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

In rotation: 2/11/21

Tallahassee, FL | Record sales pick up as fans remember The Supremes founder Mary Wilson: The music industry is mourning the loss of one of the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary Wilson, one of the founders and longest-reigning members of The Supremes, passed suddenly on Monday. The group tops the Billboard Charts as one of the top-selling groups of all time. But many in the music industry say their impact extends further than record sales. “The Supremes were one of the gateway groups that paved the way for Motown,” said Patti Smith. Smith is one of the owners of Apollo Records, the store recently moving from Thomasville to Monticello. She says they’ve already received several calls and messages from people searching for The Supremes albums. For many, that interest is no surprise. Sharod Bines, the owner of Retrofit Records, says The Supremes, as well as other soul and R&B artists, always top the list.

Hollywood, CA | Inside Amoeba’s new Hollywood store: Racks on racks on racks. Amoeba has shared an inside look at its new Hollywood store. Amoeba permanently shut its original Sunset Boulevard location in April 2020, due to Coronavirus lockdowns in the city as well as impendening re-development of the site. However, it still continued to operate its online store throughout this period. While the new location doesn’t have an exact opening date, Amoeba has shared a series of photos from inside its new shop, which you can check out here. The new outpost will be located at 6200 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles.

Belfast, IE | Writer Jonathan Scott on Nasa’s ‘cosmic mixtape’ 40 years after its launch into deep space: David Roy speaks to Jonathan Scott, author of The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of Nasa’s Interstellar Mixtape, about bringing his fascination with The Voyager Golden Record to the NI Science Festival next week. Record collectors like to boast about the rarest discs in their collections, but there’s one first pressing that no-one has at home – nor will it ever be stumbled upon while ‘crate digging’: only two copies of the The Voyager Golden Record were ever pressed, and both were shot into space by Nasa almost 44 years ago. The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of Nasa’s Interstellar Mixtape finds music-loving writer and space enthusiast Jonathan Scott delving into the fascinatingly unlikely yet utterly true tale of how Nasa commissioned a compilation LP for their Voyager space probes in the 1970s. Launched in September and August 1977 respectively, Voyager 1 and 2’s primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. However, it wasn’t the Voyagers’ only function: both craft had a circular, 12-inch diameter payload strapped to their hulls which was specifically designed to provide extra terrestrial life with a succinct audio-visual guide to who we are as a species.

Elliot Mazer, Producer of Legendary Recordings By Neil Young and Many Others, Dies: …By the late ’60s, Mazer was becoming an in-demand producer with such credits as Jerry Jeff Walker’s album Five Years Gone, and Gordon Lightfoot’s Back Here on Earth, both released in 1968. In that busy year, he also produced a live Detroit concert by Janis Joplin’s band Big Brother and the Holding Company; two songs were later used as bonus tracks on a reissue of their Cheap Thrills album. The assignments continued to roll in, including 1969’s Michael Bloomfield Live at Fillmore West album and Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 release, Silk Purse. His career took an even bigger turn when he produced Neil Young’s landmark 1972 Harvest album, with Young, Jack Nitzsche and Henry Lewy. Mazer had opened a recording studio in Nashville and when Young was in town to perform on The Johnny Cash Show in 1971, he convinced the musician to record there. The sessions began immediately. James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt also in town to appear on Cash’s show. They were invited, too, and sang backing vocals on “Heart of Gold.”

The Simple, Easy, Affordable Way to Upgrade Your Turntable: Time to swap out your platter mat. A platter mat is a thin record-shaped material that sits on the turntable’s platter and below the actual record. Its job is to hold the record firmly in place and absorb any extra vibrations that could cause distortion (unlike a “slip mat,” which serves the opposite purpose for DJs). It’s one of the last links in your hi-fi system’s puzzle. And it’s often overlooked. Your turntable undoubtedly has a platter mat already, but it’s an element you can easily and cheaply upgrade, for performance or aesthetic reasons. When buying a platter mat, there are two main things to consider. The first is the material of the platter mat. They are available in a number materials — such as felt, cork, rubber, leather and acrylic — and which you pick will impact effect the overall sound quality. Felt is a good material because it’s so cheap, but it’s also more prone to static and slippage. Cork is a good and inexpensive option, but it’s not the most durable. Rubber and Leather are both higher-end options because they’re both durable and do a great job of sticking to the record.

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In rotation: 2/10/21

Seattle, WA | Sub Pop retail store opens in South Lake Union: The Seattle record label celebrates its 33rd anniversary in 2021. You can now shop Seattle’s most famous record label in South Lake Union. A new Sub Pop retail store opened across from the Amazon Spheres, and sells everything from vinyl to branded coffee. This second retail space is big news for fans who like to shop in-person but didn’t have travel plans. The first store is located inside Sea-Tac Airport near the C Gates, through the security check points. “This year it’ll be 33 years, so we’re an iconic brand,” said Rachel Rhymes, Director of Sub Pop Retail. “When people think about Sup Pop they usually associate it with the ’90’s grunge sound, but it’s really expanded genre-wise.” The store carries every Sub Pop LP record that’s in print, from classic Nirvana to contemporary artists like Daveed Diggs’ band Clipping. Shelves are also stocked with branded hats, beanies, socks, keychains, and other sundries. “We’ve got some of our custom apparel that we’ve been working on,” Rhymes said. “We sell t-shirts, we sell hoodies, we’ve made a couple of jackets this year, and some flannels.”

Seattle, WA | Everyday Music on Capitol Hill to close in June: Beloved record store Everyday Music announced in an Instagram post Sunday that its Capitol Hill location will be closing permanently in June due to “ongoing pandemic struggles and no rent relief.” Owner Scott Kuzma said in an interview that closing the store wasn’t an easy decision, but business has not been as lucrative as it used to be and they can no longer keep up with Seattle rent. “[We were] hoping to hold on a little longer, but it’s time,” he said. The Seattle location has been in four different spots around Capitol Hill for 18 years. Everyday Music also has a shop in Bellingham and two in Oregon; Kuzma said those locations will remain open for as long as they can. He said he appreciates the customers who have shown the store love over the years and hopes they understand the decision. “It’s sad and I feel for them,” Kuzma said.

Watch: Reggae’s Glory Days Are Revisited In Must-See Documentary: Here’s one more reason to love Black History Month: It coincides with Reggae Month, a global celebration of the music and culture deemed an “an intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO. In 2008, Jamaica declared February as a monthlong recognition of the genre its country created and cultivated; as well as acknowledge the birthdays of two of their legends: Dennis Brown, who’s known as the “Crown Prince of Reggae,” on February 1, and Bob Marley, the “King of Reggae,” on February 6. The golden age of Jamaican music gets explored in the documentary, Studio 17: The Lost Reggae Tapes. The film, which premiered on BBC last year and is now available on Qwest TV and Tidal, retraces reggae’s humble beginnings as local riddims beloved by its youth to becoming a globally recognized musical juggernaut.

Atlanta, GA | Groove On: Intown record shops weather the pandemic as vinyl popularity flourishes: The dark-haired young lady knew exactly what she wanted. “What do you have by Minnie Riperton?” she asked Mark Methe, co-owner of Decatur’s Wuxtry Records. “Come with me and I’ll show you,” said the genial, somewhat garrulous senior, leading his prospective customer through a small store that’s a riot of organized clutter, a process that rinses-and-repeats regularly. You could say that Methe, pushing 70, has grown old in the service of vinyl, with his store having opened in 1978. Wuxtry is one of a half-dozen or so Intown independent spots specializing in vinyl, most of which have been around since the heyday of arena rock and disco. The mainly modest enterprises have been subject to two centers of gravity pulling them in different directions. One is the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to multi-month closures (except for online and curbside service in some cases) last spring. The other is increasing interest in vinyl, with healthy pressings of new product as well as re-issues from the days when CDs ruled the musical roost and pressings were an afterthought.

