In rotation: 6/3/20

Record Store Day Reveals 2020 Releases for RSD Drops: Due to the coronavirus, this year’s event is now spread out over three days. Due to the coronavirus, Record Store Day initially postponed its annual April event to June. But with the pandemic still impacting communities across the country, organizers have again pushed back the event, this time splitting it up into three separate days: August 29th, September 26th, and October 24th. To ensure social distancing at each of these “RSD Drops”, the original vinyl releases announced for April’s event will be spread out over the three days, as organizers have now detailed. August 29th: A vast majority of this year’s standout titles will be available on August 29th, including archival releases from David Bowie, Gorillaz, The Cure, and New Order, in addition to a new Billie Eilish live album, a reissue of the Dune soundtrack, and a demo collection from Mac DeMarco. Highlights include

Wilkes-Barre, PA | Stores closed since March welcome customers as county goes yellow: A teenager got her learner’s permit to drive on Friday in Hanover Twp. — and traveled from still-closed Lehigh County to get it. Some bank lobbies here reopened to walk-in customers. Kingston’s parks opened back up for children to frolic. You could buy music again at the Gallery of Sound in Wilkes-Barre Twp. Jewelry stores like 3 Sisters in Kingston welcomed customers back. Gino’s Shoes in Dallas was fully stocked, awaiting the return of loyal customers. Classic Sports Cards & Collectibles opened its doors to sports enthusiasts again. Restaurants like Hooligans in Nanticoke readied for outdoor dining. Luzerne County partially reopened Friday by transitioning into the less-restrictive yellow phase following a two month coronavirus lockdown.

Guernsey, UK | Vinyl Vaughan sets a new record: Town now has a hub for music enthusiasts for the first time in almost 10 years, after Vinyl Vaughan moved from Fountain Street to a store in the Commercial Arcade. Owner Vaughan Davies completed the move to the new premises two days before lockdown and has had to wait 10 weeks to open up to the public. However, he did so on Saturday to a “great reaction” from music enthusiasts, who had two floors of records and other merchandise to have a mooch through. Mr Davies decided to pursue his dream of owning a record shop after suffering a serious stroke in 2015, and he made the decision earlier this year that it was the right time to expand from his original premises. “Music was always a love of mine and I started a record shop three years ago,” he said.

Bozeman, MT | Bozeman Business Boom: New vinyl shop giving new life and sound to the Bozeman music scene: National trends are bringing new local sound to Bozeman. The Wax Museum a record shop in the cannery district is bringing vinyl records back, they are flying off the shelves. “This space became open to me thanks to my old friend Noelle,” Kels Koch the owner of The Wax Museum said, “she and I were both on the local music scene here back in the ’80s.” Koch, the Montana State University Bobcat alumni found his way back to Bozeman after working in record stores all over the county. “I’m trying to carry music that’s otherwise not available in Bozeman,” Koch said, “I’m trying to expand on the music that’s available in town.” With everyone having a portable music device in their hand and headphones not far from reach you might be surprised to learn that streaming services don’t have the corner on the market and that digital download sales have fallen.

Madison, WI | Wisconsin Vinyl Record Store Sets Precedent For Pandemic Music Purchase: In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin. Over 30 years in operation, the couple made the difficult decision to postpone in-store operations due to COVID-19 but now, with relaxed statewide rules, the store has resumed business, complete with precautions put in place for safety’s sake. Though any opening during a pandemic is risky business, for a company that strictly sells vinyl seems particularly challenging. The shop resumed operations this last Tuesday and has already progressed from letting in 5 to 20 at any one time and addressing the demand, Strictly Discs is staying open for longer hours as well. The Roloffs are also offering in-store and curbside pick up along as they require all participants to wear masks and gloves within the establishment.

