In rotation: 10/24/19

Tommy Boy Is Finding Counterfeit Vinyl on Amazon — For Titles They Aren’t Even Pressing: Back in August, we reported on a serious problem involving counterfeit CDs on Amazon. Now, we’re learning about a physical knock-off issue that’s far more serious than we imagined. Just how serious is vinyl counterfeiting? Considering that the fledgling vinyl records industry is having trouble counting legitimate sales, that’s a question that remains extremely difficult to answer. In mid-August, we got a glimpse into how serious this issue is for vinyl’s physical cousin. According to details shared by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), roughly 25% of all CDs ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ are fake. The group also found serious problems on eBay and Alibaba, with 100 percent of the CD box sets bought by the RIAA — 40 boxsets on eBay, 32 on AliExpress — determined to be counterfeit. We pressed Amazon for answers on the matter, and got a professional PR brush-off. But it looks like this is an equally serious problem on the vinyl side.

UK | Birmingham’s new HMV Vault and the must-visit, monster-sized record shops worldwide: It feels like we only ever hear about record shops closing, or tiny boutique stores opening in their place. So it was with some surprise that news was received of Birmingham’s giant new HMV Vault, home to over 25,000 records and 80,000 CDs. Its sheer size places it firmly in the list of the biggest record shops in the world. If you believe that big is better, add these to your travel itinerary: Tower Records, Where: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan: While iconic music franchise Tower Records has gone the way of the Dodo in the United States and the United Kingdom, you’ll still find Tower doing great business in Japan where it went independent from the main chain in 2002 and in 2015 boasted 88 stores spread across the country. Unsurprisingly, the biggest is in Tokyo, a nine-floor behemoth located in Shibuya (you’ll know its iconic ‘scramble’ crossing if you’ve ever watched Lost In Translation). The secret of its success? “Japanese fans still like the idea of possessing and playing the physical disc,” said late Tower founder Russ Solomon. But it’s also because the Japanese still treat their record shops as places of awe. We can also strongly recommend the eight-floor Discunion club, located in the Yamada building in the Shinjuku district.

Dún Laoghaire, IE | Vinyl Festival returns for a second spin: Following the success of its 2018 event, the much–anticipated Vinyl Festival returns to Dún Laoghaire in November, promising once again to be an unmissable experience for music fans and vinyl record aficionados alike. The festival will take place in a selection of venues around Dún Laoghaire, including The LexIcon Library Studio, The National Maritime Museum, The Pavilion Theatre and The Lighthouse. Taking place over three days from 1st to 3rd November, the Vinyl Festival will involve a collection of talks and discussions relating to all aspects of vinyl recordings – from writing, recording, producing and performing, to examining sleeve design and liner notes, as well as looking at the importance and significance of vinyl records in our culture today. Highlights of the festival look set to be two live gigs featuring Johnny, Barry and Jim of Horslips on the 1st and 2nd in the Pavilion Theatre (43 years on from recording their Horslips Live album in Dún Laoghaire’s old Pavilion!), and Line of Duty/This is England actor – and part-time DJ – Vicky McClure’s DJ set in The Lighthouse on the Saturday night.

Los Angeles, CA | Permanent Records launches new shop and bar in Cypress Park: Looks like the folks at Permanent Records are out with the old in Highland Park and in with the new in Cypress Park. On Saturday, the vinyl record retailer celebrated the arrival of Permanent Records Roadhouse – a drink-a-beer-while-you-shop-for-records concept in a small storefront hidden by a large ficus tree on Cypress Avenue. The roadhouse will offer a variety of brews, ciders, high alcohol kombuchas, non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks, Permanent Records said on its Instagram. Permanent Records also plans to eventually host shows in the space formerly occupied by Club NELA, a punk rock venue. Meanwhile, the Permanent Records store at 5116 York Blvd. in Highland Park has gone dark while their store across the street at 5123 ½ York Blvd. will remain open.

St. Louis, MO | St. Louis Then and Now: Vintage Vinyl on Delmar Boulevard: Vintage Vinyl has a storied history as one of St. Louis’ longest-running independent record stores, but did you know that this location at 6610 Delmar Boulevard was once a cinema? The southeast corner of Delmar and Leland Avenue used to be the Varsity Theatre, a funky little spot that opened in 1935 and managed to survive all the way until 1988. It was more like the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-7271) than any of the large multiplexes in town, though, and it attracted art kids and lovable weirdos when it started regular showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1976. Back in those days, you could find the likes of Michael Stipe from R.E.M. hanging out outside dressed up in full Rocky gear. (Skip to 1:23 in the video below for proof.) And now you can find Michael Stipe on the racks inside of this longtime neighborhood record store and tourist destination in the ever-evolving Delmar Loop.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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