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

In rotation: 12/7/18

King’s Cross, UK | Independent Label Market: Returning to Canopy Market, King’s Cross on for the weekend on December 15th & 16th for their Christmas market in London, Independent Label Market will be supported by AIM – the Association of Independent Music. The labels are bringing with them their extensive back catalogues plus a selection of amazing market exclusives, rarities, signed goods and exclusive test pressings. Among them, One Little Indian will bring very rare coloured Bjork albums on 12”, Dirty Hit will have the brand new album by The 1975, Ninja Tune will bring latest releases by Peggy Gou and Little Dragon and Brainfeeder will have their brand new 10th anniversary compilation box with unreleased songs from the likes of Flying Lotus, Thundercat and BADBAD-NOTGOOD.

Springfield, VA | Digital Music Is King. So Why Did A Vinyl Record-Pressing Plant Just Open In Virginia? Last year, digital music hit a milestone. For the first time ever, it accounted for more than half of global music sales. Music streaming revenues rose more than 40 percent, while sales of physical recordings continued to sink. Yet a company in Northern Virginia has just started pressing vinyl records. Tucked away in an industrial park in Alexandria, Furnace Record Pressing is the country’s newest record manufacturing facility — and a seemingly batty business idea, if you haven’t paid attention to deeper trends in the music industry lately. Despite the overall downturn in physical recordings like CDs, vinyl sales have been on the rise for a decade now, as younger people have begun to discover the richer sound and collectable nature of old-fashioned records. But as the vinyl frenzy caught on, soaring demand quickly created a problem, says Furnace’s owner, Eric Astor.

Chicago, IL | A portrait of Chicago institution Out Of The Past Records: Almost 50 years in the business. Couple Charlie and Marie Henderson have been selling records in Garfield Park since 1969. A West Side Chicago mainstay, the original Madison Street storefront burned down during riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King. Now at 4407 W. Madison, the shop is a one-stop adventure for eager collectors ready to get dirty and dig. A cross-eyed cat named Shadow roams the store, and you’ll be sure to see some dusty groovers meandering through the stacks alongside you. Records here are ‘strictly old-school’, reasonably priced and gently used. As Marie Henderson says, “you’re guaranteed to find a lot of everything and a lot of nothing, it just depends what you’re looking for.”

Penticton, BC | Sleepovers for Life preserves new B.C. music in vinyl: A Kelowna man is reviving the art of record making. Boutique vinyl cutter, Steve Gibson began his career in Germany a year ago with a 20-hour training day followed by another all-nighter. He had been eyeing up German engineer Souri Automaten’s record cutter, which cuts a vinyl record in real time from digital copies, for quite some time. The only way to buy the equipment is to fly to Germany to be trained by Automaten himself. Then, only once training is completed to Automaten’s satisfaction, can equipment be purchased. Once Gibson returned home he started Sleepovers for Life, his own small-batch, record-cutting company that took off without any advertising. Gibson’s business has been growing solely by word of mouth. In one year he has cut hundreds of records. “Record people are generally collectors. Limited runs mean a huge amount to certain people, myself included. It’s that first pressing, this colour or that colour. The small batches are really fun for a certain group of people,” said Gibson.

The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Getting Into Vinyl Records: We’re in the age of digital music — a period in the history of recorded music where any song and any artist is accessible on our mobile phones at anytime. While digital music makes it easier than ever to consume music, formats like vinyl records have not gone away. In fact, in 2017 14% of all physical music was sold on vinyl LP records — and there’s a reason for it. Unlike digital music, there is a physicality to vinyl records, a slowness to it, that requires a listener to browse a stack, pull out a record and slip it onto a turntable. And while digital music may be easier to consume, there is a certain pleasure in hearing music played on a turntable. Audiophiles will tell you that the sound is warmer on records than digital files or CD (this author believes there is some truth to that), and that due to the nature of having to lift a needle on and off a platter, it forces one to listen through a complete album (or at least one side) rather than flipping through tracks with a swipe of your finger.

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In rotation: 12/6/18

Cleveland, OH | Cleveland’s Music Saves quits the record store business: Music Saves, a Cleveland-based online record store, announced that it will be shutting down its vinyl record sales. “Music Saves is quitting the music business,” reads a statement on the store’s website, written by owner Melanie Hershberger. “The industry has changed in ways I could never have predicted 14 years ago. A lot of it feels really backwards. A lot of it has really worked against us. I feel like, as many other small businesses, small record stores are becoming less needed, as time goes on.” Originally, Music Saves operated out of a brick building just down the road from Cleveland music venue Beachland Ballroom. The store specialized in selling new releases on vinyl, and it earned local fame for its resident cats.

Glasgow, SCT | Glasgow record store to launch city’s newest radio station. With the capacity to run 24/7 and available worldwide, the aim for LP Radio is to have the station grounded in Glasgow but facing out to the rest of the world. A Glasgow record store is to launch the city’s new radio station from its base in the west end of the city. LP Records, on Park Road in the Kelvinbridge area, is launching LP Radio – a worldwide alternative online radio station. LP Radio will be centred around discovering and sharing new music alongside a focus on debate, patter, and community. Speaking to Glasgow Live, the man behind the station Lorenzo Pacitti said: “Plain and simply it’s a dream that I think I can make a reality, and much like the motivation to start a record shop I think it’s a dream that’s rooted in satiating a definite need and appetite here in Glasgow and beyond.”

Pittston, PA | Swap & Hops Pop-Up Record Fair to bring record, beer lovers together in Pittston: The overlap between beer nerds and record collectors is a significant one, at least if you believe what you read on the internet. And now, an event at a Pittston brewery this weekend seeks to combine the two hobbies. The first NEPA Swap & Hops Pop-Up Record Fair will be held at the Susquehanna Brewing Company at its main location, 635 S. Main St., Pittston. The event will run noon to 6 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 9. The fair is being held in conjunction with the Gallery of Sound. According to a press release from the record store, approximately 5,000 items from the company’s inventory will be available at the fair before they’re sold in-store, giving serious collectors a unique opportunity to see items before anyone else. But Gallery of Sound won’t be the only ones there with records…

The Big Lebowski soundtrack released as limited 20th anniversary vinyl edition: That record really tied the room together. Mondo has announced that a 20th anniversary edition of The Big Lebowski soundtrack will be released on limited “white russian” coloured vinyl, this December. The Big Lebowski’s 15 song soundtrack features music by Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Nina Simone and Moondog. Directed by the Coen Brothers, the cult movie stars Jeff Bridges as The Dude, who gets mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, known as The Big Lebowski. Its all-star cast is rounded out by John Goodman, Julian Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro as the fiesty, purple-velvet-jumpsuit-wearing, bowling pro Jesus Quintana. The 20th anniversary edition features new artwork by Paul Mann, available on coffee and cream coloured LP as well as a standard black variant.

