In rotation: 2/11/21

Tallahassee, FL | Record sales pick up as fans remember The Supremes founder Mary Wilson: The music industry is mourning the loss of one of the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary Wilson, one of the founders and longest-reigning members of The Supremes, passed suddenly on Monday. The group tops the Billboard Charts as one of the top-selling groups of all time. But many in the music industry say their impact extends further than record sales. “The Supremes were one of the gateway groups that paved the way for Motown,” said Patti Smith. Smith is one of the owners of Apollo Records, the store recently moving from Thomasville to Monticello. She says they’ve already received several calls and messages from people searching for The Supremes albums. For many, that interest is no surprise. Sharod Bines, the owner of Retrofit Records, says The Supremes, as well as other soul and R&B artists, always top the list.

Hollywood, CA | Inside Amoeba’s new Hollywood store: Racks on racks on racks. Amoeba has shared an inside look at its new Hollywood store. Amoeba permanently shut its original Sunset Boulevard location in April 2020, due to Coronavirus lockdowns in the city as well as impendening re-development of the site. However, it still continued to operate its online store throughout this period. While the new location doesn’t have an exact opening date, Amoeba has shared a series of photos from inside its new shop, which you can check out here. The new outpost will be located at 6200 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles.

Belfast, IE | Writer Jonathan Scott on Nasa’s ‘cosmic mixtape’ 40 years after its launch into deep space: David Roy speaks to Jonathan Scott, author of The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of Nasa’s Interstellar Mixtape, about bringing his fascination with The Voyager Golden Record to the NI Science Festival next week. Record collectors like to boast about the rarest discs in their collections, but there’s one first pressing that no-one has at home – nor will it ever be stumbled upon while ‘crate digging’: only two copies of the The Voyager Golden Record were ever pressed, and both were shot into space by Nasa almost 44 years ago. The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of Nasa’s Interstellar Mixtape finds music-loving writer and space enthusiast Jonathan Scott delving into the fascinatingly unlikely yet utterly true tale of how Nasa commissioned a compilation LP for their Voyager space probes in the 1970s. Launched in September and August 1977 respectively, Voyager 1 and 2’s primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. However, it wasn’t the Voyagers’ only function: both craft had a circular, 12-inch diameter payload strapped to their hulls which was specifically designed to provide extra terrestrial life with a succinct audio-visual guide to who we are as a species.

Elliot Mazer, Producer of Legendary Recordings By Neil Young and Many Others, Dies: …By the late ’60s, Mazer was becoming an in-demand producer with such credits as Jerry Jeff Walker’s album Five Years Gone, and Gordon Lightfoot’s Back Here on Earth, both released in 1968. In that busy year, he also produced a live Detroit concert by Janis Joplin’s band Big Brother and the Holding Company; two songs were later used as bonus tracks on a reissue of their Cheap Thrills album. The assignments continued to roll in, including 1969’s Michael Bloomfield Live at Fillmore West album and Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 release, Silk Purse. His career took an even bigger turn when he produced Neil Young’s landmark 1972 Harvest album, with Young, Jack Nitzsche and Henry Lewy. Mazer had opened a recording studio in Nashville and when Young was in town to perform on The Johnny Cash Show in 1971, he convinced the musician to record there. The sessions began immediately. James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt also in town to appear on Cash’s show. They were invited, too, and sang backing vocals on “Heart of Gold.”

The Simple, Easy, Affordable Way to Upgrade Your Turntable: Time to swap out your platter mat. A platter mat is a thin record-shaped material that sits on the turntable’s platter and below the actual record. Its job is to hold the record firmly in place and absorb any extra vibrations that could cause distortion (unlike a “slip mat,” which serves the opposite purpose for DJs). It’s one of the last links in your hi-fi system’s puzzle. And it’s often overlooked. Your turntable undoubtedly has a platter mat already, but it’s an element you can easily and cheaply upgrade, for performance or aesthetic reasons. When buying a platter mat, there are two main things to consider. The first is the material of the platter mat. They are available in a number materials — such as felt, cork, rubber, leather and acrylic — and which you pick will impact effect the overall sound quality. Felt is a good material because it’s so cheap, but it’s also more prone to static and slippage. Cork is a good and inexpensive option, but it’s not the most durable. Rubber and Leather are both higher-end options because they’re both durable and do a great job of sticking to the record.

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