In rotation: 10/7/19

Sarnia, ON | Business as usual at Sarnia’s Cheeky Monkey, until it’s not: …While it’s true that Cheeky Monkey Record Store co-owners Roland and Mary Anne Peloza recently put their three-unit Christina Street building up for sale (at press time, Cushman & Wakefield’s Ken Poore has it listed at $699,000), the couple wants to assure loyal customers and local music fanatics that their iconic music store will most assuredly still be open for business during the upcoming holiday season and possibly beyond that for some time, too. The answer to the question of when exactly Cheeky Monkey will close its doors for good is, to steal a phrase from Bob Dylan, blowing in the wind. “Basically it’s business as usual … until it’s not,” Roland said, smiling. But after 37 years of providing music lovers and movie buffs across southwestern Ontario with every kind of genre of entertainment in virtually every kind of format – from VHS tapes and 8-Tracks to vinyl, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays – the Pelozas have finally decided to start the process of winding down their successful small business career…

London, UK | Is it time for CDs to be resigned to the dustbin of history? But one expert says CDs are ‘a long way from dead.’ CDs are seemingly on the way out as sales drop by millions and millions year-on-year. Vinyl, meanwhile, continues to enjoy its revival. Vinyl sales are set to overtake CDs for the first time in 33 years, according a report by an American music body. However, this is not the case in Europe, with one expert saying that CDs are “a long way from dead.” While the vinyl revival has caused the sales of records to grow in recent years, CD sales have went the opposite way. In 2018, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released their mid-term report that showed CD sales were “dropping three times as fast as vinyl sales were growing.” The RIAA have published their mid-term report for this year. It found that vinyl is on target to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. There were 8.6 million vinyl records sold in the US in the first half of 2019, earning $224.1million. CDs, meanwhile, made $247.9m in the same period. Rolling Stone reports: “Vinyl revenue grew by 12.8 per cent in the second half of 2018, and 12.9 per cent in the first six months of 2019, while the revenue from CDs barely budged.

Can our vinyl obsession ever be environmentally friendly? Vinyl is back, but the format comes with a serious environmental cost. As the dance music world attempts to go greener, some companies are working out ways to make our wax obsession as eco-friendly as possible — we spoke to the head of one such manufacturer, Deep Grooves Pressing Plant, to find out more. …When it comes to vinyl production specifically, each stage of the meticulous process is harmful. The fossil fuel, crude oil, is extracted from limited sources in the ground, refined and processed into PVC granulate — the material that your standard vinyl is made from. The typical black colour of vinyl is derived from carbon black, a by-product from the burning of petroleum substances like tar. Studies from professors and other qualified professionals estimate that we have around 50 years until all fossil fuel sources are depleted, and although we can use alternatives, fossil fuels are ultimately irreplaceable.

Bury, UK | HMV Bury to host series of live gigs supporting unsigned artists: A record store is opening its doors and its shelves to unsigned bands and artists in a bid to help them boost their exposure and land their big brake. HMV’s Bury store is preparing to launch a series of live music events featuring some of the hottest talents from across the borough and Greater Manchester as part of its Live and Local campaign. Kicking off the seven show run are Bury and Bolton psychedelic indie rockers Fragile Audio who will be performing from 4.30pm on October 5. Also lined up to play over the following six weeks are Bolton singer songwriter James Holt, Wilmslow-based artist Jay Dunn, Bury and Bolton surf rock punks Adventures of Salvador & Uke Punk, Oldham indie band The Recreation, Manchester teenage multi-instrumentalist Cobain Jones and Bury jangle pop five-piece Hurray For Tuesday. Steve Toolan, HMV Bury store manager, said: “Saturday will be our very first live gig. We are only a small shop so it’s going to be interesting.

