In rotation: 7/18/19

An Open Letter to the Majors From Independent Record Stores (Guest Op-Ed): In 2007 things were bleak. Record stores were successful but irrelevant in the eyes of many in the music industry. In response, independent record stores owners got organized and created Record Store Day (RSD). By doing so, the world’s largest music event was established and a billion-dollar-per-year vinyl industry was relaunched. Last year’s RSD was the biggest ever, as were our Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events, breaking all previous sales records. Unsung in the ensuing positive press coverage was the amount of CDs sold on our big day. With so many other businesses leaving the CD behind, record stores are still selling substantial numbers. With the help of our industry partners we continue to adapt and thrive. Not everything is rosy; things have been rough over the past 3-4 months. Just last week, Michael Bunnell, the owner of Boise’s Record Exchange and President of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, sent a message out about how bad things have gotten.

Newark, DE | Rainbow Records settles in to new location: Even with the ongoing Main Street construction and a move to a new location, this is shaping up to be the busiest summer Rainbow Records has had, co-owner Todd Brewer said. The record store, which traces its history back to 1979, relocated last month to Pomeroy Station, the mixed-use complex located next to Newark Shopping Center and anchored by Ski Bum. The new location boasts more space, free parking and less expensive rent. “It’s been fantastic,” Brewer said. “We’re seeing regular customers more often because of the free parking.” The record store is mostly moved in now, and with the extra room, everything flows better and it is “night and day” from the smaller space the store had on Main Street, Brewer said.

Forest Park, IL | Old School Records launches GoFundMe: If owner is unable to pay rent through August, he will have to close business. The Old School Records has started a crowd sourced funding campaign, in an effort to keep the “fixture record store in Forest Park” afloat, said owner Peter Gianakopoulos, who started the GoFundMe. On July 13, Gianakopoulos said he was eight days late paying his rent for this month, and that he still owed payments from the month before. He said that if he is unable to “pay through August” he will have to close the business. “I need a minimum of $5K to cover my late taxes and my rents. Extra funding could help me avoid home foreclosure as well,” Gianakopoulos said. …”I think people get the sense that all small business owners are well off or even wealthy,” Gianakopoulos said. “I started this business with my family lending me about $10,000. If I can pay off my debts, by April of 2020 I’ll be back to normal—month to month, teetering like most small businesses.”

Independent Soul: Daptone’s definitive 7″s: A label that has helped define a contemporary funk and soul sensibility, it’s hard to believe Daptone has existed for fewer than twenty years. Founded by Neal Sugarman and Bosco Mann (aka Gabriel Roth) in 2001 out of Mann’s now defunct Bosco Records, Daptone and its Dap-Kings house band (fronted by Mann) formed the backbone for a 21st century classic soul revival spearheaded by the late, great vocalist Sharon Jones. Taking Stax and Motown as inspiration, Daptone has been a family affair from the off, bringing in artists to record alongside The Dap-Kings, The Sugarman 3, and the Menahan Street Band. In spotting talent, young and old, the label helped bring “the screaming eagle of soul” Charles Bradley in from the cold, and provided journeyman singers like Lee Fields a new lease of life…To mark the 100th 45 released on the label since 2001, founders Neal Sugarman and Bosco Mann have picked a selection of 7″s that have defined Daptone’s prolific output.

Philadelphia, PA | The Video Store, a holdout from the days before digital, is leaving Bucks County: The caller on the other end of the line wanted The English Patient on Blu Ray, and with the efficiency that comes only with 38 years of experience, Alice Tardino found him a copy within minutes. She made the sale, one of many as the last independent video store in Bucks County weathers its final summer. The Video Store, a Levittown mainstay, has been around since 1981, a time when its simple name was an obvious choice — it was the only place in town offering the strange new medium coming out of Hollywood. Other stores came and went, national chains with exponentially larger budgets. But Tardino, 65, and her husband, John, held firm in their storefront, a throwback to a simpler, more analog time. “This community means a lot to us,” she said. “It’s nice to be a place that they trust, that they can come in and get a service they can rely on, in a place they feel comfortable.”

Janet Jackson Announces Vinyl Reissues: Control, Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., and more get new pressings. Janet Jackson has announced vinyl reissues of six albums. The series includes new pressings of 1986’s Control, 1987’s Control: The Remixes, 1989’s Rhythm Nation 1814, 1993’s janet., 1997’s The Velvet Rope, and 2001’s All for You. With the exception of Control—which was released last month—all of the records are due out July 26 to coincide with the launch of the second run of Jackson’s Metamorphosis Las Vegas Residency.

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