In rotation: 5/12/21

Stamford, UK | Popmaster winner to open vinyl record store at The Maltings in Oakham: The resurgence of vinyl among music fans has prompted a husband and wife to follow their dream and open a record shop. Dean Poole is stepping down from his role as care manager for Rutland County Council to open Rocka-Buy Records in Oakham with wife Gaynor. The shop, based in the Maltings, will open on Saturday, May 29 to buy and sell new and second-hand vinyl records, without a CD in sight. The business will be a real family affair involving all three sons and daughter Elsie. Chris will help run the shop alongside Rutland Guitar School, while Daniel will create artwork and help with the digital side of the business, and Jordan will promote the shop on social media. They collected the shop keys just last week, but the idea has been a lifelong goal put on fast-forward by the pandemic. “This has always been on the cards for us, but it’s come sooner than we thought because Covid has kicked everything into touch,” said Gaynor. “It has made people look at life differently. Life is too short, and if you’re in a position to make a change there’s no use in waiting.”

London, UK | London’s record shops in the spotlight: Peckham resident Garth Cartwright has been fascinated by record shops for years, so much so that he wrote a book called Going For A Song: A Chronicle Of The UK Record Shop in 2018. This led to him getting a deal with The History Press to write a book solely on London’s contribution to record outlets. So, available very soon is London’s Record Shops, writes Michael Holland. ‘After my first book,’ says Garth, ‘I was aware that I didn’t have the space in that book to document how lively the current London record shop scene is. I got Tina (Quintina Valero) along to photograph Supertone Records in Brixton – the oldest reggae shop in South London – and her photos were so striking I was determined we should do a book that celebrates those shops still standing in the capital.’ The author negotiated a deal with The History Press in 2019 but soon after when he and Tina began putting the book together Covid came. Tina went back to Spain for a while but on her return in the summer the work started up again: ‘Essentially, I guided her to all the shops I believed should be included and she got busy taking photos,’ recalls Garth.

Porto, PT | Scrape Needle: The new record store in Porto even has a garden: It’s the perfect hideaway for vinyl lovers and organizes music events. When we think of the pandemic we just seem to see a series of cases, patients, hospitals, detention centers and everything we can remember. While this is the harsh reality that Covid-19 has brought us, the truth is that there is still some interesting news that we can remove from this less-than-good period. A good example of this is Scrape Needle, a record store that opened in Porto in April. More than just a place to buy new and used discs, there is another site worth exploring. Located in a house on Rua Antero de Quental, it attracts attention through its garden where you can rest and listen to good music in a comfortable chair or even in a hammock. This is a place where events like showcases or autograph sessions take place. The idea to create this project arose when Josefina Fonseca, daughter of a Fado singer and passionate music lover, discovered that the city “lacks niche businesses within alternative music that focus more on the national and international underground scene” explained, quoted by “Time Out”.

Forbes: Revolutionizing Main Street: How Shopping Hubs Are Changing: What becomes of Main Street when all of its retail traffic is redirected to Dot-Com Avenue? El Centro knows. El Centro is an example of how many retail hubs are evolving to keep pace – we mean literally, as in foot traffic – with a customer base that has grown accustomed to shopping everything online. The residential and retail complex, on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, has recently added Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent record store, as an anchor tenant. The choice is both untraditional and natural – meaning opportunistic. Amoeba has a long history in Hollywood, but it closed shop nearly a year earlier due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By courting Amoeba to open at El Centro, developer DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners brought the comfort of nostalgia and “normalcy” to a community holed up for a year. After all, if there is one thing many of us can relate to, it’s browsing vinyl albums in the bins.

IE | How the gramophone came to influence Irish music: In 1900, New York’s Third Avenue bustled with activity. Horse-drawn carriages and the occasional motor car moved below the street’s elevated train lines. It was here that Leitrim native, Ellen O’Byrne, chose to set up her Irish music shop. Nestled between pet shops and hardware stores, below balconies and bedsits, she built a mecca for Irish immigrants. According to Professor Roxanne O’Connell, it would have been a place where new arrivals could meet friends and neighbours, while settled members of the community could drop by for news and a cup of tea. Of course, they could stock up on music too. As New York’s population began to explode, O’Byrne saw more and more customers come through the door. She stocked the shelves with Irish flags, instruments, sheet music and any Irish recordings she could get her hands on. But, by 1916, she couldn’t keep up with demand. Dance tunes, like Stack of Barley, sold out very fast but only a limited selection were available. To make matters worse, one of the only stockists decided to stop making Irish records. According to The Irish in the Atlantic World, this was when O’Byrne decided to take action.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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