Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: Betty Davis, Betty: They Say I’m Different documentary DVD in stores 1/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Funk Queen Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She “was the first…” as former husband Miles Davis said. “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince.”

An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the ’70s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles—startlingly turning him from jazz to funk on the album she named Bitches Brew. She then, despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself. Betty was a feminist pioneer, inspiring and intimidating in a manner like no woman before. Then suddenly—she vanished.

Creatively blending documentary and animation, Betty – They Say I’m Different traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate.

After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

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In rotation: 1/10/20

Frederick, MD | Vinyl revival at Frederick record shops: Streaming is king, but audiophiles are still spinning. On an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon in January, Mervin Reyz was shopping at Rock and Roll Graveyard in downtown Frederick. The 49-year-old Baltimore resident was perusing through the boxes of vinyl records to supplement a new Christmas gift: a turntable. “One of my good friends, he likes music, and we talk a lot about music turntables and vinyls and it just got me interested,” Reyz said, while already pulling Prince’s “1999” album for possible purchase. Montika Brown, of Frederick, was in the same store also flipping through a collection of LPs. She has built her collection to about 50 albums. “I’m looking for whatever catches my eye or most of the stuff I grew up listening to that was either lost or got messed up,” she said. “I look for a lot of that stuff and some new stuff. Things that may catch my eye that I haven’t seen before or heard before. Sometimes it’s even the cover art will catch my eye and I’ll be like, ‘Ohh, what’s this?”’

Seattle, WA | Dumb Shit Overheard in a Seattle Record Store: Anyone who’s worked in retail can tell you dozens of anecdotes about the boundless idiocy of the general public. Those who toil in record stores are no exception. In fact, the comments that customers in those establishments utter carry an extra frisson of unintentional comedy due to the shifting popularity of recording formats and the aesthetic properties of music itself. Back when I worked at Everyday Music circa 2003-2004, one gentleman asked with sincerity, “Do you carry CDs?” without even noticing the tens of thousands of them sprawled out before him. Yeah. Recently, a Seattle music retail employee shared with me a list titled “Dumb Shit,” which this person’s been compiling for several years. Read these remarks and ROFL, while also weeping for humanity.

Lansdale, PA | Liberty Vinyl Plans To Shut Down In Lansdale: Liberty Vinyl, the record shop located inside Liberty Vapor, is shutting down after they were told no one under 18 can enter. A bit of sad news emerged this week for fans of local music shops. Liberty Vinyl, the unique record store located inside Liberty Vapor, is shutting down after they were told no one under 18 can enter. The record store remains open for the time being, as the entire store is 30 percent off. That includes vinyl, record players, speakers, and clothing, owners announced in a statement issued on social media Monday. “We don’t feel that music should be restricted to adults,” the statement read, in part. “So the choice was made to close the record store.” As of Jan. 1, no one under 18 is allowed to enter due to regulations regarding products sold by Liberty Vapor. On Feb. 1, no one under 21 will be allowed in. An exact final closing date for Liberty Vinyl has not yet been announced.

Boston, MA | Iconic Boston record shop Skippy White’s will play its final tune: An iconic Boston record shop that has been open for 59 years will soon be closing its doors. Skippy White’s, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, is going out of business. The shop’s owner and namesake, Skippy White, is a walking music history book with the kind of knowledge you can’t get online. He opened his first record store in 1961. His business survived a fire and decades of new styles of music, and outlasted eight-track tapes, cassettes and CDs. But it could not overcome the rise in streaming. “The record business is not what it used to be,” White said. White announced on Facebook that he will be going out of business, which was disappointing news for hundreds of his loyal customers. “I’ve had people in all day long (Friday), feeling that they love me,” White said. “It’s the rapport I have with people who come into the store.”

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TVD Radar: Charlie Parker, The Savoy
10-Inch LP Collection

in stores 2/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is proud to announce the release of The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection, which spotlights Charlie Parker’s groundbreaking bebop sessions for the legendary jazz label, spanning 1944 to 1948. The deluxe, four-LP box set—also available digitally—features newly restored and remastered audio, faithfully reproduced artwork from the original 10-inch albums, plus a booklet containing vintage photos, rare ephemera and new liner notes from GRAMMY® Award-winning journalist and author Neil Tesser.

