In rotation: 5/19/23

Brighton, UK | Bella Union moves to new store location in Brighton: A long-standing record store has moved to a new location in the city. Bella Union opened in Brighton’s Ship Street Gardens seven years ago but can now be found in Church Street. Record Store Day celebrations were held at the new store on April 22 before a short period of closure ahead of the official launch on May 3. Since then, music fans have flocked to Bella Union to have a rummage through the latest releases. “There was a lot of trouble and antisocial behaviour in the areas around our old store, and it got to the point where our staff didn’t feel safe,” said store owner Simon Raymonde. “We’re in such a good position now and the atmosphere is totally different. It’s so nice and airy in the new place and we’ve got a lot more passing trade being so close to the train station. We weren’t sure if it was the right move. You can never tell until you do it. But we can say now that we definitely made the right move.”

Harrogate, UK | A-ha’s sound man opens record shop and bar in Harrogate: A sound engineer who has worked for some of the biggest names in pop has opened a vinyl coffee house and bar in Harrogate. Dave Swallow’s CV includes stints with Amy Winehouse, Erasure and James, and he still routinely joins Norwegian mega-band A-ha on tour. But he’s launched a new venture that brings his love of music to the town he now calls home. AAA (pronounced triple-A) on Cold Bath Road is currently operating as a coffee house, open from 9 to 5pm, but a temporary license over the spring bank holiday weekend will see it function as the bar it is meant to be, open till 11pm. From early July, when it receives its full alcohol license, AAA will be a coffee house and bar that also sells vinyl records and clothes from another of Dave’s ventures, clothing brand Audio Architect Apparel.

Columbus, OH | Columbus Shopping Guide: Five Local Record Stores to Meet Music Lovers’ Vinyl Needs: A lifelong crate-digger shares his favorite haunts in the city. Record stores are different from other ports of commerce. Just like your vinyl collection, each joint is uniquely curated, and just like a museum, what you see depends on who’s in charge and what they can access. Though personal vinyl needs vary, you can probably find what you’re looking for at these five local stores. All should be in your rotation. Spoonful Records (144 E. State St., Downtown) You can buy records here, but if you need a turntable, this spot is the place. Owner Brett Ruland walks you through everything you need to know and will even balance it for you. You may need to get speakers somewhere else, depending on stock…

Princeton, NJ | Popular Independent Princeton Record Exchange Offers 1,000s of CDs, LPs, DVDs in Every Category: When you come to the Princeton Record Exchange, don’t be in a hurry. Plan to spend some time. It is totally intriguing! Filled with thousands of CDs, LPs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and more, it offers every category of music, from rock and jazz to classical and country to blues and soul, rap and hip-hop, movie soundtracks, shows, and more. More than 100,000 titles in stock! This is a special place. …The New York Times is quoted as saying, “Customers come from as far away as Scotland and Japan or as close as around the corner.” In this age of online shopping and digital messaging in every way, Princeton Record Exchange (known informally as PREX) is a bricks and mortar, walk-in store. Customers can browse, find something special for their collection, and share information with each other.

Fresno, CA | For The Record: Ragin’ Records. In the heart of Fresno’s Tower District is a record store that has endured the test of time in an ever-changing industry where streaming services now dominate. Ragin’ Records is a local record store that has been serving its customers “on and off” since 1988. Paul Cruikshank, 57, a former Fresno City College student, started Ragin’ Records in the 80s and has watched the record industry change and shape itself into what it is today. Growing up a skater and surfer in southern California, he naturally made his way toward punk rock music. “I started surfing and skateboarding in like third grade, so in the mid to late seventies,” Cruikshank said. “By 1980 it really went haywire, you know, I saw my first punk-rocker in person.” Cruikshank described how, at the time, the transition from skater to punk rocker was virtually inevitable.

Derry, IE | Derry’s record store sees youngsters fall back in love with vinyls and old school classics: “Derry is a music city, it is undeniable.” Situated in a former shirt factory, Abbazappa at The Yellow Yard is home to over 7000 records. With the store open for eight years, co-owner Ben Allen started off trading in August 2013, and has now been trading non stop in Derry for ten years. Speaking to the Derry News, Ben explains that there is nowhere like the store that he runs with Katie Blue, “There is nowhere like this place for about 200-300 miles, he said. “Probably the nearest shop as big as this of its kind would be Liverpool. “The record shop has new stuff, old stuff, rare stuff and we have every genre; Jazz, Punk, Metal, Funk, Electronic, Irish Folk, Country, Ska, Reggae, World music- everything. “We also have cassettes and around 6000 CDs. We have music from every musician you could ever imagine.” Ben explained that over the last ten years, vinyls and vintage have come back into fashion with a whole new generation falling in love with the physical artifacts.

Ontario, CA | ‘It defies the eras:’ Ontario vinyl experts weigh in on the record comeback: Nostalgia among older music fans and a new generation of younger devotees are two the key forces record store owners say are driving a big comeback for vinyl albums. Vinyl album sales in the U.S. last year officially outstripped CD sales and ended 2022 as the top physical format for music for the first time since 1987. But what’s led to this momentous comeback, making one of the original forms of recorded music a staple in homes once again? Simcoe County, Ont. shop owners have a few ideas, but say a key factor is how inter-generational record collecting is becoming and continues to be. Mike Rothwell opened Alleycats Music in 2012 and has seen his original seven-foot-wide space expand into three storefronts in downtown Orillia. “We just thought that vinyl would be a great thing to sell, and it turns out we were just in the right time.”

Lenny Kaye on How the Original ‘Nuggets’ Compilation Changed Rock—and Reviving That ’60s Garage Spirit With an L.A. Tribute Concert: The Wild Honey Orchestra will back performers like Susanna Hoffs and Peter Buck this weekend at the Alex, in tribute to the most influential compilation of all time, 1972’s ‘Nuggets.’ There has never been a compilation album in the history of rock as influential as “Nuggets,” a 1972 double-LP that revived a period and style that was seen as having ended about five years before. It was nostalgia of a sort for the very recent past—as opposed to the very distant past that’s now being celebrated with fondness as “Nuggets” itself surpasses the half-century, arguably no less central to a certain rock ‘n’ roll ethos than ever. Lenny Kaye, now best known as the guitarist for Patti Smith’s band, but then highly regarded as a rock critic, compiled the original “Nuggets” for Elektra and may have saved an early wave of garage-rock for the ages … although some would give the collection even more credit, for helping invent, or at least bring into focus, the burgeoning punk-rock movement in the 1970s.

Wairarapa, NZ | Records show ‘snapshot in time.’ Lifelong vinyl record collector Kane Harris’ obsession goes beyond the music – for him, each disc symbolises “a snapshot in time.” Harris said he has “whittled his collection down recently” just to “the essentials”—about 600 records. One particular item in his collection takes him back to the early 2000s, when he was living among a group of musicians including Pip Brown, who would later come to be known as Ladyhawke. “These guys were always playing music next door, and it was always really good. My flatmate and I just entrenched ourselves in the space and hung out. Loads of good times,” Harris recalled. The record in question is a seven-inch limited press of ‘The Rat/Hellhound’ – a product of early 2000s rock band Two Lane Blacktop. “You can’t find most of this stuff online, because it bridged the gap of things moving to the internet. It’s like with a lot of New Zealand music, you have these little scenes which happened all over the place.” And it’s true that Two Lane Blacktop’s work is nowhere to be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, or any of the popular online sources of music these days.

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