In rotation: 9/16/19

Kelowna, BC | Milkcrate Records to close at the end of the month: The venue and record shop has presented close to 400 shows over its eight years in Kelowna. Vinyl lovers and show-goers in Kelowna are going to be losing a staple destination come the end of the month. Milkcrate Records, a local record shop and music venue, is planning to shut its doors for good on Sept. 28. In their Sept. 13 newsletter, the shop announced it had been evicted from its current location and the search for a new space was unsuccessful. “Thank you to all the artists, poets, authors, filmmakers, musicians, singers and bands who enriched our lives with their music, talent, passion and artistry,” said owner Richard Rafton. “Thank you to all the arts and music and spoken word fans who came and cheered and clapped and shared the love. For us it always was and always shall be about the music. We’re very proud to have presented close to 400 shows over eight years at Milkcrate, featuring over 1000 artists.” He closed the letter by adding, “as Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo) closes out their shows: ‘we’ll see you all further on down the road.’”

Birmingham, UK | hmv to open Europe’s largest music and entertainment store The hmv Vault in Birmingham: hmv are bouncing back with a new flagship branch. hmv have announced plans to open Europe’s largest music and entertainment store next month. The hmv Vault will commence business in Birmingham’s Dale End from mid-October in a 25,000sq ft. retail space, a clear sign that the retailer’s resurgence on the UK high street is going from strength-to-strength. hmv was rescued from administration by Canada’s Sunrise Records in February 2019. While 27 stores were initially set for closure, 14 were then saved from shutting their doors for good after deals were secured with landlords. The hmv Vault features a permanent stage area and PA sound system, with plans in place for in-store signings and performances every week. The new outlet promises to be a “dedicated vinyl paradise”, with particular appeal to specialist record collectors with a wider range of classical, jazz, folk, country, blues and world music titles available that in their other stores.

Vancouver, BC | Iconic record store the latest target for downtown Nanaimo thieves: Fascinating Rhythm in downtown Nanaimo had its front door smashed late Thursday night as thieves made away with several guitars. This is the second time in the past couple months that the business has been targeted. There was also an attempted break-in only two weeks ago. “I have never had a break-in since opening 30 years ago,” said Steven Lebitschnig, the owner of Fascinating Rhythm. “I’ve had two this year.” Thieves originally tried to grab poppy donations that were strapped down, but ended up going for guitars instead. Lebitschnig says his store is not the only one that has suffered from a break-and-enter theft in recent months. Nanaimo RCMP say they have seen an increase in theft from businesses in the downtown core, adding thieves seem to be targeting cash on site. “We are strangely recommending that people leave no cash on site,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “And put up a sign indicating that.”

Calgary, CA | Prairie Records Tops the Charts: Named Top Cannabis Retailer in Canada at Grow UP: Westleaf Inc. is proud to announce its Prairie Records retail stores have been named top cannabis retailer in Canada at the GrowUP Conference & Expo. Singing a different tune in cannabis retail, the award win is a testament to how Prairie Records is offering Canadian’s a truly unprecedented purchasing experience. “It is extremely gratifying to have Prairie Records be recognized at one of the industry’s largest events and to be able to stand out amongst a field of very worthy retail competitors,” says Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf and Retail Brand Strategist for Prairie Records. “We set out to make waves in a sea of sameness by creating an immersive experience like no other in the marketplace, and we are pleased and honoured to receive this, the first Grow UP Conference retail award.” Ten companies were nominated in the Grow UP retail category at this year’s event, the first for the industry. Among the nominees were independent stores and well-known national chains. Prairie Records was recognized based on delivering an unparalleled consumer purchasing experience and creating a welcoming brand for cannabis consumers.

