Author Archives: TVD HQ

We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the Memorial Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores, either online, curbside, or with some sound social distancing?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday, 6/1.

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TVD Radar: Elliott Smith, Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition in stores 8/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The impact of Elliott Smith’s music holds no bounds. He has been championed, covered, and sampled by artists from Billie Eilish to Pearl Jam to Frank Ocean and his distinct, solemn sound reverberates in the work of the National, Phoebe Bridgers, and Bon Iver. To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elliott Smith’s self-titled second solo album, Kill Rock Stars is set to release the Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition on August 28, 2020.

The package includes a revelatory new remastering of the original Elliott Smith record and a bonus disc of the earliest known recording of Smith performing as a solo act, from September 17, 1994 at Portland’s café and “art salon” Umbra Penumbra. The albums come encased within a 52-page coffee table book with handwritten lyrics, reminiscences from Smith’s friends and colleagues about his life at the time he was writing and recording this album, and two dozen previously unseen photographs from the era by JJ Gonson, who shot the image on the album’s cover (the original photo that became the cover is also seen here for the first time).

Leading up to the reissue’s release Kill Rock Stars will be working with a handful of artists to release covers of Smith’s songs from this album. Artists confirmed for the project thus far include Bonny Light Horseman – the new project of Anais Mitchell (Hadestown), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman (Muzz, Bob Weir, Josh Ritter), Marisa Anderson, MAITA, Prateek Kuhad, and Califone, with more to be announced as we get confirmation.

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In rotation: 5/22/20

Rochester, NY | Rochester’s Record Archive Likes the Sound of Reopening — Safely: At Record Archive, March 17 was the day the music stopped — the day Vice President Alayna Alderman had to lay off her staff and temporarily shut down Rochester’s long-running music store. “It’s just earth-shattering,” said Alderman. “We’ve been through tough times before, but this was incredibly challenging.” Once the state allowed them to resume, Alderman says online mail orders and curbside pickup have kept the lights on. That business, she says, has been steady. “It’s given me hope through some dark days,” she said. “Because it’s really been an emotional roller coaster.” The music store experience is a unique one — where customers often spend hours browsing through records and CD’s, touching just about everything. With retail stores getting ready to reopen, the key is to do it safely. At Record Archive, hand sanitizer stations have already been placed throughout the store. In a nostalgic twist, adapters for 45 RPM records have been painted on the floor leading up to the cash register — six feet apart — marking off safe social distances for customers.

Vancouver, CA | Vancouver record store works to preserve ‘vibe’ amid social distancing: Record Store Day will look a little different this year. The annual spring event, originally set for April 18 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple postponements, will now take place over three separate dates in August, September and October. It’s not a day at all anymore. It’s also no longer an event, said Ben Frith, the manager of Neptoon Records. “Basically, they’re saying: don’t make an event of it, don’t have bands, don’t have a party,” he told Postmedia Wednesday, while preparing for the Main Street shop to reopen later this week. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing significant changes for businesses, and record stores are no exception. At least for now those days of spending hours in your local record shop, digging through stacks of milk crates, shoulder to shoulder with other audiophiles are gone. So are the listening stations. “We’ve literally just removed them,” said Frith, with a laugh. “Putting headphones on someone’s head is such a bad idea right now.”

White Bear Lake, MN | Longtime downtown White Bear Lake businesses cope with shutdown: White Bear Lake Records. When you say that businesses in downtown White Bear Lake are hanging on by a thread, you wouldn’t only be talking about the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe. “Something has to happen soon or downtown White Bear Lake will be a ghost town real fast, because it’s a small-business town,” said Drew Miller, co-owner of White Bear Lake Records, an 18-year-old enterprise at 4775 Banning Ave. “We are in survival mode only right now, as opposed to making more money,” said Earl Poyerd, owner of Benny’s Barbershop, a downtown fixture at 4742 Washington Square for almost 70 years. “Our biggest concern is that we won’t make it as a business,” said Marjorie Intveld, owner of the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe, which has been open for business at 2185 Third St. since 1991. Relief appears to be in sight after Gov. Tim Walz on May 13 declared that the stay-at-home order would be lifted on May 18, and some businesses on his nonessential list would be allowed to open.

