In rotation: 8/28/20

West Chester, PA | Rock Music Menu: Record Store Day 2020 finally kicks off this weekend: Like just about every event set to take place around the world in recent months, plans for Record Store Day 2020 came to a screeching halt when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, four months after it was originally scheduled, the vinyl-centric holiday is finally happening this Saturday. Typically occurring the third Saturday in April each year, organizers hit pause due to Covid-19, initially electing to postpone until late June. When it became clear things were going to get worse before they got better, the decision was made not just hold to off a bit longer but spread the event across three weekends in the name of social distancing, retooled with the name Record Store Day Drops and concurrent hashtag #RSDDrops. “In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be too,” organizers said in a statement. “RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October.”

Greenslopes, AU | Back in the groove: A hole new spin on Record Store Day: Independent record stores are expecting to do a roaring trade this weekend, with the first of three separate drops of limited-edition vinyl hitting shelves on Saturday as part of a reimagined version of Record Store Day. Record Store Day – which is normally held in April but was cancelled this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic – was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent US record store owners and employees to drive business for indie retailers that had experienced a downturn in trade with the rise of digital devices. The first Record Store Day was held on April 19, 2008 and was an immediate success, with hundreds of stores across the US and the UK taking part, and artists including R.E.M., Vampire Weekend and Death Cab for Cutie issuing limited-edition releases to mark the event. The event quickly spread throughout the rest of the world and has become the biggest day of trade of the year for independent record stores but due to social distancing, this year’s event has been split into three separate days, which will take place this Saturday and the final Saturdays of September and October.

Bridport, UK | Record Store Day at Clocktower Music and Bridport Music Centre: Music fans have not been let down as the popular Record Store Day (RSD) will still go ahead despite coronavirus – although a little differently this year. The event, which celebrates independent record shops across the UK, is having three dates rather than one, with the first taking place this Saturday. Each of the three days, the others on September 26 and October 24, will release certain special vinyl releases that would have come out together had there been just one day. To check which records are released when, visit Both Clocktower Music at St Michael’s Trading Estate and Bridport Music Centre in South Street will be taking part. Clocktower Music is running an appointment system for those collectors who are not able to queue or are travelling some distance to find RSD releases. There will be no queuing with five people allowed in at one time and a separate area in the store for the limited edition RSD releases.

Washington, DC | Here’s How Local Stores Are Celebrating A Socially Distant Record Store Day: Record Store Day, like so many events, will look very different this year. The annual event usually brings out music fans to record stores nationwide to score special releases and rare vinyl. After being postponed from its usual April date due to COVID-19, it will now take the form of three separate drops in August, September, and October. The first of those begins this Saturday, August 29. In addition to the day’s special releases, including a John Prine box set, a 50th anniversary edition of Al Green’s Green Is Blues, and more, many local stores are stocking up on hand sanitizer and latex gloves, and taking new safety precautions. We’ve rounded up the stores that are participating this year in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. All stores are requiring face masks while shopping, and their plans are subject to change for the September and October drops.

Twin Cities, MN | Record Store Day returns with caution as one Twin Cities shop closes for testing: Safety concerns for Saturday’s first of three RSD installments are renewed after Mill City Sound shut down Wednesday. Twin Cities record store owners are stocking up on new limited-edition releases, used LPs and other collectibles this week just like they do before every Record Store Day. Saturday’s installment of the 13th annual international shopping day won’t be like any RSD before it, though. For starters, instead of its usual mid-April target date, music lovers’ big day out is happening in August. And then in September. And again in October. This new three-day installment — Sept. 26 and Oct. 24 are the other dates — is intended to prevent crowding and protect customers from the COVID-19 threats that sidelined RSD 2020 in the first place. Those concerns became all too real this week when Mill City Sound in Hopkins abruptly shut its doors to self-quarantine staff after one person came down with a fever Tuesday.

Montreal, CA | Mile End record store Phonopolis is reopening today (8/27): “Thank you for supporting us during these weird times! We would be totally f*cked without your help and support.” After playing it safe during the pandemic, Mile End record store Phonopolis (207 Bernard) is reopening today in Montreal, with strict safety protocols in place. Only two clients will be allowed in the store at a time, and priority will be given to those who booked an appointment ahead of time (see the booking form here). In addition: No admittance will be possible without a mask. Personal headphones are required for use of the listening station. Walk-in visitors with no appointment will still be allowed, but priority will be given to those who book ahead of time. Online orders and home deliveries, which is how the store has been surviving since March, will continue. The store expressed gratitude to those loyal clients who have kept them afloat.