Frederick, MD | As pandemic continues, Frederick record stores plan days ahead: They all sit within about a five-minute walk of each other, full of vinyl albums and other items and memorabilia for customers to sift through on a day of shopping in downtown Frederick. Those three record stores, however — The Record Exchange, Rock & Roll Graveyard and Vinyl Acres — had remained closed during the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that has complicated an industry normally accustomed to seeing customers browse and leaf through records, CDs, cassettes and other products. Owners of all three stores said earlier this month the pandemic has forced them to move to online sales, as they decide when to open their doors and how to keep their customers safe. Sam Lock, the owner of The Record Exchange, is reopening next Friday for limited hours after more than two months of being closed, but with a set of strict rules.

Preston, UK | Preston’s independent shops preparing for high street reopening: …Action Records in Church Street has managed to stay busy throughout lockdown thanks to loyal customers buying online. However come 15 June, the iconic record store will be reopening its doors. A spokesperson said: “We’ll have a hand sanitiser dispenser at the door along with boxes of disposable gloves. There will be signs up about distancing, and we’ll only let so many people in at a time.” Paul Taylor of The Picture Man in Water Lane says he is looking forward to opening up to the public again. The popular framer said: “I’ve been working reduced hours and with appointments, which has been good, but I’ve got a nice crowd of customers who I’ve missed. “I’ll be ready to open on 15 June with a plastic screen installed and rules about social distancing.”

St. Louis, MO | St. Louis Record Stores Vintage Vinyl, Planet Score and Euclid Records Reopen Today: As businesses across the St. Louis area begin poking their heads up out of their quarantine bunkers and offering their wares to the public again, three of St. Louis’ favorite record stores are opening back up today as well… Vintage Vinyl and Planet Score have each installed plexiglass at the checkout counter, offering protection for both shoppers and store workers. All three stores will have hand sanitizer at the ready for all guests. Euclid and Planet Score will require all customers and employees to wear masks. Orlandez Lewis, marketing and promotions director for Vintage Vinyl, says that the store will require employees to do so, but for customers masks will be optional. [WTF? —Ed.]

Minneapolis, MN | Recording the war at home: The unrest in Minneapolis has hit home. We’ve visited the epicenter — Lake Street — a bunch of times in the last decade. The photo above is from Hymie’s Vintage Records, one of my favorite digging stops. It’s at Lake and 39th Avenue, about three-quarters of a mile east of the Target store you saw being looted and the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct building you saw burning. “We are well,” the folks from Hymie’s said early Sunday evening on Facebook. But, yes, they did board up the front windows and closed the store. No word yet on some of our other favorite stops along Lake Street — Time Bomb Vintage and Nostalgia Zone Comic Books, both 3 blocks west at Lake and 36th. Nor the McDonald’s 8 blocks west at Lake and 31st, where Janet goes to grab a Coke while waiting for me to dig through Hymie’s.

Beijing, CN | Travelogue: What’s Buzzing in Beijing? – All Things Retro: What’s buzzing in Beijing? Our new Travelogue-series explores China’s sprawling capital at its best. With cool, hidden and unusual things to do, we’re sure that your weekends will be filled with the city’s best-kept entertainment secrets. Fan of all things retro? Awesome, then you’ll love this! This time, we’re exploring Li-Pi record store in Beijing’s 798 Art District, with thousands of vinyl records among its racks. Dive into the retro music scene with us – because that’s what’s buzzing in Beijing this week.

Technics releases a truly limited edition record player: The latest record player from Technics is so limited edition, 1000 are being made, and a fraction of that will see release locally. The return of Panasonic’s Technics brand in Australia meant the return of the legendary Technics record players, something both vinyl lovers and DJs around the world are likely familiar with, alongside some other new goodies. In the Technics range, there are wireless sound options dotted alongside various record players, and this year there’s also something special. So special, Technics is releasing a limited edition direct drive turntable to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the brand. Like other limited editions we see around the place, there’s a specific colour scheme for the model, plus a couple of extras, including an insulation gel-like material for absorbing vibrations as well as a switch to turn off a strobe light found on the unit. That colour scheme is notable, too, because with the SL-1210GAE, Technics is trading the typical silver colour scheme for an all-black design, and has been manufactured to a really specific amount.

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