Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: The Band, Stage Fright 50th anniversary expanded releases in stores 2/12

VIA PRESS RELEASE | By the time The Band was ready to record their third album, Stage Fright, in 1970, they were riding high from having released back-to-back albums that solidified them as one of the most exciting and revolutionary groups of the late 1960s.

Seemingly coming from nowhere and everywhere in ‘68, their landmark debut album, Music From Big Pink, drew from the American roots music panoply of country, blues, R&B, gospel, soul, rockabilly, the honking tenor sax tradition, hymns, funeral dirges, brass band music, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll to forge a timeless new style that forever changed the course of popular music. When they released their seminal eponymous second album the following year, “The Brown Album” as it would lovingly be called, not much more was known about the reclusive group.

The band, made up of four Canadians and one American, was still shrouded in mystery, allowing for listeners and the music press to let their imaginations run wild about who these men were and what this music was that sounded unlike anything else happening at the close of the psychedelic ‘60s.

Dressed like 19th century fire-and-brimstone preachers and singing rustic, sepia-toned songs about America and the deep south, The Band – Garth Hudson (keyboards, piano, horn), Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums), Rick Danko (bass, vocals, fiddle), and Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano, vocals) – was an enigma, unlike any group that came before or after.

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In rotation: 1/4/21

UK | Vinyl sales surge again in 2020 as music fans enjoy records during lockdown: Vinyl albums now account for almost one in five of all albums purchased in the UK. Sales of vinyl and cassettes surged once again in 2020, as music fans spent much of lockdown discovering new favourites to add to their collections. The BPI, the organisation that represents the UK’s recorded music industry, reports Official Charts Company data showing that fans bought nearly 5 million vinyl LPs in 2020, marking a 21st century record and the highest total since the early Nineties. Cassette sales are set to double by the end of the year, their highest level since 2003, as artists offer their music in a greater range of formats. Both classic and contemporary artists enjoyed bigger record and tape sales, from Fleetwood Mac and AC/DC to Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga. While streaming still accounts for four fifths of music consumption, fans appear to be looking for other ways to enjoy their favourite music.

US | Vinyl Album Sales Hit New Record High in Christmas Week 2020: Vinyl LP sales at indie record stores also reach single-week Nielsen Music/MRC Data record. As predicted, U.S. vinyl album sales hit another historic high, as 1.842 million LPs were sold in the week ending Dec. 24, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That’s the largest week for the format since Nielsen Music/MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. The previous high was set only a week earlier, when 1.445 million were sold in the frame ending Dec. 17. Furthermore, vinyl album sales outpaced CD sales for the week: 1.841 million vs. 1.671 million. It’s the fourth time that’s happened since 1991, and all four instances occurred in 2020. Vinyl LP sales at independent record stores were also record-setting, as 733,000 copies were sold via indie stores in the week ending Dec. 24 — the biggest week for the format at indies dating to 1991. The previous record week came during Record Store Day 2019’s week (673,000; week ending April 11, 2019). Vinyl LP sales received a holiday boost in the week ending Dec. 24, as the tracking frame captured the seven shopping days leading up to Christmas Day (Dec. 25).

St. Louis Park, MN | SolSta Records brings new sound to St. Louis Park: December marked a new beginning for SolSta Records. Phil and Hannah Borreson, the husband-and-wife team that owns the business, packed up their popular south Minneapolis shop and moved to their new location on Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park. “Moving had been in the plan for a couple of years,” Phil said. “We had everything ready to go a couple of years ago. It was about finding the right space.” 2020 certainly was not a year most businesses could have planned for or anticipated as COVID-19 left no industry untouched. “Every week gets a little different between different restrictions and shopping habits,” Phil said. “We’ve changed from a store where someone comes through and digs through records to a place where you mostly shop our online inventory.” Fortunately, the online surge was something SolSta Records was prepared for.

