Author Archives: TVD HQ

In rotation: 3/31/20

UK | Record Store Of The Day campaign launched to shine spotlight on indie stores: A daily campaign to highlight the UK’s independent record shops during the Covid-19 outbreak has been launched. The social media driven #recordstoreoftheday initiative, created by music distributors, will shine the spotlight on a different outlet each day, beginning with Kingston’s Banquet Records (pictured) today (March 30). The shop of the day will appear on @recordstoreotd on Twitter, @recordstoreoftheday on Instagram and the Record Store Of The Day Facebook page… “Indie record shops are part of the DNA of the local communities they serve and now more than ever we should be finding ways to support them,” said ERA’s Record Store Day organiser Megan Page. “That’s why we are urging music fans to continue buying from their local shops online where possible, asking about gift vouchers and following their local record shop’s social media channels…”

Minneapolis, MN | Fifth Element, record store owned by Rhymesayers, to close down: Fans of the label will still be able to shop online, though. The official record store of independent hip hop label Rhymesayers will soon close its doors for good. Fifth Element, located on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis, announced that it will shut down operations on April 1. Noting in a Friday Facebook post that it’s been a fixture of the neighborhood and a worldwide destination for hip hop fans since 1999, the business expressed thanks to customers and artists for their support over the years. This follows the decision to temporarily close the store due to the coronavirus, a situation that also weighed on the move to shut down permanently, the post indicates. The company also says the store’s online presence will transition to shop.rhymesayers.com, “which will continue to be the official source for all things Rhymesayers Entertainment.” The change takes effect April 1, with all remaining stock at fifthelementonline.com discounted until then.

Brighton & Hove, UK | The History of Brighton & Hove Record Shops – The Directory: We need your help! Are you able to add any information to our directory of 100 years of record shops in Brighton & Hove? Please read on and place any relevant details at the end. Thank you. Some of the very best moments in my life have been whilst record shopping! The thrill of the hunt in the second-hand music shops for that mega-obscure vinyl album that was only released in Germany for one week, or the buzz of whizzing down to the ‘chart returns’ record shop when it opens to purchase the brand new release from your favourite artist. The smell of the new cover and the vinyl inside. The little electrostatic crackles as you pull the record out from the inner sleeve for the very first time. The joy of putting the needle down onto the disc and sitting down and listening to it whilst reading every single word of the enclosed booklet and cover. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Norfolk, NE | The beat goes on at Lefty’s Records: It is business as usual at Lefty’s Records, at least for now. Les Greer, who has sold new and used albums at his South Street store since 2011, is still coming in at noon and staying until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “I’m going to be here until they tell me I shouldn’t,” Greer said. Customers are still showing up, just not as many as before the coronavirus pandemic. “Two weeks ago, business was probably half of what I normally do,” Greer said. “But, last week, it rebounded to about normal. “This week is starting out slow, so we’ll see. I do think some people are coming in just to buy something to help me out.” There’s no concern about keeping those who come in to flip through the bins 6 feet apart. “I rarely have 10 at any time,” Greer said, “except during the busiest time of the year, around Christmas and Record Store Day.”

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TVD Radar: The Ballad Of Shirley Collins, doc streaming now for the first time

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Fire Films announce feature documentary The Ballad Of Shirley Collins about the iconic English singer is now streaming for the first time via Vimeo on Demand, including the first ever digital release of a host of bonus materials.

Having been an indelible presence in the English folk scene for more than 20 years, Shirley Collins was until recently remembered predominantly for losing her voice in mysterious circumstances in the 1980s. This film explores the reasons behind this, and documents her brave attempt (at the age of 80) to rediscover her voice and with it her place in the pantheon of musical greats. The film follows Shirley through the recording of her feted comeback album Lodestar.

Alongside this, it explores a story from the other end of her life, when in 1959 she went on the celebrated “Southern Journey” song-collecting trip with her then-lover Alan Lomax. Together they embarked on a road-trip around the Southern USA, where they collected a vital body of American roots music that provided the inspiration for the young Collins to find her own, uniquely English voice. The film is both a celebration of the power of tradition and an inspiring story of triumph over adversity, and an exploration of the flow of cultural exchange between the US and UK.

The film screened at prestigious international festivals including Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, and the London Film Festival, and was released in US and UK cinemas in 2018. Earth Recordings have released both a triple-LP tribute album by a host of artists including Will Oldham, Angel Olsen, Johnny Flynn, Stewart Lee and Ulver, and the soundtrack album for the film, featuring previously unreleased Shirley Collins recordings and songs from the Southern Journey. Directors Rob Curry and Tim Plester have also recently finished a follow-up film, Southern Journey (Revisited) retracing the Southern Journey route in the present day, due for release later in 2020.

