In rotation: 12/14/21

Rhayader, UK | ‘Isn’t it encouraging to see the good old vinyl.’ Prince Charles buys a record in Rhayader shop: Prince Charles has been supporting a local business in Wales today by purchasing a vinyl record at a hardware shop in Rhayader. When buying Andrea Von Kampen’s album, That Spell, the Prince is overheard saying “isn’t it encouraging to see the good old vinyl.” He was visiting the family-run Hafod Hardware store to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street. The Prince chose to visit the premises after seeing its Christmas advert that went viral in 2019. It featured a then two-year-old Arthur Jones, who is the great-grandson of owners Alan and Pauline Lewis. The video has been watched almost three million times on YouTube. The hardware store is one of the oldest businesses in Rhayader, dating back to 1895, and is one of the “must-see” attractions of the town.

Middlesbrough, UK | Inside Middlesbrough’s new cafe bar and vinyl store after stunning makeover: It’s above one of the town’s busiest venues. And they’re also planning a vinyl cafe bar for Stockton. Middlesbrough has a new cafe bar and vinyl store. Bad Neighbour Records has moved upstairs at one of the town’s busiest venues – Sticky Fingers – after a stunning makeover. Music lovers can pop in for a drink, browse its collection of vinyl and hear live music performances on the bar’s 1913 Bechstein grand piano. Sticky Fingers owner Toni Cook teamed up with Ross Kemp of Bad Neighbour Records, who was operating his business from a small shop in Forbes Building and wanted to expand. They have transformed the first floor of the Linthorpe Road venue – and are also planning a similar venture for Stockton. Bad Neighbour Records started in 2019. Ross said: “I’m a hip hop fan and vinyl is essential for that.”

Newport, UK | The Newport record shop hand-picked to get rare John Lennon vinyl: A Newport record store had an incredible surprise when it received an extremely rare vinyl copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’, to mark 50 years since the hit was released. Diverse Vinyl, based on Charles Street, was given the sixth of just 50 acetate vinyl pressings of the iconic song in the post last Friday. The store is one of only 25 record shops across the UK, picked personally by Yoko Ono and her son Sean Ono Lennon, to get their hands on a copy. Two other record shops in Wales, Spillers Records and Kelly’s Records in Cardiff, have also received copies. Paul Hawkins, who started Diverse Vinyl in 1995, said he had no idea that he was receiving such a rare piece of music history. “I didn’t even know it existed when it turned up,” Mr Hawkins told the Argus. “When it arrived last Friday, I had no idea what it was and when I opened it, I just couldn’t believe it.”

Cincinnati, OH | Craig’s Record Factory; A Nostalgic Journey Through the 70’s and 80’s: The past comes to life as readers follow author Craig Odanovich’s entrepreneurial footsteps through the golden age of rock-n-roll and the boom of video rental stores. Following Odonavich’s entrepreneurial journey from an employee at his parent’s Dairy Queen to the founder of his own wildly successful business, this book is a rich combination of memoir and business wisdom. Entertaining and inspiring, Craig’s Record Factory is a nostalgia trip into the bygone era of vinyl, jukeboxes, and good vibes. Craig’s Record Factory captures the voice of an age. Through founding his own music store. Craig’s Record Factory in 1979, to the joys of marriage and family life, to competing with Blockbuster video rental, and the trials of the corporate world, Odanovich gives readers an unabashed look at the inside of the music and video rental industries during their most iconic eras.

Bishop’s Stortford, East, UK | St Clare Hospice in plea for vinyl records for its music shop in Bishop’s Stortford to boost its funds: Music fans are being asked to consider donating vinyl records from their collections for a local hospice. St Clare Hospice has issued a plea for popular vinyl records as stocks at its specialist book and music charity shop in Bishop’s Stortford are running low. Dave Whyte, who has a lifelong interest in and love of music, has worked in the Hastingwood hospice’s shop in Devoils Lane for the past five years. “In all my time here there’s always been a steady flow of good vinyl records coming through. But in the last four months we’ve seen a 75% reduction in donations, impacting on sales dramatically. “Whereas we used to have good backroom stocks to replenish the shop floor, we’re now down to the bare bones. We sold much of our stock at the recent late-night shopping event.” Dave said: “We’re desperate for rock, pop, prog rock, soul, reggae, punk, new-wave, metal, ska, two-tone, modern jazz and other genres of vinyl. Every donation will help generate the money needed to fund hospice care for local people.”

Ed Sheeran’s adorable tradition with his daughter: ‘We have a vinyl breakfast every single day.’ Ed Sheeran has “vinyl breakfasts” with his daughter “every single day.” The 30-year-old singer and his wife Cherry Seaborn welcomed their daughter, Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran, into the world 15 months ago, and the ‘Shivers’ hitmaker has now revealed the special morning tradition he does with the tot. Ed said he and Lyra spend the mornings listening to a classic vinyl while eating breakfast together – and the tot is a huge fan of Black Sabbath’s hit record, ‘Paranoid’. Speaking to Sir Elton John on his ‘Rocket Hour’ show on Apple Music 1, he explained: “Me and my daughter do vinyl breakfast every single day. Over lockdown, I got super into vinyl, I know you are super into vinyl too. “I basically would get up with her in the morning, I’d make her breakfast, and then we’d sit down and eat together and listen to a vinyl. And [Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’] is her favourite. She just loves this album. So, I think ‘War Pigs’ is such a great way to start a record.”

Ann Arbor, MI | In defense of vinyl: Dear vinyl haters, I get you. Vinyl has become as much a part of the hipster cliché canon as IPA’s and gentrified coffee shops. In an age defined by limitless access to the world’s resources, you scoff at a devoted minority clinging to a dying art form. On first stab, it’s hard to blame you. Vinyl is expensive, demands a ton of space and (despite what the snobs will say) sounds basically the same as a digital recording. It seems the medium is only reserved for the gatekeeping elites who will never fail to remind you how much better their music taste is compared to yours. We’re not in the dark ages anymore. Sure, vinyl made a lot of sense when the only way to listen to music was to scratch a plastic disc with a diamond needle. However, when the LP for Red (Taylor’s Version) costs about the same as ten months of a Spotify Student plan, vinyl heads must surely be ripping themselves off. It’s become obvious that the big record companies are just repackaging an outdated medium and jacking up its price to scam the collector crowd. Wait. Let me get out my inflation calculator.

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