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

In rotation: 3/5/19

Brookline, PA | Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closes: Another iconic Pittsburgh record store has gone out of business. Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closed its doors for the last time on Thursday. The store had been in business for 50 years, after South Side native Russ Ketter opened at his original location in Berkeley, California in 1969. He moved back to Pittsburgh in 2012 and opened a store on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. In 2015, the store moved to Brookline Boulevard. Ketter said multiple factors led to his decision to close the store. “We had a lot of problems with the Liberty Bridge being closed and the Liberty Tunnel being closed for almost two years,” said Ketter. “We lost business because of that. I saw the change in the pattern immediately.”

UK | HMV re-opens three Scottish stores after ‘successful negotiations’ with landlords. The company’s managing director confirmed the move was “the best outcome for our staff and customers.” Music giant HMV has re-opened its shop in Ayr Central shopping centre. The move follows what the company described as “successful negotiations” with its landlord. Canadian firm Sunrise Records bought HMV out of administration but Ayr was one of 27 stores which initially closed, seeing the loss of 10 jobs. But the company said the news about Ayr was “the best outcome for our staff and customers”. HMV managing director Neil Taylor said: “I am extremely proud of our staff who are the most knowledgeable and committed people you will meet, and so it is extremely gratifying to see this store open again. “I greatly appreciate the support of all our customers and the landlord which made re-opening this store possible.”

Coventry, UK | MUSIC MATTERS: Keeping vinyl records alive in Coventry: It’s with personal excitement to learn of a new record shop in Coventry. Alan Roberts at Just Dropped In is based at Fargo Village (container 5, to be exact). It caters for all tastes – jazz, rock, electro, pop, retro – you name it and I reckon he will have the genre covered. He certainly knows how to use all his space wisely, and there’s a great vibe to the place. Little wonder the place was Store of The Month in Mojo magazine. Great news that Coventry’s HMV will be saved, and don’t forget the record stall Vinyl Destination in Coventry Market and Frank Harvey’s in Spon Street. In Warwickshire we have The Leamington Record Store, Head and Seismic Records in Leamington, Just For The Record in Rugby and S.J. Records in Stratford. Sorry if I have missed any out. Let’s keep vinyl records alive.

Manila, PH | Score affordable and rare vinyl records at these record stores in Manila: Listening to music today only requires one click. As long as you are connected to the internet, you can play music through streaming platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud. But recently, it seems like more and more people are reviving the tradition of playing vinyl records. To anyone who thought this is a hipster trend that belonged to the late 2000s, revoke your audiophile card right now. It looks like physical vinyl records are here to stay for a long time. According to Forbes, 50 percent of record players are bought by millennials. The Economist, on the other hand, said that the same group makes up 50 percent of vinyl record purchases. So, if you’re planning to start your collection, you’re not too late on getting a head start. But the chain record stores at malls are slowly closing. Where do we go to start our collection then? The answer: independent record stores. Scattered around the metro, their stocks range from freshly minted to pre-loved.

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In rotation: 3/4/19

US music fans throw more money at vinyl, CDs than iTunes downloads now. Streaming is king though, bringing in 75 percent of the US recording industry’s revenue. How the mighty have fallen. Digital downloads, typified by the 99 cent iTunes tracks that ruled the music industry as recently as four years ago, now make less money for US labels than CDs and vinyl records. Downloads represented just 11 percent of US labels’ revenue last year, a music industry trade group said Thursday. Physical sales — the term for music formats you can actually hold, which are mostly CDs and vinyl at this point — booked 12 percent. Instead, streaming music has been asphyxiating demand for downloads. Streaming sales were 75 percent of revenue last year, according to year-end data from the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA.

Leeds, UK | The world’s best record shops #141: Tribe Records, Leeds: Leeds has quietly been cultivating its under-the-London-radar dance music scene for decades. Cosmic Slop, Outlaws Yacht Club and KMAH Radio are just the tip of the iceberg in a city that gave us Back 2 Basics, Iration Steppas and Nightmares On Wax. Among them, and equally as vital, is Tribe Records – the brainchild of Simon Scott, who founded the shop in 1995. “We opened the shop in the Corn Exchange, which went on to be the foundation for such UK institutions such as Subdub, Outlook and Dimensions Festival, all of which have flourished under Scott’s stewardship,” says Tribe’s Alex T, who also DJs on Rinse FM. “Subdub is now the longest running sound system party in the country.” If that nugget of musical history isn’t enough to entice you inside, then their selection of house, techno, electro, reggae, dancehall, disco and everything in-between, will. “We cater specifically for club and radio DJs,” says Alex.

Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Queen highlight Record Store Day releases: Record Store Day, the annual event celebrating independently owned brick-and-mortar music outlets, has unveiled its list of this year’s limited-edition releases. With nearly 400 (mostly) vinyl options available, there’s seemingly something for every music fan. Some of the many artists contributing work include Bob Dylan, Prince, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, John Lennon, Roxy Music, R.E.M. the Rolling Stones and many more. “We’ve got amazing support from all the labels again this year,” proclaimed Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz. “It’s sort of separate from the music business in general, which is pretty much all streaming now, with some effort being put into vinyl.”

Jack White’s Third Man Records Announces 3-Inch Singles Box Set. The Record Store Day release features six tiny singles from the White Stripes’ back catalogue. After teasing the release of a 3-inch single from the Raconteurs back in January, Jack White’s Third Man Records has revealed that its Record Store Day 2019 plans will feature an entire box set of the tiny records, in addition to an accompanying turntable. To mark the day of vinyl celebration on April 13, White’s label will offer up a box set of six 3-inch records containing select singles from the White Stripes’ back catalogue, in addition to four other Third Man singles in mystery sleeves. A new Third Man Records-branded “Triple Inchophone” turntable will also be available, as you can see above. The box set will contain White Stripes singles “Let’s Shake Hands,” “Lafayette Blues,” “The Big Three Killed My Baby,” “Hello Operator,” “Lord, Send Me an Angel” and “Conquest.”

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In rotation: 3/1/19

Here’s the full list of Record Store Day 2019 releases: The full list of releases for Record Store Day 2019 has been announced – featuring exclusives from Green Day, IDLES, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Iggy Pop, Prince, David Bowie, Elastica, Jeff Buckley and many more. See the full list below. Set to take place this year on Saturday April 13, Record Store Day 2019 will see hundreds of vinyl and cassette releases sold exclusively through independent record shops for one day only. Among the range of re-releases, expanded editions, new releases and special coloured and shaped vinyl this year are Green Day’s legendary set from Woodstock 1994, alternative recordings of Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled album, Elastica’s ‘BBC Sessions’ released on vinyl for the first time ever, a compilation from Steve Lamacq of ‘Lost Alternatives’ from the 90s, a set of unreleased Jeff Buckley studio recordings for ‘In Transition’, and IDLES’ ‘MEAT’ and ‘META’ EPs on vinyl for the first time.

Vinyl Now Makes One-Third of the Money in Physical Music: A new report from the Recording Industry Association of America shows continued growth for paid streaming and record lows for CD sales. For the third year in a row, the U.S. recorded music business in 2018 was graced with double-digit growth mainly due to the boom of subscription music streaming, according to numbers released Thursday by the Recording Industry Association of America. The annual report, which tracks sales across digital and physical platforms, found that paid streaming continues to be the biggest driver of growth for the music business while CD sales revenue have hit a 32-year low. Revenues from recorded music overall grew 12 percent from 2017 to 2018, reaching $9.8 billion at estimated retail value. Streaming revenues comprised $7.4 billion, or 75 percent, of that figure, with subscriptions (e.g. Apple Music and Spotify’s paid tier) contributing the bulk of that. “You can feel rising excitement and optimism within the halls of the record labels, and it’s a moment worth celebrating,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier in a statement accompanying the report.

Washington, DC | Skip Groff, 1948-2019: Remembering the D.C. music legend, who inspired and shaped a generation of local punks. …Groff taught people how to consider music, to understand it deeply, and he encouraged them in their own musical forays by providing financial and other support. “It’s impossible to underestimate how much Skip contributed to the D.C. music scene,” says photographer and Dischord alum Bert Queiroz. “His production and support, from Pentagram, to Slickee Boys, to Bad Brains, Manifesto, to the entire Dischord scene… His support of the bands—producing and releasing their records, advertising their shows, hiring musicians at Yesterday and Today—was massive.” Perhaps most importantly, Groff gave the young musicians who surrounded him a kind of validation.

Cincinnati, OH | If you want to keep a record store open for 20 years, you’re gonna have to Shake It: Vinyl enthusiasts will remember, and longtime Northsiders will, too. Before moving into what has become its long-familiar digs along the east side of Hamilton Avenue, Shake It Records first opened in a storefront across the street. That was 1999, and Shake It’s brother-owner-operators Jim and Darren Blase are marking the anniversary of 20 years in business with a month-long celebration in their record shop. The Blases deserve to celebrate, having survived the music industry’s digital-format takeover while establishing Shake It as a Northside landmark, a stop for consumers who find pleasure in holding music in their hands rather than storing it in their phones. The draw is Shake It’s two floors of stock – used vinyl, the lifeblood for any record shop these days, rounded out with new vinyl titles, compact discs, books and other pop-culture products. But Shake It also offers something in addition to the retail experience, a place for neighborhood folks to linger and chat with staff about all things music and otherwise.

