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

In rotation: 2/14/19

Fort Collins, TX | Old Town Fort Collins welcomes new spot for vintage vinyl: Joining Bizarre Bazaar and All Sales Vinyl in the Fort Collins record store fam is the ‘new’ Little Horse Vintage — although, the location is really the only thing new about it. Little Horse originally opened in Downtown Louisville, but expanded with the recently-opened Little Horse North on Pine Street in Old Town. Their new home is the historic Asmus Sign building, where they carry vintage vinyl, stereo equipment, musical instruments and more. And, if they’d let me live in there, I would.

Alexandria, VA | A Look Inside One of the Country’s Biggest Vinyl Record Plants. We went behind the scenes at Alexandria’s Furnace Record Pressing. From the outside, Furnace Record Pressing looks like any other nondescript Alexandria warehouse. But once you get past the glass front doors, a whole music-geek world unfolds before you: thousands of freshly pressed records in all sorts of enticing colors. This 50,000-square-foot facility can right now crank out 11,000 records a day. Some hold tunes from superstars such as Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, while others feature more esoteric fare. Furnace was founded as a much smaller operation in 1996 by Eric Astor, who’s also a musician and label co-owner. But this new plant—which started making disks in November—has recently transformed it into one of the country’s biggest vinyl-manufacturing outfits.

Austin, TX | UT student keeps collection of vinyl records worth $12,600: Over a year’s worth of tuition in the form of records lies in Michael West’s home. For the past 10 years, architecture junior West has collected over 400 vinyl records ranging from Aerosmith to Manchester Orchestra. Now, he catalogs them through an online database. Although the collection currently resides with his family in Plano, Texas, he continues searching for records to fill his collection. West began collecting around sixth grade when his father gave him a broken turntable. After West fixed it, his father gave him his first five records: two KISS records, two Beatles and Elton John. From the beginning, West said he’s always viewed his records as a collection. “(Collecting records) was different, especially in middle school when nobody had money or collecting hobbies,” West said.

Berlin, DE | Berlin club Griessmuehle is opening a record store. The new shop is right next door to the Neukölln club. Berlin club Griessmuehle is opening a record shop called Latitude. It’s located at Sonnenallee 221, next door to the Neukölln club, in the building that the Record Loft briefly occupied before closing last year. The club’s programming includes a range of genres, including house, techno, disco and UK bass, which will likely be reflected in the record shop’s stock. Latitude is hosting an opening party to celebrate the launch this weekend. It goes down Friday, February 15th, from 2 PM to midnight. There’s currently no lineup listed.

David Bowie 7-inch vinyl box set of demos and unreleased songs available in April: With 2019 marking 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, “Space Oddity,” Parlophone is set to release a 7″ vinyl singles boxed set of nine previously unreleased recordings* from the era during which “Space Oddity” was first conceived. The title SPYING THROUGH A KEYHOLE is a lyric taken from the previously unknown song “Love All Around” and though most of the other titles are known, these versions have never been officially released until late last year (see footnote). Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances, unless otherwise stated. The photography that adorns the box front and the print inside is by Ray Stevenson and was taken in Tony Visconti’s flat in the summer of 1968.

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In rotation: 2/13/19

Record Store Day Announces 2019 Ambassador: Pearl Jam | Record Store Day Is Saturday, April 13, 2019: To say, “we’ve been waiting a long time for this,” would be an understatement, but today, we at Record Store Day are proud announce our Record Store Day 2019 Ambassador: Pearl Jam. We couldn’t be more pleased. Not just because, like easily two generations of fans, we love Pearl Jam. Or because Pearl Jam have ten studio albums, hundreds of unique live performance releases and official live concert bootleg releases under their belts. Or because 2017 saw them inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. We love Pearl Jam, who continue to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful with over 85 million albums sold worldwide, because they are, at their core, music fans… just like us. And because of this, Record Store Day and Pearl Jam are a match made in music heaven.

Bloomfield, PA | Juke Records in Bloomfield to close: The little vinyl haven at 4526 Liberty Ave. in Bloomfield is going to need another savior. Juke Records posted on its Facebook page Sunday a sign showing that the store will be closing before its lease is up in the summer. It promised a massive liquidation sale. “Fortunately, Pittsburgh has a lot of record stores. Unfortunately, our time is up,” the store posted. The site has been a record store since 1974 when Jim’s Records moved in. When Jim Spitznagel moved on, it became Paul’s CDs, under Paul Olszewski, from 1993 to 2012. Then it was Sound Cat, owned by Karl Hendricks, before the beloved Pittsburgh indie-rock musician died of cancer. Jeff Gallagher, a longtime customer from Butler dating back to Jim’s, opened Juke Records in August 2016, keeping the space stocked with new and used vinyl. “There’s nothing we could do about it,” he said of the closing. “It’s never been a viable entity. My approach was that I wanted it to be the best store for new vinyl, and I think it was, but it was very difficult…”

Bloomfield, PA | One Of Pittsburgh’s Oldest Record Stores To Close. It’s a sad day for vinyl lovers around town. For more than 40 years, the tiny storefront at 4526 Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield has housed a record shop under various names and owners – Jim’s, Paul’s, Sound Cat and Juke. But it looks as though the store that was around long before music streaming and even the compact disc finally will shut its doors. Juke announced via a Facebook post that the store will be permanently closing before its lease is up this summer. While the loss of the store would be a blow to veteran record collectors and the Bloomfield business district, a number of places around Pittsburgh still sell vinyl – among them Jerry’s in Squirrel Hill, Eide’s in the Strip District, the Attic in Millvale, Dave’s Music Mine on the South Side, Get Hip on the North Side and Rather Ripped in Brookline.

UK | HMV Peterborough staff who lost their jobs hopeful store will re-open: Former staff at HMV in Peterborough who lost their jobs after the store suddenly closed are hopeful it will reopen. It was announced last Tuesday that the Queensgate branch was one of 27 to shut despite the well-known chain being rescued from administration by the Canadian company Sunrise Records. Among the 14 people to lose their jobs in Peterborough were staff who had been there for 20 years, some of whom are now struggling financially due to the sudden loss of income. However, there is renewed hope that the store will reopen after an interview in The Guardian with Doug Putman, the boss of Sunrise Records, who said he is in talks with landlords of the 27 outlets which closed down. In addition, the former staff at the Queensgate store have been inspired after a branch of the Fopp record shop chain in Glasgow was saved from closure after an outcry from customers and musicians.

