In rotation: 2/27/23

Katy, TX | Husband and wife approach 30 years operating downtown Katy shop, Limited Edition Art & Antiques: Having been in business for nearly 30 years now, Limited Edition Art & Antiques has served as a one-stop shop for a host of vintage antiques, vinyl records and posters. “When we started, it was just me. I did artwork on furniture and did murals and paintings,” said Elizabeth Proctor, owner of the Katy-based shop. It was not until her husband, co-owner Harry Proctor, retired from the oil and gas industry in 2009 that they introduced poster and art restoration as another facet of their business. As their services expanded, so did the model of their shop. What started as a small, single-room business that displayed art works and antiques now includes a middle section for vendors, and a large back room that contains an array of posters, vinyl and even more antique relics. “We’ve been married 40-plus years,” Harry said, “Before we were even married, we’d fantasized about having an antique shop.”

Nairobi, KE | Vinyl aficionado Jojo puts his LP collection on exhibition: Back in the day when the phonograph record was the main format for music reproduction, fans would pack record stores flipping through the racks for the latest releases. In today’s music streaming world, many fans are still excited by vinyl records and music-playing devices of the era, from the gramophone to the jukebox. Vinyl aficionado and music producer George “Jojo” Odhiambo who has been collecting records since 1978, has put up 500 Long Play (LP) discs in an exhibition named Muziki Santuri: Legacies of Vinyl Records and Popular Lifestyles, which opened last Friday at the Goethe Institut in Nairobi. When the BDLife caught up with him at the opening of the exhibition last weekend, he spoke about the challenge of selecting the exhibits from his private collection of 6,000 vinyl records. “It was a big headache choosing the final records from the collection because friends would come and say “don’t take this one, replace with this other one,” says Odhiambo.

The Reason Starbucks Got Into The Music Business: …According to longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, “Music was a natural evolution because we had been playing music in our stores for almost 30 years.” The company revved up its musical efforts in 1999 when it acquired Hear Music, an experiential retailer that encouraged customers to create their own mix CDs on-site. Starbucks integrated coffee bars into the already present Hear Music locations, a move that Schultz described as “a complementary component to the existing Starbucks stores.” After previously teaming up with Concord Records to produce a celebrated album with Ray Charles, Starbucks announced the launch of its Hear Music record label in 2007, in partnership with Concord. Considering the fact that Paul McCartney was the first artist to sign on with the label, it was a pretty big deal from the start. And though the label went on to work with other big names such as Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, Starbucks’ involvement was short-lived – in 2008, its entertainment division handed over Hear Music’s operations to Concord Records.

Spokane, WA | Midcentury celebration: Vinyl records, vintage furniture and classic architecture collide with Parkade shop Entropy. JJ Wandler knew he had to have the windowed space at the base of the iconic Parkade parking garage’s helixed ramp when he saw a “For Lease” sign there late last year. The question was, what to put in it? “I had no intention, three months ago, of opening a record store,” Wandler said Thursday while standing on the second -floor balcony of the Parkade space. Yet, in the space of a few weeks, Wandler is preparing for the opening of Entropy, his latest foray into the music/ vintage/ art world of Spokane. He is the former owner of the downtown bar Garageland, founder of Total Trash Records and Sound in Browne’s Addition and current owner of the Bad Seed restaurant in Hillyard. His new space is the former office of one of Spokane’s pre-eminent architects, Warren Heylman, whose legacy Wandler hopes to honor, while also giving local artists room to display their work and play off the distinct styles of other downtown retailers, such as Boo Radley’s, Atticus and Petunia & Loomis.

Why do we stop exploring new music as we get older? According to an estimate from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an organisation that represents the international music industry, people around the world spend on average 20.1 hours per week listening to music, up from 18.4 hours in 2021. We have more ways to access music than at any time in history and a whole world of unfamiliar styles to explore. The thrill of discovering new songs and new sounds can enrich people of all ages. Except, most of the time, it doesn’t. Our willingness to explore new or unfamiliar music declines with age. Multiple studies confirm the sentiments of US songwriter and musician Bob Seger: Today’s music ain’t got the same soul / I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll. …Academics use the term “open-earedness” to describe our willingness to explore new music. Across our lives this willingness waxes and wanes.

Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love to be reissued later this year: “Special presentations of vinyl and CD.” Kate Bush’s 1985 album Hounds Of Love will be reissued on CD and vinyl later this year, it has been announced. The album spawned the hit single ‘Running Up That Hill’ which reached number three back in 1985 and then hit number one in the UK last year thanks to its inclusion in Netflix’s Stranger Things. The album spawned three other top 40 UK singles in ‘Cloudbusting’, ‘Hounds of Love’ and ‘The Big Sky’. Side 2 is home to the conceptual The Ninth Wave which was performed live on stage in its entirety during Kate’s Hammersmith Odeon residency in 2014 and, from Kate’s back catalogue, only the 1986 hits compilation The Whole Story has sold more copies in the UK than Hounds Of Love. Hounds Of Love remains the only Kate Bush studio album that has been expanded into any kind of ‘deluxe’ edition when in 1997 EMI issued a new CD edition as part of its Centenary celebrations with a modest six extra tracks.

Pro-Ject has announced two new record cleaning machines: Keep your records sparkling clean. Austrian audio company Pro-Ject has announced a new generation of record-cleaning machines. The VC-E2 and VC-S3, which follow up Pro-Ject’s VC-E and VCS2 Alu models, will begin shipping in March. Both units feature 5mm aluminium composite panels, magnetic clamps, improved motors, a new self-adhesive arm strip and a new cleaning fluid. The difference between the two units is that the VC-S3 is made “for advanced users with bigger record collections, and more time required for proper record cleaning”. The VC-E2 is smaller and features an improved vacuum steam outlet, which redirects fumes away from the lower surface. The VC-E2 will retail at £349 while the VC-S3 will cost £499.

Watch the Captivating Process of Cutting Vinyl Records: Even with millions of songs available to stream, music lovers are keeping vinyl alive. Record sales surpassed CDs in 2020 for the first time in nearly 35 years. The types of songs cut on vinyl and the people who listen to them may be changing with the times, but the way the physical objects are made has stayed the same. The video below from WIRED shows how Jack White’s Third Man Records in Detroit transfers music onto polyvinyl chloride. The vinyl pressing plant starts with a nail polish-like material called lacquer. Grooves are etched into the lacquer by a machine called a VMS70 (which went out of production in 1980). The songs on both sides of a vinyl record may add up to less than 40 minutes, but cutting them in the factory takes up to two-and-a-half hours.

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