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In rotation: 3/30/20

Global initiative launched to help independent record shops survive coronavirus crisis: There is little doubt that the UK’s cultural landscape will look different on the other side of the coronavirus crisis. For some institutions, venues, and events already facing an existential crisis – this could be the last straw. That is why music companies have launched a global initiative called #loverecordstores. It aims to support independent record shops closed during the crisis, with some fearing the footfall will be lost forever. The creative industries have been asked to enlist support from their biggest stars. Paul Weller, who helped launch the campaign, said: “I’d be lost without my favourite record shops; Rough Trade, Soul Jazz, Honest Johns and all the other independents. “Let’s all keep them all going in this very strange time. Music will lift our spirits and soothe our souls. Love to everyone.”

16 ways to support the musicians, record stores, venues and music shops you love: With coronavirus causing chaos in the world of music, we’ve come up with the best ways you can help support your favourite musicians, record stores, venues and shops during the current lockdown. Participate in the Love Record Stores campaign: The Love Record Stores initiative is calling on fans to help promote their favourite stores on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and tell the world what your local store means to you and help give them a boost. Use photos or videos to get your message across. The drive is also backed by artists and the music industry so keep your eye on the hashtag to see what they’re saying… Buy from Bandcamp: While we encourage people to use record stores if they can, don’t forget about Bandcamp. The website is a goldmine of fabulous music. And the best bit? They only take 15% of the profit from digital sales and 10% from merchandise, meaning artists get a larger chunk of your hard-earned cash.

Kingston, UK | Banquet Records’ Jon Tolley on how you can help your local indie store during the coronavirus pandemic: …Another key area that has been effected is the retail world. One of the high street retailers to offer insight is Kingston’s Banquet Records. Before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that all non-essential shops will have to close for at least the next three weeks, the store pre-emptively closed its doors to the public on March 16 in order to focus on its online operation. “Banquet is stable and has a good online presence, so I appreciate it’s an easier decision for us than it is for some others,” said Banquet co-owner Jon Tolley. “It’s at some cost to us, but the health and community issues take priority at this time. We are now entirely focused on the online side of what we do, and that will run better than ever.” Tolley added: “I think, at this point, I speak for all record shops when we’re saying we’re more worried about the healthcare system first. Then we’ll provide the soundtrack to your isolation afterwards!”

Los Angeles, CA | ‘A grinding halt’: Record stores struggle to stay afloat amid coronavirus crisis: The city permit that Amoeba Music had been anticipating came on March 18: After a years-long search to finally lock in a new home for its 31,000-square-foot Sunset Boulevard location, the city’s Department of Building and Safety approved construction applications for a new space a few blocks away at the corner of Hollywood and Argyle. Little could Amoeba have known when its owners submitted the paperwork that a pandemic of Slayer-esque proportions would prompt the company, which as the country’s largest independent record store employs about 400 workers across its three California locations, to close the same day it got the go-ahead to start work. “What would have been a moment of celebration,” Amoeba Music co-owner Jim Henderson says, “was just a further entrenched moment of, ‘Now what?’” Across Los Angeles and the country, similarly baffled music retailers await word of how the $2-trillion relief package approved by Congress will aid their plight. In the short term, prospects seem dim. Record retail’s most profitable day, April’s annual Record Store Day, has been postponed.

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A note to record shops and those who frequent them in response to the global pandemic: share your shop’s updates

We’ve long held that purchasing records is best done at your local indie record shops, however given the current precautions surrounding the Coronavirus, this might not be an option over the coming weeks or months. And while receiving records in the mail is certainly second best, many mom and pop shops support their revenue via sales on Discogs and eBay or directly via their own websites (as we’re pretty certain you’re aware).

While this is not breaking news per se, there WILL BE news generated going forward and we’d like to do what we can by offering our forums for your updates on your record shop’s status and where you’re continuing to offer sales via any of the above websites or elsewhere. Also, those of you who frequent your local shops are invited to add to the conversation.

Post here or on our socials—share, revise, and spread the word as to what’s happening in your shop or what those of you are seeing across the globe as we face this challenge together. An update will stay pinned to the top of our website and locator app Facebook pages as a handy resource for sharing news that you can feel free to also update or revise as needed. Find us on Twitter here and tweet updates to us which we’ll retweet and share from our side. We’re on Instagram here for the same.

We often joke around here about the dichotomy of celebrating indie, brick and mortar record shops and its community via pixels. Perhaps it’s an upside these days.

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In rotation: 3/27/20

Several Artists Push Back Release Dates Due to Coronavirus Uncertainty: HAIM, Jarvis Cocker, Hinds, Willie Nelson, and more reschedule their album releases for more certain time. The effects of the coronavirus on the music industry have generally led to more immediacy—albums have been surprise-released, demos have been pushed live, live streams have been a plenty—though this week things have shifted a bit in the opposite direction. Both yesterday and today we’ve been hearing news of artists pushing back the release dates for their forthcoming records so as not to coincide with the anxieties we’re all facing—and instead, ideally, to coincide with a tour. You know, like, with an audience in attendance. Among these anticipated releases are new records from HAIM, Jarvis Cocker, Kelly Lee Owens, Willie Nelson, Hinds, DMA’s, and Grey Daze, and the posthumous revitalization of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington’s ’90s post-grunge band.