Music streaming is fueling vinyl’s resurgence. They’re not competitors but complementary formats that deliver different benefits to fans. Streaming has been blamed for killing off the CD, but industry experts agree it’s helping bolster the growth and quality of another physical music format: vinyl. Since 2015, streaming income has eclipsed CD sales, and the likes of Apple Music and Spotify have become major players in the music industry. This year the Recording Industry Association of America reported that 75 percent of music revenue in the United States came from streaming services. In the past three years, vinyl sales in the US have steadily risen about $2 million annually. On paper, it doesn’t make sense. Why would anyone buy an album they can only listen to in one specific environment, when for half the price of a new record, they can put it and millions of others in their pocket and listen anywhere?

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In rotation: 12/5/18

New York, NY | RIP Bleecker Bob Plotnick, the Man Who Gave America New Wave, Punk, Power Pop in the 1970s: It’s a couple of days late, but I’m reporting to you that Bleecker Bob Plotnick died November 29th at age 75. If you lived in Greenwich Village in the late 1970s or cared about music at all from that era, you will know Bob’s name or the name of his record store. He — and it– were seminal in bringing New Wave, punk, power pop, whatever you want to call it to America. Without him it’s unlikely there would be the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, New York Dolls, so many acts now so well established in the music firmament but 40 years ago just whispers from Melody Maker the NME.

New York, NY | Robert Plotnik, ‘Bleecker Bob’ of Record-Store Fame, Dies at 75: Robert Plotnik, a lapsed lawyer better known as the namesake of Bleecker Bob’s Records, a Greenwich Village vinyl mecca that survived the dawning of cassettes, CDs and downloading and the death of CBGB, the nearby club where punk rock was cradled, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 75. The cause was kidney failure, his partner, Jennifer Kitzer, said. He had been incapacitated since having a stroke in 2001. Bleecker Bob’s was immortalized in a 1993 episode of “Seinfeld” (when Kramer and Newman fail to make a windfall selling used records there), in the opening credits of “Saturday Night Live,” and in Colson Whitehead’s 2009 novel, “Sag Harbor.” It was also where a customer named Patti Smith met a record salesman named Lenny Kaye more than 40 years ago and invited him to accompany her on guitar at a poetry reading. He’s been accompanying her ever since.

Kidderminster, UK | Kidderminster man jailed for ‘fake’ vinyl records scam: Stephen Russell, 65, of Puxton Drive, Kidderminster, was part of a group which distributed unlicensed recordings of 1960s northern soul artists. On Friday (November 30), a court heard how 55,000 unlicensed records were seized by police following an investigation by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents record companies in the UK like Warner Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. Unofficial copies of original recordings included Marvin Gaye’s This Love Starved Heart Of Mine, Bettye Swann’s Kiss My Love Goodbye, Major Lance’s Investigate and Art Freeman’s Slippin Around With You. The BPI stumbled upon the operation after test-purchasing vinyl records sold online, which were found to have defects like misspellings, blurred typefaces, and a large quantity with the words ‘not for sale’, ‘promotional copy’, and ‘DJ copy’ written on them.

Syracuse, NY | Record collector opens shop in East Syracuse: Tom Little has been collecting vintage vinyl records for the past 10 years, and has already accumulated more than 40,000 records to date ­— a kaleidoscope of classic rock, blues, psychedelic and doo-wop records from the 50s through the 90s, now being sold at his new record shop in the village of East Syracuse on W Manlius Street. Little, 53, is a record collector and owner of Syracuse Vintage Vinyl, a used record store that opened in the village on Thursday, Nov. 15. Located on 205 W. Manlius Street along a strip also inhabited by two tattoo shops and Serres Donut Shop, this is the business’ first storefront. “I buy all the time, and I love to buy the stuff that sells quick,” said Little, citing records like Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” as best-sellers. “It’s just something fun to do,” he said. “I mean, how cool is it to own a record store? Pretty freaking cool.”

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In rotation: 12/4/18

New Orleans, LA | One Stop Record Shop: Legendary guitarist Earl King (“Lonely, Lonely Nights” and “Let the Good Times Roll”) claimed that he walked into the One Stop Record Shop one day in late 1963 and was told “All your gang is in the back.” Sure enough, behind the stacks of 45s and LPs he found Professor Longhair, Tommy Ridgley, Eddie Bo, and others huddled around the store’s piano. This was the same room where in early 1960 a teenaged Irma Thomas auditioned for Ron and Ric Records’ Joe Ruffino, which led to her cutting the hit “Don’t Mess With My Man” (the preceding lyric is “You can have my husband, but please…”). The record jumpstarted the career of the future Soul Queen of New Orleans.

The 50 Best Rock Albums Ever: The 50 greatest rock albums of all time, as chosen by you. When we asked people to vote for their favourite ever rock album, we didn’t restrict the options to a pre-defined list of titles we’d come up with over pints in the pub. You could add any album you liked. What happened? Well, a slew of old favourites popped up when we compiled the results, but there were a few surprises too, albums we probably wouldn’t have assumed would make to Top 50. And it’s made the results a lot more interesting. So if you voted, thank you, Otherwise, just enjoy a selection of 50 albums that genuinely broke the mould.

