In rotation: 1/2/19

Savannah, GA | Graveface Records’ Charleston lease runs out at the end of the year: Graveface Records & Curiosities, the Savannah vinyl and oddity shop that opened a second location at the former Vinyl Countdown space on King Street in Charleston, was guaranteed occupation until the end of the year. But now that 2019 is approaching, the record shop, which also features taxidermy workshops, all-ages local shows and a VHS horror rental section, is packing up. Owner Ryan Graveface says he doesn’t want to leave Charleston, but hopes to find space a little closer to the downtown hubbub. He’s on the hunt but hasn’t found any promising leads just yet. On Facebook, he spilled the beans.

Kent, UK | Electric Palace Records opens in Tenterden: A new record shop – potentially the smallest in Kent – opened its doors this week and its owner hopes to make a big noise. Henry Tragett’s Electric Palace Records flung open its doors for business on Monday, after four months in the making. The 145 ft sq shop space in the Fairings off Oaks Road, also doubling as a coffee shop, will stock a rich mix of 1960s-90s vinyl, jazz, CDs, cassettes, and nearby event tickets. The 57-year-old, who also works as a financial advisor, said the family-run project has been set up as a family project. Speaking from the store on Monday he said: “I was working full-time as a financial advisor and part time in my father-in-law’s Grammar School Records in Rye, when it became obvious vinyl sales were on the up. “I have no idea why cassette tapes are on the up but with vinyl it’s something tangible, and the art work means a lot to some people.

Providence, KY | Providence man following his musical dream: Music runs in Alex Sorrells’ blood, and from the time he started playing drums at the age of nine, making a career out of it was his life’s goal. After signing a record contract two weeks ago, that goal is one step closer. Sorrells grew up in a household that was always filled with music. His father, J-E salesman Derek Sorrells, was himself a musician, having toured the country with various bands for more than a decade. “Dad was a drummer for years,” Sorrells said. “He was signed by three different record labels. I’ve always worked to continue his musical legacy.” Even after retiring from the road, the elder Sorrells’ love for music continued to influence his son. Derek and his wife, Melody, turned their mutual love of vinyl records into a business, where Alex currently works when he isn’t busy with his own musical career. He can be found at The Record Groove in Providence nearly every Friday and Saturday.

UK | HMV to call in administrators, putting 2,200 jobs at risk: HMV has become the first casualty of a slump in Christmas trade on the high street, calling in administrators for the second time in six years and putting more than 2,200 jobs at risk. The music and film retailer – which accounts for nearly a third of all physical music sales in the UK and nearly a quarter of all DVD sales – said retailers of all types were facing “a tsunami of challenges” as it prepared to appoint insolvency experts from the accountancy firm KPMG to either find a buyer for the business or close it down. It said festive trading had been “extremely weak” and that sales of DVDs across the whole market had plunged by 30% on last year’s levels. The chain said its 125 UK stores will remain open while talks with suppliers and potential buyers continue. However, Alex Neill from the consumer group Which? advised anyone with HMV vouchers to spend them as soon as possible. “If you have recently bought anything from HMV, you may not be able to claim a refund or exchange the item if the company ceases trading. If you have gift vouchers, you should try to spend these in-store as soon as possible,” she said.

Paducah, KY | Vinyl comeback makes local impact: The old school is en vogue in Paducah, as the vinyl comeback found its way to the town in a big way in 2018. Vinyl’s global resurgence has been a long and slow climb back into relevance, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. According to Nielsen, 13 million new records were sold in 2016, and 2017 saw over 15 million in new wax purchased. And that doesn’t even account for the innumerable amount of used records bought and sold via eBay or at yard sales and antique shops, like Paducah’s Antique Galleria, which holds an astounding 20,000 records in its upstairs music section, with thousands more in storage. “It hasn’t been a boom, but instead a slow escalation,” said Randy Knight of Antique Galleria. “The swing is up. Sales were steady but probably at 10 percent of what we’re doing now.” The customers that come into Knight’s shop cover a wide range, everything from older collectors hunting down little-known rarities to casual music fans just looking to browse and vinyl newbies buying their first record.

