The TVD Storefront

Tall Heights,
The TVD First Date

“To me, a vinyl record spinning on the turntable is like a bonfire glowing in your backyard. Once you spark it up, you have to tend to its beginning, middle, and end.”

“It creates a buzz and warmth that draws you and your friends closer, and even as it stays in that one place, it never stops moving, it never stops moving you. In this day and age, I love vinyl for slowing us down a little, for sucking us in, for giving us something that’s real to engage with and to hold onto.

My record collection tells a story of who I am as well. It’s a culmination of an inherited American tradition of music, family, friends, and touring/travel. I have my dad’s old records: Gordon Lightfoot, THE Moody Blues, Dan Fogelberg, Fleetwood Mac. I have albums inherited from friends: Stevie Wonder, Art Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Dire Straits.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
David Bowie,
Never Let Me Down

Never let you down? How about never letting us down? On this 1987 dry well of an LP David Bowie–who thanks to 1983’s Let’s Dance and 1984’s Tonight had finally achieved the vast popular success that had eluded him throughout the years–stooped yet again to conquer, and put paid to his reputation as a genius/ trendsetter in the process. Never Let Me Down wasn’t just a stumble, or even the worst LP of Bowie’s career–it was a harbinger of the lost years to come.

One hardly knows where to start. With the second-rate dance rhythms? The forgettable melodies? The overweening (let’s go big big big!) but ultimately counter-productive production? The ubiquitous (and headache-provoking) ’80s drum drum drum? The horrifying harmonica Bowie seems to have borrowed from Boy George? His lackluster vocals and lack of commitment to the material? The inexplicable presence of Mickey Rourke? Did I just say Mickey Rourke?

On Never Let Me Down Bowie shamelessly panders to his newfound audience. Pandering is but a form of condescension, and on Never Let Me Down he doesn’t just make a whore of himself; he makes whores of us all. I’m one of those people (Velvet Goldmine director Todd Haynes being another) who thinks Bowie sold his soul for fame with Let’s Dance. But the devil always exacts his due. He spared Bowie eternal damnation; guess he figured Never Let Me Down was punishment enough.

Inexplicably many critics–blinded perhaps their fond memories of past glories and unwilling to face up to his precipitous fall from grace–had nothing but good things to say about the album. Bowie himself was far less deluded, telling a 1995 interviewer, “My nadir was Never Let Me Down. It was such an awful album…I really shouldn’t have even bothered going into the studio to record it.”

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 11/11/19

Fort Wayne, IN | Owner puts Neat Neat Neat Records up for sale: A message posted Friday evening on Facebook signals a looming change for a well known local record store. The owners of “Neat Neat Neat Records and Music” said they are “actively pursuing a buyer,” as they move on to a new endeavor…”I feel that it is time that we come public with our intentions and the future of NNN. I am starting a new company that I am very excited about, and that shows a lot of promise. In order to put my full efforts behind this new venture, Danielle and I have decided that I will need to step away from Neat Neat Neat, which means selling it. This decision does not come lightly. NNN has been my lifes work thus far, and my intention is to see it continue to flourish under new ownership.” UPDATE: “We have had a very serious offer from a prospective buyer and will be talking tomorrow about moving forward. I’ll keep everyone updated as we proceed.”

San Francisco, CA | Rasputin Music On Haight Street Closes: Rasputin Music, the iconic Bay Area record store chain, will be closing its Haight Ashbury location, its last storefront in San Francisco. Employees were informed Friday. The Haight Ashbury Rasputin location opened in 2013. Rasputin closing its doors is the latest in a series of storefronts shutting down on Haight Street. Christin Evans runs The Booksmith on Haight Street, located just a few doors down. She is also the president of the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association and has been active in the economic welfare of the street since 2007. “There’s about 150 storefronts on Haight Street and there have been more vacant ones on Haight recently than any other time in my memory of being on the street,” she tells SF Weekly. “Even when we had the economic downturn we did not see as many storefronts closed as we do now.” She says she believes the stores closing on the street is the result of several factors all at once.

