In rotation: 1/18/23

Newcastle, UK | ‘No one’s fault’: Heartbreak as Newcastle record store famous for Sam Fender link forced to close: Beyond Vinyl has had many highs over the years, including that famous night when Sam Fender’s debut album dropped. As the clock turns midnight on Friday, September 13 in 2019, some of the first and keenest Geordie Sam Fender fans are queuing outside Beyond Vinyl in the Newcastle city centre. The independent store has cultivated a reputation as a gem of the Newcastle music scene but has had to take the “head over heart” decision to close. David McGovern opened Beyond Vinyl back in 2018 and despite five years filled with good memories, has been forced to move the store online as the cost of living bites. Remembering one of those highlights as the day Fender’s debut album Hypersonic Missiles came out. David said: “We approached Sam when the first album came out to do a signing and midnight opening, which he couldn’t make because of other commitments, but he was great.

Shropshire, UK | Record shop reopens at larger premises – and proves to be a hit with customers: The grand reopening of an independent record store has proven to be a smash hit. Saturday saw the grand reopening of Queen Street Records following a move to bigger and better premises. The store in Market Drayton moved up the road from number three Queen Street to 15A, a building four times the size of its first home. The building means the vinyl record store also now houses a cafe selling barista style coffee. Owner, Steve Ball, said re-opening day was a whirlwind. He said: “It was absolutely crazy, really busy. We’ve done a weeks’ trade in a day, it was absolutely non-stop!” Steve started the record business in lockdown, when it was a purely online venture. The business moved to number three in July 2021, but quickly outgrew the 18 square metre shop. Steve explained: “Our range just kept expanding and stock just kept growing, with customer demands the building had quickly served its purpose.”

Lancaster, PA | Longtime vinyl collectors open Etown Record Lounge in Elizabethtown: Selling a wide variety of vinyl records, Etown Record Lounge recently opened in downtown Elizabethtown. The record store at 9 S. Market St. operates out of a roughly 500-square-foot space where it has 2,000 to 3,000 records, including polka, jazz, classic rock, easy listening and death metal, among other genres. A lounge in a separate room has tables, chairs and couches, offering room for 20 to 25 people to browse and listen to music. Etown Record Lounge is owned by Ryan Reed and Tim Orth, who both have other jobs. Reed is a real estate agent in Elizabethtown with Realty ONE Group Unlimited and Orth owns Orth Plumbing in Mount Joy Township. Both vinyl collectors, the longtime friends conceived the idea for the record shop after discussing the idea over the course of three hours at Funk Brewing in Elizabethtown. Etown Record Lounge, which also buys records, takes a space previously occupied by the former Advocate newspaper.

Philadelphia, PA | This Couple Turned Their Engagement Photos Into an Excuse to Shop for Vinyl Records: They chose Long in the Tooth because it has a “stellar vibe.” We’ve waxed poetic about how pretty Philly is for all things wedding — but its restaurants and shops are pretty cool, too. This couple had the right idea when they took their engagement photos at a record store — Long in the Tooth in Rittenhouse, to be exact. M2 Photography snapped all the musical moments below. Their engagement-session approach: Because the couple enjoys checking out new-to-them record stores whenever they can (Cameron’s also a vinyl collector), they decided to use music as their starting point. They chose Long in the Tooth because they’d been there before and “thought it had a stellar vibe.” It’s also a short walk over to Rittenhouse Square and Delancey Street, where they wanted to snap additional portraits. “Including different aspects of the city was important to us,” says Abby.

Auburn, MA | Record Riot brings thousands of records, CDs, and other music to Auburn Elks Lodge: Many people get their music online through streaming or other platforms these days, but it was a blast from the past for local music fans in Auburn Sunday. Record Riot was held at the Elks Lodge for the third time. Vendors brought out their vinyl records, 45s, CDs, and there were even a few 8-track tapes to be found. There were several hundred, if not thousands, of albums up for grabs. Some were as low as a dollar, with some of the more obscure pieces fetching $1,000. The genres available spanned the music world, from rock and roll, to hip hop, to country. “Record Riots has been in existence for over 15 years now,” said event promoter, John Bastone. “Fifteen years ago, it was mostly collectors and there’s still lots of collectors in here right now. But it has become much more in vogue for the average person. We’re getting a lot more people who just got into it, just got turntables. We get families at our shows now. We’re getting a lot more people who just want to buy some records as opposed to just collectors now.”

Corporate Bullshit: The Vinyl Section at Target Only Had Stuff I Know and Like: Look, I know it’s a big corporate chain, but the vinyl selection at this Target is complete bullshit. Where are all the old, weird albums no one’s touched for forty-plus years? Where are the obscure bands that are obscure for very good reason? Where is the art?! All I see is stuff I know and like! I may be in my 30s with a career and a family and all that, but I’m still punk. Sure, I don’t have the time to drive into the city and flip through records for hours like I used to, but I still like to browse when I’m at Target picking up things for the house. And, yes, I’m grateful they even have a vinyl section. But if a Target employee doesn’t come over here in the next five seconds to judge me about what I’m looking at, I’m gonna have a full-on existential crisis. Look at this selection. It’s nothing but bands I grew up listening to, classic albums from before my time, and some newer artists that were influenced by a lot of the alternative bands I love. Basically, it’s all stuff I’d pay money for. Talk about a cash grab.

Middlesbrough, UK | Middlesbrough vinyl plant to double capacity: A record-pressing plant on Teesside is to double production after a successful first year in business. Press On Vinyl opened in Middlesbrough in early-2022 with the aim of producing 50,000 records a month. Co-founder David Todd said the continued resurgence of vinyl records was due to factors including collectability for fans and profit margins for labels. The firm has 28 full-time employees with plans to add to that number. Mr Todd told BBC Radio Tees the company’s first year had been “lots of fun, lots of hard work” with the popularity of vinyl “bouncing back big time”. “Streaming is such an important part of how people consume music these days – it’s fantastic, you’ve got every song you could want at your finger tips – but people like collecting things and having something tangible in their hands. “They like flicking through their collection, picking a record, looking at the sleeve and listening to it from beginning to end in the order planned by the artist.”

We love the VS-01 turntable: We love the VS-01 vertical turntable from CoolGeek which aims to bring back the golden age of vinyl. Producing professional sound quality as the record rotates under the carbon fibre tonearm. While most record players on the market are bulky and heavy, VS-01 comes with a lightweight silhouette. We probably like it as it’s an artwork in itself. The VS-01 the vertical turntable can play both 33.3 and 45 RPM records. The VS-01 can double as a Bluetooth speaker, while the system also carries a line-out mode that allows users to listen through wireless headphones. In addition to the different color variations, the upright turntable features four high-quality speakers with melodious treble, warm midrange, and surging bass. The VS-01 also includes a built-in 5W hybrid mid/tweeter driver and a 30W heavy bass unit. The record and tonearm are also placed upright to reduce the area of dust falling so that the needle is stable and does not slip during playback. The VS-01 comes equipped with a high-end danish needle head.

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