In rotation: 2/21/18

Turntable sales fell in 2017 despite rising record sales: Turntable sales fell by 5% in 2017 from the 2016 total, according to new figures by industry watchdog Gfk, What Hi-Fi reports. Despite rising sales in the UK and abroad, optimistic forecasts of continued growth, and expansions at some of Europe’s biggest turntable makers, sales of decks didn’t reach expected heights in 2017. As we reported last year, turntables were forecast to be the highest selling tech product for Christmas 2017, although the majority of these will have been cheap, faux-vintage decks capable of ruining your records. After over ten years of continued growth in vinyl sales, it’s not altogether surprisingly the growth in turntable sales would begin to plateau as the majority of record buyers stick with their current set-ups or buy second hand, a metric not included in the survey.

Napan Sherry Moser spins successful record business: Sherry Moser’s business is going in circles — and that’s exactly how she likes it. Moser’s business, RebelGirl Records, sells vintage vinyl records. RebelGirl Records was launched in in 2016 when Moser decided to try her luck at selling a handful of records at her booth at the former Tews Treasures resale shop. To her surprise, the records were popular with customers. Moser began buying — and selling – more and more records. Today, “business has skyrocketed,” said Moser. RebelGirl Records now has more than 7,000 records for sale. “It’s amazing to see how large the collection is now and how that small stack of records started my journey,” said Moser, who lives in Napa.

Records, furniture or tattoo? Speakeasy a unique one-stop shop in Decatur: Brian Abbott said he knows it’s risky operating a unique, even “kitschy” sort of business in Decatur. But where else could someone find a one-stop-shop for vinyl records, furniture or a tattoo? “On the one hand, it may seem really bold because it’s like, ‘Well how is that going to fly in Decatur?’ But on the other hand, it’s not like we have a lot of competition here,” said Abbott, one of the three owners of the building and main proprietor of Speakeasy Records & Oddities. The business is approaching its one-year anniversary at 530 N. Water St., the site of the former Rupert’s Sport Shop, slightly off the beaten path north of downtown’s main shopping and dining district. Three businesses have opened in the space since April, and a coffee shop, The River Coffee Company, could be open by the end of the month, Abbott said.

dig! music up for sale in Ukiah: Rare though they have become in American life, Ukiah has its own record store. Yes, it’s called a record store although much of what you’ll find in it are compact discs, but not all by a long shot. Mike Roumbanis is the friendly face behind the counter and the promoter behind loads of in-store concerts at dig! music, the store he and his wife, Denise, (they met in a record store in Santa Rosa in 1979) have owned for 15 years and are now getting ready to sell – or close on June 30 if no buyer comes along. Mike just turned 65 and is ready to retire, but he wants the store to live on. Its been-there-forever vibe and “Gosh, look at all this stuff!” atmosphere draws customers who love music, love vinyl, love classics and can’t help themselves.”

Bethlehem library uses vinyl’s renaissance to raise money for new community space: Asteady stream of music lovers flowed into the Bethlehem Area Public Library, flipping through crate after crate and snatching up vinyl favorites by musicians such as Phil Colins, Elvis and Fleetwood Mac. “This is awesome,” one vinyl fan said to herself as she walked into the crowded record sale Saturday morning. The Lehigh Valley Punk Rock Flea Market was the library’s first music sale, with 21,000 CDs and records. Minutes after opening, the library was packed with people digging and searching for records. “We didn’t expect to have this many people,” said Laurel Stone, the library’s sale coordinator. “This is amazing.” Vinyl has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts, especially among millennials

The vinyl countdown: Collectors pack out record fair: With more than 1000 vinyl records in his collection, you’d think Shane Kershaw would have enough. But the 25-year-old was busy adding to his stockpile at Butter Beats’ Toowoomba record fair on Saturday, along with dozens of other fans. Butter Beats owner Jason Woodward brought about 1000 pre-loved records to the event – a small portion of his enormous collection of 80,000. He said the new generation of record collectors were breathing life into the hobby, and the music format. “A lot of these kids have got really educated tastes,” Mr Woodward said. “For me, I grew up with what I grew up with whereas these guys have gone out and explored what they want.” Mr Kershaw started his passion for vinyls when his dad gifted him a mountain of old records.

Henry Rollins on Why Vinyl Matters: “Every record I own is a must-have. I wouldn’t have them otherwise.” “I can only answer for myself. Vinyl is important to me because what’s on it is real. It is what the musicians wanted you to hear. Whether what is on the record is to your liking doesn’t matter. They were able to tell you their truth, and you are able to evaluate it on a level playing field. There is no such thing as ‘digital music’. Digital technology can emulate music and that technology is getting better, but there is no Led Zeppelin on a Led Zeppelin CD. There isn’t a nanosecond of music on any music streaming service…On a personal note, there is something great about getting the record out of its sleeve, putting it on the turntable, getting up, turning it over, etc. I have always enjoyed the physicality of listening to records. When you think to yourself, ‘That has to be the last song’, and prepare to get up, only to hear another song start and finding it difficult to enjoy it because you know that you will be getting up to turn the record over or put it away; I like all that. Also, if you have good playback, you will never want to hear anything but analogue.”

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