In rotation: 8/31/20

Bournemouth, UK | Vinyl enthusiasts queue for more than 24 hours on Record Store Day: Vinyl enthusiasts waited more than 24 hours to snap up rare and collectable releases on Record Store Day. At Square Records in Wimborne two customers set up camp just after 7am on Friday – and the sale didn’t even start until this morning. And at The Vault in Christchurch a customer arrived at 3am yesterday to ensure he got his hands on the latest release from U2, pictured below. The annual event usually takes place in April but it has been cancelled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year it is taking place in three stages, the first of which was today. Alan Rowett at The Vault said: “We weren’t sure how many people were going to turn up because of all the changes but it went very well.

UK | Record Store Day 2020: ‘We’ve all been starved of music’: Like every event everywhere, Record Store Day 2020 is no stranger to rescheduling due to coronavirus. For the first time in its 12-year history, there’ll be no in-store parties or live gigs. Instead, the annual celebration will be socially-distanced with pre-booked buying slots for collectors. But at a time when the music industry has been virtually silenced, this year’s edition is seen as vitally important for stores struggling to stay open. “We were all so relieved when they said it was going ahead,” says Hannah Tinker from Wilderness record store. Based in Withington, a small village on the outskirts of Manchester, Wilderness opened on 13 April 2019 (which happened to be the date of last year’s Record Store Day). “Our first year’s been an odd one,” she says.

Rochester, NY | Record Archive Celebrates Record Store Day: Due to the pandemic, Record Store Day is being celebrated on three separate days this year instead of one. With Saturday being the first, record archive in Rochester was packed with eager customers. The backroom lounge was dedicated solely to the celebration. There was a variety of music on vinyl for sale, featuring artists ranging from The Weekend to Glass Animals. Record Archive staffers say this year was different with the pandemic, but say their customers had a good time. “Everybody in some way is happier because they realize that we’re taking their safety first, and we can still execute this smoothly and completely and they’re all still getting what they’re looking for, so it’s a win for everybody,” said Alayna Alderman, vice president and co-owner of Record Archive. Record Store Day will also be celebrated on 9/26 and 10/24.

San Francisco, CA | Bay Area record stores ‘fight the good fight’ as pandemic drags on: For most of the Bay Area’s independent record stores, Record Store Day typically means long lines at the door and tight aisles packed with rabid music fans. Everything is different this year. As many Bay Area businesses remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, local record stores are struggling to stay afloat. Even Record Store Day, the annual promotional event that started in 2008 to draw attention to independent music retailers by providing them with exclusive vinyl-only releases, has changed. What used to take place on one day in April is now divided across three monthly events starting Saturday, Aug. 29. The staggered dates are an effort to help stores ease back into the market when it is safe to once again tap their fan base. 1-2-3-4 Go Records in Oakland is one of the few Bay Area shops that will open its doors for the first event, called RSD Drops 2020.

Lancashire, UK | Vinyl fans rejoice as delayed Record Store Day gets underway: After months of uncertainty the first instalment of this year’s Record Store Day will take place today, and it’s not a moment too soon for Townsend Records, which has stores in Great Harwood and Clitheroe. Record Store Day (RSD) is the one day of the year when over 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar. But this year saw the annual fixture, originally scheduled for April 18, thrown into doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, until RSD organisers came up with the idea of spreading the day across three ‘drop dates’ on August 29, September 26 and October 24 to reduce shoppers congregating inside shops and the queues for which RSD has become famous for.

Corbin, KY | New record shop set to open Sept. 1 in downtown: In July, a local couple purchased a closing business and has spent the past month and a half getting it ready for opening day. White Rabbit Records, a new vinyl destination located at 202 South Main Street in Corbin, is scheduled to open September 1. Zach and Terianne Hensley bought the record store from the previous owner who was moving out of town. And it’s the ideal business venture for Zach who has always loved and been involved with music. He started playing musical instruments around the age of 10 and is currently in two bands — one local and one in Pennsylvania. “I’ve always collected records and wanted to have a music store,” said Hensley. “We’re finally able to do so.” Much like the record store there before, White Rabbit Records will offer a recording studio in the back as well as a rehearsal space for bands to use. With over 5,000 records in the store, the couple has been putting in long hours getting ready for opening day.

