In rotation: 4/14/22

Greenfield, WI | Exclusive Co. Employees In Greenfield Trying To Preserve Record Store: Employees at The Exclusive Co. in Greenfield are trying to buy and preserve the store as “That Girl Records” after closures were announced. Employees at the Greenfield Exclusive Company location on 74th Street are trying to buy their store after the Oshkosh-based chain announced it will be closing all its longtime Wisconsin vinyl shops. Efforts to keep the store going have included seeking investors, bank loans and an online fundraiser, according to employee Isabella Charles, who is spearheading the venture alongside colleagues Sam Alberti, Tom Bohne and other current and former staff. “Music is kind of what keeps the community together, it’s a place for common ground,” Charles told Patch. “It’s something everyone can relate on, and it’s something that keeps the city together as a whole.” Exclusive Co. announced the closures on its website and social media Thursday after the recent death of James “Mr. G” Giombetti, who founded the music and record stores in 1956. Alongside the announcement came a statement about stores possibly transitioning to independent ownership, but liquidation sales were also slated for the coming weeks.

Dorchester, UK | Vinyl Van to host special event in Dorchester’s Brewery Square: An independent record store is hosting a special event in Dorchester where people can take over the decks. Vinyl Van, in Pope Street, Brewery Square will mark Record Store Day on Saturday, April 23. The landmark day brings record lovers together worldwide to celebrate independent record shops and the unique role they play within communities. Some 260 independent record shops are set to take part in the UK this year. In its first ever celebration of the day, Vinyl Van will open its doors at 8am and invite customers to take over the decks, spinning their favourite tunes as part of an all day Joy of Decks event. Refreshments will also be served throughout the day, courtesy of shop owner, Mark Smith’s mum.

Cape Girardeau, MO | Combination music store, watering hole coming to Cape Girardeau: Spectrum Record Lounge, a combination bar and record store, is expected to open this summer at 113 Broadway in Cape Girardeau, a site formerly known as Pour House sports bar. Travis Tyson and Parker Bond are part-owners and co-proprietors of the coming establishment. “We’ll have mostly vinyl records with a curated section of CDs and cassettes for sale,” said Tyson, a former general manager of Cape Girardeau’s Primo Vino. “I’m a lifelong collector of music and, hopefully, people are still into physical media. If not, we’ll have a bar so a customer could have a drink while they listen.” Still in the build-out stage, Spectrum will have a bar/lounge on one side with a record store on the other with a half-wall in between. Tyson explained there will be two separate doors so customers can enter directly either into the store or into the bar.

Manningtree, UK | Manningtree: The tiny town that dreams of saving the planet. …On the same street, former music industry executive Steve Tattam runs the vinyl and wine shop Winyl, which he opened in 2018. Steve sells organic wine and craft beer that can be taken away or consumed in the shop, which doubles up as a bar. A selection of new and second-hand vinyl is for sale, and visitors can enjoy a drink while playing records on the store’s decks. Every decision Steve makes comes from being ecologically conscious, he says, from choosing sustainably sourced energy to using reclaimed wood, making sure all of the drinks are vegan and even stocking carbon neutral wine. “From the start we decided we wanted to do business in a nice way that doesn’t harm the environment,” he says. The packaging he uses can all be recycled, from bags made from sugar cane to coasters that can be pulped to biodegradable paper covers on the vinyl. “All the decisions we make are to help in our own little way. We’re only a small business but every little does help,” he adds.

Vinyl Footprint: Five Ways To Be A More Eco-Friendly Record Collector: From our friends at Naked Record Club… The ongoing vinyl resurgence has put air into the lungs of record shops, helping to boost the creative eco-system that music thrives on. There are, however, some obvious drawbacks: the music industry’s plastic use is a problem, and contributes to broader environmental industries across the globe. Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic venture The Big Plastic Count aims to help us all take stock of the plastic we use in our lives, encouraging each of us to look again at our environmental footprint. Clash hosted a special Twitter spaces discussion on Friday – April 8th – alongside broadcaster and activist Chris Packham, joined by Tim Burgess, a representative from Greenpeace, and podcaster / journalist Greg Cochrane. Naked Record Club team Simon Parker and Rachel Lowe also took part, showcasing their plan to produce an eco-friendly alternative to standard vinyl production, using a 99% carbon neutral factory in the Netherlands.