Hamilton, CA | Business owners conflicted about opening doors amid COVID-19 pandemic: Dr. Disc. Mark Furukawa has been waiting to reopen Dr. Disc after shutting its doors in March. He had the chance to welcome customers back into his record shop on Tuesday, but decided to wait. “I want to feel confident I’m making the right decision, the last thing I want on my conscience is somebody getting sick as a result of coming into the store, that’s the bottom line for me,” he told CBC News. With an inventory intensive store on Wilson Street, Furukawa said he would be unable to consistently sanitize the thousands of records in his store. “How do I make sure I disinfect all of the records between visits? I’m not going to open and say you can only look at the rock alphabet or isolate a certain area of the store, that doesn’t make sense,” he explained.

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TVD Radar: Rockers,
The Making of Reggae’s Most Iconic Film
stores 6/2020

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The 320 page, 9” x 12” hardcover book with more than 300 stunning color and black and white images by filmmaker / photographer Ted Bafaloukos explores the inspirations behind—and making of —the hugely influential reggae film Rockers, from 1975 to 1978, with extensive text by the late photographer.

Set amongst the reggae scene of late-1970s Jamaica, the film Rockers achieved instant cult status among music and cinema fans upon its release in 1978, with worldwide distribution by 1980. Rockers director Ted Bafaloukos received many accolades for his work on the film, but the fact that he was also a fine writer and documentary photographer has been overlooked. Bafaloukos penned this vivid autobiography in 2015, less than a year before his passing.

Beyond Bafaloukos’ fascinating story of the making of Rockers, the book tells the tale of a Greek immigrant from a family of sailors and his move to New York, eventually rubbing shoulders with the likes of The Velvet Underground, Robert Frank, Jessica Lange, and Philippe “Man on Wire” Petit. Bafaloukos fell in love with reggae when it was still just an underground facet of Jamaican culture in the City. His experiences in New York eventually led him to shoot Rockers, praised for the portrait it paints of Kingston’s late-‘70s music scene along with its unique style and aesthetic.

The director’s intense experiences in Jamaica and New York between 1975 and 1978 provide the substance of the incredible stories that complement the incredible photos, including: gunshots at his first ever reggae concert in Brooklyn; the director’s bizarre arrest for suspicion of being a CIA operative; paranoia at the Bob Marley compound and “street photography” taken of the legend in NYC years before; musicians-turned actors’ “rude boy” antics; and naturally, sympathetic, highly descriptive recollections of the music that first drew Bafaloukos into Jamaica’s music and culture.

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TVD Radar: High Waisted, Sick of Saying Sorry in stores 5/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | High Waisted have never been afraid to ask for help, encouraging trusted friends to lend their creativity to the songs.

With the input of producers Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady) and Arun Bali (Saves the Day), Sick of Saying Sorry was born from scraps of paper scribbled on at 4 am riding the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan and coming to life in a steamy apartment on a broken acoustic guitar. Frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye would walk through snow to Ludlow street to play with guitarist Richey Rose (Wendy James, Tamaryn, Jennie Vee). Even in the dead of winter, bright, upbeat, summery music came easily, creating an album of many moods, with each song having its own set of rules.

Dye enlisted her old friend and keyboardist Mark Buzzard (The Format) to add final embellishments. The album in its final form is a shared creation and an act of love, with each hand involved leaving a distinct mark.

While High Waisted’s first record was about being the life of the party, their sophomore album embodies what happens when you leave that party at dawn to go home to your tiny apartment, alone. High Waisted’s music has always been sad songs disguised as happy ones, and the tracks on the new record follow the same pattern.

