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

In rotation: 1/4/18

U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Hit Nielsen Music-Era Record High in 2017: Once again, yearly vinyl album sales have hit another Nielsen Music-era record high, as the configuration sold 14.32 million (up 9 percent) in 2017. That’s up from the previous one-year high, registered in 2016 with 13.1 million…2017 marks the 12th straight year of growth in vinyl album sales. The format continues to increase in sales as more new and classic albums are issued on vinyl, promotion from retailers like Amazon, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, as well as annual vinyl-oriented celebrations like Record Store Day.

Vinyl LP sales represented 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 – up from 6.5 percent for the configuration’s share in 2016. Further, LP sales were 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017 (a Nielsen-era record share for the format) – up from 11 percent in 2016. Further, vinyl album sales were driven by an array of titles, not just a handful of hot sellers. In total, 77 different titles each sold more than 20,000 copies on vinyl LP in 2017, as compared to 58 in 2016.

After This Weekend, Music Saves to Close: We have fond memories of standing in a line that stretched down Waterloo Rd. in North Collinwood with other local music junkies on Record Store Day to buy limited edition vinyl releases that Music Saves would stock. Alas, Music Saves will close its brick and mortar business this weekend and will focus solely on online sales. It’s a significant loss; store owner Melanie Hersh opened the store, which is located next to the Beachland Ballroom, in 2004 and regularly stocked local and national releases. It also hosted in-store appearances from indie acts like Frightened Rabbit and Jeremy Jay.

The beat goes on at South Jersey record shop: Howard and Nan have long passed away, but their names linger on a sign at one of the oldest businesses at the Berlin Farmers Market. Hanging outside the store they founded inside the market 65 years ago, the sign still reads, “Howard and Nan’s Record Shop.” It’s a tribute by the shop’s current owner Joseph DiPietro, who used to work for Philadelphians Howard Horne and Nancy Ferraro. Had it not been for DiPietro’s dedication, passion for music and his respect for both tradition and the store’s founders, the Record Shop might have disappeared like the small downtown record stores that grappled with regional and national chains and fought to stay open as listeners moved away from vinyl albums and into CDs. “I just love music and our music was great…”

Cheapies’ 40th Boxing Day bash could be the last, Owner mulls future of iconic downtown record store: How is this man still standing? Brian Jasson runs a record store, and everyone knows that business is dead. Ask failed music giant HMV. And Jasson is downtown, which has seen many dark days. Yet here we are, Dec. 26, 2017, and he’s staging his annual Boxing Day sale again. Somehow, it’s his 40th. We find him at a cluttered desk at the back of the store, a long walk from the front door on King East. He’s wearing a weathered, black leather jacket. “I got this in 1972,” he says. “A little snug now.” Jasson got into the business because he liked music. Punk rock, especially the Ramones. All four of that band’s original members are gone, but Jasson rolls on.

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In rotation: 1/3/18

Local music store Earfood sees spike in vinyl record sales, Store owners hopeful that music stores re-emerge just like vinyl records have: WINCHESTER, Va. – Vinyl records first became mainstream in the 1970’s, and now over 40 years later a Winchester music store can’t keep them on the shelves At 7-years-old Anthony Matthews used his mothers pots and pans as drums. Soon after, he picked up his first guitar, and as a young adult he played in several bands. As he grew older, Anthony knew he wanted to keep music close. “Either radio dj, or in a band or working at a music store,” said Anthony Matthews of Earfood Music Store. Now as Earfood music store’s co-owner, he’s proud to have done two of those three things. “Working at a music store worked out for us. I get to work for my son, so it couldn’t get any better,” he said.

Keeping vinyl alive: Where to buy rare records in the Midlands: Despite existing in the digital age, the classic vinyl is thriving. Vinyl sales are at their highest sales since 1991, meaning that original 7” of your favourite artist is even more desirable than ever. Luckily, the West Midlands is full of independently owned record shops tucked away on side streets and alleyways away from the busy high streets. Help keep both local businesses and the record industry alive by hunting down those rare records at these Midlands based stores…We’re starting off with one of the oldest record stores in Birmingham, establishing itself in 1952. The Diskery has become synonymous with Birmingham for over half a century, with faded concert posters adorning the walls and retro record sleeves covering the ceilings, showing just how long The Diskery has been standing proud in Birmingham alongside its stellar collection.

