In rotation: 12/12/19

Latest Physical Music Supply Chain Debacle Offers Opportunities For Entrepreneurs: …This decision to combine and outsource physical distribution has led to a number of issues that have a cascading effect of horrors by the time the snowball reaches the consumer. Why do we care? It’s important to realize that physical configurations contributed to 25% of global recorded music revenues in 2018. Vinyl alone accounts for 3.6% of global revenue. In a world where market share is how major labels measure themselves, I have to believe that if a label president were asked to give up 25% of worldwide billings they would say no thanks–as would their shareholders. So why is the current crisis at retail allowed to continue? Good question. It creates the self-fulfilling prophecy that physical is a silly configuration that only the backward people care about. So why not just let the artists get their own CD and vinyl manufacturing done on their own outside the label distribution system? Oh, no. Can’t do that. Try doing that sometime and you’ll get led around in circles that eventually lead you back into the very system you wanted to get away from. In other words, go nowhere.

Birmingham, AL | Charlemagne Record Exchange is closing after 42 years. Visit this Birmingham legend before Dec 31: By now, you’ve most likely heard the news–after 42 years, Charlemagne Record Exchange is closing their doors. However, there is still time to experience the magic of Birmingham’s oldest record store. Create a lasting memory by visiting Charlemagne Record Exchange before December 31. Since 1977, Charlemagne Record Exchange has been a record-collector’s dream in Five-Points South. The journey to music-heaven begins at the steps of the time-worn staircase. As you make your way up the staircase you see dozens of posters for local concerts, and staples indicating the thousands of posters that had been there before. Inside the record exchange, the wooden floors creak as you make your way through the sections of different genres–country, classics, jazz, punk, rock, blues and more. Then you find a crate that interests you. You flip through vinyl records, just as hundreds before you have done. Finally, you find a record that you want. And just like that, you’re hooked.

Toronto, CA | Sam the Record Man sign shines over Yonge-Dundas for 1st time in over a decade: Toronto‘s landmark Sam the Record Man sign is shining again in the Yonge and Dundas area more than a decade after the iconic music store shut its doors. The enormous sign, featuring red neon writing on two spinning vinyl discs, was re-lit Wednesday evening atop 277 Victoria St. overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square — just steps from its former location. Mayor John Tory, Coun. Josh Matlow, Ryerson University president Mohamed Lachemi and former owner Sam Sniderman‘s family attended the lighting ceremony. Sam the Record Man opened in 1959 and it quickly became a hangout for music lovers in Toronto, becoming a mecca for millions of Toronto music aficionados that lasted almost half a century. The flashing sign that towered over it was regarded as a symbol of Yonge Street and a cultural touchstone of the city‘s music history.

Bellingham, WA | Avalon Records will not return: The iconic record store damaged by a fire in downtown Bellingham this summer will not be back. The devastating three-alarm fire started July 17th at Clark Feed and Seed on Railroad Avenue and quickly spread to Avalon Records next door, causing extensive damage. A post made on Avalon’s Facebook page on Saturday says they will not rebuild or reopen the store, but you still have one more chance to catch owner Chris Lamb and snag some goods. Lamb will be at Wander Brewing this Saturday, December 14, from 2-7pm selling crystals, Avalon shirts and a few LP boxes.

Forest Hill, MD | Double Groove Brewing opens in Forest Hill, owners expect to begin serving beer in January: Very few vinyl albums have more than one groove, but Fallston resident Craig Willig — who owns more than 3,000 records — has obtained at least two “double groove” albums, both of which are framed and are in the brewery Willig and his wife, Donna, own with their friends Lisa and Mark Moody. The new brewery, located in Forest Hill, is named Double Groove Brewing in honor of those rare records — one is a copy of the British band Marillion’s album “Brave,” released in 1994, and the 1973 comedy album “Matching Tie & Handkerchief,” by the famed British troupe Monty Python. On an album with two grooves, a listener hears one song when putting the record player needle down one time, and a different song the next time. “It either follows one path or the other, so it plays a different set of songs,” Craig Willig explained.

Jacksonville, FL | On this day. 142 years ago: On Nov. 21, 1877, the music and recording industry started a partnership that continues to this day. The invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison had been announced to the public. This was Edison’s first major invention. The Phonograph consisted of a stylus and a tinfoil cylinder. Edison was experimenting on finding a way to record telephone communication. On his attempt, he accidentally invented the first ever phonograph. The purpose of the phonograph was to provide prerecorded music to people in the comfort of their own home. Dennis Stouse, professor of communication, says the phonograph provided an easy way for families to entertain themselves. “Prior to the introduction of the phonograph as a home music device, families provided musical entertainment themselves,” says Stouse.

Niagara Falls, NY | The enduring appeal of vinyl records: …In the “ok boomer” era, vinyl records are something that both generations embrace. Vinyl record sales were at their peak during the boomer’s formative years, and millennials are largely responsible for bringing vinyl records back. On a typical vinyl night, we have boomers and millennials bringing in records, and happily experiencing the music together. Every person has their reason for liking vinyl records, I personally love the fact that a vinyl record is not portable, and even though you can listen to a record through a set of headphones, the optimal way to listen to vinyl albums is with your friends. Many music fans learned the words of songs because they were found on album sleeves or gatefolds. We learned the names of the record producer, session players and even the person that created the cover art.

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