In rotation: 9/24/19

Brooklyn, NY | How Your Favorite Vinyl Record Is Pressed: For this New York-based printer, fixing car engines led to a passion for vinyl. Thomas Bernich is admittedly not a musician, but his contributions to the music industry are just as important as any chord combination. “I can play the stereo, but I can’t play the guitar,” he tells Popular Mechanics. Growing up, Bernich would rush home from school to listen to his records. “Then my father would get home, so I’d have to turn the music off and I’d help him bore out an engine.” After visiting a vinyl pressing plant in Queens in 2001, Bernich decided to combine his childhood passions and purchase two machines of his own. Though the vinyl presses were in constant need of repair, Bernich felt a sense of accomplishment with each pressing. “You want to become the vessel for the artist to generate their idea and then materialize it,” Bernich says. “There’s enough crap in the world, so you want to make something positive and constructive and beautiful.”

Coachella Valley, CA | From Vinyl to Venue: Record Alley Hosts Local Bands Every Sunday: While the Coachella Valley has birthed some of rock’s greatest musicians and has been overflowing with intense musicality for decades, record stores here are few and far between. In fact, there’s really only one provider of CDs, vinyl and all other things that music fans need—and that store has been doing so since 1978. “Record Alley is the hub of music,” said Scott McLaughlin, a Record Alley employee and local musician. “Back in the day, everybody used to come in here—celebrities and even local stars like Joshua Homme or Jesse Hughes. It was a cool hangout spot, even back when it was just CDs.” Turns out Record Alley is still a cool hangout spot: The store has started hosting performances by two music acts each Sunday afternoon. These shows are planned by McLaughlin; I sat down with him recently to discuss his musical journey and the future of Record Alley.

Paris, FR | Listening bar Jean-Louis La Nuit opens in Paris: Gabriel from D.KO has curated a series of listening sessions hosted with the likes of Zaltan, Leo Pol, Favorite Recordings and more. Jean-Louis La Nuit, which resides in the first arrondissement, boasts the “futurist-retro” Harmony 5001 analogue soundsystem, which was originally designed in the 1980s by French sound designers AESD and has now been relaunched and developed for the present day with the venue’s support. It will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 PM to 4 AM, and will also act as a fashion showroom and exhibition space. “The music that has accompanied you over the last 40 years is transformed,” Damien, the director of Jean-Louis La Nuit, says. “What you thought was your music becomes a new story—we are bringing a culture of high-fidelity to Parisians.”

ARChive strives to keep vinyl musical heritage alive in digital age: The turntable needle drops and the sounds of an obscure band The Motifs ring out, bouncing off mountains of records lining the musty warehouse housing America’s largest pop music collection. The cavernous independent private music library, known as the ARChive of Contemporary Music, on a non-descript street in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood claims more than three million recordings — mostly vinyl and some CDS and cassettes, not to mention a vast collection of memorabilia. “You’re just constantly discovering things that you wouldn’t know,” its co-founder B George told AFP from his desk tucked behind the stacks. In an age dominated by streaming and the ephemerality of digital media, places like the ARChive can prove vital to preserving physical copies of music that can be key to future listening. News over the summer that some 500,000 recordings from legends like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton were destroyed in a 2008 blaze at Universal Studios threw the importance of safeguarding physical copies into stark relief.

The ‘world’s smallest, portable record player’ takes off after ‘Shark Tank’ airing: Even at the peak of digital music streaming, vintage record players have stood the test of time amongst true music enthusiasts. Logan Riley, former creative education lead at Apple, liked to spend his Saturdays going to the record store, which ultimately sparked a product idea that would land him a spot on “Shark Tank” Season 9. Riley set out to invent the RokBlok – the “world’s smallest, portable record player.” The product eliminates the inconveniences that come with record players – large size, hefty price tag, and immobility to name a few. RokBlok is essentially a portable record player with built-in speakers that plays music as it rides along the top of vinyl. With no prior electrical engineering experience, Riley turned to YouTube tutorials for help.

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