Last record store in Everett still spinning, Online music services and file sharing have decimated what were once staples in neighborhoods across this country. On the front door of Everett’s Bargain CDs Records & Tapes is posted a sign that reads, “step into a world of magic and excitement.” You can’t help but sense a bit of magic in the air when you walk into Gordy Arlin’s store and the needle gently touches the vinyl. “It’s the fairy dust of the music!” He exclaimed. “Music, music, music!” Gordy has been buying and selling cassettes, CDs, DVDs and records in Everett for 28 years — everything from Sheena Easton to Lawrence Welk. “It’s kind of a time machine,” he said. “You thumb through and you see a record and remember that was when I asked Betty Lou for a date and she said no!

To Break Into the Grammys, Netflix Went Old-School Vinyl, Netflix released vinyl records of its streaming comedy specials to garner its first-ever Grammy nominations. Netflix submitted a dozen of its original stand-up comedy specials to compete as comedy albums. However, the majority of these entrants didn’t get a conventional album release. The live comedy sets, including performances by Marc Maron, Trevor Noah and Amy Schumer, aren’t available on CD or on streaming music sites such as Spotify. Instead, Netflix released audio versions of its video specials on vinyl only. The primary purpose was to qualify for Grammy nominations. Withholding the comedy specials from other streaming sites also helped the company maintain the exclusivity of its content. A side benefit: Vinyl records are less susceptible to pirating than CDs.

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In rotation: 1/2/18

Owners of VIP Records Honored By Mayor for Contributions to Long Beach: Dozens of supporters gathered at the original home of World Famous VIP Records Thursday afternoon to witness Mayor Robert Garcia’s presentation of proclamations to Kelvin and Cletus Anderson, the brothers that founded and operated the iconic record store that helped shape the history of hip-hop in Long Beach. The mayor’s proclamations come the same week that the city council voted unanimously in support of an ordinance being drafted to designate the sign that sits on top of the original home of the business, which has since been converted to a 7/11 convenience store, as a historic landmark. “It’s really important that we recognize historical landmarks across the city but it’s also important that we recognize Black history in Long Beach, Black culture and the Black experience,” Garcia said. “And VIP was a very big part of that.”

New downtown Alpharetta record store finds its groove: It takes some nerve to open an analog business smack in the middle of the “Technology City of the South.” But, Comeback Vinyl owners Karen and Alex Vernon think it makes perfect sense to locate their record store at 1 N. Main in downtown Alpharetta. Besides, said son Alex, analog records – good pressings – use some of the best audio technology ever created. Though he grew up in the digital age, Alex, 26, is a big fan of vinyl, and he can tell you just about everything that makes its sound reproduction superior to digital products. While the wave of CDs and MP3 music virtually erased the vinyl record industry after 1990, Alex said the analog recordings have been making a comeback…But, for Karen, whose first job was working at a record store in Mississippi, there’s much more to it than pure numbers.

At 40, success and longevity of Boise’s iconic Record Exchange ‘a pretty remarkable thing’: There’s no other place like The Record Exchange in the Treasure Valley — and very few spots like it in the country — that can match its mix of retro cool, contemporary swagger and business savvy. It comes at you from all directions: the explosive colors and funky design of the facade to the rows and rows of vinyl records, the CDs, a wall of posters, racks of irreverent T-shirts, socks and cards, and shelves of sometimes profane bric-a-brac. And, of course, playing over the sound system, the music — new, alternative, classic and sometimes obscure rock, jazz, EDM, hip-hop and more. Aromas of exotic incense, musty record jackets and fresh brewed coffee hang in the air. The vibe draws everyone from business executives and high school rockers, to noted musicians and serious collectors.

