Author Archives: TVD HQ

In rotation: 11/14/19

Can Vinyl Save the Music Industry? Gen X, Gen Z and millennials are all buying into the vinyl hype, as sales increase steadily. In a time when most music is almost free and at your fingertips, however, will LPs play long enough to bring the music industry back in tune? …RIAA data shows that 25-to-34-year-olds and 18-to-24-year-olds accounted for 19 and 16 per cent respectively of U.S. new vinyl sales in 2018. This is valuable to artists who are not being paid what they’d like to be on streaming services. For artists, selling other merchandise has become increasingly important. Luckily for them, some fans are willing to pay for exclusive merchandise and experiences on crowdfunding platforms. A 2013 Indiegogo campaign for the Canadian band Protest The Hero raised nearly $450,000 to fund an album and 1,299 copies of the signed, limited-edition vinyl LP were claimed as rewards. Katy Perry has a vinyl record coming out soon. It’s a record-first release but her truest “Katy Cats” will surely snatch up those 4,000 copies to hold a piece of their favourite artist in their hands.

Long Beach, CA | Long Beach record store and marijuana dispensary partner to host free concert: The dispensary ShowGrow, which has a business location in Long Beach, partnered with local record store Analog Records on Nov. 9 to host Cozy Sesh 7, a free concert that gave cannabis businesses the opportunity to share information about the recreational marijuana industry with community members. This is the seventh Cozy Sesh event Analog Records has held. The events are free, but attendees have to register online beforehand and space is limited. The featured performers for Cozy Sesh 7 were the musician Cherokee and the group Capyac, who performed on a stage in Analog Record’s parking lot. Throughout the day, disc jockeys also provided music both in the parking lot and the store itself. Cherokee is a French musician signed to the label Roche Musique. His music belongs to the genre French touch, according to Roche Musique’s website.

Detroit, MI | The Detroit roots of hip-hop label Fat Beats run deep: In the early ’90s, hip-hop wasn’t the mainstream cultural behemoth it is today. Back then, hip-hop was still largely a non-commercial art form found in Black and brown communities in cities across the United States. Founded in 1994 by Joe Abajian (aka DJ Jab) in New York City, Fat Beats was a record store that brought these communities together — and quickly became a nerve center for all things hip-hop. Originally located on Manhattan’s lower east side, Fat Beats has played an enormous role in celebrating hip-hop culture in its purest form for the last 25 years. Throughout the ’90s and 2000s, Fat Beats was where you went to cop the latest must-have 12-inch single, chat with fellow hip-hop heads, and catch legendary in-store performances from artists such as Black Star, Organized Konfusion, Outkast, and Common. As the business got going, it didn’t take long for Fat Beats to establish itself as a distribution company and, eventually, a record label. At its height, Fat Beats also had storefronts in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.

St Petersburg, FL | Daddy Kool Records to join The Factory St. Pete in 2020: Do you love Daddy Kool? Of course you do. We all do. The music hub had long been a staple on the 600 Block before moving to a larger space in the Warehouse Arts District. The record store hosts monthly night markets, live music, and is home to one of the most expansive record collections in all of Tampa Bay. So it makes sense that in 2020 it would join The Factory, a sprawling immersive arts, entertainment, food + drink concept. Like we said before, if you’re not following The Factory on Facebook and Instagram, you should change that ASAP. The massive creative destination in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg is already set to house Fairgrounds, an artist created immersive experience. Residents got a taste of what they can expect from the 12,000-square-foot experimental art exhibit with a live mermaid show at the SHINE finale. Additional concepts such as the eclectic coffee/art/music hub Black Crow Coffee will also open at The Factory next year.

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Demand it on Vinyl:
Tim Buckley, Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968 2-CD in stores 11/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | First-ever release of two-disc set, recorded live between his second and third studio albums, offers a rare glimpse into the legendary singer/songwriter.

By 1968, Tim Buckley had developed into one of the most promising singer/songwriters on the scene, following the release of his second album, 1967’s Goodbye and Hello. Less than a year after that album’s release, Buckley checked into The Electric Theatre Co. in Chicago in May 1968 for a couple of shows. The best performances from those sets are featured on Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968, a remarkable 14-song collection, which will be released for the first time ever November 22 on Los Angeles based Manifesto Records.

The two-CD set finds Buckley in an intimate performance backed only by an unidentified bass player and Carter C.C. Collins on congas. Buckley is captured in a loose, improvisational performance as he works out new material, including “Sing a Song for You” and “Gypsy Woman,” which would appear as studio versions on 1969’s Happy Sad, and his interpretation of Fred Neil’s “Dolphins,” which would later turn up on the 1973 studio set Sefronia.