The Roots reissuing Do You Want More?!!!??! in 4xLP expanded edition: Featuring unreleased tracks, remixes, alternate takes, archival photos, and more. The Roots are reissuing their 1995 album Do You Want More?!!!??! in a new expanded edition, via Island Records this March. The Roots was formed by rapper Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in the late ’80s. Mixing hip-hop with jazz influences, Do You Want More?!!!??! marked The Roots’ second studio album, originally released in 1995 on DGC Records. The 4xLP edition includes the remastered album, plus previously unreleased tracks, mixes, alternate versions, archival photos, and essays penned by Questlove and Black Thought.

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In rotation: 2/9/21

Seattle, WA | Everyday Music’s planned closure will leave CD-sized hole in Capitol Hill’s record shop scene: Scott Kuzma stayed in business for the great vinyl revival but he’s not so sure he wants to stick around until CDs make a comeback. He has thousands of them, if you are in the market and think you might want to open a music shop on Capitol Hill. “If someone wants to do it they’re more than welcome to do it,” Kuzma said. There is an opportunity. Come June, Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music will be gone from 10th Ave. The offshoot of Kuzma’s Portland record shops officially announced its closing plans over the weekend as employees began spreading the word to customers last week. The rumors are true. We are heartbroken to announce that our store is closing permanently in June. With the ongoing pandemic struggles and no rent relief, we can no longer afford to keep our doors open. Your continued support has kept us going and we need it now more than ever- we are forever grateful for you and the past 18 years of memories. In the meantime, we are still open 11-6 everyday and would love to see all of your beautiful, masked faces over the next few months

Marion, NC | Game Heads & Vinyl Junkies in Marion specializes in classic records, video games: Marion has a great place where “game heads” and “vinyl junkies” can find whatever they want to round out their collections. Located at 476 E. Court St., Games Heads & Vinyl Junkies is a locally owned store that specializes in vintage vinyl records, video games and movies. Joshua Noblitt is the owner and operator of this relatively new business, which has been open for a few months. Noblitt has turned his passion for vinyl records and video games into a store that has something for everyone. Noblitt started collecting records when people were getting rid of them and switching over to compact discs. He would visit flea markets and buy used records, which were cheaper than CDs. Now, vinyl records are popular again and many folks no longer play CDs. “I started bringing so many of (the records) home and when they started becoming popular again I thought I could turn it into a business,” Noblitt told The McDowell News. Noblitt had his merchandise at K&R Antiques in Old Fort before opening his own store in Marion.

Boston, MA | More Young People Are Buying Records: Here’s How To Make Them Last: In the streaming era, vinyl still offers something unique for the music listening experience. But they require good care and upkeep. CDs, cassettes and digital downloads have all come and gone but records have managed to stay relevant in households around the world for over a century. Although many probably thought record players couldn’t compete with music streaming services, they couldn’t be more wrong. Music streaming services make songs and artists more accessible, but record players offer something that is inimitable. The tangibility and sound quality of records are attracting a whole new generation of collectors. Emile Berliner’s “gramophone” first hit the consumer market in 1897. The records it used were originally made out of rubber until after several years the material changed to vinyl. It was quite popular upon its first release but its golden years wouldn’t come for another few decades. The invention of the radio stole the spotlight from the gramophone for a few years but its popularity didn’t diminish. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, record players were a

Johannesburg, ZA | Diggers and dreamers: Vinyl collectors in Africa’s city of gold. In Johannesburg, South Africa, record obsessives find common ground in DJ booths, thrift stores and music fairs in their little town of vinyl. It is about an hour’s brisk walk from Jeppe High School for Boys in the east of Johannesburg to the Kohinoor record store in the inner city. More than 20 years ago, it was a trip Mxolisi Makhubo and his small group of hip-hop loving, self-proclaimed “outsiders” at their macho school made about once a month. “We used to take our bus fare and save it up for a month to buy records with and we’d walk to town, which is where we’d catch minibus taxis back [home] to Soweto,” the now 37-year-old architect told me on a summer’s Sunday morning over a cup of tea at his renovated house on top of a ridge not that far from his old school. “We felt alienated, because we were in the chess club, we were in the poetry club, the choir, we were cultured … so music became a space for us to escape, but also to feel comfortable outside these hypermasculine attitudes within the school.”

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In rotation: 2/8/21

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: New Stimulus Checks Had No ‘Ripple Effect’ on Sales: Though the shop saw a bump in sales following the first round of stimulus checks last summer, it didn’t observe the same effect this time. 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 Gov. 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.

Peterborough, UK | Looking Back: ‘Great times at Andy’s Records’: Chris Porsz’s pictures of Andy’s Records sparked lots of responses from nostalgic readers. Steve Norman got in touch and sent in a picture. Steve wrote: “I was working for Andys and was manager for a long period between 1981 and 1989. “The picture was taken at the lower Bridge Street shop and with me is my colleague Jon Cawood.” Thanks, Steve and I’m sure lots of readers will remember you from the shop. The first Andys Records store was opened in Cambridge by Andy Gray in 1976 who later expanded into Peterborough and other towns. Roger Portess, from Orton Waterville, also got in touch. He said: “In the late ‘70s – early ‘80s, I worked in the advertising department of The Cambridge Evening News, selling display advertising. “One of my regular clients was Andys Records, initially I seem to remember, from his original market stall on Cambridge Market. “I remember speaking to Andy (or sometimes his brother Billy) each week in order to update the list of several hundred album titles and prices for inclusion in his regular full page display advertisement. “Andy and Billy were always very shrewd businessmen but easy to deal with.”

Denver, CO | The Market Space Evolves Into Larimer Records Cafe: Last March, facing pandemic-based business restrictions, The Market, at 1445 Larimer Street, closed for good after more than forty years of serving espresso drinks, deli sandwiches and baked goods to downtown residents and visitors. And then things really started to change on Larimer Square. A deal to sell the entire Larimer Square real-estate package was announced in the fall, and the sale by Jeff Hermanson (who had owned Larimer Square since 1993) to Asana Partners closed in mid-December. In the meantime, entrepreneur Josh Sampson, founder of TheBigWonderful, Neon Baby, Denver Bazaar and other ventures, had opened a couple of new projects on the block, including Farmers Market LSQ, a collection of Denver food artisans peddling breads, pastries and other goods inside the former home of the Market. That was just a stepping stone in the evolution of the space, which this week reopened as Larimer Records Cafe, Sampson’s collaboration with vinyl expert and musician Eddie Roberts of New Mastersounds, Color Red and the Colorado Sound. Like many of Sampson’s other projects, Larimer Records Cafe is a little tricky to define, as it combines elements of a traditional coffeehouse and restaurant with music and entertainment.

