Category Archives: A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/18/21

Dundee, UK | Former Groucho’s Dundee staff awarded £46,000 in unpaid redundancy after tribunal: A group of Groucho’s Record Store staff have secured a £46,000 win over their former employer after claiming for unpaid wages and redundancy cash. The four former employees raised an employment tribunal action against Stella Brodie claiming for redundancy money, unpaid wages and damages. Mrs Brodie took over the running of the iconic record store after Alastair “Breeks” Brodie died in 2019. Mrs Brodie closed the store in June 2020, but former Groucho’s staff said they were left without wages for weeks after she told them they would not be paid redundancy money. Following an employment tribunal, Mrs Brodie was ordered to pay £45,971 in total. … The former employees went on to start their own business following the closure of Groucho’s, but were left without an income for 12 weeks whilst they established Thirteen Records.

Minneapolis, MN | Electric Fetus Ranked Among The 10 Great Record Stores In America, According To Spin: Minneapolis’ iconic record store, Electric Fetus, has been ranked among the greatest record stores in America. That’s according to music website Spin, which put together a list of 10 of the greatest record stores in America. While there’s no particular ranking of these top vinyl stores, the Electric Fetus is listed third from the top. “Strange name, cool place. So cool, it was apparently the last record store Prince visited before his passing,” Spin writer Jolie Lash said. The list was released in honor of Record Store Day returning June 12 and July 17. Reckless Records in Chicago, Illinois, Music Millennium in Portland, Oregon and Amoeba Music in Hollywood, California are some of the featured stores. The Electric Fetus opened in 1968, and those who run the store admit that the origin of the store’s unique name has been lost to history. As a possible explanation, Lash noted that Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland was released in the same year as the store’s opening.

West Norriton, PA | Coffee Closet with Barista Jake now part of Vinyl Closet Records: Flipping through the record bins can certainly build up an appetite. Fortunately, it’s no longer 1976, and if you happen to be munching on a hot dog with mustard while at the record store, the clerk won’t be asking you to kindly leave the premises with your snack. Eating while browsing is not frowned upon at Vinyl Closet Records. In fact, owners Jason and Angela Bucci McFarland encourage customers to patronize the shop’s new café, Coffee Closet with Barista Jake, which is run by the couple’s son Jake. There’s a mission behind the espressos, medium roast and dark roast coffees, which started from humble beginnings as a coffee cart back in May of 2020. The supplemental business was created to give Jake something to do during the quarantine, Angela McFarland said. … Jake proudly added, “I take the orders and make the coffee. I’m a star, and so is my dad. We work together.”

Austin, TX | Faster Than Sound: Love Wheel Records Rolls In: Austin music mainstay Mike Nicolai retails vinyl and Indoor Creature parties at the Ballroom. Just off Burnet, North Austin stop Love Wheel Records opened in late April nestled between a nail salon and barber shop. Joe, the three-legged shop dog, greets vinyl patrons in the cheery green and orange store. I left with a few very reasonably priced vintage wares and a complimentary Joe coaster. Love Wheel, named for the gushy Daniel Johnston track about a “love wheel spinnin’ round round round,” offers new and used vinyl across genres, with some books and CDs too. “The first time I moved to Austin I was 26 – I had come here on tour and sort of fell in love with it,” says owner Mike Nicolai, who runs the Brentwood store with wife, Nancy. “I’ve been in and out of town, but I always come back because this feels like home. We’re real happy here, so it seemed like the place to do this.”

Tysons Corner, VA | Remembering the day the Rick Springfield fan army shut down Tysons Corner: June 17 is the 40th anniversary of the day Rick Springfield shut down Tysons Corner. Larry Houck was there. “Talk about having a front-row seat,” said Houck, who worked at the Variety Records in Tysons Corner Center, where Springfield was scheduled to meet fans. “It was totally nuts. All the roads leading to Tysons, all the ramps off the Beltway, were totally congested that day.” In 1981, the Australian heartthrob was doubly famous: as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” and as the artist behind a priceless piece of pop perfection called “Jessie’s Girl.” “He just had so much exposure that summer,” Houck said. The shopping mall record store has pretty much gone the way of the passenger pigeon, but there was a time when it was a busy crossroads for music lovers, both fans and performers alike. “Santana came in once,” said Houck, 63. “Lou Rawls came in one day. Catfish Hodge used to come in. Bill and Taffy Danoff used to come in quite a bit.”

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In rotation: 6/17/21

UK | Independent record labels took 26% of the UK market share in 2020: Independent record labels saw a market share of 26% during 2020 according to the BPI and Aim. British label bodies the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) and Aim have recently reported that market share taken by independent labels saw a huge increase during 2020. Independent labels share grew to just under 26% last year as measured by ‘album equivalent sales’, a metric that blends streams and digital/physical sales. The announcement also states that independents’ share of ‘streaming equivalent albums’ has grown in the past five years also. Breaking the stats down into format, independents accounted for 35% of vinyl sales in the UK in 2020, nearly 30% of CD sales, and 24.5% of streaming consumption. All three percentages rising in the first quarter of 2021. The news is fantastic for the grassroots level of the industry that even against all the odds is gaining ground and in some respects thriving. Although major labels dominate the industry, there is more space for independents to grow.