Treat your vinyl with a £1000 turntable stand this Record Store Day: Warning: contains extreme turntable cushioning! Buying a solid base for your turntable can improve performance and help you hear vinyl at its absolute best. Do you need to spend £1000 to achieve decent isolation? No. Can you? Yes, you can – provided you head to German outfit Liedtke-Metalldesign, which has come up with what may be the world’s most extreme turntable stand, and a great way to treat yourself ahead of Record Store Day (part one). The LM-Statement measures around 70cm tall and costs an eye-watering €1111. Each one boasts a 50cm-wide base made of either granite or slate, mounted on a steel base with four adjustable spikes. According to the firm’s publicity department, it’s “like a rock in a storm.” The 50kg beast comes complete with a set of “LM-Vibration Booser” (absorber pucks), floor protector discs and a high-quality (of course) 5mm Allen key for mounting the table.

Portland, OR | Jackpot Records’ Isaac Slusarenko reissues FOUR Martin Denny LP’s: When you hear the start of this, you will notice that you’re not hearing the Coffeeshop Conversations theme. Good catch. The regular theme doesn’t have men imitating birds and frogs. No, this is Martin Denny’s Quiet Village which ushered in a whole new thing when it was released in 1957…called Exotica. And it was. It was also a huge hit and so were the Martin Denny lp’s that followed. Well, today’s guest in the Artichoke Café is Isaac Sluseranko who runs Jackpot Records. Every year around Record Store Day, this year on Saturday, August 29, they reissue something that blows you away. This year it’s four Martin Denny records, including the one with Quiet Village, that one in original Mono. Martin Denny sold millions and millions of records. Let’s find out why.

We Need Your Help Growing a List of Black-Owned Record Stores: …The current social climate has ignited a much-needed reckoning with systemic racism. Amid the meaningful protests and clamor of corporate platitudes, executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas called for the music industry to take a deep look at its own issues and rallied people around #TheShowMustBePaused. This call snowballed into what many came to know as Black Out Tuesday. As this was unfolding in June, Discogs users bekessler (aka Ben Kessler from Washington, D.C.) asked Forum contributors to submit information about Black-owned record stores. The result is a shareable list of shops to support. Thanks to Kessler’s efforts, you can comment with more additions. “Please continue to support these stores and help grow the list either here or by directly commenting on the chart,” Kessler writes in the original forum post. As of publication of this story, there were only 25 stores from across North America. We believe this can become a worldwide directory.

London, UK | Remembering Phonica Records co-founder Tom Relleen: We are devastated to learn of the loss of Tom Relleen, who passed away on Sunday 26th August. Tom was an original founder of Phonica Records, a great friend, an inspiring colleague, and a musical genius. We send our sincere condolences to all his loved ones. Tom, Heidi and myself founded Phonica Records back in 2003. We all met working at Koobla a few years before — a fun place to work where we learned how to run a record shop. The three of us worked side-by-side as a small team for years and created something special and close to our hearts that we were really proud of. Tom played a key role in bringing the more experimental records into the shop: electronica, dub, drone, shoegaze, post-rock and much more — introducing us both to loads of amazing music we would never have listened to, usually over copious amounts of red wine with friends at his flat. He played a very important role in the shop’s early days, which shouldn’t be forgotten.

War Child’s landmark charity album ‘Help’ reissued to mark its 25th anniversary: War Child’s classic charity compilation album ‘Help’ is being reissued on limited-edition vinyl to mark its 25th anniversary – and will also be landing on streaming platforms for the first time. Originally mastered by Brian Eno, the LP was recorded at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios across a single day in September 1995. It was released just one week later in a bid to raise funds for children affected by the Bosnian conflict. Among those to contribute to the project were Oasis, Radiohead, The Stone Roses, Blur, Orbital, Massive Attack, Portishead and Sinéad O’Connor. “At a time when children affected by war are facing coronavirus, a crisis as deadly as the bombs and bullets they have survived, help is needed more than ever,” a press release reads. “To celebrate turning 25 the album will be made available on digital and streaming services for the first time as well as a limited-edition reissue on vinyl – just 2020 copies.”

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