High profile coronavirus initiative #LoveRecordStores hits social media: The music community has rallied together to support independent record stores amidst this time of concern. Record stores have seen some uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19; Bristol-based Idle Hands issued a plea to music fans and the annual celebration of vinyl, Record Store Day, was forced to postpone this year. #LoveRecordStores is a new initiative supported by the likes of Paul Weller to help independent record stores through this time of uncertainty. More than just a hashtag, #LoveRecordStores is encouraging artists, companies and labels to coordinate new ideas and resources to support record stores using all forms of social media. Musicians, artists, actors and celebrities across the world are filming short video clips of themselves talking about their passion for record stores. This might be discussing topics like what independent record stores mean to them, what stores have helped them discover new music, and, most importantly, reasons why fans should continue to use them to get their vinyl fix.

Nederland, CO | Boogie Records Celebrates One Year Anniversary: Elisabeth Grove, Nederland. Boogie Records is celebrating its first anniversary with a month long, storewide sale. Everything in the store, including over 3,000 new and used vinyl records, turntables, and hundreds of CDs, will be 10% off the entire month of April. “My first year in business was better than I expected and I’ve met some incredibly interesting people this past year” says owner Ryan Blackwell. Blackwell continues, “with vinyl records now outselling CDs for the first time since 1986 and Record Store Day, a national “holiday” celebrating independent record stores, taking place on Saturday, April 18, now is the perfect time to get back into vinyl. It just sounds better.” Boogie Records is located in downtown Nederland at 34 E. 1st Street, #3. He is temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 virus. They hope to reopen soon. In the meantime, they are still able to take payments through email and/or over the phone and mail records via USPS.

Spokane, WA | The owner of Resurrection Records talks about the challenges of closing a storefront amidst a pandemic: t was only a couple weeks ago that Resurrection Records, the small vinyl shop on Northwest Boulevard, was packed all weekend, both with local customers and out-of-towners who were here for Tool’s nearly sold-out Arena show. Now the city’s musical landscape looks totally different. Music venues have closed and concerts have been canceled, and it’s possible that brick-and-mortar music stores could be next. Resurrection owner Mike House had planned on business continuing as usual, but now he’s wondering if he should close the doors completely. (On Monday, when Gov. Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order, that debate became moot.) “I’m kind of reconsidering what I should do,” he says. “I’ve been really careful about sanitizing every surface after someone leaves. I sanitize the whole counter and the pens I touch and the phone people use to sign for their credit card transactions.”

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In rotation: 3/26/20

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We’ve suspended our regular content this week to afford our team time to readjust to a new normal. We’ll continue to publish regular morning news updates this week as to be a resource for the vinyl and record store community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we wrote last week, continue to share the status of your record shops’ mode of operating at this time and we’ll share from our platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and you can also share within our Record Store Locator app under the “social” tab. We’ll return to our regular content on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Music community launches ‘Love Record Stores’ initiative: The music community is launching a high-profile, global initiative on Thursday (March 26) to help independent record stores during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. With many of these stores now experiencing a catastrophic drop-off in footfall or having already closed their doors there are fears that some may not survive if something is not done urgently to stimulate sales. With that in mind many music companies have already pledged their support for this new campaign which has been named #loverecordstores. Companies are coordinating ideas, resources and mobilizing the artists they represent to record messages of support for record stores that can be used across all forms of social media. Musicians, artists, actors and celebrity music fans around the world are being asked to film short video clips of themselves talking about, for example: what independent record stores mean to them, where their favourite store is, what records and artists those stores have helped them discover and most importantly to encourage their fans to continue to shop online with their favourite stores wherever possible.

COVID-19: Global music community launches campaign to support record stores: The initiative will run under the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and seeks to support independent record stores around the world that are experiencing a drop in sales due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is aimed at mitigating losses by garnering support and promoting online purchases from the stores. As part of the campaign, record labels are mobilising artists whom they represent to record messages of support for record stores on social media. Other celebrities, such as actors, are being asked to film short video clips of themselves talking about the significance of record stores in their lives, and to encourage their fans to continue to shop online. “Independent record stores have played a key role in supporting and developing artists and their music for decades, so now it is time for music companies and the artists they represent to step up and give something back,” Play It Again Sam managing director Jason Rackham, who is leading the campaign, said.

Can the Vinyl & CD Business Survive Coronavirus? Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, music shops are shuttering — and struggling to survive — and Amazon is focusing on household goods. What’s in store for physical retail? In the week ending March 19, Niall Horan sold 26,000 physical copies of his album Heartbreak Weather — which made it both the most popular physical album of the week and a sobering sign for the future of physical music. Stores are shutting down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and in mid-March Amazon announced it would not re-stock records and CDs until at least early April. As CD sales continue to decline and the high-margin vinyl business faces manufacturing and distribution problems, can the physical business survive? Retailers were already having a rough year. Problems at Direct Shot Distributing have made it hard for stores to get releases promptly, and in February a fire destroyed the Apollo Masters plant, one of two facilities that make the lacquer plate needed to press vinyl. “It’s hard not to be a conspiracy theorist and wonder if the powers that be in the music industry are trying to get rid of physical music,” jokes one indie label owner.

