In rotation: 5/7/21

UK | UK vinyl sales surpassed 1 million units in early 2021: Continuing an upward trend from 2020. UK vinyl sales surpassed 1 million during the first three months of 2021, according to data from the Official Charts Company. Vinyl sales were up 16.1% compared to the first three months of 2020, with a total of 1,080,653 records sold. With the UK’s third national lockdown having started in early January, the increase in sales relates to a wider trend from 2020 that saw both new and second-hand vinyl sales increase during lockdowns. Discogs reported a strong jump in sales during the first lockdown in March 2020. The numbers also reflect a more general increase of vinyl sales, with UK sales reaching a record high of 4.8 million records sold during 2020 — all of which bolsters the British Phonographic Industry prediction that record labels will earn more from the sales of vinyl than CDs in 2021 for the first time since 1987. The re-opening of non-essential shops on the 12th April also seems likely to have an impact on this year’s vinyl sales, with HMV recording over twice the number of visitors on its re-opening weekend compared to the weekend after the lifting of the first lockdown in 2020, as The Guardian reports.

Redwood City, CA | Fire at Redwood City record store considered suspicious, investigators say: An early Wednesday morning fire is being called suspicious by Redwood City fire investigators. A popular peninsula record store was damaged in the blaze. Investigators questioned a man near the fire scene to see if he had any involvement. The store’s owner says he’s lucky the flames didn’t wipe out his record collection, and part of the Peninsula’s culture. “Down the road, people many want them, hard copies of the music they grew up with,” said Gary Saxon, owner of The Record Man. Wearing an eyepatch and a western hat, Saxson is part curator, and part record sales guru. The inside of his Redwood City store reflects a time when vinyl, not digital downloads was the way to experience music. “You didn’t just cherry-pick one or two songs, generally, that you liked. You would sit down with a group of friends and listen to that whole album side,” said Bruce Barber, general manager of WNHU-FM, the student radio station at the University of New Haven. For the most part, Saxon’s irreplaceable collection, dating back a hundred years, was spared from the Wednesday morning fire. The resulting second lease on business life means more turns for listeners who are getting younger, not older.

Paris, FR | Alain Marquet and His Jazz Museum: In Paris, after you’ve hiked up many flights of stairs to Montmartre and made your way to Sacré-Cœur, the basilica that overlooks the city, walk a little further. Along Rue du Poteau, you’ll find one of the city’s best kept jazz secrets. There, at No. 68, is a small shop called Jazz Museum, run by Alain Marquet. The oddly named store opened in 2009 and specializes in rare jazz recordings and artifacts. I’ve never been to Jazz Museum and only learned about it recently from Parisian photographer Gilles D’Elia. Gilles frequents the store and was willing to pay a visit last week with his camera. Fortunately, Alain isn’t camera shy. We may not be able to travel to Paris now, but thanks to Gilles, we can do the next best thing. Here’s Gilles on Jazz Museum and its swinging proprietor: “Marc, Alain is so in love with the records he owns that he often regrets selling them to customers. In other cases, he’ll refuse to sell, and for good reason. His collection includes original first pressings by Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt. In 2013, when the city of Paris asked Django’s family for items they could include in the exhibit, “Django Reinhardt, Paris Swing,” at the La Cité de la Musique, Django’s family rushed to Jazz Museum to seek out material. Of course, Alain had plenty on hand.”

Dallas, TX | Dallas’ vinyl heyday brings memories of a record of a good time: Before technology evolved, the only way to buy your favorite tunes was at the record store. For many generations of music fans, the only way to get a hold of their favorite artist’s latest release was to sift through aisles of records. Record shops not only introduced audiences to new genres of music, but were places for fans to gather. While some were national chains, others were local favorites that were run by North Texas music lovers. The Dallas Morning News takes a look back into its archives to remember the joy of discovering new music through a listening booth and the hours lost searching through vinyl. The Melody Shop: The Melody Shop not only held a vast music selection, but it was also one of NorthPark Center’s inaugural stores on opening day in 1965. The store was already an established name in Dallas where they made their debut in 1941 at 205 North Ervay. In addition to records, the store also sold musical players and instruments so customers could experience both being the entertainer and the audience. All of this came together when they opened their fifth and largest shop in NorthPark.

Carlisle, UK | Northern Sounds produces record of Carlisle music scene: Record producer, Northern Sounds is set to release a 12” compilation album featuring the best in bands and solo artists from Carlisle. The compilation album features 12 tracks, all from different people, recorded at different studios and with different producers and will be pushed by Vinyl Cafe, HMV, Carlisle Eden Mind and Carlisle Living. Northern Sounds produced two of the tracks during lockdown and because of the ensuing pandemic was not able to work with the artists in the studio. He said about the project: “With what’s happened in lockdown and venues not being open, the music scene has suffered somewhat because bands can’t get out and play to audiences and not do what they love to do so the idea was to put out a record with as many bands on as possible for people to discover or reconnect with bands they like.” With 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the charity Carlisle Eden Mind, the record will be on sale throughout Mental Health Awareness Week on Monday May 10 to Sunday May 16.

AIAIAI and Ninja Tune go green with TMA-2 headphones made from recycled vinyl: They also feature biodegradable drivers. AIAIAI has rolled out a sustainable variant of its popular TMA-2 headphones, made out of recycled vinyl. The initiative comes in collaboration with Ninja Tune, the London-based record label which manages the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Kelis and Run The Jewels. The TMA-2 Ninja Tune Edition headphones don’t only feature a shell that’s ecologically friendly, but drivers too. Their Bio-Cellulose S05 drivers, made of an “organic compound” is derived from certain types of bacteria. The Danish audio company claimed the material isn’t just biodegradable, but also has “great acoustic properties.” The headphones have a modular design, and if you do plan on picking up a pair, you’ll have a choice of either on-ear or over-ear cushions to choose from. Both are fashioned out of vegan leather and are decorated with Ninja Tune’s logo on the inner side. Apart from that, the headphones run on an internal battery, delivering 20 hours of listening on a full charge via Bluetooth 5.0.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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