In rotation: 6/8/21

Heritage Close, UK | Empire Records ready for first Record Store Day: St Albans’ only independent record shop is gearing for the first of two Record Store Days taking place this summer. In order to aid social distancing, the biggest event in the vinyl calendar has been split across two different dates: Saturday June 12 and Saturday July 17. Once again, Empire Records in Heritage Close is hosting Record Store Day – an annual event set up in 2008 to commemorate vinyl shops across the country. Store manager Dave Burgess said: “This is a day designed to highlight and celebrate all of the fantastic independent record shops. To this end, exclusive limited edition records are released, only available from independent record shops on the day and drawing customers from far and wide for the chance to get them. “We’ll have hundreds of these records available and will attract quite a Covid-safe queue by the time we open the doors at 8am!”

Massillon, OH | New Record Store in Massillon Aims to Reignite the ‘Joy’ of Discovering Music After the Pandemic: A historic building in the heart of downtown Massillon is undergoing renovations and will open as a record shop called Erie St. Vinyl this summer. Owners Samantha and Thomas “T.J.” Heaton bought the building, which is located a storefront over from their tattoo shop, Art Bomb Tattoos, on Erie Street. The building is part of the city’s historic district. The site was once home to a music store, a cigar shop and various financial institutions over the past 100 years. Samantha Heaton wants to keep the space as authentic and true to its original look and feel as possible. When the building on Erie Street became available, the couple decided they wanted to share their joy of vinyl records and independent music with the region. “I feel like it’s a real evolving kind of manifestation of our record collection. So we’re going for it,” Samantha Heaton said. She wants to help connect the community to local, independent artists as the pandemic put the discovery of and connection to new music on pause.

Parma, OH | Parma’s ‘RSD Day’ includes paczki, pierogi, polka and Pavement: Only in Parma would one expect to find a vinyl-lovers event enhanced by paczki and pierogi offerings. That’s exactly what Rudy’s Strudel is planning for national Record Store Day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (June 12) at its 5580 Ridge Road location. “It’s national Record Store Day,” Rudy’s Strudel owner Lidia Trempe said. “We’re so honored and excited to have The Current Year record store in the Rudy’s building and in the heart of Polish Village. The abbreviation for Record Store Day is RSD, so we’re having Rudy Strudel Day. I’m partnering with The Current Year, and we’re throwing a big parking lot party. “We’re bringing Fat Heads Brewery. I’m going to be doing a pop-up outside with pierogis and — for this special occasion, in the middle of June — we’re going to be offering paczki. We’re going all out and offering six flavors of sweet and three flavors of savory. We’re also taking orders.”

Vancouver, BC | Record Store Day isn’t just for hardcore collectors: Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a way to celebrate the culture of independent record stores with special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products made exclusively for the day. Serious collectors were drawn to that aspect of it, but as the years went by Record Store Day also became a time for regular music lovers. “It’s kind of a mix between the two,” Ben Frith, who runs Mount Pleasant’s Neptoon Records with his dad, Rob, tells the Straight by phone. “When we have Record Store Day, there’s obviously a large amount of our regular customers there—and some of those people range from hardcore collectors to just big music fans—but we’re also seeing a lot of people that you don’t see any other day of the year. “We’ve gained a lot of business on Record Store Day from people who traditionally only pick up stuff from Amazon.”

Detroit, MI | ‘A record store is a destination store’: Dearborn Music to open second shop in downtown Farmington: For all the stories you read about how no one buys music anymore, you wouldn’t know it from walking into Dearborn Music on a Sunday afternoon. The place teems with people thumbing through new and used vinyl records, CDs, books, and more. And with 6,400 sq. ft. of retail space, Dearborn Music’s large footprint still offers plenty of space for COVID-conscious social distancing. Their footprint is about to get a whole lot bigger: Dearborn Music will be opening a second retail location in downtown Farmington this summer. “I’ve been looking for a second location for quite some time now, and especially in the last five years,” says Rick LeAnnais, co-owner and president of Dearborn Music. “What really pushed us over was that we bought a whole bunch of used product in the past six months. It’s in storage so what should we do with it? We decided a second location would be a good idea, especially with the rebirth, or whatever you want to call it, of vinyl.”

Staten Island, NY | Hundreds of thousands of vinyl for sale: MakerPark Radio hosts record fair: Imagine hundreds of thousands of vinyl records of every genre in one place. That’s what it was like during MakerPark Radio’s second annual Record Fair on Sunday, held at Flagship Brewery — drawing in hundreds of music lovers from Staten Island and beyond. Staten Island’s non-profit streaming radio station hosted dozens of record vendors from the tri-state area during the vinyl record fair, as well as live DJs all day, raffles, prizes, and giveaways. And since it was held at Flagship Brewery, patrons were also able to grab a brew and browse. Co-founders Kristin Wallace and Tom Ferrie explained that the record fair is a fundraiser for the radio station, while also providing a chance to reconnect with the music lovers and fans across the borough. “It’s a fundraiser for us, but it’s also a chance for us to reconnect with some people in the community that are music nerds and music fans,” Wallace said.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Evermore’ Is The First Album To Sell 100,000 Vinyl Copies In One Week In U.S. History: Since releasing her full-length Evermore at the end of 2020, Taylor Swift has already moved on to her next project, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with a different, newer release…but that doesn’t mean she’s done promoting the fromer set. In fact, this week, the title rockets back to the summit with an eye-popping sales sum that most musicians can only dream of, and one that helps the singer-songwriter earn another spot in the history books. Evermore is back at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a fourth nonconsecutive frame months after its last stint in charge of the all-encompassing ranking of the best-performing albums in the U.S. The title bolts back to the throne by moving 202,000 equivalent units. 192,000 of those are actual purchases, with many of those being vinyl records. This week, Evermore sold 102,000 vinyl copies, and calling that sum just a new record would be doing the musician and her fan base a disservice.

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