Monthly Archives: March 2020

TVD Radar: The Hotrats, Turn Ons hot pink 10th anniversary double 10” vinyl in stores 6/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In 2010, one half of Britain’s much loved pop rock combo Supergrass, Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey teamed with world-renowned producer Nigel Godrich to bring you The Hotrats.

With the original intention of diving into the studio for some light relief, the spontaneous sessions soon became Turn Ons—Gaz & Danny’s own Pin Ups style covers record of classic songs, born out of a true love and respect for their rock heroes. Released as a highly limited run, Turn Ons was a 12-track doff of the cap to musical forefathers including Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, David Bowie, and The Sex Pistols and has remained an out of print record shop rarity for a decade.

Gaz Coombes explains: “The Hotrats was all about freedom to experiment, about exploring our own surreal psychedelic tendencies in a studio while celebrating the music that shaped our worlds growing up. And just to have some fun with great music in the mould of classics like Bowie’s Pin Ups or Lennon & Nilsson’s Pussy Cats. They felt like proper records to me, and that’s what we wanted to feel with Turn Ons, something super creative and exciting.

The songs are already cemented in the history books, but for us it was about injecting our own energy into something, not replicating the original. More a case of re-shaping the chemistry. Re-doing the original experiment (hopefully) without destroying it in the process!” Fast forward ten years to 2020 and Coombes, Goffey and Godrich reconvene to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this forgotten classic with a new offering; a psychedelic twist on the Kelis classic “Milkshake.”

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TVD Radar: The National, High Violet 10th anniversary 3LP
in stores 6/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The National have announced they will be releasing a 10-year anniversary expanded edition of their 2010 album High Violet, on June 19th, 2020.

Originally released May 11, 2010, the critically acclaimed fifth studio album features the now-classics “Terrible Love,””Bloodbuzz Ohio,”“England,” and perennial show closer, “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” In addition to the 10 original tracks, the triple LP package includes a third LP which includes tracks never before available on vinyl, including “Wake Up Your Saints,” an alternate version of “Terrible Love,” ”Walk Off” and more. The vinyl comes in three different versions, Standard (white & purple marbled vinyl), Cherry Tree (white & purple split color vinyl), and Vinyl Me Please (white & purple splatter vinyl).

To celebrate the announcement, The National will share their D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus-directed film, The National – High Violet Live From Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), shot May 10th, 2010, the night before the release of the album. Fans can watch the performance below.

The band also announced this week that all profits from their webstore and fan club enrollment will be directed to subsidizing the lost wages for their twelve crew members until the end of this crisis. “Our crew are the lifeblood of our touring operation and have become family through the many years we’ve worked together. As uncertainty looms over the state of the live concert industry, we will direct all profits from merch sales through our webstore, new Cherry Tree fan club enrollments, and sales from the Cherry Tree members-only store to support our crew members throughout this crisis to the best of our ability. Visit,, and

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Ellen Starski,
The TVD First Date

I was a little girl sitting on the yellowish shag carpet that decorated floors across America in the ’80s. Too young to read I picked my albums via cover designs and knew which album was the Eurythmics because of the RCA label with the little white dog, head cocked to the side staring into the Victrola.”

“This is where my love of vinyl began, and man did I wear that record out. Thinking back on it, I must have been 3 or 4 years old pulling out vinyl and placing it carefully on the player. That’s wild. You know how we are so careful placing the needle down to vinyl… Well, I guess I had that technique down pretty early.

I love the memories that come along with buying vinyl. I vividly remember scouring antique stores in Pennsylvania with my parents and finding Neil Young’s first album, and Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. These albums in particular helped shape me during a transitional part of my life when I was trying to understand who I was, and how I would become the artist I am today.

Now here I am getting ready to release my first vinyl record with the test press arriving any day! Back in those earlier years, I never would have imagined this moment could actually happen. The resurgence of vinyl is a beautiful thing. The entire process has been enlightening from the music creation to the album artwork which was painted and designed by Patrick Dennis.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kev Sherry

We’re back in Scotland for this week’s Artist of the Week in the hope we’ll put a bit of a smile on your face amongst all this madness. Kev Sherry’s “Wasted Days” is an indie-pop delight from start to finish, with poignant lyricism included to make you think, just a little bit.

