In rotation: 2/8/21

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: New Stimulus Checks Had No ‘Ripple Effect’ on Sales: Though the shop saw a bump in sales following the first round of stimulus checks last summer, it didn’t observe the same effect this time. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Gov. Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis.

Peterborough, UK | Looking Back: ‘Great times at Andy’s Records’: Chris Porsz’s pictures of Andy’s Records sparked lots of responses from nostalgic readers. Steve Norman got in touch and sent in a picture. Steve wrote: “I was working for Andys and was manager for a long period between 1981 and 1989. “The picture was taken at the lower Bridge Street shop and with me is my colleague Jon Cawood.” Thanks, Steve and I’m sure lots of readers will remember you from the shop. The first Andys Records store was opened in Cambridge by Andy Gray in 1976 who later expanded into Peterborough and other towns. Roger Portess, from Orton Waterville, also got in touch. He said: “In the late ‘70s – early ‘80s, I worked in the advertising department of The Cambridge Evening News, selling display advertising. “One of my regular clients was Andys Records, initially I seem to remember, from his original market stall on Cambridge Market. “I remember speaking to Andy (or sometimes his brother Billy) each week in order to update the list of several hundred album titles and prices for inclusion in his regular full page display advertisement. “Andy and Billy were always very shrewd businessmen but easy to deal with.”

Denver, CO | The Market Space Evolves Into Larimer Records Cafe: Last March, facing pandemic-based business restrictions, The Market, at 1445 Larimer Street, closed for good after more than forty years of serving espresso drinks, deli sandwiches and baked goods to downtown residents and visitors. And then things really started to change on Larimer Square. A deal to sell the entire Larimer Square real-estate package was announced in the fall, and the sale by Jeff Hermanson (who had owned Larimer Square since 1993) to Asana Partners closed in mid-December. In the meantime, entrepreneur Josh Sampson, founder of TheBigWonderful, Neon Baby, Denver Bazaar and other ventures, had opened a couple of new projects on the block, including Farmers Market LSQ, a collection of Denver food artisans peddling breads, pastries and other goods inside the former home of the Market. That was just a stepping stone in the evolution of the space, which this week reopened as Larimer Records Cafe, Sampson’s collaboration with vinyl expert and musician Eddie Roberts of New Mastersounds, Color Red and the Colorado Sound. Like many of Sampson’s other projects, Larimer Records Cafe is a little tricky to define, as it combines elements of a traditional coffeehouse and restaurant with music and entertainment.

Springfield, MI | Answer Man: Where can I go in Springfield to get some TLC for my turntables? Hey Answer Man! With the increased popularity of vinyl records, is there anyone in the area that services and/or repairs old turntables? I have two that need some TLC. — Paul Logsdon, of Springfield In the world of journalism, the “vinyl is back” story has come and gone. The NY Times did it in 2013 and the LA Times took a turn in 2017. Putting that aside, there remains a growing market of audiophiles forever faithful to the deep-grooved sound of vinyl music, which neared extinction with the advent of CDs in the 1980s. According to a Jan. 15 story on the website Statista, vinyl album sales in the United States in 2020 grew for the 15th consecutive year. Statista is a German company specializing in market and consumer data. In 2020, 27.5 million LPs were sold in the United States, up 46 percent compared to 2019 and more than 30-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback commenced. I called four Springfield stores and found two businesses that repair turntables.

Ariana Grande announces UK release date for Positions vinyl: how to preorder and more: Ariana Grande is releasing her number one album positions on vinyl and it looks amazing. The album which features vers anthem and title track “positions” is finally being released on vinyl, with the singer tweeting to her many, many fans: “hello they are finally going up …. tonight ! love u all tremendously.” The LP version of Ariana Grande’s positions was made available for pre-order in the US last month leaving UK fans wondering when and where they could get their hands on it. But worry no more, because now a release date and pre-order info has been revealed for Ariana Grande – and positions – fans this side of the Atlantic. It is being released on 9 April and is available from independent record sellers Rough Trade and Townsend Music as well as the singer’s official store. The positions vinyl comes with a limited edition clear coke bottle design and is priced at £27.99 including shipping costs.

What You Need To Know About Catalog Numbers On Vinyl Records: …A catalog number or also known as “cat number” is an identification number which is assigned by a music label when a music is released. It can be found on vinyl records (33, 45, 78 rpm), cassettes, 8-track tapes, CDs and DVDs. This number can also have letters or numbers set up by the record label to help distinguish the different formats used for a single music release. Most record labels also add a letter or number to represent their label. Additionally, a single music release may have a different catalog number depending on the country as this may be released by different labels for different countries. An example would be the Beatles’ “Abbey Road where it has PCS 7088 and SO 383 as catalog numbers. The first one is from the US, given by Apple/ Parlophone and the second from Canada given by Capital Records. To put simply, the catalog number is the “fingerprint” of your vinyl record which identifies it and gives it a specific ID, making it unique, identifiable, and traceable.

Red Dead Redemption 2 gets vinyl record: Or you can download via iTunes I guess. This week’s news is a little unorthodox on the Red Dead Online front. Rockstar Games announced the release of the third installment of music from Red Dead Redemption 2. The Housebuilding EP is now available for pre-order on iTunes but if you like the physical media a bit more—there is also a limited splatter vinyl release. The vinyl is available at Lakeshore Records and the Rockstar Warehouse. Roughly eighteen smackers will get you a single vinyl with five songs by David Ferguson and Matt Sweeney. Tracks include The Housebuilding Song which is featured prominently in the epilogue. The album drops on February 12.

Double Record, Purple Vinyl Set of The Color Purple Broadway Revival Cast Recording Arrives February 5: The Grammy-winning album of the 2015 production features Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, and Danielle Brooks. Broadway Records releases a two-LP set of the Grammy-winning cast recording for the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple February 5. The limited edition purple vinyl set is available at PlaybillStore.com. Featuring the talents of Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, and Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks, the recording includes an album insert with photos from the Broadway production, a gatefold cover with show artwork, full billing, track list, album notes, and additional production photos. Directed by Tony winner John Doyle, the production also featured Isaiah Johnson as Mister, Tony nominee Joaquina Kalukango as Nettie, and Kyle Scatliffe as Harpo with Phoenix Best, Dwayne Clark, Lawrence Clayton, Carrie Compere, Patrice Covington, Adrianna Hicks, Bre Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevyn Morrow, Ken Robinson, Antoine L. Smith, Carla R. Stewart, Akron Watson, and Rema Webb.

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