Though these performances are now more than 50 years old, they prove to be timeless as Buckley’s influence lives on today, despite the fact his life was cut shockingly short from an overdose in 1975. He was just 28. Buckley’s influence is such that there are two tribute albums dedicated to him with a diverse range of artists, including Mark Lanegan, Mojave 3, Cousteau, and Sufjan Stevens, covering his songs.

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In rotation: 11/13/19

The Internet Archive is now working to preserve vinyl LPs: The Internet Archive is an absolute treasure with a gigantic task ahead of them. They have now set their sights on vinyl LPs and started the work of digitizing and archiving these recordings. Earlier this year, the Internet Archive began working with the Boston Public Library (BPL) to digitize more than 100,000 audio recordings from their sound collection. The recordings exist in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs. They span musical genres including classical, pop, rock, and jazz, and contain obscure recordings like this album of music for baton twirlers , and this record of radio’s all-time greatest bloopers. Since all of the information on an LP is printed, the digitization process must begin by cataloging data. High-resolution scans are taken of the cover art, the disc itself and any inserts or accompanying materials. The record label, year recorded, track list and other metadata are supplemented and cross-checked against various external databases.

Whangārei, NZ | Whangārei music enthusiasts enjoy record collectors fair: Bowie, Clapton, The Beatles and more music legends drew vinyl lovers to the Whangārei Record Collectors Fair on Saturday. The bi-annual event is in its third year and is a true treasure trove with its large range of second-hand records ranging from rock and pop, to reggae and punk, and of course, hip-hop and classical were also represented. Northern Advocate photographer John Stone captured images of music enthusiasts while listening to some fine tunes on Bank St.

Chicago, IL | Chicago’s Bloodshot Records Celebrates 25th Anniversary: It is the silver anniversary of a Chicago independent record label that sets the gold standard for roots music in the city and beyond. Bloodshot Records started on the fringes of the music scene and staked a claim with rock and country shot through with punk and soul. We visited their headquarters on the eve of the label’s 25th anniversary and got an earful…”We were seeing all these bands around town at tiny little clubs that didn’t necessarily know about one another, that were all touching on roots music in some weird way and kind of operating independently of one another and just very organically creating this sound. And we thought well here’s a good place for us to stitch it together and kind of make a scene out of it and give it a name and some kind of identity.” …If you profess to love independent music, you as a fan need to support it. You need to support these musicians because no one’s getting rich here. Everyone exists on the fringes and we’re doing it for a very basic love of it, but the economic model is largely unsustainable. We’re absolutely foolhardy to continue to do it.”

Springfield, IL | A record deal: Woman says ‘yes’ among the vinyl: Andy Krisak popped the question to Cori Claycomb Sunday. It was filed under “S.” Krisak, an underwriter for U.S. Insurance in Springfield, took a novel approach to the marriage proposal, spelling out “Cori, will you marry me?” over five different vinyl record sleeves and hiding them among the stacks at Dumb Records, 418 E. Monroe St. “I was stunned,” admitted Claycomb, who works in the education department at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. “I had no idea.” Both are huge music fans. Claycomb even did her college thesis paper on the resurgence of vinyl records. Claycomb admitted she has a precise way of going through record store albums, beginning with “A” and going straight through alphabetically. Krisak eventually steered her towards the “S” section where the proposal waited. “I’ve been planning this awhile,” Krisak said. “Finally, the planets aligned.” Dumb Records owner Brian Galecki was in on the plan and helping with the plastic sleeves, “so I had to keep a straight face when they walked in.” Galecki said it is “definitely” the first marriage proposal for the independent record store, which opened up in its current location earlier this year.

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TVD Radar: Grateful Dead Origins, graphic novel deluxe edition
and LP in stores 4/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As Z2 Comics continues to revolutionize the comics industry with their music collaborations, the track list for the audio from the upcoming 2020 Grateful Dead graphic novel is now available.

Grateful Dead Origins tells the story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and cultural movement through their music and community. Artist Noah Van Sciver illustrates an original history created by writer Chris Miskiewicz. The graphic novel will be available in 2 editions: a standard edition and a limited run collectors deluxe edition. The standard edition available here will feature an exclusive download of 13 tracks curated by famed Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. Lemieux, the keeper of the vault of Grateful Dead music, personally selected the tracklist composed of:

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) – from Grateful Dead
Cream Puff War – from Rare Cuts
Walking The Dog – from Rare Cuts
Viola Lee Blues – from Road Trips 2/2/68
Hey Little One – from Rare Cuts
That’s It For The Other One – from Anthem Of The Sun
Midnight Hour – from 1966 30 Trips
Standing On The Corner – from Rare Cuts
China Cat Sunflower – from Aoxomoxoa
Big Railroad Blues – from Rare Cuts
Morning Dew – from Grateful Dead
Keep Rolling By – from 1966 30 Trips
Cosmic Charlie – from Aoxomoxoa

