In rotation: 5/15/20

Oxford, MS | In Spite of Pandemic, End of All Music Keeps Spinning: As the retail industry struggles to mitigate the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, some businesses have adapted more easily than others — and one local record store has ramped up efforts to safely serve their customers with some creative shopping options. Since 2012, the record store The End of All Music has been a cultural cornerstone for Oxford, Mississippi. While owner David Swider says he did not structure The End of All Music to be a fulfillment center, he has been strictly adhering to social distancing regulations and has recently been picking, packing and shipping records by himself. “I hate to use this phrase lightly, but we’re kinda too small to fail,” Swider said. “A lot of record stores had to scramble just to get a website up when all this stuff started happening, and I’ve been selling stuff online since we opened in 2012.”

Pittsburgh, PA | Record stores will reopen Friday, but flip quickly: With Allegheny County moving into the yellow phase, record-store browsing will return on Friday, but shoppers will have to flip a little more quickly. The massive Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, which has been closed since mid-March, announced Wednesday night that it will open on Friday with a limit of 10 customers at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required and they ask that you limit your shopping to 30 minutes. The owners suggest that weekdays will be better for those who want to avoid lines and maybe buy a little more time. The Attic in Millvale is also opening Friday and is urging customers to make an appointment for a half-hour shopping slot, beginning at 10 a.m. Shoppers with an appointment will get priority, but others are welcome to visit the store and hope for an opening. The Government Center on the North Side, which was been doing curbside pickup, will begin allowing four people in the store, including employees. It will also be allowing shoppers to make an appointment.

Loveland, OH | Curbside Pick Up Is back at Plaid Room Records/ Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland: “We’re happy to announce that we will be starting curbside pick up again today,” said Terry Cole a co-owner of Plaid Room Records and Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland. Cole said customers can simply call the shop with their name and order number and, “One of us will run it out to you.” The record store has been fulfilling on-line orders but now wish to better serve customers with curbside pick-up also. Cole said to his customers, “Thanks for your patience while we slowly start to ramp up our employee’s hours again during this strange time for all of us. And thanks for all of the online orders! It’s been all we can do to keep up with them! We love you!

Valletta, MT | MP3s worse than COVID-19 for world’s ‘oldest’ record store in Valletta: Valletta’s D’Amato Records on surviving the pandemic. It had to be the coronavirus to temporarily close a 135-year-old record store that did not even stop trading when Malta was blitzed during World War II and also survived the Spanish flu. But D’Amato Records, dubbed the world’s oldest, has been through much worse than COVID-19 and was probably hardest hit by the outbreak of the MP3, which still did not threaten its survival, says third-generation owner Anthony D’Amato. Even then, despite tough decisions and the closure of shops, not for a second did they think it was game over; and that would explain D’Amato’s resilience in the face of today’s scenario. Vinyl proceeded to pick up in a big way. And the bad days for record stores are over. “But we did not have a clue they would be,” he admits. “Back then, we did not know what the future held. With the pandemic, we can at least make future predictions. We can foretell the worst-case scenario; we know tourists will return and that we do not have to rebuild a whole city.”

Huddersfield, UK | This is what Huddersfield town centre was like on first day of eased lockdown: The odd glimmer of light on the high street but most still remain at home. …There were though a few glimmers of light. Steve Goodall at the independent record shop Vinyl Tap on John William Street said: “We’ve been really busy since Record Store Day on April 18 – (the one day of the year when independent record shops all across the US and UK come together to celebrate their unique culture). “We had been ticking along before then but that day it was busier than Christmas and we’ve not looked back since then. “I guess everyone is stuck at home and buying and listening to records is something they can do. It’s all strictly online.” The one area of the town which was seriously busy was the section of John William Street and The Sportsman pub with the entire road in both directions sealed off to allow workmen to carry out essential maintenance work for Kirklees Council.

Atlanta, GA | Independent record shops in Atlanta navigate a COVID-19 world: Record shops are cozy. You might need to squeeze by a fellow shopper to get to that red vinyl treasure at the end of the row. Social distancing is not an option. Of course, they aren’t all that way, but Wuxtry in Decatur has always been a tightly packed place, crammed floor to ceiling with albums. While the shop was closed, manager Richard Kuykendall and owner Mark Methe spent a lot of time creating space and a new traffic flow. “Instead of sitting around going ‘oh, no, we’re gonna die’, let’s just work,” Methe says. “It was somewhere to go and do, something instead of sitting around at home.”There’s only so much to be done, though. “It’s always going to be cramped, but the flow pattern’s a little easier right now,” he says, before pausing to ask a couple of customers entering the store — both masked — if they’d like some hand sanitizer. They’d already sanitized in the car before coming in. “Well, feel free to re-up…,” he says, noting that he invites everyone to partake in the sanitizer, and if they don’t, he “sort of insists.”

Joy Division’s ‘Closer’ reissued and remastered to mark 40th anniversary: It’s set to arrive in July. Joy Division will release a remastered edition of their second album ‘Closer’ to mark its 40th anniversary later this year. The record, which will be pressed on crystal clear vinyl, will arrive on July 17. It follows the reissue of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ which was released in 2019. In addition to the LP release, the non-album singles ‘Transmission’, ‘Atmosphere’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ will also be reissued with remastered audio. It marks the first time they have been repressed or reissued after the collapse of Factory Records in 1992. The announcement comes days before the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death on May 18. Last week, Joy Division’s Peter Hook paid tribute to Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider and opened up on how the electric pioneers proved to be one of the Manchester group’s greatest influences.

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