Newtown, PA | Newtown Book & Record Exchange Under New Ownership: After 40 years, store owner Bobbie Lewis is handing over the keys to the shop to a longtime employee. Forty years is a good run for any business, let alone a book and record store, which is a dying breed in modern America where small business owners struggle to compete with retail giants like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Bobbie Lewis, who opened the Newtown Book & Record Exchange at 102 S. State Street in 1981, is placing her trust in one of her longtime employees to keep the business running for another 40 years. After four decades as a business owner, Lewis is calling it quits. Fortunately for book and record lovers in Newtown, her store will remain open for the foreseeable future. “When Newtown Book & Record Exchange opened in 1981, little did I know it would be almost 40 years later before I would be announcing a new owner!” Lewis posted on Facebook last week. “This has truly been a labor of love for me and I will miss seeing you as many of you are like family to me. Without you and your support we would never have survived for so many years.”

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Happy Holidays!

We’ve closed our office for the holidays, however while we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores, either online, curbside, or with some sound social distancing?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday, 1/4.

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Wire: In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, this week we’ve been looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local record shop to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JANUARY 2018 | “They’re here already,” Bart our videographer laughed, motioning to Som Records’ entryway under the large, wrought iron stairs. “Yea, Neal says they’ve been here for almost an hour…”

“Wait—what?!” was the collective first thought. Better to keep it fresh for the cameras is our general thinking, despite the band’s obvious enthusiasm. But hell, the Pixies’ Joey Santiago popped by Som the day before shooting to get the lay of the land in advance of last summer’s record rummage—so, what’s an hour in advance then?

Turns out, not that much at all. After some warm hellos to the gentlemen of Wire, front man Colin Newman, bassist Graham Lewis, and guitarist Matthew Simms (where was Robert?), the band shrugged off their early arrival. “We’d be doing this anyway,” Simms confessed.

So why wait any longer? We’re record shopping with post punk Legends (cap L!) Wire at Washington, DC’s Som Records.

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In rotation: 12/18/20

Austin, TX | Austin brothers amp up local music scene with new stereo and record shop: This may sound like a broken record: 2020 sucks. But two Austin entrepreneurs are trying to change that tune with a meticulously curated lifestyle record store in South Austin that is likely to strike a chord with music lovers. Located at 4361 S. Congress Ave., Living in Stereo is more like a hip, cozy lounge than a retail outlet, evoking a midcentury modern design aesthetic and a vintage Austin vibe. It’s the brainchild of brothers Robert and Enzo Johnson, who were laid off early in the pandemic but chose to invest their savings to open their dream shop. The emporium showcases high-end stereo systems, both new and refurbished, as well as collectable guitars, home décor, custom neon signs, and vinyl records, and the space includes an onsite coffee bar featuring locally roasted beans from El Tigre Coffee. From the design elements to the eclectic offerings, each characteristic of Living in Stereo was chosen with intention, with the Johnson brothers aiming to capture the cultural significance and character of Austin’s halcyon days.

San Francisco, CA | San Francisco’s Best Local Retail Store of 2020: Amoeba Music: Amoeba is open for business, but the best is yet to come: Local retail businesses have never faced as big of a challenge as 2020 has presented them. And while some haven’t been able to survive, others have found ways to adapt with online sales. The one that The Bold Italic readers chose as the Best Local Retail Store is iconic Amoeba Music. Founded in Berkeley in 1990, Amoeba survived decades of turmoil from the music industry to become a renowned location for musicians, music lovers, and tourists to the Bay Area. As we’ve transitioned from one method of enjoying music to the other with breakneck speed, you’d think that crate-digging would have been engulfed by the annals of history, rendered obsolete. It hasn’t. For some of us, there’s nothing more soothing than rifling through a box of buried treasure we can listen to. Amoeba in San Francisco mirrors the bespoke experience of finding your favorite song on vinyl. Since retail has been allowed back open, business has kept up—the store also has an online collection available to peruse.

Godfrey, IL | River Bend Records Now Open In Godfrey, Has Huge Collection Of Old School Vinyl Records, Hopes To Expand In Future: The past decade has seen a resurgence in vinyl records, as many current artists have put their most recent releases on vinyl, along with compact discs, and more recently digital downloads on streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and other services. At the newly-opened River Bend Records in Godfrey, the vast majority of music is offered on vinyl, as the store has a vast collection of music from all genres from the 50s through today. The new store has gotten off to a great start among music collectors around the area. “Things have been going really well,” said Billy Hurst, who co-owns the store along with his wife, Tara. “Really, really busy, You know, we’ve been here about six weeks, and the response from the general public has been just amazing. So supportive.” The fact that vinyl records are making a comeback is something the Hurst feels has been coming for some time. “It’s been probably about 10 years in the making,” Hurst said, “a second wave or resurgence of sorts. In the last two years, vinyl’s outsold CDs. So yeah, very, very cool.”

