In rotation: 1/22/21

Create Your Own Custom Vinyl Record at These 8 Record Shops: To say vinyl is having a moment would, of course, dismiss the seven decades in which it has had many, many moments. But there’s no denying that over the last year, with live music—and most other social activities—off the table, we’ve all spent more time at home nesting, perfecting our vinyl record listening setups, and enjoying the pure relaxation that comes with putting our feet up and just listening. While finding vintage vinyl records online is top of mind for most collectors, custom vinyl records (as in, creating your own compilation on vinyl) are equally intriguing to long-time record enthusiasts. Not only is it a treat to have the vinyl experience (and sound quality) for your own hand-picked playlist, making a custom record also allows you to design a memorable keepsake, whether for yourself or a loved one.

Bloomington, IN | Bloomington music store Tracks sees rise in vinyl sales during pandemic: Vinyl record sales were already rising, with last year being their 15th straight year of growth. But with the pandemic, they’ve been stratospheric with 27.54 million records sold in 2020. This trend has helped independent record stores across the country, including Bloomington music store, Tracks. There were more vinyl sales than CD sales last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. “(Records are) huge now, especially during lockdown,” IU junior and Tracks senior associate Emily Morris said. “I feel like everybody was kind of looking for a hobby.” Morris said the store’s vinyl sales were high during the beginning of the pandemic. When they were closed in March and April, Tracks was getting about 20 online record orders daily. …Morris said the store carries records and CDs covering genres such as pop, rock, jazz, country, reggae, blues and hip-hop. The majority of the vinyl selection is newer music, she said.

San Marcos, TX | San Marcos record store memorabilia to be sold online in honor of late owner: A beloved record store in San Marcos is getting new life. Thomas Escalante, a Sundance Records team member and close family friend of late owner Bobby Barnard, said old items from the record store will be sold online to honor Barnard’s memory. Barnard passed away in August 2020. The store closed in 2012, but is set to reopen later this year. The announcement, made on Facebook, has created a lot of buzz in the community. From the feedback the Facebook post received, it’s clear the store and Bobby are still deeply loved in the community. We will have more details on when items will be put online and up for sale.

Watertown, MA | Wanna Hear It Records fills the emo void in Watertown: Roughly 15 minutes after opening on a Sunday afternoon, Wanna Hear It Records already has a line of eager audiophiles waiting outside. In the month since the Watertown record shop has opened, owner Joey Cahill says lines on the weekends are common, as customers patiently await their turn to pursue the intimate store’s selection of punk, hardcore, hip-hop, and indie music. But above all, they’re showing up to purchase emo albums. “After every weekend, it looks like it’s half-filled,” Cahill says of the indie/emo section of the store. “It gets picked over so much that we actually had to condense it a little, because it looked so empty. I place orders every day, and it seems like half of the stuff is to replenish [what’s been sold].” Cahill, who moved to Massachusetts four-and-a-half years ago, launched Wanna Hear It with over 20 years’ experience in the music business as the owner and founder of 6131 Records. Raised in California, Cahill says he’s visited music shops across the country, but has often seen a lack of decent emo music in independent record stores.

Montreal, CA | Montreal record store/art space BBAM! Gallery vandalized by QAnon morons: Montreal record store/art space BBAM! Gallery (808 Atwater Ave) has been vandalized with graffiti referencing QAnon conspiracy theories. According to images posted to the store’s Facebook page today, the graffiti includes references to “pedo gate” and “Satan,” the favourite talking points for QAnon believers who are convinced the U.S. (and apparently Canada) is being run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping child rapists (who may also eat children). According to a Facebook post, a police report has been filed. Hopefully, the moronic perpetrators will be found. In the meantime, you can check out BBAM! Gallery’s online shop, which includes links to buy their new and used vinyl, artwork from previous gallery shows, and much more. Established in 2012, BBAM! Gallery’s “focus is primarily emerging, mid-range, and career artists working within pop, figurative, and hyper-realism.” Co-owner Ralph Alfonso is a music industry veteran with deep ties to the early Canadian punk scene, having managed The Diodes…

Long Island, NY | Looney Tunes continues to rock through the pandemic thanks to Barstool Sports: Long Island vinyl fans can rejoice because Barstool Sports is making sure this local record shop survives the pandemic. Looney Tunes — located at 31 Brookvale Ave. in West Babylon — learned this month it was the recipient of The Barstool Fund. The fund is a charitable program launched by the digital media company on Dec. 17. Since then, it has raised over $28 million and has helped support 158 small businesses across the U.S It’s unclear how much Looney Tunes received since Barstool founder Dave Portnoy doesn’t disclose this information. But, according to a New York Post report, Barstool has been giving between $3,000 and $50,000 to its recipients. Whatever the price, the owner of the family-owned and operated record store — which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year — was beyond shock to hear the news. “Holy sh—t.”

Bandcamp has launched a vinyl pressing service: 50 successful pilot campaigns shipped 13,000 vinyl records to fans in 65 countries. Bandcamp has launched a vinyl pressing service. The service works by taking pre-orders on a vinyl campaign, which is then fulfilled if the target sales are met. Bandcamp then handles the pressing of the records, printing of packaging and shipping to fans, meaning no up-front investment is required. The minimum run for a campaign is 250 records, with volume discounts applied at 500 and 1000 units. Four test pressings will also be supplied. Full creative control, such as the record’s design, colour and package style, is decided by the artist, and the option to bring existing digital-only releases to vinyl or re-press sold out records is available in the service that is fully integrated into Bandcamp. High quality has also been promised, with Bandcamp saying: “Our manufacturing partners have extensive experience producing vinyl, ensuring your record will sound, and look, its very best.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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