Help MOJO Find The World’s Best Record Shops! Nominate the music emporia that have made your lives better, and we’ll feature the most amazing in MOJO. …Wherever in the world it is, your dream shop will be a fantastic place to spend time. Maybe it looks great, has a cool specialism or super-friendly and knowledgeable staff. Maybe it’s on a boat or in someone’s front room. Perhaps it’s patronised by the local music-making community and/or the guy from Endless Boogie. Maybe it’s all black metal, in Bali. Or just more conventionally, you know, great. Possibly this retail wonder is in your own back yard – a regular haunt/life-support system – or a vision you’ve stumbled on during your travels.

Vinyl revival boosts Crosley Brands revenue: Crosley Brands, a venerable Louisville electronics company that has its origins in the heyday of radio, has been capitalizing on a surprising trend: a resurgence of vinyl. The analog technology, which requires a physical medium (the phonograph record) and a mechanical device that spins the record and decodes it with a needle, is finding ever more fans in an era dominated by streaming music and handheld devices that hold tens of thousands of songs. And if it weren’t for a gutsy decision and impromptu trip to China by a young CEO in the early 1990s — when vinyl, thanks to the dominance of CDs, seemed to go the way of 8-track — Crosley might have folded long before the vinyl renaissance.

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In rotation: 12/3/18

Warwick, NY | Original Vinyl Records official ribbon cutting Wed., Dec. 10, 3PM: 17 year Warwick, NY resident Jim Eigo, owner of Jazz Promo Services, has fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening Original Vinyl Records, a retro record store for the avid and novice vinyl album collector. Jim, a collector himself, amassed the records he’s selling over years of collecting, picking, yard sailing and record shows. Jim is a long-time veteran of the record business having worked at Cox Records in Brooklyn, NY, running the jazz dept. at the legendary Greenwich Village record store Happy Tunes Records in the 1970s, setting up the first record store in Soho the Soho Music Gallery on Grand and Wooster and managing the jazz dept. for J & R Music World back in the 1980s. Jim always planned to get back into the retail end of the music business. After years of marketing and promoting jazz musicians and record labels, he saw the opportunity and the need for a local record store. Original Vinyl Records is the first in Warwick, NY in nearly two decades.

Wales, UK | The largest vinyl warehouse clearance sale ever seen in Wales is coming to Barry. It signals a scaling down of the huge record dealing business originally set up by Claire Williams and Mark Owen. Record collectors, vinyl enthusiasts, and music fans will have the chance to pick up bargains and rare finds at the largest vinyl record warehouse clearance sale ever seen in Wales. Up to 100,000 items are up for grabs at knockdown prices – from every music genre imaginable at a warehouse in Barry. It signals a scaling down of the huge record dealing business originally set up by Claire Williams and Mark Owen more than eight years ago. Mark, who formerly travelled the world as a tour manager, has set up a successful rock management company looking after rising stars such as the Kris Barras Band and Salvation Jayne, while Claire is going to carry on in the record dealing business, but on a much smaller scale, hence the reason for the mammoth sale of their huge stock from their warehouse on Vere Street in Cadoxton.

Shepherdstown, WV | Black Friday buyers descend on Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment: While some holiday shoppers were flocking to Walmart and Kohls for their Black Friday sales, other shoppers were descending on Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment, for the store’s annual Black Friday Record Store Day. The day is an event many U.S. record stores hold the day after Thanksgiving, attracting buyers, not with low prices, but with unique items like limited special editions from major artists. Customers from around the Eastern Panhandle were already waiting for Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment to open its doors, over a half-hour in advance of the store’s opening time. One of the people waiting to enter the store was Summer Russell, of Charles Town, with her niece and daughter. Russell said her niece was the most serious about owning an expansive record collection.

Manchester, UK | Pete Doherty’s favourite box set and the £3,000 vinyl – tales from a Northern Quarter music institution. Vinyl Exchange is one of the oldest record shops in the area and turns 30 this weekend. The Northern Quarter is a lot of things to a lot of people – brunch destination, late-night cocktail haunt, vintage shopping haven, a gallery for street art fans. No matter what you’re into, though, music has flowed through the veins of this part of Manchester for decades. Vinyl Exchange is one of the oldest record shops in the area, turning 30 this weekend with a huge party with some musical mates – there’ll be resident vinyl DJs providing a soundtrack, with Shindigger supplying beer and Reform Radio live streaming the whole thing. Since opening in 1988, the team have seen a lot of things, from extremely rare records worth thousands of pounds to completely unexpected celebrity shoppers. Co-owner Richard Farnell has been part of the business since 1995, and in that time vinyl’s popularity has teetered on the edge of extinction, and then surged back from the near-dead. “People seem to be kicking back against digital downloads,” he says. “They want something that’s more tangible, something that they can actually own – which is good for us!

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In rotation: 11/30/18

Bleecker Bob has died: Robert Plotnik, the titular owner of NYC’s iconic Village record store Bleecker Bob’s, has died. The sad news was confirmed by his longtime partner, Jennifer Kitzer. Bob had been in declining health for some time after suffering a stroke in 2001. The store stayed open till 2013. NYC/Brooklyn store Academy Records offering up this tribute: RIP to Bleecker Bob, a true legend on the NYC record store scene and probably the most singular character among that very idiosyncratic bunch. I first got to know Bob and his wise cracking sarcasm as a teenager in the late 70s as I soiled my fingers flipping through his grimy reused record sleeves. I also quickly learned that he loved an equal dose of sarcasm in return and our interactions were some of my first tastes of what it meant to be a real New Yorker. When I first opened my store in 2001 it was a real badge of honor when he came to check it out and told me it didn’t suck too bad. Catch ya on the B side

Denver, CO | Looking Back On 40 Years Of Wax Trax, Denver’s Vinyl Record Mecca: Sometimes it still feels like 1978 inside Denver’s Wax Trax Records. Maybe it’s the creaky wood floors, or the ever-present soundtrack of ‘70s-era underground rock that plays through the store’s speakers. But a big part of that preserved-in-time feeling probably comes from the owners, Dave Stidman and Duane Davis. If they’re not in the corner CD store of Wax Trax, then it’s a safe bet you can find them two doors down restocking the endless stacks of new and used vinyl. It’s been 40 years since Stidman and Davis took over, and that time comes with a lot of colorful stories from a seedier time in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. “We got into the corner store in 1978 and we got this space probably early ‘80s. It had been a woman who had a needle-craft store,” Davis said, standing among rows and rows of vinyl albums.

