Ankur Malhotra and his long-time friend Ashutosh Sharma drove into the Indian desert 400 miles from their home of New Delhi. They were looking for Lakha Khan, a seventh-generation master of the Sindhi sarangi, a 27-string Indian folk instrument. When the pair arrived at Khan’s door they were welcomed in and treated to an intimate solo concert. Malhotra described what he heard that evening in Khan’s desert home: “Once you hear Lakha Khan singing, there’s this raw, powerful voice, but there’s also this melancholy. His sons didn’t pick up the (sarangi) when we first met him, so he was the last in many generations, and then the music stopped there. And that explains the deep sadness and melancholy that’s so evident in his music.”

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