These historic recordings, reissued as the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Parker’s birth, feature such jazz greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Bud Powell, and Max Roach. Set for a February 28th release date, The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection is available for pre-order today (1/8), while the instant grat single, “Ko-Ko,” can now be streamed or downloaded on all major digital outlets. “Ko-Ko” was one of Bird’s early masterpieces and his first recording as a leader. In 2003, “Ko-Ko” was added to the National Recording Registry, categorized as a recording that is, “Culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.”

When saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker and his contemporaries introduced bebop in the ’40s, they were ushering in a bold new style that would influence modern music for decades to come. Nowadays, as Neal Tesser argues in the box set’s liner notes, it’s easy to forget that bebop was considered avant-garde. “Bebop undergirds such a vast swath of American music that its revolutionary nature recedes into the background. It is now so familiar and comfortable, such an ever-present part of the family history, that non-historians can hardly envision it ever being ‘revolutionary.’”

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TVD Radar: Stop, Hey What’s That Sound: Classic Protest Songs Reinvented in stores 1/31

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Next month Americans will get set to vote in the presidential primaries, kicking off nine months of what might be the most important election in this nation’s history.

On January 31, Petaluma Records will release Stop, Hey What’s That Sound: Classic Protest Songs Reinvented—a call to action, featuring liner notes from famed music critic Rob Tannenbaum. Today they premiere the latest single, an updated cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” featuring Sasha Dobson. Dobson grew up in Santa Cruz, CA in a musical family: her dad, a jazz pianist, and her mom a well-known singer. Sasha moved to Brooklyn at 17, releasing five solo albums and EPs, touring with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, with whom she started the Americana trio, Puss N Boots, along with Catherine Popper. Proceeds from the single, out Friday, will go to support Headcount.org.

In 2016, when Trump was elected, political pundits and cultural vanguardists, while trying to look on the bright side of a global catastrophe, predicted Trump’s election would catalyze a great new era of protest songs, a revival of punk-rock activism and idealism. The children of Joe Strummer and Joan Baez would run free and set fire to our culture, purifying it by burning it… We’re still waiting.

Acclaimed songwriter and producer, Roger McEvoy Greenawalt, who has worked with Strummer, Nils Lofgren, Iggy Pop, Ric Ocasek, and Rufus Wainwright, among others, got out his sling-shot. After moving from New York to Los Angeles, Greenawalt launched Petaluma Records with his cousin Nion McEvoy, the illustrious Chairman & CEO of San Francisco’s Chronicle Books, and co-executive producer of the wildly successful Mr. Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor.

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TVD Radar: Jefferson Airplane, Woodstock Sunday August 17, 1969 3LP in stores 1/31

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The 3-LP set comes inside a gorgeous, double-gatefold jacket sporting photos of the band at Woodstock, most taken by legendary lensman Henry Diltz with liner notes by folk-rock guru Richie Unterberger. Comes pressed on limited edition “vibrating” violet vinyl to commemorate Grace Slick’s comment on stage that “Everyone’s vibrating.”

At the muddy miracle that was Woodstock, the most miraculous performance just might have been Jefferson Airplane’s. The band had been one of the first to sign on for the festival, their imprimatur prompting many other acts to hop on board, and their stature had landed them a coveted headlining slot closing Saturday night’s schedule. But, as the torrential downpours and the unexpected crush of half a million people kept on delaying their set, the chances of putting on anything approaching a quality performance seemed to diminish.

According to Paul Kantner, “We were supposed to go on at 10:30 at night and we’d been up and down about four or five times on acid that night, getting ready to go on, and then everything was delayed for whatever reasons. So, we didn’t get on until like 7:00 the next morning and everybody was pretty much burned out.”

Kantner’s protestations to the contrary, the Airplane (with guest pianist Nicky Hopkins in tow) played a scorching two-hour set that defied the elements and the circumstances. Grace Slick led the charge as the band plunged into a frenetic version of Fred Neil’s “The Other Side of This Life”: “Alright, friends, you have seen the heavy groups. Now you will see morning maniac music. Believe me, yeah. It’s a new dawn!”