The best turntables of 2018: …There were a number of themes running through this year’s turntable designs. Firstly, the flush of excitement around vinyl in the turntable market in last five years has given way to specialist tools for niche customers. As a result, manufacturers are increasingly including semi- and automatic functions on their decks for record buyers who would not consider themselves ‘audiophiles’. Across the hi-fi industry, the tendency towards all-in-one models – where additional elements like amplifiers and bluetooth are packed into the turntable chassis – is an example of brands catering for more flexible forms of listening. On the other side of the coin, there are increasing numbers of interesting designs on offer for the audiophile listener with sound quality and innovation coming to the fore.

7 times Marvel superheroes appeared on record covers. The stories behind the strange collision of two iconic but (usually) separate worlds. Recently, Marvel honoured the world of hip-hop by recreating some of the industry’s most iconic album covers with their own superheroes substituted in. The variant covers appeared on Marvel’s comics and proved so popular that the publisher even released a two-volume collection of just the album artwork. But Marvel’s characters have appeared on record covers before, and often for stranger reasons than you might expect. Here are a few famous (and not-so-famous) examples that you may or may not be aware of

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In rotation: 11/29/18

Bensonhurst, NY | Bensonhurst record store still selling Italian goods over 50 years later: A Bensonhurst record store is going strong after over 50 years of keeping Brooklyn residents in touch with their Italian heritage. SAS Italian Records opened in 1967 and houses more than 3,000 CDs and other items. Owner Silvana Conte says the store was the first Italian importer of some items they sell like sportswear, magazines and Italian DVDs. Residents used to flock to the store to see Italian celebrities. “Little Tony was like the Italian Elvis. So they announced on the radio that he was coming and everybody and their grandmother was here,” says Conte. “The store was packed, people didn’t want to lose their spots so they peed on the floor … all the singers used to come from Italy and they would sign autographs and it was really great.”

Bexhill, UK | Much-loved Bexhill record store will re-open in new location: A well-loved record shop which closed down earlier this year is set to re-open inside the De La Warr Pavilion. Music’s Not Dead held a wake event on Sunday (September 16) where scores of musicians came to play live music and show their support, before it closed the doors of its Devonshire Road home for the final time. However, the popular independent retailer will get a new lease of life inside the De La Warr, from next month. Music’s Not Dead (MND) will re-open as a ‘pop-up’ on Friday, December 7, in the Café Bar on the first floor. Maybe It’s Time To Talk About Retirement Planning Have you given any thought to where your retirement income will be coming from? Sponsored by Prudential It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, and on gig nights selling a wide range of vinyl/labels covering all music tastes.

Nashville, TN | Record store building on east side faces demo: …The address of the Fond Object property is 1313 McGavock Pike, with the quirky record store having served as a community space of sorts since it opened in 2013. Metro Councilmember Anthony Davis, in whose District 7 the property sits, posted the following on the Inglewood-Nashville Facebook page: “I only can pass along what the owners told me. They would likely soon tear down the McGavock building, design and at some point build a new three-story building on McGavock, with either retail ground floor and apartments above, or all apartments.” That three-story building, if it materializes, would replace the one-story structure housing Fond Object and the homes to the north.

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In rotation: 11/28/18

Mumbai, IN | The world’s best record shops #133: Music Circle, Mumbai: Born from owner Pilak Bhatt’s 40+ year obsession with record collecting, Music Circle is a beacon for rare local music. Initially run from his Mumbai apartment before moving into a fully fledged store five years ago, Bhatt runs Music Circle with his wife Ujwala and his son Yash, and colleague Kranti. “We are doing our bit to keep this beautiful format alive in India,” explains Pilak. “We want to remind people that analogue sound is better than MP3s. We feel that vinyl collecting should not be the preserve of rich and elite – the common man should be able to afford it.” Music Circle boasts a fine selection of rock, jazz and blues – one of Pilak’s most prized possession is a rare Beatles 78RPM made in India – but we suggest you go for the local discoveries.

Lafayette, LA | How I Got Here: Lagniappe Records co-owner Tess Brunet: Tess Brunet is co-owner of vintage records store Lagniappe Records along with her husband, Patrick Hodgkins. The store, which moved from its previous space on Jefferson Street to a bigger space two doors down at 311-B Jefferson St., got its start in Baton Rouge before moving to Lafayette. “We started out much smaller than it is now with our own record collections. Online music is something that we didn’t consider at all. We didn’t set out to do much more than create jobs for ourselves and curate a shop we could be proud of. That and I don’t like answering to anyone. We were confident we could pull it off considering our collective knowledge of music. Collectively, we cast a pretty wide net. The cleaning and grading standards are set pretty high, and it’s meticulously organized.”

Why do LPs sound so good? The LP boom shows no signs of slowing, and no one really knows why. The continuing audiophile fascination with LPs is a mystery, LPs are ancient tech, records can be noisy, they’re fragile, expensive and they take up a lot of space. The best turntables, high quality phono cartridges, and preamps can cost a fortune. Even so, a lot of audiophiles still favor LPs, I know I do. Playing audio files is gigantically more convenient than playing an LP, digital converter technology is getting better every year, and high-resolution files are clearer than the best LPs. Digital is eminently portable; LP playback is strictly a stay-at-home affair. So why are audiophiles still clinging to LPs? Ask them why, and they all say the sound comes first — and I agree. Music sounds better played on a good turntable than it does from files or CDs.

Oreo Just Released A Record Player That Plays Actual Cookies: This is the perfect gift for the Oreo-lover in your life! For Oreo-lovers, this holiday season just keeps getting better and better. First, news broke that an Oreo Ultimate Dunking Set exists, which means you and your partner in crime can twist, lick and dunk your Oreos without worrying about fallen crumbs or milky fingertips. And now, the Oreo-obsessed vinyl enthusiasts in your life get the chance to “play” their favorite cookie with the gift to end all gifts: The Oreo Music Box. Just in time for the holidays, Oreo has released a new gift set that combines music and snacks in one collectible tin by using Oreos to play actual music.

