In rotation: 12/13/21

The date for Record Store Day 2022 has been revealed: 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Record Store Day. The date for 2022’s Record Store Day has been revealed. Next year marks a whole 15 years since the start of what has now become the largest single-day music event in the world, and there will be plenty of surprises to keep music fans engaged. Record Store Day 2022 will take place on April 23, 2022. The four much-loved Record Store Day partners at the very heart of independence and vinyl in the UK: Bowers & Wilkins, Meantime Brewing Company, Rega Research, and Sound Performance, will also return next year. This year’s Record Store Day 2021 saw exclusive vinyl drops from 538 artists in total, including superstars such as Ed Sheeran and Little Mix, as well as celebratory reissues of modern classics like Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black. In 2020, vinyl sales grew for the 13th consecutive year in the UK, jumping by over a tenth (11.5%) year-on-year to almost 5 million (4.8m). Vinyl revenues increased 30.5% year-on-year to £86.5 million, the highest total since 1989.

St. Petersburg, FL | A night out at In Between Days, St. Petersburg’s new Tokyo-style listening bar: Our arts writer and food critic checked out St. Pete’s hottest new nightlife spot. It doesn’t matter if the lights are on at the little blue house — if the crate of sake bottles is on the front porch, you know you’re in the right place. News of a Tokyo-style listening bar in St. Petersburg had been percolating for some time when our arts and music writer Maggie Duffy and food and dining critic Helen Freund decided it was time to go check it out. What follows is a summary of their experience at the space during two visits. But first: What is a Tokyo-style listening bar? In Japan, record bars and jazz cafes with high-end audio equipment have existed since the 1950s. They feature intimate spaces designed for listening, rather than socializing. Over the past few years, the trend caught on in the United States, and listening bars with a vinyl record focus have launched in cities like New York and Los Angeles. …Inspired by their love of vinyl and sake culture, they opened In Between Days (named for the Cure song of the same name) inside a small blue house on First Avenue S in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.

Qrates Adds Cassettes to Its Indie Vinyl Production Platform, Making It a One-Stop-Shop for Artists Looking To Sell: As demand for physical releases continues to grow, vinyl crowdfunding pioneers Qrates look towards cassettes as the next frontier in independent revenue building. It’s no secret that the popularity of vinyl has been accelerating around the world at breakneck speed. At the forefront of this explosion is Tokyo-based record manufacturing and sales platform Qrates (pronounced ‘crates’), which has been offering independent artists the chance to fund, press and ship records directly with and for fans since 2015. Weathering the storm of manufacturing bottlenecks during the worst of COVID-19 lockdown, Qrates managed to shorten predicted turnaround times to below current industry standards. Now they plan to apply that same consistency to offering cassette manufacturing services in the new year.

Milwaukee, WI | 2021 vinyl lovers holiday gift guide: Here is a walk through some of the most interesting vinyl to land on my doorstep in recent months. Each of the releases would make a perfect holiday gift (they’re too big to stuff into stockings) for the music lover on your list. For those of us who grew up devouring music on PVC – before the ubiquity of compact discs nearly killed the format (at least in the U.S.; thank the lord for imports!) – the fact that vinyl is outselling CDs these days is as heartwarmingly satisfying as the warmth of analog. Although the cost of vinyl has skyrocketed as part of its return, there are some great high-quality pressings out there of new, but also back catalog releases. Here is a walk through some of the most interesting vinyl to land on my doorstep in recent months. Each of the releases would make a perfect holiday gift (they’re too big to stuff into stockings) for the music lover on your list.

Edinburgh, UK | The true story of modern vinyl record sales: Going by the amount of vinyl we’ve sold in the shop as Christmas presents this week, it certainly looks like the vinyl revival is going to be with us for a while yet. I have to be honest, I was one of those who predicted that, good as it was to see, it was only a matter of time before sales started to drop again and yet there is no sign of any lack of fervour for buying vinyl, even though prices have increased considerably over the last year. The music industry is, of course, not averse to the sort of jiggery-pokery Edinburgh Council regularly use with their analysis of consultations and most people will now have seen that “vinyl outsells CD.” If we use the measure used for decades of sale numbers, then this is not true at all. What is true is that with vinyl on average now selling for around three times the price of a CD, the value of sales now is slightly greater for vinyl than CD. All the recent massive new releases from Abba, Ed Sheeran and Adele all sold in far greater numbers on CD than vinyl but that is a narrative you don’t really hear in the media.

Fullerton, CA | In Orange County, Programme Skate & Sound Provides An Authentic Punk Rock DIY Venue: The Fullerton skate shop continued a tradition and built a scene. …After the Fullerton skate shop and record store closes the doors on its retail operation each evening, Gronowski and business partner Efrem Schulz become the owners of what is arguably the most important venue left in the long-dwindling Southern California DIY scene. The space is so intimate that fans don’t just get sweaty with their favorite bands, but often on their favorite bands. The crowd, artists, and occasional members of the music industry gather in the parking lot at the end of an exceptionally bland-looking strip mall in Orange County, and they’ll likely remain there long after the tabletop gaming store next door closes for the night, utilizing the suburban walkway and blacktop as a post-concert respite from the chaos and intensity a dozen feet away. For a room smothered in music tees and skateboards — one that feels relatively full with a few dozen people in it — Programme serves as both a launching pad for young touring bands and an ideal platform for local acts looking to establish themselves within the scene.

Middlesbrough, UK | Vinyl manufacturer raises six figure investment: A Middlesbrough-based vinyl pressing company has raised £475,000 in equity investment as part of a seven-figure round. Press on Vinyl, which is based at the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park, manufactures and distributes vinyl records. The company recently brought its vinyl record pressing factory to Teesside which is the first of its kind for the North of England. Funding from the round will allow Press on Vinyl to pay for a second pressing machine and heat generator for its pressing facility to accelerate the growth needed to be able to service sales. The company also has plans to create 30 new jobs in the region. The investment in Press on Vinyl came as the result of a collaborative pitch event between not-for-profit angel investment organisation NorthInvest and financial partner Azets, formerly Garbutt & Elliott, for the firm’s clients. Jordan Dargue, investment director at NorthInvest said: “The founding team combine their acumen in business and engineering with a deep, passionate knowledge of the music scene, making them the ideal candidates to spearhead the business.”

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