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In rotation: 1/9/20

Stoke-on-Trent, UK | City’s HMV store is safe as music retailer warns up to 13 stores could close: The Hanley branch has been left off a list of at risk stores. The city centre’s HMV store has again escaped the axe as the music retailer warned of job losses and the closure of up to 13 stores unless it is able to secure new deals with its landlords. HMV has confirmed that a further three stores will shut at the end of the month, with new tenants already lined up to move into the properties. The High Street giant says another 10 stores are at risk of closure. However, HMV Hanley, based within the intu Potteries Shopping Centre, is not currently in danger. This time last year, the popular city centre store was facing closure after HMV went into administration for the second time in five years. The retailer was rescued when it was acquired from administrators by Canadian company Sunrise Records, owned by music mogul Doug Putman, in a move which saved 100 stores and 1,487 jobs.

Pittsburgh, PA | Longtime Pittsburgh Record Store Closing: The store has been around for nearly 25 years. After nearly a quarter of a century, Dave’s Music Mine on Carson Street in the South Side will be closing soon. A store employee confirmed Tuesday that this week is the last that Dave’s will be open on weekdays, although it is expected to be open on weekends for several months. According to Dave’s website, the store debuted in 1996. Originally called Jerry’s Music Market, the store was located on the second floor next to McDonald’s on Forbes Avenue in Oakland. After expanding to five locations, Dave’s scaled back to just the South Side store in 2008; the Carson Street location has been around since 1999. Dave’s will be at least the third record store in Pittsburgh to go under in the past year. In 2019, Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closed, as did Juke Records, a Bloomfield staple for several decades…

Boise, ID | The More The Better: When the needle drops, it makes for a different kind of listening experience. People get really into vinyl and collectors will scour through stores for hours. More stores makes for more listening options, and now, collectors in Boise have a new record shop to peruse. “Listening to records is an art,” said Derek Anderson, who co-owns Modern Sounds Vinyl and Music with Dave Eggers. “Listening and appreciating and reading the album covers, it creates a better understanding of the music in its entirety, and people listening to CDs aren’t connecting fully to the music.” Modern Sounds Vinyl and Music specializes in vintage vinyl, but carries a little bit of everything. It has a small yet comfortable storefront located at 556 S. Vista Ave. It’s open limited hours until its grand opening slated for early 2020. Anderson and Eggers weren’t sure about the exact date. They both work day jobs and the store is more of a hobby for them—they’re just two guys who love listening to records and they want to share that love with Boise.

London, UK | Put the needle back down: Digital streaming services are leading music fans into a new decade, but the warm and fuzzy tones of the analog past haven’t been quietly fading away. For example, Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old alt-pop superstar who skyrocketed to success in the back half of the 2010s, ended 2019 by releasing a live, direct-to-acetate LP recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Records that was only made available in two American cities, Nashville and Detroit. If you can get your hands on a copy, the disc comes with Eilish’s own hand-drawn art —not a perk fans will get with their Spotify subscription. Eilish is going against the grain (and that’s her MO), but not without tapping into a trend that’s poised to break records in 2020. According to music journalist Alan Cross, who reports weekly music sales on his blog A Journal of Musical Things, Canadians bought 973,891 pieces of brand new vinyl in 2019, an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the year before. “That’s a healthy 15 per cent of the total number of albums sold,” Cross wrote at the end of December, noting that number doesn’t include used record sales.

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In rotation: 1/8/20

Matador, 4AD, Domino Flee Distributor Amid Massive Vinyl Delays: Rough Trade, Saddle Creek, and more are also departing Warner’s Alternative Distribution Alliance amid widespread complaints about Direct Shot Distributing. Several indie record labels announced today that they’ve parted ways with Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) and will be working with North Carolina distributor Redeye going forward, Billboard reports. Beggars Group—the collective of labels that includes 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, Young Turks, and XL—are joined by Domino and Saddle Creek in the move. The labels made the change effective January 1. In April 2019, Warner moved all of its business—including physical product released by ADA indie labels—to the Indiana-based company Direct Shot Distributing. Record stores and retailers have complained about Direct Shot, saying shipments arrive after extensive delays or go missing entirely… “Historically, independent labels have always seen getting records into stores as the first business decision they need to make,” Beggars chairman Martin Mills said in a statement. “But now that physical is such a small and decreasing part of the majors’ business, for indies, to whom physical, and especially vinyl, is so much more important, to partner with the majors for distribution has become arguably anachronistic.”