Dublin, IE | Celtic rock band Horslips to re-release two albums on vinyl ahead of Dun Laoghaire Vinyl Festival: The release is limited to 1,000 copies of each album. Irish band Horslips will be re-releasing two of their classic albums on vinyl but for a limited time only. The Celtic rock legends will be re-issuing their classic albums “The Táin” and “The Book of Invasions” ahead of their appearance at this year’s Dun Laoghaire Vinyl Festival. The release is limited to 1,000 copies of each album and will be available at Horslips’ two shows in the Pavilion Theatre on 1st and 2nd November – 43 years on from recording their Horslips Live album in Dun Laoghaire’s old Pavilion. Their 1973 album “The Táin”deals with the ancient war between Ulster and Connacht and the two main protagonists, Queen Maeve and Cúchulainn. “Dearg Doom” was probably the most famous track to come out of this album but it also had some extraordinary supporting songs such as “Ferdia’s Song” and “Faster than the Hound”.

Nick Mulvey Releases a Vinyl Record Made Entirely from Plastic Ocean Garbage: A lot of music artists talk about the environment, but British singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey is actually cleaning it up. In partnership with a brewer in Cornwall called Sharp’s Brewery, Mulvey used vinyl made from plastic ocean waste to produce his latest single, which is entitled “In the Anthropocene.” Only 105 copies of the single have been made. As each was produced from random ocean waste, each is completely unique. The music, too, has an environmental theme, discussing our responsibility for the world we live in. Mulvey says that the music is about understanding who we are at a most basic level. He adds that we are living in a time of “urgent global crisis” and this is making us re-examine who we are and the world around us. He further noted that we must “raise ourselves” to the majestic level of the earth.

Sloan releases a new deluxe (and quite massive) edition of their Navy Blues album: Navy Blues is finally turning 21! Since a debutante ball is a bit expensive, what better way to celebrate this LP’s formal coming of age than with a marginally less expensive deluxe vinyl box set! In 1998, we were coming off the heels of our most successful record, One Chord To Another. This 4th LP was the first record where there were real expectations, both commercially and critically. First single “Money City Maniacs” did (and continues to do) well at radio (and, currently, at Raptors games) here in Canada. While the record was, at the time, generally considered a nod to a more 70’s-rock infused sound, in hindsight it’s feels like a pretty varied collection from 4 songwriters. Perhaps the extra content from the era added here even expands on that notion.

Pulp’s ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ Set For Deluxe, 25th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue: The much-acclaimed album includes the band’s UK Top 40 breakthrough hit, ‘Do You Remember The First Time?’ Pulp’s much-acclaimed His ‘n’ Hers is set for reissue on 2-LP vinyl through UMC/Island Records on 25 October. This new, deluxe, 25th anniversary edition has been pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl for extra audio quality and now sports enhanced packaging, with the record housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner bags. The album has also been remastered by bassist/producer Steve Mackey, who later helmed records by MIA, The Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine. The fourth studio album by the Sheffield indie stalwarts turned mainstream pop heroes, His ‘n’ Hers was the band’s first release on a major label. It was originally issued in 1994 and together with its follow-up Different Class, it is revered as of the highlights of the mid-1990s Britpop era.

Stonington High School, Pawcatuck, CT | Vinyl Record Appreciation Club Meets for First Time: Thursday, October 3, was the first Vinyl Record Appreciation club meeting, advised by Mr. Nelson. This club includes students with a passion for music of various genres and plans to meet every other Friday. At each meeting, students can bring in a record of their choice and explain the significance of the album and share the history behind it. For example, for the first meeting, Ethan Lopes shared an album by the reggae band, “Third World.” While not everyone in the group may know of the artist, it is a great opportunity for students to expand their musical knowledge. Mr. Nelson had the idea for the club because he has his own collection of vinyl records, but was originally unsure if students would want to join. However, students encouraged him to start it and ensured that they and their friends would join. The members include students across all grades who are excited for the rest of the year. They already have exciting plans for making t-shirts, bringing in snacks, and many other ideas for the club.

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