Category Archives: A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/5/21

Vinyl sales increased in the United States by 30% throughout 2020: Despite streaming’s market dominance, the vinyl revival just keeps raging on. This week, the RIAA released their annual year-end music industry revenue report for 2020, offering an intriguing snapshot of the state of America’s recording industry during the height of the pandemic. Despite the devastating impacts of the virus upon the country, the US recorded music industry’s revenue grew by 9.2%, accounting to $12.2 billion in 2020. Revenues from recorded music at wholesale value increased by 8.9% totalling to $8 billion. While COVID-19 restrictions and retail store closures made an impact on trade, total revenues from physical products decreased by a slim 0.5% in 2020, earning $1.1 billion. Vinyl sales increased by 28.7% to account for a total of $626 million, and for the first time since 1986, revenues from vinyls were greater than CDs. It’s not surprising vinyl sales have increased, considering some albums have limited multiple releases through via records. Meanwhile, revenue continue to drop for CDs, with sales declining by 23% this year to equal $483 million in 2020.

Evanston, IL | A new record store somehow opens in Evanston: On February 20, Michael Dedmon opened Evanston’s newest music store, Black Squirrel Records. Dedmon is a dedicated record fiend who began buying up entire collections a decade ago, and so far all of Black Squirrel’s stock has come directly from his personal holdings. The store’s inventory includes rock, reggae, electronic music, jazz, soul, country, blues, and world music. Dedmon says a neighbor of his owns the 450-square-foot storefront at 1620 Greenleaf Street, and he’s wanted to open a record store there for a few years. When it became available about a month ago, he secured a short-term rental with the hope of transforming it into a long-term endeavor. For now he mostly runs the place himself, with a little help from a friend and his friend’s daughter. “Everyone who walks in has a smile on their face,” Dedmon says. “Or I think they do, because they have masks on.”

Hoboken, NJ | Musical Nostalgia: Vinyl record sales boom at this New Jersey shop: Vinyl records may seem like a thing of the past, but the surge in sales, even through the pandemic, has proven otherwise. At Tunes Hoboken, an independent record store running strong since 1995, the evolution of music and the revival of vinyl records has been witnessed firsthand. “We’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. But by being smaller and independent, we’ve always been able to adapt. We’ve sold more record players and speaker setups since reopening from the pandemic than ever before,” said Chip Heuisle, owner of Tunes Hoboken. According to Heuisle, vinyl’s account for approximately 70 percent of his sales, which can be purchased in-store or online. “When we first had to shut down in March, I remember thinking I can handle a month of being closed. When it turned out to be three months, I was a little nervous, but selling online was part of our business so I knew that I was lucky,” said Heuisle.

Winston-Salem, NC | Earshot Music in Winston-Salem purchased by owner of Hippo Records in Greensboro: Earshot Music in Winston-Salem will reopen on Saturday as Hippo Records, said owner Patrick Lemons. The store has been closed since last Sunday for some remodeling and restocking. Lemons, the owner of the Hippo Records store at 2823 Spring Garden St. in Greensboro, bought the Earshot Music store at 3254 Silas Creek Parkway in Silas Creek Crossing shopping center on March 1. This will be Lemons’ second Hippo Records location. Alan “Phred” Rainey, the previous owner of Earshot Music, died in January after a long battle with leukemia. “I was really sad to hear the news of Phred’s passing,” Lemons said. Lemons, who lived in Winston-Salem from 2008 through 2009, said he had known Rainey since the early 2000s and would shop in Earshot Music, which once went under the name the Record Exchange. Lemons said Rainey approached him about buying the store prior to his death. “In the circumstances, I am definitely honored that he had an interest to want me to come in and continue on the legacy of the store…”

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In rotation: 3/4/21

Miami, FL | Ingenuity, Customer Loyalty Keeps Local Records Store Afloat During COVID-19 Pandemic: A local records store has had to rely solely on ingenuity and customer loyalty to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Believe it or not, a national trend of nostalgia for vinyl records has helped a local store that counts on customers digging through the stacks to find that long-ago memory. Nationwide, in 2020, the sale of vinyl records increased almost 30% over 2019. The sale of CDs declined, the same for music downloads, like many small businesses, the key during the pandemic has been ingenuity and customer loyalty. Technique Records reopened in June, with five employees back to work, wearing masks and social distancing was just part of the rules of the house. “It wasn’t until we were ordered to shut down when every non-essential business had to close was when I said to everyone, well, that’s it!” said shop owner Mikey Ramirez. Ramirez said he took to his couch, thinking of his employees, his family, his home. “I am not sure what to do, to be honest, I’m lost like everyone else was,” Ramirez said.

Inverness, UK | Kind donations from a city centre record shop will provide 300 displaced families with safe drinking water: Union Vinyl, based on Market Brae Steps in Inverness, posted a message on its social media to say vinyl records they had passed to Oxfam had raised £3407 for the charity’s work. Saying the team behind the shop were staggered by the amount raised said it was delighted the vinyl records that it could not use could be recycled to support the charity’s work. Owner Nigel Graham wrote: “Just to let you all know, I got confirmation by email today of Union Vinyl contribution to Oxfam. “We often get collections in which through sorting fall below our standard for resale, or are artists that are not so sell able for us, so we set them aside in a box for Oxfam in Inverness. “We phone them to collect when it’s full, and some of you know that I recently moved house so a lot of stock needed to be shifted so Oxfam kindly picked them up. And some people randomly drop bags off to us to dispose of for them, they always go into the box. “The total raised by Oxfam through our donations at present is a staggeringly £3,407.00 wow.”

Evansville, IN | Vinyl records make a comeback: Despite the effects of the pandemic, vinyl record sales are jamming on both nationally and locally. This resurgence is shaking up the music industry. “Two years ago, pre-COVID, vinyl sales out sold CD sales in the first time in probably 20 years and not only are older people going back to collecting vinyl, but there’s a lot of teenagers and younger people collecting vinyl as well,” explained Jeff Osborne. He’s the owner of Secret Headquarters who started carrying vinyl records over the summer. “Any record enthusiast that has ever dropped a needle on that record, there’s just something magical about the sound, the highs, the lows,” described Patrick Holl, owner of Space Monkey Records. Holl said the way his customers became interested in vinyl is just as diverse and unique as the age range of the frequent shoppers. “It’s an interesting phenomena with vinyl because I’ve quite a few businesses over the years and I can honestly say that this is the only business where the demographic spans from the youngest people, 12-13 years old all the way to very elderly people.”

Austin, TX | Through Vinyl, Keeled Scales is Defying the Odds: Owner Tony Presley found new life at his indie record label thanks to records and other physical media. “The sky was falling,” says Tony Presley, owner of Austin indie record label Keeled Scales. Following national shutdowns last spring, the company’s monthly financial reports showed album sales down by two-thirds, and with people glued to the news, streaming numbers tanked. In those precarious first months of the pandemic, Presley pondered whether or not the label even had a future. But then the unexpected happened. In June, Presley started to process an inordinate amount of album orders, mainly of vinyl records. Comments were often attached, where purchasers left encouraging notes to the artists (Wish we were seeing you live this year, but this will have to do! said one to Will Johnson). “In the absence of artists touring, their fans and listeners wanted to actually hold the physical record while they’re listening to it,” says Presley.