Winchester music store gives vinyl records a second spin: When Anthony Matthews and his son Jamie Matthews took over Ear Food in 2006, the record store mostly sold CDs and DVDs. They never imagined that vinyl records would make a comeback. But on Thursday, Anthony Matthews, 64, said new and used vinyl records have grown to be about 70 percent of the store’s net sales some weeks. Generally, they account for more than half of all sales. “The sound quality you get by putting a vinyl record on… the younger generation is just discovering that.”…Once the father and son took over the shop, which is now located at 22 Weems Lane, they expanded the inventory, but they didn’t anticipate a time when customers would walk into the store asking for vinyl records — a form of recorded music that hasn’t been mainstream since the 1970s. “It’s a whole new generation buying the albums,” Anthony Matthews said, noting that record manufacturing has sprung up again in some parts of the country.

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In rotation: 12/15/17

From Beatles to Mohammad Rafi, you get the best vinyl records at this shop in Kolkata: There is a 7 decade old shop right here in Kolkata for those of us who are a bit old fashion. Vibrations(the shop) is situated at Mirza Ghalib Street, New Market Area. This shop was founded by the grandfather of the present owner named Mohammed Shah Nawaz in 1940s. They have been here from the start, selling gramophones and 78 RPM records. From 1960, they decided to go with the trend and started selling Vinyl which attracted a wide customer base, also foreigners. In 1980, the era of cassettes and audios had taken over, and they included this as well.

Rough Trade opens in Bristol: Record store group Rough Trade has opened in Bristol following a deal arranged by commercial property consultancy Hartnell Taylor Cook. The company opened its doors earlier this week (11 December 2017) after agreeing terms on the 4,465 sq ft Unit 3 at New Bridewell on Rupert Street. Rough Trade’s arrival in Bristol has come about after it bought out independent record store Rise. The existing staff have been retained by the business. Developer Watkin Jones is behind the New Bridwell project, located on the site of the city’s former central police station, bringing accommodation for 500 students to the building along with retail and leisure at ground floor…”Rough Trade will be looking to build on this foundation, being such a valued hub is precisely what they want to do, and if anything, their stronger brand should make it even more of a draw. This should be great news for music fans.”

Paul McCartney made an experimental Christmas mixtape for the Beatles in 1965: The original tape mix that Paul McCartney cut as a record for his fellow Beatles in 1965 has surfaced online, reports Dangerous Minds. Only four copies existed of the Unforgettable vinyl, given by McCartney to George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr for Christmas in 1965. All were believed to be lost. “I had two Brenell tape recorders set up at home, on which I made experimental recordings and tape loops, like the ones in ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’ And once I put together something crazy, something left field, just for the other Beatles, a fun thing which they could play late in the evening. It was just something for the mates, basically,” shared McCartney in an interview with Mark Lewisohn taken from The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film.

Eyeconik Records heats up local music scene: Eyeconik Records & Apparel, which opened at it’s current downtown location, 224 N. Campo St., in September, is not only bringing music to Las Cruces in the form of vinyl, CDs and cassettes, but also in the form of free intimate live performances. According to Gerard Hinderlich, live music and events coordinator for Eyeconik, touring bands scheduled to travel through Las Cruces have called the store asking about performing at their location, and that is a big part of why the store has made live performances a regular feature. The record store hosts free live music performances, featuring both local and touring bands, the first Friday and the third weekend of each month. “We’re looking for anyone who wants to play in a 125-year-old historic building,” Hinderlich said. “We’ve had everything from mariachi to rock ‘n’ roll bands.”

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In rotation: 12/14/17

Treehouse Records enters final weeks: Treehouse Records still has plenty of albums to sell ahead of the Dec. 31 closing. Staff members continue to clear out the basement where the owner stashed new vinyl and used records he didn’t have time to price. “People assume that everything has been picked through. It hasn’t,” said owner Mark Trehus. Trehus said his decision to retire is due to many factors, and the biggest is that he sees better things on the other side. Business has been fine, but it’s time to move on, he said. “This has been an absolute dream job, but it allowed me to continue kind of being an adolescent most of my life,” said Trehus, who recently married. “Now I’m facing adulthood at 60 and loving it.”

