In rotation: 3/17/21

CA | Triumph named Canadian Record Store Day Ambassadors for 2021: With Record Store Day set for June 12 and July 17 this year, we needed some musicians to serve as official Ambassadors for 2021. This year, it’s Triumph, the uber-successful power trio from the 70s and 80s, featuring Rik Emmett (guitars and vocals), Mike Levine (bass and keyboards), and Gil Moore (drums and vocals). Triumph is also set to release a 40th anniversary box set on Round Hill Records. Previous Canadian RSD Ambassadors have included Marie-Mai, the Trews, and the Sheepdogs. In the US, the duties have been taken up by Ozzy, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Metallica, and many others.

UK | 100 not out: Label execs look ahead to HMV reopening its doors and the centenary celebrations: HMV is set to reopen its doors on April 12, as the government eases Covid restrictions on non-essential retail. But what does the future hold for the retail chain after a challenging 12 months? While the retail sector has been hit during the pandemic, label execs Music Week has spoken to are still optimistic about the future of HMV. It’s also set for a huge boost with the 100th anniversary celebrations in July. Following a switch to online-only sales in during the third lockdown, the stores will once again return with Covid measures in place according to the latest guidelines. “We are looking forward to welcoming customers back into our stores, and we are working hard on getting them ready so that we can offer the safest environment for both our customers and staff,” said Patrizia Leighton, HMV marketing and commercial director.

UK | In conversation with Craig Evans, the man behind Blood Records + Flying Vinyl: “I think my earliest recollection of anything related to vinyl was when I was at university; obviously there were loads of house-parties and everyone used to play music and we all brought turntables and mixed and stuff. We were all shit but it was a scene. You could buy CD’s but everyone preferred vinyl, despite the fact we were constantly replacing stuff that had beer sprayed all over it. It was around that time that indie bands started putting out these limited runs of 7″s and I just thought it was the best thing you could buy at a gig. …For someone who grew up with music mainly being digital I really got that this was going to open up a format that was barely still in existence to a whole new generation of people who probably felt like there was something lacking in the disposability of streaming. I like, even now, just running my finger across my collection and each record that I pull out I just remember a different weird story or experience related to each one. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Roseburg, OR | The Record Loft: Vintage vinyl: The Record Loft is a designated area upstairs at Good Vibrations where 2 channel audio, turntables, and vinyl are celebrated, according to owner John Hooper. “On the new side, we stock 400 to 500 typically, and on the used side, I’d guess somewhere around 4,000,” he said. “Inventory is constantly changing though, as we are always buying new collections, grading and sorting. Not to mention I have thousands of records at home that aren’t technically part of our inventory here at the store.” Hooper’s favorite album from a collectability standpoint is the Beatles’ White Album. “They were individually serial numbered,” he said. “Also the Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers, because it has a working zipper, I mean how cool and crazy is that for a record?” The Record Loft was installed after Good Vibrations opened. “Good Vibrations has been in business since 1996,” Hooper said. “I moved it to the current location in 2004, and the vinyl record addition came into being sometime around 2013. It has grown modestly and consistently since then.”

Getting Into Vinyl, But Not Sure Where To Start? Check Out These Record Players: As far as hobbies go, record collecting is the kind that has something of a steep barrier of entry. There are the economic considerations, of course, but there’s also the matter of know-how. …Getting into vinyl doesn’t have to be that difficult or expensive; it just depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. The first and most obvious thing to start with is the turntable. The one you choose will affect both the sound quality and the amount of other stuff you’ll have to buy. Some turntables are all-in-one; they have everything you need to plug in and play, but the sound won’t be as good. On the other hand, there are record players with very few built-in features — those are designed for people who take audio quality seriously and want to control every facet of their audio experience. Of course, that involves spending a lot more time and money.

Vault by Vans and Wacko Maria Announce Collaboration for Fellow Music Lovers: Introducing new Vans Authentic models inspired by music and collector culture. Tokyo-based clothing and record label Wacko Maria has teamed up with Vault by Vans to release a new collaborative collection for the spring. Inspired by a shared love of music and collector culture between the brands, the Vault by Vans x Wacko Maria collaboration features two colorful variations of the iconic OG Authentic LX Vans sneaker. The collection will be released in two special product drops this season. The first drop of the Wacko Maria x Vault by Vans collaboration will release later this month and feature a unique twist on Vans’ first footwear silhouette, the Authentic. The sneaker features a repeating vinyl record pattern that incorporates Vans’ iconic Checkerboard print on the lateral and medial. The graphic vinyl images may also remind fans of digging for records at Wacko Maria’s “Paradise Tokyo” flagship store.

Demon Music Group releases Fawlty Towers: For the Record vinyl: Four decades on from its original BBC TV broadcast, Fawlty Towers continues to shine as a masterclass in comedy writing and performance. Now the original four BBC vinyl albums – Fawlty Towers, Second Sitting, At Your Service and A La Carte – are joined by two newly created collections, Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay, to form a box set of all twelve TV episodes. …Each of the six 140g white vinyl LPs is presented in an all-new artwork cover, inside which is a facsimile of the original BBC Records & Cassettes cover (plus ‘faux’ period covers for Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay). A four-page booklet details the development of Fawlty Towers, plus a history of the original LP releases, by Tim Worthington, author of Top of the Box – a guide to every single that was released by BBC Records And Tapes. A 12” frameable art print of Basil, which John Cleese has signed exclusively for this limited edition run, is also included in the attractive rigid box with lift-off lid.

Meow Mix releases collectible vinyl record with remixed jingles: Meow Mix’s release of the “Meow Mix ReMix LP” comes as sales of vinyl records have seen a resurgence among collectors and nostalgic consumers. Sales of vinyl records last year overtook CD sales in the U.S. for the first time since the 1980s, though audio streaming has become the biggest source of revenue for the music industry, according to data cited by CNN. Meow Mix can tap into that nostalgic sentiment with the sale of its remix collection, while also promoting its new Tasty Layers cat food. The J.M. Smucker cat food is among the brands that have revamped jingles as music has become a bigger part of marketing efforts in the digital streaming era. Some industry experts have proclaimed that the jingle, a classic marketing approach, is dead as more brands license songs from recording artists for use in commercials. At the same time, jingles seem to be enduring as marketers seek to affirm stronger sonic identities that link a sound or short tune to a brand.

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