In rotation: 2/6/24

CA | Vinyl records outsold (and out-grossed) CDs in Canada again last week: It’s fascinating to read through Luminate’s weekly music consumption stats, especially when it comes to the sales of vinyl vs. CD. Vinyl has been on a tear in Canada since the beginning of the year, selling 43.4% more units than in January 2023. For the month, 127,688 pieces of new vinyl were sold across the country. Compare that to CD sales, which sit at 117,136, a 15.3% decline over the same period last year. And because vinyl is more expensive than CDs (crazy, I know), the revenues it generates are substantially higher. What year is this again? Let’s focus on just last week. Canadians bought 26,023 vinyl albums (+10.3% from the previous week), not counting sales of used records through indie stores and record stores (those are pretty much impossible to track). Meanwhile, 26,701 CDs, just 678 units more and 17.2% more than a week earlier. I’m going to give credit to Green Day for that with the release of their Saviors album.

Oslo, NO | “It was more run by idealism rather than good business sense.” The story of notorious Norwegian record store Helvete. Euronymous quickly built a sense of unity, especially from mid-1991, when, with the help of friends including Stian ‘Occultus’ Johansen (of early Norwegian black metal acts Perdition Hearse, Abhorrent/ Thyabhorrent and briefly Mayhem) and Marius Vold (of Mortem and Thorns), he opened a record store in Oslo. Named Helvete, the Norwegian word for hell, its primary role was as a focal point for the scene, providing a place for those in the scene to hang out in the day and party or sleep during the night. “Øystein told me straight after Dead shot himself, ‘We don’t want to have the house anymore, but I’m thinking to start a shop in Oslo’,” explains Marius. “‘Yes, you should do that, a place where we can hang out’. So he called me again when he started it and said, ‘Come down.’

Danville, IL | Danville’s newest dispensary to sell cannabis with a side of music: Seven Point Danville cannabis dispensary CEO Brad Zerman will take advantage of the vinyl-record upswing when he opens his business this spring. “We’re going to have new and re-released vinyl of all genres throughout the store,” Zerman said. The vinyl will be displayed on the walls adjacent to the cannabis displays. In keeping with the music theme, concert videos will be streamed with music playing throughout the store. Vinyl sales have continued to climb in the last decade and a half. In 2023, American consumers bought more than 49 million vinyl albums, a 14 percent increase from the year before. Zerman said he believes consumers want vinyl because “there’s no comparison between the whole experience.” “There’s no art or special lyrics that bands put on the cover” of CDs and other packaging, he said. Seven Point—named because the leaves of many varieties of cannabis have seven points—will open April 20. “That’s the international pot holiday.”

Winchester, KY | Ale-8-One Releases Popular LoFi Vinyl Featuring Popular ASMR Elements: In collaboration with advertisement and production company Powerfulbeats, Kentucky’s iconic soda brand Ale-8-One launches a unique LoFi vinyl experience. The Vinyl offers a captivating blend of LoFi music coupled with ASMR elements, the ultra-popular sensory audio experience that has taken over social media. Powerfulbeats founder John Power, whose work includes Ale-8-One’s recent musical jingle, played an integral role in bringing the Vinyl to fruition. With an extensive portfolio of big brand creative campaigns, Power delivers an immersive sensory audio experience. Key Features of Ale-8’s double-sided vinyl include a selection of LoFi Beats and a compilation of sounds from the Ale-8-One factory in the ASMR format.

How Discogs Hopes to Turn Seller Discord Over Fees Into Positive Change: The marketplace popular with vinyl collectors wants to evolve, and is forming an advisory board to power a “dynamic conversation” with users. With 110 million buyers, sellers, collectors and lurkers roaming through Discogs every year, the 23-year-old online music marketplace’s forum threads are not exactly full of emotional support. In one of the notoriously messy threads, users complain about the May 2023 increase in selling fees from 8–9%. “What a rip off,” goes one post. …Several Discogs users say they’re skeptical of broad changes coming from executive leadership, which they say hasn’t listened to their concerns. Jonathan Highfield, a longtime seller near Liverpool, England, complains that Greissle, a liaison between Discogs management and user forums, is too overloaded to respond effectively about slow-loading pages or difficulty searching for releases by genre, style or label. “If they’re listening, great, but the channel is too narrow for enough information to pass through,” Highfield says. “It makes people not want to use the site.”

The 12 Very Best Vinyl Record Storage Solutions — ‘My Collection Has Never Looked Better!’ From compact racks to sweeping shelves, the best vinyl record storage solution awaits, helping you to create the decluttered music library of your dreams. Vinyl records have been around for almost 100 years. Their popularity has waned since their heyday in the ‘60s and ‘70s, thanks most recently to streaming. Nevertheless, they’re experiencing a renaissance. Which means the best vinyl record storage has has a modern upgrade, too. Much like reading a book in person over doing so on a screen, there’s something beautifully tactile about a vinyl record. Whether you’re just starting your vinyl collection or have been amassing records for decades, these are valuable pieces of musical history that deserve to be stored with integrity, ideally near your best soundbar. Professional organizer Laura Price emphasizes, “Records aren’t just practical; they also double up as decor items and can add color and texture to your space.”

Linkin Park announces wide release of ‘Lost Demos’ Record Store Day vinyl: Linkin Park’s Lost Demos vinyl is getting a wide release. After previously being a Record Store Day exclusive, the compilation will be available at the outlet of your choice on March 1. You can preorder your copy now. Lost Demos collects various recordings from the sessions for Linkin Park’s 2003 sophomore album, Meteora. It was originally included on the digital and CD editions of 2023’s 20th anniversary Meteora reissue before it made its vinyl debut for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event. Among the songs included on Lost Demos is the unearthed single “Lost,” which features lead vocals by the late Chester Bennington.

Godzilla Minus One Vinyl Soundtrack Announced: Godzilla Minus One has little if nothing else to prove. Following its debut in 2023, the monster movie has become a force of nature at the theaters. With more than $100 million USD grossed globally, there is no denying Godzilla Minus One is a hit. Now, the movie is ready to bring its soundtrack home to fans, and it is doing so with a very sweet vinyl. As you can see here, Amazon has listed the soundtrack of Godzilla Minus One on vinyl. The record is rather pricey at over $110 USD. The vinyl soundtrack comes with two black records labeled with an imagine of Godzilla. As for the cover, the soundtrack folds open to show the kaiju in all his glory. So if you want to check out the film’s soundtrack at home, this vinyl would do the trick. Currently, the Godzilla Minus One soundtrack is slated to release March 8th. The vinyl will be imported from Japan, but pre-orders can get paid delivery for the release date itself. Otherwise, Amazon is offering free delivery by March 11th for those who pre-order the vinyl.

Stop streaming and start spinning, a love letter to vinyl records: …Collecting vinyl gave me new connections to other music lovers who appreciate the physical nature of it. A couple years ago, my friends and I scoured Spokane’s vinyl stores almost on a weekly basis. We’d dig through the crates at Resurrection Records before heading back to one of our houses to spin what we found. Sometimes, I walk away empty-handed. Sometimes I find a $3 record from the used bin with worn, white edges that pops and crackles the first time it’s played. Other times it’s vinyl that rerecorded some of its songs to make them special for that edition, making the listening experience different from what one would find online. Sometimes it’s a Black Flag demo record from 1982 with a crazy cover and some of your favorite songs on it stripped down to their original versions and even though it doesn’t sound as great as the versions on Spotify, it still earns a spot in your rotation. A day spent browsing record stores with friends, whether for CDs, cassettes or vinyl, is always a day well spent—even if you leave with nothing.

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