Shamrock, TX | Spinning the black circle: Spinning Jenny’s House of Music: As the saying goes, everything old is new again, and the comeback of vinyl records is proof of that. The resurgence of the classic musical platform has inspired one local resident and helped give an economic boost to the city of Shamrock. “All the way from Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Pampa, and Oklahoma. We have several that come from there,” said Jenny Morgan, Spinning Jenny’s House of Music owner. Spinning Jenny’s House of Music has been open since 2017. Life long resident and owner Jenny Morgan got the idea to open her own record store by watching something else spin round and round. “I honestly was doing laundry one day and it just came to me. I was just racking my brain, ‘What can I do that I would really enjoy for the rest of my life,’ and I thought its got to be something with music,” said Morgan.

Chicago, IL | Selling Your Record Collection To Move On In Life The Focus Of New Documentary Based At Dusty Groove: “It’s really not about how cool records are or the resurgence of vinyl, it’s really about people who are letting go of the things that once defined them.” A new documentary about West Town’s Dusty Groove records is a lot more than a story about vinyl. The film, “Dusty Groove: The Sound of Transition,” is Chicago filmmaker Danielle Beverly’s look at several people at a transition in their lives, often opting to sell their record collections to move on to their next phase. But Beverly provides enough footage of record culture to satisfy the vinyl lovers. “If someone loves vinyl records and record stores, they are going to love this film. The vinyl nerds are going to get their fix. But it’s really not about how cool records are or the resurgence of vinyl, it’s really about people who are letting go of the things that once defined them,” Beverly said. Beverly is a professor at Northwestern University who teaches documentary filmmaking both in Evanston and at the school’s campus in Qatar. She recently moved back to Chicago from Qatar. …“I had just finished buying a record collection from a woman named Jazzy Joyce, who was one of the first female hip-hop DJs in New York,” Wojcik recalled. “This was like 2010 and Joyce was just ready to start the next chapter of her life. And as with everybody when I buy these records, hers was just a fascinating story.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Don’t get my sympathy, hanging out the fifteenth floor / You’ve changed the locks three times / He still comes reeling through the door / One day I’ll get to you / And teach you how to get to purest hell / You do it to yourself you do / And that’s what really hurts / Is you do it to yourself,  just you

When I think of health food I think of my dad. He was the first vegetarian I ever met. In truth it would be almost a decade before I came across another veggie. In the ’70s people thought you were crazy if you ate brown eggs, nuts, dried fruit, and raw milk.

For most New Yorkers, health food made its screen debut in Woody Allen’s Anne Hall. Woody lunching at The Source Cafe on Sunset seemed absurd, but for many Sunset strip, health food, and driving in convertibles made a lasting impression.

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TVD UK

TVD Live Shots: My Vitriol at the Islington Assembly Hall, 11/1

Few bands in the world have a flawless catalogue and a reputation for consistently over-delivering, one of those being My Vitriol. Technically speaking, the band has only delivered two full-length records during their twenty-year run. Still, both of them are brilliant in every aspect of modern music, especially their juggernaut of a debut Finelines, which still holds up flawlessly. Add to that a certain mystique around the band and the fact that they single-handedly invented the genre of “nu gaze” (an evolution of the shoegaze but more accessible and forward-thinking).

This would be the third time I’ve seen My Vitriol since moving to the UK three years ago. They don’t tour very often these days, so when they do, it’s a pretty big deal and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Not only is it a spectacle for the eyes, but the sonic explosion that happens with My Vitriol live is unlike any show I’ve seen before. Touring as a three-piece Seth Taylor, Som Wardner, and Ravi Kesavaram (bassist Tatia Starkey remains on temporary leave) the trio wowed a near-capacity crowd for almost two hours and there was never a dull moment.

The setlist pulled heavily from Finelines with a dozen songs from their masterful debut and surprisingly only four tracks from 2016’s Secret Sessions. It was great to hear “It’s so Damn Easy” early on in the set as it sounds brilliant live. Other highlights were the staples, including “Losing Touch,” “Cemented Shoes,” “The Gentle Art of Choking,” “Alpha Waves,” and of course, “Always Your Way.” Between the lights and the sonic bombardment, this was a show that assaulted all of your senses in the nicest possible way. Parts of the show were so heavy that a decent sized mosh pit formed just in front of the stage. I’m not sure that was necessary as I’ve never seen one at a My Vitriol show, but the show was that intense.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Third Man Records announces
new Shinola turntable in stores 11/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is excited to announce the Third Man Turntable, created in partnership with Shinola.