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In rotation: 5/21/20

Charlotte, NC | Local Business Owners Make Tough Decisions As County Reopens: Lunchbox Records. …Scott Wishart, owner of Lunchbox Records in the Belmont neighborhood, has opted not to open his store for now. “I don’t feel safe yet,” Wishart said. “My employees don’t seem to feel that way either. [We] have kids who are in school. It’s kind of hard to work when your kids are out of school.” Opening up would be especially problematic for a record store, he offered. “It’s the kind of business where everyone has to touch everything and I have to show people stuff,” Wishart said. “I can’t just sit behind plexiglass at the counter like a dude in a convenience store.” Like Hernandez, Wishart shut down in-store operations on March 16. A few days later, he switched to a business model split between mail order and curbside service. Even with his doors locked, Wishart cleans frequently with sanitizer that he makes himself with alcohol, water and aloe. For pick-up, patrons pay for merchandise online and then arrive by car. Wearing gloves and mask, Wishart takes the bagged merchandise out to the parked car. He said only half the people who come up to the door and try entering the store wear masks. “I still don’t think they get it,” he said.

St. Petersburg, FL | St. Pete Records opening new store in Warehouse Arts District: The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. St. Pete Records closed its store at 6648 Central Ave. back on March 17, right as the coronavirus was shutting down the retail world. “See ya when we see ya,” owners wrote that day on Facebook. They’re almost ready to see you again — albeit in an entirely new spot. The record shop will reopen June 1 at a new location at 2233 Third Ave. S in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. The move closer to downtown is a return of sorts for St. Pete Records. The shop began life inside Furnish Me Vintage the old Gas Plant Building near Tropicana Field — the same building that also once housed Planet Retro Records. It moved west to its first standalone location near Pasadena in 2017. When it reopens June 1, St. Pete Records will require guests to observe safety protocol like face masks and gloves, although they’ll have a few on hand for customers who forget them.

New London, CT | Many area book shops, music stores reopening Wednesday (5/20): Mystic Disc: …A funny thing might happen to those hoping for easy access into Mystic Disc when the store reopens Wednesday. A pleasant diversion might be the massive outdoor used-vinyl sale set up out front on Steamboat Wharf. Featuring thousands of albums listed from $1 to $3, owner Dan Curland emphatically says, “These are not garbage albums. There’s Jim Croce, the Beatles, all kinds of good stuff that might surprise you.” The sale suggests Curland has continued to buy collections during the “idle weeks” of the virus. Too, in addition to listening to the Mount Everest of albums in his personal collections, he’s also sorted through the enormous backlog of store stock he’s lovingly accumulated over almost 38 years in business. “Eastern Connecticut has been doing a good job (with the virus),” Curland says. “People seem to have been paying attention, so I’m going into this reopening with cautious optimism. But we have to keep being smart.”

Melbourne, AU | Dutch Vinyl assessed the crisis and adapted quickly, now they’re reaping the rewards: Chatting with the record store’s owner Mark Reuten. Dutch Vinyl has established quite a reputation within Melbourne’s ranks. A city decorated with record stores, both offering new and second-hand, Dutch Vinyl stands out from the crowd because of its heritage, and the idiosyncrasy that comes with that. The store’s owner, Mark Reuten, moved from The Netherlands just over two decades ago and quickly warmed to the Melbourne way of life. After working as a web developer running his own company, Reuten User Experience Consulting, for the last ten years, it was only recently that Reuten decided to start his passion project. That’s when Dutch Vinyl was born. Now about four years on and Reuten’s once-pipedream is more solid than ever. Part of his success can be put down to his Dutch knowledge, retail knack and feel for presentation. “The idea from the start has been to create a destination store where there is something for everyone…”

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TVD Radar: Dark Side
of the Ring
OST 2-LP in stores in July

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In partnership with Vice, Waxwork Records is thrilled to present the debut double LP release of Dark Side of the Ring Original Vice Series Music by Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson.