Louisville, KY | Local record shops find ways to safely get you vinyl: It isn’t possible right now to walk into your neighborhood record store, comb through bin after bin and strike up conversations and arguments about all things music, but there are still ways to buy vinyl from those Louisville businesses. For example, Guestroom Records shut its doors to the public a week before the ordered closure of “nonessential” retail stores on Sunday, but the Frankfort Avenue shop has been selling albums through curbside pickup, delivery and shipping — options that are all currently still allowed. “I made the analogy that we are a very, very slow pizza place, with some of the most obscure toppings that you can ask for,” Guestroom Records co-owner Travis Searle said. “Bon Iver and Tame Impala, those are pepperoni. Art Blakey double LP audiophile jazz reissues, that’s artichoke skin that has been cured in Spanish olive oil, brined in the sun. You can call in your toppings and maybe we have them and maybe we don’t. Maybe we can get them and maybe we can’t.”

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In rotation: 3/25/20

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We’ve suspended our regular content this week to afford our team time to readjust to a new normal. We’ll continue to publish regular morning news updates this week as to be a resource for the vinyl and record store community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we wrote last week, continue to share the status of your record shops’ mode of operating at this time and we’ll share from our platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and you can also share within our Record Store Locator app under the “social” tab. We’ll return to our regular content on Monday, March 30, 2020.

NJ | Record Store Day in NJ moves to June: It’s springtime in New Jersey. For me, National Record Store Day, in New Jersey, is a rite of spring. And, while the novel coronavirus has caused numerous cancellations (to put it mildly), it is merely postponing this day that means so much to those of us who love vinyl. The new date to keep in mind is Saturday June 20th. 36 independent New Jersey record stores are expected to participate…including stores in Trenton, Princeton, Marlton, Red Bank, Jersey City, Belmar, Bayville, Summit, and Asbury Park. I’ll be writing more about National Record Store Day in New Jersey, in the coming weeks, as details become available. Stay tuned.

Austin, TX | Vinyl Saved My Life Tonight: Record Stores Deliver in a Crisis: Local media emporiums maintain online shipping during C-19 lockdown. When local schools shut down suddenly on Friday, March 13, my wife swiftly descended on H.E.B. – along with half of Austin. Personally, I’d already begun hoarding earlier in the week: Waterloo Records, Antone’s Records, Half Price Books. When I walked into Breakaway Records around 4pm that day, not a soul stood in the front room. Cascading forth as unto Howard Carter in Tutankhamun’s tomb, treasures long sought materialized as if sent by the gods: a near mint Powerslave – one never, ever, ever finds vintage Iron Maiden, let alone for $19.99 – not one but two near mint LPs of Pink Floyd’s Meddle, and the haul’s dark horse, a $1 near mint-vinyl (but slightly beat cover) copy of Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years. Its Simon & Garfunkel reunion, “My Little Town,” is a freakin’ chip off “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” “…We’ve been adding things to Discogs and our site as fast as we can. We’re shipping everything now, except for gear which we are arranging a drop off locally.”

Victoria, BC | Retired Victoria record store owner pens a poem for these ‘strange times’: Joey Scarfone offers his creative commentary on the scenario wrought by a pandemic. Joey Scarfone is a Victoria resident, retired goldsmith and author of Vintage Cars of Victoria – a beautifully illustrated book on just that. For a while he also owned his own record and music store, Lazy Joe’s Vinyl Emporium in Fernwood Square. Scarfone is also an amateur musician and photographer/ videographer who has a way with words and he’s sent Monday a heartfelt poem based on the “strange times” we’re in right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “These times are unprecedented,” he says of his motivation for writing the verses. “It’s how I deal with my anxiety, to be honest. As a human race we’re pretty helpless right now, we’re on the ropes.” A regular jammer at The Loft Pub on Gorge Road, he also worries about working musicians who are out of work. He notes that even busking on the street is not very effective given the lack of passersby – let alone those willing to use cash. Despite his misgivings about what the future holds, his poem does have an optimistic ending.

Fort Dodge, IA | Sweet Sound: At Greg’s Custom Shop, Hammen creates environment made for music. There’s a blue canvas chair that’s carefully situated in front of a turntable and in between two speakers at Greg’s Custom Shop, 2372 170th St. That blue chair is what owner Greg Hammen calls the sweet spot. That’s where the sound equilibrium exists. When the needle catches the groove of the black vinyl record, the music by “Heart” amplifies and fills the space. The guitar thumps, the drums kick. And Nancy Wilson’s voice carries. Cold late night so long ago. When I was not so strong you know — A pretty man came to me — never seen eyes so blue… It’s the closest thing Hammen can get to without actually being at a live concert. Move the chair a little bit to the left or to the right and you’ve lost the sweet spot. “I am introducing those frequencies into my real-time environment,” Hammen said. “If I’m listening to an album and I want to be totally taken in by it, the only way that can truly happen is if the sound engulfs you and takes you into that false environment and makes it real.”