The limited run collector’s deluxe edition will have the same download as the standard edition but will also be bundled with a vinyl LP containing a previously unreleased live performance from the Grateful Dead. The performance was recorded at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on August 21, 1968. The track list for the vinyl is:

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In rotation: 11/12/19

Oak Park, IL | UPDATE: Chicago Institution Val’s Halla Records To Shutter: Val’s Halla Records, the longtime independent Chicago record store, announced that after 47 years, it is closing its doors. The record store, which first opened in 1972, is located on Harrison Street in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, at least until the end of November. According to WBBM Radio, the store is closing down for economic reasons. Shayne Blakeley, a longtime employee, took over the store last year following the death of its longtime owner Val Camilletti, told WBBM that business has dropped off significantly in the past year. “I have not been able to recover. It’s insurmountable,” Blakeley told WBBM. Val’s Halla Records was one of the Chicago indie record stores featured in the 2012 documentary Re-Vinylized.

Brighton, UK | Watch a new film celebrating 30 years of record shop and label Mr Bongo: One of the most prolific purveyors of Brazilian, Latin, and African music. Mr Bongo is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new short film, called Life In Music: 30 Years of Mr Bongo. Directed by Owen Tozer, Life In Music: 30 Years of Mr Bongo follows owner and founder David Buttle’s journey from selling records in his house, his first visit to Brazil, and opening Mr Bongo in Soho. Founded in 1989 and moving three times around Soho in the following years, and even opening a shop in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, Mr Bongo entered into the label business full-time in 2003. Since launching the label, Mr Bongo have become a household name in reissuing Brazilian, Latin and African music, including singer and song-writer Akofa Akoussah’s self titled LP – one of our favourite reissues of early 2019. The label has also released new music from the likes of Kit Sebastian.

Houston, TX | ‘Vinyl revival’: Here are the best records stores across the Houston area, according to Yelp: A famous musician once said that vinyl would outlast CDs, and a recent report from the Recording Industry Association of America apparently now confirms the claim. Vinyl albums will outsell CDs for the first time ever since 1986, having grown 13 percent to $224 million outpacing CDs, which grew by less than 1 percent so far this year, the report showed. Streaming is still king, however, the report also showed. The trend is part of the “vinyl revival” movement led by many Grammy-award winning musicians, including Jack White of Detroit-based Third Man Records, an independent record label and vinyl record store. But you don’t have to travel to Michigan to get your favorite music on vinyl; compiled a list of the best record stores in the Houston area by their ratings on Yelp.

Oxford, UK | New record store opens in traffic-free Walton Street: There is no longer crosstown traffic in Walton Street but there is a new record shop. Store boss Andy Tucker, who is opening Riverman Records there in a former Threshers’ off-licence, is hoping there will be strong footfall even if vehicles can no longer use the route. The 59-year-old ran record stores in Henley for the past decade but has always wanted to open a shop in Oxford. Now he has left Henley and spent thousands of pounds renovating the former drink shop, taking out a five-year lease. Earlier this year the county council decided to close Walton Street to traffic on a trial basis for up to 18 months. Mr Tucker, whose shop selling mainly second-hand vinyl records opens this week, has no objection to the traffic ban. He said: “From an ecological point of view I think this is sound. “I would be quite happy if Walton Street never reopened to traffic – it used to get very clogged up.”

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TVD Radar: Dio, The Studio Album Collection in stores 2/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | BMG and Niji Entertainment Group Inc. have partnered to reissue DIO’s 1996 – 2004 studio albums: Angry Machines (1996), Magica (2000), Killing The Dragon (2002), and Master Of The Moon (2004).

These newly remastered versions feature rare and never before released live and studio bonus tracks, and were remastered by longtime DIO collaborator Wyn Davis with updated artwork from frequent DIO designer Marc Sasso. Long out of print on vinyl, the 180gram black vinyl includes the original tracklistings and is available as a Limited Edition first run with and LP-sized Lenticular album art print. As a special bonus, the Magica 2LP also contains a 7” single featuring ‘Electra’, the only known completed track from the planned Magica 2 album.

The CD versions of each album have also been long out of print globally. These newly remastered deluxe versions are showcased in mediabook packaging along with a second disc featuring rare and unreleased bonus material. In addition to rare studio tracks ‘Electra’ (included on Magica), and ‘Prisoner Of Paradise’ (included on Master Of The Moon), each bonus disc includes a selection of both rare or never before released live tracks from the accompanying tour for each studio release.