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In rotation: 2/28/19

Here’s the List of Rumoured Record Store Day 2019 Releases: Record Store Day is once again approaching. And once again, the sprawling list of rumoured Record Store Day 2019 releases has leaked ahead of the official announcement. Like every year, users over on Reddit have dug up a list of RSD exclusives rumoured to be arriving on April 13. It goes without saying, though, that the list is very much still a work in progress, with the majority of the titles apparently coming from the France list at this point. Still, if years past are anything to go by, the list should give you a good idea what you can expect this RSD…A few highlights from the rumoured list include releases from David Bowie, U2, Weezer, Morrissey, the Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Prince, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Iggy Pop, John Lennon, Thee Oh Sees, Fleetwood Mac, Gorillaz, Green Day, Ennio Morricone, Lou Reed, Madonna, Mastodon, and Queen.

Alexandria, VA | ‘Rat Tunnels’ Forced Crooked Beat Records Out Of The District. Now High Rents Are Keeping Them Out: Crooked Beat Records was a staple Adams Morgan record store for 12 years when it closed its storefront in 2016. Human residents of D.C. loved it, and apparently so did rodents. “Yes. The rumors were true. There were rat tunnels were going as far as 28 feet below our old location in D.C. … it was a city within a city under the store,” Crooked Beat wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend announcing that it would not be moving back to Adams Morgan. The store was apparently in the middle of negotiations with a building owner trying to open a location in its old neighborhood, but couldn’t reach a deal and withdrew its offer. Crooked Beat owner Bill Daly tells DCist high rent has been a serious problem as he tries to look for a new location in the city. He says he’s offering to pay 30 to 35 percent more in rent than he paid for his old Adams Morgan spot, but things always end up being more expensive than that. He is “shying away more from D.C. because we’re running out of options with the rents,” Daly says. “We’re kind of hitting a dead end.”

Modesto, CA | Modesto’s old Babies R Us gets a new, rocking tenant as Rasputin Music to move in: So much for music stores all dying out. But then I guess when you’re named after one of history’s most infamous mystics, the rules simply don’t apply. The Rasputin Music store in north Modesto is moving to a new, much larger location. It will take over the vacant Babies R Us site on Sisk Road, in the process filling one of the large retail vacancies left from recent national chain store closures. The music and DVD store opened on Dale Road, two doors down from Trader Joe’s, in late 2014. Since then, the store has sold new and used CDS, vinyl records, DVDs and other related merchandise. The new site will be a combination Rasputin and Anastasia New & Vintage Clothing store, bringing a large selection of new and used apparel into the mix.

Okki Nokki RCM cleans records without cleaning out your bank account: It’s always tempting to bolster your vinyl collection with second-hand finds, but not everyone is as careful as you. If you’re looking to keep your record library in tip-top condition and hear them play at their best, a record cleaning machine could be the answer. However, many can cost more than some turntables. Fear not, Dutch brand Okki Nokki has the solution. Okki Nokki comes from Holland and is one of Europe’s best-selling record cleaning machines. Now, thanks to County Durham-based hi-fi distributor Decent Audio, it can easily be purchased here. The Okki Nokki RCM (Record Cleaning Machine) is a compact yet powerful piece of kit whose build quality, features, and performance might reasonably be expected to come with a high price tag. Conceived initially around 15 years ago by Dutch designer Johan Bezem, its design and construction have steadily and deliberately evolved, adding a raft of enhancements while keeping the price firmly in check.

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In rotation: 2/27/19

Scarborough, UK | Record Store Day launch party at Record Revivals – including unveiling of exclusive releases: Vinyl specialists Record Revivals will reveal exclusive releases – to celebrate Record Store Day – at a launch party on Thursday February 28. Record Store Day is the one day of the year when more than 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Record Store Day 2019 will take place on Saturday April 13 and Scarborough’s sole Record Store Day shop is Record Revivals in Northway. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. The list of exclusive releases will be unveiled at 6pm on Thursday February 28 and the Record Revivals party starts at 5pm and goes on until 8pm.

Vinyl coming to a radio station near you!

Over 100 Radio Stations Will Go Vinyl-Only For Charity Event Vinylthon 2019, With Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine in Support: Across the USA and the world, radio stations will celebrate the unique format of vinyl by going vinyl-only on Vinylthon, April 13, 2019. Stations playing vinyl for 24 hours will win the Golden Slipmat Award to recognize their deep passion for vinyl. Vinylthon is an event for the entire radio industry, which also takes place on worldwide Record Store Day. Organized by the College Radio Foundation and open to all radio stations, commercial and non-commercial, Vinylthon is the radio industry’s response to the remarkable vinyl renaissance that has occurred around the world. The College Radio Foundation gives grants to college radio stations to keep them on the air. Vinylthon 2019 will be the fourth Vinylthon event, and proceeds will go to their College Radio Fund that supports college radio stations.