Denver, CO | Denver record store Wax Trax hosts local musicians: Located on 13th and Washington in Denver’s Capitol Hill district, Wax Trax Records has been at the heart of Denver’s alternative music scene since it opened in 1975. Despite the inconspicuous appearance of the brick and mortar corner store, Wax Trax has a long history of putting on shows featuring both local and touring bands, such as Mazzy Star, Gone and Band of Susans. Recently, the store has put on a series of “sidewalk shows” every weekend, inviting local musicians to perform directly outside the store. Although Wax Trax has traditionally held shows inside, the outdoor shows complied with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during previous stages of the pandemic, allowing it to be one of very few venues where local artists could perform. “We want to really invest back into the local scene and do what we can to spark it back up,” said Pete Stidman, general manager of Wax Trax.

San Antonio, TX | San Antonio record label owner, Hickoids front man hangs on in fast-changing music industry: Jeff Smith’s San Antonio-based label Saustex Records has survived the disappearance of record stores, vanishing CDs, the rise of streaming platforms and the COVID-19 pandemic. The small San Antonio record label specializes in rock ’n’ roll, and so does Smith. The 57-year-old is the front man for the redneck punk band the Hickoids, and in addition to performing has written and promoted music for nearly four decades. While streaming services may have largely replaced CDs, Smith’s Saustex Records still produces discs along with vinyl records and even T-shirts promoting its lineup of musical groups. “I am a rock’n’roller for life,” Smith says. It started when he was 14. He played in a San Antonio-based band called the Dwarves before performing with the Hickoids. The band dates back to the early 1980s, went a long hiatus and re-formed in 2008. It plays loud, hard-charging rock ’n’ roll with threads of R-rated humor.

SG | The complete beginner’s guide to vinyl and record players in Singapore: Nostalgia is a new-age drug for Millennials. From film photography to calligraphy, retro anything is making its glorious comeback in the world. Similarly, the old-school, analogue features of vinyl records come as a sort of respite in today’s fast-paced digital world. It harkens back to a sentimental time where things were simpler and brings back the experience of selecting music rather than opening an app on your phone. There is just something so comforting about the crackle of a record and the warmer tones of the tunes that make the music really come alive. Putting a record on is the whole music experience: it is active song selection and attentive listening to how artistes curate and convey their message, as opposed to streaming a two-hour playlist of lo-fi beats in the background on your phone. There are many things to consider when getting started on vinyl. Essentially, one would need three things: an active speaker, a record player and of course, vinyl records.

Pearl Jam announces 25th anniversary ‘No Code’ vinyl reissue: Pearl Jam has announced a vinyl reissue of the band’s 1996 album, No Code, in honor of its 25th anniversary. The clear LP marks the first time No Code has been available on vinyl since its original release, as well as the first time the album’s been specifically mastered for vinyl. The reissue will be released August 13. You can pre-order a copy now via Pearl Jam’s web store. No Code, Pearl Jam’s fourth studio album, was released amid the band’s infamous legal battle with Ticketmaster, which affected the tour behind the record. Still, it ended up spawning hit singles in “Who You Are” and “Hail, Hail.” Interesting, No Code was released on the same calendar date — August 27 — as Pearl Jam’s iconic debut album, 1991’s Ten. That record will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

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In rotation: 6/16/21

Missoula, MT | Fleming, Ear Candy record shop adapt and thrive to pandemic challenges: After almost 24 years in business, Ear Candy record shop owner John Fleming has learned to adapt to new challenges facing local businesses around Missoula during the pandemic. Originally opened in 1997, Ear Candy has outlasted the rise of digital downloads that took down multiple chain stores and remains one of the few independently owned record shops within Missoula. But Ear Candy’s impact on Missoula goes beyond a record shop and actively contributes to the Missoula music scene by sponsoring shows and releasing music by local artists. The pandemic introduced new challenges to the shop, forcing Ear Candy to completely shut down for two months. As a result, Fleming focused on expanding his website and online presence to sell vinyl on Discogs, a website similar to eBay for those looking to buy and sell vinyl and CDs.

Sussex, UK | Vinyl record buyers queue from very early hours in Sussex and Brighton: For those vinyl enthusiasts the wait was finally over on Saturday as it was drop one of Record Store Day throughout Brighton, Sussex and the UK. Vinyl junkies have had the dates Saturday 12th June and Saturday 17th July etched on their brains for several months now, as it’s two days of the year when hundreds of independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the annual event, which this year is in two drops. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar. Vinyl record fans in Brighton and throughout the rest of Sussex were queueing from the early hours on Saturday in order to endeavour to secure their chosen limited edition treasures, which will in most cases be instantly highly collectible.

