In rotation: 3/23/21

Macon, GA | Macon record store battling time, technology turns 50: When Phillis Habersham Malone was a child, she remembers the first movie she ever saw at the Douglass Theatre. It was the 1959 version of “Imitation of Life” with Mahalia Jackson. “It was my first time going to the Douglass, and I just felt real good knowing I can go to the movie theater,” Malone said. Malone grew up in the Tindall Heights neighborhood during the Civil Rights era, and although she was a little young to participate in some of the demonstrations, she remembers her father, the Rev. Allen Habersham, went to march with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. “My favorite memory (of Tindall Heights) is during Christmas time. We all would get together on our skates and go to the top of the hill and skate all the way down to the bottom of the hill. That was my favorite memory,” she said. She grew up listening to James Brown and Otis Redding, and she surrounded herself with musical people. “When I was young, my brothers and my sister … they would play music all the time… so, I developed a love for music as a child,” she said.

Denver, CO | Labor of Love: Bart’s Record Shop Becomes Paradise Found: “I’ve spent most of my adult life in record stores. This is the most organized, cleanest record store I’ve ever worked in,” says Bart’s Record Shop vinyl buyer and former Cavity guitarist Jon Martinez, who’s been employed at Bart’s for over twenty years and is a veteran of now-defunct legendary Boulder record shops like Trade-A-Tape and the old Wax Trax. “It’s been refreshing to work under these circumstances,” Martinez said from behind a Pink Floyd mask while pricing stacks of used vinyl on a recent Thursday evening. “Everyone’s working very hard to make the store a great place. That’s not necessarily the case in all the other stores I’ve worked in. This is the one that hits all those sweet spots — and also, records are booming right now, and I’m astonished.” “…The big thing is, I wanted more vinyl in the store,” Paradise says. “We had close to 20,000 CDs. Since that time, we’ve almost tripled sales, and CDs have gone from over 50 percent of sales down to 2 percent. Nobody’s buying them. So I wanted more vinyl, and I wanted it to be more organized.”

Sacramento, CA | A look back: Sacramento record store keeps music alive during stay-at-home order. On the day California first issued a stay-at-home order, a Sacramento record store had just begun to change how it offered its music to customers. Phono Select Records posted their music selection on Instagram for people to pick and choose from, making it more convenient for customers to get their hands on their favorite LP or CD. “It’s like love comes out of vinyl because the world needs love,” said a customer. Phono Select still posts their music selection to their Instagram but now they’re open every day from 12 to 6.

Bay City, MI | Electric Kitsch moves to a much larger space in Bay City’s South End: Co-owners Jessica McQuarter and Jordan Pries are relocating their business to 2106 Kosciuszko (22nd St.), where they’ll have nearly three times the retail space and be able to expand their product offerings. Electric Kitsch first opened at 917 Washington Ave. in downtown Bay City in June 2012. That location closed on March 15 and the tentative reopening date at its new location is Thursday, April 1. “The building has quite a lot of history,” McQuarter said, noting that it was formerly Joe’s Appliance. In addition to music, Electric Kitsch sells guitar strings, cables, picks and other accessories. At the new location, customers can also expect to find some used guitars and amplifiers. Pries said he hopes the new location will serve as a gathering place for their customers and fellow music lovers. “We lived above our store downtown prior to this, and this place also has living quarters above the retail space,” McQuarter added. “We really like that old school, like, living-at-your-business thing.”

Manila, PH | Your guide to hunting for vinyl records in Metro Manila: With the resurgence of records, we’ve seen sellers and shops pop up throughout the archipelago. Outside the Metro Manila area, you will find shops in Cavite, Pampanga, Baguio, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Zamboanga City, and even in Pagbilao among many others. Meanwhile, here is an updated March 2021 guide to crate digging in the Metro Manila area (with a few notable mentions outside Luzon) and we tried to mention the best and widest in terms of catalogue. You will also note that some shops appear more than once and that is because there are qualifiers for various categories. And for newbies, it always helps to cross reference prices because they vary. Many shops carry the same titles, but others have cheaper or more expensive prices. Some have promos like the occasional free delivery or sale. When we mention each store, you should look for them on Facebook or Instagram. Happy crate digging.

Women in Vinyl Launches Groundbreaking Podcast: Groundbreaking new Women in Vinyl podcast launches connecting women record collectors, record store owners, label owners and plant operators. Women in Vinyl have announced the launch of a groundbreaking new podcast which will have its premiere episode on Sunday, March 21st. Women in Vinyl is a blog that seeks to empower women working in the vinyl industry, support career development, and inspire girls and women to seek opportunities in the industry. The website was launched in 2018 by Jenn D’Eugenio, the Sales and Customer Service Manager at Furnace Record Pressing, which is based in Alexandria, Virginia. Since its founding, the team has interviewed women across the globe, including record store and label owners, press operators, and radio hosts highlighting and supporting female voices in the industry. The Women in Vinyl podcast is a discussion between D’Eugenio and her co-host Robyn Raymond, a Women in Vinyl contributor. Robyn is the owner of Red Spade Records based out of Toronto, and the only female record cutter in Canada. She cuts short run, lathe cut records and formerly worked in the QA department at Precision Record Pressing.

Most sought after vinyl records as demand hits highest record since 1990s over lockdown: EXCLUSIVE: Industry experts say because lockdown has precluded music lovers from going to gigs, record numbers are buying vinyl records to listen to their favourite bands. Music lovers have been getting in the groove during the pandemic – and buying record amounts of vinyl. While the Covid crisis has been disastrous for live music, it has turned the tables on sales of old-fashioned LPs, which are now at their highest level since the early 1990s. Industry experts say lockdown means fans can’t go to gigs – so they have more cash to spend. Older, nostalgic music lovers are returning to the vinyl format of their youth. Classics like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black and Nirvana’s Nevermind were the biggest-selling vinyl albums of 2020. But new LPs, including Harry Styles’ Fine Line and Kylie Minogue’s Disco, were also high in the vinyl charts, as younger fans discovered the discs. This year releases by Foo Fighters, Celeste, Maximo Park and Kings of Leon have helped to drive the surge in sales, which are already up 10% compared to the same period in 2020.

Lexus builds a one-off IS 350 with a record player in the glove box: The latest Lexus to undergo modification for the company’s marketing efforts is called the Lexus IS Wax. That’s because it’s for vinyl lovers, and contains an actual car-mounted record player that, Lexus claims, does not skip. Earlier this month we saw a sneaker homage to the Lexus IS. It, and now the IS Wax, are part of Lexus’s “All In” campaign that lets influencers in creative fields loose on a luxury sedan. The goal is to put the Lexus brand in front of others in that field, even if they are largely unrelated to anything automotive. Just last month, the company presented a gaming-themed IS built with input from the Twitch streaming community. …Lexus claims that the record player will not skip, even on a bumpy road. The record player was partially 3D printed and modified with carbon fiber and machined aluminum. It had to be a custom job to fit into the car’s glove box. Impressively, it actually plays a 12-inch record and emerges and retracts into the glove box with some sort of motorization.

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