In rotation: 5/12/20

Seattle, WA | ‘A Strange Feeling’: Owner Of Seattle’s Bop Street Records Reflects On Closing Shop After 30 Years: Visiting a good record store is a one-of-a-kind experience: the exploration and discovery, the smell of thousands of records, the feeling of touching a vinyl record. For over 30 years, music lovers flocked to Seattle’s Bop Street Records — but now the home of 500,000 records will close its doors at the end of June. Driven to an early retirement by the COVID-19 outbreak, owner and record collector Dave Voorhees says moving on from his routine of putting up the open sign and turning on the music feels “surreal.” “It’s going to be a strange feeling when I look in this location and it’s empty,” he says. “It’s going to be weird. It may not have actually struck me yet.” Once one of the top five record stores in the nation, Bop Street Records opened in 1979 and settled in the neighborhood of Ballard in 1984. Now, he plans to continue selling records online.

CA | California Allows Record Stores to Reopen — With Conditions, Of Course: As part of its plan to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions, California is allowing record stores to reopen. However, government officials have laid out bolstered sanitization protocols and health-oriented guidelines for business owners, their employees, and customers. Business owners are directed to these measures through California’s “Resilience Roadmap” webpage. Per the entry, the state has entered Stage 2 of the roadmap, which calls for the measured reopening of “retail, manufacturing, and logistics” businesses, before schools, offices, and child-care facilities take steps to resume normal operations. (Significantly, Stage 3 of the roadmap centers on the reopening of “higher-risk workplaces,” while Stage 4, labeled “End of Stay at Home Order,” revolves around reopening “areas of highest risk: e.g. Concerts, conventions, sports arenas.”) The State of California has broken down its Stage 2 reopening and operational recommendations by professional sphere, and record store owners’ responsibilities are highlighted within the retail-sector section. The state’s “Industry Guidance” document requests that businesses craft a “written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan,” besides educating employees on the plan’s contents and the nature of COVID-19.

Bartlett, TN | Memphis Record Pressing back in business after coronavirus closure: The sound and sight of a needle touching a spinning record is one indication Memphis Record Pressing (MRP) is back in business. The pressing machines were humming Thursday, and the company’s almost 150 employees like Brian Nickol were once again putting their spin on vinyl. The company had to close for almost five weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak. “It’s been challenging; going a little stir crazy,” Nickol said. Still, Nickol considers himself one of the lucky ones. “No, I did alright, fortunately, because MRP was able to cover us during the closure—my bills were paid,” Nickol said. “Financially, it’s been challenging, as it has been for other businesses,” MRP CEO Brandon Seavers said. “Fortunately for us, we had a cash reserve that allowed us to keep all of our people on payroll. We care for our people, so we decided to keep them on staff for the full extent of the closure, which was over five weeks.” What’s helped MRP survive is the resurgence of vinyl records and the global demand for the sound quality that many say is superior to CDs or digital streaming.

‘This Is a Whole New World’: Record Labels Are Designing Marketing Strategies From Scratch: The pandemic has forced labels into increasingly experimental tactics for album marketing. “Necessity is the mother of invention in this case,” an Epic Records executive says. Since the pandemic began, every record labels’ marketing team has been throwing around the same buzzword phrase: “getting creative.” Traditional album marketing tactics like touring — which is essential for developing artists who need to build up a new audience and strengthen relationships with their existing fanbase — have gone by the wayside. Livestreaming, now that the lockdown has stretched two months, is oversaturated with artists small and large. With the physical world more or less off limits, artists and labels are trying to find new ways to cut through the noise and design online experiences that stand out. Some digital strategies have been fairly straightforward: Labels that were invested in marketing tactics on TikTok have upped their game recently, as the platform is enjoying record popularity with over 300 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020. Others are experimenting with having artists do intimate Instagram Live sessions — and another group is bent on launching more ambitious virtual performances.

ThinkIndie Shirts Launch To Help Save Local Record Stores: Dualtone Music Group has partnered with ThinkIndie, Magnolia Record Club and WEA/ADA Distribution to raise money in support of independent retail record stores through sales of a new, ThinkIndie shirt. All net proceeds will be sent back to participating retails stores, with $1 of each sale going to ThinkIndie Distribution. Each store is expected to receive a minimum of $20 per unit sale. Additionally, WEA/ADA Distribution has stepped up to finance T-shirt manufacturing, allowing additional revenue to flow through to stores. Retailers can sign up by emailing [email protected]

COMMENTARY: How to properly file your vinyl collection — tips from Alan Cross: If you jumped into the vinyl resurrection over the past few years, I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance that you have a pile of records somewhere on the floor that isn’t organized in any coherent manner. “I’ll get to filing/ordering them when I have the time,” you say to yourself. With the pandemic lockdown, that time is now. Judging from the number of emails I’ve received on the subject of the care and feeding of vinyl collections recently, a lot of people have finally decided to get things sorted. But there are some recurring questions about how to do things properly. …I’d admit that organizing records according to your personal autobiography is intriguing, but it only works if you have a good memory. Plus, anyone else who wants to look through your collection would be completely lost. Chronological ordering is a more manageable method but requires that you’re up on your music history. It can also be tedious to search labels, liner notes, and Wikipedia pages for release dates. Me? I prefer the old-fashioned and (apparently) highly non-hipster way of filing my records: alphabetically. But you need to know more than just your ABCs in order to do this right — at least according to me.

Liam Gallagher’s MTV Unplugged vinyl gets June 12 release date: Liam Gallagher has confirmed his delayed ‘MTV Unplugged’ vinyl will now be available from June 12. Liam Gallagher’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ vinyl will be released on June 12. The ‘Shockwave’ hitmaker was forced to push back the release of his live acoustic performance at Hull’s City Hall last summer on the format, which was due out on April 24, because the firm producing the LPs had to close its doors as the UK is on lockdown. And after the former Oasis star promised his fans that he’ll let them know when it will be available, he logged onto to Twitter to reveal the new release date. He wrote: ”Brothers and Sisters, here it is the new release date for the MTV unplugged – 12th June LG x (sic)”

Label Photo by Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock

This entry was posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text