Auckland, NZ | That vinyl boom? Blame teens buying Dire Straits records: Chris Hart is standing between two shelving units groaning under the combined weight of tens of thousands of surplus records. On the left of the Real Groovy store owner are vinyl albums stacked in neat alphabetical rows. On his right are cardboard boxes chock-full of second-hand records yet to be sorted. Around the corner, the relentless hum of an ultrasonic cleaning machine can be heard as two full-time staff members turn dusty old treasures into as-new releases. When Covid-19 lockdowns were enforced last year, Hart feared all of this, the iconic Auckland store he’d owned and managed for the past four decades, was over. “That’s exactly what I thought,” he says. “I thought, ‘Oh well – I’m two years short of retirement.'” Hart has been through tough times before. In 2008, receivers turned up, took the keys off him and made him tell his 70 staff members they were out of a job. He survived by scraping together the money to buy Real Groovy back from the bank.

Reno, NV | An Oversized and Eclectic Stack of Well-Loved Vinyl Slides into a Corner of a Reno Brewery: Flip through a treasured record collection and you’re likely to find tattered covers and faded, bent corners on the most played albums. Artist Erik Burke displays these signs of a well-loved LPs in a new mural that amplifies music’s outsized impact to a monumental scale. Tucked into a corner at Reno’s Record Street Brewing, the towering artwork gathers a vintage collection—The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die is slotted next to The Velvet Underground & Nico and Johnny Cash’s Live At Folsom Prison is side-by-side with Give ‘Em Enough Rope by The Clash—that’s an eclectic mishmash spanning genres and decades. “A large part of it was sourcing the original vinyl and choosing the most worn-and-torn covers to show how these records are a big part of our life and tell unique stories,” the artist tells Colossal. Burke is known for his stylized portraits and floral murals, which you can see more of on his site and Instagram. He also has a few prints available in his shop.

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In rotation: 6/15/21

UK | Record Store Day a success for Barrow shop: A business boss hailed the ‘incredible’ turnout of the public to mark Record Store Day on Saturday. Queues were visible outside TNT Records in Barrow’s Duke Street from the get-go. Record Store Day saw more than 200 independent record shops across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases were made exclusively for the day and many shops hosted performances and events in order to mark the occasion. Dave Turner, owner of TNT Records, said: “As we were opening, people were still joining the back of the queue. “We went out the back for a quick fag before we opened and I could see the line going right the way back, tail-ending by the Izgara restaurant. “It was mental. It was dead busy all day. I knew there’d be a little bit of a turnout because of people letting me know early doors [but] I did not expect that. The turnout was incredible.”

Birmingham, UK | A2B taxi driver who quit to open record store in Hall Green says Clean Air Zone will boost business: Despite seeing other record shops in Birmingham close down in recent years, John is confident his store will be different. A former Birmingham taxi driver has opened his own shop with the 10,000 records he had piled high to the ceiling in his living room. Father-of-two John Fitzgerald, 38, quit his job of 10 years with A2B Taxis last August to pursue his hobby of buying and selling vinyl records as a full-time career. The business started out online until John noticed a shop had become vacant on Highfield Parade near his home in Hall Green. “I walk past that row of shops every day to drop my kids to school,” he said. “I had already left my job at this point and I was walking past one day in November and noticed the old bead shop that was there had closed down. “I got in touch with the landlord on the Friday and by Monday I was signing a 12-month contract on the shop.” If it hadn’t been for Covid, John says he would never have plucked up the courage to change careers.

Napa, CA | Vinyl makes a comeback at new Napa record store: As a kid, Tim Leonard fell in love with music and vinyl records. In fact, he still has his favorite LPs, bought back when he was in junior high, like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. “Music has always been a part of my life,” said Leonard, who is 61. “I’m passionate about it.” Today, Leonard has more than 1,200 vinyl records in his personal collection. And now he’s spinning his passion in a new direction. Leonard just opened a vinyl record store at 2375 California Blvd. in Napa. Called Right On !!! Records, it’s the first such standalone retailer to open in Napa in more than 20 years. This new small business owner said he was inspired to start Right On !!! Records after being out of work for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. He had a job in the wine industry, but “I got burnt out,” said Leonard. During the pandemic, “I just reassessed my life and what would make me happy.”

Salem, NH | After Outcry, Bull Moose Re-hires Fired Salem Workers, With Apology & Pay Raises: The Bull Moose record store chain is apologizing, re-hiring workers and promising pay raises after controversy over the sudden closure of its Salem location last month. The staff of the Salem store was fired in May after raising concerns about the end of the company’s mask requirement for customers. They also said they’d been routinely harassed and threatened by patrons with little help from their managers. Now, Bull Moose is apologizing for how the situation was handled. In a statement posted on social media, founder Brett Wickard said the company failed to uphold its values and “must take responsibility for that.” “We are sorry that we did not act anywhere near how we want to be as a company. We pride ourselves on building community and acting with empathy, yet we failed on both those counts,” he said. “Falling flat on our faces was humbling – but we’re determined to have our mistakes become a transformative event for Bull Moose.”

