In rotation: 11/17/20

Tower Records returns as an online store: 2020 has been a tough year, but one bright spot has surfaced as the year winds down. Onetime record store chain Tower Records has been resurrected as an online store. The new Tower Records, which can be found online here, will have online events, the return of their Tower Pulse! magazine, a merchandise section and a wealth of vinyl, CD and cassette selections. The onetime record store giant has been shuttered since 2006, minus a store in Japan, after filing for bankruptcy. The chain’s rise and fall was documented in the 2015 film All Things Must Pass. Deadline reports that the Tower resurrection was expected to be revealed earlier this year at Austin’s SXSW festival. However, the cancellation of the annual event due to COVID-19 led to the delay of the announcement. The intent was to add a series of pop-up shops as well, which could still happen when the pandemic lessens. Tower Records’ new CEO Danny Zeijdel made a statement about the company’s return. “[The news] has been met with tremendous success, feedback,” Zeijdel said. “A lot of people are so happy taking pictures of when they receive an order from Tower Records, posting it on Instagram.”

Memphis, TN | With Patreon & an Online Variety Show, Goner Records Adapts to the Pandemic: Record stores have been hit hard by the age of quarantine, and in the case of Goner Records, which is also a label and festival promoter, the effect has been tripled. And yet their many innovations, from a “telethon” for Record Store Day, to Goner TV (which debuted in July), to this year’s virtual Gonerfest, reveal their willingness to innovate in order to accommodate the new normal. Now they’ve embraced another approach to both surviving and staying connected with fans and customers, one that is more typically associated with artists: Patreon. I spoke with co-owner Zac Ives to learn more about the reasons behind their latest move, and what kinds of offerings patrons can expect. “…the positive thing about this is, it really allows people to have a more direct impact on things that they care about. And so that’s what this turned into. If you like what we’re doing, there’s a way for you to directly impact our ability to keep doing these things. And at the same time, it lets us be creative with what we can give back to people for their help, for being a patron.”

Toronto, CA | Jason Momoa spotted at Toronto record shop: Jason Momoa was spotted getting his groove on to some soul music at a Toronto record store. The Aquaman star stopped into Cosmos Records, located at 607a Queen St West, on Friday. The shops Instagram account posted a video of the actor dancing along to Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes” as he looked through the vinyl. Cosmos wrote that the Game of Thrones alumni’s visit was “good vibes only.” Momoa was previously photographed at Ozzy’s Burgers in Kensington Market, and has been seen strolling through Parkdale. According to the City of Toronto’s list of Current Productions, the actor is in the city to film the second season of the dystopian Apple TV+ series See.

Elvis Costello on Turning His 1979 Tour De Force, ‘Armed Forces,’ Into 2020’s Splashiest Boxed Set: In a Variety bonus Q&A, Costello revisits how Bowie and ABBA influenced him four decades ago, why he’s cool with the super-deluxe “Forces” coming out via vinyl, streaming and downloads but not on CD… and drops a new performance of the classic “Party Girl.” Very few music boxed sets aspire beyond being gussied up digital repositories to becoming actual physical pieces of pop art. But opening up the new vinyl set from Elvis Costello, “The Complete Armed Forces,” feels like getting several Christmas mornings all at once, with a suitable-for-fondling nine records, seven paperbacks and various other ephemera intended to bring back the color explosions of 1979 as well as invoke other visual styles from the pulp-fiction ‘50s to the present. At the center of the “super-deluxe” set, enveloped in elaborate, Barney Bubbles-designed origami packaging, is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s fairly undisputed masterpieces, “Armed Forces,” a semi-concept record that reinvented Costello’s style three albums into his career and made “emotional fascism” sound like great, brow-furrowed fun.

Naples, IT | New record shop, Organica, opens in Naples: The store is run by the team behind popular venue Basic Club. Naples has a new record shop. Organica Records, which is run by the team behind popular local spot Basic Club, opened on Friday, November 6th. Located in the city’s historic centre, on Via Vincenzo Bellini, the shop stocks all sorts of music on vinyl, from Latin, soul and jazz to techno, disco and deep house. There are listening decks in-store, plus a selection of beers and soft drinks. Head to Organica’s website for more information, and check out some photos.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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