In rotation: 6/22/21

Fords, NJ | Vintage Vinyl, N.J.’s premier record store, closing after 42 years: Vintage Vinyl, the longstanding Central Jersey record store revered for its vast selection and in-store performances, will close for good July 31. “It’s time to retire,” founder and owner Rob Roth told NJ Advance Media Monday. “I lived the dream. It’s more than I could’ve dreamed. This will be my legacy.” Roth, 65, announced the closing Monday in a mailing list email sent to customers, writing: “Thanks for 42 wonderful years, it’s been a great ride.” Roth said the pandemic helped put “life into perspective,” but was not a deciding factor in closing the iconic shop. “I have children and grandchildren I want to see,” Roth said, also noting his lease is up this year. The store has been a staple of the Fords section of Woodbridge, just off Route 1, since 1984. Vintage Vinyl is known among New Jersey music lovers as a mecca of rock, punk and metal, as well as a destination for Record Store Day exclusives and high-profile performances on the store’s tiny backstage.

St. Louis, MO | St. Louis’ First Listening Lounge, Takashima Record Bar, Gets in a Groove in The Grove: At the corner of Chouteau Avenue and Sarah Street in The Grove business district in St. Louis, a swanky, modern apartment complex stands prominent, and beneath the Chroma complex lies Takashima Record Bar, an innovative listening lounge that can elevate your next social outing. The establishment’s new owners, Robbie and Dan Hayden, value accountability and have made it one of most important aspects of the business, which reopened in April under their leadership. Based on listening lounges first created in Tokyo, Takashima (which translates to “tall island” from Japanese) features a noir-like vintage vibe, and the atmosphere is inclusive and welcoming. “We want to make [Takashima] something awesome and positive going forward,” Robbie Hayden says. She and her husband agree that goal was the motivation for keeping the establishment’s name. The couple did, however, put their own spin on the place, introducing a diverse record library and new bar program, with small plates, and classic cocktails.

Coventry, UK | Rock band Inhaler to play ‘intimate’ gig at hmv Empire: It comes after comedy gigs had to be postponed. Hmv Empire has announced an album launch show from Irish rock quartet Inhaler. The rock group from Dublin will play an “intimate” record store show on August 19 following the release of their debut album. This announcement comes just one day after the venue announced the postponement of shows prior to July 19 following the extension of restrictions. On June 16 hmv Empire confirmed that its reopening had been pushed back following Monday’s announcement. Two scheduled comedy performances, Ed Byrne and Milton Jones, have been cancelled and ticket holders told to seek refunds. But the venue is looking ahead to the future with shows planned following the expected lifting of restrictions in July. Tickets for the Inhaler album went on sale yesterday, June 18, as part of a three-stop UK tour for the band.

Rennes, FR | Robert Lacire, the man with 21 tons of vinyl: Robert Lacire, 78, has accumulated over 130,000 vinyl records throughout his life. “I speak by weight because it is easier”, he explains. A total of 21 tons of discs, therefore, which can be found in every corner of his Rennes home and in several garages. A visit to his neatly tidy three-room apartment is a tasty moment. In each room, records: in the dresser, in a closet … A quick calculation makes it possible to imagine that it would take ten years to listen to them all. By way of comparison, the collection of Champs Libres, the main library of the Breton capital, amounts to 39,000 records. “I wonder how I managed to get so many”, he has fun, cultivating a country look, blue jeans, knotted scarf and boots. “There is some crazy stuff!”, he still enthuses, blurting out a few curses as he leaves the “pancakes” from Lenny Escudero or Johnny Cash. Born in 1943 (“the same year as Johnny”), May 24 (“the same day as Bob Dylan”), Robert Lacire started “in the bakery”, his father’s job, before taking a CAP as an electrician. Called in Algeria, where he is “troufion“according to his term, he takes care of the sound system of a rock band Les Kakis, the beginning of a long history with music.

Houston, TX | Black-Owned Music-Themed Vegan Coffee Shop Opens in Houston This Weekend: A new concept that blends coffee, vegan food, and music will make its debut in Houston, Texas on Juneteenth. This weekend, the owners of Houston Sauce Co and Houston Sauce Pit—Chasitie and Courtney Lindsay—will open Mo’ Better Brews, a music-themed vegan coffee shop. The husband-and-wife duo created the concept in partnership with DJ and ethnomusicologist Flash G. Parks, who helped curate the vinyl collection that will be featured at the shop. All About the Coffee, Vegan Food, and Vinyl: “My husband and I have been planning this concept for years now,” Chasitie Lindsay told VegOut. “In that time, the idea evolved into something bigger than what we originally had planned. Mo’ Better Brews is all about the coffee, vegan food, and vinyl. With Courtney being an amazing vegan chef, and myself being a former DJ and record collector, we figured this was the perfect combination! We brought in DJ Flash G. Parks to curate the vinyl shop and [to] collaborate on throwing events for the patio in the evening hours [and for] weekend brunches.”

Naim Unveils ‘Solstice Special Edition’ Turntable, the Company’s First Record Player in 50 Years–DR Technology, Head Amplifiers, and MORE: British Hi-Fi maker Naim Audio has released the most recent turntable that audiophiles will love. This week, the UK-based manufacturer launched the Summer Solstice Edition turntable which is the company’s first record player in its 50 years of creating high-end audio equipment. As magical as it sounds, the Solstice version would be coming with a classic Naim design together with its new features. Besides the world-class sound quality, this turntable will throw you back to vinyl and digital discs. Naim releases a Solstice Special Edition turntable after five decades. Is it worth its price and features? According to What Hi-Fi’s report on Monday, June 21, the company has finally developed a Naim turntable that is engineered to be one of the best audio tools out there. After five decades, the record player manufacturer has thrown out fuss-free audio technology. Its design, consisting of 47 separate layers of wood, gives a nostalgic tone to the equipment. On the other hand, its cartridge is protected by an aluminum layer crafted to provide extra durability to the tool. The latest iconic Aro tonearm was incorporated in the Equinox MC cartridge of Naim’s Solstice turnable. It’s noteworthy to see that it has the latest phono stage where the accessories and power supply are displayed.

Manila, PH | Practical tips for new record collectors: You have gotten into an expensive hobby such as record collecting. Your collection is now accumulating and now you’re wondering about storage and how to protect your discs. Here are simple and practical tips from decades of record collecting. Display those works of art: One such appeal of vinyl is the album art. Your collection is like having your own record museum version of the Louvre. All right, that is an exaggeration because nothing compares to the Louvre. But I am sure you get my drift — storing them or putting them on display is part of the fun. The square dimension of records and their album art make them best displayed rather than locked up in some mega-plastic box. There are square crates that cost anywhere from P1,200 to P2,000 with each crate holding about 70 to 100 records. These are readily available at certain shops like the Grey Market, M.E. Records, Vinyl & Collectibles Online Store and some others all of which are on Facebook.

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