Columbus, OH | The ’13th best record store in Columbus’ celebrates 10 years in business: Even amid a pandemic, Elizabeth’s Records co-owner David Lewis has held tight to a community grown steadily over the last decade. The three years that David Lewis worked at Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas, the shop was consistently voted the top record store in the area by various publications. “It was always like, ‘We’re number one!’ And we had shirts that said, ‘Number one record store in Austin!’” said Lewis, who co-owns Elizabeth’s Records in Clintonville with wife Laura. “And I hated that. I didn’t want to be that at all [when we opened]. I’m always the underdog.” Lewis embraced that beloved misfit role when Elizabeth’s opened in November 2010, joking at the time that it was the 42nd best record store in town. “And we’ve worked our way up to 13th,” Lewis deadpanned during a recent interview in the shop, which is currently open to the public Friday through Sunday, its hours curtailed by the ongoing pandemic. “And I’m happy with that. That’s a comfortable place. It’s close enough to the top for me. I can deal with that.”

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TVD Radar: David Bowie, Lazarus streaming event 1/8–1/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To remember David Bowie on his birthday and to mark the fifth anniversary of his untimely death, producers Robert Fox and RZO Entertainment Inc are exclusively releasing the stream of the London production of Lazarus, captured live on stage. The streaming will be available for three performances only. This will be the UK premiere of the filmed version of this remarkable show. Find tickets here.

Lazarus includes songs from Bowie’s iconic catalogue as well as new songs written for the stage including the title song, Lazarus. Inspired by the book, The Man Who Fell To Earth, by Walter Tevis (The Queen’s Gambit) Lazarus focuses on Thomas Newton, as he remains still on Earth—a “man” unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin and haunted by a past love. We follow Newton during the course of a few days where the arrival of another lost soul—might finally set him free.

Michael C Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) stars as Newton, the character famously portrayed by David Bowie in the 1976 screen adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth directed by Nicolas Roeg. Lazarus co-stars Sophia Anne Caruso (Beetlejuice on Broadway) and the production is directed by Ivo van Hove (All About Eve, Network, and A View From The Bridge).

Lazarus opened at The New York Theatre Workshop in November 2015. The London production opened in November 2016 where it played a sold out run. This live-streamed event will be available for three performances only in multiple time zones (GMT, AEDT, EST, PST, CST) from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 January 2021.

The Lazarus Cast Album is available on ISO/Columbia Records.

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Alicia Witt, In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, all this week we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUGUST 2019 | You’ve seen her in films as diverse as Dune, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Vanilla Sky, and Urban Legend. On the smaller screen in The Walking Dead, Nashville, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, Ally McBeal, Law and Order, Two and a Half Men, and most recently the final season of Orange Is the New Black.

And we saw Alicia Witt here in our own backyard of Washington, DC on tour in support of her current EP “15,000 Days”—multi-talented indeed. Prior to the evening’s show at DC’s record store and vinyl cafe Songbyrd, we invited Alicia to the set of our long running record shopping series at Som Records for an afternoon record rummage.

Turns out Alicia is just as much of a music fan and vinyl addict as we confess to be with a run through at the shop before we even arrived on scene. (No method acting here.) Engaged in the mission at hand, warm and funny with a hearty laugh and certainly not camera-shy, it was quite the lovely afternoon.

So, down Som’s stairs, shall we? We’re record shopping with Alicia Witt at DC’s Som Records.

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Meg Myers: In-store
with TVD at DC’s Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, all this week we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018 | Meg Myers has been on our radar for a number of years now, and despite our own vinyl predilections, our introduction to Meg came via a slew of videos released over time—often haunting, tense, claustrophobic, and kinda eerie.

As such, it delights us to no end to report that in person Meg’s quite easily the opposite of that persona—well, at least on this sunny Saturday at DC’s Som Records. She’s warm, funny, engaging—and with hugs all around after the record rummage.

So, let’s take you to the record store—we’re record shopping with Meg Myers at Washington, DC’s Som Records!