“Wasted Days” is instantly infectious from the offset. Reminiscent of fellow uplifting indie-pop artists such as Alvvays, gentle guitar twangs and pulsating drum beats soar on the single like a warm, Spring breeze. Kev’s authentic Scottish accent is clear throughout reminding us slightly of Paolo Nutini—and is it just us, or do they kind of look alike as well?

Talking about “Wasted Days,” Kev elaborates, “The song deals with ideas of regret, reflection, and personal forgiveness. After the death of a parent you come to question if you really knew them as a person, as a friend, or merely as a parent. Did they know you loved them? Did they understand you far more than you realised at the time?” Deep stuff.

Kev Sherry is no stranger to the music making world, having previously released music as one quarter of critically acclaimed group Attic Lights and also having collaborated with international artist such as Bjorn Yttling, Cerys Matthews, and La Casa Azul. His songs have also been remixed by Mogwai, Camera Obscura, The Fratellis, Jim Noir and The Vaselines. Phew!

“Wasted Days” is in stores now.

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Graded on a Curve:
Windy and Carl,
Allegiance and Conviction

While this column focuses on new releases, current events are mentioned only intermittently. As we (meaning, the human race) are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is one of those times. During a sustained crisis, art and its makers often get undervalued or pushed aside, but the nature of this emergency has illuminated the necessity of creativity in our world. Whatcha gonna do when you gotta stay home? Listen to records, maybe. Dearborn, MI’s Windy and Carl have a new one out, and while the terse and humorous motto of their label is “going nowhere slow,” rest assured that dropping needle on Allegiance and Conviction will take you places. It’s available now on LP, CD, and digital via Kranky.

Bassist-vocalist Windy Weber and guitarist Carl Hultgren commenced their musical partnership (they are also married) in the early ’90s as part of that decade’s thriving drone-ambient-experimental-psychedelic-shoegaze underground. At the time, if you were into Roy Montgomery, The Azusa Plane, Jessamine and even the slightly higher-profile outfits Flying Saucer Attack, Bardo Pond, Damon and Naomi, and Low, the odds are good that you’d picked up on at least a percentage of what Windy & Carl had laid down.

That is to say, the pair were fairly prolific across a string of releases, output that unsurprisingly included a long stretch of various artists compilation appearances, with these contributions corralled on one of the three compact discs in the self-released (on the Blue Flea label) Introspection: Singles and Rarities 1993-2000; disc one is devoted to 7-inches and EPs, while disc three holds live and unreleased material.

For those unfamiliar with Windy & Carl’s work, Introspection would deliver a solid, if extensive, introduction to their stuff, though you could begin just as satisfactorily with Portal, their debut full-length from 1994, initially a cassette (on Blue Flea) and shortly thereafter pressed onto CD (via Ba Da Bing!). From there, moving forward chronologically is a safe bet.

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In rotation: 3/31/20

UK | Record Store Of The Day campaign launched to shine spotlight on indie stores: A daily campaign to highlight the UK’s independent record shops during the Covid-19 outbreak has been launched. The social media driven #recordstoreoftheday initiative, created by music distributors, will shine the spotlight on a different outlet each day, beginning with Kingston’s Banquet Records (pictured) today (March 30). The shop of the day will appear on @recordstoreotd on Twitter, @recordstoreoftheday on Instagram and the Record Store Of The Day Facebook page… “Indie record shops are part of the DNA of the local communities they serve and now more than ever we should be finding ways to support them,” said ERA’s Record Store Day organiser Megan Page. “That’s why we are urging music fans to continue buying from their local shops online where possible, asking about gift vouchers and following their local record shop’s social media channels…”

Minneapolis, MN | Fifth Element, record store owned by Rhymesayers, to close down: Fans of the label will still be able to shop online, though. The official record store of independent hip hop label Rhymesayers will soon close its doors for good. Fifth Element, located on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis, announced that it will shut down operations on April 1. Noting in a Friday Facebook post that it’s been a fixture of the neighborhood and a worldwide destination for hip hop fans since 1999, the business expressed thanks to customers and artists for their support over the years. This follows the decision to temporarily close the store due to the coronavirus, a situation that also weighed on the move to shut down permanently, the post indicates. The company also says the store’s online presence will transition to, “which will continue to be the official source for all things Rhymesayers Entertainment.” The change takes effect April 1, with all remaining stock at discounted until then.

