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

In rotation: 12/6/19

DeKalb, IL | Record store provides local artists’ music: Green Tangerine Records, known for its sales of various music genres, is exposing customers to local underground artists by selling their music in the store. Sara Mohr, a College of DuPage student and Green Tangerine Records customer, said she appreciates the store’s variety of records from bands like Nirvana to local music. Mohr frequently visits the store, located at 838 W. Lincoln Highway, and when she discovers new music there, she feels original. “It’s important to recognize smaller artists and their music; it’s important to encourage people to keep creating,” Green Tangerine co-manager Terri Ainger said. About 9 years ago, the store started selling local music, Ainger said. The store’s decision to sell local music began at its original location in Cortland, about a 7-minute drive, from DeKalb.

Barrow in Furness, UK | Family business in Barrow wins ‘Record Shop of the Year’: A record shop in Barrow-in-Furness has been named the UK’s ‘Record Shop of the Year 2019’ just 12 months after opening. TNT Records were awarded the prize by Long Live Vinyl magazine after customers voted for the shop in an online competition. Owner and founder Dave Turner said the win came as a huge surprise to him. “It’s been a crazy first year for us, but being recognised as the best record shop in the whole of the UK is something that I could never have expected. “It’s obviously thanks to our amazing customers that we won the public vote, and they are the whole reason we have been successful this year. “When we opened we wanted to just give the people of Furness a decent record shop because there is nothing like this within about two hours of here – and the people have shown us nothing but support from day one.”

UK | A very Black Friday: how the fetish for vinyl is sending prices soaring: The popularity of Record Store Day – and its Black Friday edition – is turbo-charging the collector mentality at the expense of the average buyer. In the UK, it didn’t take long for Black Friday – a sales event pegged to Thanksgiving in the US – to go from novel to normal. Its impact on the music industry has been less conspicuous than the gaudy discounts toted by mainstream retailers, but no less significant. Founded in 2008, Record Store Day (RSD) proper takes place every April; in 2010, its American organisers introduced RSD Black Friday, intended as a celebration of independent shops and special-edition records as the antithesis to the corporate frenzy. “Cheapness is not a main goal,” they explain. “Celebrating art is.” Their choice of words is telling. RSD Black Friday has also made it to the UK in recent years: at my local record shop last week, people queued for the 8am opening to snag the nearly 100 special releases.

Birmingham, AL | Charlemagne Record Exchange, a fixture of Birmingham’s Southside, closing after 42 years: Marian McKay Rosato, owner of Charlemagne’s Record Exchange, remembers a very different Five Points South than the one that exists today. In the late 1970s, parts of the neighborhood were somewhat rundown and unsafe, Rosato said. But all the business owners knew one another, from the long-gone Little Bombers Lounge to Rosato’s Charlemagne Record Exchange, which has occupied the same spot on 11th Avenue South since 1977. Today, the area is very different. Many corporate-run chain hotels, restaurants and shops occupy the spots once held by local businesses. With those changes came rising rent costs, something that damaged the longtime record store, especially over the last two years. Rosato said that in the last two-year lease she signed, rent on the building increased another $250 per month in the first year and, by this year, had risen to an additional $400 per month. “The rent was considerably higher…”

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In rotation: 12/5/19

El Paso, TX | All the Music moving to Fountains at Farah in January: The new year begins a new era for All That Music & Video, El Paso’s largest and longest-running independently owned music and media retailer. Owner George Reynoso shares via a news release, “We’re moving to a new home — and splitting in two.” Phase One occurs in January 2020 when All That Music & Video, known internationally for its vast inventory of new and used vinyl LPs, opens its new location at The Fountains at Farah. The tentative opening date for the store is Friday, January 3. “It’s a high-profile location with lots of traffic and shoppers,” says Reynoso, who is celebrating his 40th year in the music retail business. The last day of operation at the current 6800 Gateway East location will be Sunday, December 29, 2019. At 1,500-square feet, ATMV’s Fountains store will be smaller, but will stock a more focused selection of hot-selling new and collectible vintage media on vinyl, CD, DVDs, and pop culture gift items.

Glasgow, SCT | Popular record store and coffee shop closes in Dumbarton East: A popular record store and coffee shop has closed in Dumbarton East. Big Sparra Music Cafe shut its doors for the final time last month after hosting a farewell party for customers. However, it won’t be empty for long because a new coffee shop and bakery will be opening in its place. The Glasgow Road shop opened in February last year after Dumbarton music lover Robert McKain revealed plans to bring his love for vinyl to his own home town. Robert and Don Cunningham are opening a new chapter with plans to focus on their coffee roasting business. Robert and Don created Pure Roasters while running the Dumbarton cafe in their bid to learn about making good coffee. Announcing the news they said: “It’s come time for team Sparra to sell up and move on with our other projects.

The best turntables of 2019: Having looked at the best speakers, amplifiers and headphones of 2019, we turn our attention to turntables. Taking the reins is David Murray of NYC hi-fi record shop Turntable Lab. According to The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl sales hit a 30-year high in 2018. Compared to other physical formats, vinyl made up over a third of all sales. As a result, turntable manufacturers stepped up their efforts to introduce affordable “plug and play” decks to appeal to new demographics and make getting into vinyl more accessible than ever in 2019. The increasing popularity of multi-room home audio systems has also informed an influx of turntables with wireless capabilities. While it’s safe to say that the wireless turntable is here to stay, those sceptical of its relative charms need look only to brands like Pro-Ject, Yamaha, and Cambridge Audio, all of whom released high-quality turntables with streaming integration this year.

Technics reintroduces classic turntable: Great news for audiophiles, vinyl lovers, disc jockeys and those with extensive collections of long-playing records: Technics turntables are back and better than ever before. You can add an iconic SL-1200 to your stable or go for the reimagined SL-1500 which combines Technics’ turntable technology with a dose of digital flair, making your stereo system capable of delivering vinyl through to the modern convenience of streaming music, wireless speakers or your favourite headphones. There’s something about the added ambience delivered through the gentle hiss of the stylus traversing vinyl grooves which takes you straight back to golden days gone by. And it doesn’t get more nostalgic than this; the ‘Wheels of Steel’, as Technics’ iconic SL-1200 turntable is fondly known, has quite a history – first introduced in 1972, little has changed in its design  and sheer magnetic appeal.