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In rotation: 12/17/20

Minneapolis, MN | When one record store closes, other windows open: Like many during COVID, Minneapolis shop owner Colin Wilkinson has experienced ups and downs. But after closing Dead Media, a hole-in-the-wall record shop stacked with all things analog, this past spring, Wilkinson is starting fresh with two new ventures. Through finishing the journey for one business and starting another, Wilkinson says he can’t help but be optimistic about the future. Dead Media was tucked alongside 35th Street on the south side of Minneapolis. Those who had the chance to visit likely remember the shop’s sloping wooden floor or the old door that flung open with a Minnesota winter breeze and led to a treasure trove of books, records and cassettes. Others lucky enough to attend a Record Day at Dead Media might even be familiar with the shop’s bunker-like basement overflowing with records. Now the records have been transferred to Wilkinson’s new, mostly digital, shop, Disco Death Records. Wilkinson said with the uncertainty of businesses reopening and Dead Media’s lease up for renewal, it seemed safer to close up shop.

Palm Springs, CA | ‘Closing on a high note’: Record Alley will end 42-year run in desert: Record Alley owner Jim Stephens is closing his store at Westfield Palm Desert after 42 years in the business. Music royalty — including Alice Cooper, Barry Manilow and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top —dropped in during desert visits. Josh Homme of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age also grew up shopping at Record Alley. “We have a lot of loyal customers and I feel for them. They’re going to be sad, but I think somebody is going to pick up the slack,” Stephens said. “We’re closing on a high note and that is good, so we’re kind of like ‘Seinfeld,’ which ended when they were at their peak.” Stephens said his decision to close came amid lease problems with Westfield Palm Desert after a four-month shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic, and also his wife’s health problems. “My wife is on biologic infusions and has immune issues, so we have to be careful about that. We’re not able to work in the store anymore and that creates a problem,” Stephens said. Record Alley will start a 50% off sale on Dec. 28 and close in late January.

Roswell, GA | Mojo Vinyl: Reader-Nominated Businesses Of The Year: Roswell’s Best. Mojo Vinyl sells new and used vinyl, turntables, posters and books along with other record related material. Owner Rand Cabus has for years worked diligently to build a local record store that welcomes anyone and everyone to share in the love of music no matter what genre. Now in its fourth iteration and location (36 Woodstock Street) Mojo Vinyl is more than just a local business, it has become a gathering place for individuals throughout the greater Atlanta area to come together on a regular basis to share in their love of music in general and music on vinyl specifically. While the challenges of a pandemic have made it more difficult, Rand has responded with guidance from the CDC and kept both new and existing customers safe. Rand is always looking for new ideas and events to participate in to promote not only his business but also to celebrate the greater Roswell community and I think that sort of dedication should be recognized and celebrated. His commitment to that ideal consistently draws increasing numbers of people from other communities to Roswell where they then shop and ultimately take a positive impression of Roswell back to their own communities driving even more traffic to Roswell.

Louisville, KY | Better Days Records relocates second shop in Louisville to bigger location: An iconic record shop in Louisville is moving to a new location. Better Days Records has been on Bardstown Road in the Highlands for more than 30 years. But the shop is getting settled in its new digs not too far away on Barret Avenue. The owner, Ben Jones, said he needed more space to expand, and this new store more than doubles the size of the old one. Jones said this allows him to bring all of his merchandise that’s been in storage out in one place. The large, open floor plan allows customers to feel safe inside the store and social distance, Jones said. With current pandemic guidelines, the store can allow up to 25 people inside at once. Jones said business was slowing down before the coronavirus hit, but more people are taking an interest in vinyl with the extra free time stuck at home. “Even though the world has stopped a bit, we’re prepared for when it starts back up again with this new store,” said Jones. Better Days Records has a second location at Lyle’s Mall, and there are no plans to move or close that shop.

Vinyl sales in U.S. hit all-time high with almost 1.3 million records sold in one week: Record Store Day and Black Friday helped sales to reach a historic peak. …According to a report from Billboard, which was based on data from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, 1.253 million vinyl albums were sold in one week in the US – surpassing the 1.243 million sold a year earlier in the week ending 26th December 2019 and marking the largest sales week in recorded history since electronic tracking began in 1991. Record Store Day limited-editions and Black Friday promotions at independent record stores helped to bolster the sales week, with independent physical store sales accounting for 542,000 vinyl LPs sold. The report also states that the sale of vinyl LPs at mass merchants including Walmart and Target, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, contributed to the new high for the week ending 3rd December. Vinyl sales in the UK are also on track to hit a three-decade high this year, with projections for sales of the format to rake in £100 million by the end of 2020.