Record Store Day announces 2020 event date: We’ve officially entered 2020, and our favorite day devoted solely to vinyl is almost here. Record Store Day took to social media today to unveil the 2020 date making us and fellow vinyl lovers all the more stoked for April. “Save the date,” the Record Store Day twitter account posted. “We’re having a party on April 18!” No other information has been released at this time. But if the exclusives are anything like 2019 then we certainly have a lot to anticipate….While each Record Store Day brings us an array of exclusive releases to choose from, last year’s event also presented an exclusive way to play them. Crosley Radio released another trendsetting record player at just three inches. The special edition record player can all be yours for just $70. According to Digital Trends, the record player can only spin vinyl that holds about four minutes of music at a time. (That’s a lot of flipping if you ask us.) Perfect for single tracks and only single tracks, Epitaph and Jack White’s record label, Third Man will be pressing special one-track discs specifically for the launch. Crosley also says that a steady stream of new music for the special turntable is to come from a Japanese vinyl manufacturer.

Edinburgh, UK | ‘Properly gutted’ – shoppers react to sad news HMV at Ocean Terminal will close this month: Those at the store are running an “everything must go” closing down sale before the shop closes for good on 25 January. News that HMV at the Ocean Terminal is set to shut down later this month hasn’t gone down well with shoppers in Leith. The music retailer announced this week that they’d be closing their last remaining Edinburgh store on 25 January. Staff are inviting people in to grab a bargain in the meantime, with an “everything must go” closing down sale now well underway. However news that the store would be no more caused some upset on social media, with several people, including those who run the @ScotsPostPunk Twitter account, saying it’s “the only reason to visit Ocean Terminal.” Mike Huntly posted: “Sorry to hear this, my first thought is for the staff and I hope they get new employment quickly. As a dinosaur that prefers the experience of going into a shop and buying my music/films rather than streaming, it’s getting harder to do. HMV Edinburgh will be missed.”

Bury, UK | ‘HMV is here to stay’ despite store closures says Bury manager: Bosses at a Bury record store have said they are still going strong and will be sticking around after rumours that the shop might be leaving town. Steve Toolan, manager at HMV Bury, took to social media on Saturday to reject fears that the music retailer could be on the verge of shutting. He also thanked loyal HMV customers for their support over a “difficult year”. Speaking to the Bury Times, Mr Toolan said he was disappointed following rumours that Bury’s was among the slew of stores mooted for closure and expected to shut up shop in the coming months. “It is in fact our store in Bury St Edmunds that will be closing,” he added. “Obviously, we feel really bad for the manager Simon and all his staff in that branch who are at risk of redundancy. “We would like to assure all our fantastic customers that we are very much open for business and intend to stick around in the Millgate for a lot longer yet.”

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TVD Radar: Me and
Mr. Cigar,
a novel
from Gibby Haynes in bookstores 1/14

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes wrote a YA book as weird as the band’s music.”The AV Club

Me and Mr. Cigar (Soho Teen | January 14th, 2020) is the wonderfully weird debut YA from psychedelic rock legend Gibby Haynes. It is as strange as you might imagine, more surreal than you would expect, and will move you in ways you could never anticipate. Part road trip, part coming-of-age, and part redemption, Me and Mr. Cigar takes Oscar Lester and his best friend/ enforcer/ magical pet dog, Mr. Cigar on a journey to save Oscar’s sister, Rachel, who has been abducted by a sinister cabal for reasons unknown. Along the way, Oscar encounters ultra-secret technology, agents of the US government, super-wealthy corporate interests, and nefarious art dealers. But his motive to save Rachel always comes back to his dog. Five years earlier, Mr. Cigar bit off Rachel’s hand, and she’s been estranged from them ever since. In other words, this is YA the Gibby Haynes way.

It might seem strange that Haynes, once known as “The Weirdest Man in Show Business” for his lurid lyrics and intense stage presence, would set out to write a book for kids. But take a closer look at the surreal and often darkly comedic lyrics of the Butthole Surfers, and you’ll see it all makes perfect sense. Haynes is a natural storyteller. He is a Texan, after all.

Haynes is also a visual artist, a music teacher, and the father of a young son. Butthole Surfers fans will find plenty of Haynes’s specific brand of weird to rejoice over in Me and Mr. Cigar, but readers will also find the heart and earnestness of a devoted father and mentor. And his (?) dog-loving bonafides are evident on nearly every page. What’s to lose? Take the trip.