Brighton & Hove, UK | The History of Brighton & Hove Record Shops – The Directory: We need your help! Are you able to add any information to our directory of 100 years of record shops in Brighton & Hove? Please read on and place any relevant details at the end. Thank you. Some of the very best moments in my life have been whilst record shopping! The thrill of the hunt in the second-hand music shops for that mega-obscure vinyl album that was only released in Germany for one week, or the buzz of whizzing down to the ‘chart returns’ record shop when it opens to purchase the brand new release from your favourite artist. The smell of the new cover and the vinyl inside. The little electrostatic crackles as you pull the record out from the inner sleeve for the very first time. The joy of putting the needle down onto the disc and sitting down and listening to it whilst reading every single word of the enclosed booklet and cover. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Norfolk, NE | The beat goes on at Lefty’s Records: It is business as usual at Lefty’s Records, at least for now. Les Greer, who has sold new and used albums at his South Street store since 2011, is still coming in at noon and staying until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “I’m going to be here until they tell me I shouldn’t,” Greer said. Customers are still showing up, just not as many as before the coronavirus pandemic. “Two weeks ago, business was probably half of what I normally do,” Greer said. “But, last week, it rebounded to about normal. “This week is starting out slow, so we’ll see. I do think some people are coming in just to buy something to help me out.” There’s no concern about keeping those who come in to flip through the bins 6 feet apart. “I rarely have 10 at any time,” Greer said, “except during the busiest time of the year, around Christmas and Record Store Day.”

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TVD Radar: The Ballad Of Shirley Collins, doc streaming now for the first time

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Fire Films announce feature documentary The Ballad Of Shirley Collins about the iconic English singer is now streaming for the first time via Vimeo on Demand, including the first ever digital release of a host of bonus materials.

Having been an indelible presence in the English folk scene for more than 20 years, Shirley Collins was until recently remembered predominantly for losing her voice in mysterious circumstances in the 1980s. This film explores the reasons behind this, and documents her brave attempt (at the age of 80) to rediscover her voice and with it her place in the pantheon of musical greats. The film follows Shirley through the recording of her feted comeback album Lodestar.

Alongside this, it explores a story from the other end of her life, when in 1959 she went on the celebrated “Southern Journey” song-collecting trip with her then-lover Alan Lomax. Together they embarked on a road-trip around the Southern USA, where they collected a vital body of American roots music that provided the inspiration for the young Collins to find her own, uniquely English voice. The film is both a celebration of the power of tradition and an inspiring story of triumph over adversity, and an exploration of the flow of cultural exchange between the US and UK.

The film screened at prestigious international festivals including Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, and the London Film Festival, and was released in US and UK cinemas in 2018. Earth Recordings have released both a triple-LP tribute album by a host of artists including Will Oldham, Angel Olsen, Johnny Flynn, Stewart Lee and Ulver, and the soundtrack album for the film, featuring previously unreleased Shirley Collins recordings and songs from the Southern Journey. Directors Rob Curry and Tim Plester have also recently finished a follow-up film, Southern Journey (Revisited) retracing the Southern Journey route in the present day, due for release later in 2020.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment brings the live concert experience to your quarantine

PHOTOS: JOHN SHORE | In our time of the Coronavirus Clampdown, fans of live music are feeling the void, just as musicians have seen their livelihoods temporarily disappear. The nation’s string of music clubs reliably alive with nightly shows are shuttered and empty as the streets around them. One of the nation’s best-loved venues, the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC is attempting to fill that void by streaming a string of live shows it shot for a public television series that ran a few years back.