The two revered Detroit institutions have combined their efforts and the superior craftsmanship both brands are known for to create a very limited-edition Third Man-centric run of Shinola’s already-beloved turntables. The Third Man Turntable is available for pre-order online now and will be available in Third Man Records stores on Black Friday. The limited edition Third Man Turntable is a joint effort between the Shinola Audio team and Third Man Records.

In their ongoing mission to empower new generations of music lovers and vinyl enthusiasts, it felt right for Third Man to strike up a partnership with Shinola, because a collaboration like this needs to be fueled by a mutual passion for well designed objects and appreciation for the power of music.

Every element, including the craftsmanship of the plinth, precision-machined aluminum platter, and powerful, ultra-quiet motor, is hand-assembled piece by piece. The turntable features a built-in, switchable phono preamplifier and a belt driven pulley with speeds of 33 1/3 rpm and 45rpm. It is equipped with an Ortofon 2M blue phono cartridge with many components made by VPI Industries, an American veteran of turntable manufacturing.

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The TVD Storefront

Steve Forbert,
The TVD First Date

“Putting an LP on a turntable is, to me, a conscientious act of music appreciation—and a small, personal protest against the omnipresent, instantaneous, and disposable state of popular music around us.”

“And it’s typically a higher quality sonic experience than other mediums. I find that listening to a complete side of an album, maybe even both sides, or even playing a 45-rpm is best done alone. If I try to listen with a friend, we’ll likely start talking about the recording as it plays! This is fine and fun but, of course, not optimum listening.

I go way back with vinyl and have quite a collection (filed alphabetically by artist, side by side on several custom-made shelves). I’m now out of the habit of returning a record immediately to its proper place, so they tend to line up on the floor, back to front, staring at me, waiting to be filed again.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Rolling Stones,
Goat’s Head Soup

By anybody else’s standards a very good LP; coming as it did on the heels of Exile on Main Street, a colossal disappointment. And this despite a few top-notch songs. For The Rolling Stones 1973’s Goat Head Soup was the beginning of the end; the title of It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll about says it all, and Some Girls was less a last gasp than a death rattle. After that, the abyss.

All great bands have their golden age, and with the Stones that golden age lasted from 1968’s Beggar’s Banquet to 1972’s Exile on Main Street. Inside those bookends were 1969’s Let It Bleed and 1971’s Sticky Figures–masterpieces all. This four album run–five if you consider Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!, which I don’t–beats The Beatles and put them in a dead heat with Bob Dylan. But as with the Beatles and Dylan, all good things come to an end.

How do I adjudge Exile on Main Street to be a great album, and Goats Head Soup but a good one? Simple. While every single song on Exile is engraved upon my memory, for the life of me I can never remember what such songs as “100 Years Ago,” “Coming Down Again, “Hide Your Love,” and “Can’t You Hear the Music” even sound like. It would be unfair to call them forgettable, but I’ll be damned if I can remember them.

On Exile the Stones ripped that joint, let it loose, then scraped the shit right off their shoes. On Goats Heads Soup they sound, well, enervated. Weary, or even worse, complacent. Like a band resting on its laurels. The LP has a couple of excellent slow ones on it, but ballads were never the Stones’ forte; they made their bones playing a raunched-up variant on American rhythm and blues, and on Goats Head Soup the raunch is missing in action.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 11/8/19

Cambridge, UK | Vital vinyl: The 3 best record shops in Cambridge: Shopping for vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record outlets in Cambridge, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for vinyl records. November is the top month of the year for consumer spending at retail and wholesale businesses across the Cambridge area, according to data on local business transactions from Womply, a provider of customer relationship management software and email automation for small businesses. The average amount spent per customer transaction at Cambridge-area retail and wholesale businesses grew to $89 for the metro area in November of last year, 5% higher than the average for the rest of the year. Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in this article may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions.

Sydney, AU | Fish Fine Music to close at the end of the year: Classical music specialist record store Fish Fine Music has announced it will close forever on December 21. The Sydney store, which opened as The Record Collector in 1982, is the last remaining classical music specialist shop in the country, following the closure of Melbourne’s Thomas’ Music last year. Operated and owned by the same family as when it opened, the store moved to a larger space at Town Hall Square in 2016, after more than ten years in the Queen Victoria Building. “It has been a great pleasure to meet and serve so many like-minded, wonderful customers. As this is the end of an era, we look back on so many years of being part of what was such a vibrant industry,” said the store’s owner Paul Nemeth when he announced the closure. “Many will ask why we are closing and it is briefly that record companies continue monthly to delete hundreds of titles in favour of streaming. The difficulty this causes for us in getting regular and consistent supply, along with the vagaries of releases and distribution, have made retail just too difficult. As the last Classical retailer, shoplifting has reached such a level that we are unable to cover the losses on the margins we work under.”

