In rotation: 1/24/24

WVA | Small businesses say need for customers is greater during winter weather: Cheap Thrills Records and Bee Noodle’d encourage people to shop local during the cold part of the year. Cold temperatures and snow may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but small businesses have another reason to dread winter weather. Cheap Thrills Records, a record store in Mercer County, says snow days can often mean slow days for sales. The store relies on their loyal customers coming in on the warmer days to keep things running smoothly. “…It helps out because, you know, you get corporate places that… don’t really have problems and you get people that are more independent. You really need the customers to make that work…” says Jonathan Fralick a cashier for Cheap Thrills Records. Fralick says they were able to stay open during the snow days, but not every business has that ability.

Chicago, IL | The 20 Best Record Stores in Chicago Right Now: The vinyl revival isn’t going anywhere. Here’s where to build your collection. Last year, revenues from physical music, a category that includes vinyl and CDs, reached its highest levels since 2013, with vinyl accounting for 72% of the pie. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl sales in the first half of 2023 were a whopping $632 million. If you’re one of the many, many people still buying physical music, there’s no greater joy than a record store. Whether you’re new to vinyl or an old wax head, a fundamental part of the experience is browsing the stacks and seeing what creeps into your hands. The fingers and eyes dance together, seeing, feeling and flipping. It’s mindfulness in the music. And once you get the collecting bug, the hunt really begins. Lists will pile up and it’ll become harder and harder to walk past a record shop without sneaking in to check for your must-haves.

Portland, OR | Portland’s Too Many Records Goes Brick & Mortar To YouTube Leaders: The places your passions can take you are endless. As music fans, we have heard some of the most awe-inspiring tales pave roads of gold for some of the most acclaimed artists of our time. No one’s story is perfect and art gives these unperfect moments a platform to reach out and grab people with similar feelings, bringing everyone closer in their confusion. Record collecting has its own art to it and Matt from Too Many Records has stretched this art form to its furthest dimensions and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. The vinyl enthusiast has taken his love from the medium and created a successful YouTube page dedicated to all things vinyl, a page he has flipped into a record label and now, a storefront in Portland. Too Many Records has come full circle to now building its own brick-and-mortar experience inspired by the passion that launched the YouTube page a decade ago in 2014.

HK | ‘Part of this big vinyl revival’: DJ new to Hong Kong who helped take city’s party scene up a notch opens a record store to share rare grooves: Bad Times Records was born from a love for vinyl records and a desire to share the diversity and versatility of music in Hong Kong. The origin story of the store—newly opened in shopping destination Heath in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon—goes back to 2019, when co-owner Ani Phoebe Hao arrived in Hong Kong as a DJ. Unable to find the type of musical community she was looking for, she opened a shop that is, she says, “closely tied to the music I like”. “I’m interested in playing real diggers and stuff that people don’t know – the more obscure and left field side of electronic music and a lot of older music [going back to] the 1970s.” Before beginning her Hong Kong chapter, Hao spent six years in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she got into music. “It’s inseparable from Brazilian culture and identity—they use music in socialising, community-building and bonding ways.”

Munster, IN | Closed: Tom Lounges’ Record Bin closed its Michigan City location Saturday but remains open in downtown Hobart. The record store was owned by Lounges, one of the biggest names on the Region music scene. He’s a concert promoter, DJ for several radio stations and writer who used to publish Beat Magazine. The record store specializes in vinyl but also sells CDs, DVDs, band T-shirts, concert posters and other music paraphernalia. Tom Lounges’ Record Bin originally opened its second location in Michigan City in 2020.

Bengaluru, IN | This 45-year-old record store in Bengaluru is a testament that vinyl records will keep spinning: My introduction to the world of vinyl happened in 2017 at a former colleague’s house. He was playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall for a discerning bunch of us. It seemed like I was listening to the track for the first time. While one would associate all old-timey mediums and gadgets to offer a charming yet outdated experience, this was different. …You don’t listen to vinyl while working out or doing chores. You sit back, contemplate and let the music sink into your bones. Now seven years later, I am at Ram’s Musique—Bengaluru’s quaint 100 sq. ft. record store, tucked away on the first floor of the Public Utility Building on MG Road. And Sangeeth Ram, who runs the store that belongs to his father Ramachandran, is playing Let’s Groove by the American musical group Earth, Wind & Fire. And I’m listening, with the same amazement as if its my first time.

Chaka Kahn solo debut ‘Chaka’ set for vinyl, CD reissue: Chaka Khan more than earned her spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, capping a remarkable five-decade career highlighted by her 10 Grammy Awards. In celebration, Rhino is reissuing her solo albums with newly remastered sound by Bernie Grundman. The series begins with the record that started it all. Chaka will arrive on 22 March on 1CD and 1LP, with a special red-vinyl version available exclusively at Barnes & Noble. …The album continued the singer’s hot streak, achieving platinum status and establishing Khan as a hitmaker in her own right with the anthemic first single, I’m Every Woman. The song topped the R&B chart and crossed over to the pop chart, reaching #21 on the Hot 100 and Top 20 in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. It became one of her signature songs, earning Khan a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

Cool Stuff: Get Your Weird Poor Things Dance On With The Vinyl Soundtrack From Waxwork Records: Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest feature, “Poor Things,” (read our review here) is one of the most buzzed-about films of 2023. With Emma Stone fresh off a Golden Globe win for Best Actress in a Comedy and the film itself taking home the statue for Best Picture — Musical or Comedy, there’s a high probability that “Poor Things” will be taking home some hardware at the Academy Awards as well. Much has already been said about the downright brilliant performances by Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, and the rest of the supporting cast, as well as the gorgeous costume and production design that will be giving Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” a run for her pink money. …In partnership with Milan Records, the vinyl wizards at Waxwork Records are releasing the score on a gorgeous 180-gram colored vinyl with a package design by Vasilis Marmatakis and heavyweight gatefold packaging, and more.

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