Dark Side of the Ring is a critically acclaimed television documentary series produced by Vice that premiered in 2019. The series lifts the veil on professional wrestling’s most controversial stories and subjects. As the most watched show in Vice TV’s history, the series ventures deep into wrestling’s shrouded past, revealing the brutal and often tragic consequences of a life lived in the squared circle. Reviews earned the first season a 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and critics called it “thrilling” and “entertaining for everyone, an essential viewing for wrestling fans.” The series garnered attention from the biggest names in wrestling including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who endorsed the show calling it “captivating” and “gripping.” The New York Times called the show “An addictive exploration of pro-wrestling.”

The pulsing series music is a synth driven, electronic score by accomplished film and video game composers Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson. Wade MacNeil is the founder and guitarist of Alexisonfire. He also served as frontman of the UK punk band Gallows, hailed by the press as the best British band since The Clash. Andrew Gordon Macpherson is a producer, composer, and filmmaker who has worked with countless artists. He is an alum and studio team member of the Red Bull Music Academy.

Waxwork Records worked closely with Vice and Dark Side of the Ring executive producer and writer Evan Husney and executive producer and director Jason Eisener to create the official double LP album of the series score. The deluxe packaging includes 180 gram opaque pink with purple smoke colored vinyl for disc one, and opaque blue with white smoke colored vinyl for disc two, with photography by Nathan Boone and design by James White aka Signal Noise.

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TVD Radar: Ceasar Frazier, Hail Ceasar! clear vinyl reissue in stores 7/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Hailing from Indianapolis, Caesar Frazier (spelled “Ceasar” from time to time) was a funky soul-jazz organist who recorded several albums for the Eastbound/Westbound label family during the ’70s. In addition to recording on his own, Frazier also played keyboards in Marvin Gaye’s backing band. Collaborations with contemporaries were numerous and to this day Frazier’s legacy is still alive through samples and remixes from outfits such as Gang Starr and Arrested Development.

In 1972 Frazier cut his first album Hail Ceasar, which featured musicians commonly associated with the Prestige label’s jazz-funk outings — Melvin Sparks (guitar), Houston Person (tenor), and Idris Muhammad (drums). Those names alone should give you a clear idea what’s going down on this album: slick wa wa guitar lines, the crisp ultra bumpin’ conga rhythms, Idris’s slick funk beats, screaming sax solos and last but not least Caesar’s trademark Hammond organ sound.

Next to his own material you can also find a few cover tunes on here (by Quincy Jones, Isaac Hayes, David Gates of Bread, and Sly Stone). Production on the album was handled by Bob Porter (responsible for many superb jazz productions for Prestige and Atlantic) and to top it all off, recording duties were handled by Rudy Van Gelder (known for recording Miles Davis in the early 1950s and the countless work he did for Blue Note, Prestige, Verve and many others).

This record is a delight for anyone who likes that 1970s organ groove sound and is right up there with some of the best of the Soul Jazz coming out of the early seventies. Hail Ceasar! is a monster album that could keep you grooving for weeks if you so desired.

Originally released in 1972 on Eastbound Records, super rare and fetching large sums on the collectors market, now finally back available as a limited deluxe vinyl edition featuring the original artwork by Tom Curry. Limited to 500 copies with obi strip.

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In rotation: 5/20/20

Kamloops, CA | Some businesses wary about reopening as more provinces ease COVID restrictions: Businesses in some provinces spent the long weekend preparing to reopen ahead of an easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, even as others said they’re not yet ready to throw open their doors. Ontario has given the green light to certain retail stores to open their doors Tuesday as the province enters the first stage of its reopening plan. …Others said they’re eager to open up shop again, but may need more time to prepare. Stephen Yorke, who owns the Toronto record store Dead Dog Records, said he would will reopen his store’s two locations as soon as possible, but not until he can equip the cash area with plexiglass screens later this week. Even then, the stores will only be able to accommodate two to four customers who will be supplied with latex gloves before they can do any browsing, he said. Staff will continue to sanitize common areas, including door pulls and card readers, he said.