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In rotation: 2/12/19

Sunderland, UK | Long live our record shops: In a week of bad news on the job front, here in Sunderland, I was very pleased to hear that the HMV shop in The Bridges Shopping Centre has been saved from closure. It, along with Hot Rats Records, can continue to offer music fans an outlet to buy their vinyl and CDs and in the case of HMV films. In this age of downloads and streaming the joy of owning a solid copy of an album or film still has its appeal. I can still remember buying Tubular Bells and being jokingly told “You can’t listen to it on old tin cans”. Going through the brown boxes of singles on a Friday in my hunt for something special, struggling with two arms full of LPs when HMV on High Street had one of its sales or buying my first Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band LP from that small corner record shop (whose name is now lost in the mists of time) situated at the bottom of Church Street, Seaham. My singles, LPs, cassettes and videos are still playable today and the look and feel of an LP or iconic album sleeve cover or record label design can still excite.

Jersey City, NJ | After 25 years, last day nears for Jersey City record store: 1994 was a bad year for records. With CD sales booming, vinyl sales accounted for less than 1 percent of all music purchases that year. Even cassettes made up nearly a quarter of sales. Still, DJs and hip-hop artists and college students still bought old records, so there was a market when Stephen Gritzan opened Iris Records in a Brunswick Street storefront on March 1, 1994. Flash forward 25 years and vinyl sales now hover around 5 percent of all music sales. But the boost in sales is not enough for Gritzan, 59, who will shut down Iris Records for good on Saturday. “It’s sad, but what are you going to do?” Gritzan told The Jersey Journal. “I think it’s time.” There’s no one reason. The rent has skyrocketed, Gritzan said, to $4,000 monthly, up from $700 when he first opened, making the store the least profitable arm of his record selling business, which includes online sales.

UK | New hope Plymouth and Exeter HMV stores could re-open. Canadian owner enters talks with landlords in bid to reopen the 27 stores that shut when he rescued the chain. There are hopes the closed HMV stores in Plymouth and Exeter can be saved as it emerged the chain’s new Canadian owner is in talks with landlords. Doug Putman, the 34-year-old boss of Canada’s Sunrise Records, rescued HMV from administration in January 2019, seeing off a bid from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley. But he immediately closed 27 of the 127 branches, including the flagship Oxford Street store in London, and those in Plymouth’s Drake Circus Shopping Centre and Exeter’s Princesshay. Experts said that he had clearly targeted the stores with the highest rents and rates bills for closures. The Plymouth store is shut but after a week all the goods inside had not been touched.

Oceanside, CA | Riley Hawk Opens Record Store Cafe in Oceanside. It’s the latest project from the pro skater, who also fronts a local sludge punk band called Waris. Need an extra buzz? Check out Tony Hawk’s son Riley’s new coffee shop and record store that just opened this week in Oceanside. It’s the latest project from the pro skater, who also fronts a local sludge punk band called Warish that just released their self-titled debut EP. The new shop is called Steel Mill Coffee and features some hand-picked vinyl for sale, ranging from “obscure hard rock to psychedelic,” according to Eater San Diego. To top it all of, they’re currently serving James Coffee Co. beans, the roasting company co-owned by ex-Angels and Airwaves guitarist, David Kennedy. It’s not exactly a new venture for the Hawk family, considering Tony was an investor in Blue Bottle Coffee. That paid off handsomely for him, so hopefully it does for Riley as well.

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In rotation: 2/11/19

Glasgow, SCT | Glasgow Fopp saved from closure after customer outcry: Fopp on Byres Road will stay open after being marked for closure in a deal to save HMV. A Glasgow branch of the Fopp record stores on has been saved from closure after an outcry from customers and musicians. Fopp on Byres road was to be one of 27 stores closed as part of a deal which saved the collapsed HMV business. Customers and musicians alike hit out at the decision to close the store. However, after negotiations an agreement has been reached to save the popular record store. A spokesman for HMV said: “This is the best outcome for everyone and we are delighted to share the good news with all those who have been so supportive over the past weeks. “There has been a huge amount of goodwill and a tremendous groundswell of support…”

Glasgow, SCT | A double album of memories: looking back at our love affair with record shops: The anguish that greeted the news that the Fopp record store in Glasgow’s Byres Road has been closed was a reminder of the emotional attachment that many of us have to such places. The shop was one of those earmarked for closure after its owner, HMV, was itself rescued from collapse this week by Canadian music entrepreneur Doug Putman. Of the chain’s 127 stores, 100 will continue to operate, safeguarding nearly 1,500 jobs. The shuttering of the other 27, including Fopp Byres Road, and HMVs in Ayr and at Braehead, means the loss of 455 jobs, to be followed by 122 warehouse jobs in the weeks ahead. The hashtag SaveFoppByresRoad quickly flourished on Twitter. “An absolute institution and an cultural and musical oasis in the west end of the city, enriching, edifying and bringing sheer joy to sooooo many people’s lives at affordable prices,” wrote actor Gavin Mitchell.

UK | HMV’s new voice is relishing the fight to save all the stores. ‘Vinyl nut’ Doug Putman takes on the landlords and says he’s hopeful for the Oxford Street flagship. The new owner of HMV is hoping to reopen the chain’s flagship store on Oxford Street, and is in talks with landlords on the rest of the 27 outlets which closed down earlier this week. Doug Putman, the 34-year-old boss of Canada’s Sunrise Records, rescued 100 HMV stores from administration, beating off a bid from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley. But branches such as Oxford Street, with higher rents, were not included in the deal. Speaking to the Guardian, Putman said he was optimistic that these outlets could be reopened: “Where certain stores have closed, our public have really rallied around and I credit that with some of the landlords coming back to us,” he said. “They can see how much support we are getting.” …“Our goal is to keep all 127,” he said. “I think there’s hope [for Oxford Street]. We would love to keep it open, it is such an iconic store. We would even be willing to keep it open and lose money. Customers love it.”

Cardiff, Wales | The story of the UK’s oldest record shop Spillers and the woman who saved it from extinction. Spillers is thriving and it’s thanks to Ashli Todd. It may have only taken a little over 35 years, but I’m finally about to experience something which was once a source of endless fascination. Then, as an eager young music fan experiencing my own musical rites of passage, I regularly visited Spillers Records to buy the latest eagerly-awaited seven-inch single or album. On every visit, the back room of the shop – famed for being the world’s oldest record store – provided endless fascination. It was where the staff would disappear before re-emerging with your chosen prized item. It was a place that held mystical qualities for this young record purchaser. Although I never saw it, I figured it was some sort of Aladdin’s cave, a glittering treasure trove of vinyl.

