In rotation: 7/17/19

Boston, MA | Once again, LPs are rolling off shelves of local record stores: Step off the elevator that brings you to Lowell’s Mill No. 5, a vintage mall and mixed-use space on the fourth floor of an old textile factory. The first shop you see is Vinyl Destination. It’s an old-fashioned record store — all albums, no CDs. Vinyl Destination is open boutique hours — Thursday through Sunday afternoons and evenings, mostly. On a recent Saturday, the guy behind the counter is talking to a customer about their shared addiction to record collecting. “You ever buy so many records that months later you still haven’t listened to some of them?” he says with a rueful chuckle. “That’s the story of my life.” In the digital age, renewed interest in the classic analog format of vinyl records began to surge a decade or so ago, and the revival shows no signs of abating. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl sales for 2018 were up 8 percent from the previous year, reaching a 30-year high. And that doesn’t account for significant sales figures for used vinyl, as Forbes recently reported.

Baltimore, MD | Sound Garden owners plan Maryland’s first medical cannabis lounge in Fells Point: The couple behind the retro record store Sound Garden is planning to open Maryland’s first medical cannabis lounge in Fells Point later this year. The lounge will inhabit 701 S. Bond St., previously home to Sir Duke, a bar that closed earlier this year. It is currently going through the approval process and awaiting final approval. “We don’t know,” said Derek Baumgardner, City Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals Executive Director, when asked when his agency expected to grant final approval. The lounge—inspired by similar businesses on the West Coast and Arizona— will be a members only club where card holders can pay a monthly fee to partake in medical cannabis educational sessions, yoga and cooking classes, according to its website. Members will also be able to consume medical cannabis on site. This business venture comes in two parts, the medical cannabis lounge on the second floor and a new restaurant on the first.

Auckland, NZ | A record pressing plant has opened in New Zealand: The first in over 30 years. A new vinyl factory called Holiday Records has opened in Auckland, New Zealand – reports Newshub. Launched by Ben Wallace and Joel Woods, the factory has one Viryl Technologies WarmTone™ Record Press, with the ability to make 800 records per day. “I got my father’s collection in a box – I don’t want to hand my son a Spotify playlist,” Wallace shared. Wallace and Woods have also opened a record shop in central Aukland with the same name, stocking new albums, turntables and tech, merch and books. You can find them at 111 Wellesley Street West, Auckland

Orlando, FL | DJ Smilin Dan’s Getting Away With It turns Remix Record Shop into an after-hours happening every week: Gather round, kids. Here’s some music lore for you. Once upon a time, people had to purchase music! Even more fantastical, they had to travel – yes, over mountain and wood – to record shops to procure it on physical media, arcane materials like wax, disc, tape and probably flint or something. Some of these record shops even developed into outposts of society unto themselves. Seriously! Watch High Fidelity, Pretty in Pink, shit, even Empire Records if you must. Anyway, though nothing like in ye golden olden times, that great record store culture still exists in our city. Park Ave CDs, Orlando’s flagship independent record store, is both testament to and bastion for that with their excellent and well-known in-store performances. Public events and other such gatherings at other record stores, however, are slim pickings. But a good and notable one that’s been happening on the reg this year is Getting Away With It at Remix Record Shop.

Companies still earning well by their older devices: The Walkman buried in your basement is likely to be someone’s hot new accessory. The retro-tech market is alive and kicking. In May, Apple refreshed the iPod contact for the first time in four years. Vinyl record sales clocked in at 400 million on common over the past four years, based on information from data tracker Statista. DVD player sales are trending downward, however, they nonetheless consistently hit four million units sold each holiday quarter, even as recently as 2018. Different devices that have stayed the course: camcorders, radios, clock radios, desk phones, and DVRs. Millions of those are still being used in US households in 2017, in keeping with Statista. What drives individuals to proceed purchasing vinyl records, instant film cameras, and iPods, long after new merchandise have made those objects irrelevant. Older devices have a lot of staying power as a result of they allow individuals to unplug from the fixed ping of smartphones and tablets.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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