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

In rotation: 12/11/17

Box sets for diehard music fans: The holidays bring exclusive gifts for diehard music fans. And if you’re the giver of such gifts, please know they’re not usually budget-friendly. Record companies mine back catalogs of legendary artists to release extravagantly packaged box sets focusing either on a certain period or the entirety of their career. With consistent sales in the niche vinyl market, some box sets previously released on CD have been reissued on vinyl. Here are a few new box sets by classic acts out in time for Christmas shopping.

The 5 Best Places to Buy Vinyl in Seattle: Small but exquisitely curated, Wall of Sound has been to Seattle what the defunct Other Music was to New York City: the place with the highest ratio of amazing, obscure, eclectic vinyl from around the world. Owners Jeffery Taylor and Michael Ohlenroth are the underdogs of the city’s music-retail ecosphere, because they cater to a tiny niche clientele who don’t care about what’s popular. If you’re looking for elite selections in avant-garde jazz, minimal synth, psych-rock, prog, funk, soul, ambient, experimental, and many manifestations of “world” music, or Bobby Beausoleil’s Lucifer Rising box set, Wall of Sound will hook you up.

What the Tech: Gifts for music lovers: Audio-Technica turntables are my choice this year. The Audio-Technica LP60 is easy on the budget at $89 and plays music the way it was made to be played. The fully automatic belt-drive turntable connects to stereo systems and has a pre-amp built in, which is important because most home audio systems are not equipped with a pre-amp and have no connections to a turntable. With the built-in pre-amp, you can connect the record player to the system through the cd input. Other Audio-Technica models can connect to a computer with a USB and some models have Bluetooth capability. Purists though will prefer listening to vinyl through a direct wired connection.

19 Iconic Record Covers Reimagined by Top Young Artists: At year-end of 2017, the creative team behind Depositphotos (one of the world’s leading visual content marketplace) came up with the idea of bringing visuals and music together within one creative project. Over a dozen visual artists were invited to reimagine some of the all-time legendary record covers. 19 top young creatives presented their personal, unique vision for the covers of 19 true masterpieces of music — from The Beatles to Sigur Ros, from Aladdin Sane to Kid A. In their experiments, the designers tried to put forward their artistic perceptions, while not departing too far away from the original images or music on the record. See all the concepts here.

Al Muskovitz – Vinyl Memories: In what I hope will become a new holiday tradition, we pulled out a record player and spun my old albums that we found boxed up in the most inaccessible to reach, darkest, spider-webbish corner of our storage room. It was a treat to see the look on the “youngins’” faces as they listened in amazement to the sounds emanating from the wax disks, especially when scratches repeated lyrics off my Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely (lift needle, gently place back down) Hearts Club Band album. To say my collection is eclectic would be a vast understatement. Besides the Beatles, we flipped through the Supremes, Moody Blues, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Streisand and Sinatra albums that co-mingled with Alvin and the Chipmunks, Captain Kangaroo’s Songs and Dances, and Detroit Tiger Denny McLain playing his Hammond Organ.

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In rotation: 12/8/17

America’s Groove Honored with City Business Appreciation Award: The City of Effingham has named America’s Groove Record Store as a recipient of the City of Effingham’s Business Appreciation Award. Mayor Jeff Bloemker stated, “We applaud the Wilsons’ entrepreneurial spirit! They have applied their passion and creativity to their hobby and have turned it all into a great business. They have a cult following and I love that they are located in the Village Square Mall.” Aaron and Brianne Wilson are the owners of America’s Groove Record Store. They opened the store located in the Village Square Mall in 2016 as they wanted to bring something “cool” back to the mall, and it has been better than they could have imagined. In fact, coming up this February, they will be celebrating their two-year anniversary.