New York, NY | Turntable Lab’s NYC store has closed: NYC record store Turntable Lab, which opened in 2001 on E. 7th St and moved to E. 10th St in 2017, has closed its doors for good. It never reopened after coronavirus lockdown in March. The store made the tough announcement on their Instagram, with co-owner Peter Hahn writing, “When the 2007 financial crisis hit, I vividly remember a conversation I had with my cousin who is the most successful business person I know. He gave me a list of 5 things we should do to prepare. I was so green at the time, I just didn’t have the mental tools to make those kind of swift, decisive actions. We ended up grinding our way through with storefronts on both coasts. It’s still one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, and it was painful. When COVID hit, I felt like it was second chance at the game. We reached out to the landlord early, gave him exactly what we needed to stay in the space. When it was clear that he wouldn’t budge, we acted.”

Cornwall, ON | Pair to take over Buds Records and Kool Things in Cornwall: A couple are moving to Cornwall from Ottawa to keep a man’s memory alive. Jason Lavoie and his girlfriend Emily will take over Buds Records and Kool Things. The former owner, Larry “Bud” O’Byrne, passed away earlier this year. He was a 40-year-old father of two children, an avid musician, and participated in standup comedy shows. “Bud was a very close friend of mine,” said Lavoie. “I feel connected with his kids and wife, and felt like it would be a shame to see the shop close down.” They plan is to open the store again in the middle of September. Lavoie reached out to Bud’s wife, and asked her what she was going to do with the store. She had no intention of running it and wanted to sell the entire inventory. He discussed the idea of taking over the store, with Emily setting those plans in stone. He said at first he felt uncomfortable taking over Bud’s shop, but after a while he felt strongly attached to the store. “He was my brother at heart,” said Lavoie. “I know he was giving me signs to continue this. Things have been falling into place and the community has been supportive of this.”

Asbury Park, NJ | Holdfast Records closes brick-and-mortar shop in Asbury Park: Asbury Park’s biggest record store is tuning out. Holdfast Records will close its shop doors Aug. 31 after 11 years. The store owners say it’s not because of the coronavirus shutdown, but that they’ve actually been planning the store closure for a while. “…On a personal note, this decision wasn’t easy… but after being home for a few months it changed the way we looked at this as a business and a lifestyle. Every record nerd knows that the best part of this is the hunt- whats in the next crate, whats this gonna sound like, the smell of the basements, the moment of striking vinyl gold, and when you get a box of crappy Mantiovanni records and you’re still happy bc it is better than a “real” job. We will be digging more, we will be finding more and we will love this “job” even more going forward…”

Auckland, NZ | Marbecks Records: Auckland’s second lockdown ‘nail in the coffin’ for some businesses: Auckland businesses that struggled to attract customers while the City Rail Link was constructed nearby are now hanging their hopes customers will return when the city shifts to alert level 2 on Monday… Further downtown, Roger Marbeck, the owner of record store Marbecks in Queen Street said online sales have slumped over the last two weeks after holding up well during the nationwide lockdown earlier this year. “The bottom has completely fallen out of the market, I don’t know anybody who’s doing well this time,” he said. “Even the onlines have diminished, they’ve gone down severely. It’s a disturbing trend – we’re hoping that come Monday people will get some confidence back.” Marbeck said it was a similar story with other independent retailers outside of Auckland. “I’m in touch with the other music retailers as well and everybody’s experiencing the same thing. Another week of this and I don’t think it will be a pretty picture for some people.”

Bororen, AU | Central Queensland record store grows out of bushfire that destroyed lifetime collection: How do you come back from the heartbreak of losing 15,000 records in a bushfire? You set up shop in Bororen, a tiny town on the Bruce Highway in Central Queensland. This is what happened to Scott Collins, who opened his business in November and is, for the first time, taking part in Record Store Day. “Unfortunately, my house burnt down a couple of years ago in the bushfires and 15,000 records were lost,” he said. “You can imagine that sort of collection and how long it’s taken me and the miles I’ve travelled to get those records, and to see them all go up in smoke. Mr Collins is on the constant hunt for records to resupply what he has lost — particularly his Miles Davis: Kind of Blue, and he says the shop gives him that opportunity. “There are so many people out there with the records just sitting in their back shed,” he said. Mr Collins began his collection when he was 12 years old, when his mother bought his first record. “The fact you now have 10 to 12-year-old kids coming in to buy records is great,” he said.

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