Springfield, MI | Answer Man: Where can I go in Springfield to get some TLC for my turntables? Hey Answer Man! With the increased popularity of vinyl records, is there anyone in the area that services and/or repairs old turntables? I have two that need some TLC. — Paul Logsdon, of Springfield In the world of journalism, the “vinyl is back” story has come and gone. The NY Times did it in 2013 and the LA Times took a turn in 2017. Putting that aside, there remains a growing market of audiophiles forever faithful to the deep-grooved sound of vinyl music, which neared extinction with the advent of CDs in the 1980s. According to a Jan. 15 story on the website Statista, vinyl album sales in the United States in 2020 grew for the 15th consecutive year. Statista is a German company specializing in market and consumer data. In 2020, 27.5 million LPs were sold in the United States, up 46 percent compared to 2019 and more than 30-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback commenced. I called four Springfield stores and found two businesses that repair turntables.

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In rotation: 2/5/21

New York, NY | Dream Fishing Tackle: Greenpoint’s quirkiest brick and mortar: “…in 2013, Barbara stumbled upon a crate of records during a road trip. Thinking they’d make a nice addition to the interior decor of the shop, she purchased them. At that same exact moment, she got a call from her dad, who suggested they add some records to the store since patrons had been increasingly requesting them. As a test, they put out the crate in the shop. The records, mostly classic rock and the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, sold in two days. DFT, which some argue has the best collection in the neighborhood, now sports over twelve thousand thoughtfully curated records. You’d expect that as the younger Piskorski, Barbara was the mastermind behind the record section, but it’s actually Robert who has a passion for music and sources most of the records. “He transitioned his focus from fishing to the records, but he still has great fishing supplies and gives advice to anyone coming in to talk shop. He puts a lot of thought and care into which records we offer, and the clientele notice,” said Barbara of her father.

Spokane, WA | Selling fun: 4,000 Holes supplying good vibes to Spokane since 1989: There’s something so enchanting about being inside an old-school record shop like 4000 Holes record store, whether it’s the selection of music playing overhead, the thousands of records to be flipped through, the album art that decorates every wall or the people. Take it from Bob Gallagher, owner of 4000 Holes record store. Gallagher has bought records since he was a kid and loved The Beatles when he was younger, but he started seriously collecting records in the 1970s, when he said he got ‘Beatlemania’ again. “As a kid, I always wanted a record store. I mean early on, I remember going into the local record store, and it was like sort of a church for me. It was so cool, all that stuff in there,” Gallagher said. When Gallagher first started collecting records, he realized that he wouldn’t be able to keep collecting them on his salary, so he started selling records and found out he had a talent for it. Eventually he had enough to open a store, and so he opened 4000 Holes in 1989, Gallagher said. The store’s current location on 1610 N. Monroe St. is its third location, and Gallagher said he’s been there for the past 16 years.

St. Louis, MO | DVD lovers seek the tangible, keep stores afloat. ‘I just buy anything I like,’ says one customer: CD Warehouse is a neighborhood store. Owner Walter Ray knows his customers by name and doesn’t sell online. “Buy three, get one free” deals keep prices low, about $2 per DVD. And, despite the spring shutdown, CD Warehouse, on Tesson Ferry Road near Sappington, did brisker business in 2020 than the year before. “If one of my neighbors moves out, I’ll expand,” said Ray. “I’m busting at the seams.” Somehow, in the face of a pandemic, a boom in video streaming, and a near-total collapse of the rest of the market, St. Louis-area DVD and CD stores are hanging on. Some even want to expand. A small but dedicated band of consumers — people who want their entertainment in a tangible form — have been keeping the few local movie-resale shops afloat. Film and TV buffs don’t want to gamble that their favorites will always be available on platforms like Netflix, so they frequent throwback stores that carry everything from “Goodfellas” to “The Goonies.”

Juneau, AK | Permanent records: New shop gives old media local staying power: It was love at first listen. Nano Brooks doesn’t remember the exact record, but he remembers the sound that got him interested in collecting records and audio equipment. “I just remember the quality,” Brooks said during a masked-and-distanced interview. As impartial ears and audio experts can attest, analog formats simply sound different from digital formats. In the opinion of the sort of crate-digging audiophiles who helped propel record sales to a historic high last year and gave cassettes renewed relevance, physical media such as records don’t just sound different, they sound better, warmer, than CDs, MP3s or streaming options. In any case, it was love at first listen when Brooks heard the music coming out of his friend’s high-fidelity equipment. He was hooked and interested in getting his own records and hi-fi gear. Brooks’ friend with the records and nice-sounding setup was Anthony Thingvall, who is now Brooks’ business partner. The two millennials — Brooks is 26, Thingvall is 27 —want to find new homes for old equipment and media through their shop Hi-Fi Senpai. Thingvall joined Brooks for a late-morning interview in the shop.

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In rotation: 2/4/21

Fort Collins, CO | The Great Vinyl Record Primer: 15 Albums That Should Be in Every Collection. There was a time when the main leisure activity for some friends and me was sitting around in someone’s living room, shooting the breeze and playing records. That’s records as in “LPs” or vinyl. Okay, so maybe it was a little bit of a slacker scene, but it was our kind of fun. Maybe we would play a game. Maybe we might have some favorite beverages at hand, maybe some food. However, the mandatory thing for meetings such as these was the music. We played albums. We passed the covers around, read the liner notes, told stories, and let the music flow. We shared our favorites, discovered new tunes, and refused to play what just wasn’t cool. One of the things we would discuss is if you could only have ten albums on a desert island, what would they be? I know, that’s not very deep, but it fascinated us.

Record Store Recs: Producer Bongo ByTheWay Shares The Music Of His Mind: “…Amoeba is one of the records shops I’ve always rocked with. It’s pretty well known, but the location at Hollywood in L.A. recently closed [and is moving(opens in a new tab) down the street]. There’s another store on Melrose called The Record Collector that’s pretty dope too. The most frequented place I get my vinyl records from is the Melrose Trading Post; they have a few booths that sell records but I don’t know the vendors’ actual names. As a producer, I’m a big texture guy. I love the different textures of music and vinyl records have an innate texture of their own because of the medium. That grittiness, tone and the overall feel is incomparable. Even though you can synthesize sounds to get that feel, at the end of the day, there is nothing like vinyl. You can find some great, classic records at these shops, so it’s always a unique, memorable experience every time. For the most part, I solely pick up vinyl when I visit [these stores].”

Albany, NY | The return of the independent label: …Now, in the current days of the internet, aside from the streaming services, a new breed of independent labels have begun to pop up. Many of these cater to niches not served by these large music labels. They serve primarily roots music such as Rockabilly, Surf, Garage, and other less commercial, but equal in talent, styles of music. I reached out to a few of these independent labels who primarily produce records similar to the way they were done in the 50s, mostly singles of 45 RPM vinyl, with a few full albums, as well as CD and digital downloads. Many of which, I play on my show, Big Ed’s Little Rock & Roll Show on radioradiox.com. Beck Rustic, who runs Swelltune Records out of Revere, Massachusetts, Sean Law, who runs a pair of labels, Rockin Records and Jinx Records, out of Vancouver, BC, and Magdelena O’Connell, who along with Vincent Minervino, run Hi-Tide Recordings out of Asbury Park, NJ were kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions.

