In rotation: 4/28/23

Alliance Entertainment Announces Highest Physical Vinyl Album Sales for Record Store Day Event: Alliance Entertainment Holding Corporation, a distributor and wholesaler of the world’s largest in stock selection of music, movies, video games, electronics, arcades, and collectibles, today confirmed independent retail feedback around this past Saturday’s Record Store Day events as its biggest ever. Record Store Day is an annual event inaugurated in 2007 and held on one Saturday every April to “celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store.” The day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores around the world. Each year a number of records are pressed specifically for Record Store Day and are exclusively distributed to record stores participating in the event. Now in its 16th year, Record Store Day has played a major role in the continued expansion and success of vinyl records across the music industry, with physical vinyl album sales in 2022 surpassing 43 million units.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Long Pond Studio Sessions’ Looks to Become First Record Store Day Exclusive to Debut in Top 10: Taylor Swift is looking at becoming the first artist to have an exclusive Record Store Day release enter the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart when the next results are reported this coming weekend. That’s because nearly all 75,000 domestic copies of her RSD-exclusive double-LP, “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions,” are believed to have sold through within a day of having gone on sale Saturday. Even though the 75,000 copies of “Long Pond Studio Sessions” issued in the U.S. was almost four times as many copies as any RSD release has been issued with before, it was no surprise that it was a hot enough commodity to sell out in a day. The 115,000 copies that went out globally are said to be the only pressing the album will ever receive. While that might be a high quantity for anybody else, it’s worth remembering that Swift’s previous album, “Midnights,” sold about 400,000 copies in its first day out—and that was without the promise that it would never be available again.

Chicago, IL | Farewell to Record Wonderland architect Pat Deasey: Record Wonderland co-owner Pat Deasey died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 22, at age 55. “He was a workhorse—you didn’t always know he was here, but he kept the place together,” says his friend Steve Young, co-owner of the store. “He was the order agent, and I’m the chaos agent.” Young met Deasey in the 1980s when they were students at Northwestern University, where they were both Evans Scholars. Young was a year ahead of Deasey, who graduated in 1990, but they roomed together and grew close. “We’ve been going to concerts together for 25 years—we went to see the Residents together a few weeks ago,” Young says. “We both came to this without retail experience.” Deasey and Young started selling records online around 2005, and in 2016 they opened a brick-and-mortar shop in suburban Roselle. “It’s a cheap space,” Young says. “We’re in a strip mall here that’s only half full. We’re a destination. People can Google ‘records’ near us and find us.”

Madison, WI | Boneset Records will close its Madison store on June 10: The record store will be relocating to Milwaukee and pivoting to an online focus. On August 21, 2022 Boneset Records—a direct successor of Atwood Avenue’s Sugar Shack Records—opened its doors at 222 North St. After June 10, 2023, those doors will be closed. …Losing Boneset’s footprint—and, by extension, Sugar Shack’s—locally will be a blow, as strong independent record stores aren’t as prevalent as they once used to be. Every time a shop closes or relocates, Madison loses a touch of its identity. But loss is critical to evolution and absence can carve out space for creation. And, in this specific instance, that impact isn’t being diminished, just moved about 80 miles east. What Denman has accomplished during her time at both Sugar Shack and with Boneset can be extended to Milwaukee and its citizens. Boneset Records will continue to be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. On Saturday, May 27, Boneset Records and its pop-culture-memorabilia-focused neighbor store Sig’s Treasure Chest will be hosting a pop-up market.

50% of vinyl buyers in the US don’t own a record player, data shows: The resurgence of vinyl sales among music fans has been going on for some time now, but the trend marked a major milestone in 2022. According to data recently released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), annual vinyl sales exceeded CD sales in the US last year for the first time since 1987. Consumers bought 41.3 million vinyl records in the States in 2022, compared to 33.4 million compact discs. That wasn’t just due to the surging popularity of vinyl; it had to do with the declining popularity of CDs as well. Revenues from vinyl jumped 17.2% YoY, to USD $1.2 billion in 2022, while revenues from CDs fell 17.6%, to $483 million. Yup: Vinyl now generates more than double the annual cash that CDs do in the States.

London, UK | Five spots for vinyl lovers in London: Everyone thought the internet had killed vinyl for good. All these years later, it’s more popular than ever. Not only are people still buying their own records, but they’re also even going out to listen to other people play their records. Wonders never cease. Most places you go to these days tend to have something to keep the vinyl obsessive happy, but few places offer more bang for your buck than London. Sure, it rains constantly and quite often smells like wee, but it’s damn good for records. When it comes to London, vinyl culture is divided into layers. You’ve got your top layer of fashionable, well-known spots like Rough Trade East, where you’re unlikely to find a record for under £25. Then you’ve got whole substrata of specialist stores that you’ll only know about if you’ve physically passed them in the street. That’s to say nothing of the various vinyl cafes and bars dedicated to bringing good music to the people who need it most.