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In rotation: 3/3/21

Tarentum, PA | Former Jerry’s Records owner now selling vinyl from Swissvale spot: Jerry “Vinylman” Weber owns hundreds of thousands of records. He’s not a fan of acquiring music on digital platforms. “I have never downloaded a song,” Weber said. “I have a flip phone. I am what you call ‘eccentric.’” Weber loves to help others acquire music. He owned Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill for 40 years, retiring in 2017 and selling it to employee Chris Grauzer. Weber, 72, an Oakland native, needed two knee replacements. He took a few years to mend. In 2019, he started selling records from his warehouse in Swissvale, Vinyl-Man’s Clubhouse. The space is a former car dealership and light fixture store. He has 250,000 records stored in the large building where 50,000 are for sale, most for $5 in every genre from rock to jazz to country-western. He decided to open more hours to give customers additional shopping time. The record store on Washington Avenue will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Atascadero, CA | Traffic Records Moves Twenty Feet to a Larger Location: Those searching for records in Atascadero will be pleased to hear the Traffic Records has recently relocated to a larger space only twenty feet from where it sat before. Traffic Records and Bland Solar Company and Show Room saw their leases come time for renewal and decided it would be mutually beneficial to switch as the record store needed more sales space and Bland Solar was open to a smaller location. During the first week of February, the two businesses made the change, and now Traffic Records sits at 5850 Traffic Way while Bland is at 5870. Due to the tight restrictions placed on businesses based on square footage, Traffic Records owner Manuel Barba was forced to make a decision. “The max number of occupancy that I could have of shoppers at any one time was two to three with people waiting outside. As the store got increasingly more successful and busier, I found myself setting up a lounge area outside in the hopes that people might stick around and wait…”

Marquette, MI | Buy or trade your favorite vinyl records: The Emporium featuring Vintage Vinyl in Marquette is open by appointment. Make an appointment to buy or trade vinyl records. To schedule a visit to The Emporium featuring Vintage Vinyl in Marquette, call or text owner Jon Teichman. The shop holds thousands of records, as well as vintage toys, books and homeware. Teichman constantly adds to the collection, but special orders are available if you don’t find the album you’re looking for. “Everyone’s welcome, all tastes are welcome. And if people have records that they’re not listening to and they’d like to trade them in, and have them looked at by us, they should definitely contact us,” says Teichman. “We love to look at people’s collections. We can come to you or you can bring the records to us, but we’re really interested in people’s records.” The Emporium is located at 317 W Washington St. in Marquette. The shop is currently open by appointment only.

Record Store day and Vans new vinyl supports Black-owned record shops: Vans and Record Store Day 2021 are teaming up to support Black-owned record shops across the country. Together, the two companies are putting out the dual vinyl Songs for You, Vols. 1 & 2 that will specifically benefit Black-owned independent record shops in the United States. Late last year, the United States saw a massive spike in vinyl record sales over the holidays. In fact, Record Store Day’s Black Friday event and Taylor Swift‘s folklore helped the industry sell over 1.445 million vinyl on the weekend before Christmas. Now, Record Store Day hopes to keep the momentum surrounding physical album sales going this year. On June 12, Record Store Day is officially holding its 2021 event. This time around, however, RSD is teaming up with Vans for a special collaboration. Together, the companies are releasing the dual vinyl Songs for You, Vols. 1 & 2. The new compilations feature nineteen tracks from prolific Black artists including Curtis Mayfield, H.E.R., Run The Jewels, Summer Walker, Common, Pop Smoke and Freddie Gibbs among others. Roberta Flack’s recent cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is also included.

Medicine Hat, CA | Round Again Records sees generations of music lovers come together: At Round Again Records on Third street, the music doesn’t stop playing. From the Rolling Stones to The Beatles, to ABBA. Music is everywhere. Old-fashioned records, CD’s and even cassettes each blanketing the walls of the store. Their colorful covers, a catch to those itching for a musical escape. “I get a lot of people who come down here and it is a trip down memory lane.’Oh I had this or oh I had this and it kind of takes them back,” said owner Pete Rose. That feeling of nostalgia during a period of uncertainty is what some people say keeps them coming back. …But the lure of the store is not exclusive to those wanting to return to the good old days of their childhood or teenage years. “A lot of my customers I would say are between 17 and 25 and some are even younger coming in with their parents you know and It’s not the parents buying the record it’s the kids, or the parents buying the record for the kid,” said Rose.

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In rotation: 3/2/21

Vinyl Record Sales Increased Almost 30% in 2020, RIAA Says: Streaming expectedly continued to grow throughout the pandemic while downloads and CD sales continued to decline. The RIAA has released its annual year-end revenue report, surveying the state of the recorded music industry at the end of 2020. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, trends across the past several years carried on: Streaming is up 13.4%, generating $10.1 billion last year compared to $8.9 billion in 2019, accounting for 83% of the total revenue of the industry. Vinyl sales have continued to rise, too, increasing a whopping 29.2% to $619.6 million, compared to $479.5 million in 2019. The rise in vinyl sales made up for the continued decline in CD sales, leading to a marginal 0.5% decrease in revenue across all physical media from to 2019 to 2020. Music downloads continue to trend downwards, too, decreasing by 18% to $674.4 million last year as compared to $822.8 million in 2019. The RIAA report concludes that streaming has driven the industry to grow for the fifth consecutive year, with revenues increasing 9.2% in 2020, generating $12.2 billion in total.

Medicine Hat, CA | Hatter fulfils lifelong dream with downtown record store: Hatter Pete Rose has worked just about every job imaginable. He spent time with law enforcement, worked as a painter and served in the military for years — to name a few. During all the time, his love for music stayed with him, which has fueled his latest venture: Round Again Records. Rose opened his record store in October in downtown’s Arcade Plaza, and he has already had to move to a bigger space in the building to keep up with demand. “It’s really good so far,” said Rose. “Every week seems to get a little busier and we keep seeing new faces.” Rose’s store specializes in used records, which people can sell to him or trade for different material. He carries vinyl, CD, cassettes and even has 8-tracks. He also sells turntables and speakers. “We’re always buying, trading and selling,” he said. “We post a lot on our Facebook page and in different groups to let people know what we have down here.

San Angelo, TX | San Angelo now has a vinyl records and more store: When you think about Vinyl Records, chances are most of you think back to 45 singles and albums on vinyl from back when. That’s not necessarily the case as you would see with a visit to San Angelo’s new Sonny Records and More store. Vinyl Records never completely went away and numerous artist continue to record their music on vinyl in addition to all of the current formats. There has also been a popular resurged interest in buying and collecting Vinyl Records for quite some time now. Sonny Records and More actually opened back in late January of 2021 and are located at 1504 W. Beauregard Ave. Not only do they sell new and used vinyl records, but you’ll also find T-shirts, stickers, buttons, posters and more. Sonny Records and More was envisioned by owner and operator Sonny Gammill. He would love for you to drop by and browse his store from noon-8 pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon-5 on Sunday.