A 12-Inch From an Obscure British DJ Is Now the Most Expensive Record Sold on Discogs: Scaramanga Silk’s 2008 self-released debut, Choose Your Weapon, fetched just over $41,000. Discogs, the bottomless music reference site and music marketplace, has released a list of the 100 most expensive records sold on its platform, and the Number One sale is a fittingly obscure one: a special 12-inch promo vinyl released by the British DJ Scaramanga Silk. Scaramanga Silk’s 2008 self-released debut, Choose Your Weapon, was released as a promo gatefold with a 12-inch vinyl and a CD-Rom, both of which contain the title track. The release also comes with “an art print by Immyart and a poem on acetate.” Only 20 copies of Choose Your Weapon exist and the Discogs record-breaker sold for $41,095.891. Little is known about Scaramanga Silk, who has been releasing music at a slow and steady clip since 2008, including a debut album, Designer Scribble, that arrived in 2016 via Micro Scribble.

Pro-Ject launches phono stages across budgets, plus vinyl-cleaning brooms: Very flexible phono stages between $349 and $1999. Pro-Ject has launched a phono preamp, and on paper it appears to be a doozy of a flexible friend. The Phono Box RS2 is compatible with both moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges, helping it fit seamlessly into almost any turntable setup. It has a fully balanced, true dual-mono design with fully passive RIAA and DECCA equalisation. It also has plenty of connections, including balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs. And it should be able to suit your system perfectly, thanks to the continuously variable input impedance loading and channel balance controls. It will even continue to adjust in real-time while the system is playing. It comes in silver or black and costs $1999. But that’s not the only new product Pro-Ject has announced.

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In rotation: 2/3/21

Zagreb, HR | Beloved Zagreb Music Store, Croatia Records, to Close Doors: As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the oldest record store in this area is closing, and one of the cult locations in central Zagreb is quietly going down in history. This is the story of the former Jugoton, today’s Croatia Records – a much loved Zagreb music store which opened its doors back in 1964, seventeen years after the founding of the first record company Jugoton in the former Yugoslavia. …For almost fifty-seven years, this Zagreb music store in Bogoviceva was the first and direct connection to discophiles and those who became passionate record collectors with the first record they bought, and the store quickly became a gathering place for the musicians themselves. “Oh but of course! I used to be there with Gabi Novak and Zdenko Kovacicek,” recalls Tereza Kesovija, who, as has been since learned from Croatia Records, was the very first star to sign an album for her fans at a promotion in Bogoviceva. Kesovija has stated that she will be sad to see this Zagreb music store go as the end of an era draws close.

Istanbul, TR | Istanbul’s record sellers miss old days before digitalization: Once frequented by musicians who came from across Turkey to sell their talents with the hope of becoming famous, the Unkapanı Bazaar now longs for its glorious heyday. …Although sales of vinyl records increased during the coronavirus period, the draw of the bazaar is unlike before as people already went off the boil. While musicians used to form long queues in front of record labels to be able to release their albums, the bazaar is no longer frequented by those seeking stardom. Prospective singers are looking to become famous through digital platforms such as social media, rather than visiting the bazaar in the present. Shopkeepers in the bazaar are quite concerned about the situation. They say that the songs of singers who become famous through digital platforms will remain popular only for a short time and that this undermines the quality of music. Despite their setbacks, record labels in the bazaar still introduce permanent, high-quality works to the Turkish music world, albeit with much less frequency. The shopkeepers are still struggling to hand down the beautiful works to future generations.

Marrickville, AU | RPM Records: During the height of COVID-19 and the stay/work from home orders many of us had to quickly build home offices or even revamp the offices we already had. For many that need seemed to mean looking for acoustic options such as vinyl record players and actual vinyl records. It was here that RPM Records in Marrickville came to the fore with their extensive range of fantastic, and in some cases very rare, records. Speaking with the Inner West Independent store owners Steve and Lizzie regaled us with the story of RPM Records and their thoughts on vinyl records as a special music medium. Founded in 2015 RPM Records started as a dream of “one day opening a record store” for the couple. Then with the help of music promoter Kevin Jacobson that dream became a reality on the six month anniversary of Steve and Lizzie dating. “Our first date was actually in a record shop and we quickly bonded over our shared love of music. Then when Kevin Jacobson asked us to sell his memorabilia collection we knew that was the moment we had the love for vinyl and memorabilia together in a store,” recalled Steve. Whilst the old cliche is to never work with loved ones, for Steve and Lizzie RPM Records it only intensified their love and bond because now they had “created our dream environment” together.

San Francisco, CA | Passionfruit’s Globe-Trotting DJ Mixes Tell Stories Through Disco: When you press play on one of Passionfruit’s mixes, you might find yourself swept away on a whirlwind world tour. Suddenly, a funky pulse becomes your compass as you dance your way through Ghana, Colombia, Australia and Japan. Like most of us, the Bay Area DJ and avid traveler is stuck at home right now. But the mixes she’s put out during the pandemic have attracted an international audience that comes for her wide-ranging musical knowledge and savvy curation of global rhythms. …Yonas is an event producer by day whose resume includes major festivals such as Coachella, Envision in Costa Rica and Harvest in Turkey. Whether traveling for work or on a solo adventure, she’s always made it a point to follow her ears to each destination’s music scene. Chatting up locals in Berlin and pulling out Shazam at markets in Morocco, Yonas has built a massive record collection of international funk, disco and other dance music mostly from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, and found surprising links between different cultures while doing it. Her mixes tap into a universal sense of celebration and connection, and speak to how different cultures have thrived in spite of colonization and other forms of oppression.

Vinyl Record Display Shelves Turn Boring Walls Into Art Gallery: If you’re like me and have found yourself on more video calls this year, you’ve likely figured out you need a more sophisticated background than an unmade bed and piles of dirty laundry. But why shell out money for expensive wall art when you have a record collection full of masterpieces to put on display? Enter these record holders from Oaprire. These acrylic shelves are easy to hang and offer a simple solution for jazzing up your walls. A two-pack of these shelves will run you $10.99 plus tax on Amazon. They’re also available in packs of four and six shelves. Installation can be as difficult or as easy as you’d like to make it. If you have a fear that the shelves are going to come crashing down while listening to your vinyl cranked up to 11, then maybe use the screws that come with the shelves to attach them to the wall. Then again, maybe you’re like me and you in ability to secure screws into a drywall outweighs your fear of vinyl falling to the floor. I opted to use the adhesive strips, which were included with the shelves. There are four adhesive pads for each shelf. While I haven’t popped a four-album record up on one of the shelves, I’m pretty confident that much adhesive will keep them in place.

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In rotation: 2/2/21

Cincinnati, OH | Old school is new again: …I have more physical magazine subscriptions now than I have in decades. Holding actual books makes me smile. Cooking has helped keep me sane. (Make this fantastic, super-simple bread recipe ASAP.) You might remember my adventures in coffee. And then there’s music. But I was still surprised at just how satisfying it’s been to intensely listen to songs these days. See, a few months ago my wife told me that she was having an old (like from the 1950s) stereo cabinet rebuilt with new speakers and a new turntable. I thought it was a dumb idea. (We have Spotify.. We have expensive headphones! Why do we need a piece of giant furniture to listen to Echo & The Bunnymen? The … thing … arrived a week ago. It took us about 10 minutes to lug it into the house. And … wow. We’re playing vinyl! Albums! LPs! Coltrane, Wilco, Beach Boys, Paul Simon! We’re pulling albums from their sleeves. We’re setting needles just so. We’re reading liner notes. We’re flipping and flipping. It’s been an incredible experience.

