In rotation: 11/30/21

Adele’s ’30’ becomes 2021’s fastest-selling album in both the US and UK: Adele has made another record-breaking return to the charts, as her latest album “30” claims the title of fastest-selling album of 2021 in both the US and the UK. Released on November 19, the British singer’s fourth studio album also became the most successful album of the year in the US just three days after release, according to MRC data reported by Billboard. Selling more than 660,000 equivalent album units — which includes audio and video streaming and individual track sales — “30” has already triumphed over the other major releases of 2021. In the UK, Adele debuted at the top spot in the albums chart, with first-week sales of 261,000 according to the Official Charts, which said it was the biggest first week for an album since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” (÷) in 2017.

UK | Partisan’s Zena White on the industry’s vinyl problem: Partisan Records had the No.1 vinyl record with Idles’ Crawler in the most recent albums chart. The label’s Brooklyn-based MD Zena White spoke to us about the campaign and the band’s return to touring. In the latest edition of Music Week, she also flagged a key issue for the independent sector – global vinyl capacity. It’s a problem that major label execs have recently discussed in light of the big Q4 releases – including albums from Adele, Ed Sheeran, ABBA and Coldplay – that have taken up a significant amount of the available production at pressing plants. In her Music Week Q&A, Zena White described the “very tough landscape” for the independent sector as it has to weigh up whether to wait for a vinyl slot or go digital-first. “It’s something that we have to be really conscious of as an industry because there is a delicate ecosystem,” said White.

New York, NY | New Record Store Plays on Growing Love for Vinyl: Ergot Records owner Adrien Rew says his new business has been surprisingly good: “Don’t use the word ‘vinyls’ plural.” Adrian Rew instructs. The Ergot Records owner donned a beanie and Birkenstocks with socks inside his store. “Vinyl is the material that records are made of. So, plural of record is records, plural of vinyl is vinyl.” Rew opened Ergot in September and business has been surprisingly good. He decided to open his store during the pandemic when rents were down. Rew used to work at A1 records, next to Tompkins Square Park, before leaving to work for a nonprofit. But he missed his time in a record store, which helped inspire him to start his own. The shop, which is located at 2nd Street and Second Ave., took around three months to renovate and set up. Most of the renovations were done by Rew’s girlfriend Valerie Keane, a New York based sculptor. “She has all of the handy woman skills that I entirely lack,” says Rew. Keane built all the furniture in the store.

Phoenixville, PA | New vinyl record store in Phoenixville continues family legacy: Vinyl collectors and music lovers are in luck as Forever Changes, a new shop located at 28 South Main Street in Phoenixville opens just in time for holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27. Adding to the borough’s flourishing arts and culture scene, the shop will offer more than records, including locally made artwork, and a space for live music performances. Record selections will span a wide array of musical genres, from current popular music to jazz, rock, reggae and more. Both new and used vinyl, record players, vintage posters, tee shirts, and music related artwork will be among the shop’s colorful merchandise. Owners Shawn Cephas and Anna Spackman, both musicians, met while performing at an open mic night held at Steel City Coffee House and eventually got married. They decided Phoenixville was the perfect town to bring their vision of a diversely rich music store to life.

Brisbane, AU | A man in Brisbane sold his house to fund his city’s first record press: The vinyl industry might be struggling right now but one man in Brisbane has proudly done his small part to revitalise it. The vinyl industry might be struggling right now but one man in Brisbane has proudly done his small part to revitalise it. As reported by ABC, Neil Wilson sold his home in order to buy a record press, starting a record pressing company from scratch in the process. “Collectively me and my wife were both looking for change,” Wilson shared. “We were both looking for something different. We’d been in our house for a long time, it needed some work, and I didn’t want to do that work. So we sold the house. It’s paid for most of it, we’re financing some of it. It’s a gamble. But it’s a gamble we believe in.” Incredibly, Wilson’s vinyl record press is one of just a handful set to operate from Australia.

Whangārei, NZ | Whangārei Collectors Record Fair success music to organiser’s ears: The hordes of vinyl junkies drawn to the Whangārei Record Collectors Fair were music to the organiser’s ears as the ninth event proved the best yet. Steve Parrish, from Indigo Records, said among Saturday’s crowd at the ONEONESIX Community Theatre Events Centre in Whangārei were teenagers new to the vinyl scene and older fans. “It was probably the best one we’ve had yet in terms of attendance. We were flat out for three hours straight at one point.” The fair – supported by Beagle Radio, ONEONESIX, and Creative Northland – has been growing since its 2017 inception and this year had about 4000 records up for grabs. Parrish said the vast majority were rock and pop genres with a few rare reggae and hip hop records. “But that’s only a fraction of the 20 to 30 thousand records I have, including singles.”

Royal Oak, MI | Newest outlet for vinyl records: Royal Oak library: Vinyl records aren’t just for audiophile hipsters anymore, and the Royal Oak Public Library is the latest local outlet in the growing trend. Demand for vinyl records has escalated over the last decade. But during the pandemic, sales skyrocketed. Royal Oak’s library started its circulation record collection last week with 50 records and it is expected to grow, said Sandy Irwin, library director. “One of our staff proposed the idea, and the library board approved it,” Irwin said. “We know people love how vinyl sounds … if they don’t have a record player, we have some of those to loan.” …“Listening to vinyl has always felt magical to me,” Crosby said. “I loved watching the needle descend upon the record and hearing that first crackle, seeing the record spin and one small needle relaying so much sound.”

Kathmandu, NP | A revival in vinyl: Wild Yak Records is attempting to bring the nostalgia and analog quality of vinyl to a new generation of music aficionados. Music pulsing from the grooves of a vinyl record holds a certain allure. It has the timeless appeal of resonance and form that refuses to fade away, even in the digital era. At a time when digital streaming services have become the go-to method of listening to music, vinyls have managed to maintain a niche appeal among music aficionados for their nostalgic quality. It is this allure that brought together three Nepalis from diverse backgrounds to establish a music label and begin pressing vinyls of both new and old music. “We recognized that the original recordings of many Nepali songs we grew up with are nowhere to be found or are not in great condition. It thus became necessary to hunt, remaster, and preserve the best recordings of iconic songs,” said Sushil Koirala, one of the co-founders of Wild Yak Records, a record company that was established in 2018 by Koirala, Kiran Byanjankar, and Neeraj P. Gorkhaly.

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