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In rotation: 12/4/19

Target & Walmart Help Propel Vinyl Album Sales to Blockbuster Week: Vinyl album sales in the U.S. surged pass the half-million mark last week, scoring the second-largest week for vinyl in 2019. According to Nielsen Music, 544,000 vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 28 (up a big 60% compared to the previous week’s tally of 340,000). The 544,000 haul is the second-biggest week for the format this year, behind only the 827,000 sold during Record Store Day week (week ending April 18). To compare, in 2018, during the tracking week that ended with Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22, 2018), there were 355,000 vinyl albums sold. And, in the week ending with Thanksgiving Day in 2017 (Nov. 23, 2017), there were 331,000 vinyl LPs sold. The gain in vinyl sales in the tracking week ending Nov. 28, 2019 is largely owed to sale pricing and promotion by Target and Walmart.

Charlottesville, VA | Siding with vinyl: The pros and cons of Record Store Day: …In the decade-plus since, RSD has grown to include more than 1,400 shops in the U.S., plus thousands of others on six continents (Antarctica is the exception), offering more than 500 exclusive vinyl releases in April and more than 150 every November. Three of Charlottesville’s independently-owned shops participate, and we wanted to know: Does the event actually honor record-store culture in the way it claims to? Yes and no. Record Store Days are a lot of work for employees—the buying and the staffing (in some cases, it’s all the same, single person)—and prep begins months in advance. …Not having the releases that customers want is one of the greatest frustrations of Record Store Day, says Cal Glattfelder, owner of Sidetracks Music. It’s difficult to tell an eager customer that the shop doesn’t have a particular release. Plus, RSD is risky business for these small shops. They pay thousands of dollars up front for records that may or may not sell, and labels don’t take returns. Stores might not make their money back right away, if at all.

Chicago, IL | This new film travels with a record shop owner as he buys peoples’ collections: Vinyl road tripping with the owner of Chicago’s Dusty Groove. A new film that tells the story of Chicago Record shop Dusty Groove, and its owner Rick Wojcik as he buys record collections, is being released in 2020. Dusty Groove: The Sound Of Transition follows Wojcik as he journeys to the homes of record collectors, buying their soul, jazz and hip-hop vinyl. Dusty Groove: The Sound Of Transition was directed, filmed and produced by Danielle Beverly, and follows her feature documentary Old South. According to Beverly, “Each seller shares a common reason: they face a major life transition.”

Duncan, OK | New record shop is ready to take you for a spin: Much like a prism with one beam light entering it making it break into the seven colors of the rainbow — it was one record, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” which lead to the opening of Put The Needle On The Record for Karen and Casey Sorensen-Kindt. The couple split the duties up and Karen is the owner and Casey is the manager for the store, however, both like to get in a dig for vinyl records and other interesting items. Located at 113 W. Main Street, the store is a mix of old school media vinyl, even some 8 Tracks tapes to DVDs and CDs. “We both thought about doing some sort of small business for many years but I was serving in the army for 24 years, retired in 2014, finally settled here in Oklahoma about a year and a half ago,” Casey said. “And thought there was a great opportunity to take advantage of the fact there was no record store here in Duncan.” Karen said the couple started on a different route but vinyl was still there.

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In rotation: 12/3/19

Makati City, PH | Vinyl is not back…it never left! …Let’s get one thing straight. Vinyl is not back. Vinyl never went anywhere. It’s always been here. The interest in vinyl may have waned, but its presence exists. Which is why many think that vinyl, or LP records, are making a comeback. Technically, you could say that, but in certain close quarters, be they the casual LP consumer to the staunchest record collector, records have always been there. Always. Records have been around since its introduction by Columbia Records in 1948 and its adoption as the new standard by the record industry, a format that slowly but surely gained its foothold among consumers in the 60s and especially in the 70s. The LP’s product sibling, the 7’’ 45rpm record, took off as well, offering one song per side (thus, the term single) whose sales were soon surpassed by the 12’’ LP, wherein recording artists could put more music, at times turning their release into an artistic expression of their music.

Birmingham, UK | Trendy new vinyl bar and live music venue Dead Wax Digbeth to open in Birmingham: The Wagon & Horses has been transformed into Dead Wax Digbeth where you’ll be able to hear live acts, play records and even bring along your own vinyl to blast out. A new music venue and ‘vinyl bar’ where you can play records and even bring your own music is being opened in Birmingham. Dead Wax Digbeth will open its doors to music fans at the weekend with a four-day launch featuring 45 bands, musicians, artists and DJs from the city and across the Midlands. A series of specially curated free events will run across the venue’s three spaces from Thursday, November 28 to Sunday, December 1 – including two all-dayers, late-night DJ sets, rare live performances and acoustic sets. …Music fans and vinyl lovers will be encouraged to choose and play albums and singles from the bar’s large 4000 record collection as well as enjoy vinyl-only sets from a diverse line-up of DJs in a vibrant setting in the heart of Digbeth designed and created by local artists.

New York, NY | A visit to Turntable Lab on 10th Street: The older I get the less new music I am exposed to, which is why I am always particularly interested in EV Grieve’s Fridays at Five and curated musical selections. It’s turned me on to local rocker Liza Colby, Princess Nokia’s “Tomboy” and THICK’s “Green Eyes,” among others. In this A Visit To … I get the opportunity to explore new-to-me music at Turntable Lab with owner Pete Hahn and his Turntable staff. Pete arrives — on skateboard — from his nearby East Village home to meet me at the Lab’s storefront at 84 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, and walks me though the store pointing out both beginner record players (now made with USB port) and advanced DJ setups. I even get a mini lesson on the ones and twos on the in-house DJ booth from sales associate Paul Bennett! Aside from a tour and DJ lesson, Hahn talked about the evolution of Turntable Lab, which had its humble beginnings as an NYU side hustle, to its first shop on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. Turntable is now in its 20th year of business.