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In rotation: 2/8/19

Washington, DC | Red Onion Records Moving from U Street to Hyattsville in March, Reopening in the Fall! Let’s get serious folks – 13 years ago I moved to DC with no job, a cat, a gal, and lots and lots of records. I found a little basement space on 18th St and opened Red Onion Records & Books. The ceiling was low, so was the rent, and we really loved our time there. We had parties, book readings, so many great in-store performances, it was truly a magical place. Nine years later we packed everything up and moved out of the basement and a few blocks over to a bright and sunny space on U St. I’ve loved our time there and all the new faces we’ve met, but it’s time to say goodbye to DC. We’ll be closing up the shop in March, taking a little break, and opening the Hyattsville location in the fall. This wasn’t an easy decision, but we’re looking forward to what the future will bring. I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everybody who has ever been a part of this crazy adventure, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Auburn, AL | From professor to DJ: The heart of Doctor Punk resides in 12,000 albums: …For Stanwick, no matter how many times a song is streamed, without a little backstory to the lyrics, the song remains only a collection of sounds — a few notes and keys that can be disposed if not careful. “[Today’s music] is just part of the background,” Stanwick said. “It’s just there. There’s not the emotional attachment to songs I think that there used to be.” It’s one of the reasons Stanwick holds onto each of the hundreds of ticket stubs from all of the concerts he’s attended, why he continues to add to his immense vinyl and CD collection and why he records every show on cassette. “I embrace this idea that the physical copy of the music is so important — to look at the lyrics, look at who wrote the songs, who produced the songs,” Stanwick said. “All those things I think are extremely valuable to help you understand the core parts of the music.”

Hamilton, CA | Hamilton man behind Sunrise Records just saved HMV — betting his money on vinyl. In a digital age, Doug Putman has a steadfast belief people like to have and collect things. Hamilton’s Doug Putman might be the king of vinyl right now. His Ancaster-based company — Sunrise Records — just struck a deal to buy British retailer HMV out of bankruptcy in purchase that will keep most of the locations in Britain open. In a world where media from music to movies is increasingly streamed and not sold physically, Putman remains steadfast that there will always be room for tangible mediums — from resurgent vinyl, even to decidedly less popular options like DVDs and CDs. “I think people are always going to buy physical. They want something to collect and have,” Putman said. “I just think it’s not going away.”

New Vinyl Edition Of The Slits’ Landmark Debut ‘Cut’ Set For Release. Produced by Dennis Bovell, ‘Cut’ was originally released in September 1979 and it remains a post-punk touchstone. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, The Slits’ landmark debut album, Cut, is to be reissued on 180-g black vinyl through UMC/ Island Records on 5 April. Overseen by reggae producer Dennis Bovell, Cut was originally released in September 1979 and remains one of the post-punk era’s most seminal releases. The record gained instant notoriety due to its controversial cover image depicting the three Slits – Ari Up, Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt – clad in mud and loincloths. However, the music contained within was every bit as striking. Enhanced by future Siouxsie & The Banshees star Budgie’s crisp, inventive drumming, the girls’ natural quirkiness came careening to the fore on scratchy but exuberant pop-punk tracks including ‘So Tough’, ‘Typical Girls’ and the irreverent, anti-consumerist ‘Shoplifting’, but the album’s spacy sensurround also owed a debt of gratitude to Bovell’s deft studio techniques, which graced highlights such as ‘Adventures Close To Home’ and the football- and TV-dissing ‘Newtown’.

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In rotation: 2/7/19

UK | HMV closure is a ‘body blow’ for Exeter and Plymouth: …HMV administrators, KPMG, have confirmed that the Exeter branch, which occupies one of the largest stores in Princesshay and the store at Drake Circus in Plymouth, are among 27 that will close in a buyout by Canadian retailer Sunrise Records. Staff at the stores, who were informed first thing on Tuesday, will be among the 455 made redundant as a result of the closures. Remaining open will be 100 stores, securing the future of 1,487 store staff. Tim Jones, chairman of the South West Business Council said: “You can’t disguise it, this is a body blow for Exeter and Plymouth. “It is extremely worrying seeing flagship stores that bring people in to the city centres and are mainstays of retailing go one after the other.” The Torquay branch shut in 2003 and the Exeter and Plymouth stores were the last remaining in Devon. It follows a long list of record store closures in Exeter. At one time, the city had an HMV, Virgin Records, Our Price, Solo Music and Martian Records, which have all since closed.

Liverpool, UK | Dig Vinyl – look inside the Bold Street record shop’s new Liverpool home: …Since opening it’s doors in March 2014 Dig Vinyl has quickly become one of Liverpool’s leading lights for record collectors, with many spending hours trawling their stock for the rarities, contemporaries, and collectable records on offer. Formerly housed in the characteristic basement of vintage clothing boutique Soho’s, and having already expanded a few times within there, the time had now come for the guys at Dig Vinyl to make a big jump into a new premises. And on the looks of things that jump was definitely the right one. Now situated on the first floor of Bold Street’s clothing shop Resurrection, the place was a hive of activity when we dropped in on Saturday for our first nosey around the new venue. The brightly lit open space automatically gives a more welcoming feel, this adding the the friendly and very knowledge staff, and vastly expanded collection of records from every age and genre conceivable resulted in us overstaying our visit a bit longer than envisaged.

UK | Sunrise gets ‘physical’ with HMV purchase: Ancaster’s Doug Putnam has become a leading figure in “physical media business” with his company’s purchase of HMV in Britain. You’ve heard about the British invasion — all those rock bands from the United Kingdom that stormed North America in the 1960s? Well, this week there’s a new musical offensive, only this one is going in the opposite direction. Doug Putman — the 34-year-old Hamilton-born owner of Ancaster-based Sunrise Records — has struck a deal to buy 100 bankrupt HMV stores in Britain, pushing aside sporting goods billionaire Mike Ashley, among others, to do it. It makes Putman the head of the only major record-store chain in the U.K. — one that has $400 million in annual sales — and it turns him into one of the world’s leading proponents of “physical media.” “We know the physical media business is here to stay and we greatly appreciate all the support from the suppliers, landlords, employees and, most importantly, our customers,” he said.