City recognizes America’s Groove Record Store: Nominator, Darin Blickem, describes the store as “a place for music lovers to find new and used vinyl, CDs and even cassettes. They also carry new and used stereo equipment, toys, video games and consoles, and a few other funky items.” Aaron Wilson holds family friendly bands to play at least once a month in the back room. The store also participates in the Record Store Day program twice a year in which special vinyl releases are made available to independent record store owners. The sales attract record collector enthusiasts who “record-store hop” on these days to find these special additions to their collections. America’s Groove hosts a biannual Toy Show that includes several vendors and brings in many attendees.

Hamilton record store’s expansion solves signage issue: Main Street Vinyl, a record store that opened in Hamilton in May, won approval Tuesday for a sign on its facade. The sign issue, which has been pending since July, was made possible partly because of other good news for the record store: It has been able to expand into an adjoining space, making it possible to center its sign above both of the storefronts it now occupies. Main Street storefronts have increasingly been filling, and officials hope that with the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill development nearby along North B Street, that trend will accelerate, with both Main Street and High Street becoming an entertainment district to serve all the athletes and their families, who are expected to visit from as far as a 3.5-hour drive from Hamilton.

Canadian Record Store Chain Grows 925% — In One Year: Ten years ago, the fate of traditional record stores looked really, really bleak. By 2007, file-swapping had eviscerated CD sales, and vinyl was an antiquated format for niche audiophiles. People still loved music, they just weren’t going to record stores. Instead, they were stuffing their iPods with thousands of songs while spending their savings on festivals. Accordingly, established record stores were going bankrupt, unable to make ends meet. Up in Canada, that included HMV, which recently shuttered more than 70 stores during a gruesome bankruptcy process. Enter Sunrise Records, which made a daring move earlier this year.

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In rotation: 12/7/17

The downtown shop you didn’t know you needed, Mantiques has a little bit of everything: There really is something for everyone as toys for kids line the shelves and opposite them are the vinyl records for those who miss the sound of record playing. A mixture of older furniture and new DVD’s are also within the store and there are two levels to shop from as Trimble assures that both are popular as far as the response from the community tells him. “People have been telling us they love it,” said Trimble. “So far we’ve had folks really grabbing up the vinyl records as well as men’s and women’s jewellery. We also have popular Coca-Cola items which are sought after by collectors and military stuff that is hard to keep in stock. There is even a rare item in here of poison bottles that has a Barrie drugstore name on the label and are half full. You never know what you’re going to see.”

South London’s YAM Records Is Moving House: Peckham’s YAM Records is on the move – but they’re staying south of the river. The record shop is a vital hub for music fans in South East London, with the attendant record label releasing some superb music in 2017. Named as one of our favourite off-the-beaten-track record shops in the capital, YAM Records is now set to move to another location. In a statement the owners said: “Going into next year we will be joining some of our favourite South London music heads in Bermondsey.” Closing the shutters on Holdrons Arcade on December 23rd, YAM Records will re-open in their new South London home in 2018. The new shop will be bigger, holding more stock and affording the team the chance to expand their involvement with YAM Recordings.

Vinyl sales “highest since the 1980s” in Ireland according to Golden Discs: Golden Discs has been at the heart of Irish music for 55 years and continues to thrive despite the dominance of streaming platforms and digital downloads. And so it’s fitting that the long-running retail chain – who house a dedicated vinyl lounge in Cork – bring the news that vinyl has enjoyed a serious surge in sales this year, posting up numbers not seen in decades. “We haven’t seen this volume of sales since the ’80s,” says Golden Discs CEO Stephen Fitzgerald, noting that it’s not just new releases but back catalogue, reissues, limited editions and box sets that are catching the attention of music lovers across the country. As for the year’s biggest movers; Ed Sheeran’s Divide, Pink Floyd’s iconic Dark Side of the Moon and George Michael’s back cataogue lead the way, while Liam and Noel Gallagher are duking it out for the title of December’s best seller.

