In rotation: 9/1/20

Gainesville, FL | Hear Again Records participates in first Record Store Day of the year: A light murk cast on about a 30-person queue along Hear Again Records Saturday morning as the shop braced for the first Record Store Day event of the year. What was once a yearly April promise to vinyl collectors has diverged into a three-time crawl as Record Store Day has been split into the alternative Record Store Day Drops to increase safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Having started Aug. 29 and set to be continued Sept. 26 and Oct. 24, Record Store Day Drops allowed Gainesville melophiles to see the color of exclusive wax that unearths for typically one day only. Downtown Gainesville’s Hear Again Records opened in 1994 and current owner Andrew Schaer took over in 2006 before moving the location downtown in 2009. Around the same time, Record Store Day began its grasp on both new-found and long-time vinyl listeners worldwide looking for a day of recognition toward the medium. Experiencing a phoenix rebirth in terms of sales and cultural relevance (18.8 million LPs were sold in 2019 according to Nielsen), Schaer said he has noted the upward trend for Record Store Day’s popularity.

Tallinn, EE | Tallinn record stores celebrate first Record Store Day: Tallinn record stores World Clinic, Biit Me and Terminal celebrated the first of this year’s three Record Store Days on Saturday. The international Record Store Day was initially scheduled to take place on April 18 this year but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic to June 20 and then again to take place over three days. This year’s first Record Store Day special releases include David Bowie’s LP “I’m Only Dancing” the artist recorded during his 1974 The Soul tour, a picture disc of The Cure’s second studio album “Seventeen Seconds”, Robyn’s 2005 debut album, as well as releases from artists like Billie Eilish, Brian Eno, Gorillaz, Guided By Voices, Jethro Tull, John Prine, Mac DeMarco, Ravi Shankar, Spoon, The The, The Weekend, The Fall, Elton John, Morrissey, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream et al. The next Record Store Days will take place on September 26 and October 24, with special releases from Britney Spears, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Nas, Beck, St. Vincent, Eminem, Suede, Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones etc. in the pipeline.

Rochester, MN | Record Store Day: Music fans shop rare finds at three-part event: Vintage music lovers were supposed to celebrate Record Store Day this April. Like many other things, it had to be re-imagined. Record Store Day Day is a time for independent record stores to get rare and special vinyls that cannot be found elsewhere. Record stores do a lot of business and collectors do a lot of finding. Everyone was happy when Record Store Day got turned into three different events. “Today, one in September, one in October. They split that up so we don’t have a big group. Normally, it’s extremely busy in here,” said Hussein Esmailzadeh, owner of Rochester Records. A busy store would normally be a welcome sight for the record store owners, who had to shut down for three months. “We’re a pretty small operation so it wasn’t bad for us,” said Vy Thorng, owner of Hidden World Vinyl Records. “We were worried about other people.” Others were kept afloat by repeat buyers. “The collectors. The demand is there,” Esmailzadeh said. “We’re just here to fill that demand.”

UK | Vinyl countdown: indie stores bank on one big day to claw back buyers: Record Store Day offered welcome relief for retailers as customers queued up across the country. he queue outside Sister Ray Records for Saturday’s much-hyped annual Record Store Day began in earnest on Friday evening. “We had a regular camp out here at around 5pm last night, two hours before we closed,” said Rachel Jacob, 27, at the shop in Soho, central London. Thirteen hours later, masked up and hands lathered in sanitiser, that customer was the first through the door, picking up a limited edition David Bowie LP. “He was so excited, and that gives me a proper smile,” said Jacob, who moved from Manchester to work in London. “I started my job here a month before lockdown! It’s a relief to be back.” Every year, for the last dozen years, music fans have crammed into record stores to get their hands on one of the exclusive releases made available for one day only. This year the day is especially significant for the 230 participating record stores up and down the country, who are each desperately hoping it will help them claw back some revenue from the financial disaster inflicted by Covid-19.

Omaha, NE | Record stores look forward to Record Store Days following pandemic closures: Today’s the day record stores across the world have been waiting for. It’s the first of three Record Store Days. It’s a holiday for vinyl collectors and the stores in desperate need of selling backed-up inventory this year. Record Store Day is normally in April, but COVID-19 forced stores like Homer’s in The Old Market to close for several months. Record stores normally expect an increase in sales that day, so they stock up on more records. But the pandemic kept people from coming in and the product collected dust on the shelves. Record Store Day will take place three days this year. A Homer’s employee hopes that will help similar stores that have suffered due to the pandemic. “To order all of the records in for record store day, it is a big financial investment. So, to split it out over three days helps those stores be able to kind of afford to participate,” said Marq Manner.

Casper, WY | Sonic Rainbow celebrating 25 years in downtown Casper with Record Store Day: Jude Carino and Don Ridgeway opened the downtown “Sonic Rainbow” 25 years ago, with the store officially crossing that milestone at the start of the month. “August 1, 1995, is when the shop opened here in downtown as a full-time everyday kind of business,” Sonic Rainbow manager Brandon Schulte said on Friday. “The business had been around for a couple of years by appointment only.” “But after a couple years of doing that, the owners realized that this is a great thing to have for the community and opened a full time shop down here and we’ve made it all this way.” Sonic Rainbow is celebrating their 25 years downtown as they participate in the first of three international “Record Store Days” on Saturday, Aug. 29. T-shirts with a design by local artist Seth Ramsey will be available to mark the occasion. “Tomorrow is the first of three drops of new releases that are a core part of the Record Store Day with everything that’s gone on with COVID-19,” Schulte explained. “Record Store Day is typically the third Saturday in April. But back in April, things were not looking very good.”

Long Beach, CA | Fingerprints celebrates Record Store Day in Long Beach: Happy Record Store Day — though it will be a very different kind of day indeed. Record Store Day is an event that happens multiple times a year — in August, September and October — and celebrates independently owned record stores and the culture they helped create through music. Celebrations typically include new music drops, live performances and store deals. And, for many stores, lines stretching out the door. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the year’s first Record Store Day, on Saturday, Aug. 29, won’t have the same panache. “I feel like a year ago we did one of the best Record Store Days out there,” Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints record store, in Long Beach’s East Village, said recently. “It usually feels like a convenience store right before the hurricane with lines, and people digging for their music. “But this year we’ve been figuring it out,” he added, “starting from scratch.”

Cincinnati, OH | Delayed by COVID, rescheduled Record Store Day is music to vinyl lovers’ ears: Masks and social distancing color Saturday event. Since 2008, Record Store Day has celebrated independent music shops around the world each year with exclusive releases and contests for eager fans who sometimes line up overnight. This year, however, Record Store Day organizers and supporters are singing a different tune. Originally scheduled for April and then June, the event now will take place over the course of three separate days – the first of which is Saturday. “I think eventually we just got to the point where we stopped trying to make any formal plans because things were changing so much on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” said Terry Cole, co-owner of Plaid Room Records in Loveland. “It was a little stressful and (there’s been) quite a bit of apprehension.” Cole wasn’t alone in his concern. “There was uncertainty at where we would be right now, about being open to the public,” said Steve Schmoll, owner of Black Plastic Records in Over-the-Rhine and Covedale. He also acknowledged a degree of risk, related to ordering products and anticipating the behavior of in-store shoppers.

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