In rotation: 4/27/21

Lady Lake, FL | Nostalgia boosts businesses and entertainment: Whenever Arch Simonson plays his “Are You Experienced” album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he feels as if it’s 1968 again, when he met Jimi Hendrix. Playing vinyls transport Simonson back to his youth when he would go into a record store, sift through the stacks of albums, put them on a turntable and enjoy the music. “It’s not just the memory of the song itself,” the Village of Bonita resident said. “It’s the memory of the time decades ago.” Nostalgia is a key element of entertainment—especially for people 55 and older. In Florida, which has more than 7 million residents over the age of 55, multiple attractions and businesses take people “back in time” such as the Citrus Tower, the Ocala Drive-In theatre, Goofy Golf of Pensacola and the 1950s diner-style restaurant Johnny Rockets. A person’s pop culture preferences tend to be imprinted during their late teens and early 20s, said Benjamin Ho, an associate professor of behavioral economics at Vassar College, who researched nostalgia as a market in the entertainment industry.

Leesburg, VA | Leesburg record store finishes renovations, expands vintage clothing collection: After a trying year that included a three-month closure, downtown Leesburg’s Dig! Records & Vintage has put the finishing touches on a recent remodel. The store — located at 212 C Loudoun St. SE — has added an interior staircase leading to its second level, which it took over in December 2019 in order to expand its vintage clothing collection. “A lot of people didn’t know we were even up there,” co-owner Kevin Longendyke told the Times-Mirror. He added that visitors to the shop could previously access the upstairs only by an exterior staircase, leading many to believe the upper level belonged to a separate business. While Dig! has always included two or three racks of vintage clothing, the second level allows Longendyke and his fiancée, Kelly Hughes, to significantly expand the collection. “[Selling clothes has] always been something we were into, but the records always take over; they take up more space,” Longendyke said. “It opened up a whole other room for us, so now we have more space,” Hughes said of the remodel. Colorful accoutrement ranging from woven ponchos and floral-print dresses to jackets of denim and camouflage now fill the upper level, as well as a few racks of $3 records.

Raymond, MS | Focused on Mississippi: Little Big Store: People often shop for an ‘item,’ but it’s what that item represents that they are really looking for. For instance, people may buy music, but what they want is to recreate a mood or place that piece of music represents to them. Maybe it’s because they sell music at The Little Big Store in Raymond, which makes it such a big deal. “Oh, I think the first people had music. They were beating on the side of a cave, or a rock or something. People have always wanted to make music,” said Betty Strachan, owner of the store. Betty has plenty of music to choose from in her record store, mostly albums. “People say, and I know, that a vinyl record is the best sound, because it’s not in a digital format. It’s analog like the way we talk and the way we hear.” For a while, vinyl lost its favor and was overtaken by CDs. But it’s as popular now as it was when it was the only way you could buy music. “You need to come in on a Saturday and watch people just digging through the records,” said Betty.

Manchester, UK | How Affleck’s became home to the last cassette tape shop in Britain – and the centre of a national revival: Following hot on the heels of the vinyl revival—three music fans believe another piece of our musical heritage is about to make a comeback—the cassette tape. We all know about the vinyl revival. However, in one corner of Manchester city centre—three music fans believe another piece of our musical heritage is about to make a comeback. The humble cassette tape. Affleck’s Palace is home to what is believed to be the last remaining dedicated tape shop in the UK. We all remember taping songs off the radio, or shoving cassettes we had saved up to buy into our Walkman or Hi-Fi’s and rewinding our favourite tracks during the medium’s heyday. And despite them now being seen as a by-word for outdated in many people’s minds – the store’s owners say they believe they could well be the future, as people move back towards physical music, and bands look for alternatives to streaming platforms. They have already upgraded to a bigger space at Affleck’s, the Northern Quarter’s iconic indoor market, and say they are now doing a roaring trade as well as developing a loyal legion of fans.

Missoula, MT | Vinyl sales soar despite uncertainty of music industry: Few experiences take you back in time as instantaneously as joining a needle to the groove of a record. John Fleming knows that firsthand. He bought his first record when he was just 10-years-old. Standing in a sea of vinyls today, in the record store he’s owned for nearly 24 years, Fleming still prefers vinyl over any other form of music consumption. “You get the whiff of plastic and vinyl, you get the smell, and then you have the visual, you get the liner notes. For me, it’s just a better tactile experience,” said Fleming, owner of Ear Candy Music in Missoula. He’s in tune with the rise and fall of the music industry, but what occurred during the pandemic, he never could have predicted. “Sales this year…through the roof compared to years previous,” said Fleming, “I mean, part of me feels bad because some businesses have really suffered in the last year, but ours is definitely not one of them.” As we saw in the resurgence of sewing machines, puzzles, and bakeware, the pandemic forced people to reevaluate how their free time is spent. For many, they turned to the turntable.

Columbia, SC | COVID-19 hasn’t slowed Lexington musician and record shop owner DJ Kingpin: Leave it to one of the most resilient forces in Columbia music to arrive in the (hopefully) waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic feeling energized rather than drained. Kingsley Waring, better known as DJ Kingpin (AKA The Villain of Vinyl), has long been an essential member of the local hip-hop scene. An indelible presence on the ones and twos, whether backing emcees or setting the vibe on his own, he helped start downtown Columbia’s enormously popular Hip-Hop Family Day. These days, he carries the torch for hip-hop and other forms of music at Lexington’s Turntable City, the record store he’s operated on Lexington’s Main Street for three years, establishing a crate-digging oasis 20 or so minutes from downtown Columbia. And while one might justifiably assume that the coronavirus slowdown would have devastated someone pursuing things like DJing and selling vinyl, Kingpin reports the opposite: 2020 was the shop’s best year to date, and he’s on a creative tear when it comes to releasing his own music. “COVID has allowed me to really focus on music the way I wanted to,” he explained. “I’m able to flesh out some ideas and really work on different things.”

Marshall has now released its own jukebox: The amp manufacturer teams up with Sound Leisure for the luxuriously-spec’d Marshall Jukebox. Marshall is, of course, best known for its guitar amps, but recently the legendary company has also given us branded portable speakers, headphones and other non-stage-rocking items. Now, meet the newest addition to the Marshall lifestyle family, the Marshall Jukebox. The new juke is handcrafted by Sound Leisure and features individual tuning by Marshall’s engineers to a specific EQ curve. Looks-wise, it exudes classic Marshall cool, with brushed gold castings and Marshall styling on the knobs, logos, fret cloth, piping, as well as the instantly-identifiable Tolex, which, similar to a Marshall amp, wraps the entire cabinet. The jukebox boasts two mids, two tweeters and a 1 x 12-inch Twin cone bass speaker, as well as a D4 amplifier and two independent stereo channel outputs with 60W RMS per channel. There’s also a 70 x 7-inch vinyl record rotating mechanism, aux ins and outs and a Bluetooth receiver to allow for streaming music direct from any device.

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