UK | Fopp: The rise and fall of a music store empire: It was the mothership of an independent record shop empire that grew from a one-man Glasgow market stall to 100 stores across the UK. Fopp on Byres Road helped shape the musical tastes of thousands of Scots and influenced some of the country’s most popular musicians. But its doors have been closed for good after the chain’s owner, HMV, was bought by Canadian firm Sunrise Records. The deal has also led to the closure of HMV branches in Ayr and Braehead – but it is the loss of the Byres Road branch which has been most keenly felt. Members of bands like Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian and Arab Strap have all described how the Byres Road shop – situated in the heart of Glasgow’s student area – was a key part of their musical education in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite was one of the first to pay tribute to the store’s importance after the news emerged, describing it as “a great place to buy music for as long as I remember.”

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In rotation: 2/6/19

Perth, AU | 78 Records closes in Perth after nearly 48 years, blaming Spotify, retail downturn: Iconic Perth music store 78 Records has announced its closure after almost 48 years in the vinyl business, blaming the rise of streaming services and declining retail conditions for its demise. The business relocated several times to buildings along Hay Street, becoming an institution in Perth’s local music scene, before eventually ending up in a laneway off Murray Street. Current manager Andrew “Fang” de Lang started working at the store in 1986 as a 19-year-old. “When I started we were in an old building next to His Majesty’s (Theatre),” he said. “The thing that attracted you to the shop was that it had this storefront window that you couldn’t see through, but just had album covers in the windows so you couldn’t actually see inside…

UK | Doug Putman: the vinyl fan aiming to put a new spin on HMV. Owner of Canadian chain Sunrise has compared record shopping to a ‘treasure hunt.’ Doug Putman, the Canadian entrepreneur and saviour of HMV, is a self-proclaimed lover of vinyl records who is adamant that bricks-and-mortar music stores are still viable at a time when consumers are ditching CDs in favour of digital downloads. With his purchase of 100 HMV stores in the UK, he is putting his money where his mouth is and has a major challenge ahead to turn around a retail business that has collapsed into administration twice in the last six years. Putman, 34, has a decent track record. His Canadian music chain Sunrise Records has grown from just five stores when he bought it in 2014 to 84 stores today. The bulk of that expansion came in 2017 when he bought 70 of HMV’s stores in Canada after the chain went bust there. Putman says the gamble has paid off, with those stores now making a profit.

UK | HMV reveals which 27 stores are closing as it is sold to Canadian music boss. Oxford Street flagship shut but 100 of chain’s 127 stores will survive under new owner. HMV has been rescued from collapse by a Canadian music entrepreneur, but 27 stores in prime locations have closed, including the site of its first store on London’s Oxford Street. Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, has bought the UK music and film retailer after emerging as the leading contender over the weekend, heading off competition from Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct boss. As part of the deal, 100 HMV shops will remain open, protecting the jobs of nearly 1,500 workers across the stores and head office. However, the immediate closure of 27 stores will lead to 455 job losses and a further 122 warehouse jobs will go in the coming weeks. Closure of the flagship store on Oxford Street signals the end of HMV’s presence on London’s most famous shopping street after nearly a century. That first shop was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar, the British composer.

Portsmouth, UK | Gosport record fair takes people back to their teenage years: Dancing the night away, rocking out to their favourite tunes or just recalling the classics – these were the memories brought back at a record fair over the weekend. The second annual Gosport Record Fair was held at The Fallen Acorn brewery in Mumby Road on Saturday, bringing hundreds of people down to reminisce about the glory days of vinyl – and pick up some new records for their collection. Organised by Kieron Howes from A Slice Of Vinyl, the event was also raising money for Tonic Music for Mental Health in Portsmouth. Visitors to the fair say that some of their favourite memories can be associated with a vinyl record, or a song from their past. Paul Maidment, 56 from Gosport, said: ‘I collect vinyl records that I can get autographed. ‘I had a big collection when I was younger but when CDs came out I got rid of it – and definitely regret it.

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In rotation: 2/5/19

Paris, FR | New record shop Dizonord is opening in Paris. With a two-day opening party featuring over 40 DJs. A new record shop called Dizonord is opening in Paris this Friday 8th February. Dizonord will stock new and secondhand vinyl spanning everything from Afro-funk, synth-pop, Bollywood and folk to zouk, French boogie, disco and field recordings, as well as CDs and magazines. The space will also feature a café and bar, as well as events, screenings and educational workshops for adults and children. Dizonord is hosting a two-day event to celebrate its opening weekend, 8th-9th February, with over 40 DJs lined up to play including Ron Morelli, Zaltan and Concrete. Dizonord is located at 9, Rue André Messager 75018 Paris, in the 18th arrondissement.

UK | HMV sold to Canadian mogul Doug Putman, saving 1,500 jobs. Sunrise Records owner to keep 100 of chain’s 127 stores, including four Fopp outlets. A Canadian music entrepreneur has rescued HMV from collapse, taking over 100 shops and safeguarding 1,500 jobs. Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, has bought the UK music and film retailer after emerging as the leading contender over the weekend, heading off competition from Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct boss. HMV collapsed into administration just after Christmas, blaming tough conditions on UK high streets and competition from streaming sites such as Netflix and Spotify. Under the deal, 27 of HMV’s stores will close immediately with the loss of 455 jobs. A further 122 warehouse jobs will be lost in the weeks to come. In a statement announcing the deal, Putman said: “We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK and add nearly 1,500 employees to our growing team. By catering to music and entertainment lovers, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to engage customers with a diverse range of physical format content, and replicate our success in Canada.

Toronto, CA | In Toronto’s booming vinyl scene, record shops are finding a groove: The Tiny Record Shop’s recent expansion into not-quite-so-tiny new digs is, Trevor Larocque admits, largely “an illusion.” But its symbolic value stands. An endangered species just a decade ago, the record shop has clawed its way off the critical list on the back of the vinyl LP’s commercial resurgence in recent years and was in thoroughly stable condition in Toronto as 2018 drew to a close. An informed bet would be that there will be more record shops on our streets, not less, at the end of 2019. Larocque and his partner, Maude Fallon-Davesne, for instance, opened their record nook in a 77-square-foot space at Queen St. and Broadview Ave. in the back of gift shop Token four years ago as a pseudo pop-up enterprise intended to rid their home of half of the vast record collection he’d been accumulating since junior high and clear some space for two young children. It went so well that, this past November, the Tiny Record Shop relocated to decidedly more permanent-feeling digs

Perth, AU | Final spin of the turntable for Perth music institution 78 Records after 47 years in business: A Perth music institution is set to close its doors, killed off by the proliferation of online streaming services and tough economic times for bricks and mortar retailers. In a post to its followers on Facebook on Monday afternoon, 78 Records said that after 47 years in the vinyl business, it would unplug the turntable at its upstairs outlet off Murray Street mall for the last time next month. “This decision is due to the current economic and retail climate, with a substantial increase in streaming services at the expense of physical products,” the post from 78’s Andrew ‘Fang’ de Lang said. “We thank all our customers, past and present, for their patronage; indeed we have enjoyed those 47 years of commitment and devotion to the cause of music.

