In rotation: 5/24/23

Cincinnati, OH | Cincinnati’s Oldest Record Store, Mole’s Record Exchange, is Closing: The record store will close permanently on June 3, just shy of its 49th anniversary. A Clifton store that’s been selling music and providing happy memories for many since 1974 is shutting its doors for good next month. On Facebook, Mole’s Record Exchange, Cincinnati’s oldest record store, said it will be closing permanently on June 3, just shy of its 49th anniversary. “We are confirming the rumors…. Mole’s Records (& CD Exchange) will be closing after nearly 49 years,” the business wrote on May 19. “RIP Mole’s as we’ll be giving up our title of Cincinnati’s Longest Playing Record Store. The Time’s they have a-changed.” In a blog post, Mole’s Record Exchange employee Ric Hickey explained the closing is due to the University of Cincinnati’s expansion onto Calhoun Street where the record store currently sits. Owner Dean Newman reportedly found out the building next to his had already been sold and a large construction project was set to take place there over the next few years.

Grand Rapids, MI | Former pharmacist follows dream, opens record shop in Eastown: ‘Surreal.’ There’s a record shop opening on Wealthy Street this Friday, and the story behind it makes it that much more unique. A new shop is opening Friday, filling a hole in the Eastown community and fulfilling a lifelong dream for one Grand Rapids man. “It’s surreal, I would say that,” said Kevin Romanyk. Romanyk was a pharmacist for 30 years. “For me, it was a very rewarding career,” he said. “I helped a lot of people of which I’m very, very grateful for.” He recently decided to call it a career, and shift to somewhat of a passion project. He says he’s always been a music person. “It’s the one kind of hobby and passion that just always followed me through life,” Romanyk explained. “I just really gravitated to music had a love for music.” He believes music is a powerful thing. “Music creates the soundtrack of our lives,” he said. “It’s true that a melody can bring back a memory.”

Wivenhoe, UK | Wivenhoe musician and producer open brand new record shop: A record shop managed by a musician and a producer has opened its door to music lovers in Wivenhoe. Red Rocket Music is an independent record shop on Jolliffe’s Yard in Wivenhoe. The record shop is owned and managed by musician and artist Fiona Harmon and music producer R0 Bradley. Residents can buy a range of vinyl, music prints, gifts, vintage goods, books, music gear, merch and more, both in-store and online. They also offer bespoke services from music production, podcast recording, graphic design, branding and more. We support and are proud to be part of the vibrant Colchester music scene. The owner of the record shop and music producer, Bradley, said: “My business partner Fiona, a musician from Wivenhoe, has been doing music for over 40 years. “She’s a lover and collector of records and when the unit became available, we took a chance to create a music hub for aspiring artists in the area.”

Forest, VA | Twice Records to celebrate new Forest store with a ribbon cutting, giveaways: Twice Records is bringing the beat to the Forest music community. They will celebrate their new store with a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, June 2 at 5 p.m. The newly renovated store is located in Suite 106 at 14805 Forest Road in Forest. The store is filled with colorful posters of musicians, records, and even CDs of all genres and styles for all ages. The celebration will have both t-shirt and gift certificate giveaways and a DJ. “We are bringing fun and records back to Forest Virginia! Come in and BUY!!! See you on the flip side,” Owner, Spyros Theodorides said. The Central Virginia Business Coalition is hosting the ribbon-cutting.

Chapel Hill, NC | Schoolkids Records: ‘A nice little pocket of art’: Chapel Hill and Carrboro house arts and culture spaces. Though Schoolkids Records has operated in the Triangle for nearly 50 years, its Chapel Hill location opened in 2016. As a founding member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, Schoolkids Records’ website claims to help local bands, including Archers of Loaf and Superchunk, gain traction among listeners. The store has worked with Merge Records, an independent record label based in Durham. Merge Records’ roster includes artists such as Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel and the Mountain Goats. Schoolkids Records also has its own record label with over twenty signed artists. “I think that we really make an effort to try to keep the culture alive,” Garrity said. “(We are) constantly partnering with local artists, doing shows here, selling their stuff and giving back to the culture.”

New Plymouth, NZ | New Plymouth vinyl giveaway confounds stereotypes: He had 5000 to spare and Brian Wafer managed to get rid of 2000 old records when he offered them up for free over the weekend. The former New Plymouth record shop owner said the Saturday giveaway of the easy listening records he didn’t want was “bloody good fun.” “And a good result. People were buzzing. There was a really good energy in the room.” He said those who responded to the free records confounded stereotypes. “There were guys wearing Metallica who came in and took a bunch of classical records. So you never can tell,” he said. The event at the Senior Citizens Hall in New Plymouth started at 9am Saturday, but a queue began forming at the door long before that with car parks around the hall soon scarce. Wafer said while he had got rid of 2000 on the day, he had a number of people to contact who said they would take more off his hands at another date.

Beyond the Grooves: Exploring the Artistic Evolution of Record Covers: One of the joys of spending time in a record store is not knowing what to choose. For those who go in “just to have a browse,” the risk is to spend hours flipping through countless records. Yet, the quest might end when your eyes get caught by an image, a design, or a color on one of the covers. The art created for record covers is revelatory: it presents the artist, their music, and the ideas behind that particular album. Across the decades many singers and musicians collaborated with photographers, graphic designers, artists, and even bakers to create memorable covers.

Dubai, UAE | Where to listen to vinyl in Dubai: Vinyl is officially back. Spotify has not killed vinyl. Not just yet anyway. Thanks to Gen Z’s love of all things vintage, vinyl is very much in vogue. With vinyl record sales soaring in the past few years, records are no longer reserved for dads and collectors. Lover of old-school spinning? There are a few places you can listen to vinyl in Dubai. In fact, some of the city’s coolest venues make a point of playing only analogue records. From listening bars to monthly events and cafes with turntables, this is where to go when you want to listen to vinyl in Dubai. …A casual cafe nestled in The Courtyard, Cassette is all about the music. With a collection of records and some for sale, you’ll hear music spanning genres here. The unlicensed venue is open from 8am to 6pm every day, so it’s the ideal place to have breakfast or a fresh cup of coffee with a side of music.

Jakarta, IN | In the wake of Indonesia’s new vinyl record pressing plant: After Surakarta record company Lokananta (then PN Lokananta) switched to cassette tapes and stopped operating its vinyl pressing services in 1972, Indonesia’s music industry essentially lost its only means of encouraging vinyl records in the country. There have been times when the format was thought of as dead, but later generations of music listeners have rekindled their interest in the analog format, enchanted by its grooved, tangible charm and the ritual-like process of soaking in the whole context of an album –particularly noting vinyl records’ large artworks and lengthy liner notes. It became a novelty as it offered an experience that some would note as the ultimate inconvenience, and the antithesis of the instant gratification that digital music releases today have to offer – most of which are distressingly myopic in their delivery with the sense that they lack imagination and depth.

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