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In rotation: 3/24/20

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We’ve suspended our regular content this week to afford our team time to readjust to a new normal. We’ll continue to publish regular morning news updates this week as to be a resource for the vinyl and record store community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we wrote last week, continue to share the status of your record shops’ mode of operating at this time and we’ll share from our platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and you can also share within our Record Store Locator app under the “social” tab. We’ll return to our regular content on Monday, March 30, 2020.

St. Louis, MO | Vintage Vinyl closed until further notice for coronavirus: The coronavirus is causing more St. Louis businesses to close. Vintage Vinyl, the iconic record store on the Delmar Loop is closed until further notice due to the outbreak. The store’s owner, Tom “Papa” Ray, posting online that the best way to avoid the coronavirus is to stay home and listen to records. “Hey Now, It’s Tom ‘Papa’ Ray. After 40 years of being in business, I know that no one has ever seen or experienced anything like this. So, I wanted to let you all know that safety for our customers and our staff is our number one concern at Vintage Vinyl. At first, we thought a 7,000 square foot store would allow people to be safe, but we don’t want to take any chances. Because of this, as of 6pm tonight, Vintage Vinyl will be closed until further notice. In the meantime, stay home and listen to LP’s, and as always, remember that Music is the Healing Force. Stay Safe, be nice to one another

New York, NY | Rough Trade NYC temporarily shutting down online sales due to COVID-19: All branches of independent record store chain Rough Trade — UK and NYC — have been closed for over a week due to COVID-19 but all have still been doing online orders. The NYC store, however, is temporarily shutting down its online store too: “In response to Coronavirus, we have temporarily shut down all our operations in North America, including orders on our website. We will update again on or before April 6, 2020. Many thanks for your loyalty and patience. Although our NYC store is closed, please follow us @RoughTradeNYC on Instagram and Twitter, as will be sharing content from our artist community friends, and keeping you all informed of releases that are being postponed due to the virus. Stay safe. Be well.

Rockford, IL | Local shops going online to increase sales amid COVID-19 shutdowns: It’s not only bars and restaurants that are feeling the impact of the stay-in order. Smaller stores in the Stateline that didn’t have an online presence in the past are now dipping their toes into the digital world. Culture Shock has no online website to sell their items. But after shutting its doors to the public that might change. “I mean this is a completely new challenge I mean even outside of flooding and other near-disasters we’ve had this is totally new,” explained Skyler Davis, the owner of Culture Shock record store located at 2239 Charles Street. Stores like Culture Shock and Rockford Art Deli are using the tools at their disposal. For most, that means getting active on social media…Overall, owners say it’s important for the community to stick together and continue to shop local. “Now it’s really good for small businesses to step up and kind of join together and figure out how we can help each other out so that you know once we get back to our normal pace everyone is still strong and open and available to operate…”

UK, AU | “I don’t know what will survive”: Australian record stores grapple with coronavirus: Business is bad for record stores around the country, and expected to get worse. All corners of the Australian music industry are suffering during the coronavirus crisis. On their part, record stores around the country tell NME Australia their sales are dropping, with business looking set to spiral down over the next few months. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Australia’s live industry is by this point well-documented; government bans on public gatherings have led to scores of concerts and festivals being cancelled or postponed, with millions of dollars of income and thousands of jobs affected. Record stores have also been hit, but by the more widespread pressure on the public to stay indoors and avoid crowds so as to cut the risk of coronavirus transmission. That has led to reduced foot traffic and sales for record stores. Nic Warnock and Damien Arkins, owners of Repressed Records in Sydney, closed their store indefinitely on March 17. They estimated takings were down 20 per cent in the days preceding closure.

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In rotation: 3/23/20

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We’ve suspended our regular content this week to afford our team time to readjust to a new normal. We’ll continue to publish regular morning news updates this week as to be a resource for the vinyl and record store community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we wrote last week, continue to share the status of your record shops’ mode of operating at this time and we’ll share from our platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and you can also share within our Record Store Locator app under the “social” tab. We’ll return to our regular content on Monday, March 30, 2020.

New York, NY | Record Stores Offering Curbside Pickup, Delivery, Shipping Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: The ongoing novel coronavirus has caused a global economic downturn, leaving many businesses with no other option but to close their doors and wait for the pandemic to die down. Like many other subsections of the music industry, local, state, and national shutdowns have decimated record sales. Record stores around the country recently began taking matters into their own hands, offering pickup and delivery options amid these trying times. “The weekend prior was by far our biggest of the year,” Strictly Discs store owner Angie Roloff told Billboard. “But this last weekend was where we felt things start to change.” …“We’re trying to goose it however we can and just let people know we’re there,” said Waterloo Records owner John Kunz. ” Waterloo has not yet offered delivery services, due to more pressing needs, but Kunz is hopeful that the company will do so soon.