Tupac’s estate confirm 20th anniversary Greatest Hits vinyl and merch: The new line will only be available for a limited time. Tupac‘s estate has announced a new range merchandise and vinyl to mark the twentieth anniversary of the late rapper’s Greatest Hits album. Earlier this week (November 19), a cryptic ‘1998’ countdown began on Tupac Shakur’s official Instagram page. The post featured an image of the artist, along with the date ‘Saturday 11/24’. After fans pointed out that the date lined up with the milestone anniversary, it has now been confirmed that special editions of the Greatest Hits collection will be released. Available as a clear vinyl, a standard vinyl, or digital download, the album features 21 hits and four posthumous songs. An original mix of ‘California Love’ – previously only available in the single format – will also be included.

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In rotation: 11/27/18

San Antonio, TX | Local business owners say Small Business Saturday more important than ever before: Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday lies the sometimes forgotten Small Business Saturday. Local business owners said it’s more important then ever, as local businesses compete with big online retailers in order to remain open. Adrian Heart has worked at Hog Wild Records for eight years. The record store off North Main Street has been open since 1982. Heart said he believes customers keep coming back, even while the shop competes with the giant online world, because of the experience. “The experience of finding a record they have never heard before,” Heart said. “Looking for different music and they know they have a rapport with us.” It’s not just local brick-and-mortars that are fighting to stay open, but businesses that sell their homegrown products the old fashioned way— from stands at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Andover, UK | New vintage vinyl store The Record Box opens its doors in Andover: The Record Box, in George Yard, holds a host of vinyls [“Vinyls,” not a word. —Ed.] and collectables and opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday. Phil, who was inspired to open the store, said: “I’ve been doing it for years, about 35 years, collecting everything and anything. Captain Scarlet stuff mainly, that’s my main thing. I do collect records as well, my main genre is punk. This is my own personal collection and obviously stuff I’ve bought over the years and duplicates and stuff like that.” To start with the store will be opening on Saturdays only, from 10am to 5pm. Phil believes there is a big market for vinyl, as sales have increased in recent years. He added: “Andover needs something like this. “I think there’s a market for it, a big market for it…”

Baltimore, MD | Farewell to Record and Tape Traders, a suburban refuge for musical discovery: If nothing else, record stores are beautiful. They have a certain unplanned allure, stacks tilting under their own weight, row after row of colors and words loosely organized by genre and alphanumeric value. Recently, Record and Tape Traders in Towson, the flagship of a once-robust local chain, announced it will be gone after a 40-year run—from 1978-2018. The singularity of the Towson Record and Tape Traders was in part its location, which was kind of a weird spot–behind an up-market grocery store in a somewhat pointless strip mall off of Dulaney Valley Road. Those things—strip and mall and Dulaney Valley Road—don’t exactly scream “formative.” Compared to essential music shops like Amoeba Music in Los Angeles or even Sound Garden in Fells Point, a record store in suburban Baltimore County seems insignificant. But that seclusion and obscurity gave it a unique value: It was a refuge for the weird

Midland, MI | Radio Wasteland moves its groove: Jim Gleason has spent the last three days moving vinyl records — some 4,000 to 5,000 of them — box by box, crate by crate. Luckily for Gleason, who owns Radio Wasteland Records in Midland, he has only a few steps to go for the transfer. He’s moving his business next door to 716 George St….”We’ll be able to put more records out,” Gleason said of the larger space. “But more importantly, we’ll be able to better display some of our stock. For example, our limited space means that we’ve had to leave the country music LPs in boxes on the floor. We’re also hoping to expand our classical and jazz music selections with the added space.” Moving into 718 George St., the space where Radio Wasteland occupied for about two years, is Stolloween, owned by Scott Stoll, an award-winning papier mâché artist who specializes in Halloween-related subject matter. Gleason, who owns the business with his daughter Katie, said he has about 8,000 more records in storage that he’ll bring over to the new location, which is double the size of the old.

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In rotation: 11/26/18

Austin, TX | Hundreds skip Black Friday shopping at malls for exclusive vinyl records at stores like Waterloo. “The lines are a lot shorter here then other stores,” He said, “it’s less stressful than shopping at a franchise.” When you think about Austin, art and music likely come to mind and what better way to avoid those long lines on Black Friday than to shop at one of Austin’s oldest record stores. Waterloo Records has been open for more than 30 years. On Black Friday, 175 unreleased vinyl records were put on sale exclusively for independent stores like Waterloo. “I feel like music is one of the coolest gifts you can give to somebody,” said Sebastian Garcia. “It’s been a good part of my life.” It’s quite a different Black Friday shopping experience for Garcia, who is a frequent customer at the record store.

Murfreesboro, TN | ‘Almost magical’: Waxface Records helps music lovers rediscover sound of vinyl: Waxface Records is causing the heads of vinyl record lovers to spin in stereo. The first clue of the high-fidelity funkiness found inside the store of sound — tucked into a tiny strip mall on the north side of Murfreesboro — are the strands of lights and 33⅓ RPM records decorating the windows. Walk through the doors and you might be greeted by the wailing of rocker Janis Joplin or the smooth crooning of Frank Sinatra coming from the shop’s record player. For some, the treasure hunt of flipping through the albums displayed in colorfully labeled wooden crates evokes musical memories and for others the thrill of discovery. With an average of 4,000 ever-changing vintage and new selections in LP and EP formats regularly in stock, the store offers many discoveries for visitors during the Record Store Day Black Friday event.

Seattle, WA | West Seattle record store promotes shopping local on Black Friday. Easy Street Records in West Seattle celebrated Record Store Day on Friday, joining an international movement where stores release rare musical finds on Black Friday. While lines accumulated outside big box stores, a West Seattle purveyor of vinyl put its own twist on Black Friday. For the 10th year, Easy Street Records on California Avenue turned Black Friday into Record Store Day. “It’s really a celebration of music,” said owner Matt Vaughan. Record Store Day on Black Friday is an international movement where record stores work with record labels and managers directly to release rare LP’s, 45’s, and CD’s. Once they run out in the store, they run out.