All bonus tracks are also available on the streaming/digital versions. Check the links below to hear rare live tracks from across DIO’s legendary career: “Man On The Silver Mountain” – Recorded Live on the Angry Machines Tour, “Lord Of the Last Day” – Recorded Live on The Magica Tour, “Holy Diver” – Recorded Live on the Killing The Dragon Tour, “Heaven and Hell” – Recorded Live on the Master Of The Moon Tour

Wendy Dio says, “I am very excited to be working with BMG, a label that still has a passion for rock music. They will be making the complete DIO catalogue available again with some interesting surprises.”

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TVD Radar: No Other Love : Midwest Gospel (1965-1978) in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | This collection of rare black gospel from the Midwest—featuring church congregations, basement recordings sessions, family bands and children’s choirs—is drawn together by two threads.

The first—hope—which holds fast and unchanging, even in the most trying of circumstances. The second—circumstance—the way these recordings fell into the hands of producer, Ramona Stout, in Chicago at the dawn of the Obama era, when she had just about lost hope in her American Dream. Over the course of five years (2006-2011) of vinyl hustling in Chicago’s South and West Sides, these 45s came into Ramona’s hands, mixed up in milk-crates stacked with Northern Soul, water-damaged jazz and Hall & Oates LPs. After much travel and time, Ramona has articulated the spirit that drove this music forward. In this collection, she writes of this music and its relationship to the struggling communities where the records were found.

Sourced from exceedingly rare 45s—many of which were vanity pressings of less than 100 copies—all but one of the tracks found on this collection appear for the first time since their original release. Remastered by Grammy-winning producer Christopher King, these recordings have been resurrected for a new generation of listeners. With art direction by Grammy-winning graphic designer Susan Archie, this collection is a tangible, immersive experience in the struggles—the victories, the failures and the lingering hope—that defined Chicago in the post-Civil Rights era.

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In rotation: 11/11/19

Fort Wayne, IN | Owner puts Neat Neat Neat Records up for sale: A message posted Friday evening on Facebook signals a looming change for a well known local record store. The owners of “Neat Neat Neat Records and Music” said they are “actively pursuing a buyer,” as they move on to a new endeavor…”I feel that it is time that we come public with our intentions and the future of NNN. I am starting a new company that I am very excited about, and that shows a lot of promise. In order to put my full efforts behind this new venture, Danielle and I have decided that I will need to step away from Neat Neat Neat, which means selling it. This decision does not come lightly. NNN has been my lifes work thus far, and my intention is to see it continue to flourish under new ownership.” UPDATE: “We have had a very serious offer from a prospective buyer and will be talking tomorrow about moving forward. I’ll keep everyone updated as we proceed.”

San Francisco, CA | Rasputin Music On Haight Street Closes: Rasputin Music, the iconic Bay Area record store chain, will be closing its Haight Ashbury location, its last storefront in San Francisco. Employees were informed Friday. The Haight Ashbury Rasputin location opened in 2013. Rasputin closing its doors is the latest in a series of storefronts shutting down on Haight Street. Christin Evans runs The Booksmith on Haight Street, located just a few doors down. She is also the president of the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association and has been active in the economic welfare of the street since 2007. “There’s about 150 storefronts on Haight Street and there have been more vacant ones on Haight recently than any other time in my memory of being on the street,” she tells SF Weekly. “Even when we had the economic downturn we did not see as many storefronts closed as we do now.” She says she believes the stores closing on the street is the result of several factors all at once.

Shamrock, TX | Spinning the black circle: Spinning Jenny’s House of Music: As the saying goes, everything old is new again, and the comeback of vinyl records is proof of that. The resurgence of the classic musical platform has inspired one local resident and helped give an economic boost to the city of Shamrock. “All the way from Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Pampa, and Oklahoma. We have several that come from there,” said Jenny Morgan, Spinning Jenny’s House of Music owner. Spinning Jenny’s House of Music has been open since 2017. Life long resident and owner Jenny Morgan got the idea to open her own record store by watching something else spin round and round. “I honestly was doing laundry one day and it just came to me. I was just racking my brain, ‘What can I do that I would really enjoy for the rest of my life,’ and I thought its got to be something with music,” said Morgan.

Chicago, IL | Selling Your Record Collection To Move On In Life The Focus Of New Documentary Based At Dusty Groove: “It’s really not about how cool records are or the resurgence of vinyl, it’s really about people who are letting go of the things that once defined them.” A new documentary about West Town’s Dusty Groove records is a lot more than a story about vinyl. The film, “Dusty Groove: The Sound of Transition,” is Chicago filmmaker Danielle Beverly’s look at several people at a transition in their lives, often opting to sell their record collections to move on to their next phase. But Beverly provides enough footage of record culture to satisfy the vinyl lovers. “If someone loves vinyl records and record stores, they are going to love this film. The vinyl nerds are going to get their fix. But it’s really not about how cool records are or the resurgence of vinyl, it’s really about people who are letting go of the things that once defined them,” Beverly said. Beverly is a professor at Northwestern University who teaches documentary filmmaking both in Evanston and at the school’s campus in Qatar. She recently moved back to Chicago from Qatar. …“I had just finished buying a record collection from a woman named Jazzy Joyce, who was one of the first female hip-hop DJs in New York,” Wojcik recalled. “This was like 2010 and Joyce was just ready to start the next chapter of her life. And as with everybody when I buy these records, hers was just a fascinating story.”