UK | ‘I’m trying to keep the panic down’ – the coronavirus impact on music: From singers to a record shop owner and a festival organiser: people in the music business on their struggles in a time of crisis. …We’ve been here 17 years. CDs have died, so it’s mostly vinyl. The cafe and records feed off each other. It’s such a small town that I need both for it to make enough money. Record Store Day being postponed until June was a massive relief. There was a suggestion that it could have gone partially online, which would have been a disaster: competing with Rough Trade, Resident, record shops with really good online facilities. RSD is basically a month’s worth of sales in one day, so if you’re doing it it has to work. We could probably last a month without me having to put some money in, and I don’t want to put money into a failing business. The shop can only survive with big financial help from the government. The difference between Boris and Macron’s responses was worlds apart. In France, they said no business will go under and we’ll put €45bn into supporting them. That’s the scale of what has to happen. And it can’t be loans

AU | Record Store Day announces replacement event, The Great Australian Warehouse Sale: “We went to the record companies and asked them to venture into the dim and dusty corners of the warehouse and then get sharp and hot with the prices. They came to the party.” The team behind Record Store Day have announced a new event to tide vinyl lovers over, after the original was postponed. The Great Australian Warehouse Sale is a two-day event happening in April, which sees Independent record stores receive stock marked at the lowest price possible. It aims to give indie stores a financial boost and make music more accessible for fans. Record Store Day Australia took to Facebook, saying “we went to the record companies and asked them to venture into the dim and dusty corners of the warehouse and then get sharp and hot with the prices. They came to the party.” Participating record labels include Sony, Universal, Warner and Inertia, along with companies Rocket Distribution and MGM Distribution. Lists of exclusive marked down items – vinyls, cassettes and CDs – will start appearing on Record Store Day’s official website as of March 23.

New Orleans, LA | Louisiana Music Factory Closes Its Doors: The Louisiana Music Factory, after 28 years in business, is closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the increasing cases of the coronavirus in Louisiana, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell today called for non-essential businesses to close by Monday. Consequently, Barry Smith, the owner of the Louisiana Music Factory, announced that the bricks-and-mortar store, which has been a fixture at 421 Frenchmen Street since 2014, will shut down immediately. Smith said that he had laid off employees to comply with the city’s requirement and for his staff’s and customer’s safety. Smith noted that he only had two customers all day Friday and that Frenchmen Street was empty…The store will continue to service mail order sales, for the time being. “And we will re-open in the future,” said Smith.

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Demand it on Vinyl: John Stewart, Old Forgotten Altars: The 1960s Demos in stores 5/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In a career spanning more than four decades, John Stewart swiftly progressed, from his beginnings in a Southern California garage band, through folk groups the Cumberland Three and the Kingston Trio, to a successful solo career. He contributed well over 40 albums and more than 600 songs to our musical universe. His song catalog is not only staggering in volume, but it’s also loaded with classic compositions.

Most will know Stewart’s songwriting from “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees (and Anne Murray) or his own Lindsey Buckingham-produced “Gold,” a #5 hit in 1979. But just as impressive are “Runaway Train” from Rosanne Cash’s 1987 King’s Record Shop album, “Sweet Dreams Will Come” on Nanci Griffith’s Little Love Affairs, or “Mother Country” from Stewart’s own 1969 California Bloodlines album, which was used to usher the Apollo 11 spacecraft safely back to Earth after its historic journey. Omnivore Recordings will release Old Forgotten Altars: The 1960s Demos on May 8, 2020. The collection was produced and compiled by Grammy-nominated producer Ron Furmanek and overseen by Buffy Ford Stewart.

Four tunes found on the collection wound up on the Kingston Trio’s 1966 release Children of the Morning, with one of them, “The Spinnin’ of the World,” getting a second airing on 1979’s hit album Bombs Away Dream Babies. That LP also yielded the aforementioned charting single “Gold,” with two other songs, “Midnight Wind” and “Lost Her in the Sun,” also making the Top 40.

Three duets with Buffy Ford Stewart foreshadow the Signals Through the Glass album, which the singing partners, and later husband-and-wife team, would release on Capitol Records in 1968. Old Forgotten Altars also features five tracks that would form nearly half of Stewart’s classic California Bloodlines album, released in 1969. Of particular note, “July, You’re a Woman” makes its first recorded appearance here alongside demos for “Mother Country” and “The Pirates of Stone County Road.”