“It takes a book as hilarious, bizarre, profane, and heartfelt as Me & Mr. Cigar to truly convey the surreality of coming of age as a teenage boy. This book hit this former teenage boy and new dog owner right in the heart, by way of the gut.”
Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

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In rotation: 1/7/20

UK | HMV quietly shuts down 10 more stores as more ‘closing down’ signs are spotted across UK: High street music and entertainment store HMV is quietly closing at least 10 stores after putting up ‘closing down signs’ over the festive period – following Debenhams’ announcement of 19 shop closures. Signs suggesting they would be shutting up shop were spotted across the country in HMV outlets including Leeds, Coventry, Reading, Plymouth, Worcester and Birmingham (Bullring). Canadian businessman Doug Putman, who closed 15 stores when he purchased the music retailer in February last year, had promised the firm would open new stores as the business pumped cash into new sites and refurbishments. Shoppers outraged by the signs took to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Josh Buck tweeted: ‘HMV in Reading is having a closing down sale… I can’t even… ‘

Bronx, NY | 40 Years Later, Reggae’s Heart Still Beats in the Bronx: Lloyd Barnes has run the Wackie’s recording studio and label since the late 1970s. As he prepares for his next chapter, he wants to ensure its spirit lives on. …It’s been 40 years since Wackie’s hit its stride, and it has held a prominent place in New York’s music history ever since. First as a reggae sound system that put on parties, later as a studio and record shop, it has served as an expression of the immigrant-led aesthetic exchanges that came to define the city’s musical fabric. But Barnes isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be able to focus on his beloved studio. Now 75, he underwent double bypass surgery in 2017 and later developed nerve damage affecting his neck and arms. Though he recovered, he’s now looking back at his career with appreciation.

Syracuse, NY | Vinyl Revival: Sound Garden Sees Rise in Record Sales as CD Sales Drop: There are thousands of vinyl records to choose from at The Sound Garden in Syracuse. And for Marissa Moore, that’s music to her ears. “I want that one too because I don’t have that one either,” said Moore, a Syracuse resident. “I can’t help but stop here whenever I get the chance to. I’ve been collecting for about over 10 years now. I have about 135 records which I’m definitely trying to expand more.” Moore isn’t alone in her quest to collect vinyl. The store’s general manager Nick Shelton has his own fair share. “I have about 1,500 records I’ve been collecting since 16,” said Shelton. Classic albums have made a huge come back through the years as vinyl records experience resurgence from collectors and music lovers alike. “I would probably say that even in December we had probably double what we sold in November…”

Boston, MA | Family’s farewell as Boston music store closes: A family-run music shop in Boston has bid an emotional farewell to the town, thanking customers for their support in the run-up to its closure. Nevermind the Music Store, in Church Street, ceased trading on Saturday, December 21. The business launched in 2001 and over the years built up a strong following in the town. This was particularly evident on Record Store Day when music-lovers would queue up outside the shop before it opened in the hope of getting their hands on exclusive releases. In October 2018, however, it was hit by tragedy when owner Gareth Skinner died suddenly, aged 50. Following his death, Gareth’s family took on the running of the shop. Twelve months on from their loss, the family announced ‘with a sad and heavy heart’ the store would be closing. They explained at the time that the decision came as a result of changing consumer patterns due to the internet, but also the toll of losing Gareth.

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In rotation: 1/6/20

Weekly Vinyl Album Sales Top 1 Million for First Time in Nielsen Era, Thanks to Harry Styles & More: Last-minute Christmas shopping helped yield a record number of vinyl albums sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. In the week ending Dec. 26, a whopping 1.243 million vinyl albums were sold, marking the single largest sales week for the format since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. Further, it is the first time vinyl LP sales have surpassed 1 million copies in a single week in the Nielsen Music era. The biggest-selling vinyl album in the week ending Dec. 26 was Harry Styles’ Fine Line, with 16,000 copies sold. Rounding out the top five sellers for the week: Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (16,000), The Beatles’ Abbey Road (12,000), the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack (12,000) and Queen’s Greatest Hits (11,000). The previous largest week for the vinyl album format in the Nielsen Music era was set just a week earlier, when 973,000 vinyl LPs were sold…

