In rotation: 5/9/22

Here’s the Complete List of Record Store Day Exclusives for June’s RSD Drop: Titles from Nicki Minaj, MF DOOM, Voivod, Prince and more will hit the shelves next month. As a result of the ongoing production challenges the vinyl record industry presently faces, organizers of Record Store Day scheduled an “RSD Drop” date in June for titles that didn’t make it out of the pressing plant in time for the April event. Now, we have a clearer picture of the exclusives up for grabs next month. As previously reported, next month’s RSD Drop goes down June 18, packing shelves with a selection of titles that may have been announced for Record Store Day 2022, but were unable to be delivered in time for the special day.

Tokyo, JP | Music lovers may spend all day exploring this nine-floor Tower Records in Tokyo: Tower Records is a store, an experience, and sadly, something Generation Z in America will never experience. Unless they make a pilgrimage to Japan. Once an international powerhouse in retail music, Tower Records, founded in the United States in 1960, reached its zenith in the 1990s just as Gen Z was being born. Burdened with debt and besieged by competitors, Tower filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. in 2006. However, the Japan operation became independent in 2002 and today the landmark store in Tokyo is the flagship for more than 80 retail outlets. Its nine floors are worth any music lover spending an hour, an afternoon, or a day exploring. The store is just a short walk from Shibuya Station, across the famed Shibuya Scramble crossing. Step off the street past the “No Music, No Life” sign and into the first floor and you’ll find the newest music by the trendiest artists.

Burnsville, MN | Shop passes the Record Store Day test: The annual Record Store Day was Saturday, April 23, and Burnsville’s South Metro Music was prepared. Owner Kristian Marinello used online registration allowing 10 people in the store at a time. He scored 12 copies of a 7-inch single that RSD global ambassador Taylor Swift released just for the occasion. He was well-stocked with gaudily priced RSD exclusives past and present, such as the soundtrack from cult horror film “The Devil’s Rejects” pressed on orange and red-splattered vinyl. “We had more than 200 people in throughout the whole day,” said Marinello, who was experiencing his first Record Store Day as a shopkeeper. “I was expecting like 125, 150 maybe. But 200 was like, whoa. We did reservations instead of a big line. You’ve probably heard about Record Store Day lines. I hate waiting in line.”

Conception Bay South, NL | Flip Side: For the Love of Vinyl: Doug and Melisa Jones, operators of Flip Side Music + More and Record Fair NL, dive-in to their longtime passion & love of vinyl. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It has the innate ability to transport through time and space and to conjure up feelings we scarcely recall we had in us. But there it is, tucked away down deep, awoken by a sight, sound or smell. For many, music is a great binder, a changer and binder, an agent of togetherness. The vinyl record, for example, was the touchstone of a place and time that signalled the boom in musical innovation; the dawn of blues, the rise in heavy metal, birth of hip hop and emergence of the country music star. No longer is the vinyl record a figment of the past. No, the record is in, baby, and those in the know, know best that if you need that rare find or can’t miss hot product, you go to Flip Side.

Boston, MA | Deadstock and two smoking turntables: Good Taste Records in Boston’s North End: “It’s about reliving being in an old skate shop, being in an old record shop.” I could hardly believe my bloodshot eyes when Coty Smith first emailed me a few months ago. I’m opening a record store in the North End, he claimed. Madness, I thought. I checked out his online presence, and the plot thickened: Smith’s Good Taste Records is a leading supplier of hip-hop vinyl in particular, hardly typical paesano fare. But then I thought, You know what? Why the hell not? After all, it’s 2022. If there can be million-dollar condos on the waterfront where mobsters used to dump cadavers, then why shouldn’t I be able to grab Freddie Gibbs and Alchemist’s Alfredo after sucking down a bowl of fettuccine? And on those notes, I dropped in to pay Smith a visit before his opening last month. An abridged version of our interview follows

Searcy, AK | For the Record: The Best Places to Find Vinyl in Searcy: Whether you’re listening to Sinatra or Springsteen, an average day is always a little bit brighter when you’re spinning your favorite vinyl. When it comes to record shopping, Searcy has several hidden gems; especially if you’re looking for unique music at an affordable price. The Book Nest: Head downtown and get ready to browse! The Book Nest may be known for its aisles of pre-loved books, but their fantastic (and inexpensive) record collection is not to be overlooked! The Book Nest is a nonprofit organization benefiting Sparrow’s Promise and foster care agencies in Arkansas. When you check them out, be sure to give some vinyl a spin on their record player!

Newport News, VA | The Hampton Roads Record Riot! Are you into vinyl records? A giant record store lands in Newport News and you should come dig with us! Rock, funk, country, hip hop & more! Don’t miss the debut of the Hampton Roads Record Riot! Over 40 tables of LPs, CDs, 45s and more. Dealers from all over Virginia and beyond. Early admission starts at 8 AM ($10), with regular show hours from 10 AM to 5 PM. All types of records, from the rarest to common dollar LPs too. All genres from punk to funk to country and classic rock too. Don’t miss the fun vinyl dig in Newport News! See you in the dollar bins!

Boston, MA | Why it seems like everyone you know is buying vinyl and record players: Last year alone, vinyl sales spiked 61 percent, topping $1 billion for the first time in more than 35 years. Who’s driving the surge? Stuart Freedman, owner of Nuggets in Kenmore Square, has rarely ordered new releases on vinyl since the record store opened in 1978. The business is known for its collection of secondhand music — so stocking the shelves with the latest LPs never made much sense. This was particularly true in the 2000s and early 2010s, as more people began downloading, and then streaming, their music. A decade or so ago, however, Freedman noticed a change. “Kids would come in asking for Pink Floyd, so I’d point them to the CDs. They’d shake their heads and say, ‘No, the big ones. Vinyls,’” he says. “I guess they got sick of downloading, and wanted to have something real in their hands.” Today, the store is seeing a revival in its vinyl sales. “Young people come in looking for everything from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, to Miles Davis,” Freedman says. “Because of them, for the first time in a long time I’m ordering newer stuff like Adele.”

Putin’s export ban threatens Harry Styles’ vinyl album release and other music launches: A global shortage of Russian nickel due to the Ukraine war is threatening the production of vinyl albums by Harry Styles and Liam Gallagher. …Russia exports most of Europe’s nickel. But the price has soared by 250 per cent since March as supplies dwindle. The London Metal Exchange was forced to suspend dealing in the metal when a trading frenzy forced the price to record highs. Acutely aware of the West’s demand for nickel, also an essential element in electric car batteries, President Putin has already banned 200 raw materials Russia from being exported in retaliation for EU oil sanctions. While nickel has been kept off the list – for now – it is taken as implicit that any further deterioration in relations between Russia and the West is likely to see it added. The vinyl industry needs nickel for electroplating, a process which creates the A and B-side metal stampers for a record when the “master lacquer” is dipped into a nickel bath.

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