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

In rotation: 6/11/20

UK | Record shops in England set to reopen next week: Following business secretary Alok Sharma’s announcement that non-essential shops can reopen from Monday. Yesterday (9th June), business secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that non-essential shops are permitted to reopen in England from Monday 15th June – and some record stores have since announced their plans to do just that. All four of Rough Trade’s stores in the country – Rough Trade East (London), Rough Trade West (London), Rough Trade Bristol and Rough Trade Nottingham – will be reopening from next Tuesday (16th), operating restricted hours between Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am until 5:30pm, for the foreseeable. There will be a limited store capacity with social distancing measures in place, and it’ll be strictly card-only transactions. From Monday, Leeds’ Crash Records will be open daily from 10am until 5pm for collection of pre-ordered records bought online or over the phone. There won’t be any opportunities for browsing, however if something is in stock purchases can be made on the day.

UK | Record Store Day announce new “calendar social distancing” plan: Limited edition vinyl will be dropped over three separate dates. Record Store Day 2020 have revealed a new concept entitled “RSD Drops” to celebrate the annual event this year. The idea was conceived in order to uphold safe social distancing practices while coronavirus restrictions across the nation are slowly eased. RSD Drops will take place over three Saturdays – August 29, September 26 and October 24 – and each release date will hold their own list of limited edition records. According to a statement on Record Store Day’s website, the three drop dates are spaced out in order to help enthusiasts add to their collection “in the safest way possible”. “They will be tailored to suit whatever conditions we need to follow at the time: online, email or phone orders, kerbside pick up, back door pick up, home delivery, in store… whatever the store can do that’s responsible and safe according to our governments,” reads the statement.

New York, NY | When will stores reopen in NYC? In-person shopping is going to look very different: Nonessential retailers are now allowed to offer curbside pickup. …One of the city’s beloved record stores, A-1 Record Shop in the East Village are already planning one way to provide customers with a similar record shop experience in this new normal—whether folks are physically coming inside the store or not this summer. A1 Record Shop veterans Shef and Jeremy, who have manned the shop for over 15 years tell us, “Sifting through inventory in a record store is really what is enjoyable about record shopping for a lot of people. So, we’re wanting to create record starter packs, to keep that element of surprise. It would be, say, 50 disco records for 100 bucks, with packs across all genres. A starter pack for classic soul, another for new wave, golden era hip hop, classic rock and so on. It’s a way you can still buy blindly for a cheap rate, and it gives people a chance to sift through a bag of things they might not already know.”

Best headphones for vinyl 2020: our pick of 8 headphones to bring the best out of your vinyl: Whatever your budget, these are the best headphones for immersing yourself in your vinyl record collection. Listening to music on vinyl is all about escapism, and nothing will help you get lost in the grooves and compliment your collection quite like an excellent pair of headphones. From AKG to Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, in this guide we’re going to help you find the best headphones for vinyl. Being a vinyl nerd extends beyond the records lovingly compiled on your shelves. It involves a pact with the equipment you select to bring that music to life, from a turntable through to an amplifier, speakers and a pair of headphones. The latter can sometimes fall through the gaps when it comes to considering your home setup, given the prominence that the portability of headphones plays in our commutes, exercise regimes and general day-to-day.

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In rotation: 6/10/20

UK | Rough Trade are re-opening their UK record stores next week: All four of Rough Trade’s UK stores will resume in-person trading, although customer and staff safety measures will be implemented. Rough Trade have announced that they will be re-opening all four of their UK record stores next week. The record stores will re-open next Tuesday (June 16) at 11AM, ending the coronavirus-enforced closure of the business which began back in March when the UK lockdown was first ordered. Rough Trade have been operating solely online in the interim. The recent easing of the lockdown in England means that London’s Rough Trade East and Rough Trade West, as well as Rough Trade Bristol and Rough Trade Nottingham, will be able to open their doors to customers once again from next week. In a message to customers, Rough Trade said that they were “very pleased” to resume business across their four stores, and advised customers that safety measures will be implemented in line with the latest government guidance.

Kent, UK | Kent soft play centres, pubs, book shops and campsites on life after lockdown: Vinylstore Jr. The joy of shopping as a vinyl-lover is flicking through huge stacks of records and hunting for your favourite artists but fears of contamination from customer to customer poses a problem. But Nick Pygott, who owns the pint-sized Vinylstore Jr in Canterbury, has come up with a plan which he hopes will allow him to open safely from Friday, June 19. Since lockdown began, he has spent a lot of time delivering records to customers across the city, whilst keeping his online shop open for customers to purchase music. He said: “The shop actually lends itself quite well to social distancing – although it’s tiny, that helps facilitate a one-in, one-out policy. “There’s a buzzer on the door so I’ll be buzzing people in one at a time.” As a sole trader, Nick has not had to worry about training staff on the new measures and will be open for two days a week at the start to allow his customers back in to browse the vinyl on offer.

Miami, FL | Technique Records Reopens With Strict Social-Distancing: Technique Records owner Mikey Ramirez doesn’t mince words when he describes his shop’s efforts to adapt its business model in response to the pandemic. Ramirez says that ever since he was forced to close his recently expanded shop, it has been like “putting a Band-Aid on a disembowelment.” Soon after the March 17 closure, the Upper Eastside record store opened an online shop and began offering curbside pickup. By the following month, Technique was partnering with downtown’s Niu Kitchen for a curated vinyl-and-wine pairing program. Those measures have “kept us alive,” Ramirez says. But like most small businesses around the U.S., he admits the shop has racked up thousands of dollars in debt over the past three months, including some from the first round of federal loans. Adding to the impact was the postponement of April’s Record Store Day, which is comparable to Black Friday for record shops and last year accounted for nearly 25% of total U.S. vinyl album sales.

Oakland, CA | A Look at How Oakland’s Small Businesses Are Surviving: Econo Jam Records. Econo Jam, a record store in Uptown Oakland, has stayed busy despite the fact that customers can’t come inside to dig through records. Instead, the shop is using social media to showcase its eclectic inventory and stay connected with its diverse customer base. “It’s fun finding those gold nuggets and having folks jump at the chance to snatch them up,” says owner Tom O’Shaughnessy. “People stuck at home are finding comfort in listening to records, as well as filling in the gaps in their collections by shopping online.” Now that curbside pickup is allowed, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., customers swing by to grab records they picked out from Econo Jam’s Instagram and Discogs page, an online marketplace to buy and sell records, tapes, and CDs. O’Shaughnessy says he misses the camaraderie that working in a record store fosters. “We are just a bunch of music nerds who love sharing our favorite music with folks,” he says. “The hardest part of sheltering in place is missing all of our music-loving people.”