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In rotation: 2/4/19

Howell, NJ | Iconic Record Store Closing In Howell Soon: Two businesses are winding up their final days in Howell, with The Record Store closing this weekend, and Sears at Howell Plaza shuttering in just over two weeks. The Record Store, which has been a fixture in the community for 30 years, will have its final two days of business Saturday and Sunday, according to the store’s Facebook page. The shop announced its plans to close in mid-December, as the owner, Jeff Laga, decided it was time to pursue the next chapter in his life: “He has been involved with the music business now for over 45 years. The Record Store did start out as a record store in Howell, 30 years ago. He has seen many ups as well as many downs but he has stuck with it all this time. However, in the last few years he has found his enthusiasm waning and more importantly, his heart has just not been in the business anymore.”

Surrey, UK | Record store offers band poster for Twitter followers who promote appeal for sleeping bags: Banquet Records in Kingston are supporting an appeal from Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). The Kingston-based homelessness charity put out an appeal for extra sleeping bags earlier today (February 1) in light of the severe winter weather conditions hitting the area this week. In a show of solidarity with the work KCAH do, staff at Banquet Records took to the Kingston shop’s Twitter account to help raise awareness and support for the appeal, which was promoted by KCAH on the site, offering a poster featuring The 1975, a band popular at the record store. KCAH’s initial appeal posted to Twitter said: “If you have a good condition WARM sleeping bag in good condition still in its sleeve to donate, please pop into our office today. Thank you so much!” …Speaking to the Surrey Comet on Friday, John Tolley from Banquet said: “We know the people who run the shelter and it’s a really good and important thing they do. Obviously you just need to look outside — the weather’s horrible — and anything we can do to help them, we should.

Phoenix, AZ | ‘Revolver Records was bigger than its records’: Closing store sees its last First Friday: Among the art, food trucks and local dives, Revolver Records was always a hub for First Fridays in downtown Phoenix. Friday, Feb. 1, seemed like any other First Friday. There was a steady flow of people, some hauling out records in stacks, walking in and out of the small record store’s doors with music and art surrounding the red building outside. Families, college kids and avid record collectors browsed through a variety of music from Captain and Tennille and Jose Feliciano, to Anne Murray and Paul Young. But on closer inspection, a white sign was taped on the front door stating “Goodbye Roosevelt Row! Store Closing Sale! 50 percent off everything! Everything Must Go!” People who hadn’t heard the news were surprised. They asked employees if it was true.

Sioux Falls, SD | Vinyl Taco serves up Mexican and classic rock in the old Bucks location: Sioux Falls diners love their tacos, and it showed this week when Vinyl Taco opened in the old Borrowed Bucks spot near the Western Mall. Vinyl Taco opened its restaurant space Thursday, and its first day in business at 3609 S. Western Ave. was a success, co-owner Kirk Keupp said. Keupp is part of a team of investors who also owned the Bucks and J.L. Beers brands. Vinyl Taco is the most recent of the group’s restaurants to make its way from the Fargo market to Sioux Falls. It mixes a wide variety of Mexican dishes with classic rock, all played on Vinyl Taco’s selection of about 1,000 vinyl records. “We spin albums every day,” Keupp said.

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In rotation: 2/1/19

Hollywood, CA | Vinyl Collectors Flock to Hollywood for Free Record Day: Events like “Free Record Day” at the Record Parlour in Hollywood have been bringing in collectors from all over Southern California. With hundreds of thousands of albums in stock, Chris Hotenschlaeger opened the Record Parlour five years ago as the vinyl Renaissance was kicking into high gear. “We are blessed,” said Hotenschlaeger. “We’re Los Angeles. We have all the records you could ever imagine. But there’s people around the world that want that Led Zeppelin record and they come to the Record Parlour.” Collectors line up starting early in the morning, eager to see what treasures they might find and to get some free records from over 40,000 on offer. Many collectors came prepared with their own crates. But what is the appeal of vinyl? “It just sounds better,” said collector Nicholas Ibarra.

San Diego, CA | Pro Skateboarder Opening Coffee Bar and Record Shop in Oceanside. Steel Mill Coffee is coming soon. Oceanside is getting a craft coffee infusion with the upcoming opening of Steel Mill Coffee on Mission Avenue. The 900-square-foot coffee shop is a new venture from professional skateboarder Riley Hawk, a North County native and the eldest son of skate icon Tony Hawk. Both father and son have a considerable interest in coffee; Tony Hawk was among the marquee name investors in Blue Bottle Coffee. Hawk’s partner in Steel Mill is longtime friend and fellow pro skater Shea Cooper, who is also a coffee roaster… Currently scheduled to debut on February 4 and operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., the modern retro shop will feature a collection of records available for purchase. Hawk tells Eater that the mix of newer and original vinyl pressings will include lots of classic rock along with some obscure hard rock and psychedelic music.

Huntsville, AL | New tennant announced for Campus 805 in Huntsville: The new tenant is part of a much larger project connected to Downtown Huntsville. A new business is getting ready to open up in Campus 805 in Huntsville, Schrimsher Company announced on Thursday. It is called Offbeat Coffee Studio and it will open in March on the first floor of the Stone Center in the Detention Hall. Owner Anna Husband said the coffee shop is set inside a record store where they will play vinyl records and use actual film to take photos for Instagram. Husband also said, “Coffee doesn’t have to be this pretentious, serious, unattainable thing. We want to bring it down to earth a little bit. We want to have the information and knowledge of a coffee sommelier, but we also want fun, quirky drinks.” Offbeat Coffee Studio will be the only coffee shop in the Campus 805 development off Governor’s Drive. According to Schrimsher Company, Offbeat Coffee Studio is “one of the inaugural members of Downtown Huntsville’s Craft Coffee Trail.”