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Andrew W.K.:
In-store with TVD at
DC’s Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, all this week we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2018 | Allow us to dispel a notion, if you in fact harbor it, that Andrew W.K. is only about THE PARTY. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Sure, Mr. Wilkes-Krier is party practitioner par excellence, yet he’s also quite an astute music aficionado (and fan) with tastes across a wide swath of genres which we were made aware of during our recent record rummage in DC. (Not to mention he had some cool ideas for the video you’re about to view.)

Here’s some stuff you probably DO know—Andrew’s sharp as a tack, hysterical, and has a brand new record, You’re Not Alone, whose vinyl edition lands in your local record shop on March 2nd—which you can pre-order right here.

So, let’s get this party started, shall we? We’re record shopping with Andrew W.K. at Washington, DC’s Som Records!

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The Struts’ Luke Spiller: In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, all this week we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JANUARY 2019 | If there’s one thing that makes us happy to no end of late, it’s the return of good ol’ glam rock and roll to the airwaves, record stores, and turntables—and if there’s one band at its fore, it’s the UK four-piece The Struts who Dave Grohl famously cited as the Foo Fighters favorite support band (which says a thing or twenty as we’ve caught Social Distortion, The Joy Formidable, and Supergrass all open for the Foos over the years).

Now, allow us to be candid—the shelves in our office are teeming with records from within a ’70s sweet spot. (Get it?) Bowie, Queen, T. Rex, Slade, Mott, The Dolls, Alice Cooper, KISS, Elton, and yea Sweet, all still in heavy rotation. So, The Struts connected right right away–not just channeling this glitter era but contemporizing these sounds with hooks and earworms for days.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that we were joined by The Struts’ main main Luke Spiller at DC’s Som Records prior to the band’s well sold out show in Washington, DC late in 2018 for a binge in the record bins thinking Luke’s taste in records would fall in line with ours. And spoiler—yep, we’re simpatico.

So, down the stairs, shall we? We’re record shopping with The Struts’ Luke Spiller at DC’s Som Records.

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In rotation: 12/16/20

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘We’re Seeing an Uptick’ in Curbside Pickups: Though COVID-19 cases seem to have plateaued in Wisconsin (for now), store owner Angie Roloff says many customers are exercising more caution as the pandemic tightens its grip across the U.S. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Gov. Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis.

North Charleston, SC | Charleston vinyl shops see good sales throughout 2020: Charleston-area record stores are reporting good sales in 2020, a possible bright spot despite the financial challenges the pandemic has posed for the music industry as a whole. Drew Anderson of North Charleston vinyl shop Gray Cat Music notes that sales have remained steady since May, and online sales on discogs.com are up 30% compared to 2019. “My business has luckily been growing every year,” he said, adding that Gray Cat did better overall in 2020 than last year. Anderson attributes the good fiscal year to the fact that his business is small. Gray Cat mostly sells used vinyl, and he doesn’t have to cover a large lease at his current location at The Station in Park Circle, where local makers and retailers like Anderson set up small booths. In addition, the way Record Store Day was divided into three separate days in three months aided his business’ sales, he said. “Otherwise I think my sales would have dropped in those months.” Bruce Berg, owner of the Record Stop on John Street, told the City Paper his store’s sales numbers are up “incredibly” from 2019.

Orlando, FL | Two record stores in Orlando have autographed Megan Thee Stallion CDs for sale: Two worthy Orlando record stories have quite the exclusive available for purchase: autographed copies of Megan Thee Stallion’s new CD, Good News — in very limited quantities and apparently not available anywhere else in Florida. Park Ave CDs and Re-Runz Records are the only spots in town to get your hands on these rarities. Park Ave CDs has some available through their webstore; the rest can only be purchased in the store on a first-come, first-served basis. Park Ave CDs opens at noon on weekdays. Re-Runz — according to a Facebook post from a couple of days ago — has 15 copies of the signed Good News CD, also available on a first-come, first-served basis. Re-Runs opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays (and will also have unsigned copies of the CD for purchase). Some of the proceeds from each CD sale will go to the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Happy hunting! These treasures are sure to go fast.