Vinyl Records Add to the Cool Vibe at Two California Hotels: Can vinyl record players in hotel lobbies—and even in guest rooms—enhance the visitor experience? Absolutely, according to a recent New York Times article that explored this nascent trend. In fact, two Kimpton hotels in California, the Goodland in Goleta and the Shorebreak in Huntington Beach, have tapped into the low-tech, retro music movement. The Shorebreak has a custom-built player in its library as well as a 50-album collection of music for guests to peruse and play. At the Goodland, every room is equipped with a record player and there is a vinyl record shop in the lobby. “Almost everyone who stays here comments on how much they love the players,” according to Drew Parker, director of sales and marketing at the Goodland. “For our younger clients, they’re a new discovery and for our older ones, they’re a throwback to the past.”

Rue the day you gave away that boombox — the cassette revival is here to stay: When Disney released its Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtracks on tape in 2014 — making a real-life feature of the film’s cassette-based plot point — the format was given a huge boost. Latest statistics suggest this was more than just a flash in the pan: according to the Official Charts Company, cassette sales have more than doubled in 2017. Artists such as Kasabian, Arcade Fire, Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey have released Walkman-ready records in recent times. Nevertheless, their retro appeal is still a factor in 2017. ‘I remember sneaking my Walkman under my pillow so I could listen to The Beatles,’ says Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari, whose album The Spark is so far the third-highest selling cassette of this year. ‘There’s a lot of nostalgia there for me.’

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In rotation: 12/6/17

Vinyl Record Store Still Going Strong Despite Changes In Music Forms And Shopping Trends: Vinyl is still a big part of a lot of people’s music collections and that’s something that will never change according to the owner of Backstreet Records on Germain Street in uptown Saint John. Gordie Tufts says he’s seen vinyl over the years make way for the CD and then MP3, but now people are realizing the quality there is in vinyl and have returned to the fold or are experiencing it for the first time. Tufts also doesn’t worry about online music buyers because he knows collectors will come in to flip through the racks every week looking for new vinyl or hidden gems they may be seeking out. Tufts says he has been selling vinyl for 37 years and doubt’s it is going away anytime soon.

Backbeats Records brings vinyl back to Posey County: Backbeat Records and Just Looking Antiques is a combination shop that opened up on Main Street in New Harmony earlier this summer. The store is owned and operated by husband and wife Don and Rebecca Boskey, who relocated their 2-in-1 store from Central Illinois. Backbeat Records specializes in high quality used vinyl, and also carries used CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks and a variety of other music-related items like sheet music, posters and vintage music magazines. “I tend to carry things that I enjoy listening to,” said Don, who said he favors rock and jazz, but also has country, blues and other genres. “We carry a lot of the classics, but you honestly never know what you may find here.”

Amazon Launches in Australia, But It’s ‘Business As Usual’ for Record Stores: “ARIA welcomes Amazon’s entry into Australia,” a spokesperson for the trade body tells Billboard in a statement. “We promote a healthy and vibrant music market as the more options consumers have to access music from licensed services, the better it is for our thriving industry.” Record retailers remain unfazed by the newcomer and its big reputation. “Amazon can’t compete with flicking through the racks, hearing a local band live before they make it big, hanging with other music lovers and just talking nonsense about your favorite bands, and Amazon can’t compete with Record Store Day,” says Dave Clarke, chair of the Australian Music Retailers Association (AMRA). “So for record stores in Australia this is just business as usual.”

Digital music is convenient, but vinyl is in demand: According to Apple, the 25 billionth song was downloaded on iTunes in 2013. But today, there is a push to bring back the sound of the vinyl record that has filled the air with music since its inception in the 1800s. According to Dave Rodgers, owner of Lucky Records, there are many reasons for the resurgence of vinyl. “Part of it is that people want something tangible,” he said. “Something that they can engage with. When you are playing a record you pay more attention to it. That experience is what people are looking for.” An exact reason for the vinyl comeback is hard to pinpoint, but the demand is there. “Part of it is nostalgia, part of it is sound quality, there are many elements to it’s comeback,” he said.