Brantford, CA | Vinyl record show attracts collectors of all ages: While most of those in attendance at the inaugural Brantford Record Show were old enough to have purchased new music releases on vinyl decades ago, the show attracted several young people, as well. Emily Rushton, 17, of Brantford, and her 16-year-old friend, Cassidy Sinclair, of Paris, flipped through crates of vinyl LPs, looking to add to their collections. “My dad used to be a big record junkie,” Rushton said. “He had a room filled but got rid of them all before he realized I would become obsessed with them. When I met Cassidy we both clicked and began to start collecting.” Among Ruston’s purchases was The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour, the soundtrack from Jesus Christ Superstar and Pink Floyd – The Wall. “I love the ’70s and ’60s,” she explained. “When you listen to music on vinyl it kind of puts you back in that era. We never got to experience that, so it’s like this nostalgic feeling. It’s super cool.”

JP | Japan’s Vinyl Record Output Soars Amid Pandemic: The popularity of vinyl records has been picking up globally amid the COVID pandemic and sales in the United States have surpassed those of CDs since 2020. In Japan, too, production output by value in 2021 was 11.6 times higher than a decade earlier. What is happening in the analog record market, which fell into a slump years ago? Yoshihiro Takahashi reported for Mainichi Shimbun. According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), the value of annual vinyl production peaked in 1980 at about 181.2 billion yen (about $1.49 billion). As analog records began to be gradually replaced with CDs, however, production declined to some 170 million yen ($1.4 million) in 2010. However, the figure turned upward again in 2014. It remained almost unchanged in 2020, when the COVID crisis struck, from the previous year. Then in 2021, production volume jumped to some 1.91 million records — about 1.7 times the previous year’s figure and the highest in the past 10 years. Production value also rose to 3.9 billion yen ($32 million) — roughly 1.8 times the figure in the previous year. The figures are thought to have been partly boosted by stay-at-home demand amid the pandemic.

Vernon, CT | Vinyl Record Returned After a Shocking 44 Years to Rockville Public Library: Staff at the Rockville Public Library were not expecting a vinyl record checked out from the library in 1978 to be returned. But 44 years later, that’s exactly what happened. The vinyl album ” With These Hands” by Roger Williams was returned on Monday. The album was released in 1959, according to the town of Vernon. Although the library no longer lends record albums, Library Director Jennifer Johnston- Marius said the staff was still delighted to see it back in their hands. “We’re always happy to get materials back, even if they’re 44 years too late,” she said. Johnston- Marius said the person who returned it was cleaning out their parents’ home, came across the album and discovered it had been borrowed in 1978 from the Rockville Public Library and decided to return it. No fine was assessed, Johnston- Marius said. “We are willing to work with patrons because it’s more important to have the materials available so that others can borrow them.”

3 Biggest Reasons Why Collecting Used Vinyl Records Is Rewarding: Previously, I have written an article asking whether you should collect vinyl. In this article, I want to share about the joys of collecting used vinyl records. While there is a strong resurgence in vinyl record sales, the prices of new vinyl albums are astonishingly expensive. There is a part of me that challenges the rationale of buying a primitive audio format that has not changed since the introduction of stereo-cut records in 1957 when music production and mastering have evolved into the digital age. Nonetheless, I still indulge in buying vinyl records of new albums for reasons geared towards human emotions rather than practical technology. Just like why I bought the yellow vinyl album of Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba) Entertainment District Arc performed by Aimer (Zankyo Sanka / Asa ga Kuru). I missed the initial pre-order and had to buy from after-market at a premium (that’s another story for another post).

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