In rotation: 6/9/21

Cleveland, OH | Music Industry Vet Opens a Record Store in Cleveland: We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns. In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring A Separate Reality Records, a record store in Cleveland. A veteran of the music industry, owner Augustus Payne decided to start his business after having cancer and realizing that life is too short to not be doing what he loves. Here, we chat with Payne about what he learned from his previous years working in the music business that helped him with his new endeavor, why he finds his job so rewarding and how he adapted his business to pandemic times. “There’s nothing I like more than sharing new music with others…”

Melbourne, AU | JJ’s Vinyl is slinging a stack of exclusive releases this Record Store Day: Spotlighting all the goodness JJ’s Vinyl has in store for Record Store Day 2021. Catering for all music tastes, the selection at JJ’s Vinyl spans hip hop, jazz, metal, classic rock, electronic, alt-rock and much more. Specialising in new and audiophile pressings, there are a range of secondhand titles available in-store, too. “JJ’s Vinyl was started with a genuine passion for sharing my love of vinyl; I believe it’s the greatest physical format with which to experience music through,” says owner Jamie Jones. “I love playing the latest audiophile pressings to customers and friends and watching their mouths drop open after hearing the needle drop, you really feel like the artist is in the room with you.” JJ’s Vinyl will celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday June 12 with a bunch of new and used vinyl, as well as RSD titles and discounted records.

UK | Behind The Counter: Charming film series celebrates our beloved independent record stores: Made in collaboration with Classic Album Sundays and audio brand Bowers & Wilkins, Behind The Counter shines a spotlight on the hard-working record shop owners who play a vital role in bringing music fans together in their local communities. It’s the second time such a series has been made and each film has been released in the 12 weeks leading up to Record Store Day this Saturday. With so many record shops impacted by a year of lockdowns and social distancing, it certainly feels more important than ever to tell their stories and promote their businesses. In the films, we meet Bear Tree Records in Sheffield, Diverse Vinyl in Newport, Elsewhere in Margate, Empire Records in St Albans, Flashback Records in London, Jumbo Records in Leeds, Dundee’s Le Freak Records (as featured), Love Vinyl in London, Reflex in Newcastle, Chesterfield’s Tallbird Records, Wilderness in Manchester, and X Records in Bolton. The series doesn’t just support record shops across the UK; it gives us some insight into how shops have coped during the pandemic.

Vinyl 101: Parts of a Record Player: In the beginning, there was the phonograph, then came the turntable, today there is the record player. The main difference among these terms is who happens to be uttering the words. ‘Phonograph’ is the oldest term for this analog instrument, dating back to the mid-1800s when the concept of a stylus responsive to vibration was first being explored. Back then, the parts of a record player were different. On a victrola, a horn was fixed near a vibrating stylus that amplified the noise with simple acoustics – like a horn to your ear as a hearing aid. Remember that even today, putting your ear near a record while a stylus is tracking reveals that it’s transcribing what’s in the record groove acoustically (in addition to electrically). ‘Phonograph’ remained the mainstay until ‘turntable’ entered the picture. This was somewhere near the time when folks started building component systems as the industry learned that there was much more to explore in the way of sound quality. The nature of the audio system changed when the principle of amplification moved from acoustic to electrical.

This 2005 optical illusion album art is still blowing minds: Can you see it? Obviously, the internet is packed full of stellar optical illusions, but spotting them out in the wild is even better. And a brilliant example of a clever illusion has resurfaced on Reddit, in the form of a piece of album art found on a vinyl record released back in 2005. Fascinatingly, viewing the illusion digitally is a totally different experience from how the art was intended to be viewed. Taking the form of a checked black and white square, the title of the artist and album can only be seen when viewing it from far away. When handling the physical record, this can only mean walking away from it, but the digital version means zooming out on your keyboard (or walking away from the screen), or viewing it as a thumbnail. Check it out below, and see our optical illusions roundup for more incredible examples.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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