Richmond, CA | Richmond resident finds vinyl album he sold as a child in Maple Ridge garage sale 16 years ago: Jeffrey Liu found the album while sifting through 3 Dawgs Vinyl in Richmond recently. Jeffrey Liu was surprised when he found a copy of a prized vinyl album in a Richmond retro record store that he’d given up 16 years ago for 50 cents at a garage sale in Maple Ridge as a young boy. However, Liu – who moved to Richmond, age 12, just after that garage sale – was about to get an even bigger shock when he took the album home from 3Dawgs Vinyl on No. 5 Road. For as soon as he started playing Frankie Laine’s Greatest Hits he realized, due to the position of a couple of scratches on the vinyl, that it was actually his record from 16 years ago. “Regrettably, I made markings on it as a kid and got scolded by my grandparents for doing so. I recognized it as soon as I got it home,” said a stunned Liu, who moved back to his native Richmond from Maple Ridge with his grandparents in Grade 8. …Liu, now 27, said, instantly, a ton of memories came flooding back of him growing up with his grandparents in their Maple Ridge ranch and acreage.

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In rotation: 3/1/21

New Brunswick, NJ | Arts and Music Space, “Chamber 43,” Moves to Hub City: A one of a kind interactive music space and coffee bar opened in downtown New Brunswick on February 26. Chamber 43, a vinyl record store, coffee bar, event space and recording studio, has relocated to 356 George Street from Highland Park four months after closing amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 5, Chamber 43 founder and owner David L. Martins announced the store’s closing on its Instagram page, writing that he was “uncertain of any timely re-opening.” “It wasn’t looking like I was going to re-open for another year,” Martins told New Brunswick Today on December 7. “I was going to take some time off, and come back to it with a clean slate next year.” But things started looking up when Martins’ October post drew in a new business partner.

Chichester, UK | Owner of Chichester vinyl record shop looks forward to welcoming back customers: The owner of a vinyl record shop in Chichester city centre is looking forward to welcoming back his loyal customers in April. Craig Crane, the man behind Analogue October Records in South Street, said he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ at the Prime Minister’s announcement that non-essential businesses could potentially open as early as April 12, as he had feared the lockdown could drag on much longer. He said of the shop: “We’ve built up a massive loyal following who basically support the shop throughout the year. We really look forward to welcoming them back in April.” Mr Crane is particularly looking forward to being able to chat with customers again. “People come in here just to talk and share ideas,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing that I’ve missed during lockdown, people coming in and just chewing the fat for an hour. The shop is a social hub for people.” When the shop was forced to close last March, he launched a website for the business which ‘took off really well.’

Nyack, NY | Get lost in a world of music, art, books, and coffee in downtown Nyack: An unbeatable combination of music, art, books and coffee make for a great Road Trip: Close to Home in downtown Nyack. Soothe your soul with soundtracks at Main Street Beat, a vinyl record store with an eclectic collection. “We carry rock, jazz, R&B, hip-hop – ranging from the ’50s to current music today,” says co-owners Amy Bezunartea and Jennifer O’Connor. Next, fuel up at a unique Nyack staple – The Art Café. This 19th century building-turned-cafe captivates an aesthetic aura with help from local artists. Not only do baristas brew beautiful cups of coffee, but they also serve Mediterranean meals named after famous artist, such as the Picasso Salad. It’s just the right boost of energy to take you on our next adventure at the Pickwick Book Shop, where books are literally stacked from floor to ceiling. But how many books are we looking at here? “Quite a few…thousands! Thousands upon thousands,” says owner John Dunnigan.

San Marcos, TX | Texas’s Legendary Sundance Records Is Back With a Massive Memorabilia Collection—For Sale: Nicknamed the Michelangelo of the Staple Gun, Bobby Barnard turned his San Marcos record store into a work of art. Now you can own a piece of it. How many music posters can fit in a forty-by-sixty-foot barn in Hill Country? It’s a problem that Nancy Barnard, the former co-owner of San Marcos’s Sundance Records, is struggling to solve. “Fifteen hundred [posters]? Two thousand? We were reaching hoarder levels of stuff, if I’m being honest,” she says. And posters are just one part of her massive collection, which includes thousands of items of music memorabilia. Barnard owned the beloved record store until 2012 with her late husband, Bobby Barnard, who died last August after thirty years as a fixture in the local music scene. Now Nancy has tasked herself and a former employee, Parker Wright, with getting Bobby’s archive of music posters, records, vintage T-shirts, and other memorabilia online—and, in news music lovers were thrilled to learn, available for purchase.

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In rotation: 2/26/21

Bozeman, MT | This might be the best record shop in Montana: If you are a person that loves listening and collecting vinyl records, this spot is a must go to in Montana. So here in Bozeman we have a few pretty great record shops. Cactus Records in downtown Bozeman is a great spot. They have some of the best new top vinyl’s you can get. Plus, their used collection is rock solid. Then there is the recently new Wax Museum in Bozeman. Their vinyl records are mostly in old school punk and some classics and their used section is pretty incredible if you are looking for classic rock or country. Both of these spots are great but there is a place in Montana that has one of the biggest and fantastic collections of vinyl record’s I have ever seen and luckily it’s a pleasant drive to get there. In Missoula, most people know Rocking Rudy’s for great gifts and a huge music selection(my dad would go here every time we visited) and I honestly thought that was the only music store in Missoula. That was until my brother introduced me to my new favorite spot. Ear Candy Music.

Bend, OR | Audiophiles, physical media fans embrace cassettes in Bend: Though not as popular as vinyl, tapes are making a comeback. Erika Windlinx of Prineville grew up listening to rock ’n’ roll bands such as Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC on rides in her father’s truck. But the 21-year-old didn’t have a physical music collection until about three years ago when her grandfather died, and she inherited his truck. It only had a tape deck, so Windlinx started scouring Smith Rock Records (formerly Ranch Records) in downtown Bend for cassettes. She now has a collection of between 50 and 100 cassettes. “It’s something material,” Windlinx said. “I’m sure I could find some way to hook up my phone to my truck and play media through MP3s and stuff, but I like the material. I like having the little flip booklet that you have that has all the funny little pictures of rock stars in them, and then it has a little cover picture. In this day and age we’re definitely losing that, and I feel like that’s a bit pricier of something to have to pay, to lose the material for more convenience.”

