In rotation: 5/3/21

US | Best Record Stores to Visit in the US: Once upon a time there used to be lines of record stores everywhere you looked but that was once upon a time. Now record stores are not as common as they used to be, their numbers have dwindled. This decrease was caused by the rise of the digital era. Many people Have switched to downloading and streaming their music leaving the once crowded record store to be not so crowded. Although most people may prefer listening to music through streaming sites or downloading them there are still music fans who love and treasure the sound of records. If you are one of those music fans or you just love the nostalgia records give, here are the 5 best record stores to visit in the US.

Clarksville, TN | That’s So Clarksville: At Tony Schrum’s vinyl record and music shop, there’s only one rule: “The plural of vinyl is vinyl.” Tony Shrum’s biggest pet peeve is that most people don’t know that. The co-owner of AndVinyl Records at 139 Franklin St. has worked around music in almost every imaginable fashion without actually producing it. He helped publish New Noise magazine out of Berkeley, California, for several years, putting emphasis on punk, metal and hard core music. In 2013, he worked to publicize bands performing in the Los Angeles “Warped Tour,” one of his biggest clients. He’s worked sound at Armando’s, a blues and jazz venue in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area and even helped out in his uncle’s store, Good Stuff Guitar Shop. From publicity to instruments to the soundboard, Tony has filled in roles that were almost always genre specific. And then in 2018, him and his brother, Matt, opened the vinyl store on Franklin Street in Clarksville, deviating from his previous roles in that now, he was dealing with a musical menu that had a little bit of everything — and with people who sometimes knew nothing about it.

Bridport, UK | Vinyl Saturday returns to Bridport next month: Bridport’s resident record fair will be going ahead once again next month. Vinyl Saturday, run by West Country Record Fairs will go ahead on Saturday, May 15 from behind Bridport United Church on East Street. It has been 18 months since the group was last able to host a record fair in Bridport. The event will run from 10am until 3pm and admission is £1 per person. Covid restrictions will be in place. Face masks must be worn at all times customers are asked to keep their distance from other people and disposable gloves will be issued on arrival. Trade entry is also available for £3. For further information call or email John on 07548 278276 or [email protected]

Marshalltown, IA | Local record store rocks on after closure: Closed for a painful year and four months, Wax Xtatic Record Audio Stereo Shop has returned to Marshalltown’s Main Street. “There was a lot of work to get this thing ready, and it’s not quite ready yet,” Wax Xtatic owner John Blabaum said. Wax Xtatic is known for having one of the widest collections of used and new vinyl in Iowa. Since moving to the new location, the store has been able to triple their selection of new vinyl. But Blabaum’s vision for Wax Xtatic is more than just a place to buy vinyl and audio equipment, with plans to cultivate a hub for anyone passionate about music. A live stage and recording studio are the next phases of construction. “After the tornado with downtown being decimated, I’m hoping that this is ground zero,” Blabaum said. “A place where we can grow entertainment and have a destination for not only talented people, but for anyone…”

St. Louis Park, MN | Vinyl records make a reappearance: Like many trends from the 1930s-90s, vinyl records have been making a comeback among teenagers, many of whom are drawn to the aesthetic and appearance of older trends. Sophomore Nelson Yeung loves many of the vintage trends making comebacks, such as Converse shoes, low waisted jeans, windbreakers, tracksuits, and much more. The appearance of these trends is definitely alluring to today’s youth. “The fun colors and patterns are unique and different and I definitely feel drawn to them,” Yeung said. One resurging vintage trend is vinyl records. Although records may be a hassle to use, the aesthetic of them along with the sound quality is appealing enough for many teenagers to invest in vinyls from their favorite albums. “It’s inconvenient but it sounds better in my opinion,” Yeung said.

Austin, TX | The Otis Hotel: Austin’s New West Campus Hot Spot: It’s not every day one stays in a hotel room with a vinyl record player as an amenity—unless that day is spent in a guest room at The Otis Hotel in Austin. Every room at this hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, has a record player. Alongside is a pair of records from Texas artists: Janis Joplin, who was a student at the University of Texas; and Leon Bridges, a contemporary jazz artist from Fort Worth. Guests can also hit up the Vinyl Ambassador in the lobby for music suggestions or to browse selections from the extensive vinyl library. I spent most of the next morning listening to some Nina Simone deep cuts from a couple of her lesser-known albums. Located just west of the University of Texas campus, the hotel certainly gives off a youthful, collegiate vibe. Guest rooms could best be described as “Dorm Room Luxe”. They’re on the cozy side, with old-school touches suggestive of campus residency like bulletin board fabric-covered wardrobe doors and midcentury-inspired statement chairs.

Aberdeen, UK | 70s rock star, popular Scottish actor and more to feature on Aberdeen Vinyl Record’s new podcast: What do a 70s rock star, famous Scottish actor and a Netflix creative have in common? Their love for vinyl – which they discussed with Aberdeen Vinyl Records for the store’s new podcast. Launching on Friday April 30, owner of Aberdeen Vinyl Records Bob Smith said he and his staff got in touch with creatives from the music and entertainment industries – a lot of whom have been to the shop personally. He said: “We got in touch with a lot of people and basically, our pitch to them was: ‘You may not know who we are, you’re probably wondering why we’re bothering you, there’s no money in this for you, there’s no career prospect based on this whatsoever, there’s no reason to talk to us other than that we’re guys passionate about music and we love your records.’ And to Bob’s surprise, most of the people they contacted were interested in collaborating with the Union Street record store. Bob teamed up with local collector and experienced podcaster Lee Sutherland to record 12 episodes, which will be released last Friday of every month.

New York, NY | Ready to rock? Beatles, Bowie & more in sale of 45rpm records: We don’t need vinyl records anymore, but we definitely still want them. Sure, records take up physical space — there’s no way around that — but the sensation of holding your favorite artist’s best songs in your hands will always beat summoning them from the capacious memory of your computer. On May 4, starting at 4 pm, Jasper52 will auction 188 lots of 45s — the vinyl record format reserved for single songs — from several collectors, including a large group that comes from the estate of a former DJ. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. Seemingly every musical genre you can think of is represented in the auction lineup: jazz, blues, country, psychedelic, rock, pop, punk, and more. They date from the 1950s to the 1980s. Many of the records have never touched a turntable, and some have never even been opened. All are worth a spin.

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