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TVD Radar: Third Man Records announces
new Shinola turntable in stores 11/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is excited to announce the Third Man Turntable, created in partnership with Shinola.

The two revered Detroit institutions have combined their efforts and the superior craftsmanship both brands are known for to create a very limited-edition Third Man-centric run of Shinola’s already-beloved turntables. The Third Man Turntable is available for pre-order online now and will be available in Third Man Records stores on Black Friday. The limited edition Third Man Turntable is a joint effort between the Shinola Audio team and Third Man Records.

In their ongoing mission to empower new generations of music lovers and vinyl enthusiasts, it felt right for Third Man to strike up a partnership with Shinola, because a collaboration like this needs to be fueled by a mutual passion for well designed objects and appreciation for the power of music.

Every element, including the craftsmanship of the plinth, precision-machined aluminum platter, and powerful, ultra-quiet motor, is hand-assembled piece by piece. The turntable features a built-in, switchable phono preamplifier and a belt driven pulley with speeds of 33 1/3 rpm and 45rpm. It is equipped with an Ortofon 2M blue phono cartridge with many components made by VPI Industries, an American veteran of turntable manufacturing.

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In rotation: 11/8/19

Cambridge, UK | Vital vinyl: The 3 best record shops in Cambridge: Shopping for vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record outlets in Cambridge, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for vinyl records. November is the top month of the year for consumer spending at retail and wholesale businesses across the Cambridge area, according to data on local business transactions from Womply, a provider of customer relationship management software and email automation for small businesses. The average amount spent per customer transaction at Cambridge-area retail and wholesale businesses grew to $89 for the metro area in November of last year, 5% higher than the average for the rest of the year. Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in this article may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions.

Sydney, AU | Fish Fine Music to close at the end of the year: Classical music specialist record store Fish Fine Music has announced it will close forever on December 21. The Sydney store, which opened as The Record Collector in 1982, is the last remaining classical music specialist shop in the country, following the closure of Melbourne’s Thomas’ Music last year. Operated and owned by the same family as when it opened, the store moved to a larger space at Town Hall Square in 2016, after more than ten years in the Queen Victoria Building. “It has been a great pleasure to meet and serve so many like-minded, wonderful customers. As this is the end of an era, we look back on so many years of being part of what was such a vibrant industry,” said the store’s owner Paul Nemeth when he announced the closure. “Many will ask why we are closing and it is briefly that record companies continue monthly to delete hundreds of titles in favour of streaming. The difficulty this causes for us in getting regular and consistent supply, along with the vagaries of releases and distribution, have made retail just too difficult. As the last Classical retailer, shoplifting has reached such a level that we are unable to cover the losses on the margins we work under.”

Austin, TX | Austin Record Convention celebrates 38 years this weekend: Vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years as music lovers re-discover the sound that vinyl offers. Now, vinyl lovers can celebrate as the Austin Record Convention returns for the 38th year. “People like to have a piece of that history in their collection. When you put on a record you have a chance to sit with the music.” said Nathan Hanners, the organizer of the Austin Record Convention. “I think people just miss the feeling and miss the tactfulness of the record.” said Hanners. The convention started in 1981 and usually runs twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Vinyl’s have become so popular that they are on track to outsell CD’s for the first time in 33 years, according to the Rolling Stone. Over 300 dealers from across the US and Europe will converge at the Palmer Events Center in Austin to sell over a million records.

London, UK | New record shop, Hidden Sounds, has opened in London: “A multi-disciplinary platform for buying records, hosting workshops, and putting on concerts.” A new record shop, called Hidden Sounds, has opened in London’s Bethnal Green. “Hidden Sounds is not related to any particular genre or style of music, but its main focus is to offer something different and unique by exploring the potential of hidden sounds”, explain owners Alex and Francesco. So far, Hidden Sounds has hosted the likes of Donna Leake and Brilliant Corners’ Amit & Aneesh for in-store sets. Visit Hidden Sounds in person at 144 Cambridge Heath Road, E1 5QP, London.