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In rotation: 6/14/21

UK | Fans flock to stores for first Record Store Day of 2021: Fans all over the UK have been queuing outside stores since the early hours. Fans all over the UK have been flocking to record stores for the first Record Store Day event of 2021. The annual celebration of independent record stores across the UK kicked off today (June 12), with a follow up event on July 17 planned. Many fans have been queuing since the early hours hoping to get their hands of some of this year’s special purchases – you can see some of the fans with their purchases below.

Bury, UK | Record Store Day: Vinyl music enthusiasts flock to Wax and Beans to get their hands on exclusive and limited records. Vinyl music enthusiasts made tracks to Bury’s independent record store in the early hours hoping to get their hands on exclusive and limited titles. Today is Record Store Day and this morning people, socially distanced, queued outside Wax and Beans in Bury town centre, some since 10pm to be first in line when the shop opened this morning. The day, with another set to be held next month, is a celebration of the country’s 200 independent record shops. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day. Music lovers from far and wide travelled to the Bury store, including Harrogate, North Yorkshire and Sheffield to buy exclusive vinyl records which are supplied to independent stores. The queue stretched from the shop on The Haymarket all the way down to Silver Street.

Terre Haute, IN | Record Store Day celebrated as a new vinyl shop opens in Terre Haute: Saturday, June 12th marks national record store day. To celebrate the day, a grand opening happened in 12 Points area in downtown Terre Haute! Record Store Day Arts and Music fest took place as the grand opening of the Local Vinyl. The event took place from 12pm and lasted until 5pm. Vinyl enthusiasts gathered and were able to enjoy a new record place locally. Eleanor Jones, the store’s owner, hopes that by opening this new shop in the Wabash Valley, people like herself and others who share her appreication of vinyl records, won’t have to travel outside. “I used to have to drive outside of the state if I wanted to get a record, but by doing this I can welcome others to come and enjoy, while also buying local.” says Jones. You can find the Local Vinyl in 12 Points.

Johnstown, PA | Record Store Day draws music fans to George’s Song Shop: For 90 years, George’s Song Shop has been catering to fans of all musical tastes. Music fans converged on the shop early Saturday for the opening of Record Store Day – with the line of shoppers stretching to the sidewalk. Gwen Stahl, 17, of Clymer, purchased a Twenty One Pilots record. “I’m excited,” she said. Including the main sales area, the shop at 128 Market St. has five floors filled with records, owner John George said. “If we don’t have it, nobody does,” he said. His father, Eugene George, opened the store in 1932 when the Great Depression was at its peak and Bing Crosby ruled the charts. George’s Song Shop has withstood the COVID-19 pandemic. “Business has been pretty good this year, all things considered,” he said. “People have been stuck in doors, so what do you do? Listen to music.”

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In rotation: 6/11/21

Tampa Bay, FL | Tampa Bay’s first Record Store Day 2021 drop happens on Saturday: Somehow even a pandemic couldn’t stop Record Store Day in 2020, and the schedule for Record Store Day 2021 has been revealed, along with which shops in Orlando will be taking part.Caution still seems to be key for Record Store Day 2021, the annual spendapalooza for vinyl junkies. What used to be one day has—like last year—been subdivided into multiple drops, where quantities of select exclusives will be released in phases to participating record shops. The main RSD drops this year are happening on June 12 and July 17. The list of exclusive releases that will be available on the two dates just dropped and it’s a doozie, with exclusives from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, the Grateful Dead, Prince, Lady Gaga, Renaldo & the Loaf (!?) … and a Motley Crue cassette boxset, it has to be said. Most Tampa Bay favorites are offering limited-capacity shopping and different opening hours while other beloved shops like Steelworker will probably sell their unique daily inventory just the same as they do any other day…

Norristown, PA | Vinyl Closet Records will celebrate Record Store Day their way: An independent record store in Jeffersonville is celebrating and customizing Record Store Day June 12, making it completely their own. New releases are traditionally a hallmark of Record Store Day and this year marks the arrival of albums from Black Sabbath and the Buzzcocks. In Vinyl Closet Records terms, the unique promotion started back in 2008 will become “Record Store Day Our Way,” minus the sale of the new releases. “Record Store Day is a national and international event. Each independent record store does something a little bit different,” noted Angela Bucci McFarland, who owns and operates the store at Jefferson Plaza with her husband Jason McFarland. “Some years we do participate in the record store releases, some years we don’t. Because of the pandemic and business being slow, we didn’t have the revenues to invest. We always turn it into a party though.”

