In rotation: 3/22/21

Vernon, CT | Small Business Spotlight: Records–The Good Kind: Vinyl has made a resurgence in the last several years, with many current and new artists selling albums on digital and vinyl only. With the pandemic, many music lovers have found themselves digging through old record collections and even some younger fans have discovered an old way to listen to tunes. Classic rock and roll, classic cover art, and vinyl spinning on the turntable at Records – The Good Kind in Vernon. Ian Schlein says he’s seen a surprising uptick in business since reopening during the pandemic. “I knew records had “come back”, but I thought it was kind of peaking, but then the pandemic happened and I think I’ve never seen so many young people looking for records, because really there’s nothing to do now. People are home listening to music,” Schlein tells us. Collectibles in general have done well as more people spend more time at home, but Schlein says there’s just something special about discovering music.

New York, NY | Can Williamsburg’s Record Stores Get Back Into the Groove? Like the plague victim in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “I’m not dead yet!” is the obstinate cry of independent record stores coping with lockdowns and reduced foot traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Brooklyn’s northwest corner, two Williamsburg record stores have announced the closing of their brick-and-mortar locations, leaving a temporary void of arts and culture in a neighborhood already disappearing under commercial chain stores and high-rise apartments. Rough Trade NYC and Human Head Records both say they have plans to reopen in new locations later in the year, but their vague announcements made me nervous. In order to assess the health of my favorite record stores, I donned a surgical mask and set out to check on them. I spoke to employees at a distance while safely indulging my own vinyl habit. As I observed the life inside their walls, I found an atmosphere still charged with the search-and-you-might-find excitement that makes physical record stores so enticing.

Where to buy vinyl: affordable ways to start a record collection: How to start and build on your record library. Don’t let us put you off, but vinyl isn’t the easiest thing in the world to collect. Not if you want to listen to it, anyway, rather than just littering the dozens of vinyl collection hashtags on Instagram. It’s generally quite expensive, takes up a fair bit of room, needs constant care and attention, degrades a little with every play and requires a fair bit of technology to get it spinning. But the pay-off can be immense. We’re all pretty much agreed now that streaming and downloads, while up to exceptional sonic standards, have left a gap for many who want to hold their music. Even cassette tapes are experiencing a renaissance of sorts, but there’s nothing better than the black disc to provide the album as an experience. Then there’s the hours you can pass crate digging, in the vain hope you will be the next to bag a flea-market bargain or pick a future cult classic purely from the bizarre appearance of its cover.

Vinyl gore is the internet trend where people share photos of disfigured records: Ever ordered a record that arrives broken in the mail? Or left your vinyl next to a radiator for too long? That’s Vinyl Gore. Vinyl Gore is the internet trend where people share photos and video footage of disfigured records. This community of brilliantly self-deprecating vinyl diehards lives in the Vinyl Gore subreddit where tales of warped, snapped and smashed records are posted and commented on with plenty of dry humour and withering Discogs rating references. Ever ordered a record that arrives broken in the mail? Or left your vinyl next to a radiator for too long? That’s Vinyl Gore and the weathered souls who’ve been through it all before are here to help you through your pain. Trust reddit to house a community that understands the disappointment of a seriously bent sleeve or 12″ that’s been bent beyond the forces of gravity. The subreddit isn’t for the faint of heart due to the amount of smashed up vinyl on display.

Toronto, CA | k.d. lang digs into vinyl crates for dance remix album ‘Makeover’ Dance floors are empty but k.d. lang is giving her fans a reason to celebrate with a new remix album. The Canadian chanteuse is dusting off the old vinyl crates for “Makeover,” a selection of her 1990s dance mixes that once packed the clubs but haven’t seen the light of day on streaming services. The digital and physical album, set for release on May 28, will feature 14 mixes of songs she released from 1992 to 2000. Among them are reworks by prominent DJs of the era, including a version of “Sexuality” mixed by DJ Krush and “Theme from the Valley of the Dolls” done by house master Junior Vasquez. Two dance chart No. 1 hits will also be in the batch: 1995 track “If I Were You” and “Lifted by Love,” from the soundtrack of the film “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.” “Makeover” features cover art of a previously unseen 1995 portrait shot by pop photographer David LaChapelle. While remix albums are hardly a new concept, record labels have been packaging new collections and re-releasing old ones during the pandemic.

Unreleased Frankie Knuckles remixes to get vinyl issue: The Electribe 101 remixes have been unheard for 30 years. Four unreleased remixes from the late house pioneer, Frankie Knuckles, will get a vinyl issue this year. Thirty years since their creation, four unreleased Frankie Knuckles remixes of Electribe 101’s ‘Heading for The Night’ will be made available on 12″ vinyl. UK-based electronic group Electribe 101 released their only album, ‘Electribal Memories’, in 1990, reaching number 26 in the UK charts. The album also saw remixes from some of the most in-demand remixers of the day, including Chicago House legends Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard. Speaking about the newly uncovered remixes, Electribe 101’s Billie Ray Martin said: “Frankie had already done such an incredible job with ‘Talking with Myself’ and he was smitten with ‘Heading for The Night. He enjoyed mixing it so much that he did six mixes, each one brilliant and soulful in its own way. His effortless and perfect vocal production while creating a more danceable version makes this another Knuckles masterpiece.”

New York, NY | Ms. Pat, founder of VP Records, is ready to talk about her journey: “I’ve been in business over 60 years and I’m still going.” Ms. Pat (Patricia Chin) is a pioneer in the music industry. As the founder of the Queens-based reggae label VP Records, she helped launch the careers of artists including Elephant Man, Estelle, Junior Reid, Raging Fyah and more. She’s also a woman who made her mark on the industry long before that was as common as it is today. For all those reasons, the fascinating New Yorker will be highlighted in tonight’s free live-streamed event from Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere, part of their monthlong series of virtual Women’s History Month events being presented in association with Time Out New York. Beginning at 7pm, Chin will be in conversation with journalist Catalina Maria Johnson about her life’s work and her upcoming autobiography, Miss Pat — My Reggae Music Journey. “I’ve been in business over 60 years and I’m still going,” Chin tells Time Out New York. “I wanted to write this autobiography based on all the experience that I’ve gained. I wanted to talk about my journey and my relationship with my late husband and my arrival in New York in the late ‘70s and the founding of VP Records.”

Doug Wagner & Daniel Hillyard Move From Plastic To Vinyl, From Image: Vinyl has been getting a bit of a revival, you may have noticed of late. But did anyone expect to see it in comic book stores as well? Creators of the Image Comics series Plastic, Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard return to that theme with colourist Dave Stewart for a new dark comedy/horror titled, Vinyl. The six-issue miniseries will launch from Image Comics this June. When Walter’s best friend, the FBI agent charged with his capture, is kidnapped by a death cult of all-female sunflower farmers, Walter finds himself deep within an underground labyrinth filled with secrets and monsters…but are their monsters more horrific than his? Perfect for fans of Dexter and Nailbiter, Vinyl is an unsettling tale of psychopaths, sweet love, and a serial killer named Walter. “This is all Daniel Hillyard’s fault,” said Wagner. “He asked if I thought we could create a story about serial killers, inhuman monsters, and a cult of sunflower farmers all trapped together inside an underground bunker. I mean, you have to do that, right?”

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