In rotation: 6/15/21

UK | Record Store Day a success for Barrow shop: A business boss hailed the ‘incredible’ turnout of the public to mark Record Store Day on Saturday. Queues were visible outside TNT Records in Barrow’s Duke Street from the get-go. Record Store Day saw more than 200 independent record shops across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases were made exclusively for the day and many shops hosted performances and events in order to mark the occasion. Dave Turner, owner of TNT Records, said: “As we were opening, people were still joining the back of the queue. “We went out the back for a quick fag before we opened and I could see the line going right the way back, tail-ending by the Izgara restaurant. “It was mental. It was dead busy all day. I knew there’d be a little bit of a turnout because of people letting me know early doors [but] I did not expect that. The turnout was incredible.”

Birmingham, UK | A2B taxi driver who quit to open record store in Hall Green says Clean Air Zone will boost business: Despite seeing other record shops in Birmingham close down in recent years, John is confident his store will be different. A former Birmingham taxi driver has opened his own shop with the 10,000 records he had piled high to the ceiling in his living room. Father-of-two John Fitzgerald, 38, quit his job of 10 years with A2B Taxis last August to pursue his hobby of buying and selling vinyl records as a full-time career. The business started out online until John noticed a shop had become vacant on Highfield Parade near his home in Hall Green. “I walk past that row of shops every day to drop my kids to school,” he said. “I had already left my job at this point and I was walking past one day in November and noticed the old bead shop that was there had closed down. “I got in touch with the landlord on the Friday and by Monday I was signing a 12-month contract on the shop.” If it hadn’t been for Covid, John says he would never have plucked up the courage to change careers.

Napa, CA | Vinyl makes a comeback at new Napa record store: As a kid, Tim Leonard fell in love with music and vinyl records. In fact, he still has his favorite LPs, bought back when he was in junior high, like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. “Music has always been a part of my life,” said Leonard, who is 61. “I’m passionate about it.” Today, Leonard has more than 1,200 vinyl records in his personal collection. And now he’s spinning his passion in a new direction. Leonard just opened a vinyl record store at 2375 California Blvd. in Napa. Called Right On !!! Records, it’s the first such standalone retailer to open in Napa in more than 20 years. This new small business owner said he was inspired to start Right On !!! Records after being out of work for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. He had a job in the wine industry, but “I got burnt out,” said Leonard. During the pandemic, “I just reassessed my life and what would make me happy.”

Salem, NH | After Outcry, Bull Moose Re-hires Fired Salem Workers, With Apology & Pay Raises: The Bull Moose record store chain is apologizing, re-hiring workers and promising pay raises after controversy over the sudden closure of its Salem location last month. The staff of the Salem store was fired in May after raising concerns about the end of the company’s mask requirement for customers. They also said they’d been routinely harassed and threatened by patrons with little help from their managers. Now, Bull Moose is apologizing for how the situation was handled. In a statement posted on social media, founder Brett Wickard said the company failed to uphold its values and “must take responsibility for that.” “We are sorry that we did not act anywhere near how we want to be as a company. We pride ourselves on building community and acting with empathy, yet we failed on both those counts,” he said. “Falling flat on our faces was humbling – but we’re determined to have our mistakes become a transformative event for Bull Moose.”

UK | BPI & AIM salute independent music as market share increases to 26%: New figures from the BPI and the Association of Independent Music (AIM) show that independent artists made more than a quarter of music consumed in the UK in 2020. Measured according to album equivalent sales (AES), indie labels’ share of music consumption rose to 26% in 2020, marking a third successive year of growth. Data is drawn from the BPI’s All About The Music yearbook for 2021 and is based on figures from the Official Charts Company. The data also revealed that independent businesses’ share of streaming equivalent albums (SEAs) has grown in each of the past five years, while physical sales remain a key factor in the success of independent records. …Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & The BRIT Awards, said: “The independent community lies at the heart of our vibrant music scene, consistently innovating to make the UK a dynamic and competitive incubator of diverse new talent. Indie labels and their artists are harnessing the global reach of streaming, introducing new models for artist/label partnerships, and are playing a key role in the revival of vinyl and resilience of CD.

TW | Heartbreaking – Taiwan Based Record Shop ‘Vinyl Decision’ Completely Destroyed by Flood: Damn…this popped up in our newsfeed this morning…Taiwan-based record store Vinyl Decision recently put up photos of their complete destruction of thousands and thousands of records due to a flood. The store has now announced that they’re going to be closing down for good (the store opened for business in 2014). Here’s the announcement from the owner as well as a horrifying video of his downstairs basement where he stores thousands of records and expensive audio equipment COMPLETELY FLOODED. “Vinyl Decision is Dead. Closed forever as of now. I’m trying to salvage all the vinyl I can and get it to storage. Besides 李孟萍 and my family, Vinyl Decision has been the best thing I’ve done. It was fun – thanks for being there.” Please go leave a message if you can:

Marley Estate Relaunches Vinyl Pressing In Jamaica For Record Store Day: The Marley Estate has resumed its dormant vinyl pressing activities ahead of today June 12, 2021’s Record Store Day festivities. That’s according to Tuff Gong International CEO and eldest Marley heir, Cedella Marley, who shared the good news with her Twitter followers and avid fans of the King Of Reggae. “Beyond excited to be pressing vinyl again at Tuff Gong in Jamaica. It’s been a long time but Daddy’s records are being pressed again in our new factory! Come visit @TuffGongINTL soon. Thank you @viryltech!” she captioned the behind the scenes video clip. Cedella’s announcement comes ahead of the global celebration, a spin off of what’s been dubbed the vinyl revival which began in 2007. The vinyl revival describes the renewed interest and surge in sales of vinyl/ gramophone records, which was once the main means of music distribution from the 50s until the 80s. …Naturally, the Estate would be getting involved in the resurgence of the vintage medium that propelled the Patriarch into the canons of history, and over the years they’ve creatively kept the momentum alive. Tuff Gong’s newly refurbished vinyl pressing plant, re-opened in the summer of 2020 and has an annual capacity of 250,000 units.

Bolingbrook, IL | Better on Vinyl: Fountaindale Library’s vinyl collection: Today is Record Store Day! RSD is a worldwide event that started back in 2007 and celebrates the art of music, vinyl records and independent record stores. It is a day where new music and special releases officially drop and hundreds of recording artists make appearances in local record stores across the nation. This year’s Record Store Day is particularly special as it coincides with the inaugural launch of our very own vinyl record collection! Our library collection has about 450 vinyl records. They are categorized in the following genres: Classical, Country, Holiday, Jazz, Pop, Rock, R&B, Rap, Soundtrack, Spanish and World. We offer older albums, classics and the newest releases across all genres. Don’t have a turntable? We’ve got you covered! Our collection also features 15-20 portable record players with accompanying accessories. The record players are primarily from the brands Victrola and Crosley and come in a variety of fun colors and patterns. Additionally, we offer plastic cases that you may check out to hold and transport the vinyl records.

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