UK recorded music market up 7.5%, hits 114 billion streams in 2019: …In contrast to the streaming result, physical sales were down 22.8% year-on-year and now account for less than 20% (18.2%) of the total. CDs slumped by 26.5% year-on-year to 23.5m units, although the value of box sets will likely soften the blow. Physical sales were also significant in chart terms. They accounted for over half of chart-eligible sales of the Official Charts No.1 artist album in 29 chart weeks last year. For the last quarter of 2019, there were 13 consecutive weeks where physical accounted for the majority of chart-eligible sales. Digital albums were down 28.2% to 7.3m units, as the industry faces up to a future in which downloads are likely to be a niche business. Digital albums now account for 4.8% of the total, compared to 21.1% in 2015. Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “British music proved once again in 2019 that it has a bright future. Strong demand for streaming music and vinyl, fuelled by the investment and innovation of UK labels in discovering and promoting new talent, boosted music consumption to levels not seen for 15 years…”

Scotland, UK | BROKEN RECORD: Glasgow’s Byres Road Fopp store to close just months after outcry from devastated music fans saved it from shutting down: Glasgow’s Byres Road Fopp store is set to close just months after a last-ditch decision to save it. The record store faced the chopping block last February when trouble hit the HMV and Fopp music chain. At the time, bosses were able to work out a deal to keep it open. It came after an outcry from Scots music lovers when news broke the iconic store would be closing. But closing down signs appeared over the festive period, with the shop rumoured to close on January 25. A source said: “They can’t agree on the terms of the rent – they only got a year last time. “Staff are feeling rubbish but are trying to be cheerful.” Fopp first opened as a market stall in 1981 before taking up its spot on Byres Road. The brand, renowned for its knockdown prices on vinyl and CDS, went into administration in 2007 after a HMV takeover. Canadian retailer Sunrise Records then bought over HMV last February in a move set to save more than 100 stores and over 1,4800 around the country.

Istanbul, TR | Decades-old Istanbul record store set to close its doors: Longtime customers have mixed feelings, both sad and hopeful that fabled store will return from closing. After decades serving Istanbul music lovers, a historic record store is shuttering its doors at the end of this year due to “family reasons.” “Our adventure, which started on May 13, 1954, will end on Dec. 31, 2019,” said the store’s Twitter account last week, saddening its longtime customers as well as musicians and music lovers everywhere. “Through Lale Plak, we’ve touched the souls of thousands of our friends with quality music for 65 years,” it added. Located in the city’s teeming Beyoglu district, the 35 square-meter (4,020-foot) store is credited with providing top-notch vinyl records and CDs to its customers. All the albums on offer were being meticulously selected by Hakan Atala, 58, the store owner, who boasts a profound knowledge of music, particularly jazz and classical. “I was trying to stock and sell different albums compared to other stores. I did all this with love,” Atala told Anadolu Agency.

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Happy Holidays!

We’ve closed up the shop for the holidays. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

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

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TVD Radar: Barbara Eden, Miss Barbara Eden pink vinyl reissue in stores 1/31

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Real Gone Music grants the wishes of record collectors and TV fans worldwide by releasing, for the first time ever on CD and for the first time on vinyl since its original issue in 1967, the only album Barbara Eden ever recorded!

As you can tell from the cover, she made the record at the height of her fame starring in the TV comedy I Dream of Jeannie, her huge break which came after years of appearing in such series as How to Marry a Millionaire, Burke’s Law, and Route 66 and in films like 7 Faces of Dr. Lao and Flaming Star (opposite Elvis Presley). So, one could be excused from going into this album thinking that Barbara’s chops were more on the acting than the musical side. But she got her start performing while singing in the church choir, and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music long before the camera found her. She subsequently headlined on stage in Las Vegas and appeared in TV music-variety shows and specials as well. So, Miss Barbara Eden is not just a highly sought-after curio from the long career of a TV icon but an irresistible pop platter in its own right!

With Bill Justis conducting and arranging, and songs by Bill Anderson and Ted Daffan among others, there’s a little bit of a country tinge, but it’s definitely not of the cry-in-your-beer variety as Barbara keeps things light and lissome while offering plenty of personality along with the pipes. For our money, the stand-out track is the last one, “Bend It,” which belongs (complete with sitar…it is 1967, after all!) in the bubblegum hall of fame right up there with “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.”