Austin, TX | Austin Record Convention celebrates 38 years this weekend: Vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years as music lovers re-discover the sound that vinyl offers. Now, vinyl lovers can celebrate as the Austin Record Convention returns for the 38th year. “People like to have a piece of that history in their collection. When you put on a record you have a chance to sit with the music.” said Nathan Hanners, the organizer of the Austin Record Convention. “I think people just miss the feeling and miss the tactfulness of the record.” said Hanners. The convention started in 1981 and usually runs twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Vinyl’s have become so popular that they are on track to outsell CD’s for the first time in 33 years, according to the Rolling Stone. Over 300 dealers from across the US and Europe will converge at the Palmer Events Center in Austin to sell over a million records.

London, UK | New record shop, Hidden Sounds, has opened in London: “A multi-disciplinary platform for buying records, hosting workshops, and putting on concerts.” A new record shop, called Hidden Sounds, has opened in London’s Bethnal Green. “Hidden Sounds is not related to any particular genre or style of music, but its main focus is to offer something different and unique by exploring the potential of hidden sounds”, explain owners Alex and Francesco. So far, Hidden Sounds has hosted the likes of Donna Leake and Brilliant Corners’ Amit & Aneesh for in-store sets. Visit Hidden Sounds in person at 144 Cambridge Heath Road, E1 5QP, London.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Tool at the United Center, 11/3

In August, thirteen long years after a new Tool album, the highly anticipated Fear Inoculum arrived in stores to critical acclaim. Adding to the joy of Tool fans worldwide was a tour announcement. Having digested both the new album and their live performance, it’s clear to me that the masterful wizards behind the music—Maynard James Keenan, Danny Carey, Adam Jones, and Justin Chancellor—are still as intoxicating as ever.

I wouldn’t consider Tool a readily accessible band, mainly because they’re always trying to push musical and theoretical boundaries. They don’t have “singles,” rather, concept albums that are better understood when listened to in full. The rhythms, scales, and lyrics are complex and playful.

Each member of the band is a true master of their instrument—and these are just a few of the reasons why their legions are so loyal. And that’s who really stole my attention on Sunday evening: the Tool Army. I sat and watched a stadium full of them at the United Center, moved to the core—singing, crying, feeling, fists in the air. It was powerful.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots:
Sabaton and HammerFall at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 11/3

For many years, I’ve had an interest in the study of World War I, “The Great War.” In just four years, that conflict sprayed carnage across the world, leaving millions dead, accelerated technological advancements, influenced the culture of a generation, and shaped an entire century. I’d read books and given speeches on why we should continue to have an interest, even as 100 years have passed since November 11, 1918. I’ve only ever been met with polite attention. I know now what was missing from my discussions, the thing that could generate sustained enthusiasm for creaky, dusty history: Swedish power metal.

This realization came to me when Sabaton (Joakim Brodén, Pär Sundström, Tommy Johansson, Hannes van Dahl, and Chris Rörland) marched through suburban Washington, DC this past Sunday night with support from HammerFall, blasting the sold out Fillmore Silver Spring, the last night of the US leg of “The Great Tour.” Sabaton are promoting their new album The Great War. Unlike previous albums that were built around a war-related theme—last stands, heroes, the rise and fall of the Swedish Empire—this album is built around World War I.

It was an impressive stage setup for a club venue—a war tank with the drum kit perched on top and mic stands in the form of helmets and rifles. After kicking off with “Ghost Division,” Sabaton tore through roughly half of The Great War, setting stories about the Red Baron and the Battle of Verdun to fist pumps and metal riffs.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: The Soft Underground, Anemoia

NYC-based duo The Soft Underground have a knack for undeniably groovy alt jams that color outside the traditional rock song structures.

Anemoia is the band’s third full length album, and is a clear indication that their unconventional format is working. The two band spearheads, Andrew McCarty and Charlie Hickey, are primarily a studio duo who build their instrumentals first and then cast individual vocalists to embody each track.