UK | How golden oldies are driving a boom in independent music shops: Vinyl accounts for a huge proportion of sales at local retailers. Here’s some rare cheerful news for you: independent music shops are doing well despite an overall slump in the industry… The high-profile collapse of HMV earlier this year certainly makes it look that way. Although the brand was saved by a new owner, it immediately closed 27 stores in a reminder that music shops are not immune to the challenges of the high street. That includes high rents, business rates and consistent footfall declines. But there’s evidence this was good for your local record store: independents gained £5m from shoppers moving their spend from other retailers, with £1.6m of that coming specifically from HMV. That also includes spend shifting away from other places such as supermarkets. Physical music now accounts for 15 percent of spend at the grocers, down from 17 per cent in 2018. Kantar says 1.1 million shoppers stopped buying physical music in the grocers over the past year.

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In rotation: 12/2/19

Muscle Shoals, AL | Vinyl LP fans line up for Black Friday Record Store Day: Luke Newton knew exactly what he wanted on Friday’s Black Friday Record Store Day and lucky for him, the only copy of the Jerry Garcia Live box set in NuWay Vinyl was waiting for him when he entered the store. The Florence resident was among about 10 people in line waiting for the store on Woodward Avenue to open at 9 a.m. Black Friday Record Store Day is similar to the Record Store Day typically held in the spring but takes and offers re-issues of music not previously available on vinyl and other limited edition items. “I got here about 8 a.m.,” Newton said as he was leaving the store. “This is the first time this has been released on vinyl and I had to get it.” Newton said he was heading home to listen to the five-LP set. NuWay Vinyl Manager Kirk Russell came outside and offered a few ground rules to the waiting customers, such as no multiple purchases of a single item. Then he opened the doors.

Goshen, IN | Goshen’s ‘Record Store Day on Black Friday’ offers alternative to shopping experience: As some shoppers waited in line for doorbuster deals at big-box retailers Black Friday, others also stood in line in the name of tradition and for the love of a good vinyl record. At about 7:30 a.m. Friday, a group of six friends huddled together in front of Ignition Music Garage in downtown Goshen. The group first met because of a shared love for vinyl records and are a part of an “exclusive” vinyl record fan club that meets monthly. On Friday, three of those friends stood in line at 5 a.m. and, as the cold morning progressed, more joined in. Together they cooked breakfast, drank coffee and talked about what records they were hoping to get when the doors opened at 8 a.m. for Record Store Day on Black Friday. …The group of friends has been carrying on the tradition of showing up early at the record store at 120 E. Washington St. for about five years. They say they do it not to get a jump-start on getting a unique record at a good price, but also because it’s what they love to do.

Charlotte, NC | Shoppers Have Eyes on Vintage Vinyl for Record Store Black Friday: Some shoppers spent hours in line on Record Store Black Friday to get their hands on some rare vintage vinyl. The annual event celebrates independently-owned record stores across the country. Music fans get a chance to buy limited releases from older artists to those currently topping the charts like Lizzo. Experts say millennials are bringing back a passion for records as well as turntables. One fan from Statesville says it’s just about loving good tunes. “You know, you can download a song and put it on your phone, but you don’t touch it. You know, it’s like the thing that made you love music to begin with. You could open up the album and read the credits and see the pictures and all that stuff. You don’t get to do that with a digital download. You see a picture on your phone. It’s something to be able to read it and touch it and pull the excerpts out and ah you know. It’s more than just the music I guess,” customer Brice Reese said. Some of the albums will only have a few hundred copies nationwide. Store owners say the limited releases sell out quickly.

Bethlehem, PA | Vinyl lovers celebrate Record Store Day at Lehigh Valley shops: If you’re over 40, stepping into the Compact Disc Center in Bethlehem may trigger the long-forgotten joy of searching for an album you didn’t even know you wanted. The store, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, smells pleasantly of incense and is stacked with boxes, bins and shelves of records, compact discs and cassette tapes just waiting to be explored. And there was a lot of exploring going on in such shops Friday, one of two days set aside each year for Record Store Day, which celebrates the unique culture of the nation’s 1,400 independently owned record stores. Eager shoppers lined up well before the 8 a.m. opening at the Bethlehem shop in hopes of being the first to snag a coveted Pearl Jam vinyl and a recently released Louis Armstrong album recorded at Muhlenberg College’s Memorial Hall in the 1950s. “Listening to vinyl is not a background thing; it’s a foreground thing,” said Mary Radakovits, who co-owns the Compact Disc Center. “It’s an experience. You have to jump up and flip it over. You are listening intently … it’s the statement the way the artist wants you to hear it.”

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In rotation: 11/26/19

Dubai, UAE | Dubai’s only independent record store has banned influencers. Here’s why: Founder of The Flip Side has declared a no-photos policy for Dubai influencers. Shadi Megallaa is Dubai’s best-loved music maverick. The Egyptian-born owner of The Flip Side in Alserkal Avenue has been purveying rare Arabic records and Japanese pressings, among other musical curiosities, to a growing number of Dubai DJs and denizens since 2017. As well as being the first independent record store in the emirate, it’s also become a creative space for production seminars, documentary screenings and live DJ sets from local luminaries. However, Shadi’s noticed a pervasive insurgence among the crate diggers in the past two years. “We have lots of people coming in and taking anything from ten to twenty pictures of themselves posing,” he wrote in a Facebook announcement. Addressing influencers visiting for the photo opportunities, he clarifies, “The Flip Side is not here to be your personal backdrop for your Instagram stories. If you happen to be an influencer, kindly take your ‘influence’ somewhere else. Please respect our space like we respect yours.”

Jacksonville, FL | Amid height of vinyl revival, Tiger Records opens in Jacksonville’s Riverside: As vinyl rides a new wave of popularity, Tiger Records — out of Riverside — marks the latest record store to open in Jacksonville. …Tiger Records marks the city’s second new record shop to open this year. In July, Eraser Records opened in Murray Hill on Edgewood Avenue. Both shops join older spots including DJ’s in Westside, Yesterday and Today in San Marco, Wolfson Equipment and Records on University Boulevard and Young, Loud, and Snotty in Mayport. “I just want to be the record store that everybody wants,” Siboni said. “I’ve got a lot of indie rock and punk, but if the only thing selling here is Lady Gaga, then I’ll sell only Lady Gaga.” Records range in price from $1 — with about eight bargain bins chock-full of everything from Lou Reed to Manilow — to $1,000… Right now on the floor, Siboni says there are roughly 5,000 records and 75 percent of them are secondhand. “I think it’s cooler,” he said. “I love going through boxes of old records.”