Columbia, SC | Calling all SC vinyl junkies! Here’s where to go on Record Store Day in the Midlands: Of all the days that celebrate some beloved part of living that aren’t national holidays, Record Store Day might command the most loyal following. Record Store Day is June 12. A regular at Papa Jazz Record Shoppe in Five Points camps outside the store with his mom for days to get the exclusive vinyl that comes out on Record Store Day, shop employee Preach Jacobs said. The morning of Record Store Day, the shop will have a line along the block. The first Record Store Day was held in 2008. As internet shopping increasingly threatened brick-and-mortar stores, the creators of Record Store Day wanted to celebrate the people who own and work at record stores and the stores’ cultural contributions to towns and cities. The creators also wanted to give local stores a financial boost.

Corbin, KY | White Rabbit Records selected to participate in Record Store Day: White Rabbit Records will be one of 21 record stores in Kentucky to participate in the national Record Store Day 2021 on June 12 and July 17. “It is a day where there are exclusive albums released, and they are only released on that day,” said Teri Anne Hensley, one of the owners of White Rabbit Records. “They are not repressed ever again after that. It may be an album that has already been released, being re-released on a different color vinyl or with a different cover. It may also be something that has never been released before.” Hensley emphasized the albums that are part of the event will never be repressed, and they will only be available at stores that are Record Store Day participants. “For big collectors, it is a really big deal to try to get some of those exclusive deals,” said Hensley. Hensley said that getting to participate is a big deal for the store.

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In rotation: 6/10/21

Portland, ME | Vinyl records surge during pandemic, keeping sales spinning: Vinyl record sales surged during the pandemic as music lovers fattened their collections, and audio cassettes began a comeback as well, keeping business spinning at record stores. Easing restrictions on indoor shopping and continued interest in vinyl records provide stores — and shoppers — something to cheer on Saturday, the first of two Record Store Day dates. Although many stores were closed during the early part of the pandemic, people were listening to records at home and boosting online and curbside pickup sales of vinyl. Will Emanuel, a University of Maine student stuck at home outside Portland, bought about 50 to 55 albums during the pandemic. “I was absolutely itching to build a collection,” said Emanuel. “I fell in the rabbit hole and now it seems I can’t escape.” At 20, Emanuel is part of a new generation drawn to the warm sound, album art and retro vibe of vinyl records, joining with older Americans who grew up with the format to increase sales.

Tucson, AZ | Tucson record collector comes home, opens shop in antiques malls: It’s National Record Store Day on Saturday, June 12, and Tucson has a few record stores that you can shower with love, including Hurricane Records on North Fourth Avenue, Wooden Tooth Records on East Seventh Street downtown and Zia Records on East Speedway. This spring, Bob Lambert joined them when he launched Desert Vinyl, offering often pristine and somewhat rare records for sale from two Tucson antique stores — 22nd Street Antique Mall and Speedway Antique Mall. “The quality of inventory that I have will rival any of the used stuff here in town,” Lambert said, then ticked off some titles to prove his point: Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walkin,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Damn the Torpedoes,” Miles Davis’ “Four & More” live album and the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” are a few of the thousands of records he has collected over a 30-plus-year span. “When I got out of college, I opened a store in Tucson outside of the (University of Arizona); it lasted 13 months,” he recounted of his journey from novice music fan to discophile.

Margate, UK | Record store Transmission in Cliftonville, Margate, to open for final time for Record Store Day: Record store Transmission in Cliftonville, Margate, is to shut up shop for good – opening for the final time for shoppers to snap up the latest Record Store Day releases. The store, first opened in 2014 by Spencer Hickman and his partner Kimberley Dunne, was once named one of the top record stores in the world. Mr Hickman, who formerly ran the world-renowned Rough Trade record shop in east London and co-founded Record Store Day in the UK, 13 years ago, says the pandemic has made them “reassess” their lives. The business, which has operated a mail-order service only over recent months while the store has been closed, will relocate to Cornwall. It specialises in rare Japanese vinyl and soundtracks. But it will go out with a bang as it opens on Saturday for in-person sales again with a raft of the special limited edition Record Store Day releases – an annual event designed to get people back into record shops…

Dublin, IE | Made In Dublin: How Freebird Records are helping to keep vinyl alive: The shop is taking part in Record Store Day this Saturday (12th). Musical trends come and go, record formats change and once-hot bands are soon forgotten, but for Dublin’s music fans, one record shop has been a reliable and reassuring presence for more than 40 years. Now established in an atmospheric back room off Wicklow Street, Freebird Records first opened in an upstairs premises on Grafton Street in 1978, when punk was the thing and U2 were fresh-faced youngsters making a name for themselves around town. In later years, the shop moved to Eden Quay, and then in the mid-2000s it moved in with The Secret Bookstore at 15A Wicklow Street, replacing a previous record shop that occupied the same space. “It’s a boon to us to be in the same space as the bookshop,” says Freebird employee Sean Nolan. “There’s quite a large crossover in terms of the customer base.” Like the bookshop, Freebird sells a combination of new and used items – in this case vinyl records and CDs.

