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TVD Radar: Making Vinyl: Celebrating the Vinyl Record Industry’s Rebirth and the return
of the Alex Awards,
11/6–11/7

Making Vinyl, the first B2B conference dedicated to the rebirth of the global vinyl manufacturing business is coming to Detroit November 6–7, 2017 at the Cadillac Book Westin.

The entire vinyl production chain—including representatives of the world’s leading pressing manufacturers, equipment suppliers, record labels, packagers, and stereo makers—will compare notes on this astounding industry comeback. Presented by Colonial Purchasing Co-op LLC, Record Store Day, and hometown sponsor Third Man Pressing. The Vinyl District is the official Media Partner for Making Vinyl.

You have less than one month to enter the Alex Awards, a vinyl packaging competition named in honor of Alex Steinweiss, the creator of the first album cover for Columbia Records in 1939.

The art adorning the 12” x 12” canvas of an LP symbolizes everything of value in the format’s stature as an art form in its own right which has often been lost in the digital age. It is now cherished with the record industry’s rebirth.

In 1939, 23-year-old Alex Steinweiss convinced his bosses at Columbia Records to ditch the burlap-covered “tombstone” portfolios that contained the fragile shellac 78s and replace them with an original design. Sales jumped a whopping 892%. Mr. Steinweiss designed more than 1,000 covers. As Columbia’s first art director, he also invented for the label in 1947 a paperboard jacket that is still in use today.

In 2003, the “Alex Awards” was launched to pay tribute to his accomplishments and the best of contemporary entertainment packaging. Then 86, Mr. Steinweiss accepted a lifetime achievement award at the inaugural gala in Los Angeles; he died in 2011. The awards, on hiatus since 2006, return at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit on November 6, 2017.

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In rotation: 9/22/17

Barcelona record store Discos Paradiso to launch new label, Urpa I Musell: Urpa I Musell, a new label run by the team behind Barcelona record store Discos Paradiso, will reissue El Sueño De Hyparco’s Ambientes Hormonales LP in October. According to the label, the 1990 ambient album was originally conceived as a multimedia performance rather than a recorded release and “represents the mysterious missing link between the ’80s new music movement in Madrid and the beginnings in the ’90s of contemporary electronic music in Spain,” taking particular influence from Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. 500 copies of the LP will be pressed up by the people behind Discos Paradiso, the well-loved vinyl outlet that has been operating for the past eight years in central Barcelona.

Pure Vinyl Records moves to new premises in Brixton with more space for reggae, soul, jazz and world music vinyl: Pure Vinyl Records – formerly of Reliance Arcade – is moving into new premises in Brixton, with the official opening taking place this Friday, 22nd September 2017. The new store is in The Department Store on Ferndale Road, part of Squire & Partners shiny showcase headquarters. Pure Vinyl is the brainchild of Claudia Wilson who has a history in music in the local community. She opened the original Pure Vinyl Record Shop in 2015, where hundreds of soul and reggae records were packed into a tiny space…Offered a very attractive deal to move into The Department Store, the new space will offer far more shelf and display space, with more Jazz and World Music, as well as New Releases in Soul and Reggae.

On the Hunt for Records—and Some Magic—in New Brunswick: NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The interior of Spina Records looks like it could pass for a very over-the-top friend’s basement music collection. Boxes of records fill the room, and more recognizable album covers—from acts like Metallica, The Smiths and Prince—line the walls. Antiques and novelty items, like a ceramic dog and a pair of antlers, fill whatever space is left. And the music doesn’t stop playing. But this subterranean storefront, 25 Easton Ave., is no mere hangout. It represents years of dedicated work by owner Andrew Spina, who opened his namesake shop about three years ago. At Spina Records, he sells the fruits of his ongoing treasure-hunting—but instead of gold, it’s all about gold records.

The Best Record and Vinyl Stores in Cologne: In defiance of the digital age, music lovers still retain their love for vinyl records. Cologne is no exception and long-established record stores in the city stock the must-haves of all genres alongside some rarities. Here are five of Cologne’s best record stores…Frank Schneider has made quite a name on Cologne’s hip-hop scene as DJ Schneider. His store, Early Bird Records is the place to go for hip hop and old school fans. Loyal customers come here looking to expand their second-hand record collection and chat over coffee. Chances are you’ll find some jazz and rock rarities as well.

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TVD Radar: 4 Non Blondes’ Bigger, Better, Faster, More! first-ever vinyl 25th anniversary release, in stores 10/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In its original 1992 release, 4 Non Blondes’ first and only studio album Bigger, Better, Faster, More! made a multi-platinum mark on the public consciousness, thanks to the quartet’s effortless chemistry and the soulful songcraft of singer Linda Perry. At the time, Entertainment Weekly noted that “the Blondes’ musical grab bag (is) stuffed with jet-propelled folk rock, angst-ridden anthems, high-octane blues and ’90s protest songs.”

