In rotation: 5/4/22

Guelph, ON | Guelph record store raffles off exclusive Taylor Swift release: May 7 draw will support the Bench’s downtown outreach activities. Taylor Swift fans have an opportunity to win a coveted limited-release record while helping people in need in Guelph this week. Royal Cat Records has acquired two copies of Swift’s “the lakes,” which it is raffling off in support of the Bench, a downtown outreach project that provides food, personal care items and more to people in need. In an email, Royal Cat owners Kara and Bryan Munn said Swift released a limited run of the song in honour of Record Store Day on April 23, but none of the 10,000 copies reached Canada before that date. “We received a deluge of calls from fans desperate to buy the record,” the Munns wrote, adding that copies are selling for more than $100 online. The seven-inch record features two versions of “the lakes,” a song from Swift’s Grammy-winning album folklore. According to the RSD website, it is the first time “the lakes (original version)” is available on vinyl.

Bordentown, NJ | Randy Now’s Man Cave Leaving Bordentown, Here’s Where He’s Going: Randy Ellis, better known as Randy Now, a former U.S. Postal Service employee who knows how to rock the house, is moving his niche record store Randy Now’s Mancave from Bordentown to Hightstown. Ellis, the former promoter at the legendary New Jersey punk and underground club City Gardens in the 80s and 90s, eventually went on to open a subculture-themed record and collector’s shop in downtown Bordentown. Now, as records are becoming more popular and coming back into style among young and old music fans alike, Ellis announced he is moving his store on June first a bit further north. …Randy Now’s Man Cave is scheduled to open at its new location in June. Until then you can catch up and relive old memories with Randy at his Bordentown shop and check out his huge collection.

Partisan’s Jeff Bell on Fontaines DC and why indie retail is key for reaching No.1 …Fontaines DC also made No.1 in the vinyl albums chart with Skinty Fia, which opened with total sales of 19,983, including 12,387 vinyl copies, 4,262 CDs, 788 cassettes, 919 downloads and 1,626 from streams. It marks another independent LP triumph on the weekly albums rundown, following No.1s from acts including Wet Leg, Don Broco, Central Cee, Stereophonics and The Wombats. “…“Indie retail has always been the lifeblood of the independent sector, and will always be part of the story for artists like Fontaines DC and their fans. Being able to partner with stores to allow those fans to experience the band in smaller settings just brings that back to the forefront. That level of interaction is also something that has obviously been missed over the last few years…”

Washington, DC | The Untold Story of the White House’s Weirdly Hip Record Collection: Jimmy Carter’s grandson is unlocking its mysteries. One of the perks of being Jimmy Carter’s grandson is that you get to attend the family’s annual trip, a gathering for the whole extended Carter clan that’s organized by the former President and First Lady. John Chuldenko—whose stepfather is Carter’s son Jack—loves to attend these events, which might involve fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or lounging on a beach in Panama. Much of the time is passed just hanging out, chatting, exchanging old stories. It was during one such sojourn that Chuldenko first heard about the record collection. His uncle Jeff was talking about an incident that happened during a White House party back during the Carter administration. Jeff—Jimmy Carter’s youngest son, who was in his twenties at the time—was hanging out upstairs in the residence with some friends, blasting a Rolling Stones album. Suddenly, the door flew open and there stood Rosalynn Carter and Second Lady Joan Mondale, who reacted to the music with— “Wait, what do you mean there were records there?” Chuldenko wanted to know.

Copycats Media Will Manufacture Vinyls in Osseo: The music-focused division of Plymouth-based ADS Group plans to open a vinyl pressing plant this summer. National manufacturers of vinyls, CDs, and DVDs, Copycats Media this week announced plans to set up a new vinyl pressing plant in Osseo, Minnesota. Copycats is a division of Plymouth-based ADS Group, a company that manufactures optical and vinyl media and print. The 65,000-square-foot pressing plant will begin with five record presses, with plans for 10 total within the next three years. “Our company’s been in this business for 33 years,” said ADS Group chief operating officer Connie Comeau. The company started out producing CDs and DVDs. But now, it’s tackling “a technology that’s older than those two,” Comeau said. “It’s a new process, a new learning curve. The technology has modernized. This equivalent is essentially modernizing controls that make it easier to manage from a manufacturing standpoint.”

San Antonio, TX | Young San Antonio couple to open St. Paul Square coffee shop for vinyl lovers: There’s a new coffee shop brewing in St. Paul Square, but the owners are no strangers to the Espee-adjacent neighborhood. Vice Coffee is the passion project of Vincent Guerrero and girlfriend Jonabelle Timms, the esthetician responsible for the Tik-Tok trendy Beauty Haus. The couple’s second business is expected to open in early June of this year. San Antonio’s newest coffee hangout will be located on the first floor at St. Paul Square, just a stairwell away from Timms’ beauty studio, which opened to great success in fall 2021. Guerrero, a vinyl lover with a background in coffee and bar tending, wants to make the shop something of a music lounge, with more developments to come down the road. “I want to make it basically a one-stop-shop where I can go maybe grab a cup of coffee and while I’m there, browse and find a record that resonates with me and I don’t have to leave to enjoy it,” Guerrero shares. “I could just take a seat, sit down at a record listening station and get the full experience. For me I think that’s the main point of this shop.”

Record labels’ 7 year law may be coming to an end: Record labels can currently keep artists signed for up to 7 years even when they are not allowing them to release records. However, that may be changing soon… If you ever signed a deal with a record label based in California and took a good long look at the contract you were probably surprised to see that, if the label so desired, you were stuck with the label for at least 7 years and probably more if the label desired. The labels argued that since there were a lot of up front development costs in the artist, it took that long to recoup their investment. While that may have been true back in the days when CDs and vinyl ruled, that certainly doesn’t apply today, and a new California law takes a different look at the 7 year law to determine if it’s reasonable or not.

Dalton, MA | Hundreds of music enthusiasts gather in Dalton in search of classic vinyl records at first Central Berkshire Record Show: Denise Sperling reminisced as she flipped through the albums one by one at the vendor table of Scott Burke from Troy, N.Y. “This is very nostalgic, it reminds me of my youth,” said the Brooklyn, N.Y., native now living in Lanesborough. Accompanied by her dog Presley, named after Elvis Presley because the canine was born in Memphis, Tenn., Sperling talked about her collection of LPs (long playing records for those too young to know). “I have about a thousand albums, some I’ve had as I grew up, others are replacements. I got back into [vinyl] about 20 years ago as I’ve always had a turntable” she said. “People come over to listen, read the back of the album, they really get into it.” Sperling was among the hundreds of music enthusiasts on Sunday who picked through crates and cardboard boxes of vinyls at the first Central Berkshire Record Show.

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