In rotation: 1/30/20

Eastbourne, UK | Popular Record Store to close!: This evening (28th January) it has been announced that the popular Pebble Records will be closing its doors. Pebble Records is a leading independent record shop, which is located not far from the mainline railway station in Eastbourne at 14 Gildredge Road. They sell vinyl, CDs, tapes, merch and record decks. Their range includes indie, rock, garage, psych, funk, soul, reggae, dub, dance, electronica, hip hop, r & b, blues, jazz, folk, country and soundtracks. In an official statement by Michael and Chris on the shop’s Facebook page they stated:” I’m sorry to be letting you all know that the tough conditions on the high street have taken there toll on the retail shop and we will closing at the end of the March. Pebble will continue to trade online but in more specialised niche areas more information to follow soon.”

Montreal, CA | Montreal Allows Record Stores to Extend Opening Hours: Shops were fined thousands by the province late last year. After raising concern with the province of Quebec over opening hours leading to thousands of dollars in fines, Montreal record stores will now be permitted to keep doors open later as of this spring. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante confirmed the forthcoming changes on Twitter today, writing that governments will “invite merchants and boroughs to make the rules surrounding store hours more flexible.” She added, “You have to be able to adapt and that’s what we are doing!” Plante’s announcement comes weeks after Phonopolis co-owner Jordan Robson Cramer explained how his shop and fellow record stores Sonorama, La Rama and Death of Vinyl had received warnings and thousands in fines for staying open past 5 p.m. on weekends.

Wilmington, NC | From new to old rarities, Record Bar opens in Wilmington after nearly 30 years of brand-dormancy: It’s been nearly 30 years since music lovers have seen any stores for the previously Durham-based Record Bar, which was acquired by Blockbuster Video in the early ’90s. With more than 150 stores nationwide at its peak, the store eventually went the way of Blockbuster — until now. Tony Stroud has lived in Wilmington for years and has made a career as a CPA, but he can now add ‘record store owner’ to his resume after reviving the previously dormant brand. Now, along with his partner Donna Hoehlein he’s brought the Record Bar back, located next to Beach Bagels off Oleander Drive. The shop opened in December of 2019, but Stroud has been working on the project since 2018, acquiring a large inventory of albums and working to acquire the name and the brand from its dormant status.

Dallas, TX | One of Dallas’ oldest remaining record stores is closing with a big sale: One of Dallas’ oldest remaining record stores is closing. Hit Records, located in the Casa View Shopping Center at 10253 Ferguson Rd., will close after 46 years in business. According to owner Ron Ross, the store’s lease was up and he “couldn’t meet the new terms.” That entire intersection at Ferguson and Gus Thomasson is in churn. The shopping center is getting a $10 million makeover, and some longtime tenants such as Casa Jewelers, which had been at the center since 1954, have been nudged out. Hit Records was almost more museum than shop, with an extensive display of photos and memorabilia. Most of the photos were Ross’ own; he was a music photographer for 20 years, shooting for record labels and publications such as Buddy.

UK | Nightmares on wax: the environmental impact of the vinyl revival: nside a US vinyl pressing plant – its owners have asked that I do not give its location – dozens of hydraulic machines run all day and night. These contraptions fill the building, as long as a city block, with hissing and clanking as well as the sweet-and-sour notes of warm grease and melted plastic. They look like relics, because they are. The basic technological principles of record pressing have not changed for a century, and the machines themselves are decades old. While it is far exceeded by revenues from streaming, the vinyl market keeps growing – Americans now spend as much on vinyl as they do on CDs, while there were 4.3m vinyl sales in the UK last year, the 12th consecutive year of growth. So, if you’re one of the millions of people to re-embrace vinyl records, it’s worth knowing where they come from and how they’re made.

‘London Calling’ At 40: Greil Marcus Revisits His Original Review: On All Things Considered 40 years ago this month, here’s how host Noah Adams introduced an iconic album: “New music from a group said by some critics to be the best rock and roll band in the world: The band’s name is The Clash, the record is London Calling.” London Calling stood out from the punk rock of its time: It was political, knowing and clever. Compact disks were still a few years away, so the album’s 19 songs spilled over two vinyl disks. “Rough. Funny. Expansive.” That’s how music writer Greil Marcus described the album on our program in 1980, the year it was released in the U.S. He said that London Calling “takes in many different styles, and yet is always instantly recognizable as The Clash.

Amazon and Google sued by reps of legendary songwriters over pirated music on their platforms: Amazon and Google failed to police their music marketplaces and allowed pirated recordings to proliferate, according to a series of lawsuits filed last week by organizations representing top songwriters. GeekWire spotted three lawsuits filed Thursday that name Amazon in Washington state and three others in California against Google. Digital content distributor Valleyarm and an entity called Limitless Int. Recordings are also implicated in the cases. The suits are nearly identical, alleging that Limitless sells pirated songs on Amazon and Google’s music platforms from pretty much every major star from the 1930s through the 1960s, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and more. The lawsuits lay out several instances of Limitless’ “bootlegged” versions of popular albums on the companies’ music stores appearing side-by-side in searches with the legitimate versions from record companies. Amazon and Google, the suits allege, are liable because they haven’t cracked down on the pirated music sold in their stores.

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