New York, NY | New Bar on 84th Street will Play Old Records: A new spot called Long Play Record Bar will be opening at 200 West 84th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam. The upcoming spot will be a laid back cocktail lounge which will play old records! As described on the upcoming bar’s Facebook page: Long Play Record Bar is a cocktail lounge and vinyl record lover’s dream. Rather than the same old noisy neighborhood bars covered in TVs, Long Play will be an oasis; a perfect place to relax, listen to vinyl and rediscover the art of conversation. They’ve also posted previews of their upcoming menu on their website. They tell us to expect a number of signature cocktails, a rotating list of premium sakes, wine and beer, and a number of appetizers and small plates. I reached out to the owners who told me their liquor license application has been unanimously approved by Community Board 7. They hope to open Long Play Record Bar in the spring of 2020. I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited! This place sounds awesome.

Barrow, UK | Vinyl industry ‘exploding like TNT’ after Barrow store shortlisted for award: A Barrow trader has said he is ‘blown away’ after hearing news his store has been shortlisted for a national award within a year of opening. Dave Turner, owner of TNT Records, on Duke Street, revealed he heard about the store’s Long Live Vinyl Magazine’s Record Shop of the Year 2019 award nomination via email from a friend. Coincidentally, the news comes in the same week it was revealed vinyl is set to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. Mr Turner said: “To hear that we’ve been nominated for this award is great. “I’m blown away because we’ve not even been open for a year. “The vinyl industry is exploding like TNT. “To be shortlisted for this award is a big thing for us – it’s the equivalent of the Oscars.” The independent store owner said he believed his store had been shortlisted due to Barrow’s love for records.

La Crosse, WI | Vinyl sales soar, gain popularity in La Crosse: Vinyl record sales are set to outsell CD’s for the first time since 1986, according to the latest report from the Recording Industry Association of America. The vinyl record has been making music since the 1900’s. The first commercial vinyl long-playing record was launched in 1930, creating music memories and a lifelong passion for music lovers. “I can hear a record and I can see the inside of my teenage bedroom like right now,” said Classic Hits 94.7 DJ Sam Strong, who remembers her vinyl records fondly. “There’s a certain quality of sound. The vinyl has that cool warm quality I think that’s why people like that,” she added. That quality could be why the trend is turning around. In 1988 CD’s outsold LP’s but last year in the U.S., vinyl sales were more than 1,000% higher than the decade before. And this year, they are on pace to outsell CD sales for the first time in 33 years.

Van Halen 7-Inch Japanese Singles box arrives in November: Van Halen released 13 singles in Japan between 1978 and 1984 that will be collected in a new 7” vinyl set from Rhino. Each replica single features the original sleeve artwork and comes housed in a cigarette-style box. Two versions of THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984 will be available on November 1: a black vinyl version and a limited edition version of 750 copies on red vinyl, which is available now to pre-order at Both versions have a suggested retail price of $129.98. THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984 encompasses the first six albums released by Van Halen, which featured guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, singer David Lee Roth, and bassist Michael Anthony. Those albums include the band’s self-titled debut and 1984, which were both certified Diamond for U.S. sales in excess of 10 million. This rare feat places them on an elite short list of double RIAA-certified Diamond Award honorees. The original album version of each song is featured in this set except for: “Hot For Teacher,” which has a unique single edit that was issued exclusively in Japan; along with the single edit versions of “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and “I’ll Wait.”

Why Vinyl, Books and Magazines Will Never Go Away: …One explanation could be that, as Ozgun Atasoy from the University of Basel and Carey Morewedge from Boston University wrote in a paper based on a series of experiments, people are more willing to buy physical goods than equivalent digital ones, and they’re likely to pay a higher price for them. Offered an easy choice, people would rather have a vinyl LP than its digital image in the cloud somewhere; it’s just that the choice isn’t there most of the time. Atasoy and Morewedge wrote that the effect is mostly explained by “psychological ownership”: It’s hard for people to feel they own something they can’t physically touch. They wrote, however, that other, unidentified factors were also at play, since psychological ownership didn’t fully explain the difference in people’s willingness to pay for the two kinds of products. I think Michael Palm from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill put a finger on those factors in a paper published earlier this year. He suggested that physical vs. digital, or new vs. old, could be a less relevant differentiation point than corporate culture vs. independent culture.

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