In rotation: 8/1/19

Dundee, UK | Assai Records to celebrate opening of new Dundee city centre shop with live shows: Popular Dundee record store Assai is to launch its new city centre home with a weekend of live music. The shop, which was based in Broughty Ferry since 2015, will officially open in its new Union Street home on August 9. Staff announced in April that they would be moving on from Broughty Ferry after an “amazing four years” to take advantage of a bigger venue. It was later announced the new location would be in Union Street and work refitting the store has been ongoing over the last few weeks. To celebrate the store’s new home, staff have lined up some musical shows for the opening weekend. Dundee-musician Kyle Falconer will be there on the Friday to promote a limited edition vinyl release of his single Kelly, via Assai’s record label.

Dundee, UK | Tributes paid as Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, owner of iconic Dundee record store Groucho’s, dies: Tributes have been pouring in for the owner of an iconic Dundee record store following his death. Alastair Brodie, known affectionately by the nickname “Breeks”, passed away on Tuesday night. The 65-year-old was the owner of Groucho’s on the Nethergate and sold vinyl records in the city for 43 years. Mr Brodie had been suffering from various health issues for some time but took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. He had been in Ninewells Hospital for the past week. His health is said to have deteriorated rapidly and his passing has come as a shock to family and friends. A joint statement from Mr Brodie’s family and colleagues has been issued by Groucho’s following his death. It reads: “Alastair (Breeks) Brodie, 1953-2019. It is with a very heavy heart and much sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alastair or Breeks as many will know him…”

San Antonio, TX | East Coast Brothers’ Crazy Rhythms Records Becomes San Antonio’s Newest Vinyl Haven: A record by Nigerian guitarist King Sunny Ade played in the background at San Antonio’s Crazy Rhythms Records as a handful of people browsed its racks WHEN. Though there were already hundreds of records its shelves, the open room had that still-unpacking vibe. Little art or decoration hung on its walls. Crazy Rhythms Records opened a month ago at 3617 Broadway Suite 402 in a cluster of shops along Avenue B near Brackenridge Park. “Even before we moved here we knew that this was a good city to try this thing out,” said Zeke Baker, a New York City transplant who opened the store with his twin brother Zach. “Corpus felt too small. Here, most people in the record community have been pretty friendly to us. It feels like a big enough city that we can carve out a niche and feel like we’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.” The Bakers’ parents retired a decade ago in Corpus Christi, and since San Antonio was a nearly city twins were familiar with — thanks to extended family located here — they chose it for their fledgling business venture.

Boston, MA | Salem resident Breaux Silcio ditches practicing law to open Residency Records on Bridge Street: New Orleans native says store carries diversity of musical genres. After working as a practicing lawyer for many years, musician and record collector Breaux Silcio said he was “getting a little burnt out.” So he decided to make a change and pursue a longtime aspiration. That’s when Silcio took some money he had saved up and opened Residency Records, now located on Bridge Street in Salem. “I sort of had an epiphany (about five years ago) about wanting to open a store where I could buy the records I want to listen to rather than buy them on the Internet,” he explained. “The Internet is super convenient when you need to have the thing you want right now. Access is pretty much infinite now, but buying this way isn’t fun. You’re just buying, there’s no experience to be had. I’m a digger, a collector. I’m looking for that sweet find. I’m never impressed when someone tells me they went and spent such and such amount on a particular vintage record online.”

London, UK | Sounds of The Universe: Plastic is still so fantastic: A traditional music shop that sells vinyl records is thriving despite the rise of digital streaming services. Sounds of the Universe carries the largest selection of Reggae, Dubstep, House, Disco, Funk and Soul, Brazilian, Latin, African and world beats in the UK. The shop was opened in the late 1980s by Stuart Baker and now it also has a record label, Soul Jazz Records, attached to it. The shop manager, Pete Reilly, said: “We’ve been going for more than 30 years, even when we started then there were people saying vinyl will soon become obsolete, its finished as a format etc. “Fortunately, there have always been people who love vinyl, and vinyl sales have gone up considerably in recent years as lots of people discover, or rediscover, the joy of owning records. “There are still people who come in who have been buying records from us since we started out in Camden but there have always been lots of young people coming in as well, and that’s true more than ever now as more and more young people get in to vinyl.”

Vinyl demand: Why the biz needs to remember who built the LP revival in the first place: Think of vinyl and you think independence, whether it’s an indie store or an indie label. But first the supermarkets bit into independent shops’ market share, and now fresh Music Week research shows that the major labels have done exactly the same to their independent cousins. According to the Official Charts Company, the three majors took a 64.7% share of vinyl sales in the first half of 2019, leaving the indies with 35.3%. Universal alone almost equalled the indies’ share, with 34.3%. Yet as recently as (half year) 2015, independent labels took a huge 79.1% slice of the vinyl market, meaning back then Universal, Sony and Warner had to be content with 20.9%. The majors’ share has grown every year since, apart from in 2018, when it dropped marginally. Of course, the entire vinyl market has grown exponentially since then, with 2019 sales more than double what they were at this stage in 2015. But while the indies are collectively taking a smaller slice of a larger pie, they will surely be concerned at how the majors have muscled in on what was once their home turf.

I marry business to my passion for music—not the other way around.” Peter Edge’s journey into the music business is cooler than yours. The RCA Records CEO and Chairman was studying at Coventry Polytechnic in the early ‘80s – DJ’ing on local radio and in nightclubs in his spare time – when he struck up a friendship with Jerry Dammers from The Specials (and, later, The Special AKA). As a result, A&R maven Edge’s earliest exposure to the music-making side of the business was a front-row seat for one of the most creatively daring periods of one of the great British groups. (Ghost Town, released in 1981, remains one of the UK’s most bizarre, harrowing and brilliant No.1 records ever.) From there, Edge moved down to London, nabbing a job as a music producer on a show called Switch on Channel 4, while continuing to DJ. It was through Switch that Edge met Simon Fuller – who was then working at Chrysalis Music Publishing. Edge told the Idol-founding magnate about a new track he’d discovered, Holiday by Madonna, and the duo managed to lock down the publishing. Smart move.

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