Cleveland, OH | Boss Ladies of CLE: Brittany Benton. Producer, DJ, owner of Brittany’s Record Shop: this Boss Lady is helping to drive Cleveland’s music industry. Brittany Benton says that being prepared has served her well this last year. “It was one of those situations where they say, you know, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” Benton said of the events of 2020. As the reckoning around race and equity took shape last summer, her Slavic Village store, Brittany’s Record Shop, saw unprecedented sales. “The first four days of June, it eclipsed what I made all through all my sales channels in 2019 and it’s been pretty steady since,” Benton explained. “People were looking online for all types of black business owners to patronize and then, [it helped that in] the vinyl community were very close-knit.” Benton says that while she had to close her store for about five weeks at the start of the pandemic, her website sales have more than made up for the closure.

Raleigh, NC | Vinyl Record Stores in Raleigh, NC: A pandemic-plagued year presented brutal challenges for businesses of all types and sizes, including record stores. Yet somehow, record stores in the Raleigh area are finding new ways to not just survive but thrive, often by honing in on new features or niches. Here’s a survey of stores on the scene. All have the standard coronavirus protocols with mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, occupancy limits, social distancing and such. Most of them offer curbside pickup or mail-order delivery if you want to truly keep your distance. Pour House Music Hall & Record Shop: As the pandemic picked up speed during the spring of 2020, the record store upstairs at the Pour House Music Hall was ill-prepared for a shutdown, lacking a website. So they had to do what co-owner Adam Linstaedt calls “a quick pivot,” with co-owner Lacie Linstaedt getting a fully functional website up and running by the middle of April. Online sales got the shop through the dark days of the shutdown, and they have since reopened four days per week. The inventory continues to be vinyl-only, and they have done their best to keep things fun even in the midst of harsh times.

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In rotation: 2/25/21

Louisville, KY | Mr. Tees Record Store a lasting memory for Louisville’s music industry: The tunes of a local record store started flowing through the West Louisville community in the 1980s. Mr. Tees Record Store was the spot for local artists to find their beats and where gospel legends passed through the aisles. Willie Glover knows almost every tune of the gospel, from Douglas Miller, to his very own as the lead singer of the group Archie Dale and the Tones of Joy. ”We never could come up with a solid hit record,” Glover said. In 1985, he opened Mr. Tees Record Store, bringing hits to the shelves to make a living. ”The life of a music store is new music,” Glover said. “If you can get new music and get it first, then you can make some money.” …”Everyone knew about Mr. Tees,” she said. “We would listen to gospel music, then hear a song on 1240 LOVE and then WLLV. We would travel down there on Broadway and you’d go in there and get the feeling of physically putting your hands on the tapes and albums.”

Webster, PA | Webster’s Stax of Trax Records provides a variety of unique vinyls:  To see if I could stock up on some records for my collection, I visited the records section of Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe: Stax of Trax. Since returning to State College, I have been hunting for more vinyl record shops after checking out Music Underground last semester. When you Google “records shops in State College,” you find a decent amount of opportunities to purchase these musical collectibles. Though Stax of Trax appears as its own individual store on the web, it is actually inside Webster’s. Though I had been to the bookstore and cafe before, it turns out I hadn’t truly experienced all it has to offer. I always enjoy a good bookstore, and I have been to many all over the country, including Strand Book Store in New York City and Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. Webster’s just seems different to me — but in a good way. I don’t know if it is the older bookstore aesthetic that intrigued me or the smell of food at the cafe, but I enjoy being at Webster’s. The whole store and the smell of old books gave me a bit of nostalgia.

Buffalo, NY | Remember the records? These few vinyl shops in Buffalo had them: Back in the 70s and 80s DJs and record enthusiasts only had a few places to go to get classic vinyl. The known retail record stores in Buffalo carried mostly mainstream music that was being played on the radio at the time. Before I became a DJ, I remember going to The “Record Theater” it was on Mian Street in Buffalo, back then 12-inch singles were $4.99, and I would go at least once a week to try to keep up with what was current. I soon found out, that for DJs to get a good deal on music, one of the places you had to go to, was right downstairs from the Record Theater, and it was called “One-Stop”, they sold music to DJs and people on the radio at a discounted price. The store many of us DJs went to has been around for well over 50-years and still stands as the oldest record store in Buffalo still in operation, Doris Records. I learned to hit up Doris Records when you wanted to get new music first in the 80s and 90s, Doris Records was one of my favorite places.

Lily Allen would have put her albums on vinyl “long ago” if she owned the masters: And she “had nightmares trying to get things pressed” for her 2018 record ‘No Shame’ Lily Allen has told fans she wishes she could have her albums repressed on vinyl. The singer was responding to a tweet after someone asked her about the possibility of getting her discography repressed, to which she revealed that she’s always wanted to but is unable to because she doesn’t own the master recordings. A fan wrote on Twitter: “lily pleeeeease press your records on vinyl again!!! we are BEGGING!!!!!!” with Allen replying: “if i owned the masters i would have done it long ago.” Allen added: “i had nightmares trying to get things pressed on NoShame, wanted to do limited edition of singles but was told it was too expensive.” Another fan wrote: “Can you not re-record them like Taylor? Or is that really expensive to do?” Allen responded: “perhaps. maybe one day.”

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In rotation: 2/24/21

Portland, OR | Face the Music: Looking to build up your record collection? Here’s where to find vinyl in Portland. Support local businesses and fill the void of live music with the next best thing. Over the past year, as we’ve slogged, cried and persevered our way through the pandemic, I’ve tried to offer up ways to support local music venues and musicians. This week I’m pulling a slightly different thread by suggesting some retail therapy in the form of record shopping in and around Portland and through local stores online. Not only will you support local businesses, you never know what you might find while out there flipping through the stacks. I reached out to several shops in Portland to check in about sales during the pandemic and found that vinyl, which started its resurgence a few years back, is as popular as ever. Whether you’ve already jumped on the trend or are interested in starting a collection, here are places to look and what they have to offer.

Boise, ID | A breath of fresh air: The Record Exchange adds air purifier to safety measures for in-store shoppers: In a news release, The Record Exchange in Boise announced it is adding to its cadre of safety measures for in-store shoppers. “Behold the power of ions!” The announcement said, “Since the start of the pandemic, The Record Exchange has taken multiple steps to make sure you stay safe when you step inside our store. And now we’ve taken a leap into the air – literally.” With the installation of needlepoint bipolar ionization technology, the result is cleaner, purer, air, said the release. “Needlepoint bipolar ionization is a purification process that removes airborne particulates, odors and pathogens using safe ultraviolet rays. Basically, it attacks and kills all the bad stuff in the air – dust, spores, bacteria, and yes, viruses – by stealing its life-sustaining hydrogen. In the process, the system also greatly reduces outdoor air intake, keeping our newly pure store air nice and pure.”