Our CD reissue includes copious photos and notes by Joe Marchese with fresh quotes from Barbara herself, while our LP reissue comes in pink vinyl limited to 1,000 copies. One more note on the LP: we’re releasing it at 45 r.p.m. to ensure maximum fidelity to “the master” (wink, wink). Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.

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In rotation: 12/13/19

Montreal, CA | Mile End record stores uncertain about future as they face fines over business hours: Shops visited by provincial inspector on Record Store Day have now received fines for thousands of dollars. Independent record stores are wondering about their future in Mile End after being fined thousands of dollars for being open past 5 p.m. on the weekend. Four stores — Phonopolis, Sonorama, La Rama and Death of Vinyl — were visited by an inspector from the provincial Economy and Innovation Ministry on Saturday, April 13, and all were given notices saying they were open too late. The fines, issued by the Justice Ministry, arrived this month. They were taking part in Record Store Day, where shops around the world sell exclusive pressings and hold events to promote supporting independent retailers. Eduardo Cabral, co-owner of Sonorama, says it was the first time in his 35 years working at Montreal record stores that he had a visit from a provincial inspector, who arrived around 5:40 p.m. Instead of handing Cabral a warning, the inspector gave him a notice saying his case would be passed on to the Justice Ministry to determine the fine — with the minimum being $1,500.

UPDATE: Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said she is sensitive to the situation of record stores and that economic development services will propose solutions to ease the stores’ financial struggles.

Bridport, UK | Clocktower Music is voted the best record store in the south: A record store has achieved podium position in a national competition – making it the best in the entire south of England. Clocktower Music, which can be found on Bridport’s St Michael’s Estate, took home the third place accolade in 2019’s independent Record Shop of the Year competition. This competition – which is run by industry magazine Long Live Vinyl – saw more than 280 stores face off against each other for the podium positions. Both stores which won first and second place are up north, meaning that Clocktower Music can boast of being the south of England’s best record store. Owner Roy Gregory said: “A mega thank you to all our customers and supporters for voting for Clocktower Music, we are amazed at the support. “We hope the result will also bring more music fans to Bridport and St Michael’s Trading Estate.”

Springfield, MO | New Record Store Opens in Springfield: City Music is set to provide the Ozarks with vinyl records and CDs. The new store is run by Jeff Moffatt, Ken Childers and Joe Livingston – KSMU’s host of the Roundabout. Livingston says the store fulfills a need in the community for new releases that he would like to see available in town and not just on the internet. “We are selling records, CDs, books, artifacts, furniture, tape decks, record players. Anything that we can sell that’s music related,” said Livingston. City Music will soon host house concerts in the back part of the store, featuring local and touring musicians. City Music is located in Springfield at 2528-A South Campbell and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to 9 and Sundays 10 to 4.

Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 Helps Drive Third-Biggest Sales Week for Vinyl In Nielsen Era: Vinyl helps yield biggest overall album sales week of 2019. Pearl Jam’s “MTV Unplugged” was week’s top Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive album. Record Store Day Black Friday promotions on Nov. 29 helped drive another big win for vinyl album sales — and the largest overall sales week for albums in 2019 — according to Nielsen Music. The data tracking firm reports that 855,000 vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. during the week of Nov. 29 through Dec. 5 — the third-largest sales week for vinyl LPs since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. The only weeks with larger sales were the frames ending Dec. 20, 2018 (880,000) and Dec. 27, 2018 (905,000). Also goosing sales in the most recent tracking week were Black Friday discounts and promotions on vinyl LPs at both Walmart and Target, where many titles were temporarily marked down to $15. Further, the sizzling vinyl sales around Black Friday helped yield an overall industry haul of 2,819,000 albums sold across all formats (vinyl, CD, download, cassette, etc.) — the biggest sales week for albums in 2019. The last week to generate a larger overall album sales number was the week ending Dec. 27, 2018, when a total of 4,391,000 albums were sold.

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Demand it on Vinyl:
Hank Williams, Pictures From Life’s Other Side
6-CD and table book in stores 2/7

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Hank Williams was a star of WSM’s Grand Ole Opry when he began hosting his own radio show for the same station in 1951. Sponsored by Mother’s Best Flour Company, the 15-minute broadcasts aired every weekday. But there was a problem.