Record Store Recs: Chulita Vinyl Club On The Best Music Stores In L.A., Oakland, Austin & Beyond: In the latest edition of our crate-digging interview series, two reinas from the all-vinyl Latinx DJ collective reveal their favorite vinyl haunts across California and Texas. Texas-born, San Jose, Calif.-based Claudia Saenz originally founded Chulita Vinyl Club to share her love of records—especially Tejano, ranchero, Motown and soul—in a fun, tangible way. The collective, a crew of female-identifying Latinx vinyl-spinning DJs, has grown to seven chapters across California and Texas, including the (Northern California) Bay Area Chapter, which Saenz, a.k.a. Chulita Tear Drop lives. …We caught up with Saenz and one of her fellow Bay Area cohorts, Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based Mar Velez, a.k.a. DJ Marvelouz, for the latest edition of our Record Store Recs interview series. Read on to find out where they get all their great vinyl gems from, and learn about some of the indie labels, artists and new records they have their eyes on.

Portland, ME | Keep ME Open: ‘Bullish’ on changing Maine business during coronavirus pandemic: One well-known Maine business has had to adapt to shifting retail landscape, yet again. This time, Bull Moose had to adapt to the coronavirus, COVID-19 economy. “I was a college student at the time, just really didn’t have much going on,” says Bull Moose Music founder Brett Wickard. So he decided, almost as a whim, “Hey! I’m gonna open up a record store and tell all my friends.” Wickard didn’t really have much of a business plan when he opened the first Bull Moose store in Brunswick in the summer of 1989, but today he oversees nine stores in Maine and three in New Hampshire with 175 employees. Successful entrepreneurs know they have to adapt to changing times if their business is going to thrive, and Wickard has seen a lot of threats over three decades. “When we started out the word was ‘home taping is killing the music industry.’ Then it was ‘big-box retailers are killing small retail.’ Then it was Internet downloading.” He survived by knowing the market…and knowing his audience.

Gallatin, TN | Every Era nears downtown Gallatin debut: She is a self-proclaimed “1970s chick.” He believes that 1959 was the height of American design. Together, recording artists Eric and Lindsey Heatherly hope to share their love of all things vintage with the opening of a new store in downtown Gallatin later this month. Every Era will feature vintage and vintage-inspired items from the 1940s through the 1990s that the Gallatin couple has found throughout the years while traveling and performing shows across the country. “We go everywhere and anywhere to try to find treasures,” said Eric Heatherly, whose cover of “Flowers on the Wall” was a Top 10 hit on the country charts in 2000. “We have a little bit of everything. It’s all hand-selected and picked by us.” Located on Prince Street near the intersection of North Water Avenue, the store will feature a variety of vintage clothing and furniture including Mid-Century Modern lamps, kitchenware, suitcases, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, purses, posters, CDs, vinyl records and turntable consoles.

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In rotation: 5/19/20

Milwaukee, WI | A Lockdown Guide to Record Stores: Music collectors are a particularly rabid bunch, lining up hours before dawn on Record Store Day searching for hard-to-find titles. While some collectors may fall back on websites like Discogs or eBay, there is nothing like the camaraderie of stopping in at a neighborhood record store. Milwaukee is fortunate to have a handful of thriving shops, some of which also host live performances. With Gov. Tony Evers’ easing of restrictions on retail operations here is a guide to local (and beyond) record shops for cratediggers who may be going into withdrawal. ACME Records: “I’m waiting this out for a bit, we’ll see how long,” said ACME’s Ken Chrisien. He said he is still buying records from some regulars (in a very non-contact sort of way). “Appointments and curbside service are being considered at the moment, perhaps in the near future, but I’m guessing that I’ll be one of the last stores to open, as I suspect of this ‘get back to normal’ rush that’s happening right now….we’re a long way from this being controlled.”

