In rotation: 8/8/19

Los Angeles, CA | Cypress Park music club closing to make way for combination record shop and bar: After nearly 6 years and more than 1,000 punk, metal and other shows, Cafe NELA is closing up next month. In its place, Permanent Records, which has shops in Highland Park and Echo Park, will be moving in to open a combination record store, music venue and bar. “We are super stoked about this new development and have a lot of great things in mind for the short and long-term future,” said Permanent Records owner Lance Barresi, who plans to open the Cypress Park location on Oct. 1 Barresi is taking over the space where former teacher Dave Travis, who has been involved in the punk and hardcore scene since the 1980s. “It has always been a dream of mine to own a place to call my own,” Travis said in a 2014 interview. Cafe NELA’s Facebook page said it will be closing on Sept. 22 but did not give a reason why Travis was closing. Permanent Records, which began in Chicago, plans to open seven days a week in the new location.

Batavia, IL | Batavia record store Kiss The Sky to stay put for now: Business extends lease on First Street for another year. Kiss The Sky record store will continue to be part of downtown Batavia for at least another year. The store, located at 180 First St. next to Water Street Studios, recently extended its lease with landlord Batavia Enterprises for another year. It has been at its current location since July 2012, after moving from its previous site at the corner of Third and State streets in downtown Geneva, its home for about six years. Prior to that, the shop spent a decade on Randall Road in Batavia. Steve Warrenfeltz, who started Kiss The Sky with Mike Messerschmidt, had flirted with the idea of moving the store to be near the Fox Valley Music Foundation’s new live music venue, The Venue, which recently opened at 21 S. Broadway Ave. (Route 25) in downtown Aurora. Warrenfeltz is president of the Fox Valley Music Foundation Board. Warrenfeltz had considered the move as a way to create synergy with The Venue.

Montreal, CA | Countering the music streaming phenomenon, locally: When the HMV record store closed its numerous locations in Canada in 2017, after having done so in the United States years before, one would not have been out of line to assume that this represented waving the white flag to streaming outfits like Spotify. After all, those who own Android or Apple smartphones can access millions of songs at any time of day by paying a monthly subscription fee, and even for free if they can tolerate ads in between songs. You can even listen offline if you download a song, album or playlist while online. The other alternative to traditional record stores has been to order a CD from the behemoth Amazon. Many of the brick and mortar record stores of old, not only here but around the world, have closed shop. But some are defiant in upholding the tradition of being able to physically buy an album in a store and get the instant gratification of not only hearing said album (a CD) in the car, but studying the album cover and reading the notes, whether historical ones for reissues…

New York, NY | Vinyl Nirvana? A Trove of 7,000 Rare Records Is Up for Sale—and Could Fetch Up to $1 Million: Amassing a respectable vinyl collection isn’t just a hobby. It’s a discipline, often taking years to groom and perfect. But one private record collector is willing to help you bypass that decades-long process by putting a vast collection of rare records up for sale in its entirety. The catalogue, dubbed the VIP RPM collection, consists of an impressive 7,000 LPs, 45s and 78s. Thousands are still factory sealed and have never been played, including records from Eric Clapton, Queen, Rush, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elvis and more. And it’s carefully organized by genre, with tunes from the ’60s to jazz, as well as soundtracks, compilations and comedy. Perhaps even more enticing, some of the vinyl here never even went to retail. The owner—who is choosing to remain anonymous—was allegedly a music industry insider who had exclusive access to publicity material, test pressings and unreleased recordings. One of the most prized pieces is the extremely rare “Motown Yesteryear Series,” a complete 25th anniversary catalogue of every 45 the Motown record label ever released.

Experimental turntablist Maria Chavez made her new album using a record made up of empty locked grooves: New York City-based experimental turntablist and sound artist Maria Chavez will release a new album, “Plays” (… Stefan Goldmann’s ‘Ghost Hemiola’), via Macro on September 20th. Chavez has been active since the early ’00s, but “Plays” (… Stefan Goldmann’s ‘Ghost Hemiola’) is “her first continuous full-length audio work,” according to the press release. The label, run by Stefan Goldmann and Finn Johannsen, refers to “Plays” as a “mix CD that doesn’t feature any tracks… a remix of a work whose original doesn’t feature recorded sound.” The experimental artist created “Plays” using a gifted copy of Goldmann’s 2013 LP, Ghost Hemiola, a record that consists of 132 blank locked grooves meant to be altered using knives or other tools. Chavez used the blank locked grooves and vinyl to showcase the processes she’s been honing as an abstract turntablist for over 15 years. The end result “employs digital processes extensively, zooming into minute details of sound and the artifacts of both mediums, the tangible vinyl record and disembodied digital audio.”

This Amazon Echo Dot deal comes with a FREE vinyl album: Choose from classics such as Straight Outta Compton, Mezzanine, as well as newer titles. How’s this for an interesting if slightly odd combo deal? Ahead of Black Friday 2019, Amazon has just launched a deal where you get an Amazon Echo Dot at £5 less than its usual selling price AND the retailer will throw in a vinyl album of your choice. The price for an Echo Dot by itself is £49.99, whereas this deal gets you an Echo Dot and a vinyl album for £44.99. That saves you around £25 per bundle (the exact saving depends on the album you choose). The Echo Dot is a handy little smart speaker to own. You can use it to control smart home devices such as Hue lights and you can get it to read you the news, weather reports and more. You can also use it to stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, TuneIn and others, and you can connect it to a larger speaker via Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable. As for vinyl, you probably don’t need us to explain what that is. It’s a black disc, with grooves in and it was very popular before compact discs (remember them?). It’s becoming popular again especially when paired with a good quality record player.

Discogs launches NearMint software for professional record sellers: A platform for large-scale vinyl dealers, powered by Discogs. Discogs has launched a software programme called NearMint designed for professional record sellers. Directly integrated with Discogs’ site, the programme allows sellers to create new listings individually, or en masse, along with file upload and auto-matching functionality. NearMint also allows for multiple user logins within the same account, tags and message templates. Users can launch promotional campaigns via the platform, with the ability to modify the prices of items and send out messages in bulk.

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