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In rotation: 12/5/17

Island gets new record store, Vinyl proving to be a long player: A local collective is taking music back to its roots with a new pop-up venture in Onchan. Sound Records, alias entrepreneur Jack Doyle, is running the temporary record store in Onchan’s Village Walk shopping precinct throughout the month. A curated selection of tracks and albums on vinyl, as well as vintage clothing lines, are onsale. It’s open from 11am. Sales of vinyl surpassed three million the UK last year – a 25 year record.

Cullingworth man’s Keighley vinyl record shop Grind and Groove is spinning to success: A new Keighley record shop has got into its groove within weeks of opening. Gareth Beck has been left spinning by the success of Grind and Groove since he began selling vinyl discs from his little shop in Cavendish Street. Gareth, a former Australian policeman, also sells what it claims is the “best coffee in the world” to both passers-by and people browsing for records. Lifelong music fan Gareth decided to specialise in only vinyl rather than CDs after amassing his own collection of thousands of the discs over the past few years.

This vintage Charlotte record store closes after 45 years: The Wax Museum, a southeast Charlotte vintage record store known for its thousands of offerings, from 45s and LPs to cassettes and CDs, closed last weekend after 45 years. Owner Chris Beachley announced in October that he was ready to retire, and that last Saturday would be the store’s final day. “The Wax Museum has been fun,” Beachley told Observer news partner WBTV last month. “It’s been 45 years, and it’s time to retire.” The store at Monroe Road and Sharon Amity Lane also sold posters and memorabilia. For the unfamiliar, beach music “care packages” were available, including such DVDs as “Carolina Shag for Beginners” and the “Shaggin’ On The Strand” TV documentary.

Diggers Delight: London’s Lesser Spotted Record Shops: The much-vaunted vinyl revival has allowed Britain’s independent record shops to fill their lungs with air, to relax a little bit, and take a few more chances. More and more seem to opening each week, with London enjoying a glut of weird and wonderful shops that sit a little off the grid. While the Vinyl Mile on Wardour Street still thrives – just look at the queues in Sister Ray across the weekend, for instance – those who want something just a little bit more bizarre can find plenty to feast on in outlets across the capital. From floating vinyl emporiums to specialist outlets, we’re here to cater for every taste, no matter how outlandish.

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In rotation: 12/4/17

More than 1 million vinyl LPs set to be sold this Christmas: As the resurgence of vinyl continues, Xmas sales are set to break all records – and it’s not just ‘men of a certain age’ getting their wallets out. It has been predicted that over one million vinyl LPs will be sold in the nation’s high street stores and online this December. In line with the amazing revival of vinyl sales over the past decade, new figures from record labels’ association the BPI suggest that giving an album on vinyl as a Christmas gift is increasingly popular – with sales up an estimated 26% on the equivalent in December 2016, which is also the highest level since the early nineties. “Artists and labels release more of their new titles and classic albums in the format, and it has become aspirational and collectible with a highly perceived value – despite being generally affordable.”

Vinyl record sales expected to hit one million this Christmas, There has been a huge surge in people buying vinyl records in recent years. Music fans should expect plenty of gift-wrapped vinyl records this Christmas as more than one million vinyl LPs are predicted to be sold in December, record labels’ association BPI has said. It has also been forecast that Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping album ÷ could end the year as the biggest-selling album on the Official Vinyl Albums Chart. The retro format has grown in popularity over the past decade with sales up by 1,472% since 2007, with an even bigger hike over the last two to three years, and this boost has prompted the BPI to predict sales of over one million vinyls [“Vinyls” is not a word. —Ed.]across the next month.

Sam the Record Man sign going up at Yonge-Dundas: The iconic Sam the Record Man sign is closer to lighting up Yonge-Dundas Square as crews began lifting the spinning discs into place on Friday. The sign will hang atop the Toronto Public Health building on Victoria Street, near Yonge and Dundas streets. Crews lifted two portions of the sign overnight, securing it into place. Workers have been installing supports for the massive signs since early last month. The sign, composed of two enormous spinning discs on a red background, used to be a familiar sight near Yonge-Dundas Square. It first appeared over the Sam the Record Man store on Yonge Street in 1969, before being taken down in 2008 — a year after the store closed.