Virginia Beach, VA | Lengthy corporate career leads to indie book and record store in Virginia Beach: John Brittell spent a career opening stores across the country for someone else and learning all he could about what made their customers tick. Then he cashed in on that experience to open his own place. Before opening AFK Books and Records on Valentines Day in 2011, he was the vice president of e-commerce and direct marketing for video game retailer GameStop. It was the result of 23 years in the video game business that started at the Lynnhaven Mall with a job at Games ‘n’ Gadgets, a store owned by Electronics Boutique – the brand later gobbled up by Gamestop. Throwing corporate analytics and measurements to the wind, for the most part, his customer service strategy has been simple: focus on being joyful and kind. “It was really easy to get distracted by those numbers,” he said. Now, he knows he might need to recalibrate if a week goes by when he doesn’t hear someone say “oh man, this is the best store ever.”

Meet the man who restores old music to its original glory: Pete Hutchison’s Electric Recording Co. uses era-specific gear to reissue records the way they were meant to be heard. Listening to records was a reverent act in Pete Hutchison’s childhood home. Whenever his parents played their beloved Ravel and Debussy works, they enforced one rule: “You weren’t allowed to talk,” he says. Though Hutchison favored rock and jazz when he started his own collection as a teen in the 1970s, he returned to classical upon inheriting his father’s LPs. His interest in the genre eventually grew so deep that he spent $12,000 on a pristine copy of ­Mozart a Paris, a rare seven-disc set released in France in 1956. Hutchison now makes what many music aficionados consider the finest records on Earth. He meticulously crafts reissues of jazz and classical titles (including his prized Mozart) from the 1950s and ’60s—wrapped in letter­pressed sleeves—that sell for $350 or more. Most labels churn out vinyl by the thousands with modern equipment, but Hutchison’s outfit, the Electric ­Recording Co., mints no more than 300 copies of each ­album. “Some of these very famous studios take the ­original master, and put it onto a digital system to play around with it and process it,” he says. “I don’t know why they’re ­bothering. They’re just degrading the sound.”

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In rotation: 11/25/19

Can Those Involved in Physical Goods Survive the Big Distribution Debacle? I can remember Jim Caparro, former president of PGD and WEA distribution, making a comment in the early 2000’s that some day all distribution from the majors would most likely be out of the same warehouse. The reason? A cost savings by each, with not having to have their own back room and staff. He was a bit ahead of the game but in April of 2019, this became a reality. Direct Shot, a third party warehousing system, already distributed Universal Music and Sony. This also included goods from their independent arms, the Orchard and In-Grooves. Around the beginning of the year it was announced that WEA and its independent distribution arm ADA would join the club and also be distributed through Direct Shot. This was after a year of offering buy out packages to staff involved in physical goods and a good 50% of them taking the packages, as they were not guaranteed jobs if they stayed.

Norfolk, UK | Seven of Norfolk’s best record shops: Vinyl is now well and truly back with British record stores selling over 4.5 million records per year collectively. These are the best places to go crate-digging in Norfolk. Soundclash: The county’s only independent record shop selling new vinyl, expect to find a wide variety of music from the latest indie, punk and psychedelic rock to funk and soul. The shop is the only one in Norfolk to participate in Record Store Day, making it a must visit for the event’s exclusive releases. Soundclash also has a wide range of reasonably priced secondhand LPs and singles as well as a selection of new CDs. Fine City Sounds: One of the best in the county for secondhand records, spread across two floors, Fine City Sounds mainly focuses on rock and pop with specialised sections for punk, metal and 60s LPs on its top floor. On the ground floor there is a plethora of singles from a wide array of genres along with used CDs and box sets. The shop also sells second hand record players and other related equipment…

Bury, UK | HMV opens up its Bury store to unsigned acts: When you walk into a record store great music is just what you expect to find. But one Bury outlet has been mixing things up by bringing talented unsigned artists to the masses in a series of in-store gigs. Bury HMV has just wrapped up its first season of an innovative initiative ­— opening its doors and its shelves to underground bands and musicians in a bid to help them boost their exposure and land their big break. The Live and Local campaign not only offered seven artists the chance to have their releases sold and promoted in-store, but also saw them play unique, free to attend gigs in the shop. Steve Toolan, HMV Bury’s store manager, said: “The response and support that we have had from our customers and general public has been phenomenal and surpassed our expectations.

Wausau, WI | Cover Art Was Part Of The Thrill: One thing that is not available for today’s music consumers is the fabulous cover art that was found on LP’s. Great photography, graphic design, liners notes etc were all part of the music listening experience. CDs couldn’t compete and MP3s or downloads?…fuggidaboutit. I mention this because it was Nov 21 of 1967 that the 3rd Lp from The Who appeared. It was called Sell Out and featured pictures of the band using real products in humorous ways on the front and back covers. I dont remember how this album came into my possession but it was a really intresting musical step for the band. It included a stone cold classic in “I Can See For Miles” along with some other tunes that grew on me like Armenia City In The Sky and Tattoo. The album also included fake radio jingles and commercials around the songs making it sound like a radio broadcast of the day.

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In rotation: 11/22/19

Wrexham, UK | Wrexham to host ‘bumper’ record fair: A record fair believed by organisers to be the largest in Wales will be held in Wrexham this weekend. On Saturday (November 23) VOD Music bring their last record fair of the year with a total of 33 stalls on the day. Ty Pawb will host the event, which runs from 10am to 4pm and is free to enter. Vinyl, CDs, DVDS, Pop Art, memorabilia, merchandise and more will be available with some of the UK’s top record dealers attending. Organisers have said the day will offer “collectables, bargains and a great social event for like minded music lovers”. There will also be DJ sets throughout, as well as street food stalls, a bar, art gallery and market stalls that occupy the venue.

Bromsgrove, UK | Final Vinyl Record and CD Fair of 2019 takes place in Bromsgrove this weekend: The biggest Vinyl Record and CD Fair in Bromsgrove returns for one last event of 2019 this Sunday, November 24. The event at the Bromsgrove Hotel and Spa takes place between 10am and 4pm and boasts more than 40 stalls selling thousands of records – from rarities to bargains and everything in between. There will be classic rock, 90s Brit Pop, reggae, hip-hop, punk, dance, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and more on offer. There is free on-site parking when registering at the hotel, along with a cafe, restaurant and cash machine if people run out of money. Visit www.midlandsrecordfairs.co.uk.

