In rotation: 10/8/20

Record Store Day announces list of ‘Black Friday’ 2020 releases: With 78 records on offer, including Madlib’s new jazz project, ODB instrumentals, obligatory Studio One and more. Record Store Day has announced this year’s Black Friday vinyl offerings, available Friday 27th November. Established in 2010 with a focus on exclusive vinyl, RSD’s Black Friday event features a combination of new music and reissues. Seventy-eight releases will be on sale, with highlights including the debut LP from Madlib’s jazz project Jahari Massamba Unit, an instrumentals version of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers, an obligatory Studio One compilation and several soulful singles by Norma Jean, amongst others. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s annual Record Store Day, previously taking place annually in April, was postponed and split across three drop days. Despite this change, vinyl sales hit record highs in 2020, – with the highest week of US vinyl sales coinciding with the first RSD drop day in August.

Long Beach, CA | Record stores still spinning from pandemic but sales are trending up: The must of hundreds, thousands of slowly decaying record jackets hangs in the air. If history has a smell, this is it, mixed with the not-so-slight hint of desire. Music resonates throughout the store, washing over the bin-diving clientele. Masked and gloved, the audiophiles search row after row of vinyl, searching for something—something that catches their eye or perhaps a specific album they have sought for days, months, years. “Records have always been experiential. Growing up, there was always a communal aspect to listening to new records—you go to your friend’s house, you sit and listen together,” said Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints Music in Downtown Long Beach. “And we’re an experience-based business.” When coronavirus struck, the record store experience was muted. Many shops, Fingerprints included, quickly altered their business models and created online stores to make up for the loss of in-person shopping. But it is not the same as the search, the journey, Foster said.

Parma, OH | New record store The Current Year to open in Parma’s Polish Village: Record store The Current Year is set to open inside the same building that houses legendary Parma bakery Rudy’s Strudel, at 5580 Ridge Road. The shop will open to the public with a grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, with DJs performing outside the store from 3 to 7 p.m. The celebration will take place concurrently with Rudy Strudel’s party for National Pierogi Day. The Current Year is owned by Michael and Marie Stutz, who got their start selling records a couple of years ago. The shop first operated in a small corner of Fairview Park resale store The Salvage Yard. When The Current Year began to outgrow its former space and the coronavirus pandemic led to retail shutdowns in the spring, Michael and Marie found a new home thanks to their friend, Lidia Trempe, who co-owns Rudy’s Strudel — a bakery and restaurant that’s been open since 1948. Michael, a Parma native, was already familiar with the eatery… “I just remember loving this place. It’s so weird that, a quarter century later, here we are. Rudy’s passed on but we have a record store here.”

Montpelier, VT | Soundbites: Checking In With Buch Spieler Records: At a certain point, I stopped going to record stores intending to walk away with a certain title. I’d love to enter a shop and be handed whatever disc I wanted, no matter how mainstream or obscure. But that’s not the way it works. To be fair, I used to go to a store called Rooky Ricardo’s Records in San Francisco that’s like, as we used to say, the iTunes store of 45s. Walk in, name any single from the ’60s to the ’80s, and they’ll hand it to you. Now, when I want something specific, I order it online. Shame me if you must. For me, the whole point of going to a record store is to find something you didn’t know you wanted. Xavier Jimenez, co-owner of Montpelier’s Buch Spieler Records, said that’s related to a concept he calls “record store amnesia.” In other words, maybe you walk into a shop with a particular album in mind, but after you start digging for a few minutes, you forget all about it and get lost in the treasures at your fingertips. Did I know my recent visit to Buch Spieler would end with snagging The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore and the B-52’s’ Wild Planet? No, but I’m glad it did.

Colorado Springs, CO | What’s Left Records: The Ostrows’ latest community-builder: “When we’d be on tour, I’d be broke, so I would just sell from this little crate of records so I’d be able to eat when I was on the road,” recalls Bryan Ostrow, in between ringing up customers at What’s Left Records. “We’ve always wanted to start a record store, since we were kids.” When Ostrow and his brother Sean opened the doors of What’s Left Records on Aug. 1, it represented many things — the realization of a long-gestating dream, the growth of What’s Left from its beginnings as a zine and a micro distro label (“a bunch of records to trade at shows”), and a completely unplanned but exceedingly timely opportunity. The Ostrows previously had a small space stocked with records, CDs, tapes and books at the old Flux Capacitor DIY space, but in March 2020, just as the collateral effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were poised to shut down live music, the brothers learned that a space at 829 North Circle Drive was opening up — a perfect occasion to make the brothers’ childhood dreams a true brick-and-mortar reality.

Record manufacturer Silke Maurer in conversation: “I already love the smell of vinyl.” We have a long-lasting, important encounter with DJ with “Handle With Care” founder Silke Maurer about her love for vinyl, the good old nineties Hell as well as talked about the comeback of the record. We had an important meeting with DJ with the “Handle With Care” founder Silke Maurer about her love for vinyl, the good old nineties Hell as well as talked about the comeback of the record. Anyone who thinks that records are intended for collectors and that they belong to the past like typewriters or books is wrong. The Vinyl comeback began around four years ago. In positive terms, the corona pandemic gave many musicians more and more time and free time to reflect on the essentials. Silke Maurer, owner of the Berlin vinyl production company “Handle With Care,” founded in 1990, feels that too. We talked to her about a fateful encounter with DJ Hell (which sounds like a scene from Sven Regener’s novel “Magical Mystery”), her love for music, her respect for musicians and DJs, and particularly curious customers.

Upgrade Your Vinyl Listening Experience With These 13 Bluetooth Record Players: Believe it or not, record sales are at an all-time high — whether it’s due to their cool aesthetic or superior sound quality, records are a fantastic way to revive old favorites and discover new ones. Turntables aren’t as expensive as they used to be, but it can be difficult to determine which players are not only worth investing in, but also how they’ll work once you have them. With the rise of Bluetooth among all of our devices, it was only a matter of time before that trend hit record players as well. Gone are the days of worrying and fussing over audio cables, as these players can connect to your travel speakers, AirPods, or any other Bluetooth device you can imagine. Set up is easy and breezy, leaving you with plenty of time to focus on what matters most: listening to your favorite album. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 13 of the best Bluetooth record players on the market — check them out

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