In rotation: 7/14/20

Wellington, NZ | NZ’s longest-running record store in Wellington lives on with change of ownership: New Zealand’s longest running independent record store, Slow Boat in Wellington has survived recessions, the advent of the internet and so far, the pandemic. Now after 35 years its owner has sold the shop to two long time workers keeping the music alive for the next generation. It’s a music collector’s heaven with around 100,000 records and CDs spanning all tastes. Founder, Dennis O’Brien bought the Cuba Street building, an old bank in the 1980s. The shop has hosted concerts and has gained a celebrity following, Mr O’Brien saying that actor Martin Freeman used to come in “a lot”. But the store has also had its challenges. “There were halcyon days when CDs came in and everything just roared along, records fine and dandy. and then came downloading and we lost a generation or two perhaps,” says Mr O’Brien. Vinyl has struggled for years but Slow Boat has stuck by the old LP and caught the resurgence.

Herne Bay, UK | Herne Bay record shop B’side the C’side set to close: Scores of people have been queueing up outside a popular record shop after the owners announced it is set to close. Martin Eastman and wife Chris have been running B’side the C’side in Herne Bay High Street since 2013. But they have decided to relocate to Essex and sold the store after it was put on the market last year. They have now launched a closing down sale where “everything must go.” Martin, 65, has been living his boyhood fantasy of owning a record store ever since he bought his first vinyl in 1962. His wife Chris described how they had to make the difficult decision to sell the shop to be closer to family. “It was my husband’s dream so I thought ‘OK, let’s get it out of his system’,” the 63-year-old said. “So we moved down here and opened the shop. “It is a shame to move really because if our family was down here, we wouldn’t be leaving. We have had a great time – people are so friendly and lovely.”

Brooklyn, NY | Record Store Recs: Salt Cathedral Talk Favorite Brooklyn Indie Shops & How To Support Artists Of Color: With the unprecedented global disruption of 2020, it’s important to support the music community however we can. With our series Record Store Recs, checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they’ve found there. Finding inspiration from tropical, danceable rhythms of their native Colombia, Bogotá-born, Brooklyn-based electropop duo Salt Cathedral create breezy, joyful music that’s impossible to not dance to. The band, consisting of Juliana Ronderos and Nicolas Losada, first met in the U.S. while attending Berklee College of Music. They first released music as Salt Cathedral in 2013 and were signed to the legendary electronic label Ultra Music in 2018. Their name is a nod to their shared hometown, inspired by the Catedral de Sal in Zipaquirá, an underground church built 200 meters underground in a former salt mine in the small town outside of Colombia’s capital.

Michigan City, IN | Tom Lounges opens second record store in Michigan City: Northwest Indiana music legend Tom Lounges — a journalist, DJ, radio host, emcee and promoter who’s been a vital part of the Region music scene for decades — has opened a second record shop in Michigan City. Lounges, the longtime publisher of Midwest Beat magazine, host of the “Midwest Beat” show on Lakeshore Public Radio and writer of a weekly column for The Times of Northwest Indiana, opened Tom Lounges’ Record Bin in downtown Hobart three years ago to sell off some of his massive record collection. Now he has opened a second location at 1601 Franklin St. in Michigan City. The new record shop will sell vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, vintage Star Plaza concert posters, tie dye shirts, clothing, mugs, turntables, CBD and many other items in a space about twice as large as the downtown Hobart store at 218 Main St. The new store also will host music lessons, have an art nook featuring the work of local artists, and run a live 24/7 online radio station at and on the Region Radio app, as the Hobart stores does.

Howard Jennings Eulogizes His Favorite Record Store in “The Sound Song.” For many music lovers, the first voluntary trip to the record store is often a treasured reminiscence. That pivotal transformation from listening to “whatever is on the radio” to pursuing that limited edition gatefold vinyl of The Pixies Surfer Rosa is a coming of age story worthy of Charles Dickens or D.H. Lawrence. To these folks, the record store is a cherished place of reverence, harboring memories and experiences that only other music lovers can understand. In that respect, news of a record store’s closing is often regarded in the same way as a death of a friend. It can be overwhelmingly devastating. Such is the case for Nashville-based singer-songwriter Howard Jennings whose new single “The Sound Song” laments the closing of his favorite record store. “’The Sound Song’ was the result of hearing the news that our beloved East Nashville neighborhood record store, Fond Object, was closing,” he sighs. “And not just closing, but being demolished only to be replaced by condos.”

Durham, NC | Record Shops Sell a Hands-on Experience. Now They’re Adapting to a Hands-off World. As the full scope of the coronavirus pandemic was becoming clear in March, Chaz Martenstein sat down with the staff at Durham’s Bull City Records to discuss the way forward. With so much unknown about COVID-19, he decided to close. He figured he could manage without regular business for a month or two at most. “We still don’t know what’s going on, but we definitely didn’t know what was going on then,” Martenstein says more than three months later. Some types of retailers were well-prepared to pivot online, but the point of independent record shops is that they’re not websites. They sell an experience, not just a product. The tactile and social nature of record shopping is central in its appeal, which almost certainly contributed to the resurgence of vinyl over the last decade. Spending an hour in a record shop means flipping through rows of LPs and crates of used albums and having face-to-face interactions with staff and other customers. This is a serious hurdle to limiting the spread of a virus whose mode of transmission is not fully understood, and record shops have had to find new ways to engage customers and pay the bills during the shutdown.

Collective Soul’s Self-Titled Second Album Celebrates 25 Years With Deluxe Reissue: The band’s 1993 debut, ‘Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid’, will also get its first wide-release on vinyl on August 7. Collective Soul’s triple-platinum, self-titled sophomore album will be commemorated with its first-ever vinyl pressing, while the deluxe CD and digital versions will include six bonus tracks. The legendary alt-rock band’s 1993 debut, Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, will also get its first wide-release on vinyl. Affectionately referred to as “The Blue Album”, Collective Soul followed Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and would go on to become the highest-selling title of their career. This special anniversary reissue—available on CD and across digital and streaming platforms on August 7—will include six bonus tracks, plus liner notes from music journalist Jeff Slate, with new insights from the band’s frontman and guiding creative force, Ed Roland. Collective Soul will also be reissued in its original form on vinyl for the very first time, along with Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.

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