In rotation: 8/3/20

Dayton, OH | New record store to open this weekend (8/1) in Belmont neighborhood: A children’s librarian, musician and music aficionado is set to open a new record store this weekend. James Downing-Groth, a children’s librarian for Dayton Public Schools, will debut his latest project, Blind Rage Records, to the public on Saturday, Aug. 1, at noon. The record store will carry both new and used records in the punk, hardcore, metal and indie rock genres and every genre in between. Customers will be able to find new vinyl from labels including Dischord, Revelation, Drastic Plastic, Rad Girlfriend, Night Animal, King of the Monsters and Havoc. The record store also shares a name with Downing-Groth’s record label, which has recorded albums for 15 different bands from around the world, including Internal, Locked Up, Wounded Paw and Gel… “It was kind of perfect for opening a store, and I have been sitting on just boxes and boxes of records from selling at record fairs. So it just kind of fell into place.”

Lansing, MI | The vinyl stacks keep spinning at Flat, Black & Circular: East Lansing record shop Flat, Black & Circular has been open for retail since the start of June, and manager Jon Howard said that business has practically returned to normal. “It’s kinda slower foot traffic, but people are buying a lot,” Howard said. “A lot of people traveling through town, people who used to live here, some regulars.” He noted that some regulars haven’t come back around yet, but he acknowledged that they may just be afraid of catching COVID-19. When news broke about the outbreak at Harper’s Bar, East Lansing gained an unfortunate association with the virus. “I’ve had regulars that I usually see daily or weekly, and they have not come out yet,” he said. “There’s one guy that I’ve only seen once since the news about Harper’s was revealed.” Despite the pandemic, Howard said that it basically feels like a typical summer at the shop.

Lincolnshire, UK | ‘It’s no fun if you can’t flick through records’ – Lincoln music shop boss reveals steps he’s taken so people can still browse: The boss of a popular independent record shop in Lincoln says that coronavirus has not stopped the music. Jim Penistan, 49, reopened Back to Mono in Guildhall Street on Monday, June 15, with restrictions for customers including 2m distancing and no more than five or six people in the shop at any one time limited. But what about the best thing about record shops – rifling through rows and rows of albums to discover some real gems? Well, that’s something that hasn’t changed as music fans are invited to hand sanitise on entry and exit and can also wear gloves. Mr Penistan, also known as Jim Sonic, who has continued his Back to Mono 1960s music club nights on Facebook Live, said: “It’s going well since we’ve reopened.

Cleveland, OH | Support Black-Owned Business Month With These Spots: From a record shop to a nail salon and more, these businesses are great places to start supporting for Black-Owned Business Month: Brittany’s Record Shop. Brittany Benton’s Slavic Village music store does more than just sell soul, reggae, hip-hop and Black-inspired records from the Fugees, Lenny Kravitz, Jay-Z and more. The unassuming shop, which is packed with vinyls thoughtfully organized in milk crates, is a gathering place for artists. Beatmakers, singers, rappers and producers — like Benton who is a DJ — come to display their talents and make connections. “I don’t get offended when people say it’s the Black record shop,” says Benton. “I just wanted to be a celebration of the culture because there’s a lot of independent shops in Cleveland, but none of them specialized in this niche. It was always underserved.”

Milwaukee, WI | Just LPs and ME: I booked an appointment to browse Acme Records alone (and you can too!): As everyone knows, the COVID-19 pandemic—and, more specifically, America’s astonishingly abysmal handling of it—has severely impacted businesses all over the country. While we wait for the return to so-called “normalcy” (which honestly may never come), bars, restaurants, music venues, retailers, and countless other businesses are either closed until conditions improve or they’re drastically changing the way they do things in order to adapt to the current state of the world. Many have changed to a delivery or carryout model. Others have leaned more heavily on online sales and virtual events. Some business have been forced to get especially creative in order to stay solvent during this unprecedented time. One local example of the resourcefulness born out of the pandemic is Acme Records & Music Emporium, which has gone to great lengths to give customers and safe and socially distant shopping experience.

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Our State Is Definitely Trending in the Wrong Direction’: With coronavirus cases rising in Wisconsin — though not Dane County — owner Angie Roloff is doing her best to stay positive as she plans for Record Store Day 2020. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Governor Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened Strictly Discs in a limited capacity.

Bayville, NJ | The Vinyl Dinosaur is moving and expanding: I dig record stores. They are, unfortunately, something of a dying breed, but the ones that survive cater to a dedicated group of enthusiasts who still enjoy vinyl. There is something uniquely satisfying about flipping through a row of records, taking in the artwork, checking out the condition of the sleeve, and finding that album you’ve been searching for. The Vinyl Dinosaur opened up in Bayville in April of 2019, and they just announced that they will be packing up, and heading to a new location in Beachwood! They will also be expanding beyond just a music store, and will incorporate a cafe, plus more space for art, entertainment, and of course, a bigger selection of music. They also have dreams of bringing in a stage so The Vinyl Dinosaur can be a home to open mic nights, karaoke, comedy nights, and more. The new location will take over the building that was formerly Java Joe’s, on Atlantic City Boulevard in Beachwood.

San Bernardino, CA | San Bernardino record store set to open downtown with something for everyone: Kevin Bondurant and Harlan Dean hope to serve as music docents of sort. Kevin Bondurant and Harlan Dean grew up in nine different eras. At least, that’s what it sounded like, they say. Raised when cruising downtown San Bernardino was the thing to do on a Friday night, the brothers are two of seven children. Influenced by their siblings and their parents, Bondurant, 67, and Dean, 63, at a young age developed a love for music that transcended genre and generation. “We had all kinds of music coming through our house,” said Dean, who, like his siblings, was an early fan of The Beatles and Beach Boys. “We picked a little of this, a little of that. You name it, we listened to it.” The two now want to share their expertise with San Bernardino. “Music soothes the savage beast,” Dean said. “It brings people together. You can also tell history by the parallel of music that was played at that time. Everybody’s going to age, but when you reflect back on your era, you have a soundtrack to that era.”

Leicester, UK | World’s most valuable 7in record Do I Love You bought by Market Harborough man: The sale price beat the single’s own record set in 2009. The world’s most valuable 7in single has been bought by a man from Market Harborough. The northern soul 45, Do I Love You, by Frank Wilson, is now owned by 38-year-old Lee Jeffries. The sale, brokered by Melton rare vinyl dealer and auctioneer John Manship, was for an an undisclosed sum – but it was revealed that the record went for more than it did when it was last sold, 11 years ago. In 2009 the disc fetched a record-breaking £25,742. It was sold by DJ Kenny Burrell to a businessman and investor from the north east of England who wanted to remain anonymous. It was, and remains, the most expensive seven inch 45rpm labelled record ever sold. John said: “In 2020 I was approached by Lee Jeffries asking if it would be possible for me to get in touch with the owner of the record and persuade him to sell it. “After some negotiations, and an offer from Lee that couldn’t be refused, I’m delighted to announce that a deal has been struck…”

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