In rotation: 1/26/24

Isle of Wight, UK | Isle of Wight record shop owners on why records are important: In an age of digital media, with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music dominating the music distribution industry by giving users free access to almost all music out there, physical media is dying out. “…I think having a physical copy helps with focusing on the artist’s work fully, as you take time to choose listening, in comparison to having all musical genres from all-time at a second’s notice, on Spotify or another streaming service.” “Physical media, especially music pressed on vinyl, sounds different to digital music as it hasn’t been compressed during its production”, says Alex Lee. “Part of the fun of collecting records and CDs is the thrill of the chase, which is something you don’t get with digital media. “So much crafting goes into a record, from the music itself to the track listing and the artwork on the sleeve.”

Boulder, CO | Absolutely fabulous: Longmont record shop celebrates 15 years in BoCo: North Carolina native Doug Gaddy opened Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo in a tiny, spartan space in then-quiet North Boulder in 2009 with the help of his wife, Annie. The shop made fast fans, finding its niche by cleaning and grading every record it sells and boasting shelves full of vintage but near-mint, turntables, speakers and receivers. Doug and Annie weren’t in that location for long. “The fire department came by to inspect that building every four or five months, because it should have been condemned. I couldn’t wait to get out of there,” Gaddy says. “It was part of a remnant of an entire world that existed in North Boulder when it was a home for the disaffected, disadvantaged and disgruntled. I was there in the last days of that.” Absolute Vinyl—currently celebrating its 15th year in business—was only in that original location for a little under two years before moving to a larger storefront on Arapahoe Avenue near 55th Street.

RI | 9 Must-Visit Record Shops to Scratch Your Musical Itch: From Providence to Wakefield, these RI record shops offer a diverse selection of music. The tradition of record collecting has seen a recent revival, and it’s no secret. Vinyl tantalizes with the lure of nostalgia, from flipping through the colorful album art looking for an old favorite to the vintage sound of the record spinning on the turntable. Record stores thrive by delivering quality analog products and fostering a sense of community, ensuring that the timeless ritual of vinyl collecting persists in the digital age. From the lively streets of Providence to the welcoming storefronts of Newport, local record shops act as guardians of a rich musical history. They invite everyone to explore and enjoy vinyl (often also stocking cassettes, CDs, and other memorabilia of a bygone era), while boasting a diverse range of music genres from indie rock to jazz and beyond, inviting locals and tourists alike to discover new music and reconnect with beloved classics.

Otago, NZ | Store owner seeks to share his passion for music: Record store Threes and Sevens Records owner Jordan Cossill says he is not too fazed by JB Hi Fi’s Invercargill store opening. He said he was a rookie on the Invercargill retail music scene, but refused to let the launch of the home entertainment retail chain throw shade on his bright business plans and Invercargill’s music community. “It’s mildly concerning for me, they are a huge corporate business with massive buying power … ” he said. He hoped the differences between his boutique record store and the retail giant would be enough to maintain an interest in his store and engage new customers. “I’m trying to create something where you have an experience, something that has a bit more of the vibe and that’s the key. As a full-time musician, Mr Cossill believed his business allowed him to share his passion for music with others in the community.

Vinyl Groups Rally Behind ‘Indie Sales Chart’ Following Luminate Reporting Changes: One month ago, Digital Music News reported that vinyl groups were prepping an alternative sales-calculation model following controversial changes from Luminate. Now, the Vinyl Record Manufacturing Association (VRMA) and others are rallying behind a newly launched “Indie Sales Chart.” The VRMA emphasized its support for the Indie Sales Chart via a formal release, about five weeks after Luminate doubled down on plans for a revamped approach to calculating physical sales at the retail level. Already in effect, these changes have, in brief, seen the Billboard chart-data provider cease estimating physical music sales figures for the whole indie sector based upon samples. Instead, Luminate is now factoring solely for vinyl sales reported to it directly by indie retailers in the U.S.; according to the mentioned Billboard, the data company says its present reporting encompasses 95 percent of “U.S. independent retail stores that reach over 1,000 sales per week.” But the VRMA and an objective analysis of pertinent sales stats suggest that a significant number of retailers have been left behind under the new system.

UK | AIM’s Silvia Montello on indies’ chart impact, catalogue, breakthroughs and the challenge for vinyl: 2024 was another good year for independent music in the UK. As well as Arctic Monkeys being named as the most streamed domestic act by Spotify in the UK, there were hit singles by artists including Mitski, Peggy Gou and Jorja Smith. Music Week can reveal that, based on Official Charts Company data, independent record labels’ share of the UK recorded music market increased for a sixth consecutive year to 29.2% (based on the All Music All Albums measurement). That was up from 28.6% in 2022. “All the signs so far indeed indicate that the independent market share continues to grow and perform strongly,” AIM CEO SIlvia Montello told Music Week. “We believe the strong growth trend of the last several years continues, as more artists and their teams choose deals and partnerships with independent labels and more new fledgling businesses come into the sector, providing new innovative ways for independent talent to succeed in the future.”

South Bend, IN | South Bend Record Show returns for first event of 2024: The South Bend Record Show returns for the first time in 2024 on Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Gillespie Conference Center, Hilton Garden Inn, 53995 IN 933, just north of St. Mary’s College. “We have an amazing roster of vendors for our first show of the year with several returning favorites, a handful of dealers who missed the past few events, and some first timers as well,” said Jeremy Bonfiglio, the event organizer. “Everyone has been busy restocking their crates, so there will be some real gems to add to everyone’s collections. No one will walk away empty-handed.” Nearly 40 vendors from Wis., Ill. Ohio, and Ind. will occupy 94 tables to sell pre-owned LPs, new vinyl releases, CDs, cassettes, posters, stereo gear, t-shirts, record supplies, and more.

Detroit, MI | Vinyl Record Show Returning To The Salem High School In February: The 15th annual 88.1 Record Show is set for Saturday, February 17, 2024. I’ve been to this event several times in the past and got some great finds. One I recall right away is a white vinyl copy of the debut Alice In Chains album. One I listen to all the time at home. The event will feature thousands of vinyl records, CDs, import-only releases, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles. The show will run from 10 am to 4 pm at the Salem High School Cafeteria, and proceeds will benefit the nationally recognized student radio station operated by Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. They said they expect to build on the success of last year’s show, which had a record attendance of over 700 people. Much of the success of the show can be tied to the resurgence of interest in vinyl records. According to the press release, “We strive to make the record show an experience for music fans of all ages to enjoy. No matter how long you’ve been collecting vinyl, you can support your local radio station while finding the perfect item to add to your collection.”

Bon Jovi Announce 40th Anniversary Reissue of Debut Album: The limited edition will be available on vinyl and cassette. In celebration the 40th anniversary of their landmark debut album, Bon Jovi have announced a very special reissue of the self-titled LP. The announcement is the first in a series of upcoming surprised celebrating their four decades as a band. Check out the deluxe editions of Bon Jovi below. “We can’t believe it’s been 40 years since we released Bon Jovi—the record that changed our lives forever,” the band said. “We can’t wait to share more with you! Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of our journey so far.” The limited-edition ruby color vinyl features a new alternate cover design, high-end tip-on jacket, and an exclusive lithograph from an early Ross Halfin photo session of the band. The album has been newly remastered from the original tapes for this release. The exclusive vinyl is limited to just 5,000 pieces.

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