The music man: Discover the world of B-sides with Nick Langford from Vintage Vinyl HK: At Honeycombers Hong Kong, we’re a mixed bunch of bookworms, passionate cinephiles, and music fanatics. That’s why we’re big supporters of the vinyl pop-up sales in Central that happen once a month. With a diverse range of records – covering everything from Canto music to North American rock, folk, industrial music and Japanese hip hop – it’s the perfect hang-out spot for indie kids, music obsessors and collectors to spend their Saturday afternoons. We recently interviewed the organiser and founder of Vintage Vinyl HK Nick Langford to find out more about his love for LPs.

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In rotation: 12/1/17

Record store opens in downtown Macon, extension of 100.9 The Creek: Falling Star Records opened in downtown Macon on Second Street in November. The store is an extension of the radio station The Creek and is affiliated with Creek Media (100.9 The Creek) and Falling Star Records, according to co-owner Wes Griffith. “It’s not a record store where you’re going to be thumbing through thousands of records trying to find a gem; we’ve got all kinds of gems in here,” Griffith said about the records sold in the store. He says he and his partners have collected the best of the best from Classic Country to Blues. Much of the product is vinyl, but he added that they do have a few CDs here and there. “We just want to help contribute to people discovering music like they used to,” Griffith said passionately about the vision for the store.

The 10 Best Deluxe Vinyl Box Sets Of 2017: From Liam Gallagher to The Beatles, here’s what you should be putting on your Christmas list if you’re a vinyl lover… or know someone who is. With the news that 2017 sees the biggest year in vinyl sales since the 1980s, the deluxe vinyl edition has become an essential item for artists old and new. Veteran acts like Queen and The Beatles have been reissuing their classics in luxury packaging, while both Noel and Liam Gallagher have unleashed their new records in fancy editions. But which are the best deluxe vinyl box sets released in 2017? Let’s take a look

Flying the flag for vinyl in Swindon: Joe Theobald, aka DJ Captain Wormhole, Looks at all things vinyl: THIS is week 100 of the column – a great milestone for me, the Swindon Advertiser, and indeed the great people of Swindon. To my loyal readers, thank you, you are both greatly appreciated. For this special anniversary piece, I’ve revisited my very first entry, a prosaic tour of the town’s various vinyl outlets, and here’s the state of the scene nearly two years down the line. Wormhole’s World 1 cited six distinct retail locations on the local map for veteran diggers and bandwagon boarders alike: IDL and Blood on the Tracks in the Tented Market, Prospect Charity shop on Commercial Road, Red House Records in Holmes Music, HMV and Baila Coffee & Vinyl on Victoria Road.

Not High Fidelity: Rachel Joyce says her record-store novel is ‘book that comes with a hug’: When U.K. author Rachel Joyce first visited Toronto on an early publicity tour for her debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, she was feeling rather emotional. It was the first time she had travelled so far without her family, and was wrapped up with concern over how people were going to react to her book. Feeling homesick and vulnerable, Joyce made a stop at the beautiful downtown bookshop, Ben McNally Books…And so when Joyce began writing The Music Shop, her new novel about a record-store owner with the gift to intuitively select music to match his customers’ emotional states, she dedicated the book to McNally as a thank you. (McNally, who hasn’t yet read the novel — though his wife and fellow bookseller Lynn Thomson has, and loved it — says he is “a bit overwhelmed” by the dedication.)

