In rotation: 9/15/20

Belfast, IE | Best places to get vinyl records in Belfast: There’s plenty of shops to choose from if you’re digging for vinyl records in the city. It was once an outmoded, over-sized and obsolete way to listen to music, but vinyl records have had a massive resurgence in recent years. With streaming services making music more and more virtual and immediate, many people have been pining for the physical aesthetic of vinyl records – not to mention enjoying the unique sound qualities of these records. Now, according to industry website The Vinyl Factory, sales of vinyl records have been growing year on year for the past 12 years in the UK, with many people turning to classic albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, but also to newer releases such as Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go. In light of that, we thought we’d take a rundown of the top places in Belfast to go poking around for vinyl records. Here’s our list:

Oxford, UK | Narrowboat in Oxford is a floating record shop: A floating record shop has arrived in Oxford. Luke Guilford runs The Record Deck UK and travels the waterways selling vinyl along the way. The 45-year-old set up shop today from his 60ft narrowboat moored on the Thames in East Street, Osney Island, near The Punter pub. He said: “I’ve had a good welcome – I’ve been coming to Oxford once a year for about six years – some customers come back every year. “I’ve been doing this for about seven years – before that I was working in the library at Hackney College.” Mr Guilford, who lives on the boat, said trade has been hit this year as there are fewer festivals he can attend. He added: “I usually carry about 1,200 albums and a few hundred singles – you can’t carry too many on the boat.” Mr Guilford’s love of vinyl started when he was a teenager. He said: “My friend and I used to go to Leicester record fair and spend all our paper round money.”

Dundee, UK | Customers of Groucho’s pay homage to city ‘institution’ as closure confirmed by family after five decades: Music fans have paid tribute to iconic record store Groucho’s after The Tele broke the news the shop has closed for good. It marks a sad end to a difficult period for the shop after its owner Alastair “Breeks” Brodie died last year. The long-term future of Groucho’s had been hanging in the balance in recent weeks after the premises closed due to Covid-19. And after serving thousands of shoppers over the last five decades removal trucks were spotted outside the Nethergate store yesterday. Customers took to social media to thank the store and its staff after sharing their own memories of crossing over the threshold. Frances Thompson, was a regular customer in her teenage years in the 1990s. She said: “I’m absolutely gutted that Groucho’s has gone forever. “I used to go there five times a week in the 90s as a teenager and loved digging about and seeing what hidden gems I could find. “It’s the end of an era, such a shame, a Dundee institution that’ll never be forgotten – going to miss it so much.”

Kensington, PA | New Kensington record store reopened over Labor Day weekend at new location: A New Kensington record store will reopen in a new location designed with social distancing in mind. AJ Rassau, owner of Preserving Underground with his wife, Sarah, is spreading his store’s grand reopening over the Labor Day weekend to keep the crowd from becoming overwhelming. Preserving Underground is now located in New Ken Social, a former Presbyterian church on Fifth Avenue that until recently had been used by the Salvation Army as its worship and service center. Preserving Underground opened as Preserving Hardcore in April 2019 in the basement of District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.’s building. Rassau said he changed the name within six months to better suit customer interests. “We primarily focused on hardcore, metal, punk and the likes,” Rassau said. “We currently specialize in almost all forms of underground music ranging from hip-hop to alternative to indie rock.”

Rawlpindi, PK | Pakistani record collector makes vinyl spin across the world: Naeem-ud-Din Ahmed was always fond of music, though he only realized a few years ago that it could also be a great investment after he amassed a huge collection of 15,000 vinyl records and started selling them all over the world. With his interest in classics, 56-year-old Ahmed has always been an avid listener of music produced by leading Subcontinental stars like Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Tahira Syed — and every time he prefers to enjoy their songs on vinyl records. “What people are finally beginning to understand is that the best musical sound comes from the most traditional forms of listening,” Ahmed told Arab News over the phone earlier this week. His collection spans 100 years of music and features artists like Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton and Pakistani sensations, like Nazia and Zoheb Hassan who dominated the 1980s, as well as classical Indian singers with music dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.

Pearl Jam are releasing their 1992 ‘MTV Unplugged’ performance on vinyl: The session, which was given a limited edition release for Record Store Day 2019, will come out on the band’s 30th anniversary. Pearl Jam are set to fully release their 1992 ‘MTV Unplugged’ performance in full. The session was given a limited edition release for 2019’s Record Store Day, and will be given a new release next month to mark the band’s 30th anniversary. ‘MTV Unplugged’, recorded in New York shortly after the band’s first full American tour, features seven stripped-back songs from their debut album ‘Ten’.

Best record player for 2020: Rega, Audio Technica, Pro-ject, more turntable reviews: Looking for a high-quality turntable to play your precious vinyl collection? These are the top record players we’ve reviewed from $100 to $1,000. There’s never been a better time to get a great-sounding budget hi-fi system, including amazing, cheap speakers and a high-quality turntable for vinyl records. But how much should you spend if you want to find the best turntable? There’s a record player to fit pretty much any budget if you consider everything from vintage turntables to the newest fully automatic and Bluetooth options. For example, the Audio Technica LP60 is a great little turntable for $100. The following is broken up into two sections: the best turntables between $100 and $1,000; and a shootout between the best turntables under $300, which is a sweet spot. Spending more will often get you better sound, but you don’t need to — any of our picks should have you spinning vinyl for decades to come. Let’s dive in.

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