In rotation: 7/2/21

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Panic’ Results from a Record Store Day Distribution Error: A major oversight cost the Madison shop business on one of its biggest days of the year. …Well, the first of the two Record Store Day drops is Saturday, and this one is significantly larger [and has] significantly more releases. And they’ve kind of restructured some of the way that we ordered products this time in hopes to get to the stores earlier and to kind of manage the allocation process in a more equitable way. But last Friday, I still didn’t have the bulk of my product. And so I messaged the rep at the main company that we’re getting it from. And the response was, “Well, this is what’s shipping today” — and it was just about four titles — “and the bulk of your titles are in July.” …And so I pulled up the spreadsheet that I sent to her, and not only did I order a lot of product, but from them I ordered over 4,600 pieces. Unfortunately, the person who was in charge of inputting those orders missed the June tab on our spreadsheet.

Denver, CO | Wax Trax Pays Homage to Its ’80s Glory: Pete Stidman began working at Wax Trax when he was twelve years old, alongside his father, Dave, who has owned the Capitol Hill record store with Duane Davis since 1978. “My dad is working six days a week,” says Pete. “I’m working on setting things up so he can take it easier, but he loves the job and will be hard to pry out of here. My dad is responsible for how amazing the used store is. Probably one of the biggest collectible record brains this side of the Mississippi. Duane is using his days here to focus on the live music, social media, etcetera, and we’re hoping to build on that stuff.” As a teenager during the ’80s, Pete wasn’t “one of the cool kids” who played in punk bands. “I was a starry-eyed kid just kind of lurking on the wallpaper,” he says. Back then, he recalls, Wax Trax was a place to find out about live music. “If you wanted to find out where the cooler shows were, you had to come and look at the fliers and the window…”

Hit the Deck: The Cassette Tape Revival Is in Full Swing: Artists, tape manufacturers, and distributors weigh in on major-label involvement in the latest trend in physical music media. As the decade-plus resurgence in vinyl sales continues, one thing that has become all too noticeable for buyers is the often steep price of being a vinyl snob. From heavyweight vinyl to hard-laminated cardboard packaging, a single LP usually sells for around $30, thus making most off-beat sales prohibitive for the more casual collector. Lately, though, cassette tapes have come to the rescue. Once the province of the romantic mixtape maker looking to show off their good taste and curatorial skills—to say nothing of their roles as de facto love letters or breakup notes—the pre-recorded, artist-driven cassette tape’s costs were on an equal footing with vinyl album sales prices. Looking at the days before the revolution that was (supposed to be) CDs boosted the price of an artist’s music, the cassette tape and the vinyl LP usually topped off at about $8. And like the vinyl LP, the cassette, too, went into a hibernation of sorts, banished to an image of antiquation, yard sales, and thrift store bins near the front counter.

Phoenix, AZ | Love Them or Hate Them, Record Album Hype Stickers Tell a Story of Their Own: Mark Funk keeps reminding me he doesn’t consider himself a record collector. “I think of these as time capsules,” he says, pointing to the tidy piles of vinyl albums that ring the front room of his Glendale apartment. “First, there’s the music on these fine platters. But you look a little closer, and that’s where your little time machine kicks in.” Mark is the sort of fellow who says “fine platter” and who punctuates a sentence by waving a Wham! record over his head, which he is doing right now. “Look at this!” he crows, pointing at the cover of Make it Big. “On the front here, you’ve got your price sticker from Sam Goody. You’ve got a nice little sticker telling you what hit single you’re going to find on this LP. And inside, you’ve got the receipt from the record store saying what day I bought that record and what I paid for it!” Receipts and price stickers are nice, I tell Mark, but I’m here to talk about hype stickers, those decals that record companies attach to album and CD jackets, usually to tell us what hit songs they contain.

Green Day Drops Limited Edition Vinyl Featuring ‘2000 Light Years Away’ and ‘She’ Live Recordings: Wake me up when… Green Day drops a never-released live recording for the first time. The California-based rock band just released a limited-edition 7-inch vinyl single, to be sold exclusively on their coffee subscription site OaklandCoffee.com. The collector’s vinyl is becoming public after nearly three decades being locked away in a vault, and features live recordings of “2000 Light Years Away” and “She” from their 1994 BBC Radio 1 Evening Sessions performance. The record, which is being sold for $19.99, comes with new jacket art made specifically for this pressing, featuring original Oakland Coffee House branding and an artful sketch of the band members, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool. While it’s available to the general public, Oakland Coffee’s recurring subscribers will receive priority, with one vinyl limited to each customer.

UK | HMV reveal full line-up for their centenary vinyl ‘Exclusives Day’ on July 24: Records from Dolly Parton, The XX, The Libertines and Alanis Morissette are part of the limited edition range. HMV have confirmed the full line-up of 37 limited edition vinyl albums that will be released to commemorate their 100th anniversary. Saturday July 24 marks the company’s centenary vinyl ‘Exclusives Day’, an event in which record collectors will be able to purchase vinyl in stores (and online from 4pm) that are available for one day only. Today (July 1) saw the fourth and final group of albums announced for the landmark celebrations, including Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love on recycled vinyl, Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour on silver wax, and Louis Tomlinson’s Walls on exclusive picture disc. The third wave of reveals saw records from Dolly Parton and The Libertines announced, while the second set of vinyl unveiled included The Prodigy and Simply Red. The first announcement confirmed that Alanis Morissette and Queens of the Stone Age will be joining the party for the iconic retailers 100th birthday.

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