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In rotation: 11/7/19

London, UK | Record store and dubplate-cutting studio Disc World crowdfunds to open in London: A proposed Deptford shopfront would house the 1-800-DUBPLATE vinyl-cutting service and a store for specialist dance music vinyl. A Kickstarter is underway to fund a record store and dubplate-cutting shopfront in Deptford, southeast London. Disc World is seeking £12,500 to set up the store, half of which has already been funded since launching last week. It’s a venture from Chris Royle and Lewis Joyce from 1-800-DUBPLATE, an online vinyl-cutting service. A walk-in cutting studio will be built in the back of the proposed shop while the front will house records “specializing but not limited to underground dance music.” Pledger rewards include a 3×12-inch dubplate cut and a 50-record run of your own music. The campaign ends November 30th.

The Miniature 3-Inch Vinyl Format Is Growing Fast — Disney Is Now on Board: The mini-turntable has seen multiple releases this year from artists like All Time Low and Beastie Boys. Now a new collaboration will see vinyl based on classic animations that span several generations. The Disney/Pixar 3-inch vinyl single series will feature songs from Disney films. Each release also includes a collector’s edition poster and lyric sheet. Singles as part of this collection include “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “A Part Of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King, and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story. Also coming is a 3-inch vinyl blind box series with singles from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The blind box series comes in an outer box that reproduces the original album art and includes one of four songs. “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Linus and Lucy,” and “Skating,” are all included.

Chicago, IL | Val was Val’s: The news Saturday that Val’s halla, the beloved and long overlooked Oak Park record store, would close up at the end of November came as a dull thud of secondary pain, 15 months after we all mourned the death of our friend, Val Camilletti. Val was Val’s. And for a decade after most of us had stopped buying CDs, her aura still drew us into her Harrison Street shop from time to time. We searched the bins for something to buy but mainly we just wanted to chat up Val, to bask in her warmth. Shayne Blakeley, Val’s sidekick in the store for nearly 20 years, was left with the fading glow and as he dug deeper, an ever-deeper pile of financial problems with record distributors owed money and, as he said in a Monday morning interview, “the worst first quarter of sales in 20 years.” “The wolves are at the gate and the stress of running this on my own is too much,” he said. Now he is spending his days trying to sell inventory, including music posters and other memorabilia collected over decades. He is also on the internet trying to find a next step for a near 40-year-old who has spent the first decades of his adulthood working for an icon in a fading industry.

Nova Scotia, CA | Murray Deal’s 8,000 country music records are heading west: Amanda Jackson searched for a buyer who would keep her dad’s record collection intact. A Nova Scotian’s massive collection of country music records is heading west to live out its days on a cattle ranch in central B.C. Murray Deal spent nearly six decades lovingly collecting and meticulously cataloguing roughly 8,000 records, which he kept in a music room in his basement. Deal died last year, and his daughter, Amanda Jackson, began searching for a buyer who would appreciate the collection the way its creator did. “I think he’d be happy to know that it’s going to somebody that’s really excited about it and is going to show it off,” Jackson said. That person is Dan Mott, a record collector from Burnaby, B.C., who has ties to Nova Scotia. Mott travelled to Nova Scotia last week and spent two days carefully boxing up the records so they can be shipped to his home. “We were sort of gobsmacked, I guess you could say, when we first walked in and looked at the collection. It was really quite remarkable,” said Mott.

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TVD Radar: Modern English, Mesh & Lace and After the Snow vinyl reissues in stores 12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Both albums have been remastered and feature brand new, re-imagined artwork by original album artist Vaughan Oliver and will be available on LP and CD formats, with non-LP bonus tracks on the CD edition.

Simply put, “I Melt With You” by Modern English is one of the most iconic songs of the New Wave-era. It garnered heavy rotation on the then-thriving Modern Rock radio format, MTV and dance clubs across the globe, and was featured prominently in the classic 1983 film Valley Girl, starring a young Nicholas Cage. Yet Modern English was no mere one-hit wonder. Mesh & Lace, the band’s 1981 full-length debut, reveals that long before the band conquered the airwaves, it was churning out dark, moody and challenging post-punk that rivaled such peers as The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, and their then-4AD labelmates Bauhaus. On 1982’s After the Snow, the band’s sound evolved into a more commercial and radio friendly mix of synthesizers, guitars, catchy drumbeats and singer Robby Grey’s unmistakable vocals. That album spawned “I Melt With You” and brought Modern English up from the underground to the mainstream.

On December 6, Los Angeles-based Blixa Sounds will release these two classic albums, remastered on vinyl LP and CD formats, with a collection of non-LP bonus tracks exclusively on the CD edition. Both albums will feature new re-imagined artwork by Vaughan Oliver, the noted artist /designer responsible for the original Modern English album art.

The huge success of “I Melt With You” often over shadows that fact the Modern English were pioneers of the British post-punk scene. Formed in 1979 in Colchester, England, the band self-released its first single on its own Limp Records label, prior to signing to the legendary 4AD label, home to such like-minded acts as Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, and Dead Can Dance. The band also gained the attention of renowned BBC DJ John Peel, who featured the band twice on his program.

