In rotation: 11/5/20

UK | Rough Trade reveals trading plans during lockdown: Rough Trade has revealed its trading plan during the English lockdown, which takes effect from Thursday (November 5). Because they are considered non-essential, record shops are unable to open as normal under the Covid-19 restrictions in place in England until at least December 2. While that is likely to impact indie retail and HMV during the busy Q4 period, many record shops put in place measures during the previous lockdown that allow them to continue trading online. Record Store Day went ahead with three vinyl drops, including an option for online orders. Rough Trade has confirmed that all stores will be open for click & collect purchases from Monday to Saturday, 11am-6pm. In the UK, Rough Trade has two stores in London as well as shops in Bristol and Nottingham. As well as an online mail-order operation, Rough Trade can take phone orders during store hours for delivery or click & collect. It opened a dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centre in Bristol earlier this year.

UK | 15 record stores in the UK to visit in person or online this Christmas: Our round-up of the best shops to find vinyl gems around the UK, from Glasgow to Brighton. It’s been heartening to see people gather online in 2020 for Tim Burgess’ Twitter Listening Parties, sharing memories of the first time they heard a classic album, spinning a yarn about lost weekends spent following their favourite band on tour, or discovering something totally new. It’s a reminder that being a music lover is to be part of a passionate community. Record stores are central to that, and we’re blessed with some of the world’s best in this country. We’ve gathered a list of places that are open for business, whether you’re after presents for friends and family, or just fancy treating yourself to new sounds for your turntable. In the words of Mr Burgess, ‘they need us more than ever, and we definitely need them.’

Michigan City, IN | Tom Lounges’ Record Bin celebrates grand opening with free concerts: The Lauren Dukes Band and The Juniors will perform concerts this weekend at the grand opening of the new Tom Lounges Record Bin in Michigan City. Tom Lounges, the Northwest Indiana rock journalist, promoter and radio host who used to publish The Beat Magazine that covered the Region’s music scene, opened a record store in downtown Hobart in 2018 and then a second at 1601 Franklin St. in Michigan City. Lounges, a veteran of the iconic Hegewisch Records on the far South Side of Chicago and Woodmar Records in Hammond, is celebrating a grand opening of the Michigan City record store in the Old Dough Boys Restaurant that sells vinyl, tapes, CDs, coffee mugs, CBD, crystals, incense, lunch boxes, Star Plaza Theatre posters, T-shirts, turntables, posters and other music memorabilia. The store features a stage that will be used to host weekly open mic nights and periodic live performances. Lounges, a longtime radio DJ who hosts the Midwest Beat show and podcast on Lakeshore Public Radio, also will broadcast a radio show out of the store on WIMS in Michigan City, which broadcasts on 95.1 FM and AM 1420.

KW | Meet the female hip-hop DJ behind Vinyl Destination: Kuwait’s first pop-up record store: Grazia hangs with DJ, producer and record store founder Farah Bishara to discover more about her pioneering Kuwaiti concept. “Vinyl Destination was born from the love of the quintessential record store experience. Throughout the years I’ve travelled in pursuit of crate digging, and every record store I walked into had a very special vibe, from the record selections to the conversations I’d have with employees. I wanted Kuwait to have that experience and to bring together a community of music lovers. In 2018, Vinyl Destination had its first pop-up in a local coffee shop and then migrated around the city every few months. It’s been incredible! …At my first pop-up, there were so many curious cats that just wanted to see what was so special about vinyl. I had set up a turntable with headphones in the corner of the shop and people would go and listen to a record and understand the mechanism. Some people ended up buying records without owning a turntable! The vinyl community is blossoming every day and it’s so exciting to be a part of its growth.”

The best record player for 2020: Rega, Pro-ject, Audio Technica, and more turntable reviews: Looking for a high-quality record player to listen to your precious vinyl collection? These are the top turntables we’ve reviewed from $100 and up. There’s never been a better time to get a great-sounding budget sound system, including amazing, cheap speakers and a high-quality turntable to spin vinyl records. If you consider everything from vintage turntables to the newest fully automatic and Bluetooth models, there’s an option to fit pretty much any budget, so you can basically set your own price parameters. For example, the Audio Technica LP60 is a solid selection for $100. The following is broken up into two sections: the best turntables between $100 and $1,000; and a shootout between the best turntables under $300, which is a sweet spot. Spending more will often get you better sound, but you don’t need to — any of our picks for the best record player should have you spinning vinyl for decades to come.

Denver, CO | Remembering Danny Graul of Black & Read: “He Was a Hell of a Guy.” Mikey Baca, who started working at Black & Read Music, Books & Games two decades ago, remembers having dinner with friends who were griping about their bosses. Baca, who’d been quietly sipping his beer, told them: “I don’t want to sound like a dick or pretentious, but I absolutely love my boss. He’s my best friend and my bro, and he’s just a wonderful person.” That boss was Danny Graul, who opened the Arvada store in 1991. Over the years, he turned Black & Read into one of the largest and longest-surviving independent music shops in Colorado. Graul — who died after a long illness on October 23, at age seventy — was more like a father than a boss, says Baca. “He just loved humanity and people, all walks of life, all political affiliations,” Baca says. “He loved everyone. He just wanted to hear your story. He wanted to hear where you’re from. It didn’t matter what you looked like or if you were a little kid or an old guy. He was just such a sweet guy. He was stoked to understand everybody, and he really tried, and he had a lot of friends because he was genuine and had a big heart. He was a lovable person. He was a hell of a guy.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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