Waterloo, CA | Fueling the vinyl revival: Alumnus co-founds company that makes modern, automated record presses: The idea of designing and building a modern new machine to produce old-school vinyl records came totally out of left field for James Hashmi. Equipped with a 2007 degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo, he’d spent years establishing a career in medical technology, not traditional manufacturing. But when he looks back almost five years later, leaving medtech to help fuel the vinyl revival – now an estimated $1-billion annual industry – actually seems like a natural progression. Hashmi, 36, was a visual artist and multi-instrument musician before pursuing mathematics, science and a career in engineering. Now, as a co-founder and chief technology officer at Viryl Technologies in Toronto, all of those passions are in play together.

Tāmaki Makaurau, NZ | Interview: ‘A Short Run: A Selection Of New Zealand Lathe-Cut Records’ Exhibition: Currently showing at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Objectspace gallery until the end of November, A Short Run: A Selection Of New Zealand Lathe-Cut Records is an exhibition presenting an eye-popping array of lathe-cut records – an affordable polycarbonate plastic alternative to vinyl pioneered and manufactured by Peter King in Geraldine from the late 1980s onwards, locally produced for artists in limited editions as low as 20 units. Curated by musician and designer Luke Wood (The Hex Waves, The National Grid), A Short Run makes tangible a significant selection of ‘underground’ or ‘obscure’ musical activity from throughout Aotearoa, and brings to light such scarce artefacts as Aldous Harding’s sophomore record, of which there are only 40 copies in existence.

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In rotation: 11/21/19

Why vinyl records have made major comeback: …In the process of cleaning up I also visited my collection of CDs and vinyl records, many going back to the 1970s. I also have a few shellac records which belonged to my mother, including her favourite “Shenandoah Waltz” from the 1950s…The record sleeves themselves were works of art and I recall the beautiful psychedelic renditions on many covers, which appealed to the youthful eye. When you buy vinyl today, it is like an investment. There are many people buying, collecting and reselling vinyl and it tends to retain if not increase its value over time so you can sell or pass it down to your children as an appreciating asset. There is something special about removing a well kept record from its colourful sleeve, wiping it down with an anti-static cloth and holding it by the edges before carefully sliding it down the spindle of a good quality turntable.

Baltimore, MD | Baby’s on Fire to soft open Fells Point location tomorrow, host festivities next week: Baby’s on Fire is set to open its new Fells Point location tomorrow, and fittingly the record store and cafe that is setting up a new coffee shop in another record store, The Sound Garden, will mark the occasion next week with a free concert. The local indie band PLRLS is performing a set on Nov. 27–the day before Thanksgiving–followed by music from DJ David K, aka Baby’s on Fire co-owner David Koslowski, the store announced yesterday. One night before that, four comics will perform as part of Ugly Baby: A Comic Show. But if you’re just dying to see the new cafe, housed in the Sound Garden’s old vinyl room, the soft opening starts tomorrow at 7 a.m. and promises coffee, scones, sandwiches and more. Sound Garden owner Bryan Burkert told Baltimore Fishbowl last April he approached Koslowski and his wife and co-owner, Shirlé Hale-Koslowski, about combining forces to “give the store a better vibe” and also boost foot traffic.

Phonocut lets you cut your own vinyl record: Vinyl records are back in our living rooms, with sales steadily growing in recent years to a level that could see the format outsell CDs for the first time since the mid-1980s. That’s great news for consumers, but for gigging bands and solo performers not signed to a major label, getting in on the vinyl action could be out of their budgets. That’s where Phonocut’s Home Vinyl Recorder might help. Essentially the device allows users to plug in an audio source (wireless connectivity is in development), place a blank vinyl record on the platter and push a button to start cutting a 10-inch vinyl record at home, at the studio or in the rehearsal space. Of course, you don’t have to be a musician to make the most of this system, you could just create the vinyl equivalent of mix-tapes to give to a loved one. Phonocut recommends that it’s “special recipe” blanks are used to ensure the “highest fidelity, longest durability and cleanest cut.”

Take Those Old Records Off the Shelf: For the past ten years, vinyl sales have been rising more than they have since cassettes first came out. Record stores have been opening back up around the country with events to promote their sales like the annual Record Store Day in April. More and more people are posting about their latest vinyl selection on social media. The question is why? Why are vinyl records coming back in an age of digital music like Spotify and Pandora that make listening to music cheaper and easier. People may argue that vinyl has a nostalgic aspect to it. …Senior, William Mangum, doesn’t get the whole vinyl phase . …However, Senior, Jesus Landa, would disagree with Mangum. “Vinyl just seems more real to me. It’s like holding tangible music in the palm of my hand.” he continues, “I definitely think it’s worth [paying] the extra money for vinyl. Owning music online doesn’t really feel like you own it.” Landa also agrees with the nostalgic aspect of vinyl, “…listening to the music through actual vinyl instead of blaring it through speakers calls to some people.”

Get pumped for Rocket League with a new vinyl soundtrack: If you’ve been craving an analog answer to your Rocket League wishes, then iam8bit has a special gift just for you. The company has announced the Rocket League x Monstercat: Greatest Hits 2-LP vinyl soundtrack set! The fan-curated album is available for pre-order on iam8bit.com, and it will feature 18 tracks that include music by Slushii, Infected Mushroom, Tristam, Dion Timmer, Muzzy, Tokyo Machine, and more. Rocket League is known for its pulsing, addictive music, and now it can play in your home! If you pre-order the Rocket League x Monstercat: Greatest Hits soundtrack before midnight on December 2nd, you’ll receive access to exclusive Rocket League in-game bonus content! And this will be the only time you can get these bonus items. Check out what’s available

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In rotation: 11/20/19

Portland, OR | The 3 best vinyl record shops in Portland: Got a need for vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record sources in Portland, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for vinyl records. Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in this article may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. 1. Bull Moose: First on the list is Bull Moose. Located at 151 Middle St., the video game store, which offers music and DVDs, vinyl records and more, is the highest-rated vinyl record spot in Portland, boasting four stars out of 43 reviews on Yelp.

