In rotation: 2/2/21

Cincinnati, OH | Old school is new again: …I have more physical magazine subscriptions now than I have in decades. Holding actual books makes me smile. Cooking has helped keep me sane. (Make this fantastic, super-simple bread recipe ASAP.) You might remember my adventures in coffee. And then there’s music. But I was still surprised at just how satisfying it’s been to intensely listen to songs these days. See, a few months ago my wife told me that she was having an old (like from the 1950s) stereo cabinet rebuilt with new speakers and a new turntable. I thought it was a dumb idea. (We have Spotify.. We have expensive headphones! Why do we need a piece of giant furniture to listen to Echo & The Bunnymen? The … thing … arrived a week ago. It took us about 10 minutes to lug it into the house. And … wow. We’re playing vinyl! Albums! LPs! Coltrane, Wilco, Beach Boys, Paul Simon! We’re pulling albums from their sleeves. We’re setting needles just so. We’re reading liner notes. We’re flipping and flipping. It’s been an incredible experience.

Sydney, AU | Eight of the best record shops in Sydney you need to know about: A guide to digging your way through the city. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl enthusiast or you’ve just caught a case of LP fever, Australia’s certainly in no shortage of destinations to satisfy your cravings. Today, we’re checking out some of the best places to buy new and second-hand vinyl around Sydney, spotlighting all the best stores in the city and inner-west to get you started on your crate-digging adventures. Happy browsing! Red Eye Records Since opening in 1981, Red Eye Records has hooked up countless generations of music enthusiasts with the best in new local releases, second-hand oddities, quirky Australian music memorabilia from years gone by and everything else in between. Revered for their legendary customer service and tendency to bend over backwards to source in rare records, Red Eye is both the largest and longest-lasting independent record store in the country today, and their legendary status within the Australian music scene speaks volumes. Put this one right at the top of your hit list – if it’s good enough for Elton John, then it’s good enough for everybody.

UK | Tim Burgess: Even before Covid, music was broken. Let’s use this moment to hit reset. The present streaming model makes artists acutely vulnerable to shocks like the pandemic. Something’s got to change. …The basic point is that the UK music industry contributed an estimated £5.8bn to the economy in 2019, but artists are maybe not seeing as much of that as they should. Almost 5m vinyl albums were sold in 2020, the most since way back when we released our debut LP in the early 90s. There’s hope and excitement in the gloom, but there’s also an elephant in the gloom. That elephant’s name is streaming. To understand the issues better, it might help if we imagined trying to explain the way it works to someone back in 1995. “OK, so for a penny under a tenner a month, you’ll have access to pretty much every record ever made, to listen to whenever you want. It’s like you own the music but you kind of don’t.” I’m guessing our person in 1995 would be mightily impressed. There is much made of the sums paid to artists as a result of all this – yes, they get a cut, and millions of people stream every day, right? – right, but these sums usually go to 26 decimal places, and the first four digits are often 0.000.

Bristol, VA | Downtown recording studios carrying Bristol’s mantle of music creation into future: Music delivered Bristol to a worldwide audience. That dates to 1927, courtesy of Ralph Peer, Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family and company. Today, music made in Bristol amounts to a daily thing. Multiple recording studios stand upon the shoulders of 1927 as living legacies. They’re not museum exhibits. They reside on, around the corner, and nearby downtown’s commercial artery, State Street. “This is where the spring came out of the mountains,” said Clint Holley, owner of The Earnest Tube, a recording studio with a vintage touch in Bristol, Virginia. Destinations including the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion cater to tourists, domestic and international. They come for a taste of The Bristol Sessions and the current state of music and culture as delivered in downtown Bristol. Recording studios chime in within a narrative that’s ongoing.

All-Star, Genre-Uniting ‘Rhythm, Country And Blues’ For Vinyl Edition: The album featured such fascinating combinations as Gladys Knight & Vince Gill, Natalie Cole & Reba McEntire, and George Jones and B.B. King. The all-star hit album Rhythm, Country and Blues will be released on vinyl for the first time by MCA Nashville/UMe on February 19. The record was first issued in March, 1994 when it climbed to No.1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums. As a measure of its genre-uniting theme, also reached No.15 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and No.18 on the Billboard 200, spending 31 weeks on the latter survey. It was certified both gold and platinum by the RIAA in May, 1994. The album was produced by Tony Brown and Don Was, and saw a fascinating selection of stars of country and soul uniting for unique duets, on some of the best-loved songs in each format. Gladys Knight and Vince Gill, for example, combined for an opening take on Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s R&B No.1 of 1968, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing.” Natalie Cole and Reba McEntire came together to remake the much-covered “Since I Fell For You,” previously most successfully recorded by Lenny Welch in 1963.

The Record Lady Awakens: Listening to vinyl is an active experience; something that is so often lost these days in a world where music exists only in the background of our daily lives. It all began a decade ago at Sun Studio. Memphis is a music mecca for many, and I made my pilgrimage in the summer of 2010. After spending a week visiting Graceland, Lorraine Motel, and the Stax Museum, I stopped by Sun Studio, the “birthplace of rock ’n’ roll” where the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King have recorded. I found myself in the gift shop after a great tour, and saw a smattering of 45 rpm records for sale on the wall. I didn’t have a turntable yet, but I wanted a keepsake from the iconic studio and had a burgeoning interest in vinyl. That day I bought my first record — a 45 rpm single of Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes. To this day, it’s still one of my most cherished records as it signifies the beginning of what I know will be a lifelong journey collecting and listening to vinyl.

‘Say Anything…’ Soundtrack Gets ‘Expanded’ Vinyl Reissue With Demos, Bonus Tracks: Hear Nancy Wilson’s “Joe Lies” demo for “That’ll Never Be Me” from Mondo’s upcoming expanded reissue. The soundtrack for Cameron Crowe’s classic 1989 film Say Anything… will be reissued on vinyl for the first time in 30 years with an extra LP filled with bonus tracks and demos. The first LP of the Say Anything… Expanded Motion Picture Soundtrack features the original, remastered 10-song tracklist, from Nancy Wilson’s “All for Love” and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Taste the Pain” to the Replacements’ “Within Your Reach” and the film’s most iconic musical cue, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” from “the boombox scene.” The “expanded” second LP boasts bonus tracks and demos left off the soundtrack, including songs by Soundgarden, Aerosmith, Fishbone, a live version of Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and, for the first time, Nancy Wilson’s “Joe Lies” demos, a series of recordings the Heart guitarist made for actress Lili Taylor’s character Corey in Say Anything… Ahead of the Say Anything… reissue, Rolling Stone is premiering Wilson’s demo for “That’ll Never Be Me,” one of the songs Corey writes about her ex-boyfriend Joe.

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