In rotation: 3/16/20

Record Store Day 2020 Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns: “There is no perfect solution. There is no easy answer. So, we’ve decided that, this year, our best possible move is to change the date,” organizers say. “In our discussions over the past few weeks, information came and changed daily, and then hourly, along with the news cycle. We’ve taken all of that information to heart as we’ve gone over the various options that involved staying the course, moving the date, even changing the structure of the event,” organizers said in a statement. “At the risk of stating the obvious, no one knows what things will look like in any given place over the next five weeks, but it is imperative that hard decisions for that time period need to be made right now, using current facts. There is no perfect solution. There is no easy answer. So, we’ve decided that, this year, our best possible move is to change the date of Record Store Day to Saturday, June 20.”

Why Record Stores Are Being Hit Especially Hard By Coronavirus: When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the music industry, most of the focus so far has understandably been on live concerts, where independent artists are losing a crucial source of income, festivals are being upended, and even corporate leviathans like Live Nation are suspending all touring. But record stores are hurting too…Although visiting an enclosed space to flip through crates that other people might have touched or sneezed on may not sound so appealing right now, shop owners stress that they’re taking every sanitary precaution. The best way record aficionados can support them, many owners say, is by covering their mouths, washing their hands, and buying music from their local stores. Phone and online sales are always an option, and some shops, such as Seattle’s Easy Street Records and Mobius Records in Fairfax, Virginia, tell me they’re also offering a special local delivery service during the pandemic. “We’ve definitely had a couple of people partake in it just because they’re fans of the store…”

Sydney’s HIFI2020 show postponed until September due to coronovirus: Audio and AV show rescheduled from April to September. The HIFI2020 Show planned to take place from April 3-5 in Sydney has been rescheduled, adding to the list of tech events affected by the spread of the COVID-19 coronovirus, including the cancellation or postponement of High End Munich, MWC, E3 and Record Store Day. The organisers tell us that with ‘social distancing’ now considered the most effective path to minimising spread of the virus, the decision was “clearly the right thing to do for all involved – visitors, exhibitors and the hotel”. “After our last bulletin, so many of you have contacted us to suggest a postponement of HIFI2020 from duty of care and the health of their staff, that it was not realistic to continue forward through another three weeks of uncertainty,” said the official announcement to exhibitors on Friday. …HIFI2020 has been rescheduled to September 18-20, and all issued tickets remain valid for the new dates. The organisers say that all paid ticketholders have been contacted directly to inform them of the new dates and offer refunds if they are unable to attend.

Bristol, UK | Idle Hands issues stark warning over impact Coronavirus independent-record-stores: As the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to force a number of event cancellations or postponements and club closures, Bristol record shop Idle Hands has issued a stark warning on how the pandemic might affect small, independent businesses. “This is a worrying time for everyone and a situation none of us are used too,” reads a social media post penned by the shop’s owner, Chris Farrell. “Events are moving fast and we have to accept that major disruption is on its way. If Italy is anything to go by shops like Idle Hands will be forced to close indefinitely.” The post continues: “I’m proud to have survived almost a decade through some of the worst economic challenges we’ve seen in our lifetime. It might look like an easy job because the shop is still here and consistently opening its doors, but there have been times where idle hands has survived by the skin of its teeth – especially with the recent uncertainty of Brexit. “If at any time over the last nine years you’ve enjoyed coming to the shop, I’d ask that you please support us in whatever way you can over the coming weeks or however long we’re still able to be open. Come in and buy records…”

Salisbury, UK | Vinyl Collectors and Sellers in Salisbury shuts until end of month to fight coronavirus spread: An independent shop in Salisbury has decided to close until the end of the month to help fight the spread of coronavirus. Vinyl Collectors and Sellers in Cross Keys Arcade will be shut until March 31 in a bid to keep customers and staff safe. The decision comes after owner Paul Smith noticed “a steep sales decline” due to people choosing to self-isolate as a precaution. A sign put up on the shop’s window reads: “It has become evident to us from a steep sales decline in the shop [in] the last two weeks which is common with other traders that the general public have started to socially isolate themselves from non-essential public activity due to the coronavirus now spreading freely amongst the population. We can totally understand this. “Our shop is not like many others in that through the course of the week many people flick through the records in the crates which could help pass on the virus if people do not have clean hands…”

Independent Vinyl Manufacturers Unite To Stand Up For The Craft of Vinyl: Did you ever think about where your vinyl records come from? Probably not. Last month a fire broke out at the Apollo Masters Corp. facility in Banning, California, who are well-known vinyl makers. There was a massive outcry from the music industry that got many talking. Independent vinyl makers became aware of this and decided to step up. We got to speak to Alex Cushing of the newly formed Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association of North America on it all. “In late-winter 2019, twenty-eight founding members got together in Nashville, TN to discuss the current state of vinyl manufacturing, supply chain issues and external business threats to North American makers, primarily out of Europe…Know where your records are made. Huge swings in plastics quality and mastering are affected depending on who physically makes your records. Discogs is a great resource to find out what factory made your LP.”

Saskatchewan, CA | What the different ways we listen to music mean for local musicians: How are local artists marketing their music in today’s age of digital streams? The ways people listen to music are always changing. In the past century, music lovers have gone from buying vinyl, to cassette tapes, to CDs, to digital streams and downloads from sources like Spotify or iTunes and back again. These trends affect local artists when it comes to marketing music and turning profits. Musician Amber Goodwyn, who performs as Natural Sympathies, started the music project after moving to Regina and becoming a mother. Her music is available on all streaming services, but she says she barely makes any money from platforms like Spotify, or even Tidal — which pays artists better. “While I’m really happy [those platforms] are there to help promote and get the word out, it doesn’t really make sense financially for the artist and it kind of feels like the trend toward devaluing art and thinking of it as disposable content,” Goodwyn said.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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