In rotation: 4/28/22

Houston, TX | Cactus Music, Houston’s oldest independent record store: Cactus Music Co-Owner, Quinn Bishop, discusses the history of Houston’s oldest independent record store and its special place in Houston’s music scene. Cactus Music is Houston’s oldest independent record store. Its origins trace back to Harold “Pappy” Daily’s outpost, Daily’s Record Ranch, which opened in 1946. His sons, Bud and Don Daily, opened Cactus Music and Record Ranch in 1975. Great Day Houston spoke with Co-Owner, Quinn Bishop, about the history of Cactus Music and its special place in Houston’s music scene. Known for its extensive collection of music, customers can purchase anything from vintage LPs to cassette tapes and CDs. The record store invites shoppers to explore as well, with music memorabilia, concert posters, and autographs covering the walls. Music fans can also enjoy special in-store events including album release parties, artist meet and greets, and live music performances.

Levittown, PA | After midnight, vinyl lovers crowd Levittown indie record store: As midnight approached, but before Jacky BamBam arrived to groove it up, a hundred people waited in the chill on the sidewalk outside Positively Records on Woerner Avenue in Levittown. It was Record Store Day, and to each person in line, vinyl records rule. “We’re here for Taylor Swift,” said Tina Cuddy, who had been outside the store since 9 a.m., with her daughter, Rachel, 18. Taylor Swift issued a special release of a clear vinyl 45 rpm disc of “The Lakes” (the B-side is another version of the same tune). Just 10,000 were pressed and only indie record joints like Positively Records received a copy or two. “Maybe they have two, maybe four, you can’t be sure except that it’s not very many,” Rachel said. To increase their chances of snagging the record, they waited 15-hours outside. “They’re just aren’t a lot of places like this, so when there’s a Taylor Swift release, you just expect a crazy line of fans…”

Milwaukee, WI | Punk Vinyl, Vintage Clothing and Hanging Out at Blast Radius: If it weren’t for the graffiti on the walls and the not-so-distant upbeat music growing ever louder as you ascend the stairs, you probably wouldn’t realize that you were about to step inside of a little slice of punk-rock heaven. Blast Radius is Milwaukee’s newest independent record shop, an unassuming DIY storefront run by three local musicians out of a studio space in Walker’s Point. Located at 536 W. National Ave., there are no signs out front indicating that you’ve come to the right place—a feeling reminiscent of DIY punk basement shows, where addresses are seldomly given out on show fliers. Instead, customers will check the shop’s Instagram page—@blastradiusmke‑for the store hours. A buzzer on the front door of the building will alert whoever happens to be working, and you’ll be let inside.

Erie, PA | Treasures of Erie: From antiques to vinyl records, see what people are collecting in the area: …Spinning records is not just a nostalgic way to listen to music. It hasn’t been for years. The popularity of vinyl records truly never went away for lovers of the analog music storage format. “It’s always felt more intimate. You couldn’t really take it on the go and you had to commit to it,” said Millcreek resident Larry Wheaton, a musician and longtime vinyl aficionado. “I always enjoy playing them and turning them over. For somebody who loves music, it’s a better way of doing it than making it just background noise.” Vinyl has been making noise now for more than a decade in Erie and throughout the world with a resurgence back into the mainstream. A once-dominant way of playing music, records saw fewer spins on turntables in the 1980s before the vinyl format dropped out of popularity in the ’90s. But it’s climbed back to relevance with collectors and casual fans.

Ottawa, CA | Driven by nostalgia and pandemic angst, vinyl thrives in the digital age — could CDs be next? Day after day, the folks at Glebe Video International can watch a steady stream of costumers enter the Compact Music store a few doors down on Bank Street. As vinyl record sales continue to explode — driven in part by the pandemic — Compact Music is flourishing while Glebe Video has recently relied on GoFundMe donations to stay afloat. Both businesses offer retro entertainment options, but Glebe Video is one of the few surviving video rental shops in the city, while there are 13 dedicated record stores in the Ottawa area. Consumers are emphatically supporting physical music, but not physical video. At least not yet. A collapsing economy during the COVID-19 crisis, a lack of disposable income among many consumers and surging streaming numbers did not stop vinyl record sales from reaching their highest point in 30 years in 2021.

Bob Dylan Has Re-Recorded Classic Tracks With T Bone Burnett to Introduce New Analog Disc Technology: Producer T Bone Burnett has long promised the development of a new analog format that he promised would improve on both vinyl and CDs, as well as digital streaming and any other existing recorded music medium. Now, he appears closer to reaching that goal with the news that he has been in the studio with Bob Dylan, re-recording some of the legendary singer-songwriter’s classic songs with the purpose of introducing the new ultra-high-fidelity medium. Details are scarce about when the Dylan recordings might come out — not to mention the new hardware that will be required to play them. But Tuesday’s announcement about the completion of Burnett’s heretofore secret recording sessions with Dylan is one intriguing way for the producer to tell the world that he means business with this new technological development.

National Review: The Endless Vinyl-Record Revival …There’s a paradox at the heart of this. Part of the vinyl revival comes down to the fact that the record business lost its reputation as a moneymaker, and so ambitious businessmen who wanted to make money from records left the trade. Now, enthusiasts, who only make money so they can keep making records, have taken it over. The product is often better — more-expansive liner notes, artwork, and better presentation. Not always (looking at you, Plain Recordings). But usually. And the CD revival seems like it isn’t far behind, either. Even the Super Audio CD, a format that never quite got the support it deserved, seems to be thriving in the hands of specialists, particularly in the classical-music space, which has embraced it.

Penrith, AU | Riding the vinyl revival: With reports of thousands of people lining up outside record stores worldwide last Saturday, April 23 for Record Store Day, it’s no surprise to hear that vinyls are well and truly in style. But, record collector and owner of St Marys Sound Centre, Neil Palmer, said that he doesn’t think they’ll ever go out of it. “Vinyl always sells,” he said. “I know a lot of blokes who do record fairs and stuff like that, and when you go to a record fair, whether it be Hurstville, Glebe, or wherever it may be, there’s hundreds of people there, always, lined up out the door.” Mr Palmer, who has his own personal collection of over 5000 vinyl records, bought St Marys Sound Centre on a whim almost five years ago. “I used to come in here and order records, but when I came in the last time, it said they were selling the place,” he said. “I was in between jobs, and I thought, okay, I’ll indulge!

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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