IE | 7 of the best record shops in Ireland: Taking our cue from Red Bull Radio’s Counter Intelligence show, we look at some of Ireland’s best record stores. If you’re a regular listener to Red Bull Radio, you’ll be aware that Counter Intelligence – the show that highlights the stories behind both some of the most famous and most obscure record stores around the globe – is a cracking listen. (And if you’re not a regular listener, get on it, stat.) Taking that show as our cue, we’ve put together a list of some of the best and most interesting record stores in Ireland that are worthy of their stories being shared – and at the very least, worth checking out for myriad reasons, which you’ll read below. In no particular order…

Pasadena, NL | Welcome to the Vinyl Garage, a small-town rec room turned live music venue: Jan Stephen opens his home, decorated with music memorabilia, to host concerts and live his dream. On a quiet cul-de-sac in Pasadena, N.L., a yellow home with a white covered veranda looks like any other, but sometimes when the sun goes down, it turns into a rocking live music venue. Jan Stephen has been living his dream for the past two years hosting live acts right out of his own home. He calls it the Vinyl Garage, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some glorified shed party. In fact, it’s not even a garage. “This room, originally in the house plans, was supposed to be a car garage,” said Stephen. “[But] instead of putting in a garage door at the front, they put in a bay window and turned it into a rec room.”

Verona, IT | Inside Mother Tongue – Europe’s newest pressing plant: A visual tour of the Italian vinyl outpost. As demand for vinyl has increased in the last ten years, so has the number of pressing plants, whether in high profile affairs such as Jack White’s Third Man in Detroit, or a number of independent operations pressing records for niche audiences. One of these operations is Mother Tongue. Located in Verona, Northern Italy, the pressing plant was launched by producer Patrick Gibin and a group of friends – with the help of an EU grant – in early 2019, and encompasses a record label, online shop and distribution service. Tackling the complex and finely tuned nature of the record pressing process, Gibin has enlisted Andrea Pasini to take care of manufacturing, utilising the plant’s sole Pheenix Alpha AD12 press – a modernised upgrade of original the Swedish-made Toolex Alpha AD12. Mattia Cristofoli, Carlo Grossule and Pietro Battista complete the team, managing administration and technical duties.

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In rotation: 11/19/19

Torrington, CT | Vinyl’s the thing at Torrington’s Revolution Records: Revolution Records is a time machine for music lovers — particularly those who still collect and play vinyl albums for their quality sound. The small shop on the corner of Willow and Franklin streets, a former bodega and a bait store, is filled to the brim with albums of every genre, from classic rock, jazz, blues, country, and everything in between. The walls are covered with vintage posters of recording artists including Lita Ford, Rush, Yes, Van Halen, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Sonic Youth and the Psychedelic Furs. “When we were setting up the store, I realized I needed to put something on the walls — they were pretty bare,” John DiBella said. “I’ve had these posters since high school and I saved them. So I got them out and hung them up.” On a counter near the door, a small turntable and receiver pumps music into two big speakers. All the equipment, DiBella said, he’s also had since high school. “It still works great,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been using the turntable all along.”

Fort Wayne, IN | Neat Neat Neat Records and Music to continue under new ownership: After nearly a decade in business, the owner of a local record store is hanging up his hat, but the shop’s doors are remaining open. Neat Neat Neat Records and Music has been a fixture on Calhoun Street but after nine years in business, owner Morrison Agen announced on Facebook that they were looking to sell the store and all it’s contents with plans to liquidate if they could not sell. Luckily for their customers, it was not long before someone stepped up. “It took six days from the time we were offered the store to the time we took over,” said Chris Roetz, the new manager of Neat Neat Neat. The store was sold to local music franchise Wooden Nickel. Roetz is transitioning into his new role from working as General Manager of the Jefferson Boulevard Wooden Nickel location. He previously owned Entourage Music, which was located in Glenbrook Mall. Roetz wants it to be clear that while Wooden Nickel now owns Neat Neat Neat, they are not the same store. They plan on keeping the same name and branding the shop is known for, as well as keeping it’s focus on vinyl records.

Indianapolis, IN | Despite streaming, Indiana firm’s vinyl, CD business booms: Chip Viering, president of Optical Media Manufacturing, has intentionally hitched his wagon to a falling star. Or rather, several of them. Over the last decade, streaming sites and compressed file-sharing technologies such as MP3 have chased most “physical” media from the forefront of the audio and video recording industries. To put it simply, pretty much anything you can hold in your hand, from VHS tapes to CDs, has become an endangered species. In this, Viering sees not disaster but opportunity. Though his company does plenty of digital file-sharing work, it also acts as a sort of clearinghouse for customers whose products demand (or work best when presented in) an old-school audio or visual format. Optical Media Manufacturing offers (among a great many other services) in-house design for things like vinyl album cover art, liner notes and DVD formatting and duplication, plus access to a list of still-surviving domestic suppliers of such exotica as cassette tapes, boutique vinyl record pressers—even a guy who can still do VHS.

London, UK | ‘Westfield delays to blame for horrible decline in Croydon town centre’ says record store manager: Duncan Barnes says empty shops were unheard of ten years ago. There has been a ‘horrible decline’ in footfall for Croydon town centre according to one business owner who blames Westfield delays. Duncan Barnes runs 101 Records which moved to North End in 1991, it was previously based near East Croydon station. He said that 10 years ago empty shops in Croydon were unheard of, and you just need to walk through the town centre to see that is not the case today. Duncan said: “Footfall has declined horribly in Croydon for years. It used to be a thriving cosmopolitan place and it was always busy.” And he believes that Westfield delays are partly to blame and does not think the billion pound shopping centre will ever be built. He added: “North End has been declining for years and very little has been done about it.

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In rotation: 11/18/19

Chicago, IL | ‘We’re going to make a great run at it’: Oak Park’s Val’s Halla Records to stay open, for now. After believing its days were numbered, Oak Park’s iconic Val’s Halla Records store has a new lease on life into 2020, with hopes the store can become financially viable by then. Store manager Shayne Blakeley confirmed the shop has been temporarily saved by River Forest resident and customer Trevor Toppen, who plans to lend his financial expertise to the business. “It’s pretty amazing,” Blakeley said. “I’m going to have a lot to be thankful for before I cut into any turkey. Things have been moving very fast.” Earlier this month, Blakeley announced the store had intended to close by the end of November after 47 years in business. At the time, he said Val’s Halla had its worst first quarter financially in 20 years, which appeared to be the final nail in its coffin. Toppen, who has lived in the area since 2003, got to know Val’s Halla and Blakeley when his son Jackson started volunteering at the store, and said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give the store a second chance.

