In rotation: 5/3/22

Isle of Man, UK | Continuing to break records: Last weekend saw the return of Record Store Day for analog music lovers the world over. And once again, the Isle of Man’s music community showed up for Sound Records by coming out in their droves. One keen customer was queuing outside the shop from 5.30am on Saturday to get his hands on the RSD exclusive 7” pressing of ‘the lakes’ and ‘the lakes (original version)’ by Taylor Swift. The song is a bonus track taken from her Grammy award-winning album, folklore, and it was so fiercely sought after that the pressing has already hit resale sites worldwide. Jack Doyle, owner of the shop said: ‘We were blown away, once again, by the support the island showed us for Record Store Day on Saturday. ‘The whole thing was a resounding success, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction. ‘It’s just so wonderful to see our shop full and thriving, queues round the corner, with everyone excited and chatting about music!

Suffolk, UK | Cheerful pre-loved record shop reopens in Felixstowe after funky refurbishment: “It’s big and bright -even if you don’t find something you want, you’ll still walk out thinking ‘yeah that was a cool place to come and visit'” A second-hand vinyl shop has opened its doors again with a brand new look and some cool vibes, after a turbulent few years during the Covid pandemic. Grooveyard Records in Felixstowe had its first weekend of business during the Easter bank holiday and owner Garry O’Malley was blown away by the “phenomenal” reception it had. The 53-year-old has always had a love for music and built up a record collection numbering in the thousands, however, in the 90s he got fed up of carting them from home to home as he moved around frequently. As CDs took over the music business he did what most other fans did at the time and sold the entire collection – something he kicks himself about knowing how much they’d be worth now.

Bristol, UK | Much loved record shop opens in new location: A record shop that had spent the last dozen years in St Nick’s Market has reopened in a new location just a few hundred yards away. Wanted Records now has more racks of vinyl and two listening decks as well as DJ sessions during late opening evenings. “We’ve been hording a fine selection of rare jazz, African, reggae and lots more so don’t miss out,” say the Wanted Records team. “We love it, we think you will too, see you soon.” They added on social media: “For those who don’t know (we haven’t really spread the word, but these things always leak), Wanted Records is moving. “After 12 years, we’re leaving the cosy environment of St Nicholas Market and braving the outside world. “The new shop is bigger and better and, according to Google Maps, approximately 70 metres from the old shop.”

Wilkes-Barre, PA | Downtown WB’s Musical Energi a must-see for vinyl connoisseurs: There’s a reason for the resurgence of the vinyl market: You just can’t beat that pop and hiss, perhaps a little static as your favorite A or B side starts spinning. For purists and audiophiles, this is common knowledge, though it’s not far-fetched to imagine the average enthusiast taking a listen and immediately agreeing. Luckily for downtown Wilkes-Barre, Musical Energi has been providing vinyl records (among many other lifestyle accoutrements) for nearly 37 years. Owner and dedicated vinyl enthusiast, Jay Notartomaso, 61, of West Wyoming (by way of Clarks Summit) has been passionate for his entire life. “I’ve been obsessed with records since I was four years old,” he said. “Like, most kids have a blanket at that age, but my hand was like, on the player.” Notartomaso said his father’s love of music inspired him and he ran with it. “Music is like my God,” he said.

Waterbury, CT | Do you remember Record Town in Waterbury? …My friend and I applied for jobs, and got hired. Record Town was a bright new construction at 939 Wolcott Street. It was in the Edwards/Toys R Us/American Steakhouse plaza, right next to Roy Rogers restaurant, and across the street from the Naugatuck Valley Mall. My first ever general manager, Ted K. was a great guy, and we unloaded around 200 boxes of cd’s, 45’s, cassettes, cassingles, Zero-stat record-zappers, and Rovio CD cleaners. The store had one of the first sticker-sensor alarm systems that I can remember, and we put these metallic stickers with very adhesive glue on everything. God, I can still hear that alarm beep, it was so loud when it went off. The worst though, was the cassette shucks, these heavy plastic contraptions that were ridiculously easy to break. We used to have to use a special orange key to slip them open. It was funny when the in-store music suddenly went off, and you could hear the 4 kids in the Rock cassette aisle breaking them open. We caught so many shoplifters.

Southampton, UK | The craft ale bar inside a former bank with DJs, a record store and street food: IT’S the aptly named craft ale bar on the site of an old bank which boasts DJ sets, its own record shop, delicious Mexican street food and a relaxed vibe. Overdraft on Shirley Road became only Southampton’s second micropub when it opened in 2015 inside a 110-year-old building complete with lots of original features including its own bank vault, which makes the perfect beer cellar. The focus ever since has been on high quality craft beer and music played by DJs on vinyl surrounded by collectables from the record shop. Overdraft’s exclusive Golden Ale, which staff worked closely with Southampton’s Unity Brewing Co to design, is a real crowd pleaser and makes up the majority of beer sales. The 11 other draught beers on offer on tap change daily. The bar hosts DJs every Friday and Saturday night, playing a range of genres on vinyl including soul, funk, disco and hip hop.

Lake Mills, WI | The Art of Living Dorkily: The RSD waiting game. There are very few things that will inspire me to wake up before 9 a.m. on Saturday. I like to have the opportunity to sleep in at least one day per week and figured Saturday is typically my best option. But last weekend, my alarm was set to start its obnoxious beeping a few minutes before 7 a.m. on Saturday. The reason? The 15th annual Record Store Day. RSD is the one day of the year (at least typically — last year there were three days held throughout the summer due to COVID) when people will line up outside of participating independent record stores and hope to snag exclusive titles. A friend once asked if RSD was like Black Friday. It’s similar to the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season in that people arrive early to stake out a spot in line. And the stores may offer sales on their regular-priced items. There are often even prize drawings. But, the two days are actually less similar.

Penarth, UK | Charity shop’s call for more vinyl records: Oxfam shop runs out of stock: The unexpected recent rise in the popularity of vinyl records has meant that the Oxfam shop in Penarth has run out of stock. The shop, which is proud of its music section, has built up a reputation for selling good quality second hand records at fair prices. This is only the second time in the last eight years that the shop has no vinyl to put out for sale. The shop sells records of all genres- pop, rock, folk, jazz, easy listening, punk and classical. They welcome vinyl in all formats – LPs, singles and 12 inch. Caroline Mumford, the shop manager, said “We are so grateful to all those local people who have made music donations over the years and without their support we could not offer our loyal customers such a choice. Unfortunately, at the moment our donations have dried up so we are appealing to anyone who has records that they no longer use – or which are upstairs in the loft – to consider donating them to Oxfam here in Penarth.”

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