In rotation: 6/21/22

Record Store Day sends music lover back in time: Village Media writer takes a look at record collecting and a nearly 25-year journey to purchase one album. November 24, 1998 was a Tuesday. Like many Tuesdays as a teenager and throughout my 20s, I’m in line at a check-out with music in my hand. As I get to the counter of the HMV at Upper Canada Mall, I notice the same album I’m about to buy, but not on compact disc. There, perched above the cabinets behind the cash registers, is a vinyl copy. “Is that for sale?” I ask. It’s already been sold, I’m told. “But we can do a special order for you.” My eyes light up. I purchase the CD copy (to listen to in my Discman as much as I possibly could in the next few weeks) and gave my name and phone number to the clerk. I’d get a phone call as soon as it’s in. That HMV moved to two different locations during its remaining 15-or-so years at Upper Canada Mall. The special order never arrived.

Doylestown, PA | Teens find new interest in vinyl ahead of Record Store Day Drop: Inside Siren Records in Doylestown, you can find everything from oldies but goodies – to new smash hits. “I would say it’s a good, healthy mix of both,” says Heidi, manager at Siren Records. On Saturday, the store will hold its June Record Store Day Drop, a day when independent brick and mortar record stores across the country celebrate the release of exclusive, limited-edition vinyl records. “That energy of getting in the door and getting the super-rare, limited-edition titles, there’s only so many of each one, and that generates more than enough excitement,” said Blair Elliot, who owns Siren Records. Blair says the event will drop just 80 to 90 titles. There were up to 400 in the previous Record Store Day back in April. These are the ones that couldn’t make it at that time, thanks to supply chain issues.

Macon, GA | Fresh Produce Records moves to a new location on Cherry Street in Macon: The store is opening with a larger display of music selections and hopes to draw in more of the community. Fresh Produce Records has been a staple of downtown Macon for years and provides the community with access to a curated music selection. They officially moved from their old location on Martin Luther King Blvd. to a bigger storefront at 567 Cherry Street on June 16. The store has been planning the move for a while now, and manager William Rutledge thinks the increased foot traffic from being in a more central part of downtown will help the store thrive. “The best thing is that we’re in a better traffic area, and that allows us to expand our catalog of records,” said Rutledge. Because the number of people visiting the store will increase, the store will be able to order and hold more music based not only on demand but an expansion of different genres and tastes brought by listeners.

Palmerston North, NZ | Tunes and turntables: Vinyl-loving folks flock to annual record fair: Generations of vinyl-spinning music lovers packed shoulder to shoulder in Palmerston North on the weekend, hunting for the crackling sound of a favourite tune. More than 100 people hit the crates as doors opened on the annual Record Fair at Hokowhitu Bowling club on Saturday, hoping to find a beloved classic, or an introduction to something new. Sophie Sowry, 14, was busy adding to her collection as her mother, Jade, accompanied her. While her dad was on the sidelines of her brother’s football game, she had acquired about 10 records, largely for herself, but she was on the lookout for a few items her dad might love too. Sowry grew up listening to records with her grandfather and developed an appreciation for older music as a result. Her passion for vinyl began when her family received her grandparents’ turntable.

Hova, SE | Enthusiasts dug up vinyl records – Hova record fair back: Both outside and inside the halls at Regnbågsskolan, salesmen stood with their slopes filled with mainly vinyl records. I think it is the best record fair in Sweden. Foreign buyers also come in, which is nice. It is secluded in the country, which is why it is extra cozy, says Jacob Wallgren from Onsala. On Saturday he stood in a gym and sold records, the night before he had made record purchases at Otterberget’s campsite, where many visitors live and there is also business during the week. Roy Johansson from Lidköping has been involved in selling records at all 40 fairs in Hova. It is Sweden’s first, largest and best trade fair, he says behind the record slopes. Alf Ringhage, coordinator of the Hova record fair, points out that the Hova fair is certainly not the largest in the country anymore. But the other is true, he confirms with a smile.

London, UK | Stars descend on launch of Despicable Discs, the Minions: The Rise of Gru retro vinyl swap shop: With the new adventure taking our favourite yellow sidekicks back to the disco loving decade, the record store brings a funky edge to the area and the launch night saw DJ Woody Cook take to the decks, with Dancing On Ice skater Regan Gascoigne and YouTuber sensations Harvey and Max Mills, among others, dancing well into the night as well as enjoying the space’s “Minfinity” room, Swizzels game and copious photo ops. Opening to the public on Saturday 18th June for a week, Despicable Discs will bring a ’70s explosion back to Carnaby Street, with visitors able to swap their own records for groovy gems from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. All the discs received at the pop up will be donated to Oxfam. For those simply looking for a fun day out, the store will host an array of funky features, as well as having live sets from up-and-coming DJs.

Austin, TX | Do You Really Know Your Parents if You Don’t Go Through Their Record Collection? Who we are is what we listen to. I’ve made a 4 ft wide, 7 ft long landing strip of vinyl records on the living room floor. They range from Grateful Dead studio albums, to Grateful Dead live albums, to solo projects and collaborations from members of the Grateful Dead… one square is missing. My father is lost in the eyes of psychedelic bear. “Man that is a cool album cover,” he whispers with all the wonderment of a 22-year-old on a ten-strip of acid. Dad’s been inspecting the record sleeve for minutes from the big reclining chair, his giant hands grasping it like a sacred tablet. One peculiar thing about Bear’s Choice, which was released in 1973 by Warner Bros, is that the front looks like the back and the back looks like the front. The track listing is on the cover, which is a red, white, and blue kaleidoscope design with a steal-your-face skull in the middle. The back’s more fantastic.

Austin, TX | Austin record maker creates holiday bouquets with scrap plastic: Gold Rush Vinyl reuses plastic and imperfect records to create different DIY projects every few months. Gold Rush Vinyl presses thousands of records every year in nearly every color. “Ever since the pandemic, our color requests have flip-flopped,” owner Caren Kelleher said. “That used to be about 75% of all the records we made were requested to be black vinyl, and now its colored vinyl reflects a lot more of artists wanting to have different variations for their customers.” Before the pandemic, Kelleher could turn an order every six weeks or so. Now, the company is backlogged for months but still services clients faster than most large-scale facilities. With so many orders, each record produces waste as well. “On a really good run? We’re averaging about 3% waste,” Kelleher said. “On more complicated colors that require more setup, it can be as high as 20%. Most pressing plants average about 33% waste.” To deal with some of the excess plastic and imperfectly pressed records, Kelleher and her staff found a creative solution.

Buying Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ Box Set? You’ll Need a CD Player. Bey Hive, rejoice: a new Beyonce album is coming. This week, the music mogul announced her new record “Renaissance,” due July 29, on her Instagram, where she linked out to her website allowing fans to pre-order the album on their respective streaming services. Also for sale on her website is four boxed sets (dubbed “poses”) that include different variations of T-shirts, posters, a collectible box and a CD version of the record. The choice to drive physical sales by way of a collectible box (in CD form and not vinyl, no less) is unexpected but it does make sense considering the rumors that her mysterious new music is disco.

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