Williams was wildly popular and his aggressive touring schedule meant he couldn’t always be at the station to perform the show live. Many of the broadcasts were actually pre-recorded transcription discs that were aired and then forgotten. The discs were re-discovered decades later as they were being hauled to a dumpster! The find more than doubled the number of known Hank Williams recordings. With the popularity of Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary series, interest in Williams’ legacy is currently spiking as a new generation discovers his unparalleled influence on America’s music. Even now, 66 years after his death, there is still more to discover about Hank Williams.

On February 7, 2019, BMG will release Hank Williams: Pictures From Life’s Other Side — The Man and His Music in Rare Photos and Recordings. The six-CD collection features 144 tracks representing the complete rundown of Hank’s performances from the existing transcription discs.

While previous compilations have presented either a selection of the Mother’s Best material or all of the recordings in the context of the individual radio show presentations (along with guest vocalists and instrumental numbers), this is the first collection to gather the entirety of Hank’s Mother’s Best performances and presents them outside the context of self-contained radio programs. The compilation was produced by Cheryl Pawelski, and each track was carefully restored and remastered by Michael Graves. Together, they earned a Best Historical Album Grammy award for their work on Hank Williams’ The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 compilation in 2015.

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In rotation: 12/12/19

Latest Physical Music Supply Chain Debacle Offers Opportunities For Entrepreneurs: …This decision to combine and outsource physical distribution has led to a number of issues that have a cascading effect of horrors by the time the snowball reaches the consumer. Why do we care? It’s important to realize that physical configurations contributed to 25% of global recorded music revenues in 2018. Vinyl alone accounts for 3.6% of global revenue. In a world where market share is how major labels measure themselves, I have to believe that if a label president were asked to give up 25% of worldwide billings they would say no thanks–as would their shareholders. So why is the current crisis at retail allowed to continue? Good question. It creates the self-fulfilling prophecy that physical is a silly configuration that only the backward people care about. So why not just let the artists get their own CD and vinyl manufacturing done on their own outside the label distribution system? Oh, no. Can’t do that. Try doing that sometime and you’ll get led around in circles that eventually lead you back into the very system you wanted to get away from. In other words, go nowhere.

Birmingham, AL | Charlemagne Record Exchange is closing after 42 years. Visit this Birmingham legend before Dec 31: By now, you’ve most likely heard the news–after 42 years, Charlemagne Record Exchange is closing their doors. However, there is still time to experience the magic of Birmingham’s oldest record store. Create a lasting memory by visiting Charlemagne Record Exchange before December 31. Since 1977, Charlemagne Record Exchange has been a record-collector’s dream in Five-Points South. The journey to music-heaven begins at the steps of the time-worn staircase. As you make your way up the staircase you see dozens of posters for local concerts, and staples indicating the thousands of posters that had been there before. Inside the record exchange, the wooden floors creak as you make your way through the sections of different genres–country, classics, jazz, punk, rock, blues and more. Then you find a crate that interests you. You flip through vinyl records, just as hundreds before you have done. Finally, you find a record that you want. And just like that, you’re hooked.

Toronto, CA | Sam the Record Man sign shines over Yonge-Dundas for 1st time in over a decade: Toronto‘s landmark Sam the Record Man sign is shining again in the Yonge and Dundas area more than a decade after the iconic music store shut its doors. The enormous sign, featuring red neon writing on two spinning vinyl discs, was re-lit Wednesday evening atop 277 Victoria St. overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square — just steps from its former location. Mayor John Tory, Coun. Josh Matlow, Ryerson University president Mohamed Lachemi and former owner Sam Sniderman‘s family attended the lighting ceremony. Sam the Record Man opened in 1959 and it quickly became a hangout for music lovers in Toronto, becoming a mecca for millions of Toronto music aficionados that lasted almost half a century. The flashing sign that towered over it was regarded as a symbol of Yonge Street and a cultural touchstone of the city‘s music history.

Bellingham, WA | Avalon Records will not return: The iconic record store damaged by a fire in downtown Bellingham this summer will not be back. The devastating three-alarm fire started July 17th at Clark Feed and Seed on Railroad Avenue and quickly spread to Avalon Records next door, causing extensive damage. A post made on Avalon’s Facebook page on Saturday says they will not rebuild or reopen the store, but you still have one more chance to catch owner Chris Lamb and snag some goods. Lamb will be at Wander Brewing this Saturday, December 14, from 2-7pm selling crystals, Avalon shirts and a few LP boxes.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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