This results in a surprisingly cohesive aesthetic, with an overall vibe that conjures up Seattle’s ’90s scene with a dash of deep cut ’70s psych rock. It’s a trippy, modern take on the sounds of yesteryear, falling somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and The Velvet Underground.

“Thematically, it’s a happy album,” McCarty reflects, knowing that their material often boasts an impenetrably moody veneer. “We tried to capture that state of euphoria where you can appreciate all facets of life, including the lows.”

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The TVD Storefront

Brother Hawk,
The TVD First Date
and Video Premiere,
“The Black Dog”

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that Neil Young is my all time favorite artist.”

“I’m an especially big fan of the Ditch Trilogy. Tonight’s The Night and On The Beach are two favorites in my family. My Dad turned us on to those records really early and we’ve always loved listening to them and playing those songs together. “Albuquerque,” “On The Beach,” and “Motion Pictures” were some of my favorites to play and sing with my Dad while he played harmonica. Those records played a huge part in my musical development and still influence the music we make now.

Some years later my brother JoJo bought me Time Fades Away on vinyl for Xmas and it was an instant favorite right up there with the others—I wore it the fuck out! It’s so genuine and raw, and that really comes through even more when you listen on vinyl. HAIL NEIL!”
J.B. Brisendine, guitar,vocals

“My brother and I had been following Radiohead since they came out with their first album Pablo Honey, and we loved The Bends as well. But, once OK Computer came out I was completely obsessed with them.”

“I couldn’t get over the harmonic language and sounds they came up with on that album. We would scrounge around to find any videos of them playing live that we could. I quickly became a huge fan of Jonny Greenwood in particular, his background as a classical musician, and how he fit his unusual solos, synths, and piano playing into their sound.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for November 2019, Part One

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for November, 2019. 

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Jumpstarted Plowhards, Round One (Recess) Bassist Mike Watt is, with no hyperbole, indefatigable. In the recent past, he’s been out on the road as part of Tav Falco’s band, assisted (along with singer David Yow) in a bunch of shows with Flipper, and has just wound down a tour with his own outfit The Missingmen. Recordings have been prominent as well, with this set a back-and-forth project with singer-guitarist Todd Congelliere of Toys That Kill and a rotating cast of drummers including a few with long associations with Watt, namely George Hurley, Raul Morales, and the youthful Nick Aguilar. Toys That Kill is a San Pedro-based outfit, so this is all literally close to home for Watt, with the foundation of the songs beginning with his bass parts as recorded to click tracks.

They were then passed on to Congelliere, who fleshed out the tunes and finally picked the drummers as he felt appropriate; amongst the contributors is Patty Schemel of Hole. Not being super-familiar with Toys That Kill, the results are pretty surprising as the concise set begins in what I’ll call a late ’70s-early ’80s UK art-punk zone that borders on that era and that nation’s subterranean DIY explosion. As the next seven tracks unwind, the general aura of Britishness remains but without ever slipping into the territory of a best-accent contest. The whole is cohesive as fuck (this bodes well, as there are five more prospective installments of Jumpstarted Plowhards material) and rocks like a mofo, which given the participants, isn’t the least bit surprising. It all syncs up very nicely with the below. A-

Fitted, First Fits (ORG Music) If Jumpstarted Plowhards is near to Mike Watt geographically, Fitted connects to the Minutemen (the bassist’s most high-profile endeavor, as ever it will be) pretty solidly, as amongst the participants is founding member of Wire, bassist-vocalist Edvard Graham Lewis; rounding out the band is later and current Wire member Matthew Sims on guitar and Bob Lee (Fearless Leader, Claw Hammer, The Freeks) on drums, with Watt on bass and spiel. Lewis adds synth and sampler, while Simms brings modular synth and organ to the studio. Well, five studios, as this was cut in various locations in Cali, the UK and Sweden in 2017-’18. Amazingly, Fitted practiced once, on March 30, 2017. The music is sharp-edged post-punk and expansive; at six tracks, it’s twice the length of Round One. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Peter Ivers, Becoming Peter Ivers (RVNG Intl.) Peter Ivers is far from forgotten, but along with the mysterious circumstances of his death in 1983, he’s probably remembered mainly these days for writing “In Heaven,” which was featured in David Lynch’s Eraserhead as sung by Laurel Near (it has since been covered many times, including by The Pixies). He was also the host of Los Angeles-area public access show New Wave Theater, which benefited from wider exposure on Night Flight and last decade by making the internet rounds. But as a recording artist, Ivers debuted all the way back in ’69 for Epic with Knight of the Blue Communion. Neither it nor his epic follow-up Take It Out On Me sold much, but he still ended up signed to Warner Brothers, where he cut two more albums.

