In rotation: 7/26/22

Eight Isle of Wight, UK | Eight Isle of Wight record shops for new and preloved vinyl: Record shops are the height of retro cool and where better to snap up vinyl than on the Isle of Wight? The industry celebrated its 14th consecutive year of growth in 2021 and records are flying off the shelves and onto our turntables – which these days come with helpful USB connections and built-in speakers. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), more than 5 million vinyl LPs were sold last year. It made 2021 the biggest year for record sales in three decades. Whether its for latest releases or preloved gems, the savvy shopper can be be found hunting through boxes of records, which range in price according to their condition. The Isle of Wight boasts perfect places to lose yourself among classic artwork and decades of music development. Here are eight Isle of Wight record stores to while away a few hours, as you search for your favourite 7″, EP, or LP…

St. Petersburg, FL | St. Pete artist Steve Madden is bringing flair to the bins at Daddy Kool Records: He’s brought life to the plain, white, thick plastic sheets the shop uses to categorize and separate its stock. If you’ve recently visited Daddy Kool, St. Pete’s premier record store located at 800 28th St S at The Factory, you’ve probably noticed some pretty eye-catching and artistic divider cards, colorfully indicating individual artists’ sections while browsing. The store’s manager and resident music expert, Manny Kool, enlisted the services of local artist Steve Madden to bring artistic flair to the plain, white, thick plastic sheets the shop uses to categorize and separate its stock. Madden, who is also a devout music lover, told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay how the partnership came about and how he approaches each and every mini-art project he cranks out for usage around the record store.

Los Angeles, CA | Time Collapses In Dave Muller’s New Record Store Pop-Up: The artist has opened his second record store pop-up as the centerpiece of his recent solo exhibition. In the spring of 2017, the L.A.-based artist Dave Muller and local record purveyor-turned-music producer Ethan Swan created the P&B Records shop at The Meow, a pop-up exhibition-retail space for artist-run businesses located inside a backyard shed at the Mt. Washington home of Angeleno artists Lisa Anne Auerbach and Joel Kyack. “It was so popular it scared them. They were afraid too many people were gonna start showing up, so now it’s just a kind of yoga cottage,” Muller says with a laugh during a call from a road trip the week after he opened his second record store pop-up. This one is the centerpiece of his recent solo exhibition, Sunset, Sunrise (repeat) b/w The Record Pavilion, in the upstairs gallery of his L.A. dealer, Blum & Poe. “It’s kinda like the record store I’d like to go to, combined with an art installation that still works as a record store,” he says. “But I can paint on the ceiling, paint on the walls, all that stuff.”

Selangor Darul Ehsan, ML | Here’s an event celebrating music collector culture, vinyl lovers: The inaugural Kena Sound music collector culture event at Nero Event Space, PJPAC, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya on Aug 6 promises a day out with a difference for music lovers who have not lost faith in physical music formats. It’s an event to celebrate listening to music via a physical format, notably vinyl, CDs, cassettes and more. Organised by the Kena Sound Crew (a collective of music lovers) and supported by PJPAC, the independent event aims to broaden and liven up the record-buying experience and give music collectors an opportunity to interact with kindred spirits and discover new developments in this niche music collecting scene, which is being propped up by independent record shops and online sellers nationwide. “…“Kena Sound is about bringing back the fun when it comes to music collecting. It will be presented in a laidback setting, with music conversations (on stage), pop-up music stalls, record shop storytelling, video screenings, open turntable sessions and more…”

Asheville, NC | From the studio to the store, Citizen Vinyl is a one-stop shop for recording artists: Citizen Vinyl opened in October of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We decided to open the doors for business just to move forward and start even though it was a very challenging time,” founder and CEO Gar Ragland said. Located in the historic, former Citizen-Times building in downtown Asheville, Citizen Vinyl has three record presses on site. From the studio to the store, Citizen Vinyl is a one-stop shop for recording artists. “We’re a relatively small operation,” Ragland said. The vinyl records are made from PVC vinyl and are formed between two stampers. “This is what contains all of the sound information that is pressed into the record,” Ragland explained. “So, whereas the final record that you listen to on your turntable at home has a small groove that your needle follows on the turntable, this is the negative of that.”

This crazy Yamaha concept turns your smartphone into a turntable: A ‘record player’ like no other. You can already turn your smartphone into a guitar amp and a recording studio, so why not a turntable? Enter the Yamaha Design Lab TurnT – a hipster-friendly portable speaker that has a ‘stylus’ but doesn’t actually play vinyl. Rather, it plays virtual vinyl platters displayed on your phone’s screen. The idea? To bring a touch of analogue cool to digital music services such as Spotify. Simply drop the (faux) needle onto the (virtual) wax and you’re away. You can even swap albums by swiping your phone’s screen, as per this demo video… The TurnT isn’t the only piece of conceptual ‘audio art’ to have come out of Yamaha’s lab. The zany device is part of a four-strong collection of “new music devices” dubbed “Stepping Out of the Slate”. All four are designed to work with smartphone apps, thus adding some tactile pleasure to today’s graphical user interfaces.

The best concept albums of all time: The concept album is something that continues to span all music genres. Some tell a continuous story, while others use each song to contribute to an overall theme. Regardless of the path that is taken, the process can be arduous and has even been known to tear bands apart. However, the end result is usually pretty memorable. Here’s our list of some of the more notable concept albums ever made.

Ebay auction results in a record deal for San Francisco New Wave faves The Lloyds: The LP “Let’s Go, Lloyds!” – just released on Projectile Platters and streaming on all major platforms – is likely the first and only record deal that happened because of an Ebay auction. The Lloyds (aka Lloyds) were a vibrant power pop quintet that filled San Francisco Bay Area nightclubs from 1978-1984. Fronted by powerhouse singer Lulu Lewis, the group was lauded for writing catchy, dramatic songs and being one of the most entertaining, exciting bands on the New Wave scene. From a 1981 Billboard review: “Lloyds, a double-guitar quintet fronted by a lead singer who calls herself only Lulu, turned in a fabulous set that proved the group to be one of the best ensembles on the local scene. The sound is a penetrating, exciting mix of ‘60s girl-group passion and ‘80s new wave attitudes, with Lulu delivering a string of superlative original tunes with a voice that would stand up in a hurricane.”

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