Wappingers Falls, NY | Wappingers Falls brewpub The Vinyl Room moving to Beacon: The Vinyl Room, a Wappingers Falls-based brewpub and record shop, has announced it will close on Feb. 28 and reopen later this year in Beacon. The Vinyl Room opened in 2017 at 2656 E. Main St. and offered its customers an extensive inventory of vinyl records along with craft beer, wine and pizza. The company shared the news of its move on its Facebook page, but did not state where or when it would be opening in Beacon. “These uncertain times have presented us with some new opportunities to grow our business, and we are looking forward to setting up shop in our hometown of Beacon this coming spring,” the statement said. “We would also like to thank everyone for all the support the last four years in the village of Wappingers Falls. We’ve built some wonderful friendships, enjoyed some amazing times together, and we will truly miss everyone visiting us in Wappingers.”

Norwich, CT | New comics and records store in Griswold looks to hold future events: Comics have been a way of life for Chris Hebert since, as a child, he was given a Star Wars: Return of the Jedi comic book by his mother before getting surgery about 40 years ago. Since then, he has kept up comic book collecting as both a hobby and as a side job. However, the pandemic has made him rethink how he approaches his business. On Sunday, Hebert, along with Mike Young, opened CH2 Collectibles featuring RPM Records, in the Slater Mill Mall in Griswold. The collectibles include comics, records, toy cars and trading cards. The store’s hours are Thursdays and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hebert and Young met while working as vendors at the Slater Mill Mall’s flea market. Because of the pandemic, the men weren’t able to access their inventor in store. However, Hebert said an opportunity became available when a space in the Slater Mill Mall opened up, and the two men moved in February.

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In rotation: 2/23/21

Washington, DC | Meet the owner of DC’s HR Records, one of very few Black-owned record stores in the US: The story of D.C.’s place in music history is one that’s been spinning for generations. The legendary shows at Constitution Hall, the Go-Go soundtrack of the city and, of course, the homegrown legends of jazz and soul. But record stores — a place where knowledge is passed on, where you can discover what’s next, and where you can literally hold a piece of history — are rarely in Black hands. That’s where Charvis Campbell comes in. He’s a product of Howard University, who left the world of academia for a new musical arrangement. He owns HR Records, which stands for Home Rule Records, in the heart of D.C.’s Brightwood Park. “We’re probably the only one in the city, and for obvious reasons that’s a concern if you think of the history that D.C. has with music, that our people have,” he told us. “The fact that we only have one store says something there.” In fact, an online community that’s keeping tabs says Campbell’s shop is one of only 37 Black-owned record stores in the country, despite record-sales for vinyl records recently. Campbell says his stake in this side of the industry is a key part of holding on to D.C.’s musical heritage.

Ottawa, CA | Boyd Brothers Stay In the Groove With Ottawa’s Compact Music: The Boyd brothers, Ian and James, have been persistent and sometimes loud proponents of indie music retailing, strongly supportive of local recording artists, and profitably operating their business through the peaks and valleys of the trade. Last year, having been forced to shut down for 13 weeks during lockdown, they still came out ahead in year-end numbers, as compared to 2019. The Bank Street store today is practically all new vinyl and doing very well. Paige Raymond Kovach reports. Ian and James Boyd have been in the music retail business for 43 years and have kept the beat going through many entrepreneurial challenges that include the dawn of digital downloads, and the current Covid-19 pandemic. The two started selling records in 1978 under the name Circular Motion when they set up shop in the front of the Saucy Noodle restaurant to sell their record albums. “I think my first day I sold seven records, and thought to myself ‘I’m gonna get rich,'” Ian says with a hearty laugh.

Grand Junction, CO | Localrado: Put Your Records On: Triple Play Records spins on the power of music. The store is packed solid with vinyl records and CDs featuring hits from multiple genres. In a day of digital streams, employees notice that a high appreciation remains for hard copies. “Being able to listen to a record or a physical media CD rather than a download is important to our culture and to the community as well,” Matthew Cesario shares, “We’re able to give back to the community and we’ve done in many ways over the years.” Adapting to all styles, Triple Play can convert vinyl records and cassettes to CDs or MP3s for personal devices. “At Triple Play Records, they encourage you to listen to a classic disc then go out and toss one,” Cora Dickey says.

Common Celebrates Black Vinyl, in All Its Forms, as Record Store Day Puts a Spotlight on Black-Owned Music Shops: RSD has a website showcasing 30 Black-owned record retailers for Black History Month, with a very vinyl-conscious hip-hop star helping lead the awareness charge. Black History Month is also, unofficially, Black Record Store Day Month. The Record Store Day organization has made it a mission throughout February 2021 to put the spotlight each day on a different Black-owned music shop in the U.S., a cause that has involved bringing in Common to help shine the spotlight on independent retailers that deserve the patronization every month of the year. “I owe so much to record stores and specifically Black-owned record stores,” Common tells Variety. “I’m very grateful to be a part of Record Store Day supporting Black-owned record stores because of what they’ve meant to me and what they’ve meant to Black culture and getting Black music out to the world. So I think it’s only right. It’s like, to whom much is given, much is required. For me, this is my duty.”

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In rotation: 2/22/21

Hermitage, PA | Stacks of wax, tons of toys and a multitude of memories: Flipside is somewhere between a store and a collection that got a little out of hand. Stepping inside the front door of Flipside Records and Collectibles, a quick glance around the room will reveal rows upon rows of records, CDs and other music memorabilia — and at the far end of the room, a door leads to yet another room of shelves and cabinets full of curiosities bound to evoke memories. With everything from rock ’n’ roll and country to rap and hip-hop, some shelves feature records of famous artists such as Frank Sinatra to seemingly random oddities such as holiday-themed records of DC heroes. Other shelves carry CDs with more modern artists such as Green Day, while cassette tapes feature everything in-between. Owned by husband-and-wife team Robert and Judy Johnson, the Hermitage business has something for everyone from hardcore collectors looking for that rare, 45 rpm record of an obscure musician to a young person who’s just discovering a new genre. “I think it’d be hard for a family to come in here and not find something that’s of to interest everyone,” Judy said.

Denver, CO | Good Baby Founder Queues Up Most Personal Pop-Up To Date With Larimer Records Cafe: Last October, Good Baby MGMT took on the rather Herculean task of refurbishing The Market at Larimer Square. For founder Josh Sampson — the man behind TheBigWonderful, Denver Bazaar, Yeah Baby and Neon Baby — the iconic space’s transformation was but one piece of the larger task of bringing fresh ideas and a younger demographic to a Larimer Square in crisis. Before formally launching Good Baby, Sampson acted as director of placemaking for the whole block — introducing an all-star roster of new tenants including Bao Brewhouse, Hidden Gems, Drunken Bakery and Ghost Coffee, alongside his original concepts Farmers Market LSQ and Garage Sale. On Tuesday, February 2, Sampson upped the ante with the opening of Larimer Records Cafe — once again dramatically refashioning The Market’s venerated multi-level interior. Sampson rightly describes the project — essentially a pop-up within a pop-up focusing on bourbon, wine, vinyl and beer — as the “hipster sax.”