The 12 episodes of Live at 9:30, recorded in 2015 and 2016, features performances from nearly 60 different artists—from heritage acts like Garbage, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The English Beat to local heroes Trouble Funk and Thievery Corporation to groups that have long since outgrown playing 1,200-capacity clubs like the 9:30: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Grace Potter, and Lake Street Dive.

Filmed with 15 different cameras, the intent was to “capture the energy of the audience, something we unfortunately can’t reproduce at the moment,” says 9:30 spokesman Jordan Grobe. The shows, streaming free on, reflect not only the energy of the room, but the variety of its bookings.

“Each episode focuses on five different artists to show people different genres they might not be familiar with,” Grobe says. “So for instance, you might love Gogol Bordello, but not be familiar with Shakey Graves, so those are in an episode together.” “The format of it is sort of a reverse Saturday Night Live, where instead of it being 85 percent comedy, 15 percent music, it’s 85 percent music, 15 percent variety.”

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Anastasia Minster,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up in Russia and my parents had an old record player in our little apartment on the outskirts of Moscow. Vinyl was very popular back then and I remember listening to fairy tales and audio books when I was very little, perhaps 4 or 5.”

“I was absolutely absorbed in the sound and I could sit in my room for hours with my eyes closed, picturing the characters and building magical landscapes in my head. When I was about 7 years old, my parents gave me the first “serious” record, Swan Lake by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. I was absolutely mesmerized by the music and I could feel it very strongly: it was dramatic, intense but also incredibly beautiful and tender. This was the beginning of my love for Russian classical music which influenced my own music deeply.

There was a little record store in the basement of the building we lived in and my dad would take me there almost every week to pick up something new. By the time I was 10 I had an impressive vinyl collection, mostly Russian classical music and popular singers-songwriters. When I was 11-12 years old, I became interested in foreign bands. Records made abroad were still not easy to find in Russia of the ’90s, but you could get them from someone who had the luxury to travel internationally. I remember my friend’s dad bringing Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack on vinyl from one of his business trips. It was such a treasure!

Now, a few words about my absolute favourite records. The ones that came later and shaped my taste in music, inspired me and influenced my own songs sonically and musically. The first one I’d like to mention is Secrets of the Beehive by David Sylvian. I do like many others by David, Japan and Rain Tree Crow but I think this one is very special. I find it so perfect on so many levels and the more I listen to it, the more beauty I discover. This record helped shape my own sound and I even sent it to my musicians as a reference when we were working on the new album.

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Graded on a Curve: Camper Van Beethoven, Telephone Free Landslide Delivery

At the time when the post-punk/hardcore scene was exploding into a thousand disparate sounds, with bands delving into a myriad of new directions (metal, funk, alt-country, goth, neo-psychedelia, you name it), Camper Van Beethoven did something truly audacious–they exploded in every which direction at once.

On their 1985 debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, Camper Van Beethoven delved into, by turns, catchy pop jingle jangle, ska, the sounds of Eastern Europe and Mexico, Spaghetti Western and so on, and the LP so bewildered some–me included–that it took a long while to come to terms with its conceptual originality.

Most bands seek to find a sound and perfect it. Camper Van Beethoven did just the opposite, poking fun at all manner of counter cultural subgroups–skinheads, hippies, skateboarders, waste products, and the like–in the process. So far as lead singer/guitarist David Lowery and the boys were concerned, every manner of youth self-identification out there was a conformist joke. They took one look at their angry skinhead counterparts and decided to take them bowling, strangely humanizing them in the process. Put a bowling ball in their hands, and they were just kids in odd clothing.

Telephone Free Landslide Victory’s 17 maddingly disparate cuts are designed to induce vertigo, but it’s the pop tunes that get you first. The perky ”Take the Skinheads Bowling,” the chipper pre-Slacker anthem “Ambiguity Song (“Everything seems to be up in the air at this time”) and the love as unidentifiable emotion “Oh, No!” (“Oh no here it comes again, that funny feeling”)–are catchy as hell, and once you’ve heard them you’ll never get them out of your head.

