In rotation: 7/12/21

UK | Sainsbury’s stops selling CDs and DVDs: Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s says it has decided to stop selling CDs and DVDs as streaming services take their toll on sales of the products. A spokesperson said Sainsbury’s customers increasingly went for music and films online instead of buying the shiny silver discs. The firm said sales were being phased out, although it would continue to sell vinyl records in some stores. CD sales have shrunk in the past decade but were still worth £115m last year. Other big supermarkets show no sign of following Sainsbury’s lead, with larger branches of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons still stocking a range of CDs and DVDs. “Our customers increasingly go online for entertainment, so earlier this year we took the decision to gradually phase out the sale of DVDs and CDs, so that we can dedicate extra space to food and popular products like clothing and homewares,” Sainsbury’s said.

Hackensack, NJ | Hackensack’s music mecca, the Record King, succumbs to redevelopment after 56 years: Get a musical immersion education while you can at Hackensack Record King. Owner Craig Stepneski says he has been notified he must vacate the 56-year-old Main Street storefront where he has worked since 1974 to make way for downtown redevelopment, and is welcoming in-person customers while he can. “That’s the part I’ll miss,” said Stepneski. “Talking to the customers.” The store’s attraction for musical buffs of all ages is its ability to come up with that obscure tune that never found its way onto the internet, as well as the historic favorites. Customers benefit from Stepneski’s encyclopedic musical memory, his ability to pick a disc from an obscure stack, and the store’s encyclopedic range of music on 45s, LPs, eight-track tapes, cassettes and CDs. If you hum a few bars, he can usually come up with the name of the song, the name of the group, and sometimes sing all the lyrics. With arm motions. And finger snaps. “I don’t do that so much anymore…”

Memphis, TN | ‘Immersive Memphis music experience’: Inside look at the Memphis Listening Lab at Crosstown: John King has rarely ever been at a loss for words. The 77-year-old Memphis music industry veteran spent a career using his gift of gab to pitch, promote and hustle records. But on an early July afternoon, as King made his way through the recently completed Memphis Listening Lab — a music library and archive built around his more than 60,000-piece personal collection — he was, uncharacteristically, speechless. “I’m flabbergasted to see how well and beautifully they’ve put this all together,” King finally said, shaking his head. “They’ve done a tremendous job.” Located in the Crosstown Concourse, the Memphis Listening Lab is a nearly 3,000-square-foot audio library. Operating as a nonprofit, the Lab’s contents are built around the collection amassed by King, a co-founder of Ardent Records, a longtime Memphis music promoter, radio historian and ravenous record collector.

Surrey, UK | Surrey business owners say they will keep wearing face masks beyond July 19: Businesses in Guildford, Godalming and Cobham have explained how they will handle things after ‘freedom day’ The announcement that legal restrictions on social distancing and mask-wearing will finally be scrapped from July 19 has been met with a mixture of jubilation and trepidation. With infection rates soaring, some Surrey businesses say it is too early to ditch masks. Ben Darnton runs a vinyl record store in Guildford and will maintain the current rules in his store longer than is legally necessary. He said: “I will continue wearing my mask as a courtesy to my customers and expect them to wear it in here too. “I don’t think the situation is good and we still have to be really careful of opening up. “If they do not want to wear one and there are customers in the store at that time, I will not argue with them but perhaps suggest they come back when it is empty.”

Bridport, UK | Music shop in Bridport to continue with mask rule: A popular record store has made the decision to stick with face masks after the easing of coronavirus restrictions. The final easing of lockdown restrictions will come into play from Monday, July 19 – dubbed Freedom Day. Clocktower Music on Bridport Trading Estate, however, has announced it will still require customers to wear masks, following social distancing guidelines and wear the disposable gloves provided when browsing the records. A spokesman for Clocktower Music said “Wearing face masks will become a matter of personal choice with the end of restrictions in England. “Clocktower Music will be following this personal choice by requiring customers to continue wearing masks, follow social distancing guidelines and wear the disposable gloves we provide.

‘Jerry Garcia Band’ Vinyl Release Delayed, Will No Longer Arrive On Record Store Day: Vinyl pressings of Jerry Garcia Band will not arrive in time for Record Store Day, the Jerry Garcia Family and Round Records announced on Thursday. The first-ever vinyl editions of the Jerry Garcia Band‘s 1991 self-titled live album were scheduled to arrive on July 17th for the second of two RSD “Drops” dates. According to a statement posted on the official Jerry Garcia social media pages, the first pressings that arrived from the vinyl manufacturer were not in line with the quality presented on test pressings. The Jerry Garcia Family noted that the pressing’s fidelity was “a clear deviation from the standards we’ve set for our releases.” So instead of the originally planned limited pressing of 7,500 copies, the JGF has decided that “A full repressing is our only acceptable path forward.” “While we’re disappointed we won’t have this collection to share on Record Store Day, we’re committed to taking the time to ensure the music sounds just right (as Bobby would say),” the statement read.

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