Discogs Surpasses 300M Releases In Users’ Collections; Adding 6M+ Monthly Throughout 2018: Discogs surpasses a monumental milestone this week with its users adding over 300,000,000 releases to their Collections since the functionality was added in early 2001. Growth continues to be a theme with Discogs in looking back at 2014, Discogs users were adding 2M releases per month to their Collections while the site had over 4.5M releases submitted to its Database. Today, the Discogs Community is adding over 6M releases to their Collections monthly, and is nearing 11M releases in its massive Database. And yes, the Discogs Community is still adding vinyl to their collections at an astonishing rate. The first 1M releases added to Collection and the last 1M releases added were 68% and 70% vinyl respectively. Consequently, cassettes have seen a 183% increase and reel-to-reel has seen a 4,468% increase across the same metrics. To ingest the several other data points across Discogs’ 300M Collection milestone, click HERE.

The Vinyl Word: classic albums turning 40 this year: This year is a milestone year for several classic albums that celebrate their 40th anniversary and are still as relevant today as they were when they were released. Let’s start with the legendary Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. This was the band’s 12th studio album and was released in October 1979. At the time of recording it was the most expensive rock album ever recorded. The production costs were estimated to have been over US$1 million (equivalent to $3.45 million today). The double album was considered more experimental than their previous albums and contained tracks like the title track Tusk that involved the full band along with the USC Trojan Marching Band with a live performance of the band recorded at Dodger Stadium in June of 1979. Funny story with that particular video recording involving John McVie. He was in Tahiti during the Dodger Stadium recording but if you watch closely, Mick Fleetwood carries a cardboard cutout of him around the stadium. It’s a great album and one of my favourites.

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In rotation: 1/31/19

Jersey City, NJ | Jersey City’s Iris Records closing in February: “You can’t really live a full life without making difficult decisions. And deciding to close our shop on Brunswick Street has been a tough one for me. We opened in June of 1996 (Fridays only!), with a dude named Nestor buying a Bob James album for four bucks. 22 years and millions of dollar records later, we have lots of old and new friends who will be gutted by our news.This was the most difficult aspect of my decision. Sure, the rent keeps rising, the internet is killing us and our street is a construction site without any businesses to bolster our shop. None of this is news to anyone who lives, works or plays in the “new” Jersey City. But communities need things like record stores, and with Stan’s gone, JC will be left with no shop dedicated to music. That’s what rankles me the most. But nothing lasts forever, right? Anyone who has spent time chatting with me about life in general won’t be completely surprised by our closure. Running a business is difficult and I have a fair amount of tread on my tires. It’s time for a change!”

Kamloops, BC | Kamloops record store going cashless after nearby robberies: Barnacle Records doesn’t want your cash (for now). Since Jan. 11 there’ve been four robberies in downtown Kamloops — all within a couple hundred metres of each other — leading the record store to take a unique security measure. In a social media post last week, the owners of the store announced they would be going cashless for now, until the issue is resolved. That was after three robberies, one at Whispers and two at Moviemart, both just down the street from Barnacle. On Monday (Jan. 27), the McCleaners laundromat was robbed by a man with a knife and hammer. While police can’t confirm if the crimes are linked, Ronan McGrath, who owns and operates Barnacle with his wife Jessie, believes they’re connected, and while that risk is ongoing the shop isn’t carrying any hard cash.

Portland, OR | Where We Live: Portland slogan’s ‘weird’ roots: Portland is home to a wild assortment of people with delightfully original ideas. But one thing that isn’t original is the city’s unofficial motto. Weird, right? The phrase ‘Keep Portland Weird,’ it turns out, has Texas roots and one man is to thank for its migration to Oregon. Terry Currier, who owns a record store on Burnside called Music Millennium, told KOIN 6 News he was brainstorming a campaign to support local businesses in the city back in the early 2000s when inspiration didn’t dawn on him so much as it was given to him. “One day, I was talking to my friend who had a record store in Austin, Texas,” said Currier. That friend told him how someone had come up with the slogan ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ Currier loved it. So much so that he went to work spreading the slogan using a method that proved to be quite effective. “I made like 500 bumper stickers that said ‘Keep Portland Weird,'” Currier said. “And I made 500 bumper stickers that said ‘Keep Portland Weird – Support Local Business.'” Currier launched his bumper stickers in 2003, then ran a picture of the sticker in a local newspaper. The rest is history.

Hallmark Introduces New Vinyl Record Greeting Cards This Valentine’s Day Featuring Legendary Warner Music Group Artists. New Valentine’s Day cards feature vinyl records from Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, and Kelly Clarkson. This Valentine’s Day, Hallmark is expanding its collection of Vinyl Record Cards with new cards featuring songs from legendary Warner Music Group (WMG) artists including Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, and Kelly Clarkson. Each card includes an exclusive 7-inch vinyl record with two songs from each artist built into a sleeve on the card’s cover. Just remove the record, put it on any record player and enjoy the music. “Cards and music both share the power to change someone’s day and bring people closer, and our hope at Hallmark is that our new vinyl record cards will help people put their feelings into words,” said Tom Brantman, creative director – Hallmark Greetings Innovation. “These cards take Valentine’s Day to the next level as more than an expression but also a gift that can be enjoyed throughout the year.”

Jim James Announces Full Band Headline Tour, Deluxe Vinyl Reissue: …Paired in a die-cut gatefold jacket, pressed on specialty foil, UNIFORM DISTORTION/CLARITY: DELUXE EDITION sees both albums printed on newly colored vinyl, with UNIFORM DISTORTION available in a black and gold vinyl mix and UNIFORM CLARITY in a black and white vinyl mix. Furthermore, UNIFORM DISTORTION/CLARITY: DELUXE EDITION appends UNIFORM DISTORTION with two tracks from the original sessions, “It Will Work Out” and “Flash In The Pan” (Rock and Roll Versions) – both first released on Uniform Clarity – and also includes an exclusive 7″ single comprised of four never-before-heard cover versions: “Hot Burrito #1” (originally performed by The Flying Burrito Brothers), “How?” (John Lennon), “Fallin’ Rain” (Link Wray) and “Dark End of the Street” (written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman and recorded by innumerable legendary artists). Lastly, UNIFORM DISTORTION/CLARITY: DELUXE EDITION includes a double-sided foldout poster signed by James and exclusive to this release.