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘I Just Hope We Don’t Have a Resurgence.’ Angie Roloff, owner of Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, is preparing to reopen the store after the state eased its safer-at-home mandate. 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 Governor 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 are preparing to reopen Strictly Discs in a limited capacity for the first time since mid-March. 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 each week to chronicle her experience

Oklahoma City, OK | Oklahoma Forward: Bookstores and record shops weigh reopening strategies. Vinyl lovers, rejoice! Guestroom Records is now open. But your browsing experience comes with some stipulations. “Right now, we’re requiring that everyone that comes in wears a mask and either hand-sanitizers or wear gloves,” said Co-owner Justin Sowers. They’re also limiting the number of people in stores to eight in Oklahoma City and five in Norman. So far, Sowers said customers are gladly complying. Yeah, it seems to be working well,” he said. “Most customers seem to be pleased with it.” Pandemic survival has fortunately been easy for Sowers and his staff to navigate. Business through curbside pickup and delivery has been steady, and a nice change of pace. “That’s how the record store sort of started is we used to take – we had a big tub and we would take it around to peoples’ houses, you know when we were in college. And, so, it was kind of fun to hand-deliver records again,” Sowers said.

Baltimore, MD | With Record Day Postponed To June, Stores Look To New Ways To Sell Vinyl: Matthew Moffatt, the owner of Smash! Records in Washington, D.C., was looking forward to Record Store Day, the annual April event when music fans descend upon local record stores to purchase limited-release music recorded on vinyl. Music stores, like all nonessential businesses, have been closed in Washington and Maryland since late March, forcing the cancellation of Record Store Day during what is typically the most lucrative time of year for independent record stores. “I would say that it’s probably every record store’s busiest day of the year, even for the stores that don’t participate,” Moffatt said. Record Store Day has been postponed until June, but in the meantime record store owners like Moffatt are looking for new ways to serve a clientele base of fanatics and obsessives, including pricing and selling records on online platforms like

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Katiejane Garside,
The TVD First Date

“So how did I, at age fourteen, come to have a 7” vinyl copy of ‘Green Onions’ by Booker T & The MG’s in my hands?”

“Well, in 1984 I hit terra firma with a clattering of irons. I wrecked up utterly lost and despairing. I had been unceremoniously ripped from my version of paradise—my homeschooling, sailing boat life of desert islands and turquoise lagoons, vast empty timeless oceans—to the bare-knuckle fighting of bored kids in a boring English seaside town with an eye for the wide-eyed, hapless, flat-chested and weak. I simply wasn’t equipped.

BMX bikes spoke of necessary fast exits from school, so I got one of those. And then one day, an enigmatic pod of boys turned up on their bikes in long green coats, so I went and hid out with them (my BMX skills were considered ‘good for a girl’). They were mods.

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In rotation: 5/18/20

London, UK | Phonica Records re-opens online shop for orders: The London institution is back. Phonica Records has re-opened its online shop for UK and international orders. While its physical outpost is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Phonica is operating the website as normal, with new records and pre-orders alongside classics, reissues, gear and merchandise. Head here to check out the latest releases on site, and stay tuned for a VF Live set hosted from the shop next week.

Seattle, WA | A happy ending for Seattle’s Bop Street Records: a nonprofit buys up the entire collection: When Dave Voorhees, owner of Seattle’s Bop Street Records, announced last month that the store was closing at the end of June in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to sell his enormous collection of 500,000 recordings, sales he had hoped would fund his retirement. This past Sunday, Voorhees stopped worrying. A San Francisco nonprofit called the Internet Archive agreed to purchase the entire collection, sight unseen. Bop Street business manager Bob Jacobs said the exact purchase price will not be settled until the archive has sifted through the collection, but the buyer has already sent a preliminary check and signed a contract. At the end of the day, said Jacobs, “Dave is going to have a healthy, six-figure down payment on his retirement.” …Though “six figures” is a far cry from the $3 million value Jacobs put on the store’s collection last month, Voorhees said he was relieved.

