In rotation: 4/9/20

4 Independent Record Stores Across The U.S. Weigh In On Their Struggle To Survive During COVID-19: We talked to four fan favorite stores in Austin, Brooklyn, Indianapolis and Los Angeles about their harsh reality during the coronavirus crisis. At over 18 million LPs sold, 2019 marked 14 consecutive years of rising vinyl record sales. As COVID-19 continues to bludgeon the music industry, independent record stores are left particularly vulnerable. The indefinite closure of these small businesses comes poorly timed with Record Store Day, the annual shopping event often noted for record breaking sales now postponed until June. For store owners, everyday their sign reads “closed” adds uncertainty to the livelihood of their shops, employees, and community at large. As vinyl collectors lament the current loss of their safe havens, record stores are working tirelessly to find short-term solutions to what appears to be growing into a long-term problem. Hopeful that crate-digging will commence, we spoke to four record shops across the country to hear more about the toll the pandemic has taken, the implications of store closures, and what strategies and revenue streams are currently keeping them afloat.

Vinyl documentary online release to benefit local record stores: A documentary about vinyl will get a special internet release to benefit local record stores across the country during this work stoppage. Many of my friends have hobbies like golfing, fishing, hunting, bowling, gambling, motorcycles, or classic cars to name a few. For me, I’m all about Rock music. I like to go to live shows. My idea of a fun Saturday is hitting a bunch of local record stores. The good thing about being “sheltered at home,” I’ve pulled out my vinyl collection and been jamming tunes in the basement like back in high school. Music fans like me are very lucky in Rockford. We have some great record stores including Culture Shock, Toad Hall, and CD Source. By the way, you can still support these places while they are temporarily closed because of COVID-19. You can make online orders and have them shipped to you. Might as well spend the extra time listening to good music. I know it’s a financially hard time right now for many businesses, especially the small local ones.

Discogs reports record numbers of submissions on site: With over 34,000 new releases added to the database in two weeks. Discogs has reported a record high number of submissions to its database between the 16th – 29th March 2020. During this timeframe, 34,716 new releases have been submitted to Discogs’ database – compared to 25,584 in 2019 – alongside an additional 79,400 edits – up from from 58,258 in 2019. Additionally, 146,361 images have also been added, a significant increase from 107,036 in 2019. The sharp uptake of new submissions likely stems from increased time at home amidst self-isolation and lockdowns caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While coronavirus has led to record shops’ physical outposts remaining closed, many are finding new ways to deliver vinyl, and a new campaign, called Record Store Of The Day, has launched to support independent record shops.

The Sword to release two career spanning compilations in June; unreleased live version of “Freya” streaming: It’s been two years since the Austin, Texas heavy rockers decided to take a break, but The Sword are unsheathed once more: Two career-spanning collections will be released simultaneously, both showcasing the technically dazzling, riff-heavy and far-reaching metal that the band has been known for since forming 15 years ago. Conquest Of Kingdoms, an explosive three-disc vinyl collection of rarities and oddities, offers 30 tracks (16 previously unreleased) and is housed in a triple-gatefold package, including B-sides, remixes and live recordings of fan favourites like “Freya,” “Iron Swan” and “Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians,” as well as cover versions of “Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin), “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings” (ZZ Top), “She” (KISS), “Forever My Queen” (Pentagram) and more. In addition to the standard vinyl release, a limited-edition colour variant (1,000 pressings worldwide) will also be available exclusively via TheSwordOfficial.com, CraftRecordings.com, as well as independent retailers.

Phish Releases ‘The Story Of The Ghost’ On Vinyl: Phish put a special Phish Dry Goods vinyl pressing of their 1998 studio album, The Story Of The Ghost, up for sale via the online store. The 2-LP set has been pressed onto black and red vinyl following a vinyl reissue on Record Store Day Black Friday 2019. Fourteen tracks are included on The Story Of The Ghost, an album produced and mixed by Andy Wallace. Phish recorded their seventh studio album between March 1997 and June 1998 during sessions held at Dave O’s Farmhouse near Stowe, Vermont and at Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, New York. Live staples “Ghost,” “The Moma Dance,” “Limb By Limb” and “Brian & Robert” are featured on the LP as well as material that has become rarer over the years such as “Shafty,” “Frankie Says” and “Fikus.” Tonight, Phish will rebroadcast their jam-filled Baker’s Dozen show at Madison Square Garden as part of the Dinner & A Movie livestream replay series, which includes the live debut — and to date only rendition — of album track “End Of Session.”

The Cool Quarantine (001): Henry shares Ian MacKaye bootlegs, Led Zeppelin stories and more: Hello, wonderful KCRW listener. Here is a brief description of what we’ll be checking out on this, our first broadcast of the Cool Quarantine! This is a show free of the constraints you might be accustomed to on regular terrestrial radio. One of my favorite things about music is that often, there’s a good story about any one album or song. I specifically put tracks into this show so I could tell you the story before we play the song. A couple of examples from this show would include a live Cramps track from 1979 that was recorded by Ian MacKaye and also, the first cassette I ever copied. Another would be a live Led Zeppelin track from the time Ian and I saw them play. We will be playing different songs from different bands of course but we’ll also be listening to entire albums, EPs, and singles. At four hours, this is lonnnnnnnnng-form programming!

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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