In rotation: 4/19/21

UK | Wonder Woman, Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande boost sales as HMV reports strong performance after reopening: HMV has seen re-opening footfall more than double this week versus the exit from the first lockdown on June 15 last year. According to the entertainment retailer, footfall on April 12 and April 13, 2021 was up by 150% in comparison to the first two days after non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen in 2020. All 93 HMV stores in England and Wales reopened on Monday, with strong sales being fuelled by fans buying the latest latest vinyl releases. Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club and Ariana Grande’s Positions proved the most popular on vinyl. Chemtrails Over The Country Club has already broken vinyl records. Other popular titles included Wonder Woman 1984 in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and the latest season of A Discovery Of Witches. Doug Putman, owner of HMV, said: “This week proved that for millions of people across the UK, online shopping will never fully replace the experience of going into stores and browsing.

Watford, UK | The LP Cafe in Watford shows resilience to challenges of pandemic: Shops are open once again and the Watford Observer has joined forces with Watford Borough Council to encourage people to shop local and support businesses that have been through such a challenging time in the past 12 months. The connection to Watford and the community is what has made the LP Café a “success to us.” That’s the opinion of Leila Simpson, who opened the doors to the speciality coffee shop that sells records with her partner Paul Terris in November 2013. The idea for the café, which is at 173 The Parade, had been born on a holiday to Italy the previous year. Leila said: “Wherever my partner Paul and I would go on holiday he would insist on doing two things, go to a local sporting event and visit a local record store. These two things he believes are ingredients to really get to know a place. “A trip to Naples in 2012 took us to Fonoteca, a record shop which also housed a bar. Having a long history of working in music retail, opening a record store was always the goal for Paul, and while drinking at the bar in Italy a dream for both of us was born.

Terre Haute, IN | New business looks to hit a musical high note in the 12 Points area: Music fans will love this new business coming to town. It’s the latest addition to the “Year of 12” initiative, where the community hopes to bring 12 new businesses in 12 months to the 12 Points neighborhood. The initiative is part of a greater effort to revitalize the 12 Points community. The sixth business to make its announcement is the Local Vinyl, a record store for people of all ages to enjoy. Eleanor Jones is the founder of Local Vinyl. She is an avid music lover who turned her passion for music into her own business! “The Local Vinyl is setting up to be an atmosphere for people to be able to embrace local music embrace music history and listen to it through the medium of vinyl records,” she said. From a young age, Jones wanted to share her passion with the community. She started collecting vinyl records at just 15 years old. In December 2018, Jones started the Local Vinyl as a pop-up shop at community events and farmers’ markets. Now she has her very own storefront opening its doors sometime this summer.

Phoenix, AZ | Johnny D’s Record Sales Are About More Than Buying Vinyl: A man holds up a 45 RPM record and calls out to his friend, who’s shopping on the other side of John Dixon’s garage. “Hey, it’s ‘Purple People Eater!’” he shouts, placing the single on a stack of other records he’s found today. “I know it’s a novelty record,” he mutters to himself, “but what the heck.” Nearby, a teenager squints at the cover of an LP. “Who’s Janis Ian?” she asks her father, who’s reading the liner notes on a Jan and Dean album. “Folk singer,” he grunts without looking up. “Late ’60s.” Next to him, a skinny guy with a gray ponytail flips quickly through a box of albums marked “Minty!”, record-collector slang for old vinyl in especially good shape. My friend John sits quietly in the corner, watching all this. “I had a customer this morning who bought a record player for his kid for Christmas,” he tells me with a chuckle. “And he was trying to get the kid to buy old Journey albums Dad had owned in high school.”

Waterloo, ON | Cheers to 40 years! Encore Records in Kitchener celebrates four decades of music: Generations of music lovers have built their own personal soundtracks thanks to Encore Records, writes Marshall Ward. Since it opened in downtown Kitchener in 1981, Encore Records has been my go-to source for music. And over the past four decades, Encore owner Mark Logan has supplied the soundtrack to my life via countless new and used records and CDs. Mark and I also travelled to many concerts together over the years to see Bob Dylan, The Allman Brothers Band, and Iron Maiden. So when I started the Bonn Park Podcast with co-host Sara Geidlinger last year, I knew someday we’d have to have Mark as a guest. I’m delighted that our 71st episode of Bonn Park features a fascinating hour-long conversation with Mark as he reflects on Encore Records’ 40-year anniversary of catering to Waterloo Region’s music lovers. On the episode, Mark describes the region’s record-shop landscape in the early 1980s, a time long before digital downloads and streaming, when finding a favourite artist’s latest LP felt like an event.

Fairfield, CA | Back in the Day: Reveling in the artistry of album covers: One of the things I loved back in the day about entering an honest-to-goodness record store was seeing the artwork on display on the 12.375-inch square canvasses we called record albums. Look, of course the music on the vinyl disc inside was the primary thing, but often what sold or at least helped to sell it was the album cover. Local record stores I frequented included Eucalyptus Records and Tapes, The Wherehouse, Musicland, Crazy Frank’s Used Records, Vacaville Music and TV and I also went to out-of-town shops like Rasputin Records and Leopold’s Records in Berkeley as well as – cue the Hallelujah chorus – Tower Records in Concord. Thumbing through albums back then was like going to a hands-on art gallery. The impact and importance of album covers diminished somewhat when they were reduced to 8-track size and then shrunk even further for cassette and CD inserts. These days on streaming platforms they appear as just JPEG thumbnails. Now, bigger isn’t always better . . . but sometimes it is.

Award-Winning Documentary Maker Ken Burns Talks About Why Supporting Public Radio Is So Important: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns went to high school in Ann Arbor and worked at a local record store to earn money to pay for college. Music has always been a big part of his life and many of his documentaries, including one about jazz. He talks with WEMU’s Lisa Barry about the impact of music in art and on our lives and the importance of supporting your local NPR station on “Public Radio Music Day.” Ken Burns attended high school in Ann Arbor and worked at “Discount Records” while living in the area. He said he sold a lot of jazz records and would sometimes be paid in records because he loved music and music discovery so much. He shares that he grew up in a family where music was also present, and his father was a lover of jazz. He said the production of his documentary on jazz came from the urging of his friend Wynton Marsalis and a line from his film about baseball that said, “When they study our American civilization two thousand years from now, Americans will be known for only 3 things: the Constitution, baseball, and jazz music. They are the three most beautiful things we ever invented.”

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