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In rotation: 3/30/20

Global initiative launched to help independent record shops survive coronavirus crisis: There is little doubt that the UK’s cultural landscape will look different on the other side of the coronavirus crisis. For some institutions, venues, and events already facing an existential crisis – this could be the last straw. That is why music companies have launched a global initiative called #loverecordstores. It aims to support independent record shops closed during the crisis, with some fearing the footfall will be lost forever. The creative industries have been asked to enlist support from their biggest stars. Paul Weller, who helped launch the campaign, said: “I’d be lost without my favourite record shops; Rough Trade, Soul Jazz, Honest Johns and all the other independents. “Let’s all keep them all going in this very strange time. Music will lift our spirits and soothe our souls. Love to everyone.”

16 ways to support the musicians, record stores, venues and music shops you love: With coronavirus causing chaos in the world of music, we’ve come up with the best ways you can help support your favourite musicians, record stores, venues and shops during the current lockdown. Participate in the Love Record Stores campaign: The Love Record Stores initiative is calling on fans to help promote their favourite stores on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and tell the world what your local store means to you and help give them a boost. Use photos or videos to get your message across. The drive is also backed by artists and the music industry so keep your eye on the hashtag to see what they’re saying… Buy from Bandcamp: While we encourage people to use record stores if they can, don’t forget about Bandcamp. The website is a goldmine of fabulous music. And the best bit? They only take 15% of the profit from digital sales and 10% from merchandise, meaning artists get a larger chunk of your hard-earned cash.

Kingston, UK | Banquet Records’ Jon Tolley on how you can help your local indie store during the coronavirus pandemic: …Another key area that has been effected is the retail world. One of the high street retailers to offer insight is Kingston’s Banquet Records. Before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that all non-essential shops will have to close for at least the next three weeks, the store pre-emptively closed its doors to the public on March 16 in order to focus on its online operation. “Banquet is stable and has a good online presence, so I appreciate it’s an easier decision for us than it is for some others,” said Banquet co-owner Jon Tolley. “It’s at some cost to us, but the health and community issues take priority at this time. We are now entirely focused on the online side of what we do, and that will run better than ever.” Tolley added: “I think, at this point, I speak for all record shops when we’re saying we’re more worried about the healthcare system first. Then we’ll provide the soundtrack to your isolation afterwards!”

Los Angeles, CA | ‘A grinding halt’: Record stores struggle to stay afloat amid coronavirus crisis: The city permit that Amoeba Music had been anticipating came on March 18: After a years-long search to finally lock in a new home for its 31,000-square-foot Sunset Boulevard location, the city’s Department of Building and Safety approved construction applications for a new space a few blocks away at the corner of Hollywood and Argyle. Little could Amoeba have known when its owners submitted the paperwork that a pandemic of Slayer-esque proportions would prompt the company, which as the country’s largest independent record store employs about 400 workers across its three California locations, to close the same day it got the go-ahead to start work. “What would have been a moment of celebration,” Amoeba Music co-owner Jim Henderson says, “was just a further entrenched moment of, ‘Now what?’” Across Los Angeles and the country, similarly baffled music retailers await word of how the $2-trillion relief package approved by Congress will aid their plight. In the short term, prospects seem dim. Record retail’s most profitable day, April’s annual Record Store Day, has been postponed.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel


Through the windless wells of wonder / By the throbbing light machine / In the tea leaf trance or under / Orders from the king and queen

Songs, to aging children come / (Songs, to aging children come) / Aging children, I am one (I am one)

People hurry by so quickly / Don’t they hear the melodies / In the chiming and the clicking / And the laughing harmonies

There hasn’t been a day this week that I haven’t heard of a friend who tested positive for the Coronavirus. It feels like it’s really spreading fast in Los Angeles.

Wherever we are, let’s share our strength, courage, and whatever we can. In my case I’m gonna stick with trying to do it through songs. Thank you for letting me share. This Idelic Hour has all of the kids, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers in mind.