Sydney, AU | Eight of the best record shops in Sydney you need to know about: A guide to digging your way through the city. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl enthusiast or you’ve just caught a case of LP fever, Australia’s certainly in no shortage of destinations to satisfy your cravings. Today, we’re checking out some of the best places to buy new and second-hand vinyl around Sydney, spotlighting all the best stores in the city and inner-west to get you started on your crate-digging adventures. Happy browsing! Red Eye Records Since opening in 1981, Red Eye Records has hooked up countless generations of music enthusiasts with the best in new local releases, second-hand oddities, quirky Australian music memorabilia from years gone by and everything else in between. Revered for their legendary customer service and tendency to bend over backwards to source in rare records, Red Eye is both the largest and longest-lasting independent record store in the country today, and their legendary status within the Australian music scene speaks volumes. Put this one right at the top of your hit list – if it’s good enough for Elton John, then it’s good enough for everybody.

UK | Tim Burgess: Even before Covid, music was broken. Let’s use this moment to hit reset. The present streaming model makes artists acutely vulnerable to shocks like the pandemic. Something’s got to change. …The basic point is that the UK music industry contributed an estimated £5.8bn to the economy in 2019, but artists are maybe not seeing as much of that as they should. Almost 5m vinyl albums were sold in 2020, the most since way back when we released our debut LP in the early 90s. There’s hope and excitement in the gloom, but there’s also an elephant in the gloom. That elephant’s name is streaming. To understand the issues better, it might help if we imagined trying to explain the way it works to someone back in 1995. “OK, so for a penny under a tenner a month, you’ll have access to pretty much every record ever made, to listen to whenever you want. It’s like you own the music but you kind of don’t.” I’m guessing our person in 1995 would be mightily impressed. There is much made of the sums paid to artists as a result of all this – yes, they get a cut, and millions of people stream every day, right? – right, but these sums usually go to 26 decimal places, and the first four digits are often 0.000.

Bristol, VA | Downtown recording studios carrying Bristol’s mantle of music creation into future: Music delivered Bristol to a worldwide audience. That dates to 1927, courtesy of Ralph Peer, Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family and company. Today, music made in Bristol amounts to a daily thing. Multiple recording studios stand upon the shoulders of 1927 as living legacies. They’re not museum exhibits. They reside on, around the corner, and nearby downtown’s commercial artery, State Street. “This is where the spring came out of the mountains,” said Clint Holley, owner of The Earnest Tube, a recording studio with a vintage touch in Bristol, Virginia. Destinations including the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion cater to tourists, domestic and international. They come for a taste of The Bristol Sessions and the current state of music and culture as delivered in downtown Bristol. Recording studios chime in within a narrative that’s ongoing.

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In rotation: 2/1/21

UK | These are 100 UK independent record shop’s best selling vinyl albums in 2020: A selection of the country’s independent retailers, focusing on alternative and rock records. The top-selling albums from 100 independent record shops in the UK has been announced by Official Charts. Focusing largely on alternative and rock LPs, Idle’s Ultra Mono was the number one seller – as well as the fastest-selling vinyl release of 2020, followed Yungblud’s Weird at two, and Fontaines DC’s A Hero’s Death at three. Alongside new releases, reissues also maintained strong sales, with records by David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Joy Division, and Bob Dylan charting. Check out the full list:

UK | IDLES’ ‘Ultra Mono’ was the UK’s best-selling album in independent record shops in 2020: Yungblud and Fontaines D.C. complete the top three of the newly published Official Record Store Chart for last year. IDLES’ ‘Ultra Mono’ has been named as the best-selling album in the UK’s independent record shops in 2020. The Bristol band’s third studio album, which arrived back in September, tops a new chart published by the Official Charts Company this week after the record previously became the fastest-selling vinyl release of last year. ‘Ultra Mono’ fended off competition from Yungblud‘s ‘Weird!’ and Fontaines D.C.‘s ‘A Hero’s Death’, which respectively rounded off the top three best-selling albums in the UK’s independent record stores in 2020, to claim the top spot. …“We’re Number 1 on the Official Record Store Chart 2020, which means that lots of people that did go out and buy the album did so supporting their local record store which is something that’s really important at the minute,” IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen said.

Dublin, IE | Liam topped vinyl singles chart in 2020: Liam Gallagher scored the top-selling single on vinyl last year, the Official Charts Company said. All You’re Dreaming Of, the former Oasis singer’s festive track released in aid of Action For Children, beat Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart to the honour. It was revealed by the Official Charts Company as it expanded its Number 1 Awards, saying it wanted to provide more exposure to diverse talent on the specialist charts. Gallagher (48) posed with his award while wearing a crash helmet emblazoned with “PEACE”. “Thanks to everyone for making All You’re Dreaming Of the UK’s top-selling vinyl single of the year, number one on the Official Vinyl Chart 2020,” he said.

Hillsborough, NC | For the record: Volume is again kicking out the jams: …The owners of Volume, a combination record, bar, and hangout on Churton Street, are offering appointment-only business hours. It’s a decision months in the making for the owners, who kept the lights off and the doors locked long after many other local businesses reopened in one form or another. Co-owner Tony Lopez said he had several reasons for holding off on putting his business back on the turntable. “I just felt that I wanted to kind of figure things out. I did some research on what was going on and how it (COVID) was contracted. I was a little fearful honestly, and I just wanted to see what other people were doing and how people were handling it. So I didn’t rush to do anything. I just just held on. I didn’t sell any records online, so we still have all the great records. But I just kind of took some time off. I’ve worked so much and have worked here every minute the store has been open for three years. I treated it as a well-needed break.”

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In rotation: 1/29/21

Waukesha, WI | We’re Open: High-end collectible shop opens in downtown Waukesha: A new high end collectibles shop opened in downtown Waukesha in January called Music Nostalgia and More. The store located at 321 Main Street sells video game soundtracks on vinyl, standard records, and vintage video games/consoles. “It is vinyl and video games it is meant to recapture the soul of your childhood,” owner Stephen Howitz said. Howitz is a lawyer turned shop owner. He said this is his shot of living his dream. “They always say what would you do if you have a million dollars? What would you do if you won the lottery? This is what I’d do.” He sells limited edition video game soundtracks like the Super Smash Bros Nintendo 64 soundtrack, Doom, Pokemon, Fallout 3, and so many more. If you don’t necessarily know what those are, that’s okay. They are very popular video games. You might not expect it, but these sell fast. …He also sells regular records like The Doobie Brothers, The Beatles, and Katy Perry. What might be most impressive about it all, is that almost every record in the store comes from his own personal collection. He said he has around 4,000 records.

Dallas, TX | Female-Owned Record Store Red Zeppelin Is Now a Music Label: Katie Scott has not let a matter as small as a global pandemic get in the way of her dreams. Last July, the teacher-turned-business-owner opened Red Zeppelin Records in downtown McKinney, a punk-grunge haven for crate diggers. Soon after she opened the shop, Scott began to receive music submissions from local bands and singers. These artists only wanted Scott’s opinion, but she was blown away by the talent, which inspired yet another bold, mid-pandemic move. Earlier this month, Scott launched an independent record label, aptly called Red Zeppelin Records, to create a launching pad for North Texas musicians. “I spoke to a few others who have experience in the record label business,” Scott says, “and made the decision that I would create a platform for these musicians.” So far, Scott has signed two artists to the label: Juno Uno, whom she describes as a “captivating character that creates dreamy synth-pop sounds combined with classic singer-songwriter elements,” and the store’s manager, Bayleigh Cheek, “a quiet storm of a human that mixes haunting vocals with raw and bold instrumentation.”