Ivers’ role on New Wave Theater might position him on the surface as an early punk-era oddball personality, which he certainly was, but as the above should highlight, he was much more than that. His ’74 album Terminal Love was produced by Van Dyke Parks, who appears on one selection on this collection, “Window Washer.” Five years in the making and collecting mid-’70s demos, four of them of songs from Terminal Love, Becoming Peter Ivers really underscores Ivers’ talent as a songwriter, his solid harmonica playing (he was mentored by Little Walter) and the kind of ’70s presence that didn’t fit in to the decade’s scheme, a la Tom Waits, though the music here, often in the singer-songwriter mode with a funky undercurrent, is distinct. While demos, these aren’t song skeletons. A valuable eye-opener. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 11/7/19

London, UK | Record store and dubplate-cutting studio Disc World crowdfunds to open in London: A proposed Deptford shopfront would house the 1-800-DUBPLATE vinyl-cutting service and a store for specialist dance music vinyl. A Kickstarter is underway to fund a record store and dubplate-cutting shopfront in Deptford, southeast London. Disc World is seeking £12,500 to set up the store, half of which has already been funded since launching last week. It’s a venture from Chris Royle and Lewis Joyce from 1-800-DUBPLATE, an online vinyl-cutting service. A walk-in cutting studio will be built in the back of the proposed shop while the front will house records “specializing but not limited to underground dance music.” Pledger rewards include a 3×12-inch dubplate cut and a 50-record run of your own music. The campaign ends November 30th.

The Miniature 3-Inch Vinyl Format Is Growing Fast — Disney Is Now on Board: The mini-turntable has seen multiple releases this year from artists like All Time Low and Beastie Boys. Now a new collaboration will see vinyl based on classic animations that span several generations. The Disney/Pixar 3-inch vinyl single series will feature songs from Disney films. Each release also includes a collector’s edition poster and lyric sheet. Singles as part of this collection include “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “A Part Of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King, and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story. Also coming is a 3-inch vinyl blind box series with singles from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The blind box series comes in an outer box that reproduces the original album art and includes one of four songs. “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Linus and Lucy,” and “Skating,” are all included.

Chicago, IL | Val was Val’s: The news Saturday that Val’s halla, the beloved and long overlooked Oak Park record store, would close up at the end of November came as a dull thud of secondary pain, 15 months after we all mourned the death of our friend, Val Camilletti. Val was Val’s. And for a decade after most of us had stopped buying CDs, her aura still drew us into her Harrison Street shop from time to time. We searched the bins for something to buy but mainly we just wanted to chat up Val, to bask in her warmth. Shayne Blakeley, Val’s sidekick in the store for nearly 20 years, was left with the fading glow and as he dug deeper, an ever-deeper pile of financial problems with record distributors owed money and, as he said in a Monday morning interview, “the worst first quarter of sales in 20 years.” “The wolves are at the gate and the stress of running this on my own is too much,” he said. Now he is spending his days trying to sell inventory, including music posters and other memorabilia collected over decades. He is also on the internet trying to find a next step for a near 40-year-old who has spent the first decades of his adulthood working for an icon in a fading industry.

Nova Scotia, CA | Murray Deal’s 8,000 country music records are heading west: Amanda Jackson searched for a buyer who would keep her dad’s record collection intact. A Nova Scotian’s massive collection of country music records is heading west to live out its days on a cattle ranch in central B.C. Murray Deal spent nearly six decades lovingly collecting and meticulously cataloguing roughly 8,000 records, which he kept in a music room in his basement. Deal died last year, and his daughter, Amanda Jackson, began searching for a buyer who would appreciate the collection the way its creator did. “I think he’d be happy to know that it’s going to somebody that’s really excited about it and is going to show it off,” Jackson said. That person is Dan Mott, a record collector from Burnaby, B.C., who has ties to Nova Scotia. Mott travelled to Nova Scotia last week and spent two days carefully boxing up the records so they can be shipped to his home. “We were sort of gobsmacked, I guess you could say, when we first walked in and looked at the collection. It was really quite remarkable,” said Mott.

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