In rotation: 5/6/20

Knoxville, TN | “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Anonymous donor pays rent for local record store: The owners of Lost and Found Records said the unexpected donation helps more than the anonymous donor may realize. Lost and Found Records in North Knoxville found some unexpected community support Thursday when an anonymous donor paid off the store’s rent for May. The owner, Maria Armstrong, was working late April 30 when she got a text message. It said that she wouldn’t have to worry about rent for May. At first, she didn’t know who the message was from. The person revealed themselves as her landlord, Linda Fisher, and said that she couldn’t tell Armstrong who paid her rent. Fisher is part of the Fisher family that owns nearby Fisher Tire. “She said, ‘All I can tell you is that you have a lot of people that love you and love your store,'” Armstrong said. “I said that she had to tell me who it was, and all she could say was, ‘I am sworn to secrecy.'” Fisher said it wasn’t her, and so Armstrong wrote a Facebook post on Lost and Found Records’ page to thank the anonymous donor. She said she wanted to thank the person from the bottom of her heart, and that the donation helped more than she could describe.

Toronto, CA | Microforum Vinyl LP Plant Adds PPE Assembly: Three years ago, FYI profiled Microforum Vinyl, a Toronto-based company that had just entered the vinyl pressing business. Like so many firms these days, the current covid-19 pandemic is affecting its operation, but Microforum is responding in a very positive fashion by re-tooling some of its machinery to make PVC PPE (personal protection equipment) face shields for medical and other essential businesses. Company VP Noble Musa explained the situation to FYI, noting that “we have been impacted hugely in our day to day operations by the pandemic. We know our customers in the music industry have been hugely impacted too, since a lot of the vinyl we press is for artists and bands for their tours, gigs, festivals…and to boot, with the bricks & mortar record stores shut too, like so many others we have to wait until the fog lifts.”

Lockdown and hi-fi/home theater systems (part 2): looking after and organizing your vinyl collection: Spending time at home, during the current lockdown for example, provides us with the perfect opportunity to tackle all the tasks we tend to put off. Organizing and tidying are at the top of this list; it isn’t uncommon to put these jobs off until next weekend, then the weekend after, and the weekend after that… The lockdown therefore seems like a good time to give your record collection a new lease of life. Reorganizing your records, cleaning and protecting them: we’re going to accompany you throughout this process to make it a pleasant and productive way to pass the time.

Official Lenny Bruce bootleg to be released: Comic used to sell this recording after gigs. A rare recording of groundbreaking stand-up Lenny Bruce is to be released on vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day. Lenny Bruce Is Out Again is an official bootleg, compiled from various gigs between 1958 and 1963. The comedian pressed the original disc himself in 1964 and used to sell it at clubs where he was performing. The new release has been authorised by Lenny’s daughter Kitty, unlike much of the material that has been released since his death in 1966 from a drug overdose. Bruce was known for his bruising conflicts with authority over obscenity laws, fighting for his freedom of speech. Kitty has said: ‘My father’s legacy was that of a freedom fighter for the first amendment therefore he touched every part of modern comedy.’ A limited edition of 1,000 copies of Lenny Bruce Is Out Again will be released to mark Record Store Day in the US on June 20, then available online the following weekend.

How to Guide: Spin Doctoring: One of the joys – and the curses – of vinyl is that turntables need careful setting up. If you take the time to do this properly, you can wring far more performance out of your record player than you thought possible. The other side of this is that if you don’t set your deck up correctly, it’s going to sound much worse than it should. The reason for this is that LP records – unlike other music sources – are very much physical storage media. The music is stored as complex undulations of a spiral groove, or to be precise, two spiral grooves – one on each side of a record! Together, the stylus and cartridge form a delicate measuring instrument to measure the deviations of both walls of the groove from a mean position and convert this to two electrical signals. The tonearm’s job is to support this measuring instrument and help it define the mean position in the groove.

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