Denver, CO | Music lovers are buying records in record numbers: Special sounds are produced when a needle connects with vinyl. “How it breathes through your sound system, you just don’t get that through your iPod or digital speakers,” said Jason Price, a professional DJ. That vintage sound and excitement that can only be heard on records are now spreading to a new generation. “Young people are into old things,” millennial Mykail Cooley said. “With the technology advancement we have right now, it’s that we can explore everything.” While we might be living in a digital world, when it comes to music, many are moving back to analogue. “When the death of CDs and retail happened, everyone just started looking for more ways to explore and collect,” said Price, who also holds a degree in music business from Loyola University New Orleans. Due to this increase interest in vinyl records, he’s started collecting and selling records. With record sales surging so much, he’s now working with a new independent business devoted to this vinyl revival, Larimer Records Cafe.

10 Great Album Covers, Chosen by Melissa Severin of Cramer-Krasselt: Joanna Newsom, Brian Eno, Silver Jews and more. Records were my first exposure to ideas and art far beyond anything available to me growing up in South Omaha in the ’80s. Looking back, it’s clear just how much of the world music opened for me, beyond the music itself. It gave me friendships, cultures, literature, politics, geography and on and on. In fact, it opened up a career. I would go on to work at a record store in college and started my post-college “real job” life doing public relations at Drag City Records. Music is also signposts across time. And a coping mechanism. That’s where my list comes in. These are my favorite covers for the music that’s been helping me cope lately—at turns broody, soothing, optimistic and angry.

St. Louis, MO | St. Louis artist creates tribute piece of Kobe Bryant using vinyl records: She used at least 150 vinyl records in making the life-sized art. Jan. 26 marks a somber remembrance for sports fans. One year ago, NBA legend Kobe Bryant died along with eight others, including his daughter Gia, in a helicopter crash. St. Louis artist Lindsay Wanner is a big fan of Bryant. She uses pieces of vinyl to create her works and put together a tribute to him. It’s more than 8 feet tall, the biggest piece she has ever made. “It goes perfectly with Kobe’s, you know, story; he’s such a larger than life story,” Wanner said. She used at least 150 vinyl records in making the life-sized art. “It’s layered and stacked upon each other to create the 3D effects,” she told 5 On Your Side. “It’s almost like you’re looking at him and that he’s playing right in front of you.” She added wings on the figure made out of snakeskin to symbolize Bryant’s nickname, the Black Mamba. “I wanted it to be something that was kind of like heavenly,” she said.

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In rotation: 1/28/21

Lancaster, PA | A Day in the Life Records opens in Lancaster city with ‘finely curated selection’ of vinyl: A Day in the Life Records has opened a new shop in downtown Lancaster. Now in its own space at 24A W. Walnut St., A Day in the Life Records previously sold vinyl records at Scarlet Willow, a vintage shop at 320 N. Queen St. Daniel Flynn, who owns the record shop with this wife, Ashley Spotts, said they decided to open a separate shop after having a good reaction from selling records for the last four years at Scarlet Willow. Flynn, who formerly worked in finance, now manages the roughly 800-square foot shop, which also carries some music cassette tapes, CDs and books. A Day in the Life Records opened with around 2,000 records, consisting of what Flynn calls a “finely curated selection” that includes new releases and popular titles as well as hard-to-find and collectible items. Flynn said the shop is always looking to buy record collections.

Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms,’ Mark Knopfler’s ‘Local Hero’ For Half-Speed Vinyl: Both albums have been remastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. UMC/EMI have announced the March 19 release of half-speed vinyl masters of Dire Straits’ immortal 1985 album Brothers In Arms, and Mark Knopfler’s revered soundtrack to Bill Forsyth’s 1983 movie Local Hero. Both albums have been remastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. They will be available on 180gsm black vinyl with a series branded obi-strip and a certificate of authenticity from Abbey Road Studios. The double vinyl Brothers In Arms will have a full colour outer sleeve with printed inner sleeves; Local Hero will have a full colour outer sleeve with a facsimile of the original artwork. The massively successful Brothers In Arms was Dire Straits’ fifth studio album. It went on to be one of the biggest-selling releases in recording history, with ten-times platinum status in the UK (the first record ever to achieve such status) and nine-times platinum in the US.

Volbeat reissuing debut album ‘The Strength/The Sound/The Songs’ on vinyl: Volbeat has announced a 15th anniversary vinyl reissue of the band’s 2005 debut album, The Strength/The Sound/The Songs. The package will be released on a trio of different color options, including a glow-in-the-dark green exclusive to indie record stores, on March 26. The Strength/The Sound/The Songs provided the first glimpse at Volbeat’s unique combination of hard rock and metal with rockabilly. It brought the Danish rockers attention in Europe, but only received a limited U.S. release. Volbeat’s sound eventually made its way stateside beginning with their fourth studio effort, 2010’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, and the band’s remained a rock radio mainstay ever since. Volbeat’s most recent album is 2019’s Rewind, Replay, Rebound.

Pixies leader Black Francis sets out vinyl reissue series: A total of 12 albums from Black Francis will be released throughout 2021 on coloured vinyl – with The Cult Of Ray and Oddballs set for launch in February. Pixies frontman Black Francis will reissue 12 of his albums on coloured vinyl throughout the course of 2021. Nine of the records have never been released on vinyl before, with the Frank Black-stamped The Cult Of Ray and Oddballs the first pair to hit store shelves on February 12. Those will be followed on April 16 by Francis Black Francis, Honeycomb and Fast Man Raider Man, with Bluefinger and Live At The Hotel Utah Saloon arriving on July 2. September 3 will see Svn Fngrs and Live in Nijmegen reissued, with the collection concluding with NonStopErotik, The Golem and Paley & Francis on November 27. All 12 are being reissued by Demon Records. Francis says: “Salutations from the Twilight Zone, and if you think I mean the 1960s sci-fi television programme, you are correct – I am quite literally inside of a 1960s sci-fi TV programme. And in that context, Demon have allowed me to correct certain anachronisms in my published works and are releasing some for the first time on vinyl.”

Jazz Corner: Vinyl and The Rebirth of The Long-Playing Record: The 12” vinyl became a standard vehicle for recorded music: A friend called the other day, in pre-COVID-19 times that is, and said he had a bottle of South African wine which would go perfectly with jazz heard on vinyl. Could he bring the bottle over? Could we have a vinyl jazz listening session? A really good idea, sirjee! Now my friend is very well-traveled and is a man of eclectic taste. He has been to several jazz festivals around the world and has an impressive collection of jazz. But that is almost a totally digital collection with plenty of compact discs and hard drives. We had a great session of listening to jazz on vinyl, and he was right: That wine was well paired with the jazz that evening. Maybe a mellow red goes well with Bill Evans, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. The experiment is certainly worth repeating soon!

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In rotation: 1/27/21

Vancouver, CA | Rik’s Picks keeping the love of vinyl on hifi: New vintage record shop opens in Port Alberni. When Rik Abel got laid off, he decided it might be time to do something new. The web developer turned to his love of music and has opened Rik’s Picks, a vintage record shop in Port Alberni on Johnston Road. The store boasts more than 5,000 albums and a wide variety of amps, speakers and turntables. He moved to Port Alberni two years ago from England, but has been visiting with family in the Valley for 25 years and has made the community home. Abel’s large collection of vinyl came primarily from two collectors in the community, including stock from Portal Oddities and Curios, a shop in Harbour Quay that closed last year. Since opening in the late fall, Rik’s Picks has had a “steady stream” of people in the store, says Abel. “There have been some nerdy hi-fi conversations with guys who have come in,” laughs Abel, who says many people are happy to see a vintage record store in town.