Milwaukee, WI | Retro MKE: The Exclusive Company. Say it with me — the Exclusive Company!” Many Milwaukee radio listeners remember the iconic statement fondly — along with afternoons spent perusing Exclusive’s bins of LPs for treasures. The Exclusive Company, billed as “America’s Oldest Full-Line Independent Record Store,” originally opened on Main Street in West Bend in 1956 and sold all iterations of vinyl: 33, 45 and 78 rpms, expanding over the decades to include cassettes and CDs. In its heyday during the 1970s and 1980s, The Exclusive Company was the hub for vinyl and CD aficionados — album signings (and occasional performances in the store), tie-ins with Summerfest shows and local appearances, midnight record release sales, and solid cross section of music from rock to jazz, soul, country, experimental and classic. When the demand for physical albums boomed again in the 2000s, The Exclusive Company found a market for both new-release and pre-owned records, along with an expansion into novelty items and pop-culture collectibles. The West Bend store carries additional car and home audio electronics, TVs and DJ equipment.

Wappinger Falls, NY | Unique Hudson Valley business closing for months, moving: A very popular and unique business that sold beer, wine, food and records is closing. But will reopen in a few months at a new location. On Thursday, The Vinyl Room, the Hudson Valley’s first-ever taproom and record shop, announced Feb. 28 will be the company’s last day open for business at its Village of Wappinger Falls location. “We would also like to thank everyone for all the support the last four years in the Village of Wappingers Falls. We’ve built some wonderful friendships, enjoyed some amazing times together, and we will truly miss everyone visiting us in Wappingers.,” The Vinyl Room wrote on Facebook. The Vinyl Room offers its customers a wide range of items. The business opened on East Main Street in 2017. It sells vinyl records, wine, craft beer and pizza. The good news is the popular business isn’t closing for good, like so many eatery’s have been forced to do this pandemic. The Vinyl Room is moving to an undisclosed location in Beacon.

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In rotation: 2/19/21

Nearly 12 million records sold on Discogs in 2020: With over 140 million items added to people’s collections. Discogs has released its end of year report for 2020, with vinyl sales reaching record highs during the period. Despite the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 saw substantial growth in vinyl sales globally, and Discogs was no exception. A reported 16,290,197 items were sold on site — an increase of 40.12% over the previous year, with vinyl sales accounting for 73.4% of all sales. Vinyl was the most popular physical format on site, with 11,961,998 records sold in 2020. The platform also saw 140,189,018 items added to collections in 2020, fuelled by global Coronavirus lockdowns, and more time spent at home.

Ontario, CA | ‘Reopening is more than just slapping an open sign on the door.’ Sudbury-areal businesses continue to grapple with the unpredictability of the pandemic post-lockdown. Eight weeks to the day the Ontario government announced the second provincial lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential businesses were permitted to open in the Sudbury district. The stay-at-home order lifted on Tuesday, and Public Health Sudbury and Districts’ service area was moved into the orange zone of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework. Most businesses, including gyms, clothing stores and cinemas, were allowed to re-open with public health protocols in place, including reduced capacities and other restrictions. Weathering the storm of a second provincial lockdown, however, has been challenging and local businesses are doing their best to stay afloat. “You have to remain hopeful. You have to be looking forward to the future and planning, but with the pandemic, we’re dealing with a level of unpredictability that makes that really hard,” said Beth Mairs, lead programmer at Sudbury Indie Cinema.

Red Hook, NY | The Record Shop is perfectly Red Hook, by Gene Bray: You see a permanent bench in front of a bizarre looking sculpture of guitars. A Sculpture-like apparition that might be unwelcome in some neighborhoods. It’s clear that anybody is welcome to sit at this crazy lookin spot. Anytime. At dawn there is usually all kinds of free stuff on it. By noon chairs appear. This is a place to relax a while with others… And of course, the records. Hundreds of albums are displayed in huge wooden racks. And 45s. A record is always playin on 1 of the two turntables in the window. Never loud though. Background music. You can hear it on the sidewalk out front too; also at the same low volume.. Don’t worry, it’s loud enough. These turntable sounds are free to anyone passing by. And it hits em right between the eyes. Impromptu dancing is always breaking out. Inside and on the sidewalk. One day I saw an older lady dancing in front of the shop. Gracefully, effortlessly, sensuously moving to a Salsa beat.

Manchester, UK | A new bar, bakery, record store and cafe hybrid is heading to Altrincham: It started life in a caravan but is moving on up. Altrincham is set to welcome a new cafe-bar with a record store and bakery inside after lockdown. The hybrid venue comes from local independent record label Stutter & Twitch, who have been operating a coffee shop out of a caravan since last summer. The new permanent site will serve craft beer, cocktails and wine alongside its artisan coffee as soon as restrictions allow. The unit at Stamford Square will play host to live music from local artists and DJs. It will also be home to a small record store, and a mini bakery churning out baked goods to be stocked and sold from the caravan, which will remain in place. Stutter and Twitch’s expansion comes in partnership with Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, and is part of a wider plan to transform Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter. The plan includes creating a community-focused public square at Stamford Square, where Stutter & Twitch are building their new home. The site will be ready this March, but will open as soon as restrictions allow.

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In rotation: 2/18/21

New York, NY | East Harlem Music Store Moves to a Latin Beat: You won’t find many who know more about Latin Music than Vicente Barreiro, co-owner of Casa Latina Music Shop on 116th Street in East Harlem. He’s been there more than a half-century, and it all started when he met Christina at a Manhattan Dance Club. “We used to go dancing, and we got married and her father had the store, not this one he had another store two-doors down, and he asked me if I wanted to work there,” said Barreiro. His answer was yes, to Christina’s Dad Alfonso Rubio. Rubio bought the current shop in 1966, and when he passed away in 1978, Vicente and Christina started running the business. Barreiro added musical instruments to the records, tapes, and CDs sold here over the years, specializing in Latin sounds like salsa. The store became a popular spot for the greats of Latin Sound to stop by and talk music with Barreiro. The pandemic hasn’t been kind to music stores like Casa Latina, as many customers who would stop in got accustomed to ordering online.

Breaking records: Vinyl sales pass CD sales for the first time since 1980s: Vinyl record sales last peaked during the Reagan decade; 40 years on, vinyl is making a comeback. In 2020, vinyl record sales passed CD sales in the United States for the first time since the 1980s, according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America. Vinyl sales were up 3.6 percent while CD sales were down 47.6 percent. Owners of local record stores said the trends have been apparent, and they point to the coronavirus pandemic as the primary reason. Jesse Merideth, owner of The Hippie Hut Guitars & Things, said he has noticed skyrocketing sales. “I imagine people have a lot of time to kill,” Merideth said. “People are getting stimulus checks with some extra money to spend on things.” Jack Sterver, owner of Records Per Minute, a popular record store in Columbus, said he thinks the increase is due to the pandemic-inspired phenomenon of picking up new hobbies. “People are picking up vinyl collections as a new hobby,” Sterver said. “I think it’s people trying to stay home, and it gives them a way to step away from the TV and go back to how things used to be.”

