In rotation: 2/5/24

Toronto, CA | Entertainment brand HMV making comeback through Toys “R” Us locations: A blast from the past is coming to Toys “R” Us Canada. HMV, the entertainment brand that departed the country seven years ago, said this week that it has begun selling merchandise in five of the toy retailer’s Ontario locations. A blast from the past is coming to Toys “R” Us Canada. HMV, the entertainment brand that departed the country seven years ago, said this week that it has begun selling merchandise in five of the toy retailer’s Ontario locations. The rollout will continue across other Toys “R” Us Canada stores this spring, it said. Products for sale in the HMV-branded sections include CDs, DVDs, vinyl, record players and other collector items like T-shirts and books. …David Soberman, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto, said that reviving HMV’s brand this way is “an interesting idea” that takes advantage of current retail trends.

Milwaukee, WI | Bullseye Records will close, reopen under new ownership as Irving Place Records: After nearly 20 years, change is coming to a certain record store at 1627 E. Irving Pl. on the East Side. But don’t worry—the change won’t be too drastic. The venerable Bullseye Records will close its doors on March 31. According to a press release, longtime owner Luke Lavin will “pivot” from the record store game and “go on to a different path which will find him doing some soul-searching and considering new employment.” Enter longtime (and sole) Bullseye employee Terry Hackbarth. With the blessing of Lavin, Hackbarth—along with friend and fellow musician Don Kurth—has bought out Bullseye’s current inventory. Hackbarth and Kurth will reopen the store as Irving Place Records. The pair is aiming for a grand opening on April 20, 2024—Record Store Day. “I mostly look at it as carrying on a Milwaukee tradition,” Hackbarth tells Milwaukee Record.”

Dundas, CA | Popular Dundas record store is closing its doors after 45 years: A gem of a record store in Dundas is closing its doors later this year after almost a half-century in business. Records on Wheels has been a Downtown Dundas favourite for 45 years, located at 34 King Street East since 1979 and serving as a treasure trove for new and used vinyl in a variety of genres. However, shop owner Mike Clasen recently shared news through social media that Records on Wheels will be permanently closing its storefront, with the final date in business set for May 31st. “Thanks to everyone for your continued support over the years,” wrote Clasen in a brief Instagram post. However, it’s not completely the end for Clasen’s career in vinyl sales; he also plans to move to selling records on Facebook and other online platforms beginning this fall, where he’ll surely continue offering new gems and older finds. Ahead of the official closure in May, Records on Wheels plans to have a large inventory sale and discount club. News on that will be shared in the weeks to come.

Starkville, MS | Scott Thomas is keeping music alive: Scooter’s, owned by Scott Thomas, is not just a record store. It’s a dream brought to life. Thomas, known fondly as Scooter, opened the store in 2017. The nickname was an unlikely choice for what would come to be the name of the iconic store, but Thomas has cultivated a space that goes beyond just selling a record. From classic rock to the soundtrack of Wicked, Scooter’s boasts an extensive collection that reflects the diverse tastes of its clientele. Each record tells a story, and Thomas is always eager to share his wealth of knowledge with anyone who walks through the door. For Thomas, it’s all about the music. He always knew that he wanted to own a record store or at the very least be involved in one, but with the popularity of them dwindling and more people turning to CDs or streaming platforms, Thomas just didn’t think that it was feasible. Little did he know that in a decade or two, records would once again be all the rage and he would finally be able to open his dream store.

Los Angeles, CA | The Midnight Hour Records Shop Is A Love Letter To Northeast Valley Kids: As a kid who went to high school and college (go, Matadors!) in the 818, I know how sleepy the northeast San Fernando Valley can feel. Sure, now there are cute brunch places and street corridors that almost feel city-like, pero no match to Highland Park’s York Avenue. That isn’t shade to my dear section of the Valley, that’s just how things have been. But just because things are sleepy, it doesn’t mean arts and culture — predominantly defined by Latino and immigrant communities — isn’t here. Enter Sergio Amalfitano and his shop, The Midnight Hour Records. Midnight Hour is a musical hub in the city of San Fernando. It’s been located at the downtown San Fernando Mall since August 2021. The space houses records more than anything, but they also sell clothing, tapes, toys, jewelry, posters, socks, pins. Aside from the records, I would say it’s the perfect gift shop for the music or the 818 lover.

Edmonds, WA | Music lovers celebrate opening of Edmonds record store Musicology: Musicians, music fans and fellow business owners crowded into downtown Edmonds’ Musicology Thursday evening for a VIP event celebrating the opening of the new music boutique/ record store. Located at 420 5th Ave. S., Suite 107, the store sells used and new vinyl, CDs and other music-related merchandise. Musicology is owned by local musician Rachel Gardner (who also writes The Local Music Scene column for My Edmonds News), along with business partners Elizabeth Murray (My Edmonds News Art Beat columnist), Jason Murray and Brian Gardner.

Vancouver, CA | This Week in History, 1949: Kelly’s records gets arty with a cool ad campaign: The longtime Vancouver institution started off as a piano store in 1926. There have been countless ad campaigns in Vancouver newspapers. But few have been as charming as a Kelly’s campaign that ran in the Vancouver Daily Province magazine from Feb. 5, 1949 to May 19, 1951. Kelly’s was Vancouver’s premier record store in the 40s and 50s — the bottom of the ads boast the store had “Canada’s Most Complete Stock of Records.” The campaign started off pretty straight, with a simple, elegant illustration of a man in a suit and the line “men appreciate the expert service at Kelly’s Record Centre.” He’s holding a Kelly’s record bag in his hand. But there are hints the anonymous artist was a little different. The man is shadowy, “men” is in lower case, and a record obscures part of the “Canada’s Most Complete Stock of Records” tag line. It’s quite arty, for a small newspaper ad. The ads soon got very arty, and slyly humorous.

Long Island, NY | New York’s Record Room Takes Us On a Journey Back in Time: The Long Island City café and lounge resurrects the nostalgic charm of the 1950s. In the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York’s awaits Record Room—a nostalgic journey back to the 1950s. The bar and lounge, conceived by ex-NFL player Aaron Weaver, is a carefully curated space that exudes the charm and style of decades past. From the street, a façade of tessellated concrete tiles, warm wood paneling, and soft blue wood tones sets the stage for what’s to come. The interior design was envisioned by Record Room partner and designer Julien Albertini, the cofounder of New York- and Miami-based Asthetíque Group. Upon arrival, visitors enter Cafe by RR, which mimics a classic ’50s café. A cozy and inviting ambience is achieved here through retro furnishings, checkered floor tiles, and a color palette that evokes a sense of nostalgia. A discreet door then leads to a passageway adorned with a display of vinyl records, akin to a local record shop.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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