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In rotation: 6/9/20

Middletown, PA | KT Media record store and the Vintage Vault Gallery and Funky Finds: With Dauphin County in the yellow, businesses start to reopen in Middletown. Retail in downtown Middletown gradually started coming back Friday, the first day that Dauphin County entered the less-restrictive yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening from the coronavirus shutdown. Wolf had ordered all “non-essential” businesses closed as of March 19, with enforcement starting March 23. The governor put the county under a stay-at-home order effective March 30. Critics say the shutdown disproportionately affected small businesses, as big grocery stores and “big box” retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s were allowed to stay open as the state considered them essential. Among the first small businesses to reopen their doors to customers in Middletown was the KT Media record store at 140 S. Union St., and the Vintage Vault Gallery and Funky Finds, 17 S. Union St.

UK | Can lockdown save the download? As Music Week’s recent lockdown analysis feature proved, the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge effect on how the UK listens to music. Some elements were relatively predictable: physical sales have dropped significantly since every record shop in the country had to close, while audio streams, particularly ad-funded ones, have risen after an initial dip. But one lockdown trend surely wouldn’t have been predicted by anyone, as it involves a format so moribund Music Week declared it dead way back in 2016: the digital download. For quarter after quarter, sales of both digital singles and albums, dominated in the UK by Apple’s iTunes store, have only gone in one direction: down. But, since the UK lockdown began on March 23 in chart week 13, there have been flickerings of a revival. According to figures from the Official Charts Company, only 437,067 sales of digital singles were recorded in week 12, while digital albums accounted for just 71,824 units. Neither format has sunk so low since, with sales of tracks peaking at 773,336 in week 17 and albums at 124,944 in week 19. And while sales have fallen back since those peaks, they generally remain higher than they were pre-lockdown.

Wilkes-Barre, PA | Gallery of Sound: Business brisk as stores reopen in yellow phase. Businesses allowed to reopen over the past few days following Luzerne County’s transition to the yellow phase are experiencing a surge in sales and few problems with customers adhering to social distancing precautions. At places like Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound music store in Wilkes-Barre Twp. and Boscov’s Department store in downtown Wilkes-Barre, representatives say customers were already accustomed to wearing masks and keeping their distance like they had been at businesses like grocery stores that remained open during the coronavirus lockdown. “There was a lot of pent up demand,” said Joe Nardone Jr., co-owner of the Gallery of Sound. “People were buying like they hadn’t been in a record store in 75 days.” Luzerne County and seven other counties in Pennsylvania on Friday shifted to the less restrictive yellow reopening phase, allowing many businesses to resume operations. “I don’t know how much longer we could have gone,” Nardone said, before adding the store’s loyal following ensured for a successful reopening.

Guernsey, UK | Vinyl Vaughan goes back to his business roots: Vaughan Davies has gone full circle in his business career. His current business, record store Vinyl Vaughan’s, reopened last Saturday in the Commercial Arcade. ‘I worked as a travel agent in this building from 1979, so 41 years later I’ve come back round,’ he said. ‘Working in travel taught me that getting to know the customer came first and sales came second. ‘The minute you walk in you get greeted. I get to know the musical tastes of people individually. Recommending music that a regular customer will love is one of the best parts.’ Having signed the lease two weeks before lockdown, an efficient online ordering service kept the business going. Many islanders spent their time at home listening to music, which supported the local business through a quieter launch than expected. ‘Not too many people were in Town on Saturday,’ said Mr Davies. ‘I think many thought it would be heaving, but more are trickling in now.”

8 Bands That Went All-Analog on Their Albums: And it sounded way better than any over-produced ProTools effort. More and more bands nowadays rely on digital recording techniques to make them sound good. That means using drum replacements instead of weak or uneven hits, fixing guitars, pitching vocals to perfections, and other tricks designed to mask imperfections and mistakes. This results in records that, while sounding good, are soulless. Let’s take a look at 8 times bands went old-school and used analog-only equipment to make vibrant and dynamic albums. Sound City: Dave Grohl’s ode to Sound City Studios and the famous Neve console is a “who’s who” in rock music from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor to Sir Paul McCartney. True to the name of the soundtrack, the recording was all-analog and mixed through the aforementioned Neve console that Grohl bought from a closing studio. With the assistance of Butch Vig, the result turned out amazing, with a timeless sound only achievable through an analog console.

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In rotation: 6/8/20

Hollywood, CA | Counterpoint Records & Books Reopens: On Thursday, June 4, Counterpoint Records & Books announced that they will reopen on Monday, June 8. Established in 1979 in the Franklin Village, Counterpoint Records & Books is a mom-and-pop book and record store. It is owned and operated by husband and wife, John and Susan Polifronio. It buys and sells “second-hand and rare records, books, CDs, DVDs, ephemera, and various other popular and out of print cultural items.” Their stock ranges from inexpensive classics to higher end or rare antiquarian items. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Counterpoint Records & Books closed in-store shopping. Alternatively, books were posted to eBay for purchase. The store was under threat of being permanently closed as the owners struggled to receive federal loans. Nonetheless, they continued to pay their three employees. “We don’t know when we’ll be able to open up. It’s unknown and changing every day, and it makes planning impossible,” said Susan Polifronio in late April toThe Los Angeles Times.

Philadelphia, PA | Record stores are set to reopen in Philly and Jersey. You’ll sanitize before you ‘dig.’ Crate digging will be done with freshly sanitized hands. Masks are mandatory. Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at the checkout counter. Socially distanced shopping will be in effect. And that’s all good news for music fans who long to hold a new find in their hands: Record stores are getting ready to open again. Stores like Repo Records on South Street (reopening June 8), Main Street Music in Manayunk (June 5), and the Princeton Record Exchange in New Jersey (June 15) have survived for decades despite multiple transformations of the industry, which now embraces a streaming model in which music is essentially given away for free. Now those stores, as well as Philly shops that have opened in the last decade like Brewerytown Beats (reopened June 5) or Sit & Spin Records (June 13) have been trying to keep their businesses alive with their doors closed by a deadly virus.

Las Cruces, NM | Quirky businesses in the Mesilla Valley: Eyeconik Records & Apparel. Eyeconik Records & Apparel sells a wide selection of hard to find vinyl records, music products, art and apparel for music and entertainment lovers. Located at 224 N. Campo St., customers can listen to albums before purchasing and even listen to live music events. There is something for everyone at this local record store, whether you’re a collector or a musician. The record store also expanded its classic arcade game room and is undergoing a full remodel. The store will be temporarily closed until renovations are complete but curbside is available at this time.

Altrincham, UK | Meet the man behind the ‘Caravan of Love’ bringing coffee and grooves to Stamford Square: Independent record label Stutter & Twitch has launched a brand-new coffee caravan concept in Stamford Square in Altrincham town centre. The Stutter & Twitch ‘Caravan of Love’ is now open, selling Grindsmith-roasted coffee, teas, cold brews and cakes from Stockport-based Silver Apples Bakery. There’s also a collection of over a 1,000 vinyl records to browse and buy – with only one customer allowed at a time in accordance with current social distancing restrictions. Stutter & Twitch is also providing disposable gloves and sanitiser. Stutter and Twitch was launched two years ago by Ryan Hayes, who has a background as a musician and producer. Fuelled by a love of coffee and his experiences working in hospitality through various part-time jobs, Hayes bought the caravan on New Year’s Day 2019 and set about a lengthy restoration project. Having postponed his Stamford Quarter debut until it was safe to do so, Hayes hopes his concept is as much a community project as a commercial one.

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In rotation: 6/5/20

Fargo, ND | Young entrepreneur goes all in with niche record store: Devin Casavant took his father’s advice: make your living doing the thing that makes you happiest. It led the young entrepreneur to open DTFM Vinyl Distro, and then take the plunge into expanded hours during the coronavirus pandemic. The shop, located at 4130 3rd Ave. N. Unit C, specializes in limited and rare vinyl records, as well as hard-to-find band tour merchandise. “Basically I was going through a rough time at a job I was working at, and I wanted to make a change in my life,” Casavant said. The store opened May 4, 2019, but only recently has Casavant decided to expand its operation to six days a week, making it his full-time job. Monday through Friday he’ll open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday he’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moving from one job to the next, due to injury, dissatisfaction and then stress, what Casavant wanted most was to own his own record store. “My dad had this unused space in his kind of compound of a property,” he said, “and he said, ‘Do what you want with it, and I’ll help you out.’”

Cincinnati, OH | Northside’s Shake It Records Reopens for In-Person Shopping: Shake It is also selling a “Kindly Distance 6 LPs” T-shirt to benefit CAIN, so you can let everyone know you both appreciate good music and not dying from infectious diseases. If you’ve been desperate to physically flip through some vinyl albums while searching for your next find — and just pretending to do so in crates at home really wasn’t cutting it — there’s some good news: Northside’s Shake It Records has reopened to in-person shopping. Since March, they’ve been doing online orders, limited delivery and some curbside pick-up, but as of Monday (June 1), they’re now open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. In order to keep shoppers and themselves safe during the pandemic, they’re asking customers to wear a mask — “It’s literally the least we could do. (We’re quite fond of our parents & grandparents)” — and to try to social distance in the shop. They will be sanitizing and wiping down surfaces and limiting the amount of humans inside as well. It also looks like they’ve remodeled a bit and moved some vinyl (and possibly Billy) up from the basement during their closure.

West Norriton, PA | Vinyl Closet spins off its own “coffee shop”: Few things go together like coffee and records, wouldn’t you agree? Extra cream and sugar with your cup of Beatles brew? Or do you take it black with Fleetwood Mac? Vinyl Closet, which reopens June 7, is spinning off its own in-house, family-operated coffee corner, named, fittingly enough, Coffee Closet with Barista Jake. Many will be familiar with Jake McFarland’s friendly java-brewing business from the two curbside fundraising outings held in May outside of Vinyl Closet, 2121 W. Main St., Jeffersonville, which raised $300 for the Jake Moletzsky Foundation and $350 donation for the Norristown High chapter of the Best Buddies organization. The bulk of the proceeds helped finance the construction of Jake’s permanent indoor coffee cart, complete with a state-of-the-art programmable Cuisinart coffee maker. Following a grand opening on June 13, Jake will run the coffee business “under the watchful eye of his parents,” Jason and Angela McFarland, who own the newly reopened Vinyl Closet.

Oxford, MS | The End of All Music finding ways to thrive in a pandemic: David Swider was already planning to further enhance his store’s online presence, but then, a pandemic made it necessary. The End of All Music, located on the Downtown Square, was forced to adapt like many other small businesses once the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to Lafayette County. Businesses closed their doors, and in some cases their operations altogether, until the crisis passed and it was safe enough to reopen. Knowing in-store shopping was obsolete for the immediate future, Swider took the situation as an opportunity to begin expanding his store’s digital footprint in online shopping. “Initially, I wasn’t freaking out that much, because we were already kind of geared towards being able to sell stuff online,” Swider said. “So, I was just kind of like, ‘Well, now we’ll just move everything online.’ We were kind of moving that way already, not to become an online-only shop, but to just have a bigger online presence…”

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In rotation: 6/4/20

Memphis, TN | Memphis Record Stores Keep The Flame Of Vinyl Burning: In addition to being a boiling cauldron of musical creation, well documented in this week’s cover story, Memphis is a city of world-class record stores. Both Goner Records and Shangri-La Records have been celebrated, by Rolling Stone and others, as being among the best in the country — or in the world. And there are others in their ranks as well, as reported thoroughly last year by Cady Jones in the Choose901 blog. To cap off this week’s celebration of all things musical in the Bluff City, I reached out to some of the finest purveyors of vinyl here, hoping to hear some good news about their continued survival. But the first person I contacted offered a more sobering message. Paul Williams ran Audiomania for 30 years before shuttering it for good, a month ago. In an email exchange, Paul reflected on his years in the business and that rare magic to be found on certain corners in the city.

Sarnia, ON | Record store pays ‘talent tax’ on CDs from local musicians: Shortly after their downtown Sarnia business re-opened following the provincial COVID-19 lockdown, Cheeky Monkey Record Store owners Mary Anne and Roland Peloza were thinking how they could give back to the community during these unprecedented times. It was a chance conversation with Mary Anne’s Australia-based nephew Jim that inspired the record store husband-and-wife team to come up with an initiative that will both help struggling local musicians currently unable to earn a living performing at live venues while also making Sarnians more aware of some of the musical talent that has emerged from their community. Until such time that music can be enjoyed live and in person once again, Cheeky Monkey will be supporting local musicians by paying the tax on every purchase of a ‘local talent’ CD. That includes albums made by a wide variety of artists ranging from the country stylings of Eric Ethridge to the metal/grimecore carnage of 4HATEU8, from the hypnotic blues of Missy Burgess and the Blue Train to the scintillating sounds of local music icon Jim Chevalier and Almost Floating.

Astoria, OR | Video Horizons, record store moving to Duane Street: Video Horizons owner Neal Cummings is partnering with vinyl collector Richard Moore to create a new rental and record store on Duane Street. Cummings closed Video Horizons, one of the few video rental stores left in the region, to walk-ins during the coronavirus outbreak. He recently raised more than $4,500 through a GoFundMe campaign to help with a slowdown, but said his rent at the Astor Street location is unsustainable. On Tuesday, he began moving his video collection to 1156 Duane St. The storefront is next to the Deals Only thrift store and on the opposite side of the building from the Five Zero Trees marijuana store. “I’m really looking forward to presenting kind of a physical media paradise,” Cummings said. Moore, a former Elvis impersonator, has amassed more than 300,000 vinyl records spread between several storage units across Oregon and southwest Washington state. He runs Play it Again, a record store inside a hangar in Gearhart selling a menagerie of media, including LPs, eight tracks, 33s, 45s, 78s and VHS tapes.

Chicago, IL | Artist Behind ‘Tiny Guide’ Donating More Than $10,000 In Sales To City’s Indie Record Stores And Venues: Maura Walsh is donating proceeds from her popular hand-drawn guide as well as from larger prints. The artist behind “Our Tiny Guide to Chicago’s Best Music Culture Spots” is donating its proceeds to help record stores and venues hit hard by the shutdown. Artist Maura Walsh started selling her hand-illustrated guide last year as a way to spotlight places like The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Laurie’s Planet of Sound, 4639 N. Lincoln Ave., and Old Town School of Folk, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. The tiny book has been so popular, Walsh is on her third printing. As an avid music fan, she decided to reach out to venues featured in her book to ask if they would accept donations from its sales. Walsh announced her fundraising effort May 19 and raised more than $10,000 by Thursday. Her tiny book costs $20, but Walsh has a pay-what-you-can option on her Etsy store. Some people have paid more than $100 for it, she said.

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In rotation: 6/3/20

Record Store Day Reveals 2020 Releases for RSD Drops: Due to the coronavirus, this year’s event is now spread out over three days. Due to the coronavirus, Record Store Day initially postponed its annual April event to June. But with the pandemic still impacting communities across the country, organizers have again pushed back the event, this time splitting it up into three separate days: August 29th, September 26th, and October 24th. To ensure social distancing at each of these “RSD Drops”, the original vinyl releases announced for April’s event will be spread out over the three days, as organizers have now detailed. August 29th: A vast majority of this year’s standout titles will be available on August 29th, including archival releases from David Bowie, Gorillaz, The Cure, and New Order, in addition to a new Billie Eilish live album, a reissue of the Dune soundtrack, and a demo collection from Mac DeMarco. Highlights include

Wilkes-Barre, PA | Stores closed since March welcome customers as county goes yellow: A teenager got her learner’s permit to drive on Friday in Hanover Twp. — and traveled from still-closed Lehigh County to get it. Some bank lobbies here reopened to walk-in customers. Kingston’s parks opened back up for children to frolic. You could buy music again at the Gallery of Sound in Wilkes-Barre Twp. Jewelry stores like 3 Sisters in Kingston welcomed customers back. Gino’s Shoes in Dallas was fully stocked, awaiting the return of loyal customers. Classic Sports Cards & Collectibles opened its doors to sports enthusiasts again. Restaurants like Hooligans in Nanticoke readied for outdoor dining. Luzerne County partially reopened Friday by transitioning into the less-restrictive yellow phase following a two month coronavirus lockdown.

Guernsey, UK | Vinyl Vaughan sets a new record: Town now has a hub for music enthusiasts for the first time in almost 10 years, after Vinyl Vaughan moved from Fountain Street to a store in the Commercial Arcade. Owner Vaughan Davies completed the move to the new premises two days before lockdown and has had to wait 10 weeks to open up to the public. However, he did so on Saturday to a “great reaction” from music enthusiasts, who had two floors of records and other merchandise to have a mooch through. Mr Davies decided to pursue his dream of owning a record shop after suffering a serious stroke in 2015, and he made the decision earlier this year that it was the right time to expand from his original premises. “Music was always a love of mine and I started a record shop three years ago,” he said.

Bozeman, MT | Bozeman Business Boom: New vinyl shop giving new life and sound to the Bozeman music scene: National trends are bringing new local sound to Bozeman. The Wax Museum a record shop in the cannery district is bringing vinyl records back, they are flying off the shelves. “This space became open to me thanks to my old friend Noelle,” Kels Koch the owner of The Wax Museum said, “she and I were both on the local music scene here back in the ’80s.” Koch, the Montana State University Bobcat alumni found his way back to Bozeman after working in record stores all over the county. “I’m trying to carry music that’s otherwise not available in Bozeman,” Koch said, “I’m trying to expand on the music that’s available in town.” With everyone having a portable music device in their hand and headphones not far from reach you might be surprised to learn that streaming services don’t have the corner on the market and that digital download sales have fallen.

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In rotation: 6/1/20

Massillon, OH | For the record: Frankenstein Records reopens inside Buzzbin: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced bars and restaurants of all types to find creative solutions to new problems. When just such an issue presented itself to Buzzbin owners Chris and Julia Bentley, the couple found that re-imagining an old passion “seemed like it was just supposed to happen.” Frankenstein Records, an old downtown Canton staple, has re-opened inside the 331 Cleveland Ave. NW location. The store, which originally opened in 2013 just across the way on 5th St. NW, was the passion and brainchild of Chris Bentley, who wanted to bring a hip and heavy-rock based record store to the area in the spirit of the old Quonset Hut. “Ever since he had to close the last store, it’s always been in the plans,” Julia said. “But when we took over Buzzbin, it was just too much to try and coordinate at first.”

US | Here Are Some Black-Owned Vinyl Record Stores You Should Support: With the current pandemic affecting black-owned small businesses at an alarming rate across the country, now more than ever we need to come out strong in support of the community. Nearly every industry is impacted, from hospitality to retail. The small market of vinyl records may be one of the most overlooked. Find some comfort in nostalgia and let’s show our support. Brittany’s Record Shop, Cleveland, OH: Shop online or request in-store pickup at Brittany’s Record Shop. This all vinyl, independent shop offers an impressive collection of hip-hop, reggae, soul and jazz favorites. The shop’s owner, Brittany Benton also takes special orders. If you don’t see what you’re looking for currently in the store, she’ll get it for you if she can.

Portland, OR | Iconic Portland record store opens again for one customer at a time: A Portland record store with deep roots in the Rose City has been shut down for months. Now, Music Millennium is offering customers a one-of-a-kind chance, allowing them to shop inside the iconic store by themselves for one hour. At 51 years old, it’s the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest. People interested in shopping the store will have to wear a face mask. If a customer doesn’t have a mask, workers will provide one. Customers must also practice social distancing with store employees. Music Millennium is asking each person to donate $25 or more to support local musicians who not been able to make an income during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our customers are big part of what we are when you are record shopper or a book buyer you like to go in a shop and browse, so the customer side of things, they are excited to get back inside,” Terry Currier, store owner, said.

San Jose, CA | San Jose record stores can open under new health order, but will it be too late? Owners and managers of record stores in Santa Clara County are relieved that curbside pickup is now an option for retail businesses after the county updated its stay-at-home order last week. However, some said curbside pickup can’t replace browsing in person, an experience that won’t be fully restored until quarantine is over. On Friday, Santa Clara County health officials started allowing certain retailers, including clothing stores, bookstores and music stores, to offer curbside pickup, aligning the county with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised May 8 guidelines. Whether the partial reopening of record stores, which already struggle to stay afloat in a rapidly changing environment, will be enough to save these small businesses amid the deadly virus remains to be seen.

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In rotation: 5/22/20

Rochester, NY | Rochester’s Record Archive Likes the Sound of Reopening — Safely: At Record Archive, March 17 was the day the music stopped — the day Vice President Alayna Alderman had to lay off her staff and temporarily shut down Rochester’s long-running music store. “It’s just earth-shattering,” said Alderman. “We’ve been through tough times before, but this was incredibly challenging.” Once the state allowed them to resume, Alderman says online mail orders and curbside pickup have kept the lights on. That business, she says, has been steady. “It’s given me hope through some dark days,” she said. “Because it’s really been an emotional roller coaster.” The music store experience is a unique one — where customers often spend hours browsing through records and CD’s, touching just about everything. With retail stores getting ready to reopen, the key is to do it safely. At Record Archive, hand sanitizer stations have already been placed throughout the store. In a nostalgic twist, adapters for 45 RPM records have been painted on the floor leading up to the cash register — six feet apart — marking off safe social distances for customers.

Vancouver, CA | Vancouver record store works to preserve ‘vibe’ amid social distancing: Record Store Day will look a little different this year. The annual spring event, originally set for April 18 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple postponements, will now take place over three separate dates in August, September and October. It’s not a day at all anymore. It’s also no longer an event, said Ben Frith, the manager of Neptoon Records. “Basically, they’re saying: don’t make an event of it, don’t have bands, don’t have a party,” he told Postmedia Wednesday, while preparing for the Main Street shop to reopen later this week. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing significant changes for businesses, and record stores are no exception. At least for now those days of spending hours in your local record shop, digging through stacks of milk crates, shoulder to shoulder with other audiophiles are gone. So are the listening stations. “We’ve literally just removed them,” said Frith, with a laugh. “Putting headphones on someone’s head is such a bad idea right now.”

White Bear Lake, MN | Longtime downtown White Bear Lake businesses cope with shutdown: White Bear Lake Records. When you say that businesses in downtown White Bear Lake are hanging on by a thread, you wouldn’t only be talking about the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe. “Something has to happen soon or downtown White Bear Lake will be a ghost town real fast, because it’s a small-business town,” said Drew Miller, co-owner of White Bear Lake Records, an 18-year-old enterprise at 4775 Banning Ave. “We are in survival mode only right now, as opposed to making more money,” said Earl Poyerd, owner of Benny’s Barbershop, a downtown fixture at 4742 Washington Square for almost 70 years. “Our biggest concern is that we won’t make it as a business,” said Marjorie Intveld, owner of the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe, which has been open for business at 2185 Third St. since 1991. Relief appears to be in sight after Gov. Tim Walz on May 13 declared that the stay-at-home order would be lifted on May 18, and some businesses on his nonessential list would be allowed to open.

Hamilton, CA | Business owners conflicted about opening doors amid COVID-19 pandemic: Dr. Disc. Mark Furukawa has been waiting to reopen Dr. Disc after shutting its doors in March. He had the chance to welcome customers back into his record shop on Tuesday, but decided to wait. “I want to feel confident I’m making the right decision, the last thing I want on my conscience is somebody getting sick as a result of coming into the store, that’s the bottom line for me,” he told CBC News. With an inventory intensive store on Wilson Street, Furukawa said he would be unable to consistently sanitize the thousands of records in his store. “How do I make sure I disinfect all of the records between visits? I’m not going to open and say you can only look at the rock alphabet or isolate a certain area of the store, that doesn’t make sense,” he explained.

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In rotation: 5/21/20

Charlotte, NC | Local Business Owners Make Tough Decisions As County Reopens: Lunchbox Records. …Scott Wishart, owner of Lunchbox Records in the Belmont neighborhood, has opted not to open his store for now. “I don’t feel safe yet,” Wishart said. “My employees don’t seem to feel that way either. [We] have kids who are in school. It’s kind of hard to work when your kids are out of school.” Opening up would be especially problematic for a record store, he offered. “It’s the kind of business where everyone has to touch everything and I have to show people stuff,” Wishart said. “I can’t just sit behind plexiglass at the counter like a dude in a convenience store.” Like Hernandez, Wishart shut down in-store operations on March 16. A few days later, he switched to a business model split between mail order and curbside service. Even with his doors locked, Wishart cleans frequently with sanitizer that he makes himself with alcohol, water and aloe. For pick-up, patrons pay for merchandise online and then arrive by car. Wearing gloves and mask, Wishart takes the bagged merchandise out to the parked car. He said only half the people who come up to the door and try entering the store wear masks. “I still don’t think they get it,” he said.

St. Petersburg, FL | St. Pete Records opening new store in Warehouse Arts District: The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. St. Pete Records closed its store at 6648 Central Ave. back on March 17, right as the coronavirus was shutting down the retail world. “See ya when we see ya,” owners wrote that day on Facebook. They’re almost ready to see you again — albeit in an entirely new spot. The record shop will reopen June 1 at a new location at 2233 Third Ave. S in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. The move closer to downtown is a return of sorts for St. Pete Records. The shop began life inside Furnish Me Vintage the old Gas Plant Building near Tropicana Field — the same building that also once housed Planet Retro Records. It moved west to its first standalone location near Pasadena in 2017. When it reopens June 1, St. Pete Records will require guests to observe safety protocol like face masks and gloves, although they’ll have a few on hand for customers who forget them.

New London, CT | Many area book shops, music stores reopening Wednesday (5/20): Mystic Disc: …A funny thing might happen to those hoping for easy access into Mystic Disc when the store reopens Wednesday. A pleasant diversion might be the massive outdoor used-vinyl sale set up out front on Steamboat Wharf. Featuring thousands of albums listed from $1 to $3, owner Dan Curland emphatically says, “These are not garbage albums. There’s Jim Croce, the Beatles, all kinds of good stuff that might surprise you.” The sale suggests Curland has continued to buy collections during the “idle weeks” of the virus. Too, in addition to listening to the Mount Everest of albums in his personal collections, he’s also sorted through the enormous backlog of store stock he’s lovingly accumulated over almost 38 years in business. “Eastern Connecticut has been doing a good job (with the virus),” Curland says. “People seem to have been paying attention, so I’m going into this reopening with cautious optimism. But we have to keep being smart.”

Melbourne, AU | Dutch Vinyl assessed the crisis and adapted quickly, now they’re reaping the rewards: Chatting with the record store’s owner Mark Reuten. Dutch Vinyl has established quite a reputation within Melbourne’s ranks. A city decorated with record stores, both offering new and second-hand, Dutch Vinyl stands out from the crowd because of its heritage, and the idiosyncrasy that comes with that. The store’s owner, Mark Reuten, moved from The Netherlands just over two decades ago and quickly warmed to the Melbourne way of life. After working as a web developer running his own company, Reuten User Experience Consulting, for the last ten years, it was only recently that Reuten decided to start his passion project. That’s when Dutch Vinyl was born. Now about four years on and Reuten’s once-pipedream is more solid than ever. Part of his success can be put down to his Dutch knowledge, retail knack and feel for presentation. “The idea from the start has been to create a destination store where there is something for everyone…”

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In rotation: 5/20/20

Kamloops, CA | Some businesses wary about reopening as more provinces ease COVID restrictions: Businesses in some provinces spent the long weekend preparing to reopen ahead of an easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, even as others said they’re not yet ready to throw open their doors. Ontario has given the green light to certain retail stores to open their doors Tuesday as the province enters the first stage of its reopening plan. …Others said they’re eager to open up shop again, but may need more time to prepare. Stephen Yorke, who owns the Toronto record store Dead Dog Records, said he would will reopen his store’s two locations as soon as possible, but not until he can equip the cash area with plexiglass screens later this week. Even then, the stores will only be able to accommodate two to four customers who will be supplied with latex gloves before they can do any browsing, he said. Staff will continue to sanitize common areas, including door pulls and card readers, he said.

Record Store Recs: Chulita Vinyl Club On The Best Music Stores In L.A., Oakland, Austin & Beyond: In the latest edition of our crate-digging interview series, two reinas from the all-vinyl Latinx DJ collective reveal their favorite vinyl haunts across California and Texas. Texas-born, San Jose, Calif.-based Claudia Saenz originally founded Chulita Vinyl Club to share her love of records—especially Tejano, ranchero, Motown and soul—in a fun, tangible way. The collective, a crew of female-identifying Latinx vinyl-spinning DJs, has grown to seven chapters across California and Texas, including the (Northern California) Bay Area Chapter, which Saenz, a.k.a. Chulita Tear Drop lives. …We caught up with Saenz and one of her fellow Bay Area cohorts, Los Angeles-born, Oakland-based Mar Velez, a.k.a. DJ Marvelouz, for the latest edition of our Record Store Recs interview series. Read on to find out where they get all their great vinyl gems from, and learn about some of the indie labels, artists and new records they have their eyes on.

Portland, ME | Keep ME Open: ‘Bullish’ on changing Maine business during coronavirus pandemic: One well-known Maine business has had to adapt to shifting retail landscape, yet again. This time, Bull Moose had to adapt to the coronavirus, COVID-19 economy. “I was a college student at the time, just really didn’t have much going on,” says Bull Moose Music founder Brett Wickard. So he decided, almost as a whim, “Hey! I’m gonna open up a record store and tell all my friends.” Wickard didn’t really have much of a business plan when he opened the first Bull Moose store in Brunswick in the summer of 1989, but today he oversees nine stores in Maine and three in New Hampshire with 175 employees. Successful entrepreneurs know they have to adapt to changing times if their business is going to thrive, and Wickard has seen a lot of threats over three decades. “When we started out the word was ‘home taping is killing the music industry.’ Then it was ‘big-box retailers are killing small retail.’ Then it was Internet downloading.” He survived by knowing the market…and knowing his audience.

Gallatin, TN | Every Era nears downtown Gallatin debut: She is a self-proclaimed “1970s chick.” He believes that 1959 was the height of American design. Together, recording artists Eric and Lindsey Heatherly hope to share their love of all things vintage with the opening of a new store in downtown Gallatin later this month. Every Era will feature vintage and vintage-inspired items from the 1940s through the 1990s that the Gallatin couple has found throughout the years while traveling and performing shows across the country. “We go everywhere and anywhere to try to find treasures,” said Eric Heatherly, whose cover of “Flowers on the Wall” was a Top 10 hit on the country charts in 2000. “We have a little bit of everything. It’s all hand-selected and picked by us.” Located on Prince Street near the intersection of North Water Avenue, the store will feature a variety of vintage clothing and furniture including Mid-Century Modern lamps, kitchenware, suitcases, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, purses, posters, CDs, vinyl records and turntable consoles.

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In rotation: 5/19/20

Milwaukee, WI | A Lockdown Guide to Record Stores: Music collectors are a particularly rabid bunch, lining up hours before dawn on Record Store Day searching for hard-to-find titles. While some collectors may fall back on websites like Discogs or eBay, there is nothing like the camaraderie of stopping in at a neighborhood record store. Milwaukee is fortunate to have a handful of thriving shops, some of which also host live performances. With Gov. Tony Evers’ easing of restrictions on retail operations here is a guide to local (and beyond) record shops for cratediggers who may be going into withdrawal. ACME Records: “I’m waiting this out for a bit, we’ll see how long,” said ACME’s Ken Chrisien. He said he is still buying records from some regulars (in a very non-contact sort of way). “Appointments and curbside service are being considered at the moment, perhaps in the near future, but I’m guessing that I’ll be one of the last stores to open, as I suspect of this ‘get back to normal’ rush that’s happening right now….we’re a long way from this being controlled.”

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘I Just Hope We Don’t Have a Resurgence.’ Angie Roloff, owner of Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, is preparing to reopen the store after the state eased its safer-at-home mandate. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Governor Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees are preparing to reopen Strictly Discs in a limited capacity for the first time since mid-March. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff each week to chronicle her experience

Oklahoma City, OK | Oklahoma Forward: Bookstores and record shops weigh reopening strategies. Vinyl lovers, rejoice! Guestroom Records is now open. But your browsing experience comes with some stipulations. “Right now, we’re requiring that everyone that comes in wears a mask and either hand-sanitizers or wear gloves,” said Co-owner Justin Sowers. They’re also limiting the number of people in stores to eight in Oklahoma City and five in Norman. So far, Sowers said customers are gladly complying. Yeah, it seems to be working well,” he said. “Most customers seem to be pleased with it.” Pandemic survival has fortunately been easy for Sowers and his staff to navigate. Business through curbside pickup and delivery has been steady, and a nice change of pace. “That’s how the record store sort of started is we used to take – we had a big tub and we would take it around to peoples’ houses, you know when we were in college. And, so, it was kind of fun to hand-deliver records again,” Sowers said.

Baltimore, MD | With Record Day Postponed To June, Stores Look To New Ways To Sell Vinyl: Matthew Moffatt, the owner of Smash! Records in Washington, D.C., was looking forward to Record Store Day, the annual April event when music fans descend upon local record stores to purchase limited-release music recorded on vinyl. Music stores, like all nonessential businesses, have been closed in Washington and Maryland since late March, forcing the cancellation of Record Store Day during what is typically the most lucrative time of year for independent record stores. “I would say that it’s probably every record store’s busiest day of the year, even for the stores that don’t participate,” Moffatt said. Record Store Day has been postponed until June, but in the meantime record store owners like Moffatt are looking for new ways to serve a clientele base of fanatics and obsessives, including pricing and selling records on online platforms like

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In rotation: 5/18/20

London, UK | Phonica Records re-opens online shop for orders: The London institution is back. Phonica Records has re-opened its online shop for UK and international orders. While its physical outpost is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Phonica is operating the website as normal, with new records and pre-orders alongside classics, reissues, gear and merchandise. Head here to check out the latest releases on site, and stay tuned for a VF Live set hosted from the shop next week.

Seattle, WA | A happy ending for Seattle’s Bop Street Records: a nonprofit buys up the entire collection: When Dave Voorhees, owner of Seattle’s Bop Street Records, announced last month that the store was closing at the end of June in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to sell his enormous collection of 500,000 recordings, sales he had hoped would fund his retirement. This past Sunday, Voorhees stopped worrying. A San Francisco nonprofit called the Internet Archive agreed to purchase the entire collection, sight unseen. Bop Street business manager Bob Jacobs said the exact purchase price will not be settled until the archive has sifted through the collection, but the buyer has already sent a preliminary check and signed a contract. At the end of the day, said Jacobs, “Dave is going to have a healthy, six-figure down payment on his retirement.” …Though “six figures” is a far cry from the $3 million value Jacobs put on the store’s collection last month, Voorhees said he was relieved.

Clawson, MI | Clawson’s Flipside Records battles for business amid COVID-19 state shutdown: “We started out with records, expanded to toys, comics all the rest of the paraphernalia you see around here,” said Todd Fundaro. But ultimately at Flipside Records it’s about the music. They’ve been playing it and selling it in downtown Clawson since 1983. “Music is always, it’s an emotional thing, right? It appeals to your emotions,” said Fundaro, the owner of Flipside Records. Like so many other small shops business was good – until it wasn’t. A global pandemic and a statewide shutdown took place while Flipside Records has been playing the music – but there’s no one there to listen to it. “We do some online sales but there’s way to possibly make up for the loss of business that we have online,” he said. There is also curbside pick-up. “So you call us up, and we have what you want, and we will give you a total on it,” he said. “You can pull up to the door, we’ll get our masks on, our gloves, get your credit card payment or cash and bring it out.”

Columbia, TN | Shoppers return to Variety Record Shop: After weeks of staying at home, Columbia’s music lovers can return to shopping for classic albums and the latest releases at a locally owned brick and mortar store. Maury County’s Variety Record Shop opened its doors last week after more than a month. It was closed in accordance with a state order to shut all non-essential businesses. “It has been steady,” shop co-owner and celebrated bluesman Scott Holmes said of customer traffic as he sat behind the store’s counter with a butterscotch telecaster in hand after reopening the store. Variety Record Shop reopened just in time for the release of the new album from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, as it was made available exclusively through independent record stores, pressed on “dreamsicle” orange vinyl. The celebrated singer and songwriter and bandleader called the special release a “thank you for all the support throughout the years.”

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In rotation: 5/15/20

Oxford, MS | In Spite of Pandemic, End of All Music Keeps Spinning: As the retail industry struggles to mitigate the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, some businesses have adapted more easily than others — and one local record store has ramped up efforts to safely serve their customers with some creative shopping options. Since 2012, the record store The End of All Music has been a cultural cornerstone for Oxford, Mississippi. While owner David Swider says he did not structure The End of All Music to be a fulfillment center, he has been strictly adhering to social distancing regulations and has recently been picking, packing and shipping records by himself. “I hate to use this phrase lightly, but we’re kinda too small to fail,” Swider said. “A lot of record stores had to scramble just to get a website up when all this stuff started happening, and I’ve been selling stuff online since we opened in 2012.”

Pittsburgh, PA | Record stores will reopen Friday, but flip quickly: With Allegheny County moving into the yellow phase, record-store browsing will return on Friday, but shoppers will have to flip a little more quickly. The massive Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, which has been closed since mid-March, announced Wednesday night that it will open on Friday with a limit of 10 customers at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required and they ask that you limit your shopping to 30 minutes. The owners suggest that weekdays will be better for those who want to avoid lines and maybe buy a little more time. The Attic in Millvale is also opening Friday and is urging customers to make an appointment for a half-hour shopping slot, beginning at 10 a.m. Shoppers with an appointment will get priority, but others are welcome to visit the store and hope for an opening. The Government Center on the North Side, which was been doing curbside pickup, will begin allowing four people in the store, including employees. It will also be allowing shoppers to make an appointment.

Loveland, OH | Curbside Pick Up Is back at Plaid Room Records/ Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland: “We’re happy to announce that we will be starting curbside pick up again today,” said Terry Cole a co-owner of Plaid Room Records and Colemine Records in Historic Downtown Loveland. Cole said customers can simply call the shop with their name and order number and, “One of us will run it out to you.” The record store has been fulfilling on-line orders but now wish to better serve customers with curbside pick-up also. Cole said to his customers, “Thanks for your patience while we slowly start to ramp up our employee’s hours again during this strange time for all of us. And thanks for all of the online orders! It’s been all we can do to keep up with them! We love you!

Valletta, MT | MP3s worse than COVID-19 for world’s ‘oldest’ record store in Valletta: Valletta’s D’Amato Records on surviving the pandemic. It had to be the coronavirus to temporarily close a 135-year-old record store that did not even stop trading when Malta was blitzed during World War II and also survived the Spanish flu. But D’Amato Records, dubbed the world’s oldest, has been through much worse than COVID-19 and was probably hardest hit by the outbreak of the MP3, which still did not threaten its survival, says third-generation owner Anthony D’Amato. Even then, despite tough decisions and the closure of shops, not for a second did they think it was game over; and that would explain D’Amato’s resilience in the face of today’s scenario. Vinyl proceeded to pick up in a big way. And the bad days for record stores are over. “But we did not have a clue they would be,” he admits. “Back then, we did not know what the future held. With the pandemic, we can at least make future predictions. We can foretell the worst-case scenario; we know tourists will return and that we do not have to rebuild a whole city.”

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In rotation: 5/14/20

Madison, WI | Vinyl Cave: Record Store Day and local store updates: Love it or hate it (opinions vary widely), for inveterate music collectors the mid-April perch of Record Store Day has become an “opening day” of sorts for crate-digging season. The annual St. Vincent de Paul collectible record sale typically takes place just after Record Store Day, and early season rummage sales usually take place by then as well. But in 2020, nothing has proceeded as usual. Record Store Day was supposed to happen on April 18, but with much of the world trying to self-quarantine, the date was moved back to June 20. The St. Vinny’s sale also was postponed; Willy Street store manager Genève Friede writes via email that new dates for this year’s sale are currently being worked out. It doesn’t seem as if large crowds gathering in tight spaces will be a great idea in June, either, so the original replacement date for Record Store Day has already been canceled. Plus, there’s the fact that a boatload of albums need to get manufactured and out to stores, and some releases might not have been ready by the June date. The new solution: RSD will move even later in the year, with the current plan to parcel out the releases over three Saturdays, Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.

UK | Tim Burgess named as ambassador of Love Record Stores Day: The online event is encouraging music fans to support their favourite independent record stores. Tim Burgess has been named as the ambassador of next month’s Love Record Stores Day. Set to take place online on Saturday, June 20, Love Record Stores Day will be held in place of the rearranged Record Store Day 2020 — which has been postponed twice this year due to the coronavirus outbreak — as the latter will now be split over three dates (August 29, September 26 and October 24). Love Record Stores Day is aiming to get music-lovers to support their favourite independent record stores by shopping online on June 20, when exclusive and limited edition vinyl releases from a range of artists and labels will be made available to purchase on the websites of various record stores. Releases from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Caribou, Belle and Sebastian, Beach House, Robyn, New Order, Jungle and John Grant will all be available to buy online on June 20.

Midland, MI | Midland’s new way of shopping: Records at curbside: Radio Wasteland still selling albums. Customers are still shopping at Radio Wasteland Records in Midland but instead of combing through dozens of crates of albums, they are watching for what’s available online, ordering and then picking up their haul at curbside, much like the restaurants do these days. Owner Jim Gleason said people are still eager to find records. “Many tell us since they’re staying at home so much more, they want new music to listen to,” he said. “There’s also a lot to be said about the importance of music to one’s good mental health. Our curbside pickups on Fridays especially have been pretty busy, and we’re finding that as more people find out we’re offering it, the more they’re taking advantage of it.” Gleason said the independent record store, located at 716 George St., also has been shipping records as well – locally, regionally and throughout the state. Curbside pickup is offered during the afternoons on Fridays and Saturdays. And if there is enough demand, he hopes to expand to Thursdays and maybe even Wednesdays over the next couple of weeks.

Denver, CO | Wax Trax, Famous Denver Record Store, Hopes New Website Helps Them Survive Coronavirus: For over 40 years, people have been coming to Wax Trax for their for all their music needs. In all that time, co-owner Duane Davis has never seen his store like this. “This is the most unusual situation we’ve ever had occur,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia. Because of coronavirus, sales are down around 90%. Due to safety concerns, customers aren’t allowed to browse the store’s selection. Wax Trax has had a website for some time, but never sold music on it. Duane and co-owner Dave Stidman knew they had to adapt to survive, but they needed help. “The other owner and I are pretty much old school. So computers are a little bit of a mystery to us,” Davis told CBS4. Luckily, Stidman’s son, Pete, recently moved back to town and has been helping post their inventory online. Slowly but surely they’ve continued to make progress. “It is time consuming but it has been gratifying to see, putting some of those oddball items up really gets people’s attention,” Davis told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

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