Record Store Recs: Luna Shadows Invites Us Into Her Los Angeles Vinyl Daydream: “…It’s been a while since I’ve been to a record store in person due to COVID-19, but what I miss most is the flow-state that you can get into while looking through seas of titles. I have so many amazing memories of times I went to record stores with my friends where we all split up, didn’t speak for hours, ended up together at the check-out counter, and finally spent the whole car ride home talking about our finds. Permanent Records (temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but taking online orders) is my local record store in Echo Park—previously the same space that housed Origami Records. I go in here all the time not only to buy records, but also to buy supplies to ship my own records. In non-pandemic times, I would go here on occasion to see local artists perform. Additionally, the bar across the street, El Prado, used to host Origami’s Record Store Night, which was always a blast.

Why I Sold A Significant Classic Rock Vinyl Collection In 2008 and Never Looked Back: There are Baby Boomer writers over at Stereophile and TAS pulling out their Jerry Del Colliano voodoo dolls as I type in preparation for this article being published. You see, the audiophile community doesn’t like change. In fact, they despise it with every fiber of their beings. In the eyes of the elders who still control the hobby to this day, poorly performing “vintage” tube amps are somehow better than the most state of the art Class-D amps. Digital room correction (or even equalization, despite EQ being used on every track of every recording audiophiles listen to, as well as on the “house speakers,” in the mastering lab, and beyond) is looked upon as evil, because it uses actual science to measure the physical acoustics of a room, and provides digital solutions that can provide wholesale upgrades. These fly in the face of the “preamp of the week club” or blindly changing out expensive, inaccurate, EQed cables in search of one’s own personal audio utopia. But no one retro move in the audiophile hobby has been more hurtful to the business and broken in logic than the so-called comeback of vinyl. [An opinion we think is well, dumb. —Ed.]

Legendary Music Label Philadelphia International Records Celebrates 50th Anniversary In 2021: Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Chappell Music, the global publishing arm of Warner Music Group, are thrilled to announce today the launch of the yearlong campaign in 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of music’s most historic record labels, Philadelphia International Records. The anniversary campaign will highlight the extraordinary musical output of this storied label and spotlight milestone musical moments, artists and songs from the remarkable Philadelphia International Records family that have defined the landmark label and its incredible impact over the past 50 years. Throughout the year, Legacy Recordings, Warner Chappell Music and Philadelphia International Records will collaborate on an exciting series of exclusive partnerships, product and content releases, artist initiatives and much more.

San Diego, CA | Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold Virtual In-Store Performance: Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold will commemorate the release of Shore on vinyl & CD at independent record stores with a virtual in-store performance, streaming at NoonChorus. Fans can get access to the mini solo set by pre-ordering the album now at their local indie retailer, or by purchasing in the store or curbside on the weekend of its release, February 5. Available on an exclusive crystal clear 2LP vinyl set at independent record stores only. A limited edition Fleet Foxes art print by Bailey Elder will also be available as a free gift-with-purchase while supplies last. Praised by critics upon release, Shore topped year-end lists securing spots in the top 5 in Uncut, 6Music and Mojo, Uproxx, and placing on numerous lists including The New Yorker, NPR, Pitchfork, USA Today, Stereogum, Rolling Stone, and more stateside. Shore is also finding strong support from non-comm radio having secured #1 on JBE non-comm chart for the 14th week in a row.

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In rotation: 1/26/21

Mesa, AZ | In Far East Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic Is a Vintage-and-Vinyl Paradise: In a nondescript strip mall in east Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic advertises itself with a large banner that reads: Vintage Records. Inside is a pop culture wonderland offering not just a sizable amount of vinyl, but an impressive selection of books, board games, figurines, and comic books — inventory fueled by the proprietor’s passion for nostalgia. In a nondescript strip mall in east Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic advertises itself with a large banner that reads: Vintage Records. Inside is a pop culture wonderland offering not just a sizable amount of vinyl, but an impressive selection of books, board games, figurines, and comic books — inventory fueled by the proprietor’s passion for nostalgia. …“I didn’t have any money, and I didn’t want to work at Walmart,” he says. “I’m a big collector, so I figured maybe people would buy collectibles.” Once he noticed his vinyl sales beat out all other items, he opened his own record store. Uncle Aldo’s Attic, which has been around for about three years, is located at 6016 East McKellips Road.

Canton, OH | Hoover grad achieves longtime dream of opening a record shop: Josh Harris has vivid memories of his dad playing Alice Cooper and Deep Purple records for him when he was 5 or 6. “I couldn’t get enough of it,” he said. Later, as a teenager at Hoover High School, his future goal was clear-cut: “I had no intention but to be a rock star.” Harris, now 39, never became a rock star, although he did play in a few area bands and still records music in his basement. But last June he achieved his longtime goal of opening a record shop, Dr. Frankenstein’s House of Wax, where he sells albums, used and new, by a who’s who of rock ‘n’ rollers. “This is something I wanted to do for the last three or four years,” Harris said. His machinist job at a shop in Stow had slowed to a crawl due to COVID-19 — “I was pushing a broom eight hours a day,” he said — so he decided to take the plunge.

The best record player of 2021: In just the first half of 2020, there was $232.1 million in vinyl LP and EP sales in the US, far exceeding the total revenue for CD sales during the same time. Vinyl records have had such a resurgence, in fact, that brands like Vinyl Me, Please now offer record of the month subscription services, you can buy your own personalized LP and there’s even an annual Record Store Day when limited-edition vinyl releases can be purchased from local shops. Heck, even Barnes & Noble sells records. But why the popularity in 2021? Well, for starters, manually playing a record can be an extremely satisfying and intimate experience — a feeling that hasn’t changed in a century. It lends itself to being more engaged with the music and listening to albums in their entirety as opposed to skipping around tracks. And many audiophiles will argue that you’ll get a fuller sound from playing an album on vinyl versus digitally, perhaps even hearing more instruments, tones or other minute details that sometimes get lost in compressed formats (though this is hotly debated).

Quebec, CA | A new vinyl press in Quebec: Vinyl is popular! In the United States, in 2020, sales of 33 rpm’s even exceeded those of good old compact discs. Imagine! If this is not yet the case in Quebec, the craze is indeed there. Until recently, to get their precious retro-looking albums pressed, local artists had to do business with companies located in the United States, Europe or even Toronto and Prince Edward Island. Good news, our musicians can now have their vinyls pressed in Quebec City, in the Saint-Roch district, at the Société des Loisirs located on Dorchester Street. We bought a lot of vinyl outside Quebec City because we couldn’t necessarily find a record store that looked like us. We started to think about creating a new place in Quebec and quickly took on the idea of ​​a café, says Olivier. Jean-François Bilodeau, Olivier Bresse and Audrey Lapointe are lovers of music and their neighborhood. With the SDL, the three investors wanted to create a place of meeting and exchange.