On October 13, UMe will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bigger, Better, Faster, More!’s release with a special vinyl edition of this classic LP, marking its first-ever American vinyl release. In addition to its standard black-vinyl release, the anniversary LP will also be released in a limited Custom Opaque Green colored-vinyl edition that will be available exclusively through the online retailer Sound of Vinyl.

Birthed during the heady ’90s alt-rock explosion, the colorful San Francisco foursome—frontwoman Perry, guitarist Roger Rocha, bassist Christa Hillhouse, and drummer Dawn Richardson—crossed over from the modern-rock charts to the pop mainstream, scoring a major hit single with the anthemic smash “What’s Up?,” which topped the charts in several countries around the world.

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In rotation: 9/21/17

Love vinyl? This music store is offering a rocking discount for Sentinel readers as it celebrates 40th birthday: A popular music store is celebrating 40 years in business by offering customers a rocking discount. A&A Music in Congleton started selling records in Bridge Street in 1977 and has now expanded to offer classes and music accessories. Current owner David Wedgbury started working at the store 20 years ago before taking it over from previous owner Alan Farrar. David, aged 44, of Congleton, said: “We started trading in Bridge Street but moved to High Street opposite the town hall just over three years ago because I wanted to start up a music school.

Ear Candy’s John Fleming keeps music fans’ shelves filled: It’s Friday at Ear Candy Music, which means it’s release day. John Fleming is steadily receiving shipments and checking to make sure his vinyl copies of Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” out this very day, have arrived. He’s also juggling customers and phone calls. He shoots the breeze with a guy who’s picked out $50 worth of records. A 20-something-year-old wants to exchange a record. A 60-something-year-old buys a concert ticket. One guy asks where he can park and says he’s from out of town. Fleming asks if he’s here to see the Mac DeMarco show at the Wilma that night. He says no, he’s on a road trip. Like a loyal music fan, he looked up record shops along the way.

Albums stolen from car of Peoria record store owner: PEORIA — Craig Moore, owner of the Younger Than Yesterday used record store, 2615 N. University St., reported to police that six boxes of records were stolen from his car Tuesday. Moore told police his car was parked on Gift Avenue. He believed the theft could have occurred last week when the records were first loaded in his car. Moore said he first noticed the theft on Tuesday. He reported there were about 65 records in each box with an estimated value of $2,500 for each box.

Troy’s Jim Barrett moves his longstanding radio show to WAIX-FM 106.1: …Barrett isn’t known simply as the owner of River Street Beat Shop. For longer than most of the musicians and customers who walk through his doors, he’s been a staple to local radio. Since 1967, Barrett has hosted Kaleidoscope — a radio show where he mixes classic rock tunes with contemporary and local music. This week, his show jumps up the dial from WVCR-FM 88.3 The Saint to WAIX-FM 106.1 The X. “I had a phenomenal, wonderful experience where I was at Siena,” said Barrett. “They treated me like a million bucks. But, I was ready for a change. I needed a change. My only regret is that I’m not working with my dear friend Dean Charette. That was very hard to walk away from, because we’re very close. But, even he understood that I needed it. I’m 71. How much more do I have in the tank? I want to be with a bunch of young people who are fired up about music.

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In rotation: 9/20/17

Legendary owner of Essex Road’s Haggle Vinyl goes on the record with book: The name Lynn Alexander will strike fear into the hearts of music lovers around Islington. As the owner of Haggle Vinyl in Essex Road, he was seen as something of a curmudgeon – sometimes to the extent of putting people off shopping there altogether. He closed the store in 2014 to pursue his passion for flamenco guitar, but now he’s written a book detailing its history and other stories about his life. Lynn contacted the Gazette after our interview with Mark Burgess, owner of the neighbouring Flashback Records, which mentioned him as the rival record store owner who told customers Flashback sold porn.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT—New Bedford Avenue Record Store Wants to Expand Your Musical Tastes: The Mixtape Shop, which opened in July, features a tightly curated selection of house, techno, funk, jazz, soul, and a healthy dose of music from Brazil, where husband-and-wife co-owners Brian Thomas and Erica Roden previously lived. Located at 1129 Bedford Ave. between Madison and Monroe streets, the space includes a cafe, and a table for people to work or hang out, and is flooded with light from large windows in the front. It was designed as a departure from the more eclectic, dust-filled record shops of yore, a deliberate move intended to make it more welcoming to people peering in the plate-glass windows or coming in off the street, according to Roden.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS—Bar Specializing in Craft Beer and Vinyl Records to Open on Vanderbilt Ave.: Chris Maestro, a former educator and brewery manager, plans to open his “dual passion project” BierWax at 556 Vanderbilt Ave. near Dean Street, inside the old Bopsot space, by the end of the year combining his love of local beer and music, he told DNAinfo New York. BierWax will offer customers two things: beer brewed in the city, Long Island and upstate New York, as well as great music curated from Maestro’s personal collection of records, including “all the different elements that gave birth to hip-hop — disco, funk, soul, rock, jazz,” he said.