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In rotation: 6/9/21

Cleveland, OH | Music Industry Vet Opens a Record Store in Cleveland: We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns. In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring A Separate Reality Records, a record store in Cleveland. A veteran of the music industry, owner Augustus Payne decided to start his business after having cancer and realizing that life is too short to not be doing what he loves. Here, we chat with Payne about what he learned from his previous years working in the music business that helped him with his new endeavor, why he finds his job so rewarding and how he adapted his business to pandemic times. “There’s nothing I like more than sharing new music with others…”

Melbourne, AU | JJ’s Vinyl is slinging a stack of exclusive releases this Record Store Day: Spotlighting all the goodness JJ’s Vinyl has in store for Record Store Day 2021. Catering for all music tastes, the selection at JJ’s Vinyl spans hip hop, jazz, metal, classic rock, electronic, alt-rock and much more. Specialising in new and audiophile pressings, there are a range of secondhand titles available in-store, too. “JJ’s Vinyl was started with a genuine passion for sharing my love of vinyl; I believe it’s the greatest physical format with which to experience music through,” says owner Jamie Jones. “I love playing the latest audiophile pressings to customers and friends and watching their mouths drop open after hearing the needle drop, you really feel like the artist is in the room with you.” JJ’s Vinyl will celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday June 12 with a bunch of new and used vinyl, as well as RSD titles and discounted records.

UK | Behind The Counter: Charming film series celebrates our beloved independent record stores: Made in collaboration with Classic Album Sundays and audio brand Bowers & Wilkins, Behind The Counter shines a spotlight on the hard-working record shop owners who play a vital role in bringing music fans together in their local communities. It’s the second time such a series has been made and each film has been released in the 12 weeks leading up to Record Store Day this Saturday. With so many record shops impacted by a year of lockdowns and social distancing, it certainly feels more important than ever to tell their stories and promote their businesses. In the films, we meet Bear Tree Records in Sheffield, Diverse Vinyl in Newport, Elsewhere in Margate, Empire Records in St Albans, Flashback Records in London, Jumbo Records in Leeds, Dundee’s Le Freak Records (as featured), Love Vinyl in London, Reflex in Newcastle, Chesterfield’s Tallbird Records, Wilderness in Manchester, and X Records in Bolton. The series doesn’t just support record shops across the UK; it gives us some insight into how shops have coped during the pandemic.

Vinyl 101: Parts of a Record Player: In the beginning, there was the phonograph, then came the turntable, today there is the record player. The main difference among these terms is who happens to be uttering the words. ‘Phonograph’ is the oldest term for this analog instrument, dating back to the mid-1800s when the concept of a stylus responsive to vibration was first being explored. Back then, the parts of a record player were different. On a victrola, a horn was fixed near a vibrating stylus that amplified the noise with simple acoustics – like a horn to your ear as a hearing aid. Remember that even today, putting your ear near a record while a stylus is tracking reveals that it’s transcribing what’s in the record groove acoustically (in addition to electrically). ‘Phonograph’ remained the mainstay until ‘turntable’ entered the picture. This was somewhere near the time when folks started building component systems as the industry learned that there was much more to explore in the way of sound quality. The nature of the audio system changed when the principle of amplification moved from acoustic to electrical.

This 2005 optical illusion album art is still blowing minds: Can you see it? Obviously, the internet is packed full of stellar optical illusions, but spotting them out in the wild is even better. And a brilliant example of a clever illusion has resurfaced on Reddit, in the form of a piece of album art found on a vinyl record released back in 2005. Fascinatingly, viewing the illusion digitally is a totally different experience from how the art was intended to be viewed. Taking the form of a checked black and white square, the title of the artist and album can only be seen when viewing it from far away. When handling the physical record, this can only mean walking away from it, but the digital version means zooming out on your keyboard (or walking away from the screen), or viewing it as a thumbnail. Check it out below, and see our optical illusions roundup for more incredible examples.

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In rotation: 6/8/21

Heritage Close, UK | Empire Records ready for first Record Store Day: St Albans’ only independent record shop is gearing for the first of two Record Store Days taking place this summer. In order to aid social distancing, the biggest event in the vinyl calendar has been split across two different dates: Saturday June 12 and Saturday July 17. Once again, Empire Records in Heritage Close is hosting Record Store Day – an annual event set up in 2008 to commemorate vinyl shops across the country. Store manager Dave Burgess said: “This is a day designed to highlight and celebrate all of the fantastic independent record shops. To this end, exclusive limited edition records are released, only available from independent record shops on the day and drawing customers from far and wide for the chance to get them. “We’ll have hundreds of these records available and will attract quite a Covid-safe queue by the time we open the doors at 8am!”

