In rotation: 7/19/22

Sydney, AU | The Naked City: When too much vinyl is not enough: When the so called ‘vinyl revival’ became commonplace a few years ago, many were sceptical that it would survive. After all, the old analogue technology of a needle tracking into the groove of a disc made of polyvinyl chloride to produce a sound seems hopelessly out of date given the current advances in the digital world. Yet vinyl has not only survived, it has proliferated in a way nobody could have predicted. Ironically it now appears to have superseded the technology that once promised to make every 12 inch LP and 7 inch 45 a thing of the past – the now somewhat despised CD. Trawl through any Op shop these days and you will find shelves of unloved compact discs, most of them selling for a dollar or two. There’s the odd milk crate full of old vinyl but anything half decent has been spotted. Only the Roger Whittaker and Perry Como albums sit mournfully in the bin, destined to remain homeless forever. Whilst downloaded music via Spotify and the like is now essential for most recording artists, it’s become almost a status symbol for many performers to release a vinyl edition—often avoiding a CD release.

Spokane, WA | With ‘The Vinyl Hour,’ host Ned Bowen gets to share his love of music with listeners from coast to coast: Ned Bowen, 67, fell in love with radio at age 8 when his mother gave him her old Victrola AM radio/record player. “I grew up in the New York City area and there were so many great AM stations,” he said. “Then one day I realized I could call the stations and chat with the DJs! My musical education has truly been my lifetime of radio listening. By calling into the radio station during any particular show and talking directly to the DJ/programmer responsible for producing it, I’ve been able to speak with the ‘professor’ and learn directly from the masters themselves.” For 19 years, Bowen has given listeners the benefit of his musical knowledge every Thursday evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KYRS Thin Air Community Radio with his show “The Vinyl Hour.” He’s been with the nonprofit since its inception and has watched it grow from a tiny 100-watt enterprise to a robust 6,800-watt station.

Houston, TX | Houston record store celebrates DJ Screw’s legacy with slab parade, community party: The 20 or so slabs rolling down Buffalo Speedway on Sunday had a few things in common — spinning chrome swangas and fresh candy paint — but they also bore unique signifiers to make them stand out from the crowd. A one-of-a-kind hood ornament, maybe, or a personalized slogan written in neon on the underside of a popped trunk. Regardless of the personal stamp that each driver placed on their car, they were all gathered in southwest Houston for one singular purpose: to pay homage to “the originator,” DJ Screw, ahead of what would have been the late artist’s 51st birthday on Wednesday. The hip-hop sensation died on Nov. 16, 2000, at 29, from a reported codeine overdose in his recording studio Sunday’s Community Celebration and Slab Parade, the first that Screwed Up Records and Tapes has hosted, was the latest installment in the shop’s ongoing “Screw Week,” a weeklong tribute to the man who made Houston hip-hop a global phenomenon.

Derby, UK | Derby record store owner reveals how he’s kept his business going for 35 years: Dave Hill has run BPM Records from Derby for more than three decades. A Derby shop owner who quit his job at a solicitors’ firm before opening a record store has revealed how he’s kept his business running for more than three decades. Dave Hill, owner of independent shop BPM Records in Derby, has served the city with a passion for 35 years and attracts customers from all over the Midlands. Now BPM is still going strong, so much so that the lifelong music lover says he plans to renew his lease soon so he can continue to sell vinyl from his two-storey premises in Old Blacksmiths Yard, off Sadler Gate in Derby. “Derby has been kind to me,” said the 65-year-old. “I’ve moved shops a couple of times when different opportunities came up, but my customers have always been very loyal and followed me around. People come from as far afield as Sheffield and Nottingham to buy my vinyl and I think it’s wonderful to get that kind of support. I am enormously grateful to the people of Derby too.”

Asheville, NC | Session at Citizen Vinyl named one of Esquire Magazine’s ‘Best Bars.’ “Session” at Citizen Vinyl is named one of America’s “Best Bars” by Esquire Magazine. The bar is part of the revamping of the Asheville Citizen-Times building in downtown. The magazine article notes that, along with serving great drinks, the bar also offers the chance to hear the vinyl records made by Citizen Vinyl, which is also located in the building. The owner says the honor reflects his goal of making the historic building a gathering place. “To be recognized is really validating and affirming,” said Gar Ragland, Citizen Vinyl owner. “The vision that we hoped to create when we set out to establish Session at Citizen Vinyl is being recognized in the way that we hoped that it would be. Session at Citizen Vinyl is located on O’Henry Avenue, near the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville.

Midyear Music Report: U.S. Streams Rise a Solid 10.6%, Per Luminate; Latin and Country Heat Up, While Vinyl Growth Cools: Continued growth in streaming is delivering another upbeat year for the music business, both in the U.S. and globally, according to Luminate’s 2022 Midyear Report. The study also shows Latin and country continuing to gain ground in streaming, with Bad Bunny proving a catalyst for the former. But the report’s biggest surprise might be that a music configuration which has enjoyed more than a decade of growth could see its growth streak plateauing: the LP. With on-demand song streams showing a 10.6% lift over the first half of 2021 in the U.S., Luminate reports a 9.3% rise in U.S. Total Album Consumption (album sales plus equivalent revenue from song sales and streams) and a 12.4% gain in on-demand audio streams.

Shop Local: Here is a List of LA’s Finest Independent Bookstores: Calling all book lovers, here is a list of a few of LA’s local bookshops that you can support. The year 2020 was rough for local bookstores. Many independently owned bookstores were negatively impacted by the pandemic as businesses were forced to shut down and booksellers were struggling to stay afloat. Two years later, bookstores are making a comeback. We have compiled a list of a few LA bookstores that you can support. Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore was created by Luis R. Rodriguez, author of Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. He noticed that while the Northeast San Fernando Valley was giant, there were no bookstores or cultural spaces. So, he set out to create Tia Chucha’s which started out as a bookstore, cafe, and cultural center. This Latino owned independent bookstore sells culturally diverse books and holds events such as: author readings, film screenings, art exhibits, book clubs, and more.

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