In rotation: 3/2/23

San Francisco, CA | Record stores are flourishing in the East Bay. Here are our favorites. A crop of new shops have become community spaces for music lovers, columnist Liam O’Donoghue writes. Amid seemingly endless headlines about layoffs and store closures, there’s an unexpected bright spot in the Bay Area’s retail sector: Record stores are thriving. There are about 20 in Alameda County alone, and new ones are popping up constantly, like mushrooms after a winter downpour. …I’ve been “digging” — the term aficionados use for searching record bins for a gem — since the 1990s, so I understand the joys of hunting for the perfect LP. And yet, I was surprised to learn that just half of current record buyers actually own a record player. …To understand the trend, I armed myself with a notebook, a tote bag and an internal promise not to spend more on records than I’m getting paid for this article. Then I headed to the shops at the forefront of the boom.

Milford, DE | Shock Vinyl opens in Penny Square: Businesses in the newly renovated Penny Square expanded recently with the opening of Shock Vinyl, a record store specializing in vinyl records, vintage instruments and the rock-themed photography of the store owner, Marc Clery. The new store also offers mint-in-box vintage toys and die-cast cars. “Ever since I was younger, 12 years old or so, I’d go to record stores similar to this and buy records. As an adult, I continued to do that and I accumulated a nice collection and then when I decided to retire from being a photojournalist, I wanted to open my record store,” Clery said. “And also, over the years, I’ve collected musical instruments, guitars and bases, and amplifiers, so I wanted to include that and so that’s how it all came about. I retired in July of last year from the Delaware State News.” One entire wall of the new store displays Clery’s collection of vintage guitars and amplifiers. Behind the counter are toys in boxes and the center shelving holds multiple metal cars, still in the boxes as well. Along the walls, there are bins of records as well as books on musicians and turntables designed to play albums.

Brooklyn, NY | Academy Records moves (around the corner) after 10 years on Oak Street: Vinyl wonderland Academy Records will soon move into a new storefront. Luckily for patrons, the move will only be another block or so away, from 85 Oak Street into a new location on 242 Banker Street. While the new store is not yet ready for shoppers, it should be done within the next couple of weeks, according to their Instagram. Academy Records first moved to Greenpoint in 2013, from Williamsburg’s North 6th Street and Wythe Avenue. “Academy’s current building in Williamsburg is being razed in favor of high-end retail and condos,” we wrote at the time (considering luxury brands Chanel and Hermès are moving to North 6th within the next year or so, it’s a trend that’s only picked up steam within the past decade). The store, which also has an original location in Manhattan, is known for its extensive collection of rare and used vinyl.

Dublin, IE | Dublin’s Bohemians FC has become the world’s first ‘vinyl only’ football stadium: The Irish football club previously partnered with Fontaines DC. Bohemians FC has announced its plan to become a ‘vinyl only’ football stadium. The Dublin football club will team up with the Irish online record store,, for three seasons from 2023 to 2025. The partnership will see Bohemians’ stadium, Dalymount Park, play exclusively vinyl over the stadium PA. They also will work with on vinyl releases to celebrate the history of concerts at Dalymount Park, host genre nights at the ground and have vinyl fan giveaways. “Bohs are one of the most innovative, creative and forward-thinking football clubs in Europe and we are thrilled to become their partner. The history of music in Dalymount Park is special and makes the partnership feel very natural and we are really excited about what the future holds,” says Hugh Scully, Managing Director of Dalymount Park has a long legacy in Ireland’s music scene and has provided a venue for historical gigs such as Thin Lizzy in 1977 and Bob Marley in 1980.

Stourbridge, UK | Stourbridge Town Hall to host vinyl record and music fair: A record and music fair will be taking place at Stourbridge Town Hall this weekend. The owner of Record Culture in Market Street, Lee Newman, is the driving force behind the event which will take place on Saturday March 4. Vinyl fans used to be able to add to their collections when a fair was held at the Talbot Hotel in the High Street but Lee said: “The guys who used to do it are no longer putting it on and haven’t for a few years, so we’re doing something instead. “It’s based on a record fair but we are making a bit more of a day of it. “There will be live DJs, street food, a pop-up craft ale bar and, as well as people selling records, people who produce music-related art, clothing and so on. “It’s shaping up to be a really good event and we’ve had an enormous amount of interest.”

Eau Claire, WI | Vinyl Night at The Lakely: Luc Larson, aka Westkorea, DJs The Lakely. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, The Lakely on Galloway Street hosted a vinyl night. The vinyl night is an event that gives local DJs and record collectors a chance to spin their personal collections. Lucy Engel, a Lakely employee, said this event has been going on for a few years and always brings in a few people, but is most popular during the summer. The Lakely hosts many other live music events and is a very loved venue, according to Engel. “I like how intimate and small it is. It’s very centered towards the music,” Engel said. The DJ for this particular vinyl event was Luc Larson, aka Westkorea. Luc Larson is not only a DJ but also a musician and promoter. “This is just one of the ways I really enjoy sharing music with the world,” Larson said.

10 Albums That Changed My Life: Ace Frehley: Frehley recently dialed in with Goldmine to recount the 10 records that changed his life. As the original guitarist for KISS, “Space” Ace Frehley needs no introduction. He’s influenced countless young guns to pick up the guitar and fly to places unknown via his frenetic solos and unique delivery. As a kid growing up in the Bronx during the ’60s, it’s not hard to imagine the records that shaped a young Frehley’s mind. To be sure, there was a lot of British Invasion, psych-rock, and generally rock and roll debauchery that undoubtedly imprinted itself on the aspiring guitarist. Indeed, before he smeared his face with greasepaint as a member of KISS, and long before he became forever associated with the Gibson Les Paul, Ace Frehley was like the rest of us, soaking it all in via the control arm of his parent’s record player. But soon enough, life changed for Frehley as he embarked on a journey for the ages through the pantheon of rock music, still carrying the influences of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Rolling Stones with him as he too altered the landscape of music forever.

Album Covers and Art: Does it Still Matter? Designing an album cover has been a well-respected job throughout music history, often considered just as important as the music itself. Many of the best examples are as familiar to the eye as the music is to our ears. In the days when vinyl was the primary music medium, getting the album cover just right was essential to commercial success. Over the years, however, its prominence has arguably declined, first with the introduction of CDs, followed by downloads and streaming services. All of this begs the question: does album art still matter? To answer this question, let’s consider some of the reasons why album covers were so important in the first place.

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