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In rotation: 11/6/19

London, UK | Independent Label Market London announces annual Christmas event at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross with the London Brewers’ Market, Saturday 30th November: 2019 has been another stellar year for Independent Label Market. ILM crossed the channel to host a record number of events in Paris, Berlin (x2), Taranto, Brussels and Barcelona as well as announcing a new home for its flagship London events at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. On Saturday 30th November, ILM hosts its final market of the year, the Christmas event in partnership with AIM – the Association of Independent Music. An all star crew of labels will be joining on the day including !K7, 4AD, Bella Union, Brownswood, Erased Tapes, Heavenly, Hospital, Late Night Tales, Lex, Lucky Number, Moshi Moshi, Mute, Secretly Canadian, Strut and Transgressive. ILM’s other main partner for the London Winter event is the London Brewers’ Market which will be representing quintessential names in the London independent brewery scene. There will also be fantastically eclectic label DJ sets throughout the day in the ever-expanding beer garden.

Kingston, UK | Banquet Records urge Kingstonians to register to vote ahead of election with banner drop: Kingston’s Banquet Records unveiled a banner on Monday (November 4) urging residents to register to vote in the upcoming General Election. The store posted a picture to Twitter showing a giant banner, hanging above the shop, directing Kingstonians towards the government’s voter registration website ( ) ahead of polling day on December 12. The renowned record store pride themselves on engaging with social issues beyond selling records. Earlier this year, the Comet reported on Banquet’s support for a homelessness charity appeal in the borough run by Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). Banquet Manager Jon Tolley told the Comet that he hoped Banquet could reach potential voters who might not otherwise have registered. “We have a unique platform here to reach young people who might not be reached by other media. “It’s not party political, it’s not about pushing our own thoughts or beliefs onto people, it’s about encouraging them to get involved and sign up,” he said.

UK | Blue Note Records marks 80th anniversary with UK pop-up store: To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the legendary jazz record label, Blue Note Records will open its first ever UK pop-up store this month. The pop-up opens at Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross on November 15 to coincide with the opening night of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2019. The store will feature exclusive framed canvas artwork, Blue Note 80 prints, audio and visual installations, exclusive merchandise, plus vinyl, CDs, DVD and Blu-Ray copies of the film Blue Note Records Beyond The Notes. There’s also a revised 80th anniversary edition of the celebrated book, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression: The Finest in Jazz Since 1939 by the late Richard Havers. An array of additional events at the store will be announced across the week with special guest artists, music, cultural speakers and label representatives. The Blue Note roster has included John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Cannonball Adderley and Dexter Gordon, among hundreds of others.

Popular C 558 Turntable Gets Unique Makeover for Black Friday: NAD Electronics, makers of award-winning high-performance home audio equipment, unveiled a limited edition turntable featuring a custom design by Toronto-based illustrator, Brandon Serbec of Mystery Meat Design. Eight of the brand’s popular C 558 turntables were given the vinyl-wrapped treatment as part of NAD Electronics’ partnership with Record Store Day Canada. While these limited edition turntables will not be available for public purchase, Canadian vinyl listeners will have the opportunity to win one of these unique turntables in a contest being run jointly by NAD Electronics’ Canadian distributor, Lenbrook, and the Record Store Day Canada organization…“Rather than rely on a lot of stereotypical tropes of Canada and music, we wanted to pay homage to the iconic live music venues around the country that are ground zero for talent development,” says June Ip, Vice-President of Marketing for NAD Electronics. “Live music can be found just about anywhere, from concert halls to church basements and everything in between. And while we may not always acknowledge it, these venues are part of the musical heritage of our communities and our country.”

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TVD Radar: Mary J. Blige, HERstory, Vol. 1,
2-LP and 8-7″ box set
in stores 12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Mary J. Blige, the legendary Grammy and Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and honorary Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, will release an immersive box set of her biggest 1990s hits along with rare remixes, HERstory, Vol. 1, on December 6 via UMe. The collection will be released in three physical forms: a set of eight standard-weight black 7″ vinyl records, a 1CD version, a 2LP set, and a digital version. From her solo 1992 hit “You Remind Me” to the 1993 remix of “What’s the 411” featuring K-Ci (of K-Ci and JoJo) and the Notorious B.I.G., HERstory, Vol. 1 tells the story of Blige as she first established herself as a tour de force of ’90s R&B.