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In rotation: 11/30/17

Ed Sheeran and Gallagher brothers lead vinyl revival at HMV, Demand soars across all genres, with Sheeran’s Divide on track to be retailer’s biggest selling vinyl record of the year: HMV is predicting its biggest year for vinyl music sales since the late 80s as records make a comeback on the UK’s Christmas wish lists. The music retailer said demand was soaring across all genres, with Ed Sheeran’s Divide on track to be its biggest selling vinyl record of the year, followed by the solo efforts of Liam and Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis, in second and third place. John Hirst, music manager at HMV, said: “A strong year for new releases from artists such as Ed Sheeran and Rag’n’Bone Man has been followed up with a really strong back end, with the Gallagher brothers driving the LP sales into the final quarter.”

Cafe Chat: Lyttelton Records brings new bar to Woolston: Coffee, doughnuts and vinyl records have been mashed together in a fresh hospitality creation by Lyttelton Records in Christchurch. The recording company has opened a live music venue that also acts as an espresso bar, craft beer bar and vinyl store. The espresso bar hybrid set up shop at 650 Ferry Rd, Woolston, previously home to Holy Smoke. Experienced hospitality duo Aaron and Donna Lee joined owner and record producer Ben Edwards and partner Saffron Gallagher in the business a year ago. “We wanted to give Lyttelton Records a physical home and to be more than just a label but a local hang out to see live shows,” Aaron says. It’s still early days for Lyttelton Records, but the plan is to host gigs on its purpose-built stage up to three nights a week.

Thousands of records reduced to £1 as Ashby vinyl store kicks off another celebration: Hundreds of music lovers lined the streets of Ashby again as a vinyl store prepared for its popular 1,000 records sale – at just £1 per disc. On Saturday, November 25, The Attic hosted the sale which saw full-priced records, with some thought to be worth as much as £80, reduced to just £1 for one day only. Some of the records from artists including Sam Smith and Noel Gallagher had only been released for a few days and were reduced to the nominal fee. Other “hot bargains” included LPs by Stranger Things, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. Along with the record sales the customers were also entered into a free prize draw for cinema tickets to see Star Wars.

Vinyl, streaming and CDs: Maybe it’s not just about the audio quality: It’s a debate that’s raged in music circles for decades — does vinyl or a CD provide the superior listening experience? And the advent of digital downloads and streaming services has done little to quell the contest. Vinyl listeners swear by the medium’s distinct, warm sound — and the enjoyment digging in the crates to collect LPs brings. Music giant Sony has announced it will re-enter vinyl record production to meet increasing demand, especially with young listeners. It seems the format many had written off as dead will be sticking around for a while. But is vinyl best if you’re trying to hear what your favourite band were playing when they laid down the track?

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In rotation: 11/29/17

Digs at Bigs: It’s all about the vinyl: Adelaide vinyl collectors and DJs will be selling records spanning funk, soul, disco, boogie and hip-hip at a boutique record fair and music event on Saturday that will spin off into a night-time disco street party. Nick Dawson, of Funk Bros DJs, describes Digs at Bigs Vol. 2 as a curated record fair that emphasises quality over quantity. Taking place from 1pm to 4pm this Saturday in the basement and laneway at Biggies at Bertram, Grenfell Street, it will see around 10 sellers each offering up to three crates of records from their own personal collections. Unlike larger record fairs, where you might expect tables piled with classic rock, pop and folk, plus a liberal spread of Kamahl, the focus of Digs at Bigs is more specific – predominantly soul, disco, funk and hip-hop.

Vinyl record store pulled back from closure: Lucky Seven, a shop that has been operating on Stoke Newington Church Street for eight years, will stay open until at least January 2018 after financial support from owner Jason Gore’s family and friends poured in to help make payments for rent and business rates. Gore received a bailiff’s letter last week, demanding rent payment of £6000 for the September to December period, a 60% rent increase from the £3750 he used to pay per quarter five years ago. Gore has struggled to make rent ever since and had to borrow money every month. Since the business rate revaluation was introduced on 1 April 2017, Gore now pays £200 a month for business rates, a 35% increase from a monthly bill of £148. These increased running costs have made operation difficult to sustain for small businesses like Lucky Seven in Stoke Newington.