No, I Am Not Getting Rid of My Thousands of CDs: Our chief classical music critic writes in praise of going to a shelf, pulling out a recording and sitting down to listen. In the late 1970s, when I was living in Boston, the record store of choice for classical music fans was the Harvard Coop. It had an extensive catalog and informed salespeople eager to offer invariably strong opinions on which albums to buy. I’d often bump into friends and fellow musicians, all of us flipping through bins of LPs. After making a purchase I’d have to squeeze yet more shelf space out of my cramped apartment, but I was pleased at my growing home library. Then, in 1982, CDs arrived. Slowly everyone started converting from 12-inch vinyl LPs to four-and-a-half-inch plastic CDs in jewel-box cases that required a completely different storage setup. And what were you supposed to do with your old LPs? Now the cycle has repeated itself, with CD sales dwindling to a fraction of their heights a couple of decades ago. Download and streaming services have taken hold, and physical discs have become obsolete. After all, with everything available online, why clutter up your living space?

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TVD Radar: Brian Eno,
A Year with Swollen Appendices 25th anniversary hardcover edition in stores 2/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Faber will publish a new edition of A Year with Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno, out February 9th, 2021 in the US, in honor of the landmark title’s 25th anniversary.

At the end of 1994, musician, producer and artist Brian Eno resolved to keep a diary. His plans to go to the cinema, theatre and galleries fell through quickly. What he did do – and write – however, was astonishing: ruminations on his collaborative work with artists including David Bowie, U2, James and Jah Wobble, interspersed with essays on topics from the generative and ambient music he pioneered to what he believed the role of an artist and their art to truly be, alongside razor-sharp commentary on his day-to-day tribulations and happenings around the world.

This beautiful 25th-anniversary hardcover edition has been redesigned in the same size as the diary that eventually became this book. It features two ribbons, pink paper delineating the appendices (matching the original edition) and a two-tone paper-over-board cover, which pays homage to the original design. A fascinating, candid and intimate insight into one of the most influential creative artists of our time, A Year with Swollen Appendices is an essential classic, reissued for a new generation of readers.

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Kimbra: In-store
with TVD at DC’s
Som Records

As 2020 comes to a close it’s not lost on us that we—and most likely you—spent very little time in a record store this year (if you even did at all). As we close the book on this trying year, all this week we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite pre-pandemic visits to our local to revive that record store experience—with a friend or ten that you just might know.Ed.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 2018 | We trust that you’ve heard by now that Saturday, April 21, 2018 is Record Store Day, which is for us less of a “Christmas” and more akin to Thanksgiving—a day to be thankful for the mom and pop, indie record shops that yes, see a spike in sales and foot traffic on this particular Saturday.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’re aware that each year the Record Store Day folks choose an ambassador for the event—kindred souls who live and breathe the culture of both records and record stores. This year RSD has chosen rap duo Run the Jewels as its 2018 ambassadors, following Metallica, Jack White, Dave Grohl, Chuck D, Iggy Pop, and St. Vincent among others have also lent their support. In addition many countries across the globe choose their own special ambassadors.

Which got us thinking…heck, we’re here every day preaching the brick and mortar gospel and singing the praises of the bands and artists who press their music to wax—we might just merit a Record Store Day ambassador ourselves!

And as such, we’re delighted to announce that mega-talented, global recording artist Kimbra is our very own ambassador for Saturday’s shop-a-thon. Kimbra’s brand new release Primal Heart arrived in stores yesterday, April 20, 2018—which means you can snap it right up on vinyl today! She’s also on tour with Beck into June.

Touring earlier this year in advance of Primal Heart’s release, she joined us for a record rummage at Washington, DC’s Som Records, and as you’ll see, she’s as knowledgeable as she is engaging and warm. And she’s got great taste in music too.

So, onward—we’re record shopping with Kimbra at Washington, DC’s Som records!

