In rotation: 8/30/21

Wheeling, WV | Nail City Record: The heartbeat of downtown Wheeling: Jon Napier began collecting vinyl records early in college. After what grew into a profound love for music, the arts and live entertainment, he and his partner opened Nail City Record in the heart of downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. Napier, a Wheeling native, graduated from West Liberty University with a B.A. in Business Administration. Afterward, he moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he lived for two years. While in the Denver-Metro area, Napier found inspiration in the vibrant small business community throughout the region. With a desire to pursue entrepreneurship on his own, he moved home to start Nail City Record. Then, on Halloween of 2017, his dream turned into reality. Napier and his partner moved into one of the central office buildings downtown and reimagined the space. Coupling their love for the past, they’ve used the historic site to propel their industry into the future.

Wilmington, NC | With return of School Kids Records, is Wilmington in a golden age for vinyl? The last time anyone bought anything at School Kids Records on Kerr Avenue in Wilmington, George W. Bush was in his first term in the White House and Eminem, Missy Elliott and Puddle of Mudd were radio staples. Until Aug. 19 of this year, that is, when School Kids reopened at 1001-A Kerr Ave., just a few doors down from where the shop closed in early 2003 after 25-year run in Wilmington. On Friday, Wilmington musician and former School Kids employee Jennifer Lea Long was browsing the aisles as Eddie Todd, a former School Kids employee and now business partner, welcomed a visitor. Todd summoned fellow business partner and record collector Steve Levine, from the back. Along with Duane Ingram, who opened the original Wilmington location of School Kids Records on Dawson Street, Todd and Levine comprise the ownership triumvirate for what Todd calls “the newest, oldest record store in town,” or what Ingram calls “the biggest little record store in Wilmington.”

Floyd County, VA | Floyd County record store home to world’s largest collection of bluegrass, old time recordings: Did you know that a local record store is home to the world’s largest selection of bluegrass and old-time recordings? The County Sales record store holds the coveted title, and the shop has thousands of CDs and records to choose from — you can even find a selection of local artists. The business is run by musicians who are happy to offer guidance. “You know they can come in and say, ‘I want something with a banjo in it,’ so we’ll often point them to the local music because there is so much great music in southwest Virginia,” said Ashlee Watkins, a sales associate at the County Sales record store. It’s also been in the community for over 50 years and counting.

Peterborough, ON | Record year for record sales for Bluestreak in Peterborough, Ont. For more than 30 years, Bluestreak Records has been a musical staple in Peterborough, Ont. The vinyl shop houses tens of thousands of records, CDs and even cassette tapes. “I just love music so much,” said owner Tim Haines. “Second to live music, listening to records or CDs is fantastic. There is music for every moment or from every time in your life.” Haines said that includes navigating a pandemic and even with retail shutdowns, he has seen an increase in sales. “I’ve had my busiest year ever, even with all of those times shut down I still had an excellent year,” he said. “I think it is because everyone was staying at home and cooking and wanted to listen to records while they were cooking.” He said he has also seen an increase in vinyl popularity in the past five years. “They do sound great,” said Haines. “Maybe there is just something about a little less of everything all of the time, you can just choose a side of a record and listen to that.”

Oxford, UK | HMV returns to Cornmarket Street in Oxford after seven years: HMV is set to return to Oxford after closing down its store in the city seven years ago. The company fell into administration in 2018 and was bought by Canadian music retail executive Doug Putman, who subsequently shut 27 stores. HMV said its return to Oxford was a sign of its confidence in the British high street. The opening of the 9,000 sq ft store on Cornmarket Street at the site of the former Gap store will create 15 jobs. The closed stores included the very first HMV store on London’s Oxford Street, which opened 100 years ago. But last month it announced its plans to open 10 new stores this year. Mr Putman said HMV’s online business had done well throughout the pandemic, helping to offset the loss of sales in stores. And the retailer said it was “expanding as vinyl sales increase and pop culture product such as t-shirts and exclusive franchise merchandise attract younger shoppers”.

Venice, IT | Italian record collector and gelateria owner Carlo Pistacchi has died: RIP to one of country’s most famed vinyl aficionados, with the largest reggae collection in Italy. Venetian record collector and gelateria owner Carlo Pistacchi has died, reports Italy24 News. Pistacchi bought his Alaska gelateria from a friend in 1987; while he originally wasn’t drawn to the idea, he felt the red, yellow, and green cone felt like a sign, given his music affinities. A devoted reggae fan, images of Bob Marley, Haile Selassie, and gig posters adorned the shop. His legendary record collection was one of the largest in italy, with a total of 26,000 records spanning reggae, jazz, classical, opera, rock, funk, and pop. Pistacchi died on Tuesday 24th August, having been ill with undisclosed health reasons for an extended period of time.

7 Great Album Covers, Chosen by Rattling Stick’s Austen Humphries: Butthole Surfers, The Smiths, Dead Kennedys and more. Once upon a time, I was in a band, and we were fucking awful. So awful, in fact, I played one gig so drunk, with my back to the crowd, that I didn’t realize I was playing my bass with only one string until the end of the set. No one noticed. Somehow, we were voted the 7th Best Noise Band in Kerrang Magazine back in 1989. Thankfully, we never got a deal. Writing this it has struck me that another upside to this news is that we never got to fight about record artwork. This is difficult. I don’t know what makes a good record sleeve anymore than I know how to perform open heart surgery. Like book covers and the old Masters hanging in the National Gallery, they’re as subjective and personal to each of us as the noises contained therein. My Bad Brains might be your Thelonius Monk; your Grateful Dead, my Slint.

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