In rotation: 6/13/22

Vinyl’s new listener is not a snooty ‘vinyl-head’: Being into records is no longer the sole province of confirmed audiophiles and obsessive collectors. Bars and cafés are setting up turntables and welcoming the vinyl-curious dipping their toes into the cultural phenomenon. When Rohan Mehta was 18, a friend gifted him a Long Playing (LP) record of American folk musician Father John Misty’s 2017 album, Pure Comedy. Mehta had always been into music, gravitating towards indie rock, noise rock, post-funk and folk in his teens and gradually developing a fascination for physical music formats like CDs and audio cassettes—partly out of a love for retro stuff and partly a desire to “feel closer” to the music he liked. But owning a record for the first time and listening to it on his friend’s Audio-Technica turntable pretty much changed his life, quite literally.

Athens, GA | This Is The Best Place To Hunt For Records In Georgia: Hunting for records should be considered as a professional sport. There is a lot of consideration that goes into finding the perfect record to add to your collection. The condition of the record, the genre, and the price are just a few factors that go into finding the best of the best. Though Georgia is filled with great record stores, only one can be the best place to hunt for records. According to a list compiled by Livabilty, Athens, Georgia is one of the best places to hunt for records in the country. The best record store in all of Athens is Kindercore Vinyl. This store is known for the wide variety of genres that it houses as well as its record donations. Here is what Livability had to say about the best record store in all of Georgia

Gainesville, FL | Vinyl still spins at Hear Again Records: At 12 years old, Ethan Funk entered Hear Again Records for the first time. He remembers hearing the record “Broadway and 52nd” by Us3, a group known for its melding of jazz and hip hop, playing through the sound system as he browsed the store. Funk asked to purchase the record, and Andrew Schaer, the store’s owner, threw in a free CD copy of the band’s album “Hand On the Torch.” Eight years later, Funk has remained a faithful customer, only taking a break from routine trips when he found himself spending too much money. “(Schaer) is in it for the culture and for the scene as well, besides just a cash grab because records are trendy,” Funk said. “I can tell he really puts his heart and soul behind what he does.” As a local DJ and bassist of punk band The Real You, Funk is intertwined with two inherently opposite sides of Gainesville’s music scene. Without the constraints of a specified genre or vibe, Hear Again operates similarly.

Chicago, IL | This Is The Best Place To Hunt For Records In Chicago: Hunting for records should be considered as a professional sport. There is a lot of consideration that goes into finding the perfect record to add to your collection. The condition of the record, the genre, and the price are just a few factors that go into finding the best of the best. Though Chicago is filled with great record stores, only one can be the best place to hunt for records. According to a list compiled by Livabilty, Chicago is one of the best places to hunt for records in the country. The best record store in the entire city is Reckless Records. This record store is known for selling some of the highest quality vinyl in the country. Here is what Livability had to say about the best record store in all of Chicago

Durango, CO | Sticky Fingers: Toast offers vinyl, live music & baked goods (with a nod to Rob) John Peel, the longest serving DJ on BBC 1, once said, “Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl, because they don’t have surface noise. I said, ‘Listen mate. Life has surface noise.’’’ Here’s to the surface noise we find in each of our lives, dear readers. Those pops and hisses of grief and change are an invitation to reexamine what makes life worth living and what we want to be doing with our finite time in this life. For my money, nobody better embodies this spirit of self-reflective, hardworking grit than the husband-and-wife dream team of Josh and Kyra Bensik, visionaries behind Durango’s Toast Records and Bakes at 643A Main Ave. In the ashes of losing Kyra’s mother to cancer and trying to create a sustainable path forward raising a family in Durango, they have invented a unique recipe of record store, bakery and intimate listening room, with performances from some of the hottest rising stars in Americana and folk music to date. All from scratch and made with love.

San Diego, CA | First Look: Part Time Lover: Consortium Holdings’ hi-fi, analog music wormhole (with cocktails) lands in North Park. Part Time Lover is now open in North Park. Elevator pitch might be: a hi-fi listening bar and record store with cocktails from some of the best drinks minds in town. But, like all things Consortium Holdings, it’s less a bar or a record shop than it is an alternate world. And it keeps an iconic spot rooted in local culture. When Bar Pink closed in this space in 2020, a decent chunk of North Park’s soul went with it. Co-owned by Dang Nguyen and John Reis (lead singer of Rocket from the Crypt), Pink was a shadowy, cavernous dive that music lovers flocked to for atomic-strength pours, red vinyl booths, and $2 Tecates. Locals worry when a place like this is lost. We worry the memories of that room will fall into the hands of people who don’t know the history, or who can’t be bothered with silly things like “roots” or neighborly wants and desires.

Portland, ME | After 33 years in retail and 18 years on 207, the founder of Bull Moose is moving on: Now it can be told: He nearly saddled his business with a truly preposterous name. In 1989, as a 20-year-old student at Bowdoin College, Brett Wickard opened a record store in Brunswick. “The big question is, what do you name the business?” Wickard told me in 2009. “A lot of friends said you should name the business Wickard’s Wecords. It was really, really, really close to being called Wickard’s Wecords.” Happily, that name did not make the final cut, and from that first modest store, Wickard built the retail chain that’s been known since then as Bull Moose. Now, 33 years later, he has sold the business to its employees and is stepping away from active management, although he’ll stay on as chairman of the board. Since 2004, Brett has also appeared regularly on 207. For years he and Chris Brown—the first employee hired at Bull Moose—joined us every other week to discuss new music, videos, and more. Along with reducing his workload at Bull Moose, Brett is now stepping away from 207. But we didn’t want to let him go without giving him a proper farewell.

NZ/AU | Ardern’s fiance takes swipe at Albanese’s outdated music taste after leaders exchange records: ‘What is this, 2004???’ Clarke Gayford posted in response to Australian PM’s gift of Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powderfinger albums. Jacinda Ardern’s fiance has taken a cheeky swipe at Anthony Albanese’s music taste after the Australian prime minister and his New Zealand counterpart exchanged records during the pair’s first face-to-face meeting. Ardern and Albanese, who have both moonlighted as DJs in the past, made the customary display of gift-giving at their first meeting since the federal election in Sydney on Thursday, with both opting for the high-risk, high-reward gift of music. Both selected homegrown artists, with Ardern receiving Powderfinger, Midnight Oil and Spiderbait, while Albanese was gifted Aldous Harding, the Clean, Reb Fountain and punk compilation AK79, all from Flying Nun – the New Zealand record label synonymous with “cool.” “[Albanese] was kind enough to gift me Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powderfinger on vinyl, so we left him with a few Flying Nun treats in return,” Ardern said in an Instagram post.

Ikea announces record player that might actually make it to stores this time: Designed in collaboration with Swedish House Mafia. Ikea, which has never been scared to dive into new product categories, has announced plans to release a record player as part of its new Obegränsad collection this fall. The record player was designed in collaboration with house music supergroup Swedish House Mafia, and has a chunky design in line with a lot of the other consumer electronics Ikea has produced. Alongside it, the Swedish retailer has also announced an armchair and desk as part of the collection. This technically isn’t the first record playing device that Ikea has announced. Way back in 2018 it announced a turntable made in collaboration with Teenage Engineering that it hoped to release the following year. But according to a Teenage Engineering support page, the player never made it into the final collection.

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