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In rotation: 12/15/20

Riverside, CA | Mad Platter Record Store Is No More, but Vinyl Lives On: It didn’t take long to spot. On the second day of his freshman year at the University of California, Riverside, Wolfgang Mowrey perused the list of local hangouts provided during new student orientation. As luck would have it, there was an independent record store called Mad Platter in University Village, just a block from campus. “I remember just being blown away by that kind of place existing so close to me,” said Mowrey, who was always looking for new music as a part of his job with KUCR radio. The record store in his nearby hometown leaned heavily toward punk rock — not his preferred genre — and he loved Mad Platter’s deep, diverse selection within its bright, poster-clad walls. “You see it in films and media, but you never really dream of being able to go there yourself, or at least I hadn’t. To be able to be present there felt so special.” He didn’t buy a record on his first visit, but that wouldn’t last.

Mankato, MN | Tuned in: Downtown record store thrives: If it wasn’t for an MTV contest nearly 30 years ago, Tune Town in Mankato may never have come to fruition. Owner Carl Nordmeier had been working in the music department at the Lake Street Target in Minneapolis in the early ‘90s when an option to transfer to Mankato was on the table. But when he moved into an apartment near Minnesota State University, that job fell through. Nordmeier’s other source of revenue, as a weekend DJ, wasn’t enough to cover the bills. Frustrated with the corporate nature of Target’s music department, he had already started to consider opening his own music store when he was still living in the Twin Cities. But it wasn’t until he entered an MTV-sponsored contest to win a record store that the plan really started to take hold. “I said, ‘If I don’t win this, I’m going to move back home with Mom and Dad in Morristown, save up money and open my own record store,’” he said.

Poughkeepsie, NY | Covid temporarily closes Darkside Records: Here it is December of 2020. It’s the time of the year when everybody should be out and about doing their holiday shopping and celebrating with their friends and families. But, thanks to a pesky global pandemic, more and more businesses have been shutting their doors for one reason or another. Sometimes they’re forced to by the government to close down, sometimes it’s because they just can’t financially afford to stay open anymore, and lately many businesses have closed temporarily for the safety of their staff and customers. Such is the case with Darkside records on Dutchess Turnpike in Poughkeepsie. At what should be the busiest time of the year for this popular independent record store, they’re shutting down for a few days. According to their facebook post, Darkside Records has had an employee test positive for coronavirus, so they’ve made the wise decision to close their doors for a few days to have the store professionally cleaned and sanitized. A decision that will help to keep their customers and employees safe.

Japan Album, Quiet Life, To Be Reissued In 3CD/1LP Box Remastered: Late ’70s English New Wave was added to with the arrival of Japan. This band featured David Sylvian, who changed the band to Rain Tree Crow before its demise back in 1991. Before they left for other fields, Japan issued five classic studio sets and one as Rain Tree Crow (for six). A handful of successful singles furthers the legacy of Japan. On January 22 of 2021, the third album from Japan, Quiet Life, originally issued in 1979, will be remembered with a 3CD/1LP Boxed set. The music will be half-speed remastered. The first CD contains the original album remastered as does the heavy-grade vinyl LP. CDs 2/3 contain a collection of alternative mixes, rarities, the remastered Live In Japan 4-track EP, and the rare Live At Budokan 16-performance track se from a March 1980 show. (Live in Japan was the cherry-pick of that live performance.) There will be a single CD issue of Quiet Life along with a 12-page booklet, and a single LP (heavyweight vinyl/gatefold jacket) with a four-page insert. DD will also be issued. All will feature photos, new liner notes, and more.

Detroit, MI | You can now play ‘Record Packer,’ an old-school video game designed by Detroit techno DJ Omar S: Detroit techno DJ Omar S released new music while also showing his love for old-school arcade games. You can listen to new tracks by the DJ in Record Packer, an 8-bit-style video game released Thursday as part Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store, a multimedia exhibition now on display at Red Bull Arts Detroit. Based on Tapper, a 1983 game sponsored by Budweiser where you play as a bartender serving drinks to customers, in Record Packer you play as Omar S, packing and shipping records while running his label, FXHE. According to Red Bull Arts Detroit: With Record Packer, Omar S draws attention to the unseen logistics crucial to running a successful independent label — the laborious reality of packing and shipping records. Players must pack and tape boxes before moving them onto a pallet for shipping. If the player over-tapes the box or takes too long to finish packing more than twice, their turn ends and they must start over. Set within an expanded FXHE warehouse, the game serves as the third and final interpretation of the Conant Gardens Party Store within Red Bull Arts Detroit’s exhibition.

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment
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