In rotation: 2/24/23

UK | Record Store Day 2023: Here are 13 key releases available exclusively at this year’s Record Store Day – including Taylor Swift and The 1975: The list of exclusive releases to be launched at vinyl’s biggest day of the year has been released. Record Store Day has become a major event for vinyl lovers since the inaugural event in the US in 2007 sold barely more than 10 different limited edition pressings by artists including Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M. and Stephen Malkmus. Now over 200 independent record stores across the UK take part each year, selling thousands of copies of exclusive vinyl, from new releases to old classics. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 22, with queues expected to start outside Scotland’s music stores the evening before. With hundreds of limited edition records available to buy, we’re taking a look at some of the releases likely to be sought after – and how much you can expect to pay for them (using the Rough Trade store as a reference – prices may vary slightly between stores).

CA | When everything is digital, why we long for media we can hold in our hands: People are rediscovering the value of DVDs, records after years of digitizing everything: Struan Sutherland is a self-described “movie guy.” He started collecting movies on VHS as a teenager. Now, as an adult, he collects DVDs — and estimates that he owns about 500 of them. He’d own quite a few more, he says, except that he sells or gives away some movies he no longer likes. “I’ve always liked the idea of owning the movies I like; the ones that I want to watch over and over again,” said Sutherland, 40, from his home in Halifax. “Things come and go from streaming, so it’s nicer to just own the movies that you sort of identify most with.” It’s a feeling increasingly shared by consumers and collectors across Canada. After years of digitizing everything, people are rediscovering the value of physical assets. DVDs, vinyl records and film cameras are all experiencing a renaissance. Even cassette tapes are making a comeback.

Bloomington, IN | Growing pains—buried treasure: …I’ve observed that my generation hovers between comfortably situated nostalgia and the hustle toward the next great thing. We can either take our time, or we need it now, and we need it from Amazon. We hover between Goodwill and Shein. Between Spotify and Apple Music. Between quality and quantity. We teeter back and forth on a seesaw, contemplating worldly issues of great magnitude with poise, and those of small importance with aspirating anxiety. But almost everyone I know my age owns a vinyl record. This format of listening hasn’t gone away, and that’s for a reason. The record store is special, for one. The owners who you know and keep up with on social media. The rare, buried treasures that you find when you close your eyes and flip to an LP in the $5 crate. It’s more than music — it’s an immersive experience. It’s human connection through the higher entity that is music.

Mold, UK | Mold independent record shop going strong after 14 years: They say ‘if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’, and for one Flintshire businessman, it couldn’t be more true. Earlier this month, Colin Trueman celebrated the 14th anniversary of his Mold record shop, VOD Music, and he has no plans for the music to stop any time soon. The blink-and-miss-it shop on New Street is the smallest of its kind in the UK at 67sq ft but every inch is filled with vinyl, CDs, cassettes, books, merchandise and accessories. And of course you get the incredible knowledge of owner Colin. In his time with VOD Music, the 67-year-old has seen plenty of ups and downs in the industry but says the demand for vinyl is still there, and growing. This is no more evident than on the annual celebration of independent record shops, Record Store Day (April 22), when Colin will see a queue of customers lined down the street, all waiting patiently. And those customers cover a broad spectrum of ages and music tastes.

A Day in the Life: A Vinyl Record Collector: ‘Krazy Bob’ Foster is here to help you find music to soothe the soul. Bob Foster, owner of Krazy Bob’s Music Emporium in Langley City, is not your typical business owner. He’s a self-styled comedian who goes by the name “Krazy Bob.” His loud and boisterous personality has turned some customers off and formed decades-long relationships with others. Instead of suits, he has a rack of bright floral flannels. If he wants to leave early or stay late, he does just that. He even writes on the store’s Facebook page that his business is hard to describe. Foster thinks of his store as an experience — and he’s the conductor of that experience. He’ll introduce strangers to one another and invite people to play cards or watch him do a trick. “I say, ‘How are you doing? This is so-and-so,’” Foster says. “It’s like an Irish pub.”

The Velvet Underground LOADED (FULLY RE-LOADED EDITION) Set for Vinyl Debut: Lou Reed sang about the lifesaving powers of “Rock & Roll” on Loaded, his fourth and final studio album with The Velvet Underground. Since it arrived in November 1970, generations have been shaking to the album’s “fine, fine music,” experiencing their own kinds of musical salvation thanks to songs like “Sweet Jane,” “Head Held High,” and “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’.” Rhino spotlights Loaded with a new vinyl boxed set that includes nearly all the music from its expansive 2015 CD reissue, Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition. The forthcoming collection, LOADED (FULLY RE-LOADED EDITION), features nine LPs with stereo, mono, and “Full-Length” mixes of the original album, along with a generous selection of demos, studio outtakes, and live recordings. Several tracks from the set will be available on vinyl for the first time.

AU | $88 for a Harry Styles LP? We’ve reached our vinyl destination: In this column, we deliver hot (and cold) takes on pop culture, judging whether a subject is overrated or underrated. …I’m sure you’ve heard: the vinyl renaissance remains in full bloom. Each year we’re besieged by articles expounding the ever-burgeoning “vinyl revival”, mainly by old people so tickled that young people have latched onto their outdated technology. In Australia, vinyl sales have extended exponentially over the past decade. In fact, we haven’t bought this much vinyl since 1989. As of last March, vinyl remained the second-biggest mode of music consumption in Australia after streaming subscriptions, accounting for $30 million in physical music sales. And in the US, vinyl had its biggest sales week in more than 30 years in December, largely off the back of Taylor Swift’s Midnights, which sold more than 945,000 vinyl copies alone. (Taylor, pop’s pied piper, somehow convinced her fans to buy at least four copies each, which they could then rearrange into a clock.) I’m sure you found all those facts and numbers super exciting, but I find them sad. As, um, CeCe Peniston once sang (sort of): vinyl-ly, it’s not happening for me.

Audio-Technica AT-LP2022 60th Anniversary Edition Vinyl Record Player With a Transparent Design Unveiled: Japanese audio products manufacturer Audio-Technica is celebrating its 60th anniversary and to mark the historic milestone, the company has launched the Audio-Technica AT-LP2022 60th Anniversary Edition vinyl record player for the global market including China where its products are super-popular. The limited edition turntable will retail at 12,350 yuan ($1792) in China. The Audio-Technica AT-LP2022 60th Anniversary Edition vinyl record player has a body made of transparent acrylic. The disc body comes with a thickness of 30mm while the vinyl support place is 16mm thick. The device also comes with soft anti-vibration pads at the bottom which not only suppress vibration but also can be used to adjust the height and set the level of the turntable.

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