The Visual Side of the Vinyl Shop, “Queen City Records: Record Stores of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky” captures the essence of local indie record stores via photography and interviews: Growing up on Grand Vista Avenue in Pleasant Ridge, Mike Spitz would often visit Everybody’s Records, a neighborhood and city institution for lovers of recorded music since 1978…Spitz, age 50, has been living in Los Angeles since 2000, so remembering the favorite record stores of his Cincinnati youth — he also has kind words for ones that have not survived, such as Norwood’s Record Theater and the Wizard and Ozarka outposts near University of Cincinnati — may seem purely an exercise in nostalgia. But it isn’t. He’s turned it into a new book, Queen City Records: Record Stores of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.

Discogs Surpasses 37 Million Record Releases Available Internationally Through Marketplace, 27.5 Million Vinyl Records Account For Nearly 75% Of Listings: Discogs, the World’s most extensive user-built database of music, announces a monumental landmark today as it exceeds 27.5M vinyl recordings and over 37M physical music items in total listed for sale in the Global online Marketplace. In retrospect, Discogs celebrated its 15th Anniversary in November 2015 with nearly 10M releases. Over the following 24-months, the Discogs Marketplace has grown more than 370% culminating in a record-setting 130,000 orders over the first week of December 2017, another landmark cementing the Discogs Marketplace as the essential music marketplace of the World.

Pro-Ject Essential III Review: Solid Performance From A Value Turntable: It’s time for an upgrade, but maybe not the stage where a $2,000 audiophile turntable is in the cards. Some vinyl junkies hit up garage sales and vintage stereo equipment dealers in search of a used turntable. Even if you luck out and find something affordable, it’s likely to need service, including a replacement belt and cartridge. Why bother, when the Pro-Ject Essential III is there as a $299 value option? This is an award-winning turntable from an Austrian company that’s developed a rabid following among audiophiles. Pro-Ject sent me one to try out and it quickly proved why it’s such a popular choice.

Recalling a misguided youth spinning vinyl: With the revival of vinyl records in the market place, plus having been a radio announcer during my somewhat misguided youth, let’s harken back for a moment to the early 1960s and the control room of KCLA-AM — 1400 on your radio dial — 1000 watts strong broadcasting from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and spin a few memories. While disc jockeys were the trendsetters of early radio, working in a more tranquil atmosphere we preferred to call ourselves announcers. Either way, it didn’t matter. We were all spinning vinyl.

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In rotation: 12/13/17

Where to get Vinyl Records in Kuwait: The first shop I went into had a large pile of records piled up in the corner of the shop. So I sat down on the floor and started going through them one by one. Anything that was remotely interesting I put on the side. By the time I was done I had found around 14 potential records which I ended up reducing down to 10…The buying process though wasn’t so easy. The shop was originally closed (it’s always closed whenever I visit) but the basement janitor has the key. So I had him open up the shop for me and after I chose the records I wanted, he had to take pictures of each one and send them to the owner.

10 Best Vinyl Record Stores in Singapore For A Throwback To Before Spotify Was A Thing: With Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube, we have a world of music quite literally at our fingertips. But for vinyl enthusiasts and aficionados of analog audio, there’s something more satisfying about the experience of buying an LP, slipping the shiny new record out of its sleeve, placing it on a turntable, and gently dropping the needle – a far more elaborate ritual than hitting “shuffle” on iTunes. There’s no logical reason to buy vinyl over digital downloads – it’s a purely emotional experience. If you’re looking to get acquainted with the magic of analog music, here are ten record stores where you can indulge your vintage fetishism and crate dive for that limited edition marble green Joy Division LP – or Taylor Swift’s Reputation, if that’s how you roll.

