In rotation: 5/15/23

UK | Rubber Ducky Records launches fundraiser after canal boat sinks: A fundraiser has been launched after the destruction of the boat and the loss of nearly 1000 records and equipment. Rubber Ducky Records, the independent record store that was situated in a canal boat, has sunk. According to founder Myles Greenwood, the unique shop’s propeller got caught on a rug or mattress which broke the stern gland ultimately sinking the boat. Greenwood was on a mission to relocate to Manchester ahead of Record Store Day 2023. “Managed to save 3/4 boxes of records but the rest of stock & equipment was submerged. I decided not to go down with the ship but the damage is pretty bad so I don’t know when I’ll be up and running again. But don’t worry I haven’t given up,” shared Greenwood in an Instagram post. A fundraiser was created as a way to help the record shop get back on the water. Rubber Ducky Records suffered a lot of damage and lost around 1000 records and equipment including turntables and amplifiers in the process. Their current goal is £15,000 to get the shop running again.

Pueblo, CO | High Vibes Music & Zen Boutique seeks to ‘keep record stores alive in Pueblo.’ New store offers an eclectic mix of music, yoga and gifts. The former Independent Records store at 420 W. Fourth St. is being given new life thanks to a woman who developed an affinity for vinyl while working there for 13 years. Pueblo native Monica Arrieta and her wife, Kami, are saving the store for vinyl lovers and adding some new twists as they prepare to launch High Vibes Music & Zen Boutique in the coming days. Arrieta worked at Independent Records from 1990 to 2003 and said it was “a good time.” “It was before music streaming and it was bumping,” she said. “There would be lines outside of people waiting to get new releases.” …”When I heard Independent was going out of business, I hauled my cookies up to Colorado Springs to meet with the owner and see what we could do to try to keep record stores alive in Pueblo,” Arrieta explained, pointing out that Pueblo Records and Tapes also recently closed.

Oldham, UK | Oldham’s only record shop relocates into shiny new venue: A vinyl store in Saddleworth which is believed to be the borough’s only record shop has moved. Inner Space Records, which sits in the heart of Uppermill village on High Street, only opened in August 2020 – not long after the first lockdown. But ever since, it has stood as the only vinyl shop in Oldham and Tameside with pride as it offers more than new and secondhand records to browse but musical advice and suggestions from its expert shopkeepers. Owner, Brett Savage, said he felt compelled to open the vinyl store as he felt he got “a kind of musical education” from hanging around the many record shops in Ashton-under-Lyne in his youth – and didn’t want others to be starved of the experience. Brett added: “It was sad that record shops had all but disappeared, as there are none locally in Oldham nor Tameside. “One huge problem with buying online is that you don’t get to browse and you don’t get expert advice from shopkeepers. “Plus, I’ve always thought that was a distinctive ‘vibe’ in record shops.”

London, UK | HMV’s flagship Oxford Street store to reopen: The original central London HMV store is to reopen later this year after a four-year absence. The century-old music shop chain shut its flagship store in 2019 after going into administration. It was then taken over by Sunrise Records. It said the return to 363 Oxford Street was due to a “dramatic turnaround”, with HMV returning to profit in 2022. The store will have different branding and a new layout. The store, which first opened in 1921, became a world-famous presence on London’s busiest shopping street, hosting some of the biggest acts in the music business, such as the Spice Girls. In recent years, the retailer has broadened its focus to include merchandise, music technology, more live music and in-store signings, amid falling demand for DVDs and CDs. HMV said it would bring the new format, called HMV Shop, to 24 new sites and 14 existing stores by the end of 2023.

