In rotation: 7/23/21

Pittsburgh, PA | The Government Center record store makes tracks to bigger location on the North Side: Apparently, one of the things that kept Pittsburghers going through the pandemic was record players (and records). “As people were staying at home, we sold a ton of record players. At one point, you couldn’t keep them in stock,” says Josh Cozby, owner of the North Side record shop The Government Center. “There was definitely more demand for things that could make home a little bit more cozy and comfortable.” The Government Center (named for a song by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers) quickly became a fixture on Pittsburgh’s music scene when it opened in early 2019. Pittsburgh is blessed with a number of terrific record stores, but this one stood out as a place that sold both new and used records in a dizzying array of genres — and wasn’t afraid to stock things that were offbeat or obscure. Now, it’s expanding in a new space on East Street in Deutschtown, several blocks away from its original location on East Ohio Street. Cozby bought the building in 2019, which had been abandoned for a number of years. It was once a bar called Key West, and a flower shop…

NH | New Hampshire’s Record Stores Make A Comeback: Here’s where to find an old favorite or a new passion: Used record stores have a smell. It’s a musty but comforting bouquet with subtle notes of nostalgia and your parents’ basement. They also have a soundtrack — a background score that stays the same whether you’re in Skele-Tone Records in Rochester, Pitchfork Records in Concord or Music Connection in Manchester. It’s a consistent, unchanging refrain that goes like this: “I had that. I had that. I had that.” “I hear people say that all the time,” says Todd Radict, the owner of Skele-Tone in Rochester. “It’s because when CDs came in, it sort of forced people to get rid of their records. I never fell for it.” Al Barr, lead singer, Dropkick Murphys – “The first record I purchased was ‘Burning Love’ by Elvis Presley. I purchased it from Rock Bottom Records — shout out to Kevin Guyer! “One of my most treasured records is ‘Three Hits From Hell’ by the Misfits. I wish I had never given away my OG copy of Social Distortion’s ‘Another State of Mind’ single.” Nostalgia has certainly played a role in getting people back into the stacks, but make no mistake — they are back.

Leeds, UK | KSI visits Crash Records Leeds to sign new album All Over the Place set to reach Number 1 in charts: Youtube sensation KSI visited Crash Records Leeds today to sign copies of his album which is expected to reach Number 1 in the charts. Queues formed on the Headrow in Leeds as fans rushed to catch a glimpse of the star – who has more than 10 million followers across social media. Paul Young 37, was one of the lucky fans who got to meet KSI. He said: “It was brilliant. “He was very chatty and polite to everyone. “There was a big queue going down the Headrow.” All Over the Place is the second studio album from KSI. It was released on July 16 and has been tipped for the Number 1 spot this weekend.

Simpang Bedok, SG | Record store owner grateful to make a living out of his hobby: It had always been his dream to run a shop selling hi-fi systems since he was in school. But it took Mr Gabriel Tan several years before he finally left a teaching career to pursue his love for music. Mr Tan, 64, told The New Paper: “I have not worked a single day since, because it has never felt like work.” Zenn Audio Electronics, named after his eldest son who is now 31, is a record store in Simpang Bedok that carries an extensive selection of vinyl records. “I was confident enough to tender my resignation as I made enough money from my part-time job to support my family,” said Mr Tan. He had worked part-time repairing various kinds of audio equipment while teaching and finally set up Zenn Audio Electronics in 1990. The shop initially focused on repairing and modifying audio equipment. It was a struggle for the business to take flight at first, he said. “The business grew quite slowly when it was first established. It improved as my customer base expanded.”

Where to collect records from Pleasant Park or Craggy Cliffs in Fortnite: Fortnite season 7 continues with a fresh batch of challenges to help you boost that battle pass and earn new skins and items. The alien invasion continues to roll along, but some of us are more worried about protecting our precious vinyl collections, even though we’re storing them in garbage milk crates. That’s right. This week, Epic wants you to collect records at Craggy Cliffs and Pleasant Park. This means finding milk crates full of vinyl records and rescuing them from the tentacled clutches of aliens, or just other players looking to eliminate you before you can. You’re liable to get eliminated if you don’t know where to look, but thankfully we’ve done all the hard work for you. Keep in mind that you only need to collect two records to complete this challenge, so select whatever location works best for you.

Athens, GA | R.E.M.’s debut 1981 single and demo tape to be reissued at exclusive Wuxtry Records event: Record collectors and Athens music enthusiasts are expected to line up at Wuxtry Records late Thursday night (7/22) in anticipation of an exclusive midnight launch for the reissue of R.E.M.’s debut single and first demo tape. Available for the first time since 1981, the original Hib-Tone Records version of “Radio Free Europe” will be released Friday as a 7-inch vinyl single for $15. A reissue of R.E.M.’s first demo tape will also be available featuring “Radio Free Europe,” “Sitting Still” and “White Tornado.” Recorded in producer Mitch Easter’s parents’ garage in April 1981, one of the several hundred self-produced cassette tapes reached the owner of the Atlanta-based indie label Hib-Tone, who brought the band in to record overdubs before releasing “Radio Free Europe” as a single with “Sitting Still” as the B-side. Out of an initial pressing of 1,000 copies, 600 were designated for promotional use and popular demand resulted in another 6,000 being made that included a P.O. box address for the band. Wuxtry staff member Nate Mitchell said that mint condition copies of the first pressing are usually valued at around $400, and the reissue is not expected to impact that.

Stirling, UK | Kyle Falconer to play Stirling record store set this month: Kyle Falconer will play an intimate record store set in Stirling this month in support of his new album release. The View frontman unveils No Love Songs For Laura on Friday, July 30, and will appear at a handful of record shops over that weekend, including Europa Music. He will be at the Friars Street store on Saturday, July 31, from 11am to perform a short acoustic set. The stop is part of a mini record store tour which includes visits to Inverness, Aberdeen, Saltcoats, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Ewen Duncan, owner of Europa, which previously had a store in Alloa years ago, is hoping Falconer’s return to the store will create as much a buzz as before. He said: “We’re looking forward to it; he’s played the shop before and it was such a good afternoon then. There was some amount of folk coming in to buy albums and get it signed.

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