In rotation: 6/17/22

Hightstown, NJ | Randy Now’s Man Cave Is About to Rock Hightstown, NJ: Hightstown is a town with a rich history. There are names on the buildings and streets that still have descendants living here. John and Mary Hight would be proud of how their little community has grown. So, it’s really not too surprising that a business that is all about preserving a time in history, like catching lightning in a bottle, would find the old Victorians lining the downtown streets nearby a perfect location. The Man Cave, now located at 119 Ward Street in Hightstown, NJ, is the brainchild of Randy Ellis. Ellis is a fourth-generation Bordentown resident. His resume is eclectic; former mail carrier, DJ, club promoter and band manager before adding the title of store owner in 2012 in his hometown of Bordentown. And like his resume, the stories Randy has from each chapter are equally interesting.

McKinney, TX | Vinyl is back and Red Zeppelin Records in McKinney is helping lead the way: We’ve come a long way since the days of excess hair spray and wild perms in 1986. Back then, Top Gun was a summer smash hit. The fearsome Mike Tyson was the talk of the sports world. Bon Jovi was unavoidable on the radio, no matter how hard you may have tried, and vinyl records sales were still strong… “We have teenagers that have started collecting. We have older people that maybe are getting back into it, or they got rid of their collection a few years and they’re wanting to do it again, so we have a variety,” Red Zeppelin Records owner Katie Scott said. Scott said that the store even recently celebrated its “biggest day ever” on April 23 during the national Record Store Day event. “We had the Taylor Swift seven-inch that came out, and so we had people lining up for that at 4:30 the day before and they spent the night,” Scott said. “And more power to them, I’m super proud that they did that because that’s what you do. I mean, that’s what I used to do as a kid. When you wanted concert tickets or whatever, you just camped out for it.”

German vinyl sellers to be hit by “exponential rise” in DHL shipping prices: Record shop owners are now coming together to petition the change that will come into place from July 1. Record store owners and distributing labels in Germany may run into problems in July when the cost of shipping vinyl-sized parcels will be amended by DHL. From July 1, shipping costs are set to change impacting the sales of 12-inch records, which could ultimately put many German stores out of business. Right now, posting one or two records from Germany to the rest of the world — including countries as far as Australia — costs just €5, which is subject to reach as high as €19.89 with tracking come next month. Sending a record to the UK could cost as much as €16.70. The cheapest option left, record store owners argue, is Päckchen M International, which could still cost two to three times the amount of Warenpost. “Currently, I can send two 12″ records to the US, Canada, or even Australia for €5. From July, that same parcel will cost €20 to ship,” says Andy Vaz, owner of German record shop Yore Store, chatting to Mixmag.

Dunedin, NZ | Record sales: Disk Den is more than just Dunedin’s longest surviving music album retailer. Hing and Noni Chin reflect on 45 years in the music store game and generations of customers tell Bruce Munro why Disk Den is an international institution. Hing Chin stands next to a display of vinyl album covers spanning divers centuries, continents and musical tastes. Behind him is a wall bearing hundreds of brand new, decades-old cassette tapes. Wearing blue jeans, a grey jersey and a quiet smile, Hing glances through to the other half of the large store where a solitary customer browses shelves of compact discs (CDs). ‘‘Record buyers are probably the best customers you could hope to get,’’ Hing says. He recalls one guy, in the early-1990s, who came into Disk Den and bought a double album. A couple of days later, the man returned with the records buckled. He said he had been sold ‘‘a dud album’’ and wanted his money back. Hing was baffled and asked the customer if he might have left the album near a heater or in the back of a car – anywhere it might have been exposed to heat. No, the man replied. ‘‘He was adamant and he was quite a big guy and I didn’t feel like arguing with him. So, I just refunded his money.’’

Collingswood, NJ | Vinyl Lives: Inner Groove Records of Collingswood, NJ Stacks 90% Vintage: Everyone has a favorite record store. When you walk in you know who is behind the counter, you know which bin is going to have your favorite records, and you know when they stock the new records. Record stores have been a staple in the music industry for years and have had the most turbulent journey in the business. When vinyl started to be sold in some of the largest retailers in the world (Target, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Nobles, etc.) they were bought in bulk and sold for cheap, and independent record stores took a massive hit in revenue. Yet, they have survived that. When digital downloads engulfed the music industry and iTunes was everyone’s first choice, brick-and-mortar stores never gave up. All their dedication and loyalty to the vinyl industry are now paying off in a big way. For the past decade, the sales of physical music have been on a steady rise. 2021 saw a new high for the “outdated format”. Vinyl and CD sales skyrocketed last year, vinyl sales bringing in $1 billion dollars in revenue by themselves, while 2021 also saw CDs make a huge comeback, shipping out 46.6 million units.

Record Store Day, June 18: the 44 best releases: June 18 is another Record Store Day? Well, not quite, but there are still queues to stand in and vinyl goodies to be had – and here are the best: We’ve only just finished replenishing our bank accounts from the Record Store Day celebrations that took place back in April, and yet here we are again. Drop Day Two. It’s not really the second Record Store Day of the year. It’s more of a second chance; a reaction to current pressures on manufacturing and shipping (we know of one reissue that was due for release in February 2021 but is now due to ship at the end of December this year), and it gives labels an opportunity to get delayed stock into the stores. Apart from that, it’s business as usual. Queues will form. Early risers will clean up. And the flippers will be out in force, advertising stock on eBay and Discogs at hefty mark-ups well before most of us have missed out on paying regular prices. Despite this, Record Store Day definitely remains A Good Thing. It’s the biggest day of the year for many independent retailers, and they’ve been hit particularly hard over the last two years.

UK | Sex Pistols singles owned by John Peel sell for £20,400 at auction: Rare records by the likes of The Smiths, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Nirvana also went up for sale. A pair of test pressings of a Sex Pistols single that were owned by the late DJ and broadcaster John Peel have sold at auction for £20,400. A sale of 200 items from the John Peel Archive, including rare records, personal correspondence and memorabilia, took place at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, yesterday (June 14), with total sales reaching £465,783. Peel’s pair of 1976 test pressings of the Pistols’ ‘Anarchy In The UK’ / ‘I Wanna Be Me’ single was the top-seller, going for a final price of £20,400. It had been estimated pre-auction that the lot would not sell for more than £8000. Other items that were sold at auction yesterday included an original demo cassette recorded by The Smiths in 1983 which contained a handwritten letter from the band (sold for £17,850), a signed LP copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s ‘Two Virgins’ (£15,300), and a 7″ copy of Nirvana‘s 1988 single ‘Love Buzz’ / ‘Big Cheese’ (£8,925).

Cambridge Audio’s New Turntable Can Stream Vinyl With Audiophile Quality Over Bluetooth: It hardly seems any time at all since I last reported on Record Store Day, the one day in the year when we celebrate the existence of stores selling all forms of music. Streaming music is convenient but there’s nothing quite like owning and buying music on physical media. It’s also a great way of supporting musicians. Now British audio brand Cambridge Audio has announced a brand-new turntable just in time to play some of that vinyl you’re going to be buying on Record Store Day. The new Alva ST extends Cambridge Audio’s portfolio of turntables to reach a whole new generation of vinyl lovers. The Alva ST can connect to traditional hi-fi systems or be used to stream vinyl wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones, speakers or even Bluetooth-enabled amplifiers. The belt-driven Bluetooth turntable will be available in time for Record Store Day’s second drop on Saturday 18th June. Designed and engineered at Cambridge Audio’s London HQ, the Alva ST is timelessly stylish.

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