Fueling a vinyl resurgence, Redwood City’s The Record Man store stands the test of time: Though the thousands of records that fill the small rooms and winding hallways at The Record Man store in Redwood City are enough to make anyone’s head spin, for store owner Gary Saxon, it all makes sense. Having spent the last 30 years organizing the records lining the walls of his store at 1322 El Camino Real, it wouldn’t take Saxon more than a few minutes to find a customer’s request among the sections he’s dedicated to musical genres including soul, rhythm and blues, big band and rock, among many others. And that’s all before he’ll dive into the room that holds his jazz records.

America’s New Vinyl Bars, Drawing on the Japanese record bar tradition, American bars are swapping streaming playlists for vinyl and turntables. Even in the age of streaming music services that constitute the majority of public soundtracks, a growing number bars are incorporating vinyl—not just for their playlists, but as central to their ethos. Tokyo Record Bar pays homage to the intimate jazz cafés and vinyl bars discoverable around Tokyo since the 1950s. The postwar popularity of jazz in Japan’s capital led to a proliferation of venues that were dedicated to group-listening to records. These refuges for audiophiles have evolved over the years, but there are still a good number that continue to place music at the forefront of the experience, boasting album collections in the thousands.

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In rotation: 11/28/17

Local record shop celebrates Small Business Saturday: Waterloo Records and Video is one example of everything that’s good about small business in Austin. The store has been selling records in Downtown Austin for 35 years and is one of the most successful record stores in Austin. Owner John Kunz said that he owes the success of his business to the community it serves. “Austin has always been a very supportive and boot strapping sorta place,” Kunz said. “All the indie businesses just really realized that we’d be a stronger voice together than we are separately.” Kunz is a founding member of the Austin Independent Business Alliance, an organization that supports local business in Austin. For 15 years, the organization has helped to bring more exposure to local shops like Waterloo as a way to keep shoppers buying locally.

Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz rides a vinyl wave: Sure, some folks went shopping on their phone looking for Black Friday specials but for music lovers, the happening place was Streetlight Records. The shop on Pacific Avenue opened an hour early for the promotion to let shoppers hunt for special release vinyl records. That’s right, records — those ebony disks that predate cassette tapes, the Walkman, compact discs, the MP3, Napster, iTunes and iPods. “Thank God for the vinyl resurgence,” said Roger Weiss, Streetlight Records store manager, who helped open the place for owner Robert Fallon 20 years ago. A new generation is discovering the value of vinyl records, with sales rising for the 11th straight year and hitting 13 million — an all-time high — in 2016, according to Nielson’s year-end report.

The Ransom Note opens record shop in East London: Online magazine The Ransom Note is opening a record shop in Forest Gate, East London, on December 2nd. Situated beneath a railway arch on Avenue Road, Ransom Note Records is a partnership between the magazine and Aiden​ ​d’Araujo, a dance music journalist and vinyl digger who’s been contributing to the site since 2014. Most of the shop’s stock will be second-hand, spanning house, techno, hi-NRG, Italo, new wave, synth, boogie, disco, funk and soul. There will also be new music, including records on The Ransom Note’s own label. Customers will also be able to book in appointments with Neil​ ​Macey, the shop’s in-house turntable technician. Ransom Note Records will launch with a party on Saturday, December 2nd. Doors open at midday.

New downtown Macon store puts a new spin on music: A city known for its musical history now has a place to recapture a bit of that nostalgia in vinyl. Falling Star Records opened recently at 362 Second St. next to the Cox Capitol Theatre, offering new and vintage vinyl for music enthusiasts, according to a release. “My parents owned and operated a record store on Vineville Avenue while attending college at Mercer,” said Wes Griffith, co-owner of Creek Media LLC, the company that owns and operates 100.9 The Creek FM, 11th Hour and now Falling Star Records. “It’s an honor to bring it full circle and open a vinyl shop in downtown Macon under the same name — Falling Star Records. “Vinyl is making a comeback, and we are excited to help grow the vinyl culture in Macon.”

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