In rotation: 10/7/21

Glasgow, UK | HMV moves to new premises inside Braehead Shopping Centre: Music fans will be able to browse more than 17,000 different products in store. Major music retailer HMV has moved to a larger store inside Braehead Shopping Centre. All staff from the previous store in Braehead will relocate to the new premises, which is on the first floor of the mall. With a shop floor of 4,251 sq ft, the store will offer more than 17,000 different products to customers, including 3,500 vinyl products, 5,000 CDs, 2,500 Blu-Ray and 4K, as well as a large range of pop culture products. The store re-opens in what is HMV’s 100th birthday year. In a sign of confidence in physical retail, the UK’s largest entertainment retailer is expanding, as vinyl sales increase and pop culture product such as t shirts and exclusive franchise merchandise attract younger shoppers. Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at Global Mutual, said: “We’re delighted that the team at HMV have chosen to stay with us at Braehead – this is a brand our customers know and love, so it should prove a real draw.

Bury, UK | Bury record store to continue supporting unsigned bands in Live and Local campaign: Up-and-coming independent bands can finally return to a Bury music shop for a series of live music events. HMV’s Bury store will once again, host ambitious acts as part of Manchester’s Live and Local campaign this month. The campaign was started by HMV, which has asked store managers to get in touch with independent, unsigned musicians to help promote their music. Featuring in this year’s event on Saturday, October 23, is Design Rewind, a Manchester-based duo performing classic rock, and New York-born singer-songwriter, Risa Hall. Also playing live at Bury’s store on November 6 will be alternative acoustic rock quartet, Blazing Snowmen. Steve Toolan, the Bury store manager, said: “I can’t put it into words how excited I am for this event, its brilliant for me personally as a music fan, but also it’s very important for the store.

Dallas, TX | Vinyl records and manga comics store to open in Dallas’ Cedars District: There’s a new shop opening in Dallas dedicated to records and comics: Called Black Cat Records N Comics, it’ll be a pop culture destination combining music and manga, located at 971 Botham Jean Blvd., slated to open in the fall. Black Cat is a collaboration between Megan Daniel, who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of anime and manga; and Guy Steele, a longtime collector and movie buff who previously owned well known stores such as The Movie Collection, Stage & Screen, and Vintage Salvation, a vinyl record stand located inside Dolly Python. “The store will be a unique mix,” Steele says. “We’ll have records and comics, with a wide selection for listeners and readers of all ages, but some with a special focus.” They’ll have the newest and most popular comics, but especially underground and indie publishers, including foreign prints. “Our manga section should be second to none, spanning decades of the art form and all its iterations from toys, statues, shirts, and books,” Steele says.

Miami, FL | Dante’s HiFi Honors Japan’s Listening Bar Culture: On a recent Saturday night, a short walk down a rare Wynwood alleyway leads to a well-manicured courtyard on NW 26th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Despite trying to be inconspicuous, the lone black door immediately draws one’s attention. From the outside, there’s no clue as to what’s beyond it, and perhaps that’s for the best. Dante’s HiFi isn’t looking to be Miami’s next megaclub or — God forbid — another Tulum-inspired hot spot. Instead, its claim to fame is a more modest one: It’s the city’s first Japanese-style listening bar. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Japan’s listening bars are an audiophile’s dream — a place where you can sit down, drink, and feast your ears on the expertly curated playlist. The quality of the speakers, amps, turntables, and mixers are just as important as the cocktails being served. As Resident Advisor notes about the culture: “It’s rooted in the joy of discovering music and listening to that music in the best possible environment.”

Denver, CO | A new Japanese-style listening room might just be the coolest bar in Denver: ESP HiFi is a gem along Santa Fe; go check it out before everyone else does. The way Will Minter describes his first experience with Japan’s listening café culture is just magical. The Lion cafe is a two-story shrine to classical music set in Tokyo’s trend-setting Shibuya ward. Its original 1920s speakers stand around 8 feet tall and atop their own altar. Listeners sit before a grand sound system, in church-like pews, and listen to records silently, almost in reverence. “You go in, it’s like a library; this very studious, quiet environment,” Minter explained of his 2019 visit. “Usually, the older the (listening room) was, the more of that energy it had.” Now, Minter and his business partner, Mitch Foster, are trying to re-create some of their favorite moments from Lion and other listening cafes at a new all-day cafe and bar, ESP HiFi, on Santa Fe Drive in Denver.

Say hello to the world’s first true portable record player: Victrola lift the lid on the Revolution Go – a rechargeable battery powered Bluetooth record player. Audio firm Victrola have revealed details of their Revolution Go – the world’s first truly portable record player. While portable record players are nothing new, the Revolution Go features a built-in rechargeable battery that will last up to 12 hours on a full charge and has a Bluetooth speaker featuring stereo sound and a passive bass radiator, which the company say delivers “crystal clear audio without the worries of the record skipping.” Victrola teamed up with Audio Technica to provide the record player with a 3600LA moving magnetic cartridge, and with new Vinyl Stream tech built in, the Revolution Go can be paired with other external Bluetooth speakers. Victrola CEO Scott Hagen says: “What our team has accomplished with Revolution Go is to literally bring a vinyl listening experience to life in a way that has never existed before with an all-new design that reflects the evolution of the brand.

Muscle Shoals, AL | Famed ‘Swamper’ personal music collection to go on sale: Hundreds of vinyl albums from the personal collection of the late Jimmy Johnson, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio co-founder and Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section founding member, will go on sale at Vintage South Marketplace’s Muscle Shoals location on October 9. The collection consists of records Johnson personally engineered, wrote, produced, played on and more. These albums from his personal collection – many of which are promotional rarities and sealed unopened originals – include records from major recording artists from the 1960s to today like The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among hundreds of others. Johnson passed away in 2019 at the age of 76. He was a successful and talented session guitarist, engineer and record producer from Muscle Shoals. He gained prominence when originally attached to Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in the 1960s, before co-founding one of America’s most storied music studios, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in 1969, along with drummer Roger Hawkins, bassist David Hood, and keyboardist Barry Beckett. These four became affectionately known as “The Swampers,” a name infamously mentioned in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

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