Barrow, UK | TnT Records opens new music shop on Duke Street: TnT Records celebrated the launch a new record shop on Duke Street last night…the shop will stock new releases on vinyl, alongside classic and second-hand records, CDs, and various other formats, as well as merchandise and collectible items. The premises is a three story building on Duke Street, the ground-floor of the store will have two listening lounges for people to ‘try before they buy’. Work is already beginning on making use of the large first and second-floor spaces, as TnT looks to capitalise on its prime location in Barrow town centre. Dave Turner, owner of TnT Records, is a local drummer, he will run the shop with his dad Terry, brother Dan, and son Josh. Mr Turner said: “Vinyl is back in a big way, and I wanted to be the one to bring a proper record shop to Barrow. It’s long been a dream of mine to do this, and this has been in the pipeline since the start of the year.”

Hay-on-Wye, UK | Vinyl revival puts trader’s sales back on track: Vinyl is back – and how! Hay-on-Wye record shop owner Haydn Pugh says the yearning to buy vinyl has never been so strong. Haydn, who runs Haystacks in Backfold below Hay Castle, says he’s never known a time like it since the heyday of records in the 1960s and 70s. Having moved his bright purple shop the “full 12 yards” to the premises next door in June his business has never been so popular. A sign of how well vinyl is selling is clear from a book called ‘Vinyl Revival’, which came out in time for the Christmas rush and features Haystacks along with other record shops around the UK. Graham Jones, the writer of Vinyl Revival, wrote a predecessor called ‘Last Shop Standing’ in which he eulogised the last shops selling vinyl after the emergence of CDs and then MP3s during the digital revolution of the 1980s and 1990s.

Baltimore, MD | True Vine sets up GoFundMe for relocation: Amidst a rent dispute, the True Vine Record Shop has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for relocation costs and a rent deposit on a new space. “After this is accomplished we will throw a big party & hopefully carry on for many years,” owner Jason Willett wrote in the fundraiser description [all sic]. “we don’t know how long we can stay in our current location so as far as raising this money goes, the sooner the better.” Willett is seeking to raise $5,000. The campaign comes after Willett publicly accused Golden West Cafe, a restaurant around the corner from his shop, of forcing him out of his Hickory Avenue space. Golden West stepped in and bought up True Vine’s lease, which had proven too costly for the record store, with the intent of collaborating on a new space that mixed a bar and performance space with records for sale. With the backing of a new investor, as Baltimore Fishbowl reported in November, the restaurant has been looking to expand its current footprint, open a new vegan bakery in the neighborhood and possibly set up other Golden West locations in the region.

Denver, CO | Vinyl delivery? Monkey Barrel bar sells records through Uber Eats app. The Monkey Barrel, a bar in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood, is selling vinyl records to accompany your dinner when you order through Uber Eats. Do you want some ambiance to elevate your dinner delivery? The Monkey Barrel in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood may have something that will do just the trick. The neighborhood beer bar has partnered up with a local record company to offer delivery vinyl service through Uber Eats. Now, you can order a sandwich, a slice of chocolate cake and a side of Wu-Tang Clan. “Why wouldn’t we send out a record as delivery with an Uber Eats order?” said Ryan Dykstra, owner of Ryan Dykstra Records. Dyksra’s love of vintage vinyl began while he was in college in the mid-90s. “Back then, CDs had just come along. Vinyl was a dead art. You could buy any single for a dollar or an album for a few bucks,” said Dykstra. “I started collecting and before I knew it, I had thousands of records.”

Houston, TX | Legendary Houston record store makes surprise exit from Montrose: A beloved spot for Houstonians looking for vinyl records — and for bands and performers seeking a spot to do a show — will be leaving its familiar Montrose location. Sound Exchange will exit 846 Richmond Ave. and move to the Second Ward in the East End. As of Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the store will be on 101 N. Milby St., on the corner of Milby and Commerce. The owners tell CultureMap that knew they had to bounce. “Our landlord sold it to a developer, who will be knocking it down,” says Kurt Brennan, who co-owns the store with Kevin Bakos. “[The landlord] has been really cool with us, so we knew this is what he was going to do. They gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” Considering how difficult it’s gotten to keep a business going in Montrose, Brennan knew a change of scenery was inevitable.

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