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A note to record shops and those who frequent them in response to the global pandemic: share your shop’s updates

We’ve long held that purchasing records is best done at your local indie record shops, however given the current precautions surrounding the Coronavirus, this might not be an option over the coming weeks or months. And while receiving records in the mail is certainly second best, many mom and pop shops support their revenue via sales on Discogs and eBay or directly via their own websites (as we’re pretty certain you’re aware).

While this is not breaking news per se, there WILL BE news generated going forward and we’d like to do what we can by offering our forums for your updates on your record shop’s status and where you’re continuing to offer sales via any of the above websites or elsewhere. Also, those of you who frequent your local shops are invited to add to the conversation.

Post here or on our socials—share, revise, and spread the word as to what’s happening in your shop or what those of you are seeing across the globe as we face this challenge together. An update will stay pinned to the top of our website and locator app Facebook pages as a handy resource for sharing news that you can feel free to also update or revise as needed. Find us on Twitter here and tweet updates to us which we’ll retweet and share from our side. We’re on Instagram here for the same.

We often joke around here about the dichotomy of celebrating indie, brick and mortar record shops and its community via pixels. Perhaps it’s an upside these days.

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In rotation: 3/27/20

Several Artists Push Back Release Dates Due to Coronavirus Uncertainty: HAIM, Jarvis Cocker, Hinds, Willie Nelson, and more reschedule their album releases for more certain time. The effects of the coronavirus on the music industry have generally led to more immediacy—albums have been surprise-released, demos have been pushed live, live streams have been a plenty—though this week things have shifted a bit in the opposite direction. Both yesterday and today we’ve been hearing news of artists pushing back the release dates for their forthcoming records so as not to coincide with the anxieties we’re all facing—and instead, ideally, to coincide with a tour. You know, like, with an audience in attendance. Among these anticipated releases are new records from HAIM, Jarvis Cocker, Kelly Lee Owens, Willie Nelson, Hinds, DMA’s, and Grey Daze, and the posthumous revitalization of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington’s ’90s post-grunge band.

High profile coronavirus initiative #LoveRecordStores hits social media: The music community has rallied together to support independent record stores amidst this time of concern. Record stores have seen some uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19; Bristol-based Idle Hands issued a plea to music fans and the annual celebration of vinyl, Record Store Day, was forced to postpone this year. #LoveRecordStores is a new initiative supported by the likes of Paul Weller to help independent record stores through this time of uncertainty. More than just a hashtag, #LoveRecordStores is encouraging artists, companies and labels to coordinate new ideas and resources to support record stores using all forms of social media. Musicians, artists, actors and celebrities across the world are filming short video clips of themselves talking about their passion for record stores. This might be discussing topics like what independent record stores mean to them, what stores have helped them discover new music, and, most importantly, reasons why fans should continue to use them to get their vinyl fix.

Nederland, CO | Boogie Records Celebrates One Year Anniversary: Elisabeth Grove, Nederland. Boogie Records is celebrating its first anniversary with a month long, storewide sale. Everything in the store, including over 3,000 new and used vinyl records, turntables, and hundreds of CDs, will be 10% off the entire month of April. “My first year in business was better than I expected and I’ve met some incredibly interesting people this past year” says owner Ryan Blackwell. Blackwell continues, “with vinyl records now outselling CDs for the first time since 1986 and Record Store Day, a national “holiday” celebrating independent record stores, taking place on Saturday, April 18, now is the perfect time to get back into vinyl. It just sounds better.” Boogie Records is located in downtown Nederland at 34 E. 1st Street, #3. He is temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 virus. They hope to reopen soon. In the meantime, they are still able to take payments through email and/or over the phone and mail records via USPS.

Spokane, WA | The owner of Resurrection Records talks about the challenges of closing a storefront amidst a pandemic: t was only a couple weeks ago that Resurrection Records, the small vinyl shop on Northwest Boulevard, was packed all weekend, both with local customers and out-of-towners who were here for Tool’s nearly sold-out Arena show. Now the city’s musical landscape looks totally different. Music venues have closed and concerts have been canceled, and it’s possible that brick-and-mortar music stores could be next. Resurrection owner Mike House had planned on business continuing as usual, but now he’s wondering if he should close the doors completely. (On Monday, when Gov. Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order, that debate became moot.) “I’m kind of reconsidering what I should do,” he says. “I’ve been really careful about sanitizing every surface after someone leaves. I sanitize the whole counter and the pens I touch and the phone people use to sign for their credit card transactions.”