Latest Bromsgrove vinyl record and CD fair coming to the town this Sunday: The next vinyl record and CD fair takes place in Bromsgrove this Sunday, September 24. The event, from 10am to 4pm at the Bromsgrove Hotel, is another sell-out stall-wise with more than 45 tables of items on offer. They will include everything from classics to real obscurities, along with plenty of guaranteed bargains. There is free parking on-site and a cash machine on site for those who buy more than they anticipated. Visit www.midlandsrecordfairs.co.uk for more information.

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TVD Radar: Slade’s Slade Alive! “Art of the Album” Deluxe Ed. in stores 9/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Ask a fan of any band to name their favourite album by said act and there are not many sets of fans whose first choice would almost unanimously be a live album. But Slade are most definitely one of those bands and the album that tops most fans’ lists is Slade Alive! And their legendary frontman Noddy Holder agrees, maintaining to this very day that it is the band’s greatest album; “I think it had the essence of what Slade was all about as a band. It was very basic and raw, it captured a mood and it also helped set us apart from other pop acts. We weren’t just a singles band anymore—we had a credible, raunchy hit album too. We were pop and we were cool. It was perfect.”

With their first monster hit single “Coz I Luv You” poised to spend four weeks occupying the coveted UK No.1 spot in late 1971, Slade aka Noddy Holder (vocals/guitar), Dave Hill (guitar), Jim Lea (bass), and Don Powell (drums) were a young West Midlands band on the cusp of international rock stardom. Manager and producer Chas Chandler was keen to get an album into the shops fast in order to capitalise on the imminent success of “Coz I Luv You” and a live album seemed by far the quickest and easiest solution. Famously recorded for the princely sum of just £600 over three nights (between 19th-21st October 1971) of loud, hot and sweaty 300-capacity fan-club only gigs at a packed Command Studios, Piccadilly London W1, Slade pushed the club’s PA system to its limits as Chandler set about the tricky task of capturing on tape the sound of a band at the absolute peak of their live power.

Speaking of the album recently, Don Powell said; “Memories are still vivid of the three nights in Command Studios at Piccadilly Circus where we recorded Slade Alive! It was also a small theatre where we invited fan club members. We actually used all of the second night for Slade Alive!

Jim Lea continues; “After “Get Down And Get With It”, “Coz I Luv You” was to come next and in the gap, because of “Get Down And Get With It” being such a closing feature of our stage show, Chas came up with the idea of a live album. Slade Alive! was a true live album (most are not) and it broke new ground for us.”

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TVD Radar: Third Man Records to reissue Chess Records’ Muddy Waters singles

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is proud to introduce their partnership with Universal Music Group in an effort to highlight the depth and importance of the Chess Records catalog. In what is now their third ongoing, label-based series of 7″ reissues, along with their Sun Records and Tamla Records series, the label has released three singles that are the pinnacle of Muddy Waters’ recorded output.

Muddy Waters is considered the premiere Chicago blues artist. His recordings influenced everyone from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, and countless others. Before his name was synonymous with the Chicago sound and Chess Records, Waters was an aspiring musician in the Mississippi delta whose confidence was bolstered by a visit and field recording by Alan Lomax. “I really heard myself for the first time. I’d never heard my voice. I used to sing; used to sing just how I felt, ’cause that’s the way we always sang in Mississippi,” Waters told one journalist. “But when Mr. Lomax played me the record I thought, man, this boy can sing the blues.”

The move from Mississippi to Chicago to become a professional musician resulted in two early Muddy Waters hits on the Chess brothers’ Aristocrat Records, which shortly thereafter changed its name to Chess Records. Originally released on 78rpm records in 1950, 1953, and 1955 respectively, Waters signature first hit single on Chess, “Rollin Stone” b/w “Walkin’ Blues,” is paired with “She’s All Right” b/w “Sad, Sad Day” and “Mannish Boy” b/w “Young Fashioned Ways.”