Dogfish Head Brewery Teams with David Lemieux for Grateful Dead-Themed Record Store Day Release: Dogfish Head Brewery has announced an exclusive Record Store Day release, enlisting Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux to curate a 10-inch vinyl. Sage and Spirit will be a “soundtrack to a summer day” and feature Grateful Dead favorites like “Sugar Magnolia,” “Eyes Of The World,” “Lost Sailor,” “Saint Of Circumstance,” “High Time,” “Unbroken Chain,” “If I Had The World To Give” and, of course, “Sage and Spirit.” According to press release, the LP will also include live cuts of “Jack Straw” and “Brown-Eyed Women” from the Dead’s famed Europe ’72 run. “Choosing the songs for ‘Sage & Spirit’ really didn’t take long, but that’s not to say I didn’t put a lot of work into it. My directive was, ‘You’re sitting on the porch. It’s a summer day. You’re drinking a Dogfish Head American Beauty and listening to the Dead,’ and immediately I thought, ‘I got it,’” Lemieux said.

Garth Brooks unveils his elaborate vinyl “Legacy” collection, with pre-orders starting tonight: Starting tonight at 7 p.m. ET, Garth Brooks steps into the vinyl world in a major way. That’s when you’ll be able to pre-order the five-album, seven-record set known as Legacy . Garth unveiled the artwork for the collection — which shows an astronaut in space with E rth in the background — on Monday during his weekly Inside Studio G chat on Facebook. Legacy will be available in three different packages: the original analog versions on vinyl; the remixed-remastered series with the updated tracks on vinyl; and a limited package that includes both the analog records and digital discs with bonus tracks. Legacy will also include the three-disc Triple Live project Garth recorded on his World Tour. You can find out more about the project when the pre-order goes live at 7 p.m. ET tonight at GarthBrooks.com/vinyl.

What Does a Canceled Ryan Adams Album Mean for Record Stores? Earlier this month, the first of three Ryan Adams albums slated for 2019, Big Colors, was put on hold indefinitely after several women, including Phoebe Bridgers and Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore, told the New York Times about Adams’ alleged history of emotional abuse and sexual misconduct. Big Colors was due for an April 19th release on Adams’ own label Pax-Am, via Blue Note Records and Capitol Music Group. The album’s iTunes pre-order and pre-release listing on streaming services were quickly pulled. But much of Adams’ core audience still buys music at record stores. What does it mean for those shops when a major artist has his album pulled? And as streaming platforms face scrutiny for how they handle music by artists accused of abuse, what is the responsibility of a physical record store in the #MeToo era?

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In rotation: 2/26/19

Plymouth, UK | Delight as Plymouth HMV staff get their jobs back. Surprise reopening is a boost for workers, shoppers and Plymouth city centre: Plymouth city centre has been given a major boost after the HMV store re-opened – leaving staff and customers delighted. The roller-shutter rolled up at 9am on Saturday, February 23, 2019, more than two weeks after the huge Drake Circus Shopping Centre outlet shut suddenly. It is understood the chain’s new Canadian owner has reached an agreement with mall bosses British Land Company PLC on rental for the vast unit. It meant the store, one of 27 that closed when music store mogul Doug Putman bought HMV out of administration, could start trading again. It is understood staff were only called the evening before and given the good news they could go back to their jobs.

Dundee, UK | SAVED: Iconic store in Dundee city centre​ to stay open: The iconic Groucho’s record store is to stay open, its owner has announced. It was announced in September last year that the landlord was selling the shop premises and subsequently the sale was completed at the end of November. It left owner Alastair Brodie considering retirement and the record store – a mainstay in Dundee for 42 years and at its current Nethergate location since 1999 – under threat. But Alastair has announced it will stay open in a Facebook post on Friday night. He wrote: “After months of speculation I am delighted to announce that Groucho’s will not be closing in the near future as feared. “Fortunately we have been able to strike a deal with the new landlord to extend our lease by five years which I’m sure will come as a great relief to our loyal customers.”

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 – 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.

Des Moines, IA | Rock out, Merle Hay Mall: A store with 50,000 vinyl records is moving in: Get ready to rock, Merle Hay Mall. A record store is moving into the mall, complete with 50,000 vinyl records, cassette tapes, autographed pieces and live bands playing shows in the mall. Ratt’s Underground Records is moving into a 3,900 square-foot space at the mall on the lower level, next door to Expo and near Flix Brewhouse. Steve Ratcliff, the store’s owner, said he is moving his existing store at 617 Euclid Avenue and all of the vintage merchandise along with it. “I have a lot of opportunities going into the mall,” Ratcliff said. “I’ve been here in the Highland Park area for seven years and it’s a struggle.” The Merle Hay Mall store includes a poster and art gallery, heavy metal and punk rock patches and 1,600 band T-shirts. Ratcliff said his store will appeal to all genres of music lovers, “everything from punk rock to Hawaiian to barber shop quartet-type stuff.”