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In rotation: 1/30/19

Philadelphia, PA | The Five Essential Record Stores For Building Your Vinyl Collection: Take your music taste for a spin with these classic stops. Newsflash: the album is dying, but the vinyl is gaining a whole new life. A relic of the pre–Spotify era when DJing meant more than just queuing a playlist, the record represents our wildest Gen–Z fears—commitment, authenticity, and fragility. And yet, we can’t stop buying them. In 2018, vinyl sales increased by 12.6 percent, while tangible album sales plummeted by more than triple that. With those statistics, it feels like everyone and their trendy little sister is getting in on this vintage trend. And you can, too, by building a vinyl collection that has everything the music section at Urban Outfitter’s doesn’t: hidden classics, genuine collectibles, and even the spare cassette tape. Whether you’re itching to live out an Empire Records–themed fantasy or put the latest Phoenix release on the needle, these stores have you covered. These institutions of all things throwback are the best record stores in Philadelphia

Seattle, WA | Vintage and the vinyl: A quick tour of five local record stores: Against all the odds of an increasingly digitized music industry, record stores seem to be everywhere. It appears that not even advancements in technology can expel vinyl records from their elusive “cool kid” status. In fact, vinyl sales themselves have been steadily rising since the market experienced a miraculous resurgence in the mid-2000s. In a consumer culture that routinely relies on the resurgence of “vintage” to diversify sales trends, record stores seem to thrive on their utter outdatedness. So for your retro pleasure, below are brief descriptions of five Seattle record stores that epitomize both the city’s diverse music scene and the distinct qualities that sustain the vinyl industry. Each store was evaluated based upon selection, organization, price range, and its general atmosphere and vibe.

Tell the truth: Do you really listen to albums on vinyl? I know it’s retro-cool to have a turntable for your favorite classic albums. But honestly — isn’t it really kind of a pain? …while I admit I, too, get a little nostalgic when I hear that telltale crackle in the speakers that means somebody’s playing a vinyl record, I can only take so much of the warm fuzzies before I wonder “why bother?” I mean, once you hear “Rocket Man” on Honky Chateau, you’re at the end of Side One. Which means after just five songs, you have to get up, walk over to the turntable, flip the record over, and listen to the next five songs on Side Two. And this is assuming you actually like all five songs on each side of the album. If you feel like skipping “I Think I’m Going to Kill Myself” (SIde One, Track Three) that’s another trip over to the turntable to lift the needle and drop it at the beginning of the next song. I feel as if all the progress we’ve made in music tech since the 1970s has rendered all that getting up and getting down unnecessary.

Review: Fluance’s RT85 turntable helped me understand vinyl’s surprising comeback: I have a bit of a confession to make. I’ve spent more money on audio gear than I care to admit… but I’ve never been that much into vinyl. Sure, I’ve owned a few budget tables over the years, and I’ve quietly admired the Regas, Technics, and VPIs of the world at audio events. I appreciated their value for those with extensive vinyl collections, or simply for the experience of the album art and ritual of placing a record on a platter. But as someone who grew up with the convenience digital era, I never felt compelled to invest in a fancy turntable. Then Fluance sent over the RT85, the $500 flagship of its new ‘Reference’ turntable family. I think I get it now. The RT85 is a beautiful, well-thought-out table, and for this relative vinyl noob, its sound quality was good enough to make me a bit of a convert.

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In rotation: 1/29/19

Nashville, TN | Record Store Recon: Vinyl Tap: The store has a good selection of store T-shirts, store-branded glasses, new vinyl and a limited supply of used LPs. There is a better selection of liquor than you would find on most band’s riders…Todd Hedrick is the owner of Vinyl Tap and happened to be there when I stopped by. I found him to be very helpful and excited to share the story about his shop. He offered to order something new if I did not find it in the store…One of the cleanest stores I have ever been in, which makes sense since they also offer food and drink. The records are very easy to go through and in alphabetical order within each of their sections. When I spoke with owner Todd Hedrick about why he started the store, he said, ”It allows me to bring together my two favorite hobbies, records and drinking.” The store also has a small stage for bands to perform. The name of the store came up while watching the movie classic, Spinal Tap.

Springfield, IL | Local Business Notes: Recycled Records owner wins lifetime achievement award: It was not Mark Kessler’s plan to attend DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD INC.’s 26th annual awards dinner Wednesday evening. After all, the following day was a work day for the 71-year-old owner of the one-of-a-kind RECYCLED RECORDS and SPRINGFIELD FURNITURE. But Kessler, who in the past served on DSI’s executive board, was told by the organization’s executive director Lisa Clemmons Stott that “you need to go this year.” The reason? Kessler would be named this year’s recipient of the group’s Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the longtime Springfield architect who passed away in 2016. As a few have pointed out, The State Journal-Register omitted the award from our list of winners that appeared in Thursday’s paper. So, I caught up with Kessler on Friday, when he told me the award is “very much appreciated.”

Mumbai, IN | How a Mumbai scientist helped bring together India’s obsessive record collectors. After amassing records over five decades and building a community, Suresh Chandvankar is introspecting: ‘What is this passion? Where does it come from?’ The alarm is set for 5 am, but I’m up a few minutes earlier. At that precise moment, in another part of the world, a Saurashtrian with a dodgy knee and a bald 31-year-old New South Welshman, two specimens of a near-extinct species, are gearing up for the next round of a fascinating war of attrition. But, for once, the temptations of Test cricket have to be curbed and defied. Four hours later, after changing trains thrice, I’m in the distant suburb of Badlapur, and Suresh Chandvankar is leading me up the stairs to what can only be described as his den…Each of these records has a story, he says. And many of these stories, I realise, originate in Chor Bazaar, Mumbai’s legendary flea market. My favourite is the one about a Zonophone shellac disc from the early 1900s, featuring the music of an obscure shehnai player named Ali Bakhsh.

Xiaomi JYK Play Bluetooth vinyl record player Offered For $249.99: Recently, a very rare gramophone appears in Xiaomi grocery store. A group of people who have a special love for it are very happy about that. On the basis of the old model, this record player has incorporated many technological elements to make it different. The gramophone is called JYK Play Bluetooth vinyl record player. The whole speaker of the player adopts the integrated playback design, which simplifies the original complex mechanical structure of the phonograph and replaces the mechanical design by electronic hardware. The overall design of the record player is box-shaped. It is black all over and has a metallic texture. The accessories include the standard head and arm of the record player. In order to ensure the original flavor of the recorder, the JYK Play Bluetooth vinyl record player adopts the original MM magnetic head with iron triangle and metal movable arm. The gramophone is called JYK Play Bluetooth vinyl record player.

