In rotation: 7/29/22

San Antonio, TX | Best record store: Southtown Vinyl. The digital media boom has some folks convinced that physical media is dead and that streaming is the name of the game. Whoever subscribes to that notion clearly hasn’t checked out LP sales data lately — or visited Southtown Vinyl. The store provides a comfortable, spacious browsing experience. That’s vital because physically digging through stacks of records is a big part of the vinyl shopping experience. Customers praise the staff for being friendly and knowledgeable — qualities that can be hard to find in tandem at record stores. This year, Southtown Vinyl even unseated long-running champs Hogwild Records in this Best of San Antonio category. If that’s not enough to lure vinyl fiends, there’s a Daft Punk mural on the side of the building. Hard to go wrong.

Chicago, IL | Graveface Records And Curiosities Opens This Weekend, Bringing The Weird, Eclectic And Sometimes Shocking To Bucktown: The business includes a record store, John Wayne Gacy exhibit, horror shop, museum and arcade. It will also house thousands of items from former video store Odd Obsession. “This is going to be a jail cell.” Ryan Graveface is standing in the back room of a cluttered Bucktown store, describing what will soon be a recreation of where John Wayne Gacy spent his final days alive. The cell will display paintings, books and other items Gacy owned before he was executed in 1994, memorabilia Graveface has collected over the years as part of his research and interest in the infamous Chicago-area serial killer. The jail cell is just one part of a museum Graveface is building in his expansive store, Graveface Records and Curiosities, 1829 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is holding a soft opening Saturday.

Asheville, NC | Asheville FM’s Record Fair and record release set for Sept. 10: Continuing on the success of their previous Record Fairs, 103.3 Asheville FM announces the return of their annual event, partnered with the release of a local music compilation EP on a vinyl record. On Saturday, September 10, 2022, Asheville FM will host the Record Fair at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville (87 Haywood St, Asheville). The fair brings together an estimated 30 professional and personal vinyl record dealers and collectors in a single venue for an all-day record shopping experience. …“This is the best example of a community collaboration we could think of,” said KP Whaley, General Manager for Asheville FM. “It includes local talent, recorded locally, pressed locally, and promoted by your favorite local community radio station!”

Best Bluetooth turntables 2022: wireless record players for streaming vinyl: Beam your favorite vinyl to a wireless speaker or a pair of headphones. The popularity of vinyl continues and that means more and more people buying turntables for the first time or upgrading their existing record players. And one turntable feature that’s proving increasingly popular is Bluetooth. The best Bluetooth turntables deliver great vinyl sound from your deck to a pair of Bluetooth speakers or headphones, making listening to records – and building your vinyl system – easier than ever. How to choose the best Bluetooth turntable for you: As with any new purchase, you need to decide on your budget. We’d suggest limiting it to around a quarter of your system’s cost if it’s being added to an existing hi-fi set-up. With that in mind, make sure you read up on the sonic characteristics of all your components – even five-star products benefit from the right partnering.

Chicago, IL | Rescuing Paradoxx from the record collectors: This Chicago power-metal band deserve to be celebrated for something besides the fact that their 1985 EP has sold for more than a used car. …The fact that old records sometimes sell for wildly inflated prices makes it even more offensive that the musicians who made them—who could often really use the money—don’t see a cut from these secondary-market transactions. Albums that reach “holy grail” status among collectors are mercilessly bootlegged. I’m ranting like this because I’m writing about local band Paradoxx, who arose during the first flowering of U.S. power metal in the early 80s, bridging the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and thrash. Their 1985 EP Plan of Attak is one of the rarest and most valuable pieces of vinyl ever to come out of the stateside metal scene. From what I can see online, it sold most recently for $1,380 in November 2020. The EP traded hands for $4,100 in 2016, and the following year a signed copy went for a whopping $8,500.

UK | Harry Styles and Liam Gallagher’s albums top vinyl sales of 2022 so far: Harry Styles’ Harry’s House has sold the most vinyl copies in 2022. According to Official Charts on 14th July, the former One Direction star’s third studio album , which sees Styles in an upside down living room, has made an impact on his fans all over the UK, garnering him approximately 49,000 sales this year so far. In second place comes former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher’s third studio album, C’MON YOU KNOW, which has sold nearly 33,000 vinyl copies and follows his As You Were and Why Me? Why Not. LPs. The record, which includes the singles Everything’s Electric, Better Days and Diamond In The Dark was released on 27th May 2022 and features the Manchester rocker surrounded by a crowd of young fans on its artwork. Female duo and punk pop sensation Wet Leg – made up of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers – were next on the list, with their eponymous debut taking the third spot with approximately 20,000 vinyl so far.

What’s Really So Special About The Vintage Phonograph On American Pickers? History’s “American Pickers” has kept audiences tuning in week after week for a variety of reasons. For one, there’s the element of discovery that comes with it, seeing the show’s hosts go on treasure hunts to uncover any number of historical artifacts from the unlikeliest of places. Then there’s the price aspect since it’s always interesting to learn what some of these supposed pieces of junk are truly worth and what the “Pickers” crew are willing to pay. All the while, the items’ history serves as the driving force behind everything else. If it wasn’t for the lasting historical legacy of the items “American Pickers” features, the show wouldn’t be half as entertaining as it is. From run-down cars to important pop culture artifacts, the pieces they seek out all have a story behind them that’s worth telling and ties back to the modern day, which makes them the perfect focal point of the show. Not to mention, their backstories help educate viewers on all facets of history, especially those that they’re not intimately familiar with and would like to learn more about.

The Beatles remixes: Are they really better than the original records? Jay Jay French enlists Mike Portnoy for a deep dive into the remixed versions of ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ ‘The Beatles,’ ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Abbey Road’ If there was ever going to be a forensic review of the recorded Beatles music by yours truly, then now is the time. Why? Because the catalog has been going through a remix/ remastering period that began in earnest in 2006 with the Cirque du Soleil reconfiguration for the Las Vegas Love show, and then with the audacious reissue of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017 and continuing through with The Beatles (aka the “White Album”) in 2018, Abbey Road in 2019 and a reissue to coincide with Peter Jackson’s reedited Let It Be movie, Get Back. It should be noted that Let It Be was also totally remixed in 2003 as Let It Be…Naked. This was due to Paul McCartney’s particular distaste of Phil Spector’s over-production of the original studio album, which was officially the last Beatles studio album released but was actually recorded before Abbey Road. Much has been written and will continue to be written about how The Beatles came to an end. This, however, is not a story about that.

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