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In rotation: 9/19/17

Skeleton Dust Records opening in downtown Dayton: Vinyl and cassettes are back in style and will be sold at a new shop opening in downtown Dayton. Skeleton Dust Records, owned by local resident Luke Tandy, is on track to open in October at 133 E. Third St. Tandy said he’s been describing the store as “curated and eclectic,” with a wide range of genres available on records, cassettes and CDs, but also a carefully picked selection of what he considers the best stuff. “I’ll be kind of carrying a little bit of everything, but there’s a focus of stuff that falls outside of the mainstream,” he said.

Free Vinyl Record DAY at LA’s The Record Parlour, 30,000 LPs for FREE on September 23-24, 2017: 120,000+ Records purchased in the last several months have created a massive mountain of #Vinyl Records to accumulate since our last #FREE DAY in June. Over 30,000 records across all genres are out for FREE Sept 23-24. Arrive EARLY for the best selection and shorter wait time. Spend $20 and take up to 100 RECORDS FOR FREE. Please bring your own box or bag. We only do this 2-3x a year – don’t miss this final opportunity for 2017. (Next date is Jan 2018) In addition to LPs, we will have about 5,000 fantastic 45s, 78s, #Cassettes, Music Magazines and #Posters. They also have TO GO and are FREE.

Vinyl records experience resurgence in New Zealand: The death of vinyl is over-rated. Long-time record lovers say they never went away. A record fair held in Hamilton on Saturday saw a new generation trading, buying and selling records, organiser and collector Brian Wafer said. More and more young people are buying records, collectors say. More young DJs and alternative music fanatics are turning to vinyl. In Australia, a record plant will open in 2018 for the first time in 30 years to keep up with increasing demand. In New Zealand, revenue from record sales has climbed over the past four years. Radioscope, which collects data on the recording industry, reports sales doubled from $462,000 to $1 million between 2013 and 2014.

How to see Prophets of Rage perform at a Long Beach record store: Politically charged supergroup Prophets of Rage will make an appearance at Long Beach’s Fingerprints Records, 420 E. Fourth St., for an in-store performance on Friday, Sept. 22. The collective is made up of Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. “We’ve done a couple of things with Chuck D over the years and we’ve had Tom Morello before, and they called and said they wanted to do it,” said Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints. The 7 p.m. show happens about a week after the release of the band’s self-titled 12-track album which mixes rap and rock with socially conscious and politically-driven lyrics.

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TVD Radar: Stax Country in stores 10/20 via Craft Recordings

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings, the catalog division of Concord Music Group, is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Stax Country, a collection of rare and unreleased country songs, recorded in the early-mid 1970s for the Memphis label.

Due out October 20th, the album will be available on vinyl and CD, as well as across all digital and streaming platforms, and will include new liner notes by author Colin Escott, who has not only chronicled the stories of Hank Williams, Sun Records, and the Grand Ole Opry, but also co-wrote the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. Stax Country comes as part of an extensive 60th anniversary celebration of the iconic soul label, taking place throughout 2017.

Primarily known as a soul outfit, Stax often made efforts to diversify, with signings in rock, blues, and country music, the latter of which wasn’t a stretch for the Memphis label: Stax’s cofounder Jim Stewart was a fiddle player himself, who began his career in the genre; while Nashville—the mecca of country music—was just a mere three hours away. The label cast a wide net to find the next big voice in country music, but the results were lukewarm. In his liner notes, Escott confirms, “Indies had never broken the major labels’ hammerlock on country for long. Smaller labels nibbled around the lower reaches of the charts, sometimes even pushing a record or two to the top, but year-in, year-out, the majors owned country music. Stax was neither the first nor last label to discover that.”

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TVD Radar: R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Edition in stores 11/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Rock icons R.E.M. are reissuing their landmark album Automatic For The People to commemorate the title’s 25th Anniversary. Due November 10 via Craft Recordings, the remastered album will be available in a variety of formats, the most extensive of which is the Deluxe Anniversary Edition, which will feature the album in its entirety mixed in Dolby Atmos.

The album (plus bonus track “Photograph,” featuring Natalie Merchant) was remixed in Dolby Atmos by Automatic’s original producer, Scott Litt, and engineer, Clif Norrell. This technology delivers a leap forward from surround sound with expansive, flowing audio that immerses the listener far beyond what stereo can offer. It transports the listener inside the recording studio with multi-dimensional audio—evoking a time when listening to music was an active, transformative experience, and reigniting the emotion you felt when you first heard the album in 1992. R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People is the first album to be commercially released in this expressive, breathtaking format.

In addition, the 4-disc Deluxe Edition will offer a wealth of previously unreleased material. The band selected 20 never-before-heard demos from the LP’s sessions, including the fully-realized, unreleased track “Mike’s Pop Song” and the oft-mused about song, “Devil Rides Backwards.” “Mike’s Pop Song” debuts today and is available as an instant grat track with preorder of the reissue.

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