Born in the Bronx and raised between Savannah, Georgia and Yonkers, New York, Blige caught the attention of Andre Harrell, co-founder of Uptown Records in 1988 when she recorded a cover of Anita Baker’s 1986 ballad “Caught Up in the Rapture” at the Galleria Mall in Westchester, New York. After a few years as a backing singer for Uptown artists like Father MC, she launched from the projects to stardom, recording her 3x platinum 1992 debut, What’s the 411?, with Sean “Puffy” Combs behind the board. 411’s singles “You Remind Me,” “Real Love,” “Reminisce,” and “Love No Limit” are represented on HERstory, Vol. 1; the first in its original form, the latter three in remixes previously unreleased on 7″ format.

Blige followed up her classic debut with another knockout, My Life, which featured the singles “Be Happy,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “Mary Jane (All Night Long),” “You Bring Me Joy,” and “I Love You.” Like its predecessor, My Life went 3x platinum and gained rave reviews; Billboard called the album “sterling” and “You Bring Me Joy” “full of giddy street romance.” All five singles appear on the box set; “Mary Jane” in an LL Cool J and Diddy-assisted remix, and “I Love You” featuring the hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wesson. Also featured is “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By,” Blige’s 1995 duet with Method Man that won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and rocketed to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

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In rotation: 11/5/19

Oak Park, IL | Iconic Val’s Halla Records To Close After Nearly 50 Years: “Val’s has been a huge part of so many people’s lives over the decades and we’ll never see its like again,” management wrote. An iconic Oak Park business is planning to close its doors. Val’s Halla Records, which has been a beloved spot in the city for nearly 50 years, announced Saturday that it will close at the end of November. The news came in a heartfelt Facebook post from the record store’s current owner, Shayne Blakely. He wrote, “It breaks my heart to announce this but unfortunately Val’s Halla will be closing it’s doors at the end of the month. ” He added, “Val’s has been a huge part of so many people’s lives over the decades and we’ll never see its like again.” The post prompted a flood of comments, with many customers asking if they can do anything to help the store stay afloat. “The damage is done,” Blakely wrote. Other fans of Val’s Halla Records wrote that they were “devastated” by the news of the store closing.

Corvallis, OR | Happy Trails turns 45: Happy Trails Records, the venerable Corvallis music shop, quietly celebrated its 45th anniversary Friday. No balloons, no 45% off sales … not even a poster on the windows of the store at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Third Street. The store does still have a basket of free condoms on a table just inside the door, but they weren’t part of the celebration. Owner Doug DiCarolis, who’s been involved with the store for 34 of those 45 years, did advise the steady stream of customers Friday of the anniversary, but otherwise it was business as usual for the store. And business is OK these days, DiCarolis said, although anyone who has tracked the record industry over the past 45 years knows there have been some fat and sassy years … as well as some down times. “It’s amazing that we are still here,” DiCarolis said. “It wasn’t easy. There were some extremely lean times, times in which it was hard to be able to pay the bills.” The bottom for DiCarolis and his small shop that focuses on new and used vinyl but also sells CDs, was the 2005-12 period. “That was really, really difficult,” he said. “I sold my house to keep the business going. That got rid of the debt. Then people started buying records.”

Missoula, MT | Missoula’s Rockin’ Rudy’s Record Heaven expands amidst record revival: Rockin Rudy’s Record Heaven has been bringing music to Missoula for the past 30 years and with the recent resurgence in vinyl sales, the record store has a new chance to expand. The store first opened its doors to the public back in 1982 and now — decades later — and after quite a few movesm it’s found a new home at 845 Ronan Street. Scott Storer has managed the store for 10 years, and grew up in Missoula in the ‘80’s. He says it’s nice to be off a commercial strip. “Most of those stores went out of business or kind of got phased out in the 90’s, but I think Missoula really has the support to have these neighborhood stores start popping back up,” Storer said. Alicia Webster says she visits record stores with her dad every time she’s in town. “It’s pretty therapeutic. You’re always going to find something, because there’s something for everybody,” Wesbter said.

Leeds, UK | Vinyl Variety: Late Night Legacy Lead Us Around Leeds’ Top Record Shops: Ryan Kitto (vocals), Rob Orange (guitar), Kyle Metcalf (bass), and Andy Hounslow (drums) are the four capable men who comprise Late Night Legacy. The Leeds alternative rockers bring a highly energetic perspective to their songwriting and performances, influenced heavily by bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Rival Sons, and Royal Blood. The guys have been on quite the upswing in popularity lately, thanks to hard work and solid music as evidenced by recent singles “Paddy” and “Blame.” Thus far, the group’s touring has taken them across the UK, not to mention headlining Monmouth Festival in front of 8,000 fans, and playing sets at both Camden Rocks and Kendal Calling. Obviously, the band is not unfamiliar to the demands of playing in front of audiences in the thousands, which has only contributed to making them better musicians. Being from Leeds, the members of Late Night Legacy have had the opportunity to really connect with a dynamic musical culture, one in which music is still appreciated…

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