In rotation: 8/3/21

Phoenix, AZ | 3 stores to buy vinyl records in Phoenix: There are plenty of audiophiles in Phoenix. You can get all you need and more at Phoenix’s locally owned record stores, whether you’re seeking for B-sides, exported rarities, vintage albums, or simply some new releases for the needle to strike. Stinkweeds: Going to Stinkweeds is a rite of passage in Phoenix, even if you don’t collect vinyl records. Since its inception in 1987, the uptown Phoenix record store has been a tried-and-true location for travelling musicians and local performers looking to put on a pop-up concert. With 80 listening stations to check out your selections and a highly educated and committed staff, you can discover all types of music on vinyl, CD, and cassette here. After you’ve picked up some new tracks, head next door to Frances for a variety of locally made products…

Wichita, KS | Vinyl Shortage, Higher Prices Challenge Independent Record Stores: Independent record stores faced a unique set of challenges in 2020 amid the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, some of those stores are facing some challenges with simple supply and demand. The days of the independent record store seemed over in the early 2000s as physical, recorded media slipped into declining sales amid the arrival of streaming and downloads. But the industry rallied, thanks in part to a resurgent interest in vinyl records. Some stores, such as Spektrum Muzik, located in Wichita’s Delano district, benefit from the sales of used and new records. Independent record stores were among the many small businesses that suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Stores managed to diversify by dealing with curbside pickup of records, mail order and creating unique merchandise for customers.

Burlington, VT | Lou Barlow To Play Burlington Record Plant: Every now and then, a show is announced that warrants a double take. One could be forgiven for blinking and refreshing the browser upon seeing that Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) is playing a show at — of all places — the Burlington Record Plant. The news is real, people: On Monday, August 2, Barlow will indeed perform at the BRP. “Nick Mavodones from Waking Windows, Bobby Hackney and I were trying to get someone a little bigger, from out of town, to come in and play an acoustic set,” says BRP owner Justin Crowther. “Then we heard that Lou Barlow was looking to play some more off-the-beat kind of places on his tour. So Nick reached out, and it came together pretty quickly.” Barlow helped pioneer the early 90’s low-fi indie-rock sound and has rightfully earned his place among the legends of that generation of rockers. He’s even in the midst of a late-career resurgence with Dinosaur Jr., who have returned to releasing albums and touring…

Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam had July’s top Record Store Day album & single: July 17 was the second drop of Record Store Day 2021, and Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam came out on top. Billboard reports that according to MRC Data, the event resulted in 1.14 million U.S. vinyl album sales overall, and the top-selling RSD release was Foo Fighters’ Hail Satin, released under the name The Dee Gees. The project sold 12,000 vinyl LPs, plus another 3,000 downloads when it was made available digitally on July 19. The 10-song album features covers of four number-one Bee Gees hits, a cover of “Shadow Dancing” by the Bee Gees’ little brother, Andy Gibb, and live versions of songs from the Foos’ latest, Medicine at Midnight. The top-selling RSD single release was Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” which was issued on both 12-inch vinyl and cassette, along with the rare B-sides “Wash,” “Dirty Frank” and a cover of The Beatles’ “I’ve Got a Feeling.” Here are the top-selling RSD 2021 July 17 drop albums at independent record stores, according to MRC Data…

Dave’s New Album Scored Huge Physical Sales: Dave’s new album ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ smashed to the top of the charts last week. The record follows the Mercury winning success of his debut album ‘Psychodrama’, and was rewarded with across-the-board praise. A stunning project, fans swooped to support the Streatham rapper, who immediately topped the charts. Notching up some imposing streaming stats, Dave’s grip on the number one spot was cemented by huge physical sales. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ sold 27,934 CDs, with 4,562 vinyl editions being shipped to fans. Intriguingly, Dave actually sold more copies of his album on cassette than on LP – 7,858 tape copies were sold.

Auckland, NZ | How are cassettes still a thing? Do you still listen to cassette tapes? Have you bought one recently? Tony Stamp was intrigued by recent stories on the rise in cassette sales, so he talked to music retailers, label owners, and visited a tape duplication facility, to find out: how are cassettes still a thing? In 2009, Stuff ran an article asking “Are cassettes making a comeback?” Eight years later in 2017 they ran another story that concluded ‘no’. They did however report surging sales in America and South East Asia. Damian Vaughn of Recorded Music NZ reported $2000 of revenue from cassettes, of an industry that at the time was worth $86 million. But the trusty format has stuck around. In 2018, cassette sales in America grew 19%, and last year in the UK sales doubled, with 156,000 units ending up sold. That’s extremely small in the scheme of things – but it’s also the highest number since 2003.

Beatles Producer Giles Martin Says Apple Music’s Spatial Audio Album Doesn’t Sound Right: Beatles producer Giles Martin says one of the band’s albums doesn’t sound quite right in spatial audio. Speaking in an interview with Rolling Stone, Martin says Sgt. Pepper’s Loney Hearts Club Band was one of the first albums to get the Dolby Atmos treatment. It was tailored specifically to be a theatrical presentation – which sounds a bit different than most spatial audio. “Sgt. Pepper’s, how it’s being presented right now, I’m actually going to change it,” the producer confirms. “It doesn’t sound quite right to me. It’s out in Apple Music right now. But I’m gonna replace it. It’s good. But it’s not right.” “Sgt. Pepper’s was, I think, the first album ever mixed in Dolby Atmos. And we did that as a theatrical presentation. I liked the idea of the Beatles being the first to do something. So Sgt. Pepper’s is a theatrical mix that’s then being converted into a smaller medium. Therefore, it’s not quite right.”

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