In rotation: 6/18/21

Dundee, UK | Former Groucho’s Dundee staff awarded £46,000 in unpaid redundancy after tribunal: A group of Groucho’s Record Store staff have secured a £46,000 win over their former employer after claiming for unpaid wages and redundancy cash. The four former employees raised an employment tribunal action against Stella Brodie claiming for redundancy money, unpaid wages and damages. Mrs Brodie took over the running of the iconic record store after Alastair “Breeks” Brodie died in 2019. Mrs Brodie closed the store in June 2020, but former Groucho’s staff said they were left without wages for weeks after she told them they would not be paid redundancy money. Following an employment tribunal, Mrs Brodie was ordered to pay £45,971 in total. … The former employees went on to start their own business following the closure of Groucho’s, but were left without an income for 12 weeks whilst they established Thirteen Records.

Minneapolis, MN | Electric Fetus Ranked Among The 10 Great Record Stores In America, According To Spin: Minneapolis’ iconic record store, Electric Fetus, has been ranked among the greatest record stores in America. That’s according to music website Spin, which put together a list of 10 of the greatest record stores in America. While there’s no particular ranking of these top vinyl stores, the Electric Fetus is listed third from the top. “Strange name, cool place. So cool, it was apparently the last record store Prince visited before his passing,” Spin writer Jolie Lash said. The list was released in honor of Record Store Day returning June 12 and July 17. Reckless Records in Chicago, Illinois, Music Millennium in Portland, Oregon and Amoeba Music in Hollywood, California are some of the featured stores. The Electric Fetus opened in 1968, and those who run the store admit that the origin of the store’s unique name has been lost to history. As a possible explanation, Lash noted that Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland was released in the same year as the store’s opening.

West Norriton, PA | Coffee Closet with Barista Jake now part of Vinyl Closet Records: Flipping through the record bins can certainly build up an appetite. Fortunately, it’s no longer 1976, and if you happen to be munching on a hot dog with mustard while at the record store, the clerk won’t be asking you to kindly leave the premises with your snack. Eating while browsing is not frowned upon at Vinyl Closet Records. In fact, owners Jason and Angela Bucci McFarland encourage customers to patronize the shop’s new café, Coffee Closet with Barista Jake, which is run by the couple’s son Jake. There’s a mission behind the espressos, medium roast and dark roast coffees, which started from humble beginnings as a coffee cart back in May of 2020. The supplemental business was created to give Jake something to do during the quarantine, Angela McFarland said. … Jake proudly added, “I take the orders and make the coffee. I’m a star, and so is my dad. We work together.”

Austin, TX | Faster Than Sound: Love Wheel Records Rolls In: Austin music mainstay Mike Nicolai retails vinyl and Indoor Creature parties at the Ballroom. Just off Burnet, North Austin stop Love Wheel Records opened in late April nestled between a nail salon and barber shop. Joe, the three-legged shop dog, greets vinyl patrons in the cheery green and orange store. I left with a few very reasonably priced vintage wares and a complimentary Joe coaster. Love Wheel, named for the gushy Daniel Johnston track about a “love wheel spinnin’ round round round,” offers new and used vinyl across genres, with some books and CDs too. “The first time I moved to Austin I was 26 – I had come here on tour and sort of fell in love with it,” says owner Mike Nicolai, who runs the Brentwood store with wife, Nancy. “I’ve been in and out of town, but I always come back because this feels like home. We’re real happy here, so it seemed like the place to do this.”

Tysons Corner, VA | Remembering the day the Rick Springfield fan army shut down Tysons Corner: June 17 is the 40th anniversary of the day Rick Springfield shut down Tysons Corner. Larry Houck was there. “Talk about having a front-row seat,” said Houck, who worked at the Variety Records in Tysons Corner Center, where Springfield was scheduled to meet fans. “It was totally nuts. All the roads leading to Tysons, all the ramps off the Beltway, were totally congested that day.” In 1981, the Australian heartthrob was doubly famous: as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” and as the artist behind a priceless piece of pop perfection called “Jessie’s Girl.” “He just had so much exposure that summer,” Houck said. The shopping mall record store has pretty much gone the way of the passenger pigeon, but there was a time when it was a busy crossroads for music lovers, both fans and performers alike. “Santana came in once,” said Houck, 63. “Lou Rawls came in one day. Catfish Hodge used to come in. Bill and Taffy Danoff used to come in quite a bit.”

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