In rotation: 4/26/22

UK | Canals, charcuterie and beer: the weird ways record shops are staying afloat: …necessity was the mother of invention. “The vinyl revival was tentative when we opened,” says Johnson. “So we needed other sales avenues to support it.” In his case, that meant a licensed bar and wheeled record shelves that could be pushed aside to make an events space – then later, pushed by local DJs Alex Paterson of the Orb and Kev “DJ Food” Foakes, creating an online radio station, wnbc.london, streaming live from the shop. This kind of enterprise keeps shops in the public eye, but also connects musicians and local communities. Antony Daly says having in-store sets brings younger DJs into a shop for the first time and “watching a vinyl DJ has then opened them up to the idea of buying records and learning to play from turntables”.

Madison, WI | Former Sugar Shack Records employee to open Boneset Records: Musician and artist Maggie Denman is taking over Sugar Shack’s inventory and plans to launch a new store on East Johnson Street. Maggie Denman says that when she worked at Sugar Shack Records for owner Gary John Feest, he was “the best boss I ever had.” Feest is pretty high on his former employee, too. So high that this coming Monday, Sugar Shack Records inventory will become the property of Denman. Upon learning earlier this year that his 41-year-old store’s lease was ending on Atwood Avenue, Feest tried to sell his stock of vinyl, tapes, and CDs, with no luck. Rather than selling it in parcels or donating it to St. Vinny’s, he’s giving it to someone who is eager and ready to run her own shop.

Dublin, IE | Golden Discs to open ‘concept store’ at flagship Dundrum location: Shop will stock wide range of clothing and merchandise from popular films and shows. Golden Discs is to open a new “concept store” at its flagship Dundrum Town Centre location in Dublin on Saturday. The company said the new store format will be dedicated to “super fans and lovers of popular culture.” It will stock a range of products including posters, books, bags, stationary and merchandise from Marvel, DC, Lucas film, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter among others. There will also be a range of licensed clothing, including t-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps from films and television shows. The store will also carry pop culture products and specialist collectibles and figurines from the world of film and entertainment, as well as gaming and growing subgenres like Manga and Pokemon. “We’ve seen huge increase in demand for merchandise over past few years and the time has come for a dedicated store to serve this growing market,” said Golden Discs chief executive Stephen Fitzgerald.

Fort Worth, TX | New Record Shop Puts Its Spin on Sundance Square: Need to get in tune with music? The new record shop, Union Station will set you on track. Even if someone were to miss the pink doors that stand to introduce Union Station, the music that can be heard on the street definitely would. Buried in the heart of downtown Fort Worth, awaits the new record shop. Its owner Patrick McGrew’s ambition is to bring people together from different generations and bond over something everyone can enjoy-music. “People will be walking down the street and will be like ‘what is that,’ and then come in. Music is what catches their attention first and something I want to highlight it more,” McGrew says. “Music is something that can always bring people together. No matter what your background is, I feel like everyone can relate to some kind of music.” A Jackson Five vinyl was the first vinyl before his collection grew and what it took for McGrew to find his groove with the art of vinyl. Members of his family would gift him a vinyl around holidays, encouraging his fascination.

San Diego, CA | Part Time Lover Delivering Records, Coffee, and Cocktails to Former Bar Pink Space in North Park: The 30th Street listening bar is the latest opening from CH Projects. Cued up for a late May release, Part Time Lover is bringing sweet sounds back to the 30th Street space where Bar Pink reigned for 13 years before shuttering in Fall 2020. Though live bands will no longer be featured, music will still be at the forefront of this new venture, a hi-fi listening bar and record store from CH Projects (J & Tony’s, Polite Provisions), who’ve tasked some notable names from the local industry to curate its soundtrack. As listening bar culture was first popularized in Japan, Part Time Lover’s drinks will revolve around Japanese highballs — long, sessionable cocktails made with sparkling water carbonated on an in-house system like the In Kaiju, which will be tinged with Japanese vermouth, aquavit, and lemon. Coffee will also be served, along with some select pastry items.

Sacramento, CA | Capital Region Record Shops Still Spinning the Vinyl: Vinyl enthusiasts in and around Sacramento have a wide variety of shops to choose from. Independent record shop owners are a tight-knit community, and when COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, closing virtually all brick-and-mortar businesses, store owners realized sticking together was the best path to survival. Already operating on thin profit margins, record shops felt particularly vulnerable to long-term closures and losing touch with customers. The stores, however, stayed in close contact with each other. When they were able to open again a few months later, they did it in a coordinated fashion. “We got together and we opened together, with the same rules on things like requiring masks and having sanitizers,” says Augie Maravilla, a long-time presence on the local record store scene who has run Rocket Records since 2016. “It actually turned out pretty well for us,” he says. “Our loyal customers stayed loyal.”

Bartlett, TN | Record collectors, sellers proud of Mid-South’s place in vinyl history: The growing popularity of vinyl records is a boon to a local company and its workforce. Memphis Record Pressing announced a $30 million expansion which will make it the largest vinyl record manufacturer in North America. Vinyl collectors, buyers and sellers are proud of the role Memphis will play in the future of the record history. But what actually makes vinyl recordings so good? It’s a decades-old debate with some modern takes. “It’s a particular sound. On my records I still get a little crackle and I like it,” record collector and seller David Harper said. “With the streaming services out there there isn’t that tactile, physical media like there is with vinyl,” owner of River City Records Chris Braswell said. Vinyl record collectors and sellers have seen the demand for the media boom for the better part of a decade.

Champaign, IL | A unique vinyl record shopping experience is coming to Champaign on May 6th: On May 6th, an exciting shopping experience is headed to Champaign. Paved Paradise is a traveling pop-up record store, making stops in cities all over the Midwest and East Coast. The idea was forged by independent record labels Dead Oceans, Ghostly International, Jagjaguwar, Numero Group, and Secretly Canadian. The event will feature loads of records to flip through and purchase, a DJ, and a decorated parking lot. Where better in town to host this event than Polyvinyl records? The pop-up shop will be in Polyvinyl’s parking lot at 717 S Neil St., running from 2-7 p.m. on May 6th, so mark your calendars.

Evolution Music Unveil The World’s First Bioplastic Vinyl Record: Evolution Music have unveiled the world’s first bioplastic vinyl record. The project aims to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to standard vinyl production, which produces an enormous amount of wasteful pollutants. Clash recently hosted a roundtable discussion on this very matter, with contributions from Greenpeace representatives and environmentalist Chris Packham, amongst others. As part of Music Declares Emergency’s Turn Up The Volume week 2022 an alternative will be introduced, driven forwards by Evolution Music. Seemingly the world’s first bioplastic LP, it aims to balance a sustainable lower impact solution to the toxic impacts of producing PVC vinyl while maintaining sound quality. Initial tests are positive, with Evolution Music building on the work of Kyle Devine (Professor of Musicology at the University of Oslo).

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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