In rotation: 5/13/19

Brooklyn, NY | Old-School Media Gets a New Home in Brooklyn: As someone who still devours print magazines (and not just because I’m employed by one), I keep a mental list of the few remaining newsstands in New York, like Casa Magazines in the West Village and Iconic Magazines on Mulberry Street. Now the list extends all the way to Gowanus, Brooklyn, where Import News has a new dedicated space inside Public Records, a café, bar, and performance venue that opened earlier this spring. Founded by Ken Miller and Sasha Laing, Import News stocks hard-to-find indie publications from around the world with a focus on music, art, and culture. On the shelves at Public Records, you’ll find titles like Record, Electronic Sound, Gusher, and the last-ever print edition of Maximum Rocknroll. The café will also sell a selection of vinyl records from labels run by partners and friends of the venue, including Scissor & Thread, Kingdoms, Let’s Play House, and Throne of Blood. In unexpected spaces like this former animal shelter–slash–vintage guitar shop, the spirit of old-school media lives on.

Baltimore, MD | Vinyl and beer: Why Fells Point’s Sound Garden is bringing in a Baby’s on Fire cafe: Mount Vernon cafe Baby’s On Fire has been serving up vinyl alongside its coffee and breakfast sandwiches since it opened nearly three years ago. Now the coffee shop-slash-record store is bringing food and drink to the Sound Garden, one of Baltimore’s best-known music stores, as part of a play to draw more traffic to the Fells Point brick-and-mortar. Baby’s On Fire owners David Koslowski and Shirlé Hale-Koslowski obtained a liquor license Thursday for the new cafe, which will share a name and menu with their Mount Vernon business. The license, which applies to the entire Sound Garden space, will allow shoppers to sip beer, wine or coffee while record shopping. The Koslowkis and Sound Garden owner Bryan Burkert hope that kind of cross-pollination will ultimately bring in more business…

Los Angeles, CA | Free Live Music Concerts in Los Angeles at Record Surplus: You will have a blast at free live music concerts at Record Surplus in Los Angeles! Sign up now to get invitations to our upcoming free live music concerts, big sales and cool give-aways! Click Here. Check out our YouTube Channel to see a few of the awesome bands who have performed live here at Record Surplus: The Muffs, Peter Case, George Tomsco of The Fireballs, The Kingbees, California Feetwarmers, Feels. We hope to see you at our next event at Record Surplus!

Berlin, DEU | Vinyl revival: is there an environmental cost to record sales? …Making Vinyl, which was held on 2-3 May, is a conference that aims to recapture something of those glory days and to offer a sustainable way forward for an industry that in 2018 saw its global revenues increase for the 13th consecutive year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Vinyl sales now enjoy a 3.6% share of the overall recorded music market, including streaming. In the week ending 18 April, vinyl sales in the US were up 193% year-on-year, from 282,000 to 827,000. Like millions of others, Larry Jaffee, co-founder of Making Vinyl, threw away his 4,000-piece vinyl collection. But in the past few years he has been trying to rebuild it, and believes the IFPI numbers are a gross underestimate, “because most independent shops selling vinyl these days do not report their sales, and the research – at best – relies on estimates.”

How the Record Industry Is Trying to Make Vinyl More Environmentally Friendly: …On the pressing plant side of things, the Toronto startup Viryl Technologies introduced, in 2017, one of the first newly designed (rather than rehabbed) models since the 1980s, called the WarmTone. At the top of this year, Viryl launched a steamless option, which is powered by electricity instead of water pressure and can be retrofitted to any Viryl press. According to co-founder Chad Brown, there’s not a drastic performance difference between the company’s steamless and steam-powered options. “Steam is very good for heating record molds rapidly, so you’ll get a slightly faster cycle time,” Brown said. “With steam, a 24- to 28-second cycle time is achievable. Steamless, we hit 31 seconds.” Putting aside about a five-second lag, there are some economic benefits to steamless presses. You don’t have to hire someone to maintain the boiler, and your water bill goes way down. (The whole system feasibly could run on renewable energy, assuming the pressing plant committed to solar power or wind energy.)

Newark, DE | Rainbow Records preparing for move to new location: Rainbow Records is preparing to leave the storefront it’s called home since 1987 – but the haven for vinyl lovers isn’t going far. The Main Street store will close May 30, and the business will reopen June 1 in Pomeroy Station, the mixed-use complex located next to Newark Shopping Center and anchored by Ski Bum. Co-owner Todd Brewer said the new location is larger, has cheaper rent and makes parking easier for customers. “It’s going to be great,” Brewer said. “We’ve been wanting to bring free parking for our customers, and it’s finally happening.” He also noted that Pomeroy Station has two entrances, one from Main Street and one from Chapel Street, making it easier for customers to avoid Main Street during the yearlong construction project. “We all the construction, everyone’s worried. That was a big factor for us,” he said. Brewer, who runs the store with his wife Miranda, plans to double the number of records offered for sale at the new location. “We want to be the go-to destination between Philly and Baltimore for people who love vinyl…”

Rare Beatles record owned by John Lennon sells at auction for £180,000: The so-called ‘butcher’ record caused controversy when it was unveiled in the US in 1966. A rare and controversial Beatles record once belonging to John Lennon has sold at auction for £180,000. The so-called “butcher” cover of Yesterday And Today sparked outrage upon its unveiling in the US in 1966 as it showed the Fab Four smiling while posing in white coats and covered in pieces of raw meat and decapitated baby dolls. The controversy led to it being withdrawn and replaced by a more public-friendly cover showing the band standing around an old fashioned steamer trunk. Despite the last-minute change, the damage was done to The Beatles’ record label, Capitol, and it was reportedly the only Beatles’ album to lose money for the company. Lennon’s personal copy of the album went under the hammer at an auction in The Beatles’ home city of Liverpool on Thursday, and smashed its expected selling price.

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