Massillon, OH | New Record Store in Massillon Aims to Reignite the ‘Joy’ of Discovering Music After the Pandemic: A historic building in the heart of downtown Massillon is undergoing renovations and will open as a record shop called Erie St. Vinyl this summer. Owners Samantha and Thomas “T.J.” Heaton bought the building, which is located a storefront over from their tattoo shop, Art Bomb Tattoos, on Erie Street. The building is part of the city’s historic district. The site was once home to a music store, a cigar shop and various financial institutions over the past 100 years. Samantha Heaton wants to keep the space as authentic and true to its original look and feel as possible. When the building on Erie Street became available, the couple decided they wanted to share their joy of vinyl records and independent music with the region. “I feel like it’s a real evolving kind of manifestation of our record collection. So we’re going for it,” Samantha Heaton said. She wants to help connect the community to local, independent artists as the pandemic put the discovery of and connection to new music on pause.

Parma, OH | Parma’s ‘RSD Day’ includes paczki, pierogi, polka and Pavement: Only in Parma would one expect to find a vinyl-lovers event enhanced by paczki and pierogi offerings. That’s exactly what Rudy’s Strudel is planning for national Record Store Day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (June 12) at its 5580 Ridge Road location. “It’s national Record Store Day,” Rudy’s Strudel owner Lidia Trempe said. “We’re so honored and excited to have The Current Year record store in the Rudy’s building and in the heart of Polish Village. The abbreviation for Record Store Day is RSD, so we’re having Rudy Strudel Day. I’m partnering with The Current Year, and we’re throwing a big parking lot party. “We’re bringing Fat Heads Brewery. I’m going to be doing a pop-up outside with pierogis and — for this special occasion, in the middle of June — we’re going to be offering paczki. We’re going all out and offering six flavors of sweet and three flavors of savory. We’re also taking orders.”

Vancouver, BC | Record Store Day isn’t just for hardcore collectors: Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a way to celebrate the culture of independent record stores with special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products made exclusively for the day. Serious collectors were drawn to that aspect of it, but as the years went by Record Store Day also became a time for regular music lovers. “It’s kind of a mix between the two,” Ben Frith, who runs Mount Pleasant’s Neptoon Records with his dad, Rob, tells the Straight by phone. “When we have Record Store Day, there’s obviously a large amount of our regular customers there—and some of those people range from hardcore collectors to just big music fans—but we’re also seeing a lot of people that you don’t see any other day of the year. “We’ve gained a lot of business on Record Store Day from people who traditionally only pick up stuff from Amazon.”

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In rotation: 6/7/21

Detroit, MI | A new record store and gallery has opened in Detroit, Spot Lite: Focusing on house, jazz, r’n’b, and soul. A new record store and gallery, called Spot Lite, has opened in Detroit’s Islandview neighbourhood. Spot Lite’s curated record selection will focus primarily on house, jazz, r’n’b, and soul. Alongside the store, the space also includes a 400-person capacity performance space, a bar and café, and a gallery space. Spot Lite is an extension of art print shop and gallery 1xRun, located in Eastern Market.

Odessa, TX | Local record store has been in the Basin for 45 years: For 45 years, a record store has stood the test of time right here in the Basin. Meet the owner who’s following in his father’s footsteps. Sam Logan’s father opened the record store back in July of 1975. “It just felt natural to continue my dad’s legacy,” said Logan. “We’ve had a lot of long-time customers who have been coming in here since the day we opened and now, they’re bringing their kids and their grandkids in,” said Logan. “Now, we have a new generation of kids that have fallen back in love with vinyl.” “They just don’t make music like they used too,” said Gonzalez. The sound of it is just very different. It’s a very nostalgic feeling, it makes me feel really like magical.” That magical feeling is the same for 17-year-old Deacon Perez. “It’s just so nice to look at and it’s so nice to put on a record player and listen, even the audio sounds different on the records, it’s amazing,” said Perez.

UK | Record Store Day 2021’s official beer is available today – and it’s for charity: Get RSD ready with a Meantime 33:45. Record Store Day 2021, which brings together over 250 independent record shops across the UK, is gearing up for two big drops on Saturday 12th June and Saturday 17th July. And for the first time, Meantime Brewing Company is proud to become the ‘Official Beer Partner’ for the auspicious musical occasion. In celebration of the unique event that was founded 14 years ago, the Greenwich-based brewery is launching an exclusive Meantime 33:45 beer. Proceeds from the special batch will be donated to War Child, the specialist charity for children affected by conflict – and the official charity partner of Record Store Day. The table beer (3.5% ABV) has been brewed especially for RSD and is apparently inspired by the American west coast to offer “a turntable IPA with Cascade, Chinook and Simcoe hops’ citrus, pine, and floral hits for a truly two-speed player.”

Leyton, UK | Dreamhouse Records: A new vinyl record shop [Gasp!] A brand new vinyl and coffee shop has just opened in Leyton, East London, Dreamhouse Records is also a coffee shop. Put the kettle on! The Dreamhouse Records shop will stock a wide range of new vinyl covering various genres from around the world and will sell both current and older releases. If there’s something special you’re after, they can help you track it down. Alongside the vinyl offerings, the space will sell locally roasted coffee from Good Folk and a selection of locally made buns from Sunday Bun Day. Dreamhouse Records is the project of Jon Clifford, a Leyton resident of six years. And is obviously completely crazy. He also has my complete support and respect. Clifford commented, “It might be considered crazy to start a business in such uncertain times,” Any times Jon. At any times, “but I’m really excited to join the unusually high number of creative and super hard-working independent businesses on Leyton’s Francis Road.