Skegness, UK | Iconic Skegness record shop up for sale as calls made for new store to open: “Places like Skegness have got to have a cultural centre like a record shop.” An ‘iconic’ record shop in Skegness that traded for 87 years is listed for sale on Rightmove. Herrick Watson Ltd in the High Street has been empty since it ceased trading in 2019 and is valued at £280,000. It was the ‘end of an era’, according to Christopher Reeves commenting on Facebook when it closed, while Phillip Wright said it was ‘irreplaceable’. Ian Russell 33, organises live music events in Skegness and has been involved with another record shop No More Heroes as well. “It would be great to have a new music shop in Skegness,” he said. “If there was another record shop then it would be a rival, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition. “Herrick Watson was always family owned so it would be great if someone can carry it on trading as a record shop.” Adrian Wells, 60, who runs AA Record Fairs, explained the cultural significance of selling vinyl. He said: “When Lincoln didn’t have Back To Mono, it was a disaster for the town. Places like Skegness have got to have a cultural centre like a record shop.

Coventry, UK | Independent record shop that will ‘stock everything’ set to open in Nuneaton town centre: It will be in the heart of the town centre. An independent record shop that will ‘stock everything’ is set to open in Nuneaton town centre. Music is the Answer will be based in Barley House on Queens Road, opposite McDonalds. It will be in one of the units that are based down the side alleyway, which also plays home to Board Game Bunker. It is the brainchild of John Fitzgerald and is the third in his independent chain with other shops in Hall Green and Digbeth Birmingham. …The business owner said that the shop will be a ‘bit different’ with kallax units filled with records up to the ceiling. “I am aiming for two to three weeks launch date.” He explained why he chose Nuneaton: “The rent on the place is perfect, it is bang on. Also, when I looked at Nuneaton, there is no record shops, there is nowhere to buy second hand records, so that was another major thing.

Kent, UK | Analogue Music vinyl shop to open in Rochester High Street: A music fan is set to open his own store 18 months after striking a chord with customers on his vinyl record market stall. Alistair Taylor is going from selling his wares at the monthly Rochester City Vintage and Artisan Market to welcoming people at his new Analogue Music store in Rochester High Street. The 56-year-old is now selling the items from yesteryear up until today after collecting vinyl from the age of seven. Despite the venture, he still can’t explain his fascination for what started as a hobby, but has now turned into a business.

Bury, UK | Bury Market: Customers flock to record stalls new shop. The owner of a new vinyl record shop on Bury Market says the response from customers has been “incredible” as demand for physical records grows. Bobby Horrocks and his partner Angie Bessaad, have been running Off The Record in its current location for about six weeks, and have been amazed by the response from music lovers. Off The Record has been operating on the market in various forms for around two years, but now has now has a permanent place to call home. While the shop’s main focus is records, Bobby and Angie also sell CDs, memorabilia and anything else “music related”. Bobby credits the recent “vinyl revival” for the shop’s success, saying more and more people are choosing physical media over digital steaming or downloads. Bobby, 43, said: “Vinyl has really taken off, it’s become so popular again. “[People] want it in their hands, the physicality. “The money is in the vinyl, without the vinyl we wouldn’t have a business.”

MoFi Approved For $25 Million Settlement For Using Digital In “All Analog” Vinyl Reissues: Last year, the audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab was sued after it came to light that the company had used digital technology in some of their reissues that were touted as “all analog” or “tripe analog” records. In January, MoFi opted to settle the case, offering the choice for customers to secure a full refund for the return of their aggrieved albums or keep the albums and accept either a 5% cash refund or a 10% refund in credit. All told, MoFi purchasers would be entitled to an amount “expected to be over $25 million.” …In a statement to Billboard, the lead counsel for customers who will settle with MoFi said: “The settlement terms are sound and fair, so we will be turning our attention to executing the notice program and getting the class members their compensation.”

Rega unveils 50th anniversary edition of the Planar 3 turntable: Only available for the remainder of 2023. Rega is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special edition of the Planar 3 turntable. Described as a “turntable package designed and developed to maximise the performance from this model”, the 50th anniversary Planar 3 has a new walnut finish and includes a hand-tuned Neo PSU MK2 power supply and a handmade Rega Exact MM cartridge. Each turntable comes with an aluminium badge that marks it as the 50th-anniversary edition. The 50th-anniversary Planar 3 turntable retails at £899. Whilst Rega is not limiting the number of units available, the product will only be available throughout 2023.

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