In rotation: 2/10/22

Fort Wayne, IN | Fort Wayne’s Welcome Back Records and Deadstock Vintage hold grand opening: Morrison Agen was glad to see the vinyl record selections a young woman had made as his Welcome Back Records celebrated its grand opening Feb. 8. He began telling her the back story of the previous owner of them. Now the selections will be going to a new home. Agen, who sold his Fort Wayne vinyl record store Neat Neat Neat Records and Music about two years ago, is sharing space in the former Wildwood Liquors, 3019 Broadway, Fort Wayne, with Deadstock Vintage clothing store. Deadstock is run by Agen’s stepdaughter Caitlin Dostal and her significant other, Isaac Sparks. Agen made several racks himself to contain his eclectic stock: Some “Porgy and Bess” in classical, Chicago Transit Authority in the CDs area, 1976’s “Chicken Skin Music” by Ry Cooder and 2020’s “Chromatica,” the sixth album by Lady Gaga, in Rock/Pop and the Addison Agen section apart from other local talent.

Madison, WI | B-Side and neighboring State Street businesses face possible displacement: The long-running downtown record store’s owner says he hasn’t heard from his landlord about a proposed development. A planned development on State Street would likely push out B-Side, downtown Madison’s last remaining record store. Several other small businesses on the 400 block of State also face possible displacement. The Wisconsin State Journal reported on Friday that developer JD McCormick, LLC’s project would involve demolishing three buildings the company owns on the 400 block. Those buildings currently also house Freedom Skate Shop (which has been an instrumental anchor point in the city’s push to make skateboarding more inclusive), Sencha Tea Bar, and the City-run Culture Collectives pop-up shop program, in addition to apartments upstairs. In other words, it’s a part of State Street that actually still embodies what people like about State Street. Demolition would start in September if the City approves the project in time, the State Journal reports.

Bellingham, WA | Bellingham’s vinyl scene seeks the heart of recorded sound: Businesses like Black Noise Records and The Cabin Tavern are building upon a music-nerd community with intentionality. Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors in American history, yet he said his only true discovery was recorded sound; it wasn’t something he made but something he found. In 1877 when he invented the phonograph, now known as the record player, he didn’t know what to do with it. All he knew was that he wanted it to be available to everyone. Though recorded sound has become a consumer product, it also serves a purpose — to be a historical preservation of emotion. Recorded sound can be the soundtrack to a first kiss, a cherished keepsake from a family member or a potential avenue to memories robbed from us by disease. Every year since 2006, vinyl record sales have increased. Record sales topped CD sales for the first time in 2020. This recent revival of the record can seem counterintuitive to what we know about technological progress and consumerism. Using a record player is more time-consuming, expensive and less portable than current digital alternatives, but it’s rising in popularity nonetheless.

Ogden, UT | A Utah record store owner says vinyl sales are a ‘feeding frenzy.’ Here’s why. A rise in demand for new and vintage LPs is leading to problems with the supply, store owners say. …As the boom continues, indie record stores in Utah are seeing their own versions of resurgence. “I’ve never seen a feeding frenzy like this,” said Dustin Hansen, owner of Graywhale Entertainment, an independently owned-and-operated record store with locations in Taylorsville and Ogden. Interest in vinyl has grown steadily over the last 10 years, Hansen said — and much of that is because of younger buyers. “These young people have jobs, they work,” Hansen said. “When you live at home and you’re 19 years old and you have money and a car, you can go buy records.” Young buyers, he added, will realize in 10 years that their fledgling collections will be “invaluable” and an “investment” Hansen said he’s in awe of the young vinyl buyers. “Young people listen to music so unironically now,” he said. “They don’t care what you think about the music, they just want to listen to it.”

Fort Wayne, IN | Vinyl records hard to find: Local store owner points to variety of issues for shortage. Bob Roets believes that nobody has been more affected by the shortage of vinyl records than him – at least in Indiana. The owner of Wooden Nickel with three locations and Neat Neat Neat Records says he has been unable to stock many album titles because they aren’t being made right now. Roets has owned Wooden Nickel for 40 years and has sold vinyl just about every day during that time. But that hasn’t been the case in the last eight to 12 months as plants that make vinyl haven’t been able to produce enough to keep up with the demand. “It’s gotten really bad,” Roets says. Roets says the stores went from having a good supply of vinyl in 2019 to a panic situation last year because so many people started buying vinyl and the supply began to disappear. In fact, Roets says this Christmas was the best he has had in 23 years.

TW | Can this pressing plant revolutionise the vinyl market? On the surface, the good news keeps coming for vinyl. Every year, new numbers are released showing the format’s strength and resilience continues. In fact, 2021 saw vinyl sales hit their highest level in three decades. But behind the scenes, manufacturing is plagued with delays, increased shipping costs and backlogs. The technology continues to age, while demand is nearing levels not seen since the ’80s, with major labels re-pressing classics to sell to a new, younger market — at the time of writing Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ sits number one in the Billboard vinyl chart. A larger number of titles doing shorter runs has also been a factor, meaning plants are struggling to press as many records a day with increased changeovers cutting into their running time. Add to that a fire that caused Apollo Masters — a major lacquer manufacturing plant — to close down in 2020 and labels are seeing wait times of more than six months for pressing vinyl.

Plymouth, MI | PCCS annual 88.1 Student Record Show is back: The nationally-recognized student radio station 88.1 FM, owned and operated by Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, will host their 13th annual Record Show on Saturday Feb. 19. in Canton. Thousands of vinyl records, CD’s, import only releases, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles will be on display at the Salem High School Cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the show returns next week after a one year absence. The show will feature special giveaways and door prizes in addition to a wide variety of vendors. 88.1 the Park expects to build on the success of the 2020 show, which had over 400 attendees. Organizers say much of the success of the show can be tied to the resurgence of interest in vinyl records. “We’ve worked hard to create a record show that’s perfect for the longtime collector and for those that are new to vinyl. It’s amazing to see so many music fans, from all generations, together in one place,” said Emma Johnston, Program Director for 88.1 the Park.

The New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander Signing ‘You Get What You Give’ Vinyl for Michelle Obama’s Voter Campaign: The frontman is autographing 1,000 copies of the limited-edition vinyl for those who contribute at least $125 to Obama’s When We All Vote. When We All Vote, the voter registration outreach program launched by Michelle Obama, has joined with the New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander to raise funds for the organization that is educating and registering new voters for the 2022 midterm elections. For those who contribute at least $125 to the organization, Alexander is autographing 1,000 copies of a limited-edition vinyl of the group’s performance of its 1998 pop classic “You Get What You Give” from Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration. In addition to the $125,000 the giveaway will raise, Alexander has also pledged to donate $125,000 to When We All Vote. The exclusive vinyl records will be available for a limited time here. “That summer I ran away at 16 in 1986 from Grosse Pointe [Mich.] to LA, my dream was that music could change the world—even if it’s just a drop in the ocean. I still hope it can in some way by supporting When We All Vote’s urgent and inspiring nonpartisan work,” Alexander said in a statement.

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