In rotation: 1/9/20

Stoke-on-Trent, UK | City’s HMV store is safe as music retailer warns up to 13 stores could close: The Hanley branch has been left off a list of at risk stores. The city centre’s HMV store has again escaped the axe as the music retailer warned of job losses and the closure of up to 13 stores unless it is able to secure new deals with its landlords. HMV has confirmed that a further three stores will shut at the end of the month, with new tenants already lined up to move into the properties. The High Street giant says another 10 stores are at risk of closure. However, HMV Hanley, based within the intu Potteries Shopping Centre, is not currently in danger. This time last year, the popular city centre store was facing closure after HMV went into administration for the second time in five years. The retailer was rescued when it was acquired from administrators by Canadian company Sunrise Records, owned by music mogul Doug Putman, in a move which saved 100 stores and 1,487 jobs.

Pittsburgh, PA | Longtime Pittsburgh Record Store Closing: The store has been around for nearly 25 years. After nearly a quarter of a century, Dave’s Music Mine on Carson Street in the South Side will be closing soon. A store employee confirmed Tuesday that this week is the last that Dave’s will be open on weekdays, although it is expected to be open on weekends for several months. According to Dave’s website, the store debuted in 1996. Originally called Jerry’s Music Market, the store was located on the second floor next to McDonald’s on Forbes Avenue in Oakland. After expanding to five locations, Dave’s scaled back to just the South Side store in 2008; the Carson Street location has been around since 1999. Dave’s will be at least the third record store in Pittsburgh to go under in the past year. In 2019, Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closed, as did Juke Records, a Bloomfield staple for several decades…

Boise, ID | The More The Better: When the needle drops, it makes for a different kind of listening experience. People get really into vinyl and collectors will scour through stores for hours. More stores makes for more listening options, and now, collectors in Boise have a new record shop to peruse. “Listening to records is an art,” said Derek Anderson, who co-owns Modern Sounds Vinyl and Music with Dave Eggers. “Listening and appreciating and reading the album covers, it creates a better understanding of the music in its entirety, and people listening to CDs aren’t connecting fully to the music.” Modern Sounds Vinyl and Music specializes in vintage vinyl, but carries a little bit of everything. It has a small yet comfortable storefront located at 556 S. Vista Ave. It’s open limited hours until its grand opening slated for early 2020. Anderson and Eggers weren’t sure about the exact date. They both work day jobs and the store is more of a hobby for them—they’re just two guys who love listening to records and they want to share that love with Boise.

London, UK | Put the needle back down: Digital streaming services are leading music fans into a new decade, but the warm and fuzzy tones of the analog past haven’t been quietly fading away. For example, Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old alt-pop superstar who skyrocketed to success in the back half of the 2010s, ended 2019 by releasing a live, direct-to-acetate LP recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Records that was only made available in two American cities, Nashville and Detroit. If you can get your hands on a copy, the disc comes with Eilish’s own hand-drawn art —not a perk fans will get with their Spotify subscription. Eilish is going against the grain (and that’s her MO), but not without tapping into a trend that’s poised to break records in 2020. According to music journalist Alan Cross, who reports weekly music sales on his blog A Journal of Musical Things, Canadians bought 973,891 pieces of brand new vinyl in 2019, an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the year before. “That’s a healthy 15 per cent of the total number of albums sold,” Cross wrote at the end of December, noting that number doesn’t include used record sales.

Dublin, IE | Made In Dublin: How a Glasnevin start-up is leading the vinyl revival: “People want something tangible again. A vinyl collection is something really personal.” It’s not that long ago that vinyl records were seen as a dead format, kept on life support only by purists, DJs and collectors. However, in the last 10 years that has all changed, and Irish vinyl sales have rocketed from half a million in 2014 to around five million this year. Hugh Scully – co-founder of Glasnevin-based record manufacturers Dublin Vinyl – has a theory as to why. “People want something tangible again,” he says. “A playlist isn’t a collection – even a hard drive full of mp3s isn’t really a collection. A vinyl collection is something really personal.” The ever-increasing demand has posed problems of its own – not least when it comes to manufacturing the records themselves. Just four pressing plants – in the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Germany and France – make around 60% of the entire world’s records. What does that mean for labels, artists and fans? Delayed orders, uncertain release dates and a lot of frustration.

David Bowie rarities EP ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ and ‘ChangesNowBowie’ Record Store Day 2020 release announced. Two new David Bowie releases have been announced for 2020 by Parlophone Records: A streaming EP of unreleased and rare tracks, titled ‘David Bowie Is It Any Wonder?’, and the ‘ChangesNowBowie’ session, which will be out on Record Store Day. The first track from both releases, an acoustic version of ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, is out now. It was released to mark Bowie’s birthday – the Starman would have turned 73 today (January 8) – and the 50th anniversary of the writing and recording of the classic song. The rest of songs from the six-track ‘David Bowie Is It Any Wonder?’ EP will be released weekly from January 17 onwards. An official tracklist is not yet available. ‘ChangesNowBowie’ was a nine-track mostly acoustic session which was recorded in 1996 in New York during rehearsals for Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden. The BBC broadcast the session the following year, on Bowie’s 50th birthday on January 8, 1997.

Doris Day’s ‘The Love Album’ Makes Its Vinyl Debut: Hollywood star and beloved balladeer Doris Day’s The Love Album makes its vinyl debut on 31 January, via Craft Recordings. Featuring all of her signature romantic standards, including ‘For All We Know’ and ‘Sleepy Lagoon’, the 11-track album is now available to pre-order. Considered by critics to be among her best from the 1960s, The Love Album represents the most sensual, intimate vocals of Day’s legendary career. The vinyl package boasts new artwork, first featured in an expanded CD edition which was reissued in 2016. The Love Album collects tracks recorded by Day during three studio sessions in Hollywood in 1967, but languished in the vaults and didn’t see the light of day until its UK release in 1994, nearly 30 years later.

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