Williamsville, NY | Revolver Records to Open Third Location in Williamsville: Vinyl lovers, you’re in for a treat. Revolver Records announced that it is opening a third location in Western New York. The new location will be at 6840 Transit Road in Williamsville, between Wehrle Drive and the Thruway and is set to open on February 26. The vinyl record store already has two locations in the city of Buffalo on Elmwood Avenue and Hertel Avenue. “It’s official!! We will be opening a third location in less than 2 weeks (Friday, February 26th)! Located at 6840 Transit Road in Williamsville. Stay tuned for videos and pics of us setting up the shop and news about giveaways and more!”

Best Bluetooth turntables 2021 – reviewed: These platter-spinners will stream your records to wherever you want them. If you’re going to use a physical format for storing and listening to music, there are plenty of reasons to choose vinyl – the two most commonly trotted out are its ‘warm analogue sound’ (by audiophiles) and its ‘big artwork’ (by most of the rest of us). Vinyl comes at a price, though, and I don’t just mean the cost of a new 180gm pressing of J Cole’s KOD (the thick end of £20, as you’re asking). There’s the size of the format, and the subsequent storage problems it can present. And even more importantly, there’s how fiddly and needy most turntables are. But it’s possible to complement vinyl’s olde-worlde charms with a bit of convenience and modernity. How? By investing in a Bluetooth turntable, that’s how. By choosing a turntable fitted out with the necessary Bluetooth bits’n’bobs plus some extremely complicated analogue-to-digital processing, it’s possible to wirelessly stream vinyl as if it wasn’t a 70-year-old technology. Here are the four best-value Bluetooth turntables you can buy. Even audiophiles are catered for.

Record player deal: save nearly £100 on one of the best turntables you can buy today: Grab this entry-level turntable for less. Buying one of the best turntables on the market may sound like an expensive prospect, but this fantastic deal on the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon proves that record players don’t have to break the bank. Usually £349.99, this excellent entry-level turntable has been discounted to just £299.99 at the Peter Tyson eBay store – add on a 15% discount with the code ‘PLAYWITH15’, and that price drops even further to £254.99. …The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is well built, beautifully designed and just sounds exceedingly good. Its easy setup makes it ideal for beginners, but its sonic performance, excellent damping, and chic design means it will satisfy seasoned vinyl enthusiasts, too. It’s worth bearing in mind that this turntable doesn’t come with a built-in phono preamp or an anti-skate dial, which can make setting the tonearm a little fiddly – though it’s an easy tradeoff when you consider how much detail the Debut Carbon can pull out of your vinyl, thanks to the included Ortofon 2M Red cartridge.

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In rotation: 2/17/21

UK | Record Store Day UK announces official partnerships for 2021: Record Store Day UK has today (February 16) revealed its official partners for the event’s 14th year, which is set to be held on Saturday June 12. RSD – which will include the participation of more than 230 independent record shops from all over the UK – has once again partnered with premium audio brand Bowers & Wilkins, audio manufacturer designers Rega Research and London-based vinyl manufacturing company Sound Performance, as well as welcoming the award-winning craft brewery Meantime as its Official Beer Partner. Although there has been no official confirmation on which artists will be participating in 2021’s event, a press release stated that, as with previous years, “hundreds of limited edition vinyl releases” will be made available exclusively from the participating shops. Despite tough circumstances last year—with Record Store Day being split across 3 dates—the event was a huge success.

Phoenix, AZ | Buy a Latte and Sit for a Spell at Mojave Coffee and Records: You can get a latte and a Led Zeppelin album at Mojave Coffee and Records, but don’t let the order of the words confuse you: This is first and foremost a record store that sells coffee. “People ask, ‘Why do you open at noon?’” owner TJ Jordan says. “Well, because I’m a record store guy, not a coffee guy. I’m not going to open at 7 a.m.” Mojave, which opened in east Phoenix in 2018, is a notably small space. It’s crammed with record bins, a selection of CDs, and a wall of cassettes. A typewriter sits under a Tiffany lamp, beside a bookshelf. The wall behind the coffee bar is made of wood, just like the hanging acoustic guitars, which Jordan says helps to add warmth. When I arrive early, Jordan asks me to give him a couple of minutes before our interview. He and a frequent customer, Nick Vukasinovic, are finishing up a concert by slide guitarist Sonny Landreth that’s playing on the television hanging above the records.

Talent, OR | Record store re-opens after original store was lost in Almeda Fire: Biscuits and Vinyl originally opened in Fall 2017 off of Talent Avenue. The business burned to the ground in the devastating Almeda Fire last September. Now, it’s back open – not too far from where it once stood. “Yeah, it was right down the road there,” said owner Matthew Farrington. He says although it’s bittersweet to look across the street and see the remains of his former business, he’s happy to be selling vinyl records again. “I lost a lot of inventory, and had to buy some collections, got a lot of donations and some record labels sent stuff.” Biscuits and Vinyl is now open next to the Talent Maker Space on East Main Street. “It was vacant and they were using it as a mutual aid station and they let us set up some pop-up events around the holidays, and we worked it out with the neighbors and took the space over,” he said. On opening day, the room was full with customers looking for records, ranging from used and new, reggae to classic rock. “This has been bigger than expected,” Farrington said.

Long Beach, CA | Analog Record Shop—a retail store turned filming hotspot—to close permanently: Long Beach has an assortment of record stores—some that specialize in certain vinyl such as Toxic Toast’s Japanese imports and others that cater to a broader clientele such as Fingerprints. But only one record store stopped selling records after becoming a hotspot for commercial filming. Now that space, Analog Record Shop, is closing for good. Alex Forsythe opened Analog at 1322 Coronado Ave. in August 2018. It was his third record store but his first in Long Beach. He first got into the record business in 2012 when he opened the original Analog in Costa Mesa. Next, he opened up shop in Tustin. He went on to close Costa Mesa a few years later to open in Long Beach, where he had previously lived for nine years. “I got into the business kind of impulsively,” Forsythe said, noting he had worked in retail through most of his 20s. “My dad grew me up on records—he still has a huge collection. And I’ve been a musician my whole life.” Forsythe originally opened his Costa Mesa store selling instruments and accessories such as guitar pedals. He had a small record section that did well, so he abandoned the instruments in favor of the reemerging audio format.

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In rotation: 2/16/21

Marshfield, WI | New record shop opens in Marshfield welcoming vinyl enthusiasts new and old: In 2020 vinyl outsold CDs for the first time since the 90′s proving to Anderson that a new record ship was something Marshfield needed. One Marshfield woman is on a mission to bring music to her community in a classic and familiar way. Wednesday Danielle Anderson opened the doors to the Good Day Sunshine Record Shop in downtown Marshfield, welcoming vinyl enthusiasts both new and old. In 2020 vinyl outsold CDs for the first time since the 90′s, proving to Anderson that a new record shop was something Marshfield needed. Anderson grew up around music at her grandfather’s instrument store. After re-evaluating her life during the pandemic, she decided to take the leap and invest in her dream of working with music every day. Through her journey, Anderson has been pleasantly surprised by the number of young people that have fallen in love with vinyl. “I’ve just been blown away by the amount that the younger kids have taken to it. The teenagers the twenty-year-olds. They’re all asking their grandparents for record players for Christmas, so it’s it seems like a really good fit,” Anderson said.