Boise, ID | Record Exchange sees boost in Black Friday demand: It is not every day that a crowd of Idahoans line up at 7 a.m. outside a store– in nearly freezing temperatures. “We had 75 people in line outside before we opened the doors today. Uh, past couple of years, we had 50. So that’s a big jump for us,” said Chad Dryden, Marketing and Promotions Director at The Record Exchange. But today isn’t like most days– it’s Black Friday. So for vinyl enthusiasts, that meant setting their alarms, because the record exchange offered about 150 Black Friday exclusives– released only to independent record shops like theirs. “Grateful Dead, Taylor Swift, U2, Hozier, Weezer– they put, uh, the Rosanna and Africa Toto covers that they did– they put those on a special vinyl release.” More big-name contemporary artists like these are pressing vinyls [“Vinyls,” not a word. —Ed.] recently, said Dryden. This is one reason for the boost in demand, he said.

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In rotation: 11/20/18

Vancouver, CA | Another Vancouver record store closes its doors after 40 years: Despite a resurgence in the popularity of records in recent years, technology and the internet have killed yet another brick and mortar store: this time a Vancouver record shop. After 40 years in business, Sikora’s Classical Records on Hastings Street is closing it’s doors for good. The original owners Dick and Dorothy Sikora had a vision in mind when they opened their doors, says now co-owner Edward Savenye. “They wanted this city to have something like that, where people who love classical music could come here and enjoy… yes consume, but at the same time, it was kind of like a gathering place,” he says. But now the owners have decided to close their doors because of what he calls the “five dirty Ds:” distribution, downsizing, demise, digitization, and desertion.

Vancouver, CA | Vancouver’s only classical record store calls it quits after 40 years. In a business dominated by Spotify and Amazon, Sikora’s Classical Records just can’t compete anymore. This is the story of a love affair that ends in heartbreak. Only for Ed Savenye, the sorrow comes from the decision to close Sikora’s Classical Records, the business he poured his heart and soul into for over 20 years. “As you can imagine, it’s pretty much the range of human emotions. There’s obviously sadness … and I’ll be honest, anger in that a lot of people, for the sake of a couple of bucks, they just deserted us.” Record and books stores are the serial victims of new technology and online commerce. Sikora’s managed to keep going beyond what seems reasonable in a Spotify and Amazon world by offering human service in a niche market. But reality finally caught up with the store at 432 West Hastings, and on Feb 28, 2019, exactly 40 years after Sikora’s first opened, it will shut its doors for good.

London, UK | Take a look around London’s three new record shops. More new record shops than Cabinet resignations. London has welcomed three new record shops since the start of November: the Arthur Russell-inspired World Of Echo on Columbia Road, a second outlet for Notting Hill institution Honest Jon’s in Kings Cross, and an (albeit semi-permanent) brick & mortar spot for online retailer Bleep.com in Dalston. To give you a sense of what to expect, VF took a camera to all three, which you can explore in the galleries below…Notting Hill record shop and label Honest Jon’s has opened a new venue in King’s Cross. Housed within new development Coal Drops Yard, the shop will operate as a sister location to its current Portobello Road spot. Co-founder Alan Scholefield explains: “we’ve been in that (Portobello) shop since ’79 — 40 years there and several years around the corner — so one thing you do accumulate is a lot of stuff. We’ve got a lot of records.”

Rochester, IN | BIZ BUZZ: Record Farm opens new location in Rochester: The Record Farm, located inside the State Theatre building on the 300 block of Market Street, is expanding to a second location in Rochester. Similar to its pairing with the State Theatre, the new store will be located inside the Times Theater at 616 Main St. in downtown Rochester. The Times is currently closed while raising funds for a restoration project. Like in its Logansport location, the Record Farm’s new store will sell new and used vinyl records, tapes, CDs, turntables and musical accessories like guitar picks, strings and straps. The Rochester store will also sell Fender guitars, basses and ukuleles and offer consignment on used musical instruments. Matt Swisher, who is co-owner of the Record Farm along with Adam Wilson, says the Rochester location is slightly larger than the Logansport location, allowing it to stock a little more inventory and musical instruments.

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In rotation: 11/19/18

Omaha, NE | One of Omaha’s few remaining record shops is closing: Almost Music will close in January. The independent record store in the Blackstone District announced the news in a Facebook post. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the January closure of our beloved little store. That’s right, folks, we’re calling it quits,” the post said. “We gave it hell and had some kicks.” Coupled with used bookstore Solid Jackson Books, Almost Music opened in Benson in 2013. It moved to Blackstone in 2016. When it opened, Brad Smith acknowledged to The World-Herald that opening a new record store would be tough, but he wanted to provide a good experience for customers. The store mostly focused on high-quality used vinyl. The shop will remain open until January, and it will continue to buy and sell records.

Shanghai, CN | The last of the musical dinosaurs shuffles toward extinction: It’s been quite the hustle in the narrow dead-end at 64 Fenyang Road over the past few days. People, young and old, have come to bid farewell to an old friend. “Classic Music Store,” a record shop that has been there for 14 years, closes for good on Sunday. Fenyang Road, a tranquil street in Xuhui District, is sometimes called “the street of music,” for this is where Shanghai Conservatory of Music is to be found and was once home to many music shops. But Classic is the last record shop standing in the street, perhaps one of the last of privately owned record stores in the whole country, a dinosaur, struggling to survive with an out-of-date shopping style in the face of the rise of the smart little mammals of e-commerce. First DZMZ (Dazimingzhong) market, a sacred place for album lovers, was demolished in 2008. Then, more and more record stores hidden in backstreets and lanes disappeared. Copyright regulations tightened, digital music rose and the tiny bright lights of “real” music, were slowly snuffed out, one by one

Chicago, IL | Records are being pressed in Chicago for the first time in over 20 years: A long overdue vinyl manufacturing hub in the Windy City. A new record pressing plant called Smashed Plastic has opened in Chicago, reports the Chicago Reader. Housed in Workshop 4200 (fka the Hammond Factory), Smashed Plastic currently operates one Viryl Technologies’ WarmTone press, with the scope to add two more should the plant expand. Smashed Plastic began its soft launch in October, with an official opening scheduled for January. The company plans to focus on shortening wait times for independent labels and bands.

