In rotation: 1/11/23

Norwish, UK | New punk record shop Dirt opens in Magdalen Street, Norwich: A man who runs his own record label is giving the city’s punks a place to hunt for vintage albums by opening a dedicated record shop. Mark Blenkiron opened Dirt during the first week of December and it has already proven a hit with local music lovers. The shop, located under the flyover on Magdalen Street, sells a selection of vinyl and CDs. It also has rails upon rails of band t-shirts featuring groups ranging from The Cramps to Can as well as pin badges. Mr Blenkiron is no stranger to the punk and noise scene having worked in Piccadilly Circus’s legendary Tower Records for eight years in the 1980s as well as running his own record label and independent radio station, Rebel Radio. During the 1990s Mr Blenkiron also used to drive bands and their equipment around the UK, including the groups Jesus Lizard, the Fleshtones and Terminal Cheesecake. He previously sold records and t-shirts online but wanted to give people a chance to pick up memorabilia from obscure bands in the city.

Cedar City, UT | Vinyl records increasing in value, Cedar City record store confirms: Vinyl records were outmoded by CDs in the late 1980s. Most of us traded in our LPs or donated them. But now they may be round black gold. The sound of a needle hitting a record groove is known by 18 year-old Jonathan Maldonado. “I have a record player with big old speakers in my room,” said Maldonado. “I have a bunch of vinyls, and they’re really fun to put it on while I’m doing homework.” Vinyl sales have been climbing since 1986, but Speakergy.com says they spiked 51% last year, when CDs went up one percent. Vinyl doubles digital downloads, bought by as many 25 year–olds as 55 year–olds. Fourteen year old Brianna Maldonado also buys records at Groovacious Records in Cedar City. “It’s really cool, I like coming in and seeing all the music stuff,” she said.

Elizabethtown, PA | Brand new vinyl record lounge opens in Lancaster County: A brand new vinyl record store called E-town Record Lounge had its grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 17. The E-town Record Lounge is owned and operated by two local friends and vinyl record collectors, Ryan Reed and Tim Orth. According to Reed, the idea for the new vinyl record lounge came from the two partner’s passion for vinyl record collecting, as well as both of their older son’s love of music—specifically, jamming out on the drums. Reed and Orth both have experience with owning their own perspective businesses—Orth owns a local plumbing business, whereas Reed has had about 15 years of experience in retail and currently works in real estate. “We both have careers, owning this record shop is not a job for me—this is about having fun!” Reed exclaimed.

Boston, MA | Greater Boston is feeling the post-pandemic vinyl boom: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The COVID-19 pandemic sent the music industry spinning. Tours went out the window. Meticulously-planned festival sets and appearances were cancelled and never rescheduled. Album rollouts turned upside down and fell flat. It was a disorientating time, to put it mildly. Nearly three years after the beginning of the pandemic, much of the business has thankfully shifted towards a new, more stable normal. But one section of the industry never stopped spinning, literally: Record lovers are still boosting vinyl sales. …An increase in vinyl sales from the pandemic, probably the only positive thing COVID-19 did for the music industry. As it turns out, Residency’s relocation was just the beginning. Two more well-loved shops, Wanna Hear It and Stereo Jack’s, entered prosperous eras this fall at new locations, and longtime Massachusetts punk label Bridge Nine Records has touched down with a physical shop in Beverly—all in the span of one fall.

Lincoln, UK | Lincoln museum to host first record fair with vinyl artwork exhibition: Pick up your favourite records on vinyl or rediscover some bygone classics at The Collection Museum’s Record Fair on Saturday (January 14). Featuring stalls from local record sellers, the free-to-enter Record Fair will be a first for the museum, on Danes Terrace in Lincoln. The market event coincides with their ‘Best Art Vinyl; album artwork through the ages’ exhibition, which celebrates the very best vinyl album art from the last 70 plus years. Jenny Gleadell, exhibitions officer at The Collection Museum, said: “The Best Art Vinyl exhibition has been a real hit with visitors; some have been reminiscing about the classic albums of their youth, whilst others have discovered new favourites. I’m sure it has even inspired a few of our visitors to dust off their old vinyls, or even start a new collection.

IE | The next generation discovering the joys of vinyl: ‘I like all older things, old movies, old music.’ We are in the throes of a vinyl revival – a revinyl, if you will – that has seen sales of the flat, grooved platters rise, particularly among teenagers. Many, many Christmases ago – December 1972 to be precise – a family friend arrived at our house with presents for me and my siblings. Not sure what to get me, but knowing I was into pop music, he had gone into Murray’s record shop in Dún Laoghaire and bought the top five chart singles of the day. I was presented with a handful of brand-new seven-inch records in their crisp paper sleeves, and my face lit up with delight. The songs weren’t exactly the pinnacle of pop perfection – the top singles then included Slade’s Gudbuy T’Jane, The Osmonds’ Crazy Horses and Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Clair – but I happily played them to death on the gramophone all through Christmas. Fifty years later you’d think the last thing a young person would be putting on their Santa list is a vinyl record, but you’d be wrong.

Tokyo, JP | Listening bars around the world influenced by jazz kissa culture: Jazz kissa, or cafes with extensive collections of jazz records and high-end audio equipment for playing them, originated in Japan. Now listening bars, influenced by the culture of jazz kissa, are opening up worldwide as cozy places to enjoy music. Jazz bars and jazz cafes in the West typically feature live performances. This seems to have made the jazz kissa arrangement, of listening to jazz recordings at bars, a novelty for people outside Japan. The setup allows customers solitary experiences, a draw during the pandemic. Jazz and funk records turn out tunes at New York’s Eavesdrop listening bar. Customers look relaxed as they silently listen to the music. Dan Wissinger, an owner of the bar, which opened in March, learned about jazz kissa on YouTube about five years ago and decided to open a bar himself. “I think what’s interesting is the respect for a record that I’ve heard happens in Japan,” he said.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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