Sam the Record Man sign lights up Yonge Dundas Square, Iconic signage will be a fixture this holiday season. The Sam the Record Man sign is back in action. It was lit up Friday evening overlooking Yonge-Dundas square. The 15-metre by 11-metre neon turntables on the sign spun and flashed “That’s Entertainment” at 5 p.m. The sign will stay illuminated through the holiday season until January 3. Last week, Ryerson University, which owns the sign, installed it atop 277 Victoria St., the Toronto Public Health building. City council approved a proposal in 2014 to reinstall the sign. Restoration of it began last year. The sign was removed 10 years ago, when the flagship store at Yonge St. and Gould St., which sold vinyl records, closed. The closure marked the end of the record store chain, which was established in 1937.

Remembering Ross ‘Skip’ Kolhonen: No music played at Salem’s venerable vinyl shop, The Record Exchange, on Friday morning. Longtime employees Paul Bazylinski and Barrence Whitfield, sorted through records mechanically, just trying to get through the day. Just a week ago, their beloved manager and friend, Ross “Skip” Kolhonen, 43-year owner and founder of the store, died of heart disease complications. He was 71. “It’s hard,” said Bazylinski. “He passed last week, and the funeral’s this week, and so it’s sort of like this odd week in between. And a lot of people coming in to reminisce — sharing their sympathy and condolences, but also telling these great stories … He was such a joyful guy that you’re crying and laughing at the same time sometimes.” Bazylinski first met Kolhonen in the late ’70s, in his old store on Lafayette Street. He called him “the warmest guy,” and remembered how he liked to connect through music.

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In rotation: 12/12/17

Cincinnati record stores are booming. This book explains why. If “Queen City Records” had been published a year ago, it would have been considerably thinner. A vinyl boom is taking place here, and Cassie Lipp was trying to keep up with stores popping up as she was writing “Queen City Records,” a book that documents independently owned record shops, old and new, of Greater Cincinnati. The book features the photographs of Cincinnati native and Los Angeles resident Mike Spitz, who created a similar work in 2015 titled “The Record Store Book,” an overview of L.A.’s vinyl-shop scene. Lipp wrote the text for “Queen City Records,” which is scheduled for release this month. As Spitz and Lipp worked on the book, three stores that stock vinyl opened for business this year: MetaModern Music in Oakley, Jet Age Records in Newport and Herzog Music Downtown. A fourth, Morrow Audio Records if Florence, opened after the book was completed.

Old school gets new life, new audience with vinyl record shop: Throughout their childhood, sisters Brenna Gentry and Calvert Gentry McMahan spent hours upon hours listening to their parents’ vinyl record collection. Years later, the fourth-generation Franklin, Tennessee, natives have brought back their youthful musical passion by co-founding Luna Record Shop at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. “Records were our first experience with music, as well as our first medium for music,” said McMahan. “Of course, we slowly moved to cassettes then CDs, but then came back around to vinyl once we realized the quality was much better than the compressed music we had become accustomed to.” Gentry’s love for music — and record shops in particular — have existed since she was a child.

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Vinyl Enthusiast in Your Life, Instead of yet another vinyl record, get your music lover something different this year. These holiday gift ideas for the vinyl enthusiast in your life are fun, decorative, and ingenious. If you know someone or are someone who collects vinyl, you know the hobby doesn’t stop at just the records themselves. Frankly, it’s more than just enthusiasm—it’s obsession. But that’s not a bad thing! To prove it, we’ve come up with some holiday gift ideas for the vinyl enthusiast in your life that will show you how many different ways they can include vinyl records in their life.

Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Dylan Ramp Up Box Sets As 2017 Reissues Set Record: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan are among artists leading this year’s record crop of musical box sets. The multimillion-reissue bandwagon exceeds last year’s peak, with a lot of classic albums returning in anniversary and deluxe editions – by U2, the Eagles, Prince, Radiohead and The Smiths, among others. New and announced titles, including vinyl reissues, are currently running at more than 630 for mainstream artists so far in 2017, an increase from the approximate 520 number at the same point in the year from the same record companies in 2016. The number surged in the last few weeks before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now the first weekend of December – the weekend seen by eBay as the peak time for physical sales of vinyl, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray, even old videotapes and cassettes.

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In rotation: 12/11/17

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

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

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

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

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

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In rotation: 12/8/17

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

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

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

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

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In rotation: 12/7/17

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

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

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

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

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

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