Dun Laoghaire, IE | ‘We don’t listen to albums the way we used to’ – The Vinyl Festival celebrates record revival: Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson and actor Adrian Dunbar are among the high-profile guests sharing their love of vinyl at The Vinyl Festival this weekend…Born out of a conversation between local record shop owner Brian O’Flaherty and graphic designer and fellow vinyl enthusiast Neil Goodman last year the three-day event also boasts guests including Bronagh Gallagher, Don Letts, Joe Jackson, Gavin Friday, Julie Feeney, Steve Averill and more, with 2FM’s Dave Fanning and Today FM’s Tom Dunne moderating. It’s clear the vinyl revival is thriving in Ireland. For co-founder Neil, the festival is about remembering a time when albums were tangible entities, savoured over and played as they were intended, and the artwork was as much a part of the ritual as the music.

Vinyl took off now cassette players are making a return: First it was vinyl sales that took off now there is a move to bring back the cassette player with Crosley set to release two brand new cassette playing devices that also have a radio built in. This week the Company announced that they’ve launched two new cassette players—the CT100 and CT200—the first-ever cassette players that the company has ever manufactured. “Just as our portable record players helped bring vinyl mainstream years ago, we know our new cassette players will lead the charge on the revival of the cassette tape,” Director of Marketing Jason Menard said in a statement. “These new cassette players bring together the retro design and nostalgia of the 80s with modern technology, making them a must-have for all generations of music lovers.” Both the CT100 and CT200 feature a tape deck with cassette auto stop, AM/FM radio, and a headphone jack.

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In rotation: 11/16/18

Manchester, UK | International DJ sets up vinyl shop in Stockport. SK1 Records will specialise in new and second hand vinyl records along with CDs, cassettes and accessories: An international DJ and music producer is launching a new record store and cafe in Stockport. Joe McBride has started up SK1 Records with an £8,000 loan from Stockport Business Finance Scheme through funding partner GC Business Finance. Based on Little Underbank in Stockport SK1 Records will specialise in new and second hand vinyl records along with CDs, cassettes and accessories such as art prints and label merchandise. The business already trades successfully online, and the new premises will include a café selling locally sourced coffee, soft drinks and cakes. Performing as Synkro, Joe has been making music and DJing at festivals and clubs across the world for the past ten years, amassing a collection of more than 7,000 records which will form the initial stock for the shop.

Starkville, MS | Scooter’s Records celebrates one-year anniversary: Scott Thomas, owner of Scooter’s Records in Starkville, will celebrate his one-year anniversary of the “old-school” record store Thursday, Nov. 15. “I always wanted to open up a record store, ever since I was a kid and whenever I got done with school out here in like ‘90, that’s what I was wanting to do but that’s when records had kind of gone away,” Thomas said. About three years ago he saw that he was reaching his 28th year working for the city of Starkville and decided to make a move toward opening his own record store. He felt this was a niche that the city was missing. “I always had the record store thing in the back of my mind,” he said. He questioned whether or not his record store would thrive in Starkville, but his involvement with the Greater Good Collective and Sunday Funday gave him the boost of confidence that he needed when selling records at the event became a big success. He rolled the dice and hasn’t regret it.

London, UK | Vinyl Sales Are Breaking Records This Year. And new shops are popping up in London. Vinyl has been doing well in 2018. Very well. This year, Record Store Day had its best year ever, with retailers selling 733,000 LPs during the week (April 20-26), an all-time high for Record Store Day week, according to Nielsen Music sales data. In total, 799,000 albums in all formats sold at independent record stores, the highest non-holiday week sales total in the U.S. since July 2005. Vinyl sales increased by 19.2% by July of 2018 alone, according to a mid-year report released by Nielsen Music, and it’s anticipated that over 10 million vinyl albums will be sold by the end of 2018 according to a Digital Music News report. And it doesn’t seem like the trend is a fluke, as two new record stores opened up in London last weekend. Online independent music store Bleep, operating since 2004, opened a pop-up store that is the physical embodiment of what they have been creating online for the last 14 years.

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands | The world’s best record shops #131: TUTL Plátufelagið, Faroe Islands: Based in the harsh northern climate of the Faroe Islands, TUTL Plátufelagið has long been a source of local musical pride. Founded in 1977 by composer Kristian Blak, TUTL – which translates as ‘whisper’ in Faroese – is a label and record shop that places the sound of Faroese pop on a pedestal. Neo-Pagan, Faroese folk, gospel and the uniquely Scandinavian sound of heavy metal all take pride of place on TUTL’s racks, which push a range of sometimes overlooked local music. Throughout the summer months, TUTL hosts gigs almost daily across the island in some of the most unique locations you’re likely to find: caves accessible only by boat, Nordic houses in the Faroese capital Tórshavn, or traditional churches on distant islands.

Hollywood, CA | Capitol Music Group to host creativity and innovation marathon “Capitol Royale,” December 1-2. Event At Legendary Capitol Studios Brings Together Creators, Coders, Designers, And Startups To Re-Imagine The Future State Of Music Consumption, Including A Hackathon Live Streamed On Twitch. Signaling its commitment to being a pioneer in the music and tech crossover space, Capitol Music Group is hosting Capitol Royale — a creativity and innovation marathon that will take place at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on December 1st and 2nd. The two-day conference will bring together the music and tech industries’ leading creatives, coders, designers, and startups to highlight innovations that disrupt the music industry, including a hackathon that will challenge software developers to create products and services that reimagine music consumption and discovery.

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In rotation: 11/15/18

Lombard, IL | New vinyl record store opens in Edwardsville: When it comes to figuring out the process and perfect location to open the first record store in Edwardsville in decades, look no further than Trusty Chords Record Shop, at 1514 Troy Road. Behind this musical venture are owners Colin Anderson and Scott Brunkhorst, who share common interests in music and entrepreneurship, along with the help from Greg Wilhelm. Anderson is a 2003 SIUE alumnus who earned a bachelor’s in business administration with a minor in music. He is ecstatic to be able to utilize his degree and share his love for music with the community. The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, provided Anderson and Brunkhorst with the support and information needed to smoothly start their new venture.

Beijing, CN | Fruityshop’s New Venue is the Wax Mecca for Beijing’s Vinyl Devotees: Vinyl diggers are an obsessive bunch. Like archaeologists sifting through the rubble of a forgotten civilization, we gladly spend unhealthy chunks of time digging the cultural detritus of bygone decades (Culture Club, anyone?) in search of that impossible-to-find first pressing or that rare Italo disco 12-inch none of our normal friends has ever heard of. When somebody learns that I’m part of this afflicted set, the question invariably arises: “But is there even anywhere buy records in Beijing?” To which I reply: “Well, actually…” Seven years old and now in its third location, Fruityshop is Beijing’s gold standard for eclectic vinyl rarities. You won’t find the latest Coldplay record here (try Li-Pi in 798, if that’s your thing) or that bad-ass minimal techno track you heard at Dada (Floso’s got you covered there). What makes Fruity special is its impressive collection of classics and reissues from a range of off-beat genres – jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat, funk/soul, experimental, post-rock, garage rock, punk, post-punk, krautrock, psychedelic, and more. In short, it’s a sample hound’s paradise.

Mandan, ND | Mandan music man makes vinyl vogue again: America is experiencing a vinyl revival. All those records and albums that became obsolete in the 1990s, when digital media and compact discs replaced LPs, are in vogue again. A Mandan man has made it his mission to restore the discarded music mode. This is an ebay anchor store. Thousands of customers visit it every day. Mike Lucareli uses his home to store and sell music to the masses. “I have access to over a million records,” said Lucareli. He is one of the largest record sellers on ebay, but he’s not getting rich. “You don’t make a lot of money because most of them sell for a few dollars,” said Lucareli. Vintage Records is more like a hobby than a business. Mike’s massive inventory is stored in file cabinets and 40 gallon plastic tubs. “These are about 40 different Johnny Cash 45s,” said Lucareli. His whole collection isn’t close to being up on the web, yet. I can only list so many a day, so it’s a job for life…”

Marquette, MI | Blast from the past: Vinyl record show to be held this week. From ABBA to Zappa and everything in-between, the favored vinyl record show at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. is back with something for everybody.Whether you have an ear for jazz or classical music — or rock or funk — thousands of records from various genres will be available Wednesday through Saturday at the brewery’s community space. An eclectic mix of popular culture artifacts, including T-shirts, CDs, cassette tapes, 45s, comic books, art books, posters, stereo equipment and the more will also be available. Vinyl shows at the Ore Dock are held about four to five times per year, with this particular event being the 19th multi-day show. The events are co-hosted by lifelong friends, Geoff Walker and Jon Teichman — both of whom have shared a passion for music

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In rotation: 11/14/18

Edwardsville, IL | Trusty Chords Record Shop brings vinyl back with Edwardsville grand opening: Once again, after several years, vinyl is back in Edwardsville following the grand opening of Trusty Chords Record Shop this past weekend. Colin Anderson and Scott Brunkhorst are the owners of the shop, located in the Montclaire Shopping Center, at 1514 Troy Road, Suite C, in the breezeway of the center. Trusty Chords is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The store primarily offers vinyl records, as well as CDs, T-shirts, posters, toys, books, and turntables. The store will also buy, sell and trade goods now that they are open. “I think the store fits in with the culture of Edwardsville,” Anderson said. “Edwardsville is just growing so much…It’s going to need a record store.”

Clarksville, TN | Record shop ‘AndVinyl’ brings music back to downtown Clarksville: …Tony Shrum and his younger brother, Matt, moved back to Clarksville from California in January 2017. They had lived here for two years and attended Kenwood schools while their mother was stationed at Fort Campbell. It would be a huge understatement to say these two guys love music. But they especially enjoy vinyl played on a turntable via a diamond-tipped needle. After moving back to Clarksville, Tony Shrum noticed an absence of music shops, including those that carried vinyl. Music shops are everywhere in California. He searched all over town for a record store — not a CD store, mind you, but a vinyl record store. All he found were records at various flea markets…The shop is open for business, but they’re still a few weeks from the official grand opening planned for Nov. 24, which is also Small Business Saturday.

London, ENG | Three new record shops opened in London last week: Three new record shops have opened in London in the past week. Following the launch of a new Honest Jon spot in King’s Cross and World of Echo on Columbia Road, online independent record shop Bleep opened its first physical pop-up store, Bleep x, in Dalston on Saturday (10th November). Operating from now until February in its new east London HQ, Bleep x is open 10am-7pm, Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm Friday-Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sundays. Last December, online magazine nd label The Ransom Note opened a record shop in East London. Back in June, Moby sold his entire record collection for a charitable cause. Last year, VinylHub created a crowd-souced map that pinpoints all the best record stores in the world.

Reykjavík, IS | What Have We Won?: World’s Greatest Record Store: If you trust viral listicles and industry insider books—and who wouldn’t—then trust and believe local record shop 12 Tónar is the world’s greatest record store. Sit down Amoeba Records! The accolade was given by self-described ‘journalist and crate-digger’ Marcus Barnes, who recently compiled the 80 best record shops on the planet into one book. Marcus then published his 10 favourites online on NME, which is where we were made aware of this incredible honour. The Reykjavík institution is known for its incredible selection of local musicians and older Icelandic efforts. Not only is it run by Icelandic artists, but those working there are so knowledgeable about music, they’ll hand select records for you based on your taste. In the basement, they have couches with CD players and headphones, so it’s basically a late 90s Sam Goody, which was the place-to-be at the time. Bring your friends, it’ll be sick!

David Bowie, Kate Bush, Nick Cave, and more to re-release classic albums on blue vinyl in aid of Unicef. Ultra-limited editions are up for auction and prize draw. A host of classic albums by the likes of Kate Bush, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay and Jimi Hendrix are getting a super-limited reissue on blue vinyl in aid of Unicef. Only 50 copies of each record will be available. One of them is available to bid on in an auction, as will a huge set of every record. The remaining 48 copies will be available in a prize draw. Tickets are £5 and multiple entries can be purchased. You can find out more, and try and get your hands on copies of the record here. The full list of releases is as follows

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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