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In rotation: 3/20/20

UK | Amazon ‘still very much business as usual’ for record labels in the UK, says distributor Proper Music: …Things, aren’t working out quite as bleakly for the record business as first feared. At least not in the UK, where we’re told that “Amazon are still ordering from music suppliers” – and not just honouring previously agreed orders, but also replenishing stock for new orders. That’s according to Drew Hill, Managing Director of Proper Music Group, which distributes for nearly 1,000 independent labels, represents around 10% of the UK physical recorded music market and handles over 1 million titles at any time. Proper handles logistics in the UK for companies such as Epitaph, Ingrooves, Redeye, Concord, The Orchard, Believe, Absolute and AWAL. As such, the firm has recently managed the physical releases for artists including BTS, Lauv and Nick Cave. “Amazon UK is still very much business as usual,” Hill told MBW today…

Wilmington, NC | As ’Rona rages, Gravity Records plays on: The revered Wilmington record shop has added delivery and pick-up options to help maintain business during the coronavirus crisis. Owning a record store in 2020 was already a challenge. Then, the coronavirus hit. But if Matt Keen, who founded the Wilmington shop Gravity Records 16 years ago, wasn’t a survivor, he would’ve been gone long ago. He’s already lived through the death of CDs and the rise of digital. So, with the COVID-19 crisis threatening to wreck the entire economy and make things that much tougher for independent record stores, an idea “just popped into my head,” Keen said. “Whatever I can do to make a sale.” Gravity is now offering “porch drop offs” of the vinyl records that are its bread and butter, as well as curbside pick-up at its 612 Castle Street location and, of course, mail-order. (To place an order, call 910-343-1000.) “I’m trying not to allow people in the store,” he said. “But if someone wants to come in and look at the jazz records? We’re a pretty big space.”

Bangor, ME | Bull Moose continues to pay employees despite closures: Bull Moose Music has closed all its physical locations until at least March 28th. The annually celebrated “Record Store Day” has also been rescheduled until June 20th. A representative from the store said both dates are subject to change, depending on future developments with the coronavirus pandemic. Despite sending most of its employees home during the closure, Bull Moose has opted to pay its employees for the shifts they’d normally be scheduled. “They’ve always treated their employees right,” said Bangor assistant store manager Jesse Giroux. “I know the decision came kind of late on Sunday. None of us were really expecting this- to be closed or that we would be get paid for the closure too. But it’s nice having them look out for us like that.” Bull Moose says while the physical stores may be closed, their online store is still very much open for business.

Los Angeles, CA | Curbside Pickup at Amoeba Hollywood Available Through March 22: In response to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, Amoeba Hollywood is now offering curbside pickup! Call the store and ask to do a phone order for curbside pickup. Our staff will pull your order for you and bring it out to your car! Curbside pickup will be available 11am – 6pm through Sunday, March 22. 1. Call us at 323-245-6400 and ask to do a curbside pickup. 2. Pay over the phone by credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard & Discover. Store credit, gift certificates, and coupons may not be applied to curbside pickup purchases. 3. When you arrive, park on the Ivar side of the store at a meter. If none available, park in front of the Ivar loading dock entrance. Call the store and let us know you are ready for pickup. 4. Items must be picked up by 6pm each day.

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TVD Radar: On Record–Vol. 1: 1978 from G. Brown in stores 3/24

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The On Record book series looks at the evolution of popular music from 1978 to 1998 through images, interviews, and insights.

Respected veteran music journalist, broadcaster and historian G. Brown has authored the first in an encyclopedic series of books celebrating popular music, to be released March 24. On Record—Vol. 1: 1978 features Classic Rockers from Journey to Bruce Springsteen to the Cars; nascent new wavers such as the Police, Talking Heads, and the Clash; as well as the year’s greatest releases from Pop, R&B, Country and Jazz. Celebrating his 50th year as one of America’s foremost popular music writers, G. Brown has interviewed more than 2,500 musicians, including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, and Kurt Cobain, all of whom recounted their escapades and reminisced about what their time on the charts meant to them personally and musically.

“In addition, my curated archive of more than 15,000 rare promotional photos tells a remarkable visual history of seminal periods of music history,” G. Brown said. “A lot of time, creativity and capital was invested by the artists in the creation of these images. I did not want them lost to time. It’s a privilege and even a responsibility to share them and the artists’ stories via the On Record book series.”

Each volume of the On Record series highlights nearly 200 limited and extraordinary images and 100 profiles with an array of musical artists from the late Jerry Garcia and Dave Matthews to Bono and Santana. Every edition is beautifully crafted and geared to every music fan’s library and institution.

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TVD Radar: Rory Gallagher, Check Shirt Wizard Live in ’77 3LP
in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Following on from 2019’s highly successful Blues album, Chess/UMe proudly released Check Shirt Wizard Live in ’77, in multiple formats, including 3LP 180g black vinyl, 2CD and digital, earlier this month.

Now, this 20-song, previously unreleased set—culled from four Rory Gallagher shows (London, Brighton, Sheffield, and Newcastle) during an early 1977 tour across the UK in support of his then-latest album Calling Card—is No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart. Featuring explosive live versions of tracks from that album as well as songs from the 1975 Against The Grain album and other live favorites, Check Shirt Wizard has been mixed from the original multitrack tapes from the Rory Gallagher archive, which were recorded by the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull’s mobile studios and mastered at Abbey Road.