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In rotation: 2/25/19

Redditch, UK | Redditch record shop celebrates fourth anniversary following vinyl revival: Redditch record shop Vintage Trax is celebrating its fourth anniversary after reaping the benefits of the vinyl revival. The popular business, on Birchfield Road in Headless Cross, will be marking the event this Saturday, February 23, music, giveaways and of course cake. Owner Ros Sidaway, credits the increasing demand and popularity of records for her shops success. She said: “It’s not just the local area we serve, we have customers regularly coming from the Birmingham area, Warwickshire, the South West, Wales and London. “We even have people from around the UK and overseas visiting the John Bonham memorial in Redditch town centre who come up to the shop too.” Last year alone 4.2 million records were sold in the UK an increase of 1.6 per cent from 2017.

Hartlepool, UK | Northern Rocks in Hartlepool for lovers of vinyl records: Vinyl is, for Phil Dunn, labelled with love. The music suitor has fulfilled a long-time ambition and opened up a record store. Northern Rocks Vintage Vinyl, based inside Kiwi Trading in Hartlepool, sells vinyl albums and singles from across the years. And Dunn is also passing on his knowledge and expertise when it comes to jukeboxes and record players too. With a hefty collection at home, Northern Rocks – regulars at the old Gemini club in Hartlepool will recognise the logo – is a big extension of his personal vinyl enthusiasm. Dunn admitted: “It’s a lifetime of work – as a record collector I’ve built up a collection of around 10,000 albums.

Decatur, GA | Phonographs are ‘anachronistic,’ per Georgia legislation. Vinyl collectors spin with disbelief: A bill in the legislature is getting some heat from record collectors for describing a phonograph as “anachronistic.” That word describes something as outdated, and record collectors say the machines that play vinyl records are far from anachronistic. The bill is the very first one sponsored by state Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs), who was first sworn in five weeks ago. His first-ever bill takes on the phonograph, a machine invested by Thomas Edison in 1877. Yet it persists in 21st century culture. The evidence is in Wuxtry Records, a north Decatur institution opened in 1978. Yes, some people still buy music at Wuxtry and other stores. And its owner Mark Methe is quick to point out they still buy vinyl records.

Los Angeles, CA | Math professor’s fortune is pure vinyl: …But prior to getting into the academic life, Pumar had been stockpiling on vinyl records since the age of 16. “I had a friend in high school, whose parents gave him all of their old records, and I was at his house. As soon as I saw a record on the table, in motion, producing music, I got utterly fascinated and it’s been a total obsession ever since,” Pumar said. Pumar has accumulated a massive collection of 1,214 Vinyl’s [“Vinyls” is not a word. The plural of vinyl is in fact, vinyl. —Ed.] and said that choosing one favorite is hard. He said his collection is worth anywhere between 16,000 or 40,000 dollars. His most prized pieces of his collection are the ones where he got to meet the artist and have them sign his vinyl. “All the signed ones I have are priceless, because there is that interaction there where I got to meet the artist.” Pumar said.

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In rotation: 2/22/19

Washington, DC | Skip Groff, record store owner who presided over a D.C. punk paradise, dies at 70: “…Sometimes you go into a record store, and the person behind the counter makes you feel like you have trespassed,” said MacKaye, who co-founded Dischord Records and led bands including Minor Threat and Fugazi. “And sometimes the owner, or the person behind the counter, makes you feel like he was wondering what took you so long. I put Skip in the latter.” Mr. Groff maintained a wide selection of country and western rarities, rock and new-wave classics, obscure metal singles from Britain and Canada, and a smattering of Top 40 hits. He had initially planned to specialize in late-’60s rock and psychedelia, but his focus shifted with the rise of punk rock in England, which Mr. Groff visited several times each year to buy records. “When you start selling 15 to 20 Buzzcocks or X-Ray Spex records and one Beatles record, your ideas get changed around pretty quickly…”

Washington, DC | ‘Skip, we love you’: Remembering a pillar of D.C.’s punk scene: My father took me there first. I was 11 years old when we visited Yesterday & Today Records, an inauspicious storefront tucked on the side of the Sunshine Square shopping center in Rockville, Md. A music-loving kid, I’d haunted plenty of record stores at the mall, but when my Dad and I walked into Yesterday & Today, I could tell that it was a different creature. The store was bursting with thousands of LPs and singles, its walls adorned with faded posters and other ephemera. Crate-diggers sifted through bins of rare records — a bounty of rock-and-roll, but also loads of jazz, R&B, and more — with prices handwritten on big orange stickers. The store’s owner, Skip, effortlessly dispensed knowledge about his inventory to customers as if he were feeding koi. They looked to him expectantly, waiting for advice on what obscure, limited-edition vinyl gem they should try next. It was my first proper record-store experience. And Skip Groff was at the center of it.

