In rotation: 9/16/20

Phoenix, AZ | The 12 Best Record Stores in Metro Phoenix: Like with any industry, record stores tend to come and go. Beloved vinyl emporiums may close, but over time, new shops will open up where entrepreneurial record collectors see a need while older chains expand as they refine their successful habits. Selling records in the age of digital streaming, when even the practice of buying entire albums digitally has decreased, is not as easy of a job as it used to be. The chain music stores of the past are long gone and CD sales continue to decrease annually, yet the demand for vinyl records continues to increase each year. Thankfully, here in the Valley, there are plenty of independent record shops where record collectors can shop for new and used records as well as record equipment. Of course, every record shop is different and has its own particular audience in mind. Some shops specialize in high-quality, audiophile releases in particular genres, whereas other shops tend to focus on stocking newer and current releases. Figuring out which record shop carry the records you like can be a time-consuming task, so we’ve put together a list of 12 of the best record shops across metro Phoenix.

Phoenix, AZ | From A to Zia: An Oral History of Arizona’s Iconic Record Store Chain: Properly organized, the 16,000-square-foot building at 16th Street and Indianola Avenue in midtown Phoenix could serve as a kind of museum — a collection of pop-culture memorabilia and music artifacts from the last 40 years. For now, though, it’s the headquarters and warehouse of Arizona’s most essential independent record store chain: Zia Records. Framed gold records — recognition for selling unholy amounts of Incubus and Linkin Park CDs — hang above the doors to the offices. A giant black Against Me! poster, used for previous in-store appearances at local Zia stores and autographed by the members of the band, adorns one wall; on the other side of the room, an old refrigerator door covered in 2000s-era Zia stickers leans against another. Dig around and you’ll find recent collectibles (Baby Yoda Chia Pets!) located near guitar-shaped pizza cutters. A stack of locals-only compilations, released by Zia. Architectural plans for Zia’s first Chandler store. A whole bunch of Best of Phoenix awards from the publication you’re currently reading. “We need to get everything into an actual archive someday,” says Jason Woodbury, Zia’s marketing director, “but we haven’t gotten around to it, ’cause we’re constantly busy.”

Sydney, AU | Five Sydney Record Store Owners Give Us Their Classic Album Picks: Hear from the enthusiasts about what makes a classic record — and where to buy it. How do you define a classic album? Is it sales figures, popularity over time, how influential it is, or something completely indefinable? We’ve all got our personal favourites, but with countless great LPs throughout the history of music, at some point you need to ask the experts. Luckily, Sydney has a number of peerless record stores, all staffed by helpful and knowledgeable enthusiasts keen to share the sounds they love with you. In partnership with LEGO Art, which has paid tribute to The Beatles’ The White Album in its latest range, we spoke with five record store owners about the albums that make them tick and what, in their own personal view, makes a record worthy of the term ‘classic’. Read on to find out what made the cut.

Dallas, TX | Women in Dallas record stores are reshaping the male-heavy space. With The Opening Of Red Zeppelin in McKinney, Women Leading Some Local Record Stores Share Why We Need More Women In The Booming Industry. In the middle of Downtown McKinney sits a new hole-in-the-wall record store with an atmosphere that feels like you’re being transported to New York City in the ’70s. Red Zeppelin Records, a reference to iconic English rock band Led Zeppelin and the store owner’s firetruck-red hair, is equipped with not only used CDs and vinyl favorites, but obscure gifts and vintage merchandise. In July, Red Zeppelin opened its doors as one of the few female-owned and run record stores in Texas, and it’s here to take down stereotypes. The need for independent record stores have become vital as the number of vinyl album sales continue to rise each year, but Dallas record stores have also seen a shift in the traditionally male-dominated industry — more women are becoming avid music collectors and filling the stores. Inspired by Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink, in which the actress played a teen working at a new-wave record store, owner Katie Scott says she wants to represent more of a strong female role in the industry with Red Zeppelin. “I feel like it’s an area that needs to be expanded upon,” Scott says. “Squash that whole thought that men are more knowledgeable…”

London, UK | The record shop, the taxman and the missing billions: Working from a shed at the end of his garden, one man fought an epic battle against an industry of tax avoidance that cost the country billions. It was the autumn of 1992, and Richard Allen, an import-export manager at a luxury wallpaper company, was spending the day at a conference held by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise. He was half-listening to a presentation about how the UK’s ratification of the Maastricht Treaty the following year would change the taxes companies such as his would have to pay on exports. He was bored. The truth was, he was finished with wallpaper. He was thinking, he told me: “I can’t wait to get out of this, and get back to music!” In his spare time, Allen had set up his own record label, and it was doing well. He was about to give up his day job, to start selling records on a promising new technology called the World Wide Web. What Allen didn’t know, as he sat sipping his government-issue coffee and dreaming of a more exciting future in the music industry, was that the dreary presentations on cross-border tax that day contained information which would set the direction of his life for almost two decades, destroying his business and leading him into an international legal battle with his own government.

Franklin, TN | Reba McEntire surprises Walmart shoppers, signs copies of her ‘Rumor Has It’ 30th anniversary vinyl: Reba McEntire made a surprise appearance at a Wallmart in Franklin, Tenn., over the weekend to sign copies of her “Rumor Has It” vinyl. The country singer recently released a special 30th anniversary album of her hit record. “Stopped by the @walmart in Franklin to sign some #RumorHasIt albums – go by and get yours!” McEntire, 65, captioned a video on Friday. In the video, the “Fancy” singer wore a mask as she signed copies for her fans. The retailer, McEntire later revealed, is selling limited editions of a translucent orange vinyl for the 30th anniversary. “Rumor Has It” was originally released on September 4, 1990. It was the country legend’s seventh studio album. The album boasted hits such as “Fancy,” “Climb that Mountain High” and “Fallin’ Out of Love,” earning McEntire a 3x Platinum certification by RIAA. “I never imagined I’d get the chance to put out an album for a second time,” the singer said in a statement.

HK | MoMA Design Store Hong Kong launches pop-up record shop: Exploring the relationship between music, art and design. MoMA Design Store Hong Kong is launching a pop-up record shop to celebrate its one year anniversary. The pop-up features 45 records from MoMA’s permanent collection, ranging from the Beatles to Joni Mitchell, Run D.M.C. and Miles Davis. Delving into the symbiotic relationship between art, music and design, the collection includes album artwork designed by artists including Andy Warhol, Raymond Pettibon, Yoko Ono and John Lennon. Alongside the records on offer, the pop-up will also feature a selection of turntables, speakers, and headphones. It follows MoMA New York’s pop-up record shop, which was open in January 2020.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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