In rotation: 7/30/21

Low Fidelity: Vintage Vinyl and The Precarious State of the Indie Record Store: Last month the news spread that Vintage Vinyl, the Fords, NJ bastion of independent music, was closing after four decades in the business. It wasn’t because of the effects of the pandemic but rather a shift in the priorities of the store’s ownership—a small consolation in a story that otherwise would have read like a broken toilet that people kept shitting in. For thousands of people growing up in New Jersey and the surrounding area—that’s not an exaggeration—Vintage Vinyl was that one shining beacon we had in a sea of corporate record store chains in the years before one-click online ordering. My friends and I would pile into one of our cars every few weeks to take the two-hour drive to Vintage, not only for the cool shit they brought in, but also for the experience of the store itself.

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange requiring masks again for all customers: The Record Exchange in downtown Boise is requiring masks for everyone, vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, inside their store. According to the announcement, all staff are required to wear masks inside the store as well. “It wouldn’t say its something I wanted to do, but it’s something we felt like we had to do,” Owner Michael Bunnell said. “Transmission rates and vaccination rates in this state are poor. Until we feel like we can fully protect not only our staff but our customers, we’re going to take any precaution necessary.” “…I think that it’s an appropriate response to the current data and they are doing the responsible thing,” Customer Mariana Adams said. “I think it’s great, they have the masks out here for you to take they have a very clear sign on the door. If you don’t wish to wear a mask, you don’t have to. You just can’t shop there.”

Detroit, MI | Record Store Recs: DJ Minx Brings The Detroit Heat: “…Detroit Threads is all of that and a bag of whatever you are looking for because they have vintage clothing and trinkets that you can grab while shopping for records. The vinyl bins are loaded! If I’m looking for some classics, boom! They’ve got it goin’ on! Somewhere in Detroit is a hot spot! People from around the globe visit there because of the good selections of music and for its sweet history. It’s owned by Submerge [Records] and is in the basement of the Underground Resistance building. Spot Lite is a gem that recently opened and my goodness it’s the whip! The atmosphere is funky and chill at the same time, so you can spend hours in there just vibin’!

San Antonio, TX | Best Record Store: Hogwild Records. If you’ve been involved in the punk, indie or metal music scenes at any point during the past few decades, you know Hogwild. If you’ve attended San Antonio College and have an interest in those music genres, you probably spent some time shopping there between classes. Stop by at any random time and you’re likely to be treated to a full-volume blast of one of the above music genres as its knowledgeable staff road tests new releases. The venerable indie music retailer remains a browsing paradise with its vast selection of vinyl, local and otherwise, as well as music merch including a sea of T-shirts arrayed across its ceiling. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask, since the store excels at hard-to-find special orders.

John Prine’s Fair & Square to Get Deluxe Vinyl Reissue: The 2005 LP earned Prine the Best Contemporary Folk Album trophy at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards. John Prine’s 2005 Grammy-winning album Fair & Square will receive the deluxe reissue treatment this fall. The double album edition will arrive October 1 via the late songwriter’s own label Oh Boy Records. The LP, which will be available in standard black, opaque green, and green and orange, was pressed at Third Man Records’ pressing plant in Detroit. Fair & Square earned Prine the Best Contemporary Folk Album trophy at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2005. It also achieved the fastest rise to No. 1 in the history of Americana radio. In addition to announcing the reissue, the Prine Family has announced a series of concerts in Nashville titled “You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine,” which will take place October 3-10. (October 10 would have been Prine’s 75th birthday.) Each show will include a surprise lineup of friends performing and celebrating the life of Prine. Proceeds will go toward the Hello in There Foundation.

Dig Into This 19-Minute Record of Sizzling Bacon ‘Beats’ by Wright Brand: The brand and Ogilvy cooked up a meaty tune for TikTok and YouTube. There are few things more likely to wake you up in the morning than the smell of bacon frying. Tyson Foods’ Wright Brand believes the sound of bacon sizzling is just as enticing as its savory scent, which is why they enlisted Ogilvy to record the musical meat on vinyl. The “Bacon Beats” record features a high-fidelity recording of the sound of bacon sizzling for 19 minutes and 22 seconds, a tribute to the brand’s founding in 1922. Side B of the record contains interviews with Wright Brand employees conducted at the Vernon, Texas bacon plant. The record was distributed to TikTok music producers, who were encouraged to sample the sounds and interviews within their own creative works. The soundtrack, filled with satisfying pops and crackles, was also shared on YouTube with a video showing a split screen of bacon frying and the record spinning.

This New Record Cleaner Is Your Vinyl Collection’s New Best Friend: The size of a turntable, the device quickly washes, brushes, spins and vacuums treasured pressed recordings to keep them pristine. The past year of home-bound entertainment has, if anything, afforded music lovers plenty of time to listen to their audio systems. It’s also given me an opportunity to dig in—and add to—my vinyl collection, buying more records than I need through online sellers. But, bordering on being diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, I like my stuff perfect. Which is why, unlike most collectors, I tend to buy only sealed LPs, records that haven’t had a breath of oxygen in years, hermetic in their original shrink wrap or heat-sealed plastic sleeves. The benefit of being a fan of early music (pre-Baroque compositions whose worldwide audience could likely be shoehorned into a small apartment) means that innumerable great analog recordings made from the early 1950s through the mid-1970s are available for a pittance, pressed by great labels like Telefunken, Archiv and Argo.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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