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In rotation: 6/4/21

Bury, UK | Record shop lives on as ‘groovy’ T-shirt design: “…“I have been turning old and long gone record shop bag graphics into modern and groovy T-shirts,” said Jonny. “It started with Woolworths Record Dept, then on to Our Price, and the journey has continued around the British provinces, with independent defunct shops from Chelmsford to Kings Lynn and beyond, but Save Records is possibly my favourite so far. “What’s really lovely is you start getting all these reactions from record buyers who remember the shop and they start swapping stories and memories.” The Bury branch of Save Records opened in the market in 1974 and lasted over 40 years until its closure which came, rather ironically, at a time when vinyl began a revival in sales. Jonny added: “I tracked down the last owners of Save Records and Simon has given permission to use his logo on the shirts. I love everything about the logo including the fact that it mixes two reasonably incongruous elements – soccer and record buying.

London, UK | London record store De Underground awarded heritage plaque: The legendary store and recording studio has been recognised as “instrumental in the development of UK hardcore, jungle and drum & bass music” London’s De Underground record store has received a blue heritage plaque for its contributions to several underground music scenes in the ’90s. Owned by Mike De Underground, Cool Hand Flex, Uncle 22 and DJ Randall, the hugely influential store only ran for five years between 1991 and 1996, but has now been officially recognised by the London Borough of Newham Heritage Project as “instrumental in the development of UK hardcore, jungle and drum & bass music”. As well as being a well-respected record store, De Underground also operated as a recording studio, responsible for a number of seminal releases including De Underground Crew’s ‘Melody Madness’ and the heavily sampled ‘Six Million Ways To Die’. … “Massive respect and thanks to all involved with De Underground, it’s been a privilege and delighted to see @newhamlondon and @newhamheritagemonth recognising your contribution to UK culture, our lives are richer for it.”

Hutchinson, KS | Randall: Record swap this weekend: Are you ‘vinyl curious’? Been on the fence about collecting and playing records? Thinking about how much you used to enjoy flipping through the record bins? I have endless memories of record stores while living in Los Angeles. Going to record stores along Melrose Ave in the late 1980s was a regular part of my weekend schedule. On my list were finding foreign independent releases, groups like Bauhaus and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and also some side notes of ’50s Tiki Music from Martin Denny, or an old Patsy Cline record. Sometimes I would try an album, solely based on the cover. I discovered so many treasures by giving something unknown a chance. The albums were the best. I would analyze the cover art direction and devour any information given in the inserts. I could quickly sing along as many of the artists would list the lyrics on the sleeve insert. Record stores also offered concerts of lesser-known artists who were traveling through town. It was a gathering place, somewhere I felt welcome and valued because we were all just interested in music.

Alicia Keys to release special 20th anniversary edition of debut album: Alicia Keys is to release a 20th anniversary edition of her debut album. The ‘No One’ hitmaker released ‘Songs In A Minor’ – which went on to win a Grammy – two decades ago and she will celebrate all her achievements with a special new edition of the LP. ‘Songs in A Minor (20th Anniversary Edition)’ will feature two bonus tracks, which are previously unreleased and have been taken from the original album recording sessions. ‘Foolish Heart’ and ‘Crazy (Mi Corazon)’, as part of the album, will be available digitally and on vinyl. A special edition of the new anniversary album will be available through Alicia’s official store, including a 2LP packaged vinyl. This limited edition will be pressed on black and green blended colour vinyl and will be complimented by pop-up imagery and deluxe packaging. The album will be made available digitally on Friday June 4 and will feature ‘Fallin’ – ALI Soundtrack Version’ as well as ‘I Won’t (Crazy World)’ which was also available on the 10th Anniversary Physical Deluxe, and will now be available to stream for the first time.

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In rotation: 6/3/21

Pittsburgh, PA | 2 longtime employees to take the reins at Eide’s Entertainment after owner’s death: As Record Store Day approaches on June 12, there’s good news from the folks at Eide’s. Over the weekend, Jim Turoczy released a statement and posted to social media that “Eide’s Entertainment will continue to do business under the new ownership of Ken Kropf and Jim Turoczy, two forty year plus employees, of the late owner and founder Greg Eide, with the continued expertise of the veteran staff.” Eide, the founder and owner of the Downtown store that specializes in records, comics, video and memorabilia, died on May 20 at age 69 from complications from COVID-19. He was never married and did not have children. Kropf and Turoczy began working at Eide’s when the store was located on Federal Street on the North Side. They took part in the shop’s two moves…

Steamboat, CO | New Dusky Grouