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

In rotation: 10/28/20

Annville, PA | New used books and music store in Annville boasts thoughtful inventory and interesting stories: Inside the front door of Salamander Books & Music in Annville sit shelves of classic books, vinyl records, CDs, and music gear, while old-fashioned posters and assorted knick-knacks hang from the walls. The cool factor is undeniable, but don’t be tricked into thinking it’s all surface level — what’s for sale is just as compelling. Michael Cantor, a recently new resident of Annville himself, is the owner of the store, which opened at 1244 East Main Street at the beginning of September. “I want [the books] to be good solid reading material,” Cantor told LebTown in a phone interview, adding that “[the store] is particularly geared toward people that might have any specific interests they might want to look into.” The range of genres and content is diverse, with everything from theology to philosophy to science fiction and more represented.

Cornwall, CA | Bud’s Records and Kool Things reopens its doors: A beloved Cornwall record shop is reopening – a turn of events that will be music to the ears of music fans from near and far. Bud’s Records and Kool Things officially reopens on Saturday, October 31st, offering music lovers a one-stop shop for vinyl, CDs, cassettes, band t-shirts and other music-related accessories. “We’ve got all kinds of genres of music. There’s pretty much something for everyone,” said Jason Lavoie, the new owner of Bud’s along with his partner Emily. The road to the Halloween reopening at Bud’s is one of great tragedy and heartbreak mixed with love, legacy and friendship. Opened in 2019, Bud’s was the creation of Bud O’Byrne, a Cornwall resident with a great personality and a deep-rooted passion for music. That passion eventually translated into a massive record collection. After doing online sales for a while, O’Byrne decided to make the full dive into entrepreneurship and open his own record shop.

McKinney, TX | Nostalgic Shopping Through the Decades: Red Zeppelin Records. …Red Zeppelin opened earlier this year and celebrated its grand opening in September. So far, they’ve enjoyed a smashing success. The quixotic allure of vinyl requires some explaining. Vinyl’s popularity seems to reach all ages from today’s teenage punk fans to Gen Z and X-ers to Baby Boomers. Vinyl albums offer a physical experience that music streaming doesn’t. Browsing album covers encourages exposure to new artists and genres. People use tactile senses to hold an album, appreciate the cover art, and turn it over to find other details — song titles, lyrics, band members’ names, and more. There’s also the possibility of surprise when looking inside a vinyl album. The record’s color, the printed label or inner sleeves, posters, lyric sheets, and booklets offer a context for discovering new music. Used CDs, stickers, refrigerator magnets, posters, patches, pins, and T-shirts sell alongside the long, browsable shelves of vinyl albums. Red Zeppelin’s potpourri of music genres represents a variety of retro music.

Dublin, IE | Freebird Records – Hidden in plain sight: If you like music as much as I do (or anyone else in the world, because let’s face it, it is the first thing we mention when people ask about our tastes or interests) I got you covered. Freebird Records in Dublin is the perfect place to get lost among CDs and vinyls like in that iconic scene from 500 Days of Summer. Plus, it’s also a book store! There are all kinds of second-hand books at a good price, from the newest to the most classic. At Freebird Records, you can also find many cool vintage things like postcard books set in the 1920s or copies of old magazines and pamphlets. What I like the most about Freebird Records, The Secret Book and Record Stores is, as its own description indicates, how secret and mysterious it is. Walking down Wicklow Street a couple of buildings before the street ends and Grafton Street begins you will find this little gem. But pay attention, otherwise its small entry could go unnoticed. Don’t worry, the secret sign outside the secret store that reads The Secret Book and Record Store will give you a hint about where to find Freebird Records…

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In rotation: 10/27/20

Daytona Beach, FL | Volusia, Flagler mom-and-pop stores counting on public to ‘Shop Local’ amid COVID crisis: Atlantic Sounds. Mike Toole, owner of the Atlantic Sounds record store at 138 W. International Speedway Blvd. in downtown Daytona Beach, said he, too, has benefited from having a large base of regular customers. Toole put up large see-through plastic sheets at various points along his shop’s check-out counter where he and his staff typically interact with customers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The store also requires customers to wear face masks inside the store and to stay at least six feet apart. A sign on a stool next to the front entrance encourages customers to use the hand-sanitizer solution dispenser Toole has provided before entering. The store now in its 38th year sells both new and used vinyl records as well as compact discs and record turntables. …”People seem to be a lot kinder and more considerate since the pandemic began,” Toole said. “We’ve got the greatest brotherhood in the world here.”

Mansfield, OH | Operation: Fandom and Blackbird Records: DeLoreans on site for downtown shop grand opening weekend: “Back to the Future” film fans won’t want to miss seeing two DeLorean cars during a downtown shop’s grand opening weekend at the end of the month, Oct. 29 through Nov. 1. A ribbon-cutting is set for 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Operation: Fandom and Blackbird Records at 31 E. Fourth St. Operation: Fandom, launched in 2018, specializes in toys, collectibles and pop-culture merchandise. In addition to toys, sought-after collectibles, movie merchandise and autographs, the newest addition to the historic Carrousel District has turntables, CDs, cassettes and both new and used vinyl. Owner Josh Lehman, standing amidst his shop filled with iconic film posters and photographs, including a poster of the film, “Back to the Future,” said a red DeLorean is set to come downtown Oct. 30. And a stainless steel DeLorean also is going to make an appearance downtown Oct. 31.

Manila, PH | Record shops for vinyl collectors to visit in Metro Manila: Own your favorite albums in vinyl format at these cool record stores. In case you haven’t noticed, vinyl records (or plaka, as we call it) are back and thriving. Its resurgence can be traced back to 2007 when vinyl sales noticeably picked up. The momentum kept on building until it was reported this year that vinyl records have outsold CDs in the US for the first time since the 1980s. The trend is also evident here in the Philippines. In fact, local record labels have released some of their back catalogs in vinyl format to get on with the trend. Last year, the remastered vinyl edition of the Eraserheads’ 1994 debut album, Ultraelectromagneticpop!, quickly sold out. Today, that record could fetch as high as P16,000 in the secondary market, with fans either reselling their lone or spare copy of the album for some quick cash. Likewise, young local bands have released their records in vinyl in limited numbers to complement digital releases. In other words, vinyl records are cool again.

Framlingham, UK | Shop Local: how getting online helped independent businesses survive lockdown: Better on Vinyl. …Better on Vinyl is a second-hand record store in Framlingham. Owner Chris Edgcombe has run an online store for ten of the 15 years that he has sold records. Now he does most of his business through the website. “I set up the website about ten years ago,” he said. “It’s still growing. But it can only grow when I’ve got the time to actually put things online. I’ve got approximately 26,000 records online now but it’s taken the best part of ten years because I’m only managing to get about 200 records a month online. “I’m kind of a bit hampered by how long it takes to actually get round to listing stuff. It’s a long process. And I’m not quite busy enough to employ someone full-time to run the shop.” Despite the slow process of establishing his online presence, during lockdown, Mr Edgcombe saw sales through his website skyrocket. He said: “Since March my online sales have doubled and stayed there.

Portland, ME | The Roots’ Questlove seeks woman who gifted him a turntable and records in Portland when he was 5: The Roots frontman’s record collection started in Portland, Maine back in 1976. Now he wants to find the woman who made it happen. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson loves music. Considering he’s the son of two musicians, one can see why. However, it was actually a woman in Portland, Maine who bought him his first turntable and his first three records. Now he’s trying to track her down. In a post to social media Saturday, The Roots’ drummer and frontman told the story. He said he was in a Portland nightclub in 1976 at the age of five, waiting for his parents to finish their sets, when he talked an “older woman” named Ellie into buying him a stereo and a record collection. “I knew talking to strangers was a no no but my instincts paid off,” he wrote. “She started writing it down. I was 5 so I didn’t think anything was coming of this.”

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In rotation: 10/26/20

Pittsburgh, PA | Opinion: Support your local record stores. There is no greater feeling than walking into a local independent record store. The smell of dusty records, the friendly staff and the stacks upon stacks of records instantly improve your mood. But this feeling could disappear soon if not enough people support these great institutions and instead choose to prioritize convenience over experience. Record Store Day is Oct. 24, a day established in 2008 by independent record store owners to promote their stores. This year it’s more important than ever to support these stores. While vinyl sales have been increasing in the last 10 years, independent record stores have been closing down and doing so even more rapidly because of the pandemic. As vinyl has been becoming more popular again, stores like Urban Outfitters and online retailers like Amazon have been jumping on the trend, slowly killing the independent record stores and hurting the local economy in the process.

Record stores could cease to exist, thanks to Covid-19. Opinion: You love your local record store, right? Well then use it or risk losing it. At a press conference in New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel in June 1948, Columbia Records introduced its long-playing vinyl discs – and the format that refuses to die was born. A 12-inch vinyl disc that turned at a mere 33.3 revolutions per minute challenged the 10-inch, 78rpm shellac standard – and by 1956, every major recording company in the United States had seen the light. 78rpm was no more, and the LP became the world’s favorite music storage format. Obviously it hasn’t been all plain sailing since. Vinyl has been read the last rites on numerous occasions, most recently during the digital revolutions pioneered first by the compact disc and, more recently, by the music streaming uprising spearheaded by Spotify. But somehow vinyl has survived and, at least until recently, thrived – relatively speaking, anyhow. And along with the survival of the format, sales of record players have held reasonably steady too ≠ to the point that turntables comfortably outsold CD players during the second half of the last decade. Any number of manufacturers have been doing quite nicely with their range of record players.

Jackson, TN | Local record store benefits for the homeless: In downtown Jackson, you can find people having plenty of fun while giving back to the community with an event called ‘Krew Fest’. The event helps people in need. “So many homeless people out and they need extra clothing, food and need general help all around so we’re out here to support and help to do what we can to help a good cause,” said Mark Roberts, Crazy Dawg Catering. Saturday was National Record Selling Day and the Third Eye Curiosities Record Store along with many partners are raising money to give back to the homeless in Jackson. Hunter Cross, co-owner of Third Eye Curiosities, says this event has plenty of meaning to it with a lot of donations. “Basically 20 percent of our proceeds is going to RIFA and Area Relief Ministries. We’re also having people donate coats, non-perishable foods as well as hygiene products,” said Cross. One of the event partners, ‘Rescue One’ came out to add to the donations making sure the event leaves an impact on others.

Kearney, NE | Record Revival: Love of vinyl keeps Buffalo Records spinning: Vinyl record sales have made a comeback nationally, and Buffalo Records co-owner Bryce Jensen is proud that his Kearney business is a part of that resurgence. U.S. vinyl album sales exceeded CD sales in the first half of 2020 for the first time since the 1980s, according to a music revenue report from the Recording Industry Association of America. Vinyl album revenues were $232 million, the RIAA report cited, while CD sales were $129.9 million. Vinyl sales increased nearly 4% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 while CD sales slid 47.6% in the first half of this year. Jensen, who has owned Buffalo Records with his brother-in-law Rex Herrick for the past five years, said, “It’s kind of neat that our little community in the middle of Nebraska can have that impact, too.” At Buffalo Records, Jensen and Herrick sell used, which they call “pre-loved,” and new vinyl records. Only the new record sales would be accounted for in RIAA’s report. Regardless, Jensen said business at Kearney’s small independently owned record shop has steadily increased since they opened it five years ago. Jensen said buyers from across the country seek out the store.

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In rotation: 10/23/20

Reading, PA | Rock Music Menu: Final edition of Record Store Day 2020 takes place this weekend: Strange times call for inventive ideas. Such is the case with this year’s Record Store Day being spread out into three separate days over the course of as many months to encourage social distancing during the current coronavirus pandemic. Dubbed “Record Store Day Drops,” the third and final one takes place this Saturday at independent outlets. Like the inaugural edition in September and follow up last month, whether you hit up Creep Records in West Chester, The Rock Shop in Plymouth Meeting, Sit and Spin Records in South Philly or a dozen other regional locations who are participating, the event will vary between in-store shopping, curbside pickup or placing an order online and having it shipped out. The full list of local record stores taking part can be found at recordstoreday.com, along with a handy chart detailing the restrictions each spot will be instituting. All will require masks and ask customers to adhere to the CDC instructions to keep a minimum distance of six feet apart from one another. And for those who have gotten used to a vinyl-centric holiday each month, don’t fret; the Record Store Day sponsored Black Friday event is still scheduled for late November.

Sheffield, UK | Sheffield shop Spinning Discs is ready to welcome you for Record Store Day: This year has been tough for the music industry, but Martin Black, of Sheffield store Spinning Discs, is still upbeat about Saturday’s Record Store Day. This year, the event has been split into three new ‘drops’ of special releases on vinyl created exclusively for the initiative by companies such as Sheffield’s Breed Media, rather than the usual one, to maximise the support for independent record stores. There are now more than 200 independently-owned record stories in the UK and the music retail sector employs 11,688 people in the UK across physical and digital music sales, contributing £402 million to the economy. Martin actually pressed ahead during lockdown to increase the size of his business on Chesterfield Road, Meersbrook, relocating along the road from his original store. He says: “We opened in April 2015, then in the lockdown in March we were closed and we opened up here in June. We took the decision to move from a smaller place to a bigger place which helped with reopening. “We can do social distancing more easily in this space – it’s more than twice the size of the original one. I can get more selection in and more titles in.

Record Store Day 2020: the art of half-speed vinyl mastering: Miles Showell began his career in 1984, learning the art of disc cutting and tape copying. He joined Abbey Road Studios in 2013 and, as an expert in half-speed mastering, has remastered many of the world’s biggest artists, including The Who, The Beatles, Disclosure, Queen, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and, recently, Brian Eno. When Showell wanted advice on getting half-speed vinyl mastering going again, he turned to Stan Ricker, the engineer who pretty much wrote the book on the craft. Ricker, for his part, was astounded that anyone would want to try it again. Cutting a disc at half speed not only takes twice as long, but requires a new method of working, with highly modified equipment. But, essentially, the non-stressing of any component in the process means half-speed mastering is the most accurate way to cut a record. And when we travelled to Abbey Road Studios to listen to Showell’s recent work, remastering four of Brian Eno’s solo records at half speed, we understood it was all worth his efforts. Here, he explains the whole process and how he helped it start again.

Wolverhampton, UK | Limited releases up for grabs on third Record Store Day of 2020: Limited edition records from a diverse collection of artists are up for grabs as part of a special records event. The third day of Record Store Day, a chance for independent record shops to celebrate their unique culture, will see music fans flock to Vinyl and Vintage in Wolverhampton in search of exclusive releases. Some of the releases tomorrow will come from artists such as the Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Eminem, Menswear and David Gray, as well as soundtrack albums by the likes of Mark Knopfler and Frank Zappa. Record Store Day was split into three days in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic to try and help independent stores pull sales in, and Vinyl and Vintage owner Clare Howell said it had made the annual event feel very different. She said: “I can appreciate why they have decided to split it, but having it on one day is so much better because you get more of an atmosphere in the store. “In the circumstances, however, I’m just glad it was able to go ahead, although I do look forward to only having to do one order, rather than three, and get a decent crowd in.”

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In rotation: 10/22/20

Orlando, FL | Orlando’s final Record Store Day drop of 2020 is Saturday: After the original April date was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic, Record Store Day – the annual celebration and spendfest for all things vinyl – was broken up into a series of drop dates from August through October. Oct. 24 will be the final “drop” for 2020. Local record stores participating in this year’s RSD have been doing their very best to pull off the delicate balancing act of getting exclusive LP releases into customers’ hands while also trying to discourage the clustered-together crowds flipping through stacks of vinyl that was once the heart of this event. But, as with most things this year, it’s been way more low-key than the usual celebratory blowout. Participating area stores are: Park Ave CDs, Remix Record Shop, Rock & Roll Heaven, Retro Records and East West Music & More. As always, stores are unable to reserve or hold items for customers beforehand. Check stores’ social media for queue and purchasing information. If you still haven’t gotten enough of Record Store Day for 2020, organizers are pushing ahead with the RSD ‘Black Friday’ (“It’s not Record Store Day 2, honest”) event…

The Latest Startups in Music Are Banking on Analog Technology: A growing number of entrepreneurs are alleviating the bottleneck in pressing vinyl records. Federico Casanova was booking rock shows in Philadelphia a few years ago when he noticed the tendency of bands to play songs that were a year or two old instead of newer fare. The musicians told him it was because they needed to sell their records: Fans preferred to buy them on vinyl, but it could take a year to get a new release pressed and shrink-wrapped in the retro format. So Casanova, who’s now 28, set out to start his own record-pressing plant. In January he and two partners opened Softwax Record Pressing. It was intended to serve local acts, but the news spread quickly, and now he’s fielding requests from bands in New York and Pittsburgh, too. “I’m getting emails every day,” Casanova says. “People say, ‘Yo, we just found out about you! Let me put an order in right now!’” Even in the age of Spotify, vinyl sales are soaring in the U.S. From January to June of this year, they surpassed those of CDs for the first time since 1986, reaching $232 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The surge has led to a rebirth of the pressing industry, which digital had crushed.

Cleveland, OH | Celebrate This Year’s Last Record Store Day With These Three Hubs: My Mind’s Eye, Record Den and Square Records are hot spots for vintage and modern records from local and national artists. In a world where Spotify and Apple Music rule the airwaves, there are still a large number of music fans dedicated to the pop, crackle and snap of vinyl records. That high-quality sound and delicate artistry portrayed on an album’s cover inspires people to travel far and wide to hunt down rare and must-have collector’s items for Record Store Day each April. But when COVID-19 resulted in stores temporarily closing, the day was split across three months starting in August. Make the most out of the last of those three days Oct. 24 by picking up a local album from our favorite record shops. …My Mind’s Eye: This record store is a no-frills catchall, with a large collection of rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and jazz. The owner, who only goes by Charles, is a bit of a connoisseur. He first opened his store in 1999 on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, then relocated to a new storefront on Detroit Avenue after 13 years. Today, Charles still doles out a handful of knowledge. “That’s something a physical store can offer that the online sellers don’t…”

Disney Music Group to Release “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” Special Edition Vinyl for Record Store Day: This year’s Record Store Day is going to feel a little groovy, baby, especially for fans of the Austin Powers films. October 24th, Disney Music Group will be releasing a special edition double LP of the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery soundtrack that’s sure to get the blood pumping, hips swaying, and toes tapping. Fans of New Line Cinema’s Austin Powers can commemorate this year’s Record Store Day (RSD) by bringing home a copy of the original film’s soundtrack on vinyl. The film may not be tied to Disney, but Disney Music Group’s Hollywood Records is releasing the rhythmic record that features from and inspired by the smooth sounds of Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini. The soundtrack balances and wryly reworks pop hits from the 1960’s and 1990s with original Burt Bacharach songs as well as some retro-style gems, from the funky acid jazz of the James Taylor Quartet to the Lightning Seeds’ trip-hop reworking of the Turtles’ “You Showed Me.”

Between The Buried And Me’s Colors set for double vinyl reissue: North Carolina prog metallers Between The Buried And Me’s groundbreaking 2007 album Colors gets double vinyl reissue. US prog metal quintet Between The Buried And Me are to have their 2007 album Colors reissued as a double vinyl by Craft Recordings on December 11. The new reissue has been remixed and remastered by its original producer, Jamie King, at his Raleigh, North Carolina-based Basement Studio. The innovative Colors is widely regarded as a highlight of the North Carolina quintet’s releases, featuring 64 minutes of continuous music, split seamlessly between eight tracks: from the opening piano lines of Foam Born, Pt. A to the cornerstone Informal Gluttony to the epic, 14-minute closing opus, White Walls. “Colors was the moment we decided to put all of our creative energy on the line and just go for it,” says singer Tommy Rogers. “We wanted to create the most unique and diverse record we could possibly make, and at the same time, create something that represented us as a group more than we had ever done before…”

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In rotation: 10/21/20

Montreal, QC | A man about town: The tale of one record store owner and his quest to own a village. Most people do not plan on purchasing a town. But Manuel Paul Gabber, owner of the quintessential Plateau record store and event venue, Paul’s Boutique, does. Gabber has been eyeing a property called Canadiana Village for a couple of years now: A ghost town about 50 minutes north of Montreal that has been up for sale for $2.7 million since 2015. What’s more, it used to be a movie set for dozens of Westerns and TV shows. A decently popular 2007 Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There, was shot there. If things go as planned, Gabber should be able to purchase the town within a few years. He’s willing to sell his boutique if necessary. He also hopes to start a radio station at the end of October to promote Montreal’s counterculture scene, as well as inspire people to help him make the town sustainable and self-sufficient. Developing this town, Gabber contends, is a retaliation to the large businesses that he believes are breaking up Montreal’s organic musical and commercial culture. Here’s the tale of one record store owner and his quest to combat gentrification, foster Montreal’s alternative music scene, and own an entire village.

Berkeley, CA | Amoeba Berkeley celebrates anticipated reopening: Amoeba Berkeley officially reopened on Oct. 15, after having been forced to shutter for over six months. Amoeba Music is an independent music chain store based in California. They also call themselves “The World’s Largest Independent Record Store.” Amoeba mainly sells a variety of physical music such as vinyl records, DVDs and CDs. The Berkeley location boosts the fact that it is the first store. As Berkeley continues its course for reopening, Amoeba Music’s official website announced on Oct. 2 that Amoeba Music’s Berkeley store would reopen on Oct. 15. Outside, around 15 people waited to enter. After cleaning their hands in compliance with shop policy, guests entered the store with busy staff and buyers choosing their music albums. Jeff Adams, the Amoeba Berkeley’s security guard, spoke a bit about Amoeba’s efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. He was arranged to work outside by the store manager because of the pandemic. “We are doing a good job to keep people’s distance…”

Las Vegas, NV | Virgin rebrands Vinyl venue as 24 Oxford: Vinyl is being rebranded as a store that originally sold vinyl. The former Hard Rock Hotel live-music club is flipping to 24 Oxford when Virgin Hotels Las Vegas reopens Jan. 15. The name is inspired by the first Virgin Record Store, which opened at that address in London in 1971. Impress your friends by knowing that the first album ever sold at Virgin Records was “Electronic Meditation” by Tangerine Dream, sold by founder Richard Branson himself. The change in name might be the most obvious alteration to the 688-capacity venue, which opened in July 2012. Hard Rock Hotel owns the Vinyl title and stamped it on its live-entertainment venue in Lake Tahoe. Virgin Hotels is also renaming The Joint and, along with booking partner AEG Live, is seeking a name sponsor before settling on a title. In Las Vegas, Vinyl has hosted an array of acts, ranging from Reverend Horton Heat, Andrew Dice Clay, Imagine Dragons, the rock musical “Alice” and the Raiding The Rock Vault residency.

Mumbai, IN | How vinyl is wooing music lovers in digital era: It was missing for some time, presumed dead. But, after about a decade of growth, Vinyl is king, amidst a digital revolution. Read on to know how it made a spectacular comeback. It’s a late Thursday evening in Bandra, and I’m joined by a few under-30s, making their way down a creaky staircase that reads ‘Take Me Down…Paradise City’ to enter a basement for their regular dose of Vinyl Listening. Here, you are all set to listen to a vinyl… as it should be listened to. A bit of crackle, pops and variations that make it sound more real and authentic. “For our vinyl nights, we turn out the lights in our basement and listen to an entire album. Once done, we then turn on the lights and have a sharing experience based on the album, the music, some trivia and anything anyone wants to share about the album,” explains Aman Singh Gujral, Founder of Adagio, who organises vinyl nights every alternate Thursdays at his music studio. At Adagio, you are into Rockland, a road to classic rock days. Headbangers, whose parents probably owned records, are rediscovering vinyl and collecting it.

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In rotation: 10/20/20

Polk County, FL | Vinyl Record Sales Surpass CDs Amid COVID-19: The love of vinyl is coming back around, but this time, the owner of Jesse Carl Vinyl shop in Lakeland says, it’s intentional. “People aren’t just coming in to browse, they are coming to buy,” said owner Jessi Zilka. “There’s a sound quality to records that you just can’t get in any other format of music. I think that’s something that can reach younger and older generations. Unites one frame of mind.” Records are outselling CD’s for the first time since the 80’s. In fact, record sales are up 4% in the nation while CD sales are down 48%, according to the Recording Industry America Association. “We’ve seen a 30% increase in sales,” said Zilka. “I think listening to music is something great to do with your family, especially during the stay-at-home order.” Zilka has been spinning records for over a decade and she told Spectrum Bay News 9 that the best part of her job is educating people on music, adding that music is a universal language.

Kuala Lumpur, MY | CMCO: Indie record shops in the Klang Valley bank on regulars to keep the music going: It’s been a quiet few days at work for Crossroads Records co-owner Anne Marie Cheong since the conditional movement control order (MCO) came into effect in the Klang Valley on Oct 14. The family-run independent record shop in Kota Damansara is usually noisier with Cheong’s husband/shop co-owner Hafeez Rashid greeting customers, recommending music and also playfully scooping up the couple’s two young daughters who visit the store. Even with Crossroads’ strict SOP compliance and “by appointment only” visiting hours, the couple are now making alternative work arrangements, taking turns to manage the shop while their children are kept home. “The whole family can’t be together at the shop now. At the moment, if we get a call for an appointment, we will open the store for a few hours… thankfully, we still have regulars who continue to support us,” says Cheong, adding that Crossroads is also actively marketing its used records online.

Hopkins, MN | Record Store Day 3 + a cool giveaway for vinyl lovers: This weekend, join The Current for another celebration of vinyl and the culture of record collecting! Saturday is the third and final Record Store Day drop of the year, giving you another opportunity to add exclusive releases and reissues to your collection. Kick off your day of shopping with an all-vinyl episode of Teenage Kicks, hosted by Jim McGuinn. Then, tune in from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) as Bill DeVille and Mac Wilson debut some of these exclusives and spin crate-digger classics. Meanwhile, you can show off your record collection with a photo tagging @TheCurrent on Instagram — and if that’s not all, you can enter for a chance to win a gift card to Mill City Sound to grow that collection! Find the entry form below to enter for your chance to win. Record Store Day with The Current is supported by Mill City Sound.

There’s a 30th anniversary edition of Alice in Chains’ Facelift coming: Get your version of Alice In Chains’ classic debut as a vinyl, or ultra boxset… Alice In Chains’ classic debut Facelift recently celebrated its 30th birthday. To celebrate, the Seattle grunge legends have announced two special re-releases. If you’re a more restrained, thrifty type of person, you can go for the stand-alone vinyl edition, released on November 13. However, for the fan who has to have everything in the biggest and most sprawling version possible, wait ’til January 29, and you can get the deluxe version which features (deep breath)… In other Alice In Chains-related news, guitarist Jerry Cantrell revealed back in February that he’s been working on a new solo album. “I’m working on a new record myself, so generally when I’m in that sort of a mode, I pretty much don’t listen to anything until I’m done, so nothing creeps in there,” he said.

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In rotation: 10/19/20

How vinyl has captured listeners during COVID-19: Despite the closure of many physical stores, 2020 has seen record sales increase by 4% in the US, while CDs are down 48%. Vinyl records started to decline in popularity in the 70s as compact formats started to take over due to convenience. With cheap access to over 50 million songs available through streaming, this has lead CDs on a sharp decline, with vinyl seeing an increase in the past ten years. This shift in record sales has seen vinyl surpass CDs for the first time since the 80s. Why is vinyl on the up all these years later? Music on vinyl is stored in analogue, this sound characteristic is unique and can’t be replicated by digital formats. There’s also a sense of nostalgia from the older generation, with many introducing their children to the format and passing down record collections. Physically owning music certainly has a different feel over the 1s and 0s stored in a playlist. As lockdown orders came into place earlier this year, many music lovers stuck at home have delved into the world of vinyl. With many record stores opening their doors once more, some shops are seeing record breaking sales.

Glasgow, UK | Finnieston’s Strip Joint launches new record store: A pint, pizza and a fine selection of vinyl seems like a pretty good combo! Glasgow’s latest record store has arrived in popular pizza and beer venue Strip Joint. The Finnieston food spot, based on Argyle Street, has started selling vinyl from it’s ‘wee’ record store to music fans from the west end and further afield. Owner Paul Bright told Glasgow Live : “We felt that with our love of music and the fact that many of the staff are vinyl fans it would be a cool thing to do. “Recently we have taken things to the next level and now have new releases and indie store exclusives. “We are really excited to see where Strip Joint Records can take us.” To find out more and to see what sorts of vinyl are on offer, you can visit the Strip Joint website, here, where you can also order records online.

Wales, UK | The legendary independent high street shops that you are still missing: From Kavern Records to Sammys Sports these stores hold a special place in people’s memories. …There were some big brands like Woolworths – which closed in 2009 and whose pick and mix is still missed by many. But for most people our unique independents are the stores that bring back a true feeling of nostalgia. The stores that seem to attract the greatest affection were the record shops where many of us spent happy Saturday afternoons, taking hours browsing before splashing out, or sometimes not. n Llandudno, Kavern Records and Videos was that place. Andrew Morris said: “Used to visit Kavern Records Llandudno between lessons in Llandrillo College and flick through the CDs. “Remember taking a punt on the new band that Dave Grohl had set up. Still have that CD but not sure if Foo Fighters ever amounted to anything.”

Birmingham, UK | Birmingham’s secret shopping street with rock gods, tattoos and Airfix kits: Even if you’ve lived in Birmingham city centre for years, you might never have heard of Dalton Street – but there you will find a female tattooist next door to a book and Airfix model shop and a vinyl record store now 40 years old. …Gareth Owen has been standing behind the counter at Swordfish since 1979. That was year when Maggie Thatcher became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, while Jimmy Carter was still the US President before Ronald Reagan would follow him into the White House in January, 1981. After starting out as Rockers on Hurst Street (1979-89), the business moved to Needless Alley where it became Swordfish (1989-96) and then relocated again to Temple Street (1996-2013). Its current location – tucked away in between The Crown public house on Corporation Street and the NCP Londonderry House car park close to the Elizabeth Law Courts – is much cheaper to rent than Temple Street. Which is just as well given the ever-changing world of retailing records. Over the years trends have changed from singles to albums and from vinyl to CDs, downloads, streaming and back to vinyl again.

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In rotation: 10/16/20

Milford, CT | ‘Just about having an outlet’ – New record store to open in Milford: Punk rock is alive and well in Connecticut, and now it’s got a new home in Milford. After years working with Sony, Jay Reason says he started his Static Era record label to give a voice to the Connecticut hardcore scene that shaped him. He says the new Static Era store is a way to showcase local acts that would normally be promoting themselves with concerts and tours. Reason says platforms like YouTube and Soundcloud just don’t build community like a local music scene can. Reason says Static Era will carry a little bit of everything for everyone, but he sees it as a gathering space for Connecticut’s DIY artist community. Static Era is open Fridays and Saturdays from 12–7.

London, UK | Records Wanted! SE London’s Favourite Record Shop Reopens: It’s been a tough year for music. The government has, perhaps unsurprisingly, left venues unsupported and overlooked musicians. Creatives have even been encouraged to retrain if they can’t find work. The 10pm curfew was the final blow, and casualties have sadly started to surface. Peckham’s iconic pool/night club Canavan’s – which was integral to the birth of DJ Bradley Zero’s label Rhythm Section – shut its doors for the last time three weeks ago. So, in a year devoid of live music, vinyl is the next best thing. Reopening at just the right time, producer, DJ and music connoisseur Lorenzo Bandiera has unlatched his treasured record shack Lorenzo’s (Records Wanted) after a three-month hiatus. Following six years of business inside Peckham’s Sky Shopping City arcade, Lorenzo’s is now trading from a roomier spot on Brockley Road, South East London. There’s more natural light than before. But the good vibes are the same.

Record Store Day’s Black Friday Releases Include Albums from My Chemical Romance, Beastie Boys, and more: Albums from My Chemical Romance and The Beastie Boys are among Record Store Day’s Black Friday 2020 exclusive titles that will be available in independent record stores on November 27. My Chemical Romance offer a limited version of their 2006 live album, Life On The Murder Scene. The Beastie Boys’ limited version of 1994 compilation album Some Old Bullshit will also be on sale. More than 200 indie record shops in Britain will take part in this year’s event, which falls the day after Thanksgiving. Announcing the list of this year’s exclusive titles, Record Store UK tweeted, “RSD Black Friday returns on 27th Nov and we’ve just revealed a fresh batch of exclusive releases that’ll be making their way to indie stores.” The 2020 exclusives also include: Nick Cave – “Cosmic Dancer” 7″ (from T-Rex tribute AngelHeaded Hipster), Motörhead – On Parole (Expanded and Remastered), The Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed (Collector’s Edition), Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle (double LP picture disc) and U2 – Boy (40th Anniversary Edition).

Drummer Bernard Purdie’s record collection is going on sale: Taken from amongst the 4,000+ albums he played on, including records by Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan and more. Drummer Bernard “Pretty Purdie’s remaining record collection is going on sale via Rappcats. Purdie, who has played on over 4,000 albums, is widely regarded as “the world’s most recorded drummer”. He is also known for his ‘Purdie Shuffle’ – a syncopated drum pattern which he can be heard performing on Steely Dan’s ‘Home at Last’. The sale was due to take place in NYC with Purdie presiding over it in person. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the sale is now taking place online, with all of the records having been shipped to Rappcats’ LA HQ. Speaking about the collection, Purdie shares: “I mainly collected records I played on, and people used to sign them for me. Any time there’s a note on those records, like Quincy Jones’ records, it’s an indication that I’m on it … It’s cool for me to sell these as I already made my, you know, peace with myself.

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In rotation: 10/15/20

Houston, TX | Deep End Records goes under, Insomnia Gallery shuts its doors for now: If you’ve ever attended one of Insomnia Gallery’s vividly imaginative art shows — frequently reviewed by Thresher staff and featured in our weekly roundup of local arts events in recent years — you’ve been greeted with walls lined with colorful cassette tapes and bins filled with vinyl records old and new to rifle through. Deep End Records, tucked in that front room of the indie gallery since early 2018, was a frequent stop on my first solo adventures in Houston thanks to its laid-back vibe, wide selection and insane affordability — I was incredulous to have been able to snag an Elton John album for just $5 on one of my first visits. On Sept. 25, Insomnia announced via Instagram Live that it would be going on a hiatus and that Deep End was closing permanently; both businesses will have vacated their cozy alcove on 708 Telephone Road by the end of this month. Instagram comments flooded in from local music lovers reminiscing about times they’d discovered and adopted gems, many expressing hope for another Deep End venture somewhere down the line.

Prague, CZ | A new record shop has opened in Prague: “An audio and visual exploration playground for the open-minded.” A new record shop called YUKU Music has opened in Prague. Founded by the label of the same name, YUKU will function as a “record shop, exhibition space, audio and visual exploration playground for the open-minded,” with live performances and sets. The shop will stock genres including: ambient, IDM, bass music, jungle, experimental electronica, genre fusions, modern classical music, and movie soundtracks. YUKU shares: “For us, opening our store (we are a husband and wife team) is about making a statement in relation to the value of music and art. In an era where music has been devalued due to streaming, we see the emergence of a new ‘listeners’ culture — a culture of ‘slow music’, much as has emerged in fashion and food. The tide of cheap consumerism and endless accessibility has made intimate experiences with music more desirable for certain people.” “We want to create a space for the senses, where people can come and listen to our carefully created selection of vinyl, or sit on the listening couch and read, or experiment with our live visual set up…”

Devizes, UK | Metal signs and vinyl records doing the business in Devizes: Two small Devizes businesses which managed to weather lockdown are looking to the future with optimism. Belgard antiques and record shop Vinyl Realm are neighbours in Northgate Street and offer something different to the norm. Both are finding that offering a product that harks back to earlier eras is capturing the imagination of people living under the threat of Covid-19. Sean Belgard opened his doors 19 Northgate Stree just days before lockdown back in March but says that since he has been able to re-open trade has been surprisingly good. Vinyl Realm moved at the end of last month from Long Street to 59 Northgate Street and can at last spread out its vast collection of albums and other music related goods to show them off to their best advantage.

Green Day announces 25th anniversary ‘Insomniac’ vinyl reissue: Green Day has announced a vinyl reissue of the band’s 1995 album Insomniac to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The two-LP collection includes the original record remastered, plus a batch of rare and previously unreleased live tracks. “Insomniac is finally old enough to rent a car (or whatever else you can do when you’re 25, we’re not lawyers),” the punk trio says. “So we remastered it to celebrate, and we’re throwing in some bonus goodies to boot!” The reissue is set to ship in March 2021. You can pre-order it now via the Green Day web store. Insomniac was released on October 10, 1995. While not as commercially successful as its diamond-certified predecessor, 1994’s Dookie, the record did spawn classic Green Day singles including “Geek Stink Breath,” “Brain Stew” and “Jaded,” and was certified double-platinum. Green Day released their latest album, Father of All…, in February.

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In rotation: 10/14/20

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Everybody’s on the Extreme End of Being Tired’ The Madison record store owner Angie Roloff says it’s “impossible not to acknowledge” the strain on retail employees as the coronavirus pandemic wears into its seventh month. 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 have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis

Tokyo, JP | Tokyo Vinyl Record Stores: Tokyo is filled with vinyl record stores in all sizes and there are a large number of smaller specialty record shops that focus on a certain kind of music. In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of vinyl record stores in Tokyo. As music lovers have been driving the popularity of the record sound, over the download variety of digital music that has increased in popularity in recent years. Some of these record stores also sell compact disks (CDs), cassettes, and more. Here is a list of Tokyo Record Stores. These record stores are chain stores with many various outlets across Tokyo and Japan. They offer a huge variety of new and used vinyl and are a great place to start shopping, especially if you are looking for “Japan Only” release or more modern music. Most of them also have a trade-in service or will purchase old records from you, but generally, they will only offer the lowest prices. Disk Union is one of the largest and most well-known records and CD shops in Japan.

Eau Claire, WI | Eau Claire record shop ‘reviving’ vinyl amid pandemic: It’s not often 19th century technology makes a comeback. After more than a decade of increasing sales, vinyl records are back. Revival Records on Barstow St. transports customers back in time. “I want them to feel like, like they’re walking into a store from the 1970′s,” Siegel says. With a lack of concerts and live music during the pandemic, Revival Records owner, Billy Siegel says music enthusiasts are stocking up. “When they came in, the purchases were larger than normal, which is amazing, and then it just hasn’t stopped,” Siegel says. The record stores sales are up 15-30% year over year, continuing to grow each month according to Siegel. While distribution centers are still stunted due to COVID-19, longtime employee Spencer Fairclough says their biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. “There are certain albums that we like to have on all the time, Fleetwood Mac Rumors is a staple of anybody’s collection, there’s been a couple of days that have been kind of hit and miss, touch-and-go of like, are we going to be able to keep these in stock?” Fairclough says.

Peoria, IL | Pandemic Fails to Slow Vinyl Resurgence in Peoria: Craig Moore wasn’t sure how the public would respond after his record store was closed for 2 1/2 months this spring due to the state’s coronavirus lockdown. “Initially, the pandemic didn’t treat us too well. We were shut down when everything had to close. It took awhile to adjust,” said Moore, who’s been selling records since 1984 when vinyl was the norm, and for more than 20 years at his Younger Than Yesterday shop at 2615 N. University St. “But when I opened the doors on May 29, there were 20 to 30 people outside. I thought maybe this will be okay,” he said. Moore not only requires customers to wear masks at his store, but supplies gloves they can use to flip through a record collection he estimates tops 50,000. “Business has been normal since we reopened. At times, better than normal,” he said. “One thing the pandemic did was force me to go through a massive backlog of things I’ve been accumulating. When we opened, I had 40 boxes of new music to add,” said Moore. When the 73-year-old musician/store owner says new music, he means new to the store. Used records make up about 80 percent of his stock, he estimates.

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In rotation: 10/13/20

Milford, CT | Vinyl lovers welcome new record store to Connecticut: Who would dare open a new business during a pandemic? That man would be Milford resident, Jay Reason. Static Era is the name of Jay’s new record shop opening at 43 River Street in Milford on October 16, which is a takeoff on his record label, Status Era Records, that launched about a year ago. What kind of records will Reason’s new shop be selling? This is what he told the Milford Mirror: We’ll be offering a wide selection including top-40 stuff, hip hop, rock, and metal. I’ve done a lot of work to the space and there’s all kinds of cool little things to look at. I think people will trip out, for sure. Jay will not only be selling records, of course, but would like his new shop to become a community space where people can feel comfortable walking in to explore even if they’re not necessarily purchasing something. One of his first jobs was working at a record store: In 1973, after I graduated from Ithaca College, one of my first jobs was working at the ‘Record Theatre’ at Midtown Plaza in downtown Rochester, NY. I even remember how much I made per hour. Are you ready for this? I made $1.61 per hour. Before taxes, I brought home a whopping $64.40 a week.

Taking a spin on vinyl records’ iconic history (and appeal): When it comes to music, one analogue medium reigns supreme. Vinyl records have always been held in high esteem by hobbyists and professionals alike due to its various perceived benefits, such as superior sound quality. Despite the advancement of digital sampling, this centuries-old invention still holds appeal, in part also due to the romanticism attributed to it. Exactly how is it different from digital formats though?…The first commercially available vinyl record debuted in 1889 and saw distribution only in Europe. These original discs were approximately five inches in diameter and treated mostly as curiosities or novelty gifts. Over the next six decades, the vinyl record grew in size, coming in at 10 inches in 1901, and 12 inches two years later. It was only in 1948 that entertainment group CBS introduced the world’s first long play (LP) record and ushered in the new standard for music listening.

Minneapolis, MN | ‘We’re busier than we’ve ever been’: Twin Cities record store grooving along despite COVID-19 closures: Inside Mill City Sound on Main Street in Hopkins, the vinyl is stacked, the volume always up and, surprisingly, during what has been a challenging year, so are the numbers. “The store is busy, it’s kind of amazing,” said Mill City Sound owner Rob Sheeley. The record store has dealt with forced closures from COVID-19 and they’ve had to cut back hours this spring and summer, yet it’s still on track to hit record sales this year. “We’re busier than we’ve ever been. We’ve been making more money than we’ve ever made with this — our sales are up about 17-18% over last year,” Sheeley said. The store used to be open on Sundays, but not anymore, and for seven weeks this year, it was closed due to the coronavirus. “We were shut down once (for six weeks) and then we shut down again because we had a COVID-19 outbreak at the store with this,” Sheeley said. Sheeley thinks customers are coming in for the social connection.

Record Store Day’s Black Friday Will Bring LPs From Aimee Mann, U2, The Weeknd… and a CD and Cassette by Pop Smoke: On deck, post-turkey: releases from the Rolling Stones, Lewis Capaldi, Lil Wayne, Bill Evans, Alanis Morissette, My Chemical Romance and a hundred-plus more. Record stores will not be dark on Black Friday this year — at least not the thousand-plus in the U.S. that have been participating in Record Store Day release events this fall and will do so again the day after Thanksgiving. It will mark the fourth month in a row for a Record Store Day event, as August, September and October will have all seen “RSD Drops” days parceling out the more than 400 exclusive releases that had been scheduled to be released through the main annual event in April, before the pandemic forced a tri-part postponement. The lineup announced for Black Friday is slightly trimmed down from last year’s, which might be expected, given the effects of shutdowns on the music industry. A total of 133 titles have been announced, versus 182 that came out for Black Friday 2019. But fans of any genre are still likely to find plenty to feast on

New Orleans, LA | DJ RQ Away Hosts All Vinyl Radio Show Every Thursday: Before COVID-19, you may have spotted DJ RQ Away (real name Jevon Thompson) around town. “My last two ‘live’ sets were DJing the Pelicans versus Lakers game inside the Smoothie King Center (it was so exciting!), and Youth Run NOLA’s 504K the week of March 1,” he says. Outside of client bookings, DJ RQ Away hosted “The Tipping Point” event every Friday at Dragon’s Den, “Happy Feelins “monthly event at Ace Hotel, and “Lagniappe,” a quarterly event at Tipitina’s. He is proud to state, “All of which served the black creative and professional community here in the city.” Also pre-pandemic, you can add that he toured with Tank and the Bangas as their DJ for most of 2019 on top of hosting corporate, private, and personally produced events. Now the multitasker is back hosting “Get Down Nola,” a weekly all vinyl radio show featuring funk, disco, jazz, and soul cuts from the 60s, 70s, and 80s every Thursday night at 6 p.m. OffBeat talked to the vinyl master about his show and the beauty of record playing.

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In rotation: 10/12/20

Treasure Coast, FL | Vinyl record store sales spike amid coronavirus pandemic; surpass CDs for first time: Music makes the world go ’round — especially during a pandemic. With more people stuck at home, the average number of paid subscriptions to music-streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music was up 24% compared to the first-half average for 2019, according to a recently released mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America. The report also showed vinyl records outsold CDs for the first time since the 1980s. Treasure Coast record store owners weren’t surprised by the increase in popularity. Saxon Julin, co-owner of Wax Records in Vero Beach, said the number of records sold has been growing since he and his dad, Jason, opened the store in 2014. “Vinyl has been increasing every year,” Julin said, “and then there was another explosion with the pandemic.”

Riverside, CA | Riverside’s Mad Platter record store permanently closes after 36 years due to coronavirus: Nearly every week in the late 1980s, a 20-something Matt Friedlander visited Mad Platter on his lunch break. He and a friend would scope out albums at the record store on Hole Avenue, a destination for Inland Empire music fans known for its wide selection. “I probably have 1,000 records in my garage tucked away and probably a third of them are from going down there and buying used records,” Friedlander said. More than 30 years and a crosstown move later, the Riverside record store announced that a temporary closure that started March 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic is permanent. A social media post announcing the closure on Wednesday, Oct. 7, said that efforts would be focused on keeping sister store Rhino Records & Video Paradiso in Claremont, “vibrant and alive.” Longtime customers and former employees commented with their memories of the store throughout the decades and lamented the end of an era.

Stirling, UK | Shopping Scotland: 10 of our favourite independent stores: Europa Music. More of an institution than a shop, Europa Music has been going for over 38 years, 25 of them in its current location on Friars Street in Stirling. Owner Ewen Duncan champions the warmer sound that vinyl produces, and he regularly brings in so many new records that Europa Music has been officially designated the largest browsable vinyl shop in Scotland. A bit higgledy-piggledy inside, you could easily lose an hour searching through all the records on sale – with a proper feeling of satisfaction when you find one that you were looking for. Europa Music often sees queues out of the door on the national Record Store Day – which is on October 24 this year – but why not give them your custom during the rest of the year, too, and help keep this truly unique store alive?

Paris, FR | Yoyaku opens new record shop and “cultural venue” in Paris: Also operating as a gallery, cafe, and a workshop. Yoyaku has opened a new record shop in Paris, called Chapelle XIV. Chapelle XIV marks the second record shop from Yoyaku, who also run a label of the same name. Described as a “cultural venue”, it encompasses a record shop specialising in electronic music, gallery, cafe and a workshop – with equipment for producing merchandise, record sleeves and 3D prints. Chapelle XIV has been outfitted with a Martion soundsystem, alongside furniture and acoustic panels designed by CNTRL Acoustics. The space will also feature workshops and in-store events, with the aim of bringing together artists to discuss subjects including arts and sociopolitical topics.

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In rotation: 10/9/20

Vestal, NY | Local Music Store Remembers Van Halen: Music City store owner Benny Fiacco has already seen an uptick in Van Halen sales, with locals trying to get a record to remember the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen passed away October 6th from a long battle with cancer. The late guitarist inspired generations of kids to pick up the guitar and start to learn, with lighting fast licks, thundering riffs, and intricate tapping techniques. Fiacco says that “that’s the beauty of music you take an iconic player and he influences other players they influence other musicians and it gets sent on down the line and for generations on it inspires other young musicians.”

UK | Proper Music’s Pat Howe looks ahead to National Album Day 2020: The first year to boast a theme – the 1980s – and exclusive releases for the day, with pandemic restrictions the event celebrating the cultural status of the LP has undergone some significant evolution in 2020. Pat Howe, head of sales at Proper Music Distribution, gives us the UK’s biggest independent physical perspective on this growing tradition… “For me, the important thing is that the industry commits to the idea and makes it happen every year. It may take a while before having a major impact on sales, and I think that is a secondary goal. The objective is to take pride in the artistic worth of ‘the album’ and to celebrate that by provoking a national dialogue about music. It’s probably more akin to National Book Day than a conventional sales driver for the industry…”

Record Store Recs: Darius & Wayne Snow Take Us To Paris, Berlin, Tokyo & Beyond: …The powerhouse pair’s latest release, “APOLOGY,” is an emotive, thumping track where the singer’s angelic voice is backed by a gospel-inspired chorus asking for forgiveness in a dark world. The powerful, poignant track is the follow-up and B-side to “EQUILIBRIUM,” and was just dropped on Paris’ Roche Musique on Oct. 1. For the latest Record Store Recs, Snow and Darius invite us into their musical world, sharing some of the music that inspires them (including jazz, bossa nova and experimental electronic music artists). They also invite us to crate dig for vinyl with them in their hometowns of Berlin and Paris and while on in Seoul, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Bang & Olufsen’s latest turntable harks back to the golden age of vinyl – but it’ll cost you: A classic turntable with dreamy looks. If you’re yearning for a blast from the past, dusting off your old vinyls and giving them a spin on your turntable is one of the best ways to tap into that nostalgia – and the latest record player from Bang & Olufsen could be the best turntable for the job. The Beogram 4000c was originally launched in the 1970s, and a select number of existing models have been refurbished for 2020 – without losing its striking retro looks. It’s part of Bang & Olufsen’s new Classics initiative, in which the Danish audio company is “restoring and reimagining classic products” …Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, who is leading the initiative, explains: “In a world of consumer electronics, most products are regarded as disposable commodities. At Bang & Olufsen our products are built to stand the test of time. That is what differentiates us as a brand, what the Beogram 4000c so beautifully embodies and what we want to build on in the future.”

Best record player for 2020: Rega, Pro-ject, Audio Technica, more turntable reviews: Looking for a high-quality record player to listen to your precious vinyl collection? These are the top turntables we’ve reviewed from $100 and up. There’s never been a better time to get a great-sounding budget hi-fi system, including amazing, cheap speakers and a high-quality turntable for vinyl records. But how much should you spend if you want to find the best turntable? There’s a record player to fit pretty much any budget if you consider everything from vintage turntables to the newest fully automatic and Bluetooth options. The Audio Technica LP60, for example, is a great little turntable for $100. The following is broken up into two sections: the best turntables between $100 and $1,000; and a shootout between the best turntables under $300, which is a sweet spot. Spending more will often get you better sound, but you don’t need to — any of our picks should have you spinning vinyl for decades to come. Let’s dive in.

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In rotation: 10/8/20

Record Store Day announces list of ‘Black Friday’ 2020 releases: With 78 records on offer, including Madlib’s new jazz project, ODB instrumentals, obligatory Studio One and more. Record Store Day has announced this year’s Black Friday vinyl offerings, available Friday 27th November. Established in 2010 with a focus on exclusive vinyl, RSD’s Black Friday event features a combination of new music and reissues. Seventy-eight releases will be on sale, with highlights including the debut LP from Madlib’s jazz project Jahari Massamba Unit, an instrumentals version of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers, an obligatory Studio One compilation and several soulful singles by Norma Jean, amongst others. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s annual Record Store Day, previously taking place annually in April, was postponed and split across three drop days. Despite this change, vinyl sales hit record highs in 2020, – with the highest week of US vinyl sales coinciding with the first RSD drop day in August.

Long Beach, CA | Record stores still spinning from pandemic but sales are trending up: The must of hundreds, thousands of slowly decaying record jackets hangs in the air. If history has a smell, this is it, mixed with the not-so-slight hint of desire. Music resonates throughout the store, washing over the bin-diving clientele. Masked and gloved, the audiophiles search row after row of vinyl, searching for something—something that catches their eye or perhaps a specific album they have sought for days, months, years. “Records have always been experiential. Growing up, there was always a communal aspect to listening to new records—you go to your friend’s house, you sit and listen together,” said Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints Music in Downtown Long Beach. “And we’re an experience-based business.” When coronavirus struck, the record store experience was muted. Many shops, Fingerprints included, quickly altered their business models and created online stores to make up for the loss of in-person shopping. But it is not the same as the search, the journey, Foster said.

Parma, OH | New record store The Current Year to open in Parma’s Polish Village: Record store The Current Year is set to open inside the same building that houses legendary Parma bakery Rudy’s Strudel, at 5580 Ridge Road. The shop will open to the public with a grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, with DJs performing outside the store from 3 to 7 p.m. The celebration will take place concurrently with Rudy Strudel’s party for National Pierogi Day. The Current Year is owned by Michael and Marie Stutz, who got their start selling records a couple of years ago. The shop first operated in a small corner of Fairview Park resale store The Salvage Yard. When The Current Year began to outgrow its former space and the coronavirus pandemic led to retail shutdowns in the spring, Michael and Marie found a new home thanks to their friend, Lidia Trempe, who co-owns Rudy’s Strudel — a bakery and restaurant that’s been open since 1948. Michael, a Parma native, was already familiar with the eatery… “I just remember loving this place. It’s so weird that, a quarter century later, here we are. Rudy’s passed on but we have a record store here.”

Montpelier, VT | Soundbites: Checking In With Buch Spieler Records: At a certain point, I stopped going to record stores intending to walk away with a certain title. I’d love to enter a shop and be handed whatever disc I wanted, no matter how mainstream or obscure. But that’s not the way it works. To be fair, I used to go to a store called Rooky Ricardo’s Records in San Francisco that’s like, as we used to say, the iTunes store of 45s. Walk in, name any single from the ’60s to the ’80s, and they’ll hand it to you. Now, when I want something specific, I order it online. Shame me if you must. For me, the whole point of going to a record store is to find something you didn’t know you wanted. Xavier Jimenez, co-owner of Montpelier’s Buch Spieler Records, said that’s related to a concept he calls “record store amnesia.” In other words, maybe you walk into a shop with a particular album in mind, but after you start digging for a few minutes, you forget all about it and get lost in the treasures at your fingertips. Did I know my recent visit to Buch Spieler would end with snagging The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore and the B-52’s’ Wild Planet? No, but I’m glad it did.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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