Clawson, MI | Clawson’s Flipside Records battles for business amid COVID-19 state shutdown: “We started out with records, expanded to toys, comics all the rest of the paraphernalia you see around here,” said Todd Fundaro. But ultimately at Flipside Records it’s about the music. They’ve been playing it and selling it in downtown Clawson since 1983. “Music is always, it’s an emotional thing, right? It appeals to your emotions,” said Fundaro, the owner of Flipside Records. Like so many other small shops business was good – until it wasn’t. A global pandemic and a statewide shutdown took place while Flipside Records has been playing the music – but there’s no one there to listen to it. “We do some online sales but there’s way to possibly make up for the loss of business that we have online,” he said. There is also curbside pick-up. “So you call us up, and we have what you want, and we will give you a total on it,” he said. “You can pull up to the door, we’ll get our masks on, our gloves, get your credit card payment or cash and bring it out.”

Columbia, TN | Shoppers return to Variety Record Shop: After weeks of staying at home, Columbia’s music lovers can return to shopping for classic albums and the latest releases at a locally owned brick and mortar store. Maury County’s Variety Record Shop opened its doors last week after more than a month. It was closed in accordance with a state order to shut all non-essential businesses. “It has been steady,” shop co-owner and celebrated bluesman Scott Holmes said of customer traffic as he sat behind the store’s counter with a butterscotch telecaster in hand after reopening the store. Variety Record Shop reopened just in time for the release of the new album from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, as it was made available exclusively through independent record stores, pressed on “dreamsicle” orange vinyl. The celebrated singer and songwriter and bandleader called the special release a “thank you for all the support throughout the years.”

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TVD Radar: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy 0f Martin Phillipps streaming 5/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Notable Pictures, in association with Fire Films, reveal the feature-length documentary The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps will be available worldwide on digital platforms for the first time from Tuesday 26th May, 2020.

Directed by Julia Parnell (NZ), and co-directed by Rob Curry (UK), made in association with the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air, the documentary charts a life-affirming battle between disease and creation for The Chills frontman, illustrious musician Martin Phillipps. Phillipps and The Chills are among the founding pioneers of the iconic Dunedin Sound, a ground-breaking musical movement of the late ’80s that inspired seminal musicians around the world and ushered in a vibrant alternative culture in New Zealand.

Theirs is a sound that still resonates today, with SXSW 2019 performances alongside the film’s world premiere that saw them win that year’s notable Grulke prize. The film was also officially selected for 2019 film festivals: Sydney Film (AUS), Doc ‘N’ Roll (UK), Athens International Film (GR) and Cork Film Festival (IRE).

Finding fame in Europe with the otherworldly song “Pink Frost” and on US college radio with the chart-topping “Heavenly Pop Hit,” The Chills came tantalisingly close to conquering the international musical world. But an uncompromising vision and constant pressure to succeed saw eccentric songwriter Phillipps fall into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand.

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TVD Radar: Eugene McDaniels, Outlaw 50th anniversary red vinyl reissue in stores 6/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Eugene “Gene” McDaniels first broke through in the early ‘60s with pop soul hits like “A Hundred Pounds of Clay.” But that was a different time… and a different man. By the time McDaniels recorded his 1970 album Outlaw, he had re-christened himself “the left rev mc d” and penned the soul-jazz protest anthem “Compared to What,” first recorded in 1966 by Les McCann and turned into a standard by McCann and saxophonist Eddie Harris on their 1969 album Swiss Movement.

Indeed, the front cover of Outlaw left no doubt as to the radicalization of McDaniels’ politics. As Pat Thomas puts it in the liner notes that we have added to this reissue, “One sees Middle America’s worst nightmare coming to life. There’s the badass Reverend Lee himself holding a bible. Righteous Susan Jane in a jean jacket and black French resistance turtleneck is wielding a machine gun, and McDaniels’ then-wife Ramona appears as a soul sister with cross your heart Viva Zapata! ammo belts. In the forefront is a large human skull, just in case you didn’t already get the message.”

