In rotation: 10/5/20

Washington, DC | The Team Behind Songbyrd Is Bringing A New Record Store To Union Market: Like many local businesses, Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe’s operations were upended by the coronavirus pandemic this spring, with new restrictions around dining and live music hindering its food and drink offerings and venue space. One part of the Adams Morgan business stayed sturdy, though: record sales. Soon after the health crisis hit, Songbyrd’s vinyl director and record buyer, Jonathan Druy, uploaded their entire catalogue to Discogs, an online music database and marketplace, and the team worked on growing their e-commerce arm, per co-owner Joe Lapan. They also participated in this summer’s Record Store Day programming, modified with coronavirus safety measures. “Our vinyl program and revenues from that have remained steady and constant, while everything else has plummeted,” says Lapan. Now, he and partner Alisha Edmonson are leaning further into that, opening Byrdland Records, a new record store at Union Market. The shop is set to open on October 24, coinciding with this year’s third and final Record Store Day drop.

Richmond, BC | Steveston’s retro record store gets set for one last jam: However, Frankie Neilson said it’s not the end for the Beat Merchant, which will transfer into online only. If you’re one of the growing number of Stevestonites who takes great pleasure in flicking through the storied vinyl collection at the Beat Merchant, you’d better soak it all in. For the popular, retro record store on Second Avenue at Bayview Street will soon be no more. But don’t panic just yet, owner of 15 years Frankie Neilson said he’s going to stay open for the next six months – until the lease runs out on March 31, 2021 – so his loyal customers get comfortable with the fact he’s taking his entire business to an online and delivery model. Ironically, Neilson told the Richmond News, since the pandemic kicked off in March, there have more customers popping in for a browse and a chat than ever before. He said, at age 67, it’s just time to dial it back a bit and create more time to dance to his own tunes, rather than spend it all sourcing music from around the globe for others.

London, UK | London record shop World of Echo launches label: Starting with a 12″ by Anglo-German art punk group Mutabor!. London record shop World of Echo record shop has launched a label of the same name, with its inaugural release due this November. Its debut release will be a 12″ from Anglo-German collective, Mutabor!. Speaking about the record, World of Echo shares: “Seemingly lost to time, Mutabor! were first brought to World of Echo’s attention when drummer/singer, Gary Asquith, played at the shop’s first birthday celebrations while promoting one of his other bands, Rema Rema. And so the story goes… Mutabor! emerged wraith-like from the monochromatic grit of Berlin’s art punk underground late in 1981 when Asquith left London to set up temporary residence in the city following a chance meeting with Bettina Koster backstage at a Birthday Party gig at the Lyceum earlier that year. Beguiled by the possibilities of collaboration, musical and otherwise, he was soon to make his own contributions to what was an already fecund scene.

Chicago, IL | Currency Exchange Cafe Reopens Next Week, Providing A Platform For Artists And Chefs Of Color Hit Hard By Pandemic: With performances, artist residencies and a pop-up record store, the “Retreat” activation at the Washington Park cafe will “support artists who have lost space,” one leader said. A new, yearlong program will offer live music and food from local chefs while providing a much-needed platform for Chicago’s creatives of color at the Currency Exchange Cafe. “Retreat,” an extension of Rebuild Foundation’s Black Artists’ Retreat, will “activate” the cafe at 305 E. Garfield Blvd. when it reopens Oct. 9. Performances, artist residencies and a pop-up record store featuring local musicians’ projects are among the highlights. “The idea is to support artists who have lost space; who are innovative and imaginative, but feel like they don’t have the support or resources that they need,” programming manager Barédu Ahmed said. “It’s an open house for all.” The artist-led Retreat is the Currency Exchange Cafe’s first offering since its closure in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Best upgrades to improve the sound of your record player, starting at free: You’ve got the turntable. You’ve got some records. Now what? Make your records sound better than ever. To get the most out of your record collection, setting up and maintaining your turntable is simple, and it costs next to nothing! Here are some tools and techniques to get you started, as well as some additional equipment upgrades for when you’re ready… Ensuring your turntable is level is one of the most basic steps of setup. You can try doing it by eye, but a bubble level is much better. I’ve had limited success with the free apps available on the App Store and Google Play, and found “analog” is much better. For example, Amazon has a well-reviewed Diskeeper bullseye level for five bucks (plus shipping). Just place the level on your platter and move the turntable so that it’s horizontal. If it doesn’t have adjustable feet, use coins or even a pad of post-it notes (!) to get it right.

Wax Audio Group launches Kickstarter to release Bukowski’s last readings on vinyl: Today Wax Audio Group launches a new Kickstarter campaign to release the last recordings of Charles Bukowski on vinyl. This release will only be available via the Kickstarter campaign which you can check out here. There are also several T-Shirt designs that will also be exclusive to the campaign – check images of those out below. 2020 marks the 100th birthday of the poet, novelist, and short story writer Henry Charles Bukowski, born Heinrich Karl Bukowski on August 16, 1920. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. A long time resident of Los Angeles, Bukowski often wrote about the city, it’s working people, alcoholism, homelessness, love and finding redemption through art, music and literature. He also gave dozens of live readings to his fans through out the world. These performances were known for their ruckus confrontations and banter with the audience.

CLAW Stag Superb Plus Vinyl Record Player 3 Speed Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers and USB Digital Conversion Software for PC (Wood): Many forms of media playback have come and gone, but none inspire such passion as vinyl record. The stag superb plus turntable carries a vintage design supporting speeds of 33.3, 45 and 78 rpm and 7 percent, 10 percent and 12 percent vinyl records so that it can accommodate your entire collection. The built-in stereo speakers allow you to listen to them instantly. Removable hinged dust cover protects your vinyl records when not in use while the auto stop function automatically stops the turntable when the record finishes playing. Package contents stag superb plus turntable transparent dust cover power adapter 45 rpm record adapter user manual and warranty information software disc for recording to pc. Important Note: The Auto Stop feature has been designed to automatically stop at the end of the LP (Long Play Record) however when playing an EP (Extended Play Record) kindly switch off the Auto Stop feature so it can play till the end of the record.

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