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In rotation: 3/26/20

A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We’ve suspended our regular content this week to afford our team time to readjust to a new normal. We’ll continue to publish regular morning news updates this week as to be a resource for the vinyl and record store community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we wrote last week, continue to share the status of your record shops’ mode of operating at this time and we’ll share from our platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and you can also share within our Record Store Locator app under the “social” tab. We’ll return to our regular content on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Music community launches ‘Love Record Stores’ initiative: The music community is launching a high-profile, global initiative on Thursday (March 26) to help independent record stores during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. With many of these stores now experiencing a catastrophic drop-off in footfall or having already closed their doors there are fears that some may not survive if something is not done urgently to stimulate sales. With that in mind many music companies have already pledged their support for this new campaign which has been named #loverecordstores. Companies are coordinating ideas, resources and mobilizing the artists they represent to record messages of support for record stores that can be used across all forms of social media. Musicians, artists, actors and celebrity music fans around the world are being asked to film short video clips of themselves talking about, for example: what independent record stores mean to them, where their favourite store is, what records and artists those stores have helped them discover and most importantly to encourage their fans to continue to shop online with their favourite stores wherever possible.

COVID-19: Global music community launches campaign to support record stores: The initiative will run under the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and seeks to support independent record stores around the world that are experiencing a drop in sales due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is aimed at mitigating losses by garnering support and promoting online purchases from the stores. As part of the campaign, record labels are mobilising artists whom they represent to record messages of support for record stores on social media. Other celebrities, such as actors, are being asked to film short video clips of themselves talking about the significance of record stores in their lives, and to encourage their fans to continue to shop online. “Independent record stores have played a key role in supporting and developing artists and their music for decades, so now it is time for music companies and the artists they represent to step up and give something back,” Play It Again Sam managing director Jason Rackham, who is leading the campaign, said.

Can the Vinyl & CD Business Survive Coronavirus? Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, music shops are shuttering — and struggling to survive — and Amazon is focusing on household goods. What’s in store for physical retail? In the week ending March 19, Niall Horan sold 26,000 physical copies of his album Heartbreak Weather — which made it both the most popular physical album of the week and a sobering sign for the future of physical music. Stores are shutting down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and in mid-March Amazon announced it would not re-stock records and CDs until at least early April. As CD sales continue to decline and the high-margin vinyl business faces manufacturing and distribution problems, can the physical business survive? Retailers were already having a rough year. Problems at Direct Shot Distributing have made it hard for stores to get releases promptly, and in February a fire destroyed the Apollo Masters plant, one of two facilities that make the lacquer plate needed to press vinyl. “It’s hard not to be a conspiracy theorist and wonder if the powers that be in the music industry are trying to get rid of physical music,” jokes one indie label owner.

Louisville, KY | Local record shops find ways to safely get you vinyl: It isn’t possible right now to walk into your neighborhood record store, comb through bin after bin and strike up conversations and arguments about all things music, but there are still ways to buy vinyl from those Louisville businesses. For example, Guestroom Records shut its doors to the public a week before the ordered closure of “nonessential” retail stores on Sunday, but the Frankfort Avenue shop has been selling albums through curbside pickup, delivery and shipping — options that are all currently still allowed. “I made the analogy that we are a very, very slow pizza place, with some of the most obscure toppings that you can ask for,” Guestroom Records co-owner Travis Searle said. “Bon Iver and Tame Impala, those are pepperoni. Art Blakey double LP audiophile jazz reissues, that’s artichoke skin that has been cured in Spanish olive oil, brined in the sun. You can call in your toppings and maybe we have them and maybe we don’t. Maybe we can get them and maybe we can’t.”

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