In rotation: 5/13/20

UK | Record Store Day’s Megan Page on the bold new plan for the 2020 vinyl celebration: “…It’s just trying to keep it in bite-sized chunks, which makes it manageable for everyone. In four to eight months’ time, we just don’t really know what the world is going look like, if we’re still going to have staff off sick or people being furloughed. So, keeping it small and often seemed like the sensible route to go down… “The decision was made in consultation with pretty much every single person and every country involved in Record Store Day. This is led by the global Record Store Day coordinators in the US. But we’ve also discussed it at length and agreed it with the ERA independent board, we’ve polled the ERA membership, we’ve liaised with the contributing record labels and distributors to try and find what is the most workable solution. I think there’s an agreement that it’s not perfect, and there’s not an ideal solution that suits absolutely everyone. But we’ve had to find the solution that we think causes the least amount of damage and supports the most amount of people who are involved in it globally.”

Minneapolis, MN | Dead Media record store is closing permanently: Dead Media, the distinctive secondhand record, tape, and book seller that became a community hub in south Minneapolis, is closing its store permanently at the end of May. The shop, which like other Minnesota retailers had its business disrupted by the state’s stay-at-home order, announced its farewell this morning on its Facebook page. “We have made a family here and we will always have this place in our hearts because we made a family in the good times and bad,” the post reads. “We seriously can’t thank them enough for spending time with us.” Dead Media was opened in 2014 by record dealer John Kass, poet/musician Paul Dickinson, and poster dealer Paul “Pash” Pashibin. Originally situated in Seward, across the street from Birchwood, the store later found a locale more compatible with its vibe on E. 35th St. just east of Cedar Avenue, not quite kitty corner from Matt’s Bar. In addition to offering a sharply chosen selection of used (if not quite dead) media, the store also hosted live performances, including an always top-notch Record Store Day lineup. The store will continue selling online through its Discogs account.

WI | Small business owners say Wisconsin reopening order is a lifeline: Gov. Tony Evers lifted closures for about 14,000 businesses on Monday. …Tom Unterberger, owner of Globe News card shop and record store in Superior, said he was “pleasantly shocked” at the news he could reopen. “I’ve been in this place for 37 years and this has been the most bizarre two months I’ve ever experienced,” he said Monday afternoon. “We’ll have plexiglass shields and employees wearing gloves. I think people will be able to maintain distance.” Nice weather could draw window shoppers across state borders this weekend, though Mary Claire Olson Potter, president of Hudson’s Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber doesn’t encourage Minnesotans to violate Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order, which lasts through May 18.

UK | Gearbox Records launches ‘for the love of indies’ campaign to support UK record shops: Gearbox – which has released acclaimed albums by artists as diverse as Tubby Hayes, Abdullah Ibrahim, Binker & Moses and Thelonius Monk – says it has been inspired by a worldwide community-driven response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and wants to see mutual aid across the indie label and retail community. Until 5 June, the label is donating 20% of the proceeds from its online sales to UK indie record stores; and offering its full catalogue at a further 20% discount (in addition to standard file discount) to all UK independent stores on orders placed through its distribution partner, The Orchard. If the initiative is successful, it will be extended. Gearbox Records’ commercial director Justin James, leading the initiative, explained: “Bricks and mortar Indie stores, always vulnerable to multiple challenges, must survive. They’re the lifeblood of the music industry. This is one way of showing solidarity.

Butler County, OH | Butler County retailers prepared for reopening today: How they’re adjusting: …Chris Lester of Lester’s Rock N Roll Shop at 1959 Central Ave. in Middletown, sells everything from guitars, amplifiers and drums to rock T-Shirts and vinyl records. He said his Monday consisted mainly of marking off six-foot distances on the floor with vinyl records and making sure the entire business is sanitized.“I’ve just been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning,” he said.Lester said he has purposely held back special order records to ensure “the best record selection” for the first day back.The store initially will adjust its hours to 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will, at least for the time being, remain closed on Monday “just to see how that works.”Curbside service, which was introduced during Ohio’s shutdown of retail, will remain.

Wilmington, NC | Entering Phase One, many businesses open while some elect to stay closed: “…I don’t want to put our customers or our staff at risk by letting them inside the shop right now, sharing that air space, being inside a confined space,” said Matt Keen, owner of Gravity Records. “It’s too close to each other.” Gravity Records moved to online sales with curbside pickup once stores had to close and say they’re content with that setup for now. They have a smaller staff and they’re doing well enough to keep the lights on. So, they’ve elected to keep customers out, for safety reasons. “We shut the doors earlier than we had to, we’ll open the doors later than we have to, said Keen. “I would reopen right now if I felt like we could, I would love to have people coming in here and buying records, I just feel like it’s too early.”

Record Store Recs: Jean Pierre Takes Us To Chicago, Brooklyn, Frankfurt, Amsterdam & London: The Miami-based, New York-born DJ/producer is here to help liven up your (virtual) crate-digging. With the unprecedented global disruption of 2020, it’s important to support the music community however we can. With our series Record Store Recs, the Recording Academy checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they’ve found there. Born and raised in Queens, New York, DJ/producer Jean Pierre cut his teeth DJing parties and making a name for himself from a young age in the city that never sleeps. Over the past decade and a half, he’s gained a global following for his countless thumping tech house and minimal tracks released on esteemed labels like Cuttin’ Headz, Hot Creations, Defected and more. Just last month, he made his debut on Italian dance label Moan Recordings with the Daily Alarm EP, a collab with Miguelle. This week, on May 12, he’s dropping another new EP entitled 001, consisting of six buoyant tech house tracks he created while touring around the world.

Washington, DC | Stereo vision: I bought a new turntable. Should I have gotten an old receiver? What I wanted were VU needles that danced in warm, glowing light. I wanted a volume knob as big around as the combination dial on a safe. I wanted brushed stainless steel and faux wood grain. Well, I didn’t want faux wood grain, but I was accepting of it. When you’re talking about stereo equipment from the 1970s, you’re inevitably talking faux wood grain. Exploring vintage hi-fi is just the latest symptom of my never-ending quest to live in the past. With the world the way it is now, I don’t want to curl up in a ball; I want to be reborn as a 12-year-old Johnny Kelly: no mortgage, no bad cholesterol, no ebbing 401(k), just a deep envy of his father’s Kenwood receiver. This started last year when I bought a fancy new turntable to replace my cheap and tattered old one. Vinyl is back and modern turntables are one thing you can get in finishes other than wood grain. They come in all sorts of eye-popping shades now. They look like lipsticks: shiny and glossy. I got a red one, because that’s the color I wanted.

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