In rotation: 5/13/21

London, UK | Here are four – yes, four – new record shops that I’m excited about: The streets of London run black with wax. Like most clichéd London men, I love record shopping. Pawing at all that dusty cardboard. Not finding anything I want and then impulse purchasing a random Sonny Rollins album based entirely on its cover. There’s nothing like it. Luckily, there are enough tragic people like me that London’s vinyl scene is in fact growing. Quite a few record shops have opened in recent months, which, when you think about the virus-addled context, is remarkable really. What follows is my four favourites. First up is Next Door Records on Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush. This is a kind of booze-coffee-and-music hybrid (which started life as a crowdfunder campaign) that’ll probably horrify decrepit purists but thrill everyone else. They’re mates with entertaining food person What Willy, stock very good wine and have a bit of a focus on electronic music. Personally, as a QPR fan, I’m just glad something like this has finally opened in that bit of west London. Oh, and they have outdoor tables.

Melbourne, AU | After a difficult 2020, Thornbury Records has relocated to High St, Northcote: We chat to Thornbury Records owner and manager Clayton Pegus about the tough journey to his new store. Thornbury Records launched in the early months of 2011. At the time, Thornbury wasn’t quite the bustling locale of cafes, bars and boutiques it is today. Although it mightn’t be accurate to give T-Recs all the credit for catalysing this evolution, it was definitely one of the earliest examples of High St Thornbury’s rising hipsterdom. Earlier this year, Thornbury Records celebrated its tenth anniversary. It was a bittersweet occasion, however, as owner and manager Clayton Pegus had recently been forced to abandon the shop’s original location. “We had our ten-year anniversary without a shop, which is kind of crap,” says Pegus. The obvious supposition is that COVID overwhelmed the business’ financial viability, but T-Recs actually withstood any major pandemic-induced damage, largely thanks to its online store. Pegus had also started offering free local delivery and cheap postage to anywhere within Australia.

Walmart Vinyl Mania Week Is Live: We all love a good shopping deal, but for vinyl lovers, those are sometimes hard to come by. The folks at Walmart have stepped up their game as today they launched Vinyl Mania Week, with exclusive deals on records all week long. To be clear, there’s absolutely no replacing the greatness that is walking into a local record store and getting your hands on the vinyl you love most. But Walmart is doing a good job of supplementing that with some exclusive releases and special vinyl colors all week long. The Walmart Vinyl Mania Week deals kicked off today at with a batch of Monday special releases. Virtually every genre was covered with today’s releases, including both modern and classic favorites. Every day this week, a new batch of exclusives will be released.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN | Best of the Twin Cities, 2021: It’s been a hell of a year—yet there is much to celebrate. So get out there, Twin Cities, and let’s make the best of it. …While 2020 was like a bad scratch in your favorite album, Electric Fetus will persist, thanks largely to a pandemic bright spot: Folks fell in love with browsing vinyl again. “People are responding. It feels like this is driven by the passion to support local, appreciate old friends—and old stores—and make the most of the time at home,” says Aaron Meyerring, co-owner of the 53-year-old retail icon. And the Fetus is not alone. All three locations of both Down in the Valley and Cheapo, Roadrunner Records in Kingfield, and Eclipse Records on Wabasha Street in St. Paul are among the other indie vinyl shops who managed to survive the pandemic. June 12, this year’s Record Store Day, can’t get here fast enough.

IE | Claddagh records relaunched after deal with Universal Music Ireland: Label founded by Garech Browne in 1959 to remaster and digitise archive. Claddagh Records, the iconic Irish record label founded by the late Garech Browne in 1959, has been relaunched along with a new webstore for enthusiasts of Irish music and poetry. It follows the signing of a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Music Ireland. The newly re-formed Claddagh Records Label, within Universal Music Ireland, is to embark on an ambitious remastering and digitising programme of the Claddagh Records archive. It is expected that more than 60 recordings, newly remastered on all Digital Service Providers (DSPs), will be available for the first time later this year. These will include The Chieftains 1-10, Leo Rowsome’s King of the Pipers and Derek Bell’s Carolan’s Favourite. Six further archive recordings, including Sean Ó Riada’s Ó Riada’s Farewell, Séamus Heaney and Liam O’Flynn’s The Poet and the Piper, and Jack MacGowran’s MacGowran speaking Beckett, will be remastered and pressed on vinyl for the first time and released later this year.

Morris Day is cool on two-LP 40th anniversary edition of the Time’s debut: Warner Records has announced plans to release a 40th anniversary double-LP reissue of the Time’s self-titled 1981 debut on July 16. Bandleader Morris Day, however, says that’s not cool. The Prince-produced six-song collection — which features the classic hit “Cool” alongside concert staples “Get It Up” and “The Stick” — will be released as a $32 deluxe edition on red-and-white colored vinyl via Warners’ reissue imprint Rhino Records on July 16. Now available as a $32 pre-order, the set will include a second LP with single edits of five tracks, including a two-part version of “Cool.” …Day didn’t seem averse to the idea, but rather he sounded unhappy not to be included in the planning for it. “Interesting, no one from Rhino or Warner Music thought it a good idea to reach out to me or any of the fellas regarding this reissue,” the Minneapolis native said in a post Tuesday on Instagram. “I got a serious problem with that.”

Easy Life announce intimate record store shows for this summer: Easy Life have announced a run of special record shop shows for this summer – check out the full schedule below. The Leicester band, who release their debut album ‘Life’s A Beach’ on May 28, will take to the stage at various venues across the UK in partnership with stores such as HMV, Rough Trade and Leeds’ Crash Records. Beginning at The Waterfront in Norwich on July 8 (through HMV), Easy Life’s ‘record store tour 2021’ will also include stop-offs in Bristol (July 11), Brighton (July 13), London (July 14), Leicester (July 19), Liverpool (July 24) and other cities. Ticket/album bundles go on sale tomorrow (May 12) at 11am BST – get yours here and see the official tour poster below.

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