The set was produced by Gallagher’s nephew, Daniel, whose father, Donal (Rory’s brother and manager), took him to his first Rory concert. Check Shirt Wizard’s cover painting is by a young Irish graffiti artist Vincent Zara who has stenciled Gallagher’s image across his home country.

“The first time I ever saw my uncle Rory playing live was at the Hammersmith Odeon, London in 1987,” Gallagher recalls. “My father woke my older brother and me up and said we were going on an adventure. Parked outside our house was a large tour bus, we got in and were whisked away to the famous theatre a few miles north. At the time, being five years old, I had little awareness of what my uncle and father did for a living. I used to think Rory meant magician when he said he was a musician.

We got to the side of the stage, my Dad put ‘Rory Gallagher’ t-shirts on us and pulled back the curtain, and there was uncle Rory playing his battered Fender Stratocaster to thousands of rockin’ fans. Rory looked over and saw my brother and I air-guitaring away and with a huge smile on his face Chuck Berry style ‘duck walked’ over to rock out with us. I finally realized what my Dad and Rory did and why they were always going on trips abroad!

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TVD Radar: Mick Rock’s ‘Behind the Lens’ live stream Thursday, 3/19 at 5PM EST

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Thursday night—March 19th—at 5 PM EST, legendary photographer Mick Rock will be live streaming from his home, on Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Instagram account, giving everyone who tunes in, a look Behind The Lens.

The live stream will feature Rock discussing the stories behind some of the most iconic still and moving images he’s captured throughout his distinguished career—during which he witnessed and documented some of the most monumental moments in music history. His recollection of these moments promise to give everyone watching an entirely new perspective on images that have grown to be part of rock music history.

Tune in at 5 PM Eastern Time and join us for the first ever Behind The Lens Live Stream.

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In rotation: 3/19/20

Record Labels Take Another Hit as Amazon Stops Accepting Vinyl and CD Shipments: Although probably no one will begrudge Amazon prioritizing essential goods and services during a pandemic, the company’s decision to put a temporary halt to incoming shipments of physical media is subjecting record labels — particularly independent imprints that do a good deal of business in vinyl and CDs — to yet another blow. Amazon has announced that its warehouses has “temporarily disabled shipment creation” for discretionary items through at least April 5. That doesn’t have to do with the outflow of product from Amazon, but inflow. Amazon is declaring an immediate emphasis on the kind of household and medical supplies that have been quick to sell out, and which customers are having a hard time finding in person. Their message to record labels and distributors: Please stop sending us anything, until further notice.

Bandcamp Will Forfeit Its Share Of Sales Friday, Urges Direct Support Of Musicians: Bandcamp, the digital storefront and streaming music platform used by hundreds of thousands of artists and thousands of record labels, will forgo collecting its share of revenue from sales on the site made this Friday, March 20, the company announced on Tuesday. The initiative will be active from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m Pacific time. The global coronavirus outbreak has put many musicians in a state of extreme financial precarity as their main source of income, live performance, has been suspended while the world struggles to contain the pandemic. “For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not,” Ethan Diamond, the CEO and co-founder of Bandcamp, writes. “Still, we consider this just a starting point. Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come, so we’re also sharing some ideas below on how fans can support the artists they love and how artists can give fans new, creative ways to provide support.”

Covid-19 Music Industry Update: Proper Music Distribution. MD Drew Hill has given an update on how the company is responding to Covid-19. You can read it here: “I would like to update you on the steps Proper Music Group are taking in response to the latest advice on COVID-19. Our Dartford warehouse remains open for business as usual, with all precautions being taken over the health of our staff. While at present stock is moving smoothly, some disruption may be inevitable down the line as the situation continues to develop. From today, the team at our Surrey Quays office (sales, marketing, label management and international business) will work as normal from home, for an initial two week period. Meetings planned with our team in person can proceed by video conferencing – we will be in touch on how to connect in such instances. As a reminder Record Store Day has been postponed until Saturday June 20, a sensible move in view of the safety of the music buying community. That aside, it’s very much business as usual, and while events are upon us that we could never have predicted, the Proper can-do spirit will continue to prevail!”

The lost art of deep listening: Choose an album. Lose the phone. Close your eyes. What’s your favorite album? When was the last time you listened — actually listened — to it from start to finish? With intention, like you were watching a movie or reading a novel. Clear your schedule for the next three hours. Choose three full albums, whether from your collection or your streaming service of choice. Put them in an ordered queue as though you were programming a triple feature. Because, listen: Musicians spend years making their albums. They struggle over syllables, melodies, bridges and rhythms with the same intensity with which you compare notes on the “Forensic Files” reboot, loot corpses in “Fortnite” or pound Cabernet during pandemics. But most of us are half-assed when it comes to listening to albums. We put on artists’ work while we’re scrolling through Twitter, disinfecting doorknobs, obsessively washing our hands or romancing lovers permitted within our COVID-free zones. We rip our favorite tracks from their natural long-player habitat, drop them into playlists and forget the other songs, despite their being sequenced to be heard in order.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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