Cork, IE | Cork’s famous vinyl record store back after Douglas village fire: The shop had been closed for 10 weeks following fire in Douglas Shopping centre. One of Cork’s best-known vinyl record stores – MusicZone – has reopened following a ten week absence due to the fire in Douglas Shopping Centre. The shop was forced to close its doors following the blaze in the Douglas Mall but it is now open for business again in its new location at Unit 4, Deanrock Business Park, Togher. MusicZone is one of Ireland’s largest stockists of vinyl records and they offer free delivery throughout the country on any order of three or more records. The business was set up by Ray O’Brien in 2001 and in a statement, he spoke of his delight at finally being able to welcome customers back to his store where he works alongside his son, Cormac. “So look here we are, 10 weeks since the night of the fire and it’s on, moving to the new location,” said O’Brien.

Wichita, KS | Vinyl is about to top CD sales, and Spin It Again Records has reopened to help: Only days after the Recording Industry Association of America announced that for the first time in more than three decades vinyl record sales likely will top CD sales this year, Spin It Again Records has reopened. The store has been closed since late August, but this week owner Ed Swarts reopened it in its new location at 3715 W. Douglas, which is two blocks east of West Street…The store sells new and used vinyl records, turntables, cleaning supplies and other related items and does minor related repairs. It also buys used records. Spin It Again Records will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Swarts says he’s not surprised vinyl sales are about to surpass CD sales. “The CD is just a thing of the past,” he says.

Liam Gallagher declares “ignorance is bliss” as he favours vinyl over Spotify: “I don’t think I’ve ever used Spotify once in my life. I don’t even know how to use it. I don’t have a clue” Liam Gallagher has admitted that he “doesn’t have a clue” when it comes to music streaming services and that he has no intention of ever using them. The former Oasis frontman says he much prefers to listen to vinyl than digital services such as Spotify. He told the Huffington Post: ”I stay away from that. I don’t think I’ve ever used Spotify once in my life and I don’t think I intend to either. I don’t even know how to use it. I don’t have a clue. ”Part of it is, ignorance is bliss. All these new ways to listen to music have gone way over my head, and I’m quite happy with it. Call it that I’m stuck in the ’90s. I listen to tunes on the record player.”

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In rotation: 11/15/19

San Diego, CA | Vinyl creates experiences that never die: On Adams Avenue, nestled between a gelato shop and a cafe, you’ll find Ruthie Bible sitting on a stool behind a cash register in a skinny storefront shop, watching over hundreds of vinyl records. She’s been at this post for 35 years, observing and listening, as customers come and go. Bible, who is in her seventies, is the co-owner of Nickelodeon Records, a Normal Heights establishment that has become a San Diego institution. The small record store opened in 1984 but has since been garnering attention from younger generations looking to visit and snap a few pics among the rows of records and with the backdrop of decades of music history behind them. “Their behavior is totally different,” Bible said about the record store’s younger visitors. “They really like (the shop) and it’s cool and everything, but it’s like a little museum to them. They like to come and take pictures and leave.”

Redditch, UK| Vintage stuff as two new shops open in a forgotten corner of the centre: Two new independent shops are to open in Redditch town centre – breathing new life into a neglected spot behind the Post Office and Debenhams. And with the backing of the Borough Council, they hope to help Rejuvenate Redditch by organising a variety of events in the unused covered area in the coming months. Exactly six years to the day since opening in the Kingfisher Centre as a pop up shop, retro record specialists, Vintage Trax is returning to town with a second vinyl record and CD shop, while retaining its popular Headless Cross store. Opening alongside at the same time is Vintage Threads, offering ladies and mens vintage clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as repairs and alterations. Owner, Helen Truman, is a seasoned fashion trader having worked at the Regal, a well known psychedelic clothing shop in Soho in the 1980s, and over 20 years later opened a retro fashion shop at Winyates Barn, Redditch. “It’s an exciting time for both of us,” said Ros Sidaway, owner of Vintage Trax.

Pittsburgh, PA | Introducing Pittsburgh Record Label Roundup: The diverse and plentiful selection of the city’s record labels: No matter how ingrained you are in the Pittsburgh music scene, you still might not know just how many record labels are operating locally. Many of them fly under the radar, but they’re worth knowing. Check out the first three features in our new Pittsburgh Record Label Roundup… When Montgomery was promoting his debut album, Driving While Black in 2016, he noticed that people were buying the merchandise before even hearing the songs. “Seeing how invested people were in the brand made me realize that I could create a platform for both myself and other artists,” he says. Montgomery felt that there was a plethora of great talent in Pittsburgh, but a dearth of opportunities to help artists further their careers. So he created Driving While Black Records (DWB) to help build an infrastructure for artists in the city. DWB prides itself on showing what can happen when a group of like-minded individuals come together to create opportunities for themselves.

Noel Fielding Is Making a Netflix Show About a Magical Record Player: Noel Fielding has spent recent years offering up some conservatively colourful outfits as the co-host of The Great British Bake-Off, but he’ll soon return to his strange comedy roots. After all, he’s currently at work on a new Netflix series. In a recent appearance on BBC 6 Music [via Chortle], Fielding explained that he’s working on the early development stages of his new show, which is a musical comedy with some signature Noel weirdness. “Basically a guy gets hold of a magic record player and when you put the record player on a portal appears and you can go inside your favourite albums,” Fielding explained. That said, don’t expect it to be complete too soon. “I haven’t written it yet,” he admitted. “I pitched it and Netflix liked it and we’re making it, but I haven’t started writing it yet. So that’s my next thing.”

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In rotation: 11/14/19

Can Vinyl Save the Music Industry? Gen X, Gen Z and millennials are all buying into the vinyl hype, as sales increase steadily. In a time when most music is almost free and at your fingertips, however, will LPs play long enough to bring the music industry back in tune? …RIAA data shows that 25-to-34-year-olds and 18-to-24-year-olds accounted for 19 and 16 per cent respectively of U.S. new vinyl sales in 2018. This is valuable to artists who are not being paid what they’d like to be on streaming services. For artists, selling other merchandise has become increasingly important. Luckily for them, some fans are willing to pay for exclusive merchandise and experiences on crowdfunding platforms. A 2013 Indiegogo campaign for the Canadian band Protest The Hero raised nearly $450,000 to fund an album and 1,299 copies of the signed, limited-edition vinyl LP were claimed as rewards. Katy Perry has a vinyl record coming out soon. It’s a record-first release but her truest “Katy Cats” will surely snatch up those 4,000 copies to hold a piece of their favourite artist in their hands.