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In rotation: 1/28/19

Kirksville, MO | Heartland record store is the second oldest record store in the world: Rinehart Music and Video is the oldest record store on the western hemisphere. The family owned business has been selling entertainment media since 1897. The store has over thousands of movies, video game systems, comics and pop culture collectibles. Rinehart’s was recognized in 2016 by the Missouri State Legislature for its contributions to the funding of both colleges in Kirksville and providing telephone and electric services to the city. Owner Dr. Karl Hildebrand talks about bringing quality entertainment to the Heartland. “We’re able to bring a lot of things that you could only find in a metropolitan area because of the type of business that we are and so there are things that we try and bring in that wouldn’t otherwise be available in the Kirksville area. We try and maintain a high level of quality and a realistically affordable price range so that it’s available to everyone in our community…”

Shoreditch, UK | Shoreditch record store Sister Ray Ace to close: The Shoreditch outpost of the famous record shop Sister Ray Records is set to close four years after it opened as a pop-up in the Ace Hotel. Owner Phil Barton said it was “time to do something else” but allayed any fears about the iconic Soho branch. He wrote on Twitter: “Sad news but it’s not bad going for what was a pop up. Four years serving vinyl to Shoreditch and the east. “Time to do something else. “Grateful for the kind words and we are still going strong at the mothership in Soho.” Phil launched Sister Ray as a stall on Camden Market in 1984. Named after a Velvet Underground song, it moved to Berwick Street, the “Golden Mile” for record stores, in 1989. The Shoreditch store now has a sale on with 20 per cent off all stock. It is open every day from midday to 6pm until it closes down.

Thiensville, WI | For sale: a piece of vinyl history: Stardust Records owner says running the store is getting more challenging: When you walk up the five steps and swing open the wooden door to Stardust Records & Collectibles, it’s like entering a time capsule. Wind your way through the maze of LP display racks – there are more albums stashed in old-time fruit bins on the floor – and you’ll get to Rocky Kruegel holding court behind the counter. “Music from the ’30s to the ’80s is pretty much what we handle,” said Kruegel, who has run the store at 106 S. Main St. for the past 14 years. Technically, Stardust is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. In reality, the store is open whenever he’s there – which is often. The store is owned by Kruegel’s ex-wife, Kathleen. “She took me out of retirement to run the store for her,” he said, adding the business is a family affair, with daughter Dana and grandson Chad helping out.

Wakefield, UK | Turning the tables on the internet age: “Without a website, you won’t last six months.” It was hardly the morale-boosting comment Alan Nutton needed when he announced the opening of his new record shop. That was almost five years ago, he still doesn’t have a website and more to the point, his business is still going strong. Businesses are repeatedly warned not to be left behind, with online sales blamed for the painful demise of our staple high street stores. When it comes to selling music, the likes of Our Price and Virgin cut their losses years ago while HMV was recently dropped into administration for a second time. Music shops may appear to be heading for extinction, but if you sift through the debris of this digital age, there are independent record shops in West Yorkshire that are not just surviving, but bucking the trend. The well-documented ‘vinyl revival’ has seen a surge in interest in records since 2007, perhaps not at the rate seen before the advent of CDs, but enough to take a defiant stand against dot com domination.

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In rotation: 1/25/19

Stroud, UK | Sound Records confirm move to iconic Stroud shop: The successful vinyl haven Sound Records are set to move to an iconic shop in the centre of Stroud. Sound Records is a partnership between acclaimed DJs and record dealers Sean Roe and Tom Berry – they hope to turn the old Inprint shop into a vibrant music hub. As well as this, the pair say that the move will allow them to “stock at least three times as many records”. They hope to move into Inprint by early March, hopefully in time for the businesses first birthday on April 6. The two DJs say they will host a very special event to mark the occasion, so fans have been reminded to keep their diaries clear. “We have had a brilliant time in Gloucester Street since we opened 10 months ago, but our current home is simply too small to stock all the records we want to provide,” said Tom.

Washington, DC | 12 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend: 10th annual D.C. Record Fair at Penn Social: A decade ago, music industry “experts” were predicting the death of vinyl records. Thankfully, the organizers of the D.C. Record Fair ignored them. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the fair, which fills the cavernous Penn Social bar with dozens of dealers selling mint-condition Beatles records, dusty old soul albums and bargain-basement crates of $1 slabs of wax, which beg you to drop a few bucks on a 1960s calypso compilation or a blue-eyed soul record with an intriguing cover. A group of gurus provides the soundtrack, including Geologist of Animal Collective, “Banned in D.C.” author Cynthia Connolly and D.C. Soul Recordings founder DJ Nitekrawler. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 before noon, $2 after.

UK | B&W partners with Record Store Day UK for new ‘Behind the Counter’ video series. Each episode tells the story of one of the UK’s ‘most intriguing’ record stores. Now until Record Store Day (which is the 13th April this year), Bowers & Wilkins is presenting a new weekly video series about the UK’s most intriguing record stores, in partnership with Record Store Day UK and Classic Album Sundays. The ‘Behind the Counter’ series, which started on Tuesday, will run for 12 weeks, with a new video going live every Tuesday. The series will culminate in a Classic Album Sundays event on Sunday 7th April, hosted by each of the featured record shops, where they will preview exclusive Record Store Day UK releases on hi-fi systems featuring B&W speakers. The first of the twelve episodes – live now and available to watch below – offers a bitesize behind-the-scenes look at Transmission Records in Margate. Will your weird and wonderful local have made the cut?

Blue Note Records Presents the Tone Ooet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary Jazz label is launching the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series. Blue Note President Don Was brought in “Tone Poet” Joe Harley—co-founder and co-producer of the acclaimed Music Matters audiophile vinyl series—to produce this new series of all-analog, mastered-from-the-original-master-tape 180g audiophile vinyl reissues in deluxe gatefold packaging. Mastering is by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) and vinyl is being manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated (RTI). The titles were handpicked by Harley and cover lesser-known Blue Note classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note catalog. The first two albums in the series—Wayne Shorter Etcetera and Chick Corea Now He Sings, Now He Sobs—will be released on February 8, with Sam Rivers Contours and Cassandra Wilson Glamoured to follow on March 15. All four titles are available for pre-order now.

Oakland, CA | Diablo Dish: Vinyl Record Café, Bar Shiru, Opens Soon in Oakland: Japanese Jazz Café Coming to Oakland. The Latham Square building at 16th Street and Telegraph Avenue is a Class-A historic building. So it makes sense that Bar Shiru, a Japanese jazz café that plays vinyl records, will be moving in, complementing the older structure next month. (The records will be played on an equally anachronistic analog sound system.) The bar menu—which lists “highballs” rather than “cocktails” to preserve that historic feel—will be extensive, but since there’s no kitchen, only light bar snacks will be available.

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