Hackensack, NJ | Hackensack’s Record King still selling vinyl like the past 40 years never happened: Vinyl is dead. That was the prevailing sentiment when Craig Stepneski bought Hackensack’s Record King in 1992. Back then, Sir Mix-a-Lot just released “Baby’s Got Back,” and West Coast rapper Tupac was only a few years from dissing East Coast’s Biggie Smalls. All over teenagers only listened to music one way — CDs — while vinyl records died upstairs in the attic. None of this stopped Stepneski from buying the Main Street store and selling whatever he could. “What I started doing was buying used CDs and used DVDs, said Stepneski. “Then baseball cards got hot and then comic books. I thought, if records don’t sell, I’ll sell anything else.” Entering the Record King now is like stepping back in time. Stepenski’s 56-year-old store is cluttered with more than a half-million 45 records (also known as “singles”) and another few thousand 12-inch albums. Crate diggers are rewarded with deep cuts of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.

Toronto, CA | Shopping for vinyl from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv: “I love flipping through vinyl — the sound it makes and the tactile feeling of it,” says Toronto native Mike Milosh, better known as the intoxicating voice behind R&B’s Rhye. Milosh — who just released a new album, Home, to critical acclaim — grew up loving now-bygone city stalwarts like Penguin Music and Vortex Records, where he spent hours wandering the aisles digging through piles of LPs searching for new music. Now, as a touring musician (pre-pandemic, of course), he skips the typical tourist attractions and looks for the coolest record shops he can find so he can get a feel for whatever city he’s in. “In São Paulo, Brazil, I found a Japanese tea spot that also had vinyl, and it was an amazing way to just enjoy hanging out,” he explains. “I found something similar in Seoul, South Korea. I couldn’t even read its sign, but it was so cool to have tea, read magazines, and look through their vinyl collection.” Here are some of his other favourite spots.

Record Store Recs: The Knocks Reveal The Grooviest Shops In Brooklyn And Online: The beloved New York electro duo The Knocks take us to their favorite vinyl stores in the Big Apple and on the World Wide Web. With the unprecedented global disruption of COVID-19, it’s important to support the music community however we can. With Record Store Recs, checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they’ve found there so you can find some new favorite artists and shops. New York-based electro-pop duo The Knocks–consisting of Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson—have made a name for themselves with their upbeat bops and energetic live shows. Their last album, 2018’s New York Narcotic, is a kinetic tribute to the city they love and that loves them back. On Feb. 5, after a year without concerts, Ruttner released his vibey debut solo album, Holiday87(opens in a new tab) (which is also his solo project’s name). While New York may have finally caught up on sleep in 2020, the pulse of the city—its music—never really stopped. For the latest Record Store Recs, Patterson shares the act’s favorite vinyl hot spots and what’s on their vinyl wishlist.

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In rotation: 2/12/21

Yorkshire, UK | Regeneration boost for Barnsley as artists apply to open craft beer bar, gallery and vinyl record shop: Plans have been submitted to transform a lighting shop in The Arcade in Barnsley town centre into a craft beer bar and vinyl record shop. The former Lily’s Lighting Collection premises, which closed before Christmas, could be turned into a two-storey bar, selling art and records. Planning documents submitted to Barnsley Council state: ‘The ground floor of the premises will primarily be a craft beer bar but we will also have a retail unit for selling vinyl records. The first floor will have extra seating for the bar and a gallery with artwork and prints for sale. ‘Both partners on the application are established (Barnsley based) artists who work internationally and we hope to use the first floor to sell our, and other artists’ artwork, prints, cards etc.’ The applicants state that a room on the first floor would be used for art and craft nights, and music events one Saturday night per month. ‘We fully intend to get involved in all aspects of Barnsley town centre life, the Tour de Yorkshire, Barnsley Bright Nights and Live in Barnsley,’ state the applicants.

Shepherdstown, WV | Admiral Analog’s connects customers with favorite music from all eras: One of the first stores you see as you head down West German Street, just as the heart of downtown nears, Admiral Analog’s is a staple in Shepherdstown that has stood the test of time, just like the music sold inside. Nearing its seventh anniversary in town and having been in the current location at 141 West German St. for a little more than two years, Admiral Analog’s gives that escape during the monotony of COVID-19, allowing those looking to delve into a passion — whether it be in search of the greats from eras past, looking for a new album dropped by current artists or simply browsing in hopes of finding that music that really speaks to the soul. In fact, it was owner Andrew Barton’s own passion for music that drove him into the business, a chance to reach others who find solace and comfort in lyrics and melody. “I’d always wanted to do it since I was around 14 and I started going to record stores myself,” he said. “I got really interested in music at the same time, so I was the kind of person who would hear a fact about music or a name or a song just once and would remember it. It always came easy to me learning all about music. I absorbed everything I could, and the way I wanted to put that back into the world it through a store.”

Glasgow, UK | Nightclubbing 1990s: The record shops that fuelled a brave new dancefloor: Billy Kiltie remembers the Saturday afternoon bustle of his Glasgow record store like the “stockmarket” as DJs clamoured to get their hands on the best new releases being shipped in from around the world. Kiltie ran 23rd Precinct in Bath Street, Glasgow, which sat close to the flame of the dance music explosion in the 1990s. When he took over the shop in 1989, the store had a large stock of classical, country and rock, but the shelves were soon heaving with house and techno records as demand soared. He said: “When we moved into the shop, the scene had really kicked off and the dance explosion took over. “The weekends were certainly busy. We had a proper sound system in the shop, people were coming in from venues looking for tracks they had heard. The guys behind the counter would put a tune on all the hands would go up – it was like the stockmarket.” Big numbers of vinyl releases were being pushed at 23rd Precinct, with other shops including Rub a Dub in Glasgow and Underground Solu’shn in Edinburgh. Aberdeen One Up and Fopp also did brisk trade…

Oxford, UK | Oxford’s Truck Store celebrates 10 years of in-store performances: Truck Store in Cowley Road has been celebrating its 10th anniversary and over the years there have been lots of in store performances to entertain customers who love to visit to buy vinyl and CDs. Some top acts have played on a very small stage to a packed store, including Stornoway, The Staves, Michael Kiwanuka and Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present. Staff are looking forward to reopening once coronavirus restrictions are lifted. They have highlighted some memorable performances on the store’s Facebook page. One post said: “There’s possibly no band who had as big an impact on the early days of Truck Store as the much missed @stornowayband. “Back in 2015 the band released their 3rd album the same week as Record Store Day so obviously it became Record Stornoway Day! We also nearly killed Oli with a falling bicycle, oops!”

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