In rotation: 4/28/21

UK | Record Store Day’s free docuseries celebrates UK indie record store owners: The 12-part series pulls back the curtain on some of the UK’s finest record emporiums. Ever wondered what goes on behind the counter of the UK’s independent record shops? Well, wonder no more because Record Store Day and Classic Albums have teamed up with Bowers & Wilkins to announce series two of Behind the Counter. The 12-part documentary series will once again shine a light on the diverse community of music fans who own and operate some of Britain’s best-loved vinyl palaces, and this second season explores how they survived the COVID-19 pandemic. Series two features the following stores: Bear Tree Records (Sheffield), Diverse Vinyl (Newport), Elsewhere (Margate), Empire Records (St Albans), Flashback Records (London), Jumbo Records (Leeds), Le Freak Records (Dundee), Love Vinyl (London), Reflex (Newcastle), Tallbird Records (Chesterfield), Wilderness (Manchester) and X Records (Bolton).

Seattle, WA | A Guide to Seattle’s Record Stores: A rundown of where to go crate digging in a very musical city. BALLARD, Sonic Boom Records: Since the longtime Bop Street Records closed, Ballard’s main drags have only one record store. Luckily, it’s one of the best in the city. At Sonic Boom you’ll find a big catalogue—both deep and ranging—along with excellent in-store concerts (when such things are allowed). Stumbletown Records: This little shop lives in the back of Chocolat Vitale, which sells chocolates, coffees, and other fineries. With relatively few crates, Stumbletown manages to cram a lot of albums many vinyl buyers will seek (if they don’t own them already), like Roxy Music, the Replacements, and Wu-Tang Clan. Bonus: It smells like chocolate and coffee instead of dust. BELLTOWN, Singles Going Steady: This shop hearkens to an older, crustier Belltown. Neon blazing in the windows, a Hellraiser statue in the corner. Naturally, the emphasis is on punk and metal. CAPITOL HILL, Everyday Music: This 10th Avenue staple, which boasts an impressive spread of pretty much all genres, remains open until mid-May, when it permanently closes.

Leduc, CA | Skipping a generation: Vintage record collector to part with family’s collection of rare recordings: In a commercial bay in Leduc, Alta., which looks more like a museum, Jeff Kiss shows off some of his rare records — including some that have never been played. It includes Berliner Gramophone records, which were produced in the 1890s, along with cylinder records that are played on a phonograph. The contents on some include opera, speeches, and comedy bits. “A lot of these are from the infancy of recorded sound. Some of the first commercially produced records ever made,” said Kiss. It’s a hobby for Kiss, who works for an electrical service company. His knowledge of some of the early records in the collection is quite extensive. He’s added to it over the years, but the assortment was started by his late father Coleman Kiss in 1957. “He was one of the first gramophone collectors and restorers in Alberta, not specifically a record collector, but with the machines that he worked with often you found records so he didn’t want to have a large collection,” Kiss said. “He was very selective on what he would keep when he found recordings.”

Reading, UK | Sound Machine staff ask residents for their music memories in latest book: Staff at Reading’s oldest vinyl record store are hoping to hear your stories of gigs, festivals, record shops and more from the late 70’s to late 80’s. Adrian Moulton and Mike Warth, staff at Harrison Arcade’s The Sound Machine, announced their plans to write a follow-up book to ‘When Reading Really Rocked’, their memoir of rock music and culture in Reading from 1966 to 1976. Following the sell-out success of the last book, the authors are now looking to find fresh accounts and memorabilia from 1977-1987, asking residents to share their tales of playing in local bands, stories of going to gigs, festivals, venues, and any memorabilia and photos taken of the time. Adrian Moulton, author and record store staff, said: “The first book covers the ‘beat-boom’ and through psychedelia, and the second books covers all that was going on in Reading during the time of punk, New Wave, New Romantics and through the synth pop era into the late 80s. We’re kind of chronicling the changes that took place.

Chicago, IL | A barely documented 1989 Chicago rap record gets a surprise reissue: Original copies of Me & E’s Rap have sold for hundreds of dollars, but Canadian archival label Mixed Signals is about to burst that bubble. few years ago I picked up the second edition of Freddy Fresh’s The Rap Records, a meaty tome documenting hip-hop vinyl released by independent labels around the world between 1979 and 1994. During this era, hip-hop from New York City inspired uncountable regional scenes and one-off recordings outside the mainstream, all untouched by the commercial investment that’s transformed a neighborhood subculture into a billion-dollar business. The book isn’t exhaustive—to list literally every record would take lifetimes of work—but Freddy Fresh has done tremendous work corralling unknown rap vinyl in a guide that remains valuable even in the era of record-collector databases like Discogs. As soon as I got my copy, I began applying sticky notes to any page with a record made or released in Chicago. Because I’ve been fortunate enough to have a job that includes reporting on local hip-hop history, I can call up the people who made it happen.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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