In rotation: 8/12/19

Bridport, UK | Bridport Music could be bought – by the community: There’s hope yet for a beloved town record shop as the community fights to keep it going. Following the news Bridport Music faces closure, should a buyer not come forward, there has been a growing number of interested parties looking into taking over the business as a community benefit society. Two public meeting have taken place, with 31 people having so far pledged to invest more than £50k. Josef Davies-Coates is fronting the campaign, Save Bridport Music, after seeing an ‘outpouring of love’ for the record store when it announced last month that it will close in October unless a buyer is found. “It’s looking very positive,” said Mr Davies-Coates. “The interest is there and we have a core group of interested parties so this could well happen.”

North Adams, MA | North Adams’ Belltower Records to Host Summer Jam II: Belltower Records has settled into the community as a hub for music fans, musicians, and audiophiles alike. It is easy to lose a few hours on the third floor of the Norad Mill digging through the overflowing record crates at the independent music store. “We have just been longtime collectors, my wife and I, and we have been looking to do something for a while and we basically stumbled upon this,” owner Wes Nelson said recently. With news that Hal March, owner of Toonerville Trolley Records in Williamstown, was looking to close and sell his business in 2017, a shockwave rippled through the Northern Berkshire record collecting community. Collectors knew that in the near future they would have to travel farther than Williamstown to satiate their need to fervently dig through crates of records. That day came and a “closed” sign was fixed to March’s door. It was over.

West Yorkshire, UK | Vital vinyl in an age of streaming: One highlight of a busy Saturday at this year’s Bradford Literary Festival was a talk by the music journalist David Hepworth. He was the long-time familiar face from the much-missed TV programme The Old Grey Whistle Test. OGWT, as we used to abbreviate it, was a showcase for the sort of ‘progressive’ music that rarely featured on TV’s Top of the Pops. TOTP was accessible, commercial, and devoted to the singles chart. Whistle Test was all introspective singer-songwriters, extended blues workouts and impenetrable lyrics. A show for those who preferred whole albums to three-minute singles. And that was Hepworth’s subject: the magic of the 12” vinyl long-playing record. It was a perfect package: a luxury purchase but an affordable one, so the discerning music lover had to think hard about which to choose with this month’s pocket money.

Philadelphia, PA | Record store owner keeps the soundtrack of ‘bubblegum pop’ playing: In a small red brick building at the end of an alley, a door opens to a room crammed with records. Light filters through the windows, shining on shelves along the walls packed with vinyl, leaving space for nothing other than a record player, two speakers and a narrow walking area for customers to browse the record collection. This is the home of Afrosynth Records, a vinyl shop, record label and internet blog that specializes in South African music. It is located in the Maboneng Precinct, a redeveloped district located on the eastern edge of Johannesburg that has numerous art galleries, studios, restaurants, coffee shops and bars. David Durbach, whose stage name is “DJ Okapi,” owns Afrosynth. He is also a record collector, a DJ and journalist originally from Cape Town. He grew up on the sounds of American music that local radio stations played, gravitating toward American soul and funk. What he was listening to, what was widely available to him, prompted many questions about music.

Toronto, CA | Raptors Fred VanVleet spotted at Toronto record store: From famous singers to curious raccoons, record shops in Toronto continue to attract very special visitors. The latest vinyl record shopper to garner some attention was none other than Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet. The 25-year-old, who helped the Toronto Raptors win the historic NBA championship earlier this summer, was spotted at Tiny Record Shop on Queen Street East on Wednesday evening. “Loved having an NBA World Champ like Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors pop into the shop tonight — no big deal, right?” wrote the record store in the caption of an Instagram post. Now, if only we knew what vinyl he purchased.

‘Sarah Vaughan’s Golden Hits’ Shines Again On New Vinyl Editions: The 12-track collection will be available in both black and gold vinyl options. Verve/UMe will release the 1961 compilation Sarah Vaughan’s Golden Hits on vinyl on 30 August. The 12-track collection will be available in both black and gold vinyl options and has been remastered at Capitol Studios from the original analogue tapes. By the time the retrospective first appeared, the vocal stylist had been thrilling her audiences on record for more than a decade, after debuting with a self-titled set in 1950. Golden Hits showcased the extraordinary breadth of Vaughan’s range and the fluency with innovative bop phrasing and apparently effortless vocal control that inspired Ella Fitzgerald to describe her as “the world’s greatest singing talent.” The album shows her three-octave contralto span and the inimitable sophistication she brought to such songs as ‘Misty,’ ‘Moonlight In Vermont’ and the scat-inspired ‘Lullaby Of Birdland.’

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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