In rotation: 12/9/21

Fort Wayne, IN | Welcome Back: Morrison Agen plans new vinyl record store: Morrison Agen, who sold his Fort Wayne vinyl record store Neat Neat Neat Records and Music about two years ago, plans a new venture: Welcome Back Records. And he won’t be alone in the new storefront. Come mid-January, Agen will share retail space with his stepdaughter Caitlin Dostal and her significant other, Isaac Sparks, in the former Wildwood Liquors, 3019 Broadway. The couple will operate their Dead Stock Vintage clothing store there as a separate business. Agen started Neat Neat Neat in 2011 and sold the business on South Calhoun Street to Wooden Nickel Music, which maintains the name. He had moved on to Agen Andersen Electronics with a business partner, but then something called COVID-19 hit. “We were developing some new devices for the audio-visual market,” he said. “We were pretty close to getting our first round of funding when coronavirus hit, which put a stop to that pretty quickly.”

Chicago, IL | No supply-chain worries for vinyl at record store: A slickly wrapped album under the Christmas tree still stirs emotions and piques curiosity for all those who will listen to the unique vinyl offerings during the extended holiday vacation. Music is synonymous with Christmas celebrations and gatherings. At Beverly Records, 11612 S. Western Ave., last-minute shoppers will find “everything Uncle John needs” right up until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when second-generation owner Jack Dreznes closes shop “to spend time with my grandchildren.” “The Christmas shopping panic comes through our door like everyplace else,” said Dreznes. “Fortunately, there is no bottle neck in our supply chain. We’ve got something for everyone.”

Cambridge, WI | Madison record shop Strictly Discs to bring its collection, and a retail store, to Cambridge: Ron Roloff and his wife Angie opened Strictly Discs on Monroe Street in Madison in 1988. They expect to open a second store in Cambridge in May. A longtime independent Madison record seller plans to open a storefront and house its extensive inventory in a historic building in downtown Cambridge. Strictly Discs will keep its flagship store at 1900 Monroe St. in Madison, out of which it has sold CDs and new and vintage vinyl records for more than 30 years. It also plans to maintain its online presence at strictlydiscs.com., and on a variety of online collector platforms. “The Monroe Street store is not shutting down,” stressed Ron Roloff, who opened Strictly Discs with his wife Angie in 1988. He said he’s finalizing a lease for the main floor of 101 W. Main St. that most recently housed The Wood Shed. The hope is to open for retail sales in May.

Glasgow, UK | Glasgow music collective Hen Hoose gifted ‘rare vinyl’ by Yoko Ono: A Glasgow music collective recently received a special ‘early Christmas present.’ Hen Hoose, a grassroots music production house based in the city, was gifted a limited edition vinyl of Happy Xmas (War is Over) by Yoko Ono and her son Sean Ono Lennon. The record is one of fifty “rare” copies of the single, created as part of 50th anniversary celebrations of its original release. Twenty-five of the “extremely rare” records have been sent to a range of “hand-picked” music charities, non-profits, and grassroots organisations that Yoko and Sean feel are “undertaking great work across the UK music scene.” Founder and director of Hen Hoose, Tamara Schlesinger said it was “surreal” to receive the package and she could not believe it when she opened it last Thursday.

San Francisco, CA | Setting the record straight with these vinyl stores in the Bay Area: It is no secret that vinyl records are making a comeback, and it can be hard to choose from the many shops in the Bay Area. With so many genres and options, it’s tough to know where to start. New albums are constantly coming out and more records start to fill shops, making record-buying stressful. Here are three stores rated on a five-point system that each carry large supplies of quality vinyl and offer a fun shopping experience. Watts Music: 3/5 stars: Watts Music in Novato is a must-visit record store. The store is the smallest out of all the locations I visited, but despite its size, it still has many options with contemporary artists featured. From Travis Scott to Kendrick Lamar to Olivia Rodrigo, Watts has more pop music and singers from this generation.

Ornette Coleman Vinyl Box, ‘Round Trip’ Set For January Release: On January 28, Blue Note Records will release Round Trip: Ornette Coleman On Blue Note, the first-ever boxset to be released as part of the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series. The 6-LP set presents all-analog 180g Tone Poet Vinyl Editions of all six Blue Note albums that the iconoclastic saxophonist and composer appeared on in the late-1960s including his five albums as a leader—the two volume At The ‘Golden Circle’ Stockholm (1965), The Empty Foxhole (1966), New York Is Now! (1968), and Love Call (1968)—as well as his lone sideman appearance on New And Old Gospel (1967) by saxophonist Jackie McLean. Round Trip was produced by Joe Harley with vinyl mastered by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio directly from the original analog master tapes. The vinyl is manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated (RTI) and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” Tip-On Jackets that come encased in a hardcover slipcase.

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