The Nixon White House sure got the message; legend has it that the administration was so offended by the lyrics to “Silent Majority” (“Silent Majority is calling out loud to you and me from Arlington Cemetery”) that either Spiro Agnew or Nixon’s Chief of Staff personally called Atlantic, asking them to stop working with McDaniels. Politics aside, Outlaw offers a heady blend of soul, jazz, folk, and rock grooves played by Ron Carter, Eric Weissberg, and Hugh McCracken among others, with legendary producer Joel Dorn at the controls and cult favorite William S. Fischer operating as Musical Director.

Oft-sampled, and never more relevant, Real Gone’s 50th anniversary release of Outlaw comes in a neon red vinyl pressing limited to 700 copies. And those liner notes we mentioned previously? They come with some pithy McDaniels quotes that confirm his revolutionary fervor remained unquenched till his death in 2011.

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In rotation: 5/15/20

Oxford, MS | In Spite of Pandemic, End of All Music Keeps Spinning: As the retail industry struggles to mitigate the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, some businesses have adapted more easily than others — and one local record store has ramped up efforts to safely serve their customers with some creative shopping options. Since 2012, the record store The End of All Music has been a cultural cornerstone for Oxford, Mississippi. While owner David Swider says he did not structure The End of All Music to be a fulfillment center, he has been strictly adhering to social distancing regulations and has recently been picking, packing and shipping records by himself. “I hate to use this phrase lightly, but we’re kinda too small to fail,” Swider said. “A lot of record stores had to scramble just to get a website up when all this stuff started happening, and I’ve been selling stuff online since we opened in 2012.”

Pittsburgh, PA | Record stores will reopen Friday, but flip quickly: With Allegheny County moving into the yellow phase, record-store browsing will return on Friday, but shoppers will have to flip a little more quickly. The massive Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, which has been closed since mid-March, announced Wednesday night that it will open on Friday with a limit of 10 customers at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required and they ask that you limit your shopping to 30 minutes. The owners suggest that weekdays will be better for those who want to avoid lines and maybe buy a little more time. The Attic in Millvale is also opening Friday and is urging customers to make an appointment for a half-hour shopping slot, beginning at 10 a.m. Shoppers with an appointment will get priority, but others are welcome to visit the store and hope for an opening. The Government Center on the North Side, which was been doing curbside pickup, will begin allowing four people in the store, including employees. It will also be allowing shoppers to make an appointment.

Loveland, OH | Curbside Pick Up Is back at Plaid Room Records/ Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland: “We’re happy to announce that we will be starting curbside pick up again today,” said Terry Cole a co-owner of Plaid Room Records and Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland. Cole said customers can simply call the shop with their name and order number and, “One of us will run it out to you.” The record store has been fulfilling on-line orders but now wish to better serve customers with curbside pick-up also. Cole said to his customers, “Thanks for your patience while we slowly start to ramp up our employee’s hours again during this strange time for all of us. And thanks for all of the online orders! It’s been all we can do to keep up with them! We love you!

Valletta, MT | MP3s worse than COVID-19 for world’s ‘oldest’ record store in Valletta: Valletta’s D’Amato Records on surviving the pandemic. It had to be the coronavirus to temporarily close a 135-year-old record store that did not even stop trading when Malta was blitzed during World War II and also survived the Spanish flu. But D’Amato Records, dubbed the world’s oldest, has been through much worse than COVID-19 and was probably hardest hit by the outbreak of the MP3, which still did not threaten its survival, says third-generation owner Anthony D’Amato. Even then, despite tough decisions and the closure of shops, not for a second did they think it was game over; and that would explain D’Amato’s resilience in the face of today’s scenario. Vinyl proceeded to pick up in a big way. And the bad days for record stores are over. “But we did not have a clue they would be,” he admits. “Back then, we did not know what the future held. With the pandemic, we can at least make future predictions. We can foretell the worst-case scenario; we know tourists will return and that we do not have to rebuild a whole city.”

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