KISS’ ‘Killers’ Set To Return In Strictly Limited Double Disc Vinyl Edition: Released on March 12, ‘Killers’ marks the very first vinyl reissue by KISS to be released as a half-speed master. After the band recently made headlines with their record-breaking New Year’s Eve livestream event (“KISS 2020 Goodbye”) and the launch of their own rum, the KISS fan community can now look forward to a very high-quality, exclusive vinyl edition: Killers, the band’s second best-of album from 1982 will be released on 12 March as a strictly limited and numbered 2LP edition. This is the very first vinyl reissue by KISS to be released as a half-speed master. Following on from the reissue of their first best-of album Double Platinum in summer 2019, KISS’ Killers compilation is now finally following on vinyl. The new edition – which is strictly limited to 4,000 copies worldwide – is based on the remastered CD edition that was last available exclusively in Japan. Killers will be released as a lavishly-designed 2LP on translucent pink heavyweight vinyl (180g) in a gatefold cover (printed on silver foil), and includes a fold-out Leporello art print and a bonus sticker.

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In rotation: 1/25/21

Troy, NY | New record store coming to Troy – do you have these on vinyl? Shopping online can be quick and easy but there are some items you want to see, hold and hear before buying. For me, purchasing a vinyl record needs to happen in a store. If you feel the same we will have a new Capital Region shop to flip through by this Spring. Welcome Sound House Records, King Street in Troy! Saratoga Living reports that those behind Sound House Records chose Troy because they were drawn to the city’s walkable downtown area and its strong community vibe. As far as the vibe of the store, it is expected to be a place where “you’ll be able to walk into Sound House, whether you’re an avid collector or new radical, and not feel like you’re being put down or forced to buy the coolest new record or rarest, most expensive item.” I will never forget my very first vinyl. When I was about 10 years old I went to our local department store and purchased Destroyer by KISS and I never looked back. I used to stare at the cover and wonder if they were real people or super heroes or something. Hey, I was 10.

Peoria, IL | Open for Business: Peoria record store owner pushes back health blackouts, pandemic to spin the songs: At the age of 73, Craig Moore has always been surrounded by the sounds of music. His father bought him his first kindergarten record player. “It was magical, you know. What came out of those records was just amazing. And anyway, he stuck, “he said. The gift sparked Moore’s passion for playing music. He joined a rock and roll band in the 1960s. But it was where Moore went during this time that brought to light another of his passions. Moore said, “Any band I’ve been in – if we were going to a town, the first place I went was the record store. I would find the record store and go. It was then that the wheels began to turn for Moore. In 1984, he opened his own record store on Main Street in Peoria. In 1998, it expanded to University Street, calling the store Younger Than Yesterday. “I thought it would be cool to be that kind of cranky guy behind the counter who knows all about [records]. You know and maybe I’ll put up with you and maybe I won’t.

Waukesha, WI | New Store Sells Nostalgia And Music In Waukesha: Nostalgia Music & More specializes in old vinyl and ’90s video games. Break out the grungy flannel shirts from the ’90s and reminisce about the time you were all that and a bag of chips: Stephen Howitz has opened a store called Nostalgia Music & More, 321 W. Main St. in Waukesha. The store is a buy, sell and trade business featuring pre-owned video games and records in a variety of genres from decades past. “It always has been my dream. I worked in record stores when I was a kid until I was 23,” Howitz told Patch. Howitz now works as a lawyer by day but is also a music enthusiast with nearly 4,000 records in his home collection. He is slowly merging records from his collection into the store’s inventory when he feels ready to part with them. The feeling of nostalgia is a hard habit to break for Howitz. “We are always chasing that feeling. Like the feeling of opening up ‘[a] Zelda’ for Nintendo 64 on Christmas,” Howitz said.

Winston-Salem, NC | Alan “Phred” Rainey, owner of Earshot Music store in Winston-Salem, has died: After Alan “Phred” Rainey become the owner of the Earshot Music store in Winston-Salem, he reaffirmed his commitment to his customers and the music they cherished, a business associate and a relative say. “He (Rainey) loved his customers,” said Jane Buck of Winston-Salem, who as an independent contractor did marketing and bookkeeping for the music store. “He loved the community, and he loved his music. He loved bringing all of that together.” Rainey was a fixture in the city, Buck said. “He could find anything that people were looking for,” Buck said. “He connected people to the music that they were looking for. He was a special guy.” Phred Rainey, 56, died Tuesday after a long battle with leukemia, said his brother, Mark Rainey of Greensboro. “One of the things that touched me were how many people who were influenced by him,” Mark Rainey said. “Everybody said he was so kind. He had very strong passion for music, and he shared that.”

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In rotation: 1/22/21

Create Your Own Custom Vinyl Record at These 8 Record Shops: To say vinyl is having a moment would, of course, dismiss the seven decades in which it has had many, many moments. But there’s no denying that over the last year, with live music—and most other social activities—off the table, we’ve all spent more time at home nesting, perfecting our vinyl record listening setups, and enjoying the pure relaxation that comes with putting our feet up and just listening. While finding vintage vinyl records online is top of mind for most collectors, custom vinyl records (as in, creating your own compilation on vinyl) are equally intriguing to long-time record enthusiasts. Not only is it a treat to have the vinyl experience (and sound quality) for your own hand-picked playlist, making a custom record also allows you to design a memorable keepsake, whether for yourself or a loved one.

Bloomington, IN | Bloomington music store Tracks sees rise in vinyl sales during pandemic: Vinyl record sales were already rising, with last year being their 15th straight year of growth. But with the pandemic, they’ve been stratospheric with 27.54 million records sold in 2020. This trend has helped independent record stores across the country, including Bloomington music store, Tracks. There were more vinyl sales than CD sales last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. “(Records are) huge now, especially during lockdown,” IU junior and Tracks senior associate Emily Morris said. “I feel like everybody was kind of looking for a hobby.” Morris said the store’s vinyl sales were high during the beginning of the pandemic. When they were closed in March and April, Tracks was getting about 20 online record orders daily. …Morris said the store carries records and CDs covering genres such as pop, rock, jazz, country, reggae, blues and hip-hop. The majority of the vinyl selection is newer music, she said.

San Marcos, TX | San Marcos record store memorabilia to be sold online in honor of late owner: A beloved record store in San Marcos is getting new life. Thomas Escalante, a Sundance Records team member and close family friend of late owner Bobby Barnard, said old items from the record store will be sold online to honor Barnard’s memory. Barnard passed away in August 2020. The store closed in 2012, but is set to reopen later this year. The announcement, made on Facebook, has created a lot of buzz in the community. From the feedback the Facebook post received, it’s clear the store and Bobby are still deeply loved in the community. We will have more details on when items will be put online and up for sale.

Watertown, MA | Wanna Hear It Records fills the emo void in Watertown: Roughly 15 minutes after opening on a Sunday afternoon, Wanna Hear It Records already has a line of eager audiophiles waiting outside. In the month since the Watertown record shop has opened, owner Joey Cahill says lines on the weekends are common, as customers patiently await their turn to pursue the intimate store’s selection of punk, hardcore, hip-hop, and indie music. But above all, they’re showing up to purchase emo albums. “After every weekend, it looks like it’s half-filled,” Cahill says of the indie/emo section of the store. “It gets picked over so much that we actually had to condense it a little, because it looked so empty. I place orders every day, and it seems like half of the stuff is to replenish [what’s been sold].” Cahill, who moved to Massachusetts four-and-a-half years ago, launched Wanna Hear It with over 20 years’ experience in the music business as the owner and founder of 6131 Records. Raised in California, Cahill says he’s visited music shops across the country, but has often seen a lack of decent emo music in independent record stores.

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Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment
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