Jakarta, IN | After 50 years, a vinyl-pressing plant is back in Indonesia: Marking the comeback of a vinyl-record pressing plant in Indonesia after a nearly 50-year hiatus, PHR Pressing is set to resume domestic vinyl production in the country with a new pressing plant in Cengkareng, West Jakarta. A joint venture between the record store PHR and independent music label Elevation Records, the new plant is set to press its first record in June. “PHR Pressing will have a production capacity of around 30,000 records per month, a logical number given the demand for vinyl records both globally and domestically,” PHR Pressing said in a press release. Throughout the past decade, vinyl records have made a miraculous comeback with worldwide sales continuing to grow. In January, the Entertainment and Retail Association (ERA) reported that sales of vinyl records in the United Kingdom in 2022 outperformed compact discs (CDs) for the first time since 1987 in terms of value.

Preston, CA | Preston gets its own vinyl and collectibles store with Hipclubgroove: Christopher Caskenette returns from European adventure to try his hand at dream gig of owning his own record shop. Hipclubgroove held a soft opening last Saturday, about a month before the owner of downtown Preston’s new vinyl, music and collectibles store thinks he should have opened his doors to the public. But more important than having everything in place and on display the way the audiophile ultimately envisions it should be was the timing. Record Store Day was April 22 and a new record store simply can’t miss the occasion, says Christopher Caskenette. The native of Palmerston who spent most of his life in Cambridge, including 10 years in a managerial role at the Preston Giant Tiger, returned home last year after spending the last few years travelling Europe. He says his role at Giant Tiger was everything he wanted a job to be, challenging, rewarding, but the couldn’t resist his wanderlust, and when the opportunity presented itself to head to Europe, that’s exactly what he did.

Plattsburgh, NY | Peacock Music Record Fair set for May 7 at The Monopole: For a day, Peacock Music rises again with a Record Fair, Sunday, May 7, from noon to 5 p.m. at The Monopole. DJ Gary Peacock will be spinning music, and his former employees will be ringing up sales just like old times on Smithfield Blvd. or even older times down on Bridge Street. “When I’m out and about, I often get people saying, ‘Hey, when are you going to open up the record store?’” he said. “I have all kinds of wiseguy comebacks like “Well, it’s your turn to open up a record store or this and that and the other.’ Inevitably, it turns into a really good nostalgic conversation about the days of Peacock Music, and I come walking away with a big smile on my face thinking, boy oh boy, it did really make a big impact on a lot of people. “It’s a real good feeling. If I was 15 or 20 years younger, I would consider it.”

Morgantown, WV | Metal record store opens in downtown Morgantown: A new metal-based record store is now open to the public in downtown Morgantown. Shiny Dome Records, located across the street from the bar and performance venue 123 Pleasant Street, provides a place for those interested in expanding their punk and metal vinyl collections. Over the past decade, record and vinyl sales have been increasing. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl albums earned $1.2 billion, compared to $483 million for CDs in 2022. While streaming services account for the majority of music revenue, it’s no question that recording artists are making physical copies like vinyl and CDs a priority. Chris “Baldy” Herrod, owner and operator of Shiny Dome Records, has been involved in the music scene of Morgantown for over 17 years and has been collecting records for a lifetime. Working closely with 123 Pleasant Street, Herrod has done performance bookings, put together benefit shows and worked as the main sponsor and host of the annual FuzzFest in August.

Springfield, IL | So long Recycled Records: Well, that sure didn’t take long to get through the month of April. I’m giving all the happening music events credit (plus that week of welcomed warm weather) to giving us a fly-by feeling for “the cruelest month,” but however you cut it, this is the last weekend for any “Aprilian” experience. So shall we see what’s out there to discover in the world of music? It’s so sad to report that the last day of business for Recycled Records is coming on April 29, this Saturday. Long a stalwart in support of local music through sponsoring events, hosting live music in the store, selling music gear and just being there to make our community that much cooler for having a place like that in town, there’s going to be a big hole around here when the door is locked for the last time. But things happen, we move on, and so it goes. Thanks to Gary and the crew for keeping the show going as long as possible after the unexpected passing of Mark, and here’s a mighty toast to the Kessler brothers for doing something very wonderful for an extraordinary long time in a retail business that fluctuates quite dramatically.

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