Long Beach, CA | Long Beach record store and marijuana dispensary partner to host free concert: The dispensary ShowGrow, which has a business location in Long Beach, partnered with local record store Analog Records on Nov. 9 to host Cozy Sesh 7, a free concert that gave cannabis businesses the opportunity to share information about the recreational marijuana industry with community members. This is the seventh Cozy Sesh event Analog Records has held. The events are free, but attendees have to register online beforehand and space is limited. The featured performers for Cozy Sesh 7 were the musician Cherokee and the group Capyac, who performed on a stage in Analog Record’s parking lot. Throughout the day, disc jockeys also provided music both in the parking lot and the store itself. Cherokee is a French musician signed to the label Roche Musique. His music belongs to the genre French touch, according to Roche Musique’s website.

Detroit, MI | The Detroit roots of hip-hop label Fat Beats run deep: In the early ’90s, hip-hop wasn’t the mainstream cultural behemoth it is today. Back then, hip-hop was still largely a non-commercial art form found in Black and brown communities in cities across the United States. Founded in 1994 by Joe Abajian (aka DJ Jab) in New York City, Fat Beats was a record store that brought these communities together — and quickly became a nerve center for all things hip-hop. Originally located on Manhattan’s lower east side, Fat Beats has played an enormous role in celebrating hip-hop culture in its purest form for the last 25 years. Throughout the ’90s and 2000s, Fat Beats was where you went to cop the latest must-have 12-inch single, chat with fellow hip-hop heads, and catch legendary in-store performances from artists such as Black Star, Organized Konfusion, Outkast, and Common. As the business got going, it didn’t take long for Fat Beats to establish itself as a distribution company and, eventually, a record label. At its height, Fat Beats also had storefronts in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.

St Petersburg, FL | Daddy Kool Records to join The Factory St. Pete in 2020: Do you love Daddy Kool? Of course you do. We all do. The music hub had long been a staple on the 600 Block before moving to a larger space in the Warehouse Arts District. The record store hosts monthly night markets, live music, and is home to one of the most expansive record collections in all of Tampa Bay. So it makes sense that in 2020 it would join The Factory, a sprawling immersive arts, entertainment, food + drink concept. Like we said before, if you’re not following The Factory on Facebook and Instagram, you should change that ASAP. The massive creative destination in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg is already set to house Fairgrounds, an artist created immersive experience. Residents got a taste of what they can expect from the 12,000-square-foot experimental art exhibit with a live mermaid show at the SHINE finale. Additional concepts such as the eclectic coffee/art/music hub Black Crow Coffee will also open at The Factory next year.

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In rotation: 11/13/19

The Internet Archive is now working to preserve vinyl LPs: The Internet Archive is an absolute treasure with a gigantic task ahead of them. They have now set their sights on vinyl LPs and started the work of digitizing and archiving these recordings. Earlier this year, the Internet Archive began working with the Boston Public Library (BPL) to digitize more than 100,000 audio recordings from their sound collection. The recordings exist in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs. They span musical genres including classical, pop, rock, and jazz, and contain obscure recordings like this album of music for baton twirlers , and this record of radio’s all-time greatest bloopers. Since all of the information on an LP is printed, the digitization process must begin by cataloging data. High-resolution scans are taken of the cover art, the disc itself and any inserts or accompanying materials. The record label, year recorded, track list and other metadata are supplemented and cross-checked against various external databases.

Whangārei, NZ | Whangārei music enthusiasts enjoy record collectors fair: Bowie, Clapton, The Beatles and more music legends drew vinyl lovers to the Whangārei Record Collectors Fair on Saturday. The bi-annual event is in its third year and is a true treasure trove with its large range of second-hand records ranging from rock and pop, to reggae and punk, and of course, hip-hop and classical were also represented. Northern Advocate photographer John Stone captured images of music enthusiasts while listening to some fine tunes on Bank St.

Chicago, IL | Chicago’s Bloodshot Records Celebrates 25th Anniversary: It is the silver anniversary of a Chicago independent record label that sets the gold standard for roots music in the city and beyond. Bloodshot Records started on the fringes of the music scene and staked a claim with rock and country shot through with punk and soul. We visited their headquarters on the eve of the label’s 25th anniversary and got an earful…”We were seeing all these bands around town at tiny little clubs that didn’t necessarily know about one another, that were all touching on roots music in some weird way and kind of operating independently of one another and just very organically creating this sound. And we thought well here’s a good place for us to stitch it together and kind of make a scene out of it and give it a name and some kind of identity.” …If you profess to love independent music, you as a fan need to support it. You need to support these musicians because no one’s getting rich here. Everyone exists on the fringes and we’re doing it for a very basic love of it, but the economic model is largely unsustainable. We’re absolutely foolhardy to continue to do it.”

Springfield, IL | A record deal: Woman says ‘yes’ among the vinyl: Andy Krisak popped the question to Cori Claycomb Sunday. It was filed under “S.” Krisak, an underwriter for U.S. Insurance in Springfield, took a novel approach to the marriage proposal, spelling out “Cori, will you marry me?” over five different vinyl record sleeves and hiding them among the stacks at Dumb Records, 418 E. Monroe St. “I was stunned,” admitted Claycomb, who works in the education department at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. “I had no idea.” Both are huge music fans. Claycomb even did her college thesis paper on the resurgence of vinyl records. Claycomb admitted she has a precise way of going through record store albums, beginning with “A” and going straight through alphabetically. Krisak eventually steered her towards the “S” section where the proposal waited. “I’ve been planning this awhile,” Krisak said. “Finally, the planets aligned.” Dumb Records owner Brian Galecki was in on the plan and helping with the plastic sleeves, “so I had to keep a straight face when they walked in.” Galecki said it is “definitely” the first marriage proposal for the independent record store, which opened up in its current location earlier this year.

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