In rotation: 5/20/20

Kamloops, CA | Some businesses wary about reopening as more provinces ease COVID restrictions: Businesses in some provinces spent the long weekend preparing to reopen ahead of an easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, even as others said they’re not yet ready to throw open their doors. Ontario has given the green light to certain retail stores to open their doors Tuesday as the province enters the first stage of its reopening plan. …Others said they’re eager to open up shop again, but may need more time to prepare. Stephen Yorke, who owns the Toronto record store Dead Dog Records, said he would will reopen his store’s two locations as soon as possible, but not until he can equip the cash area with plexiglass screens later this week. Even then, the stores will only be able to accommodate two to four customers who will be supplied with latex gloves before they can do any browsing, he said. Staff will continue to sanitize common areas, including door pulls and card readers, he said.

Record Store Recs: Chulita Vinyl Club On The Best Music Stores In L.A., Oakland, Austin & Beyond: In the latest edition of our crate-digging interview series, two reinas from the all-vinyl Latinx DJ collective reveal their favorite vinyl haunts across California and Texas. Texas-born, San Jose, Calif.-based Claudia Saenz originally founded Chulita Vinyl Club to share her love of records—especially Tejano, ranchero, Motown and soul—in a fun, tangible way. The collective, a crew of female-identifying Latinx vinyl-spinning DJs, has grown to seven chapters across California and Texas, including the (Northern California) Bay Area Chapter, which Saenz, a.k.a. Chulita Tear Drop lives. …We caught up with Saenz and one of her fellow Bay Area cohorts, Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based Mar Velez, a.k.a. DJ Marvelouz, for the latest edition of our Record Store Recs interview series. Read on to find out where they get all their great vinyl gems from, and learn about some of the indie labels, artists and new records they have their eyes on.

Portland, ME | Keep ME Open: ‘Bullish’ on changing Maine business during coronavirus pandemic: One well-known Maine business has had to adapt to shifting retail landscape, yet again. This time, Bull Moose had to adapt to the coronavirus, COVID-19 economy. “I was a college student at the time, just really didn’t have much going on,” says Bull Moose Music founder Brett Wickard. So he decided, almost as a whim, “Hey! I’m gonna open up a record store and tell all my friends.” Wickard didn’t really have much of a business plan when he opened the first Bull Moose store in Brunswick in the summer of 1989, but today he oversees nine stores in Maine and three in New Hampshire with 175 employees. Successful entrepreneurs know they have to adapt to changing times if their business is going to thrive, and Wickard has seen a lot of threats over three decades. “When we started out the word was ‘home taping is killing the music industry.’ Then it was ‘big-box retailers are killing small retail.’ Then it was Internet downloading.” He survived by knowing the market…and knowing his audience.

Gallatin, TN | Every Era nears downtown Gallatin debut: She is a self-proclaimed “1970s chick.” He believes that 1959 was the height of American design. Together, recording artists Eric and Lindsey Heatherly hope to share their love of all things vintage with the opening of a new store in downtown Gallatin later this month. Every Era will feature vintage and vintage-inspired items from the 1940s through the 1990s that the Gallatin couple has found throughout the years while traveling and performing shows across the country. “We go everywhere and anywhere to try to find treasures,” said Eric Heatherly, whose cover of “Flowers on the Wall” was a Top 10 hit on the country charts in 2000. “We have a little bit of everything. It’s all hand-selected and picked by us.” Located on Prince Street near the intersection of North Water Avenue, the store will feature a variety of vintage clothing and furniture including Mid-Century Modern lamps, kitchenware, suitcases, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, purses, posters, CDs, vinyl records and turntable consoles.

Boston, MA | Businesses Considering Next Moves After Announcement of Mass. Reopening Plan: For Boston record shop owners Nick Williams and Alaina Stamatis, the shutdown of the economy pushed them to change up their business plan. “When this all started, we didn’t have much listed online, but we’ve really rallied,” said Stamatis. “Putting the stock online.” That’s helped, but business is still down about 50% at Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain. “Nothing beats foot traffic coming in,” said Williams. That foot traffic will have to wait. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled plans Monday to get back to business across the state. Phase 1 begins immediately and includes manufacturing, construction and places of worship. More businesses, including hair salons and car washes, can reopen next week. “This is something no one’s ever done before,” said Baker.

MN | Twin Cities record stores are reopening with new rules in play: Many stores will open again Monday, but the Electric Fetus says it still has “details to work out to keep everyone safe.” The familiar flip-flip-flip sounds of customers digging through album bins will return to Twin Cities area record shops this week, but with unfamiliar new social-distancing guidelines in place. Stores including Down in the Valley, Hymie’s, Mill City Sound, Know Name, Cheapo, SolSta, Roadrunner and Rock Paper Scissors will all reopen Monday, when Minnesota’s stay-at-home orders are officially relaxed after two months of coronavirus quarantine. Most stores are limiting its number of customers and posting rules to wear masks and remain six feet apart. Barely Brothers Records in St. Paul, which announced plans to reopen Tuesday, is capping its space to only five customers at a time and urging them to bring masks and gloves. “Those not wearing a mask will not be allowed to enter the store,” Barely Brothers said on its Facebook page.

Metallica’s New Whiskey Box Set Includes Vinyl of the Music It Aged To: The band’s “sonic-enhanced” Blackened Whiskey comes with a compilation curated by Lars Ulrich and master distiller Rob Deitrich. In 2018, when Metallica launched Blackened Whiskey, other alcohol had been aged with music—like beer aged to Wu-Tang Clan or brandy aged to Bowie—but, of course, the metal gods had to take things further. Blackened uses a “proprietary sonic-enhancement process” called “Black Noise,” based around a custom-made subwoofer. And now, for the band’s Batch 100, they’ve kicked it up another notch, combining the idea of the booze and box set into a single package that pairs the whiskey with vinyl records of the music used in its aging process. Released today, Blackened’s Batch 100 arrives exclusively in a limited-edition box set that not only contains a bottle of the blended American whiskey, but also two 12-inch vinyl picture discs of the custom Metallica playlist pumped through the Black Noise system during aging.

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