Vinyl Sales Grow 500% In 5 Years: It’s been said over the last few years that vinyl is making a come back. As music becomes more digitized and accessible, there are some who argue it loses its individuality. And apparently there is some truth to their opinion- at least on the market side of the music industry. According to DJ Mag, “research conducted alongside online record shop Norman Records” confirms a 500% jump in vinyl record sales since 2013. Whether this resurgence in vinyl is due to many individuals’ discerning taste in music or just the hype over vinyl is uncertain. But one thing is. There’s never been a better time for vinyl salesmen or die-hard old school vinyl heads. The ability to have practically any track pressed at the drop of a dime is undoubtedly helping as well!

Tampa Bay, FL | Rock Out: Record time. Surely you’ve heard the news that Daddy Kool Records is moving off downtown St. Pete’s 600 block, so why not help lighten their load at their sidewalk sale on Saturday? You’ll find tons of used LPs, CDs, old concert posters, books, magazines and other music-related stuff. They’ll have another sale on March 23, just ahead of their closing on March 31. The store reopens in the new location in the Warehouse Arts District (2430 Terminal Drive S) on April 13, which is Record Store Day. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at 666 Central Ave. daddykool.com. Make a day of it and head over to Planet Retro Records’ St. Pete Punk Rock Flea Market. The curated indie flea will feature instruments, posters, books, ‘zines, collectibles, vintage clothing, decor and toys and art. It’s a family- and pet-friendly party with live music and DJs, food (vegan, too!) and drinks. Noon to 5 p.m. at 226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. planetretrorecords.com.

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In rotation: 2/21/19

Washington, DC | Remembering DC Music Legend Skip Groff: A local musician looks back on his time as an employee—and customer—of Groff’s record store Yesterday and Today. A trip to Yesterday and Today Records was nothing short of a pilgrimage for a teenage suburban music fan like me in 1983. Two Ride On buses and a short hike up Rockville Pike got me from my family’s house in Kensington to a cramped storefront in a strip mall behind the Entenmann’s outlet, across from Heavenly Ham. In this unlikely location, amid the sprawl, sat an oasis filled with tens of thousands of records: LPs and a massive selection of 7” 45s—punk records, pop records, hit records, obscure records. At the center of the chaos, surrounded by these records he loved so much, was owner Skip Groff, who died Monday at age 70. He is survived by his wife Kelly and daughter Kirsty, named for British pop singer Kirsty MacColl. As my band Velocity Girl was getting started in the early 1990s I worked at the store on and off for a couple years. Skip had a profound impact on me as a musician, and I am glad to have been his friend.

Orlando, FL | Brothers, Jazz Cats, and Smokers: Music and Cannabis at Florida’s Foundation Records: Cool is a loose ideology, set by those who stand at its forefront. But its core can be seen inside Foundation—a small, unassuming record store that specializes in vintage clothing, vinyl, and insightful conversation with two unpretentious brothers. Located in the College Park neighborhood in Orlando, Florida, Alex and Peter Cohen have curated a spot with “cool” as its main descriptor. A lone clothing rack stands outside the storefront to entice curious passersby. Their window is slightly blocked by cassette tapes, stereos, and old toys (like a Steve Urkel doll). And if their door is open, best believe a slight fragrance of warm tobacco is wafting outside, along with the sounds of whatever psych rock or funk record Alex or Peter are gawking over for the week.

Wokingham, UK | Wokingham Town Centre’s Peach Place announces more independent businesses to open: Independent shops will be appearing at a new town centre development, promising to be a ‘home to niche businesses that will set it apart from the norm’. A bakery and tea room, vinyl record shop and a craft beer bar will be opening their doors to Peach Place, Wokingham Town Centre. Shoppers will get to enjoy a range of pastries and cakes at The Blue Orchid Bakery and Tea Room, or try a craft beer at Sit and Sip. As well as the Leafy Elephant already being announced at the towns first indepedent gin bar, residents will also get to discover their favourite vinyl at Beyond the Download record shop. Councillor Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration, said: “I am very pleased to welcome another three great new independents to the town.

Nottingham, UK | Historic CD and vinyl shop The Music Inn celebrates its 100th anniversary. The shop, formerly known as Papworth’s, used to be based in Alfreton Road: Whether it was on vinyl, CD or cassette, everybody remembers the first album they bought. For many people in Nottingham that piece of music would have been purchased from The Music Inn, or as it was previously known, Papworth’s, in Alfreton Road. The company has witnessed for itself the decline in physical music sales over the last few years but unlike many of its competitors has weathered the storm. Today, owner David Rose is able to take stock of his family-run firm, now based in the West End Arcade, as the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. He said: “Its marvellous to have that continuation of history. “I get people coming in every week saying ‘I remember buying this off your dad’ and that sort of thing. It is a wonderful thing to have and there can’t be too many businesses that can say that. It’s lovely to have this shared history.”

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In rotation: 2/20/19

Washington, DC | Record store owner, early DC punk producer Skip Groff dies at 70: Skip Groff, whose Yesterday & Today record store in a strip shopping center in Rockville, Maryland, became ground zero in the early days of D.C.’s punk and alternative music scenes, has died at age 70. Groff’s wife of 31 years, Kelly Groff, told WTOP that her husband had a seizure at their Montgomery County home Monday night. He died at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. Born Frank Groff in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1948, his wife said Groff and his parents had lived on an Air Force base, and settled in Suitland, Maryland, when he was in fifth or sixth grade. “His mom called him Skipper when he was little,” Kelly Groff said. “At some point, he needed a radio name,” so Skip stuck.

Stroud, UK | Record shop to celebrate one year with acoustic duo: A record shop is celebrating its first year in Nailsworth this month with two exciting events. Ahead of the international Record Store Day in April, Sanctuary Music at 42 Nailsworth Mills is hosting an acoustic duo on Thursday, February 28 from 5pm to 8pm. ‘Wars Against Reality’ comprises fiancés Josh, who is 23 and has just completed as degree in music production, having been playing guitar since the age of 8, and Aria, who is 19 and has had a passion for singing for as long as she can remember. The store also has plans for Record Store Day 2019 itself on Saturday, April 13 – Sanctuary Music will be announcing its line-up of artists, musicians and activities shortly.

Discogs sold almost 11 million records last year: Online vinyl marketplace Discogs sold almost 11 million records in 2018. Doubling up as a record year for the website, it 10,912,527 items across the year – a 8.6% sales increase over 2017. The figures were revealed as part of the company’s annual Data and Trends report. A rare, Canadian production copy of Prince’s ‘Black Album’ was a record-breaking individual sale at $27,500, while a copy of Sex Pistols ‘God Save the Queen’ went for $15,822. Sales of cassettes, meanwhile, saw a 24.08% increase over 2018. In terms of genres, electronic music accounted for 10.01% of sales, coming in second to rock music, which claimed 15.29% of the overall total.

Queens, NY | CARIBBEAT: Queens-based VP Records marks 40 years of successfully spreading Caribbean reggae, dancehall and soca music around the world: Happy, happy 40th birthday to VP Records — the Caribbean-rooted mom-and-pop music store that grew into the world’s largest independent recording company for reggae, dancehall and soca music, based in Jamaica, Queens. The company — originally started as a small store in Kingston, Jamaica, by the late Vincent (Randy) Chin and his wife, Patricia Chin — will be celebrating its four decades with a yearlong list of activities in the U.S., Toronto and London. “VP is integral to the history of reggae and dancehall music. We take this responsibility seriously and we are using our 40th anniversary to celebrate the music’s rich heritage as we steward the genre into the future,” said Randy Chin, the co-founders’ son who runs the firm with his mother and brother Christopher.

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In rotation: 2/19/19

Missoula, MT | Rockin Rudy’s, a cornerstone of Montana music scene since 1982: The accessibility of listening to and buying music online is certainly different from the days when fans lined up to buy Elvis Presley records. Brick and mortar record stores have closed all over the country. But in Missoula there’s one shop that’s weathering the changes and even opening channels to music in new and old ways. It was a bitter cold Saturday when we visited Rockin Rudy’s. The wind chill hadn’t dissuaded customers from coming in. In her vintage platform tennis shoes, 13-year-old Amelia Mudd was doing what girls her age did years ago. She was buying a vinyl record.

South Cape, FL | Revolution Records: Owner’s dream becomes reality with opening of store in South Cape: One of the most familiar things Jason Handy remembers hearing from his parents is, “Why do you have to spend so much money on records?” From the time he turned 9 years old, he was always buying them. And for the past 30 years, the Englishman said the idea to open a store has, “been in the works in his mind.” About five weeks ago, that became a reality. “Now with vinyl coming back and being popular again and now being older and being able to afford to put money into the business as opposed to being a reckless 20-something, it made more sense now.” Some people say records went away, but Handy disagrees. “It didn’t really to the people that collected it. It didn’t actually go anywhere. It attracts a wide audience from 15 year olds to 75-80 year olds,” he said. “There’s no shoe that really fits. It’s all over the place and everyone can enjoy it.”

Augusta, GA | Pyramid Music: An Augusta Legacy: The journey begins in 1972 with Big G’s Platter Shop, at the time it only sold records. Noura Gordon says her mother wanted more for her culture. Two years later, Pyramid Music opened. “My mother started Pyramid Music, a lot of people thought my father did,” said Gordon. “She wanted to sell more cultural items. Pyramid Music started in 1974; it was a spin-off of Big G’s Platter Shop. The record store has been a staple in the Augusta area for more than 40 years. It’s been passed down to Noura who is continuing her parent’s legacy. “It couldn’t be a better job to talk to the everyday person about the music that is going to make them cry, laugh and bring back memories,” said Gordon. “I help people go through the soundtrack of their lives, and that’s a beautiful experience every day.” In a world where everything is becoming digitized, one customer told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson, browsing through the store’s selection is like walking through memory lane.

Ankara, TR | Collectors of rare vinyl LPs find treasure trove in Turkey: While most millennials have never even laid eyes on a vinyl music record, many older collectors travel the world in search of rare albums. According to record sellers in Ankara, Turkey is a treasure trove of hard-to-find 45 and 78 RPM (rounds-per-minute) records, also known as LPs, from a range of musical genres. “Because Turkey, unlike the U.S. and Europe, hasn’t produced that many vinyl records, many of those that were made here are considered rare,” longtime collector Süleyman Özyıldırım told Anadolu Agency. Having grown up listening to vinyl records, Özyıldırım now owns and manages “Shades,” a shop in Ankara’s Cankaya district that sells cassettes, CDs and vinyl LPs, many of which are relatively hard to find. “Vinyl albums produced after the 1960s are especially coveted by collectors,” said Özyıldırım, 55, whose private collection of records numbers more than 50,000.

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In rotation: 2/15/19

Indianapolis, IN | Record Store to Join Bottleworks Plans: Indianapolis-based Hendricks Commercial Properties has announced the record store Square Cat Vinyl is set to open in 2020 as part of phase one of the Bottleworks District. The new shop, which will be in The Garage at Bottleworks, is the latest addition to the project that aims to revamp the Coca-Cola building on Massachusetts Avenue. Square Cat Vinyl established its first location in Fountain Square in 2016 as a record store venue with a bar, stage and vinyls for sale. The shop’s bar services won’t be available at the new Bottleworks location but one of its main goals will be helping to curate live music at The Garage. The company has also hired local craftsman Loran Bohall to build all the shop’s shelving and will have a local music section.

Singapore | The 9 best vinyl record stores in Singapore: Analog music may be a dying industry, but we’ll be damned if we don’t admit that the flicking of fingertips through crates of alphabetically-arranged LPs isn’t an irreplaceable experience. It’s like browsing a jukebox, but the preview echoes in your head in hummed memory, instead of as static blarings through a stereo. The album art too, is a lost artform best appreciated in its full glory on thick paper sleeves. If you’re a vinyl romantic like us, check out these record stores that have managed to withstand the test of time.

Isle of Thanet, UK | New Broadstairs record shop hits the right note: Second-hand records, CDs, musical instruments and even a bit of art are all on offer at the newest shop to open in Broadstairs. Starfish Records in Albion Street has just completed its first week of trading and bosses John Rowden and wife ‘Ferret’ say business has been booming. The pair, from Faversham, found themselves in the vinyl trade seven years ago after taking 2,000 records off a friend’s hands. John said: “We started doing boot fairs and then record fairs but they were only once a month so we decided to do Faversham market every Saturday. “The shop is really a natural progression of that and we hope it is going to evolve as we have new stock coming in all the time. “We wanted to come to Broadstairs as there isn’t another shop like us here so we thought we could add something.”

Houston, TX | Connected record store, coffee shop to open on 19th: Black Dog Records and Maggie May’s Coffee is preparing to open in early March at 726 W. 19th St., across from Tarka Indian Kitchen. And although the coffee element is new, Black Dog already has a following. Owner James Sherwood had Black Dog on Bissonnet for seven years. “We closed the location as the unit size of 1,200 square feet was not adequate enough to support the addition of a coffee shop,” Sherwood said…In addition to selling quality, near-mint-condition first and early pressings of vintage vinyl records including classic rock, 1980s pop, heavy metal, alternative, punk, R&B, soul, jazz, blues, folk and country as well as select remastered albums, the new location also will host weekend entertainment such as live, in-store performances by local Houston artists. It also will be home to karaoke nights, afternoon poetry readings, trivia game nights and amateur stand-up comedy.

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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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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