In rotation: 2/4/20

London, UK | FOPP – If Aladdin’s Cave was a record store: Fact: This record shop in the buzzing Seven Dials area is dangerous for the wallet. I have never left here empty-handed. What’s not to love about a store selling brand new oldies for as cheap as £5? If you are also coming to the end of your current read, have a browse through their excellent range of books as most are as cheap as £3 each or two for £5, again all brand new. And if you choose to pay the extra pence for a plastic bag it comes as a see-through carrier so you can show off your latest musical finds when wandering around town. The basement has an equally impressive choice of DVDs but that’s less my cup of Rosy (Lee = tea). Show some support for record shops and swing by here. FOPP is owned by the guys behind the precarious HMV high-street name and I always say a little prayer when these owners appear in the news for their latest closures and just hope that this outpost does not fall victim.

Glasgow, UK | Herald Diary at Large: Why vinyl will never die. The year is 1993. The venue is Sony Music Studios in New York City. The band is Nirvana. Fans will later remember this MTV Unplugged performance as one of those rare TV moments that provide a jolt of dissonance, disturbance and drama to the established music scene. Like the Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Or Live Aid, when rock became the new religion; a globalised evangelical church sermon, saving us all from our sins. Although this particular evening in 1993 is low key. Stripped of hubris and hyperbole, yet quietly momentous all the same. Facing his young audience of rock disciples, Kurt Cobain hunches in a chair. A surly toad lumped on a lily pad. The cardigan he wears is the colour of dreich; knitted from wool that could easily have been sheared from a Scottish sky. His lank hair drizzles down his neck; its liquid limpness also redolent of Caledonia at its rain-raddled best. What won’t have any echoes of Scotland, however, are the songs Cobain is about to sing. They promise to be freshly-minted American classics, written by Kurt himself, a native of Washington state. Songs like Heart-Shaped Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Augusta, GA | Out There…Somewhere: Big game of music, not going to Kansas City: San Francisco and Kansas City getting ready to rock, it’s almost time for the big game. “Not much of a football fan,” said Evan Grantski, of Grantski Records The game is being played in Miami at Hard Rock Stadium, and at Grantski Records they know about rocking hard. So when comes to classic vinyl, who wins…Kansas City or San Francisco? “I think musically it would have to go to San Francisco,” said Evan. It’s a hard journey to get to the Superbowl, and Journey has from that city by the bay. So does Jefferson Airplane, and Creedence Clearwater Revival left its heart in San Francisco. And Oy Como Va…it’s Santana. Somebody call a time out. Running up the score, another San Francisco band: Metallica. Sly & the Family Stone called San Francisco home, and Huey Lewis & the News, The Grateful Dead, The Bay Area Band is still huge at the record store “Oh yeah, can’t keep them in stock,” said Evan.

Lake Lanier, GA | Take a trip down memory lane at Moe’s: Moe Lyons was 16 when he purchased his first vinyl record in 1974. “It was ‘Rufusized’ by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan,” says Lyons, who owns Moe’s Record Shop on the east end of Flowery Branch’s Main Street, near the shores of Lake Lanier. “I still have the original at my house, but we have a couple of them here in the store.” As far back as the late ’70s and early ’80s, Lyons had dreams of opening a record store. By 1985, he was hired as Christmas help at a Record Bar store in his home state of Kentucky. Most recently, he retired at age 60 from Hall County Water Treatment after 18 years. He opened the store in April 2019. “I guess you could say I have a music addiction, but I really like to share music, especially on vinyl,” he said. Lyons has been collecting albums for years and now has more than 6,000 albums at home in addition to the 4,000 to 4,500 in bins at the store. Located in the former location of Lakeside Market, the store is filled with bin after bin of vinyl, sorted by genre and alphabetized by artist. Ask him about almost any artist who has recorded an album and he can walk right to the proper bin and quickly pull out an assortment.

Bury, UK | Live and local gigs to return to HMV Bury supporting unsigned artists: Talented up and coming bands and solo artists will once again take to the stage at a Bury record store for a series of live music events. HMV’s Bury store is preparing to host some of the hottest talents from across the borough and Greater Manchester as its Live and Local campaign returns this month. Unsigned bands and artists will not only be given the chance to perform in store but also have their music put on sale by the retailer in a bid to help them boost their exposure and land their big brake. This time round however it is a female dominated affair with female fronted jangle-pop five piece Hurry For Tuesday kicking off a five show run from 3.45pm this Saturday… Steve Toolan, HMV Bury store manager, said: “After the success last time we really wanted to do it again as a business and a shop but also because its great to support local artists, which is what this is all about.

The 7 best turntables: For new vinyl collectors wondering where to start, from our friends at The Strategist. …When we chatted with the experts on the best turntables for people new to the world of playing records, each had their own favorites, but they all advised avoiding one very popular, all-in-one record player that comes in a suitcase. “Whatever you do, don’t get a Crosley,” said Prestige, who claims that if you’re serious about your new hobby, you should look for machines with better sound quality (and with needles that won’t “eventually ruin your records”). The turntables below are best suited for those new to playing vinyl, but they aren’t necessarily “entry level” because even the least expensive of the lot contains quality parts and will last for some time with regular care. Most models on this list contain a built-in preamp, since our experts say that such turntables are the easiest and most straightforward to use. “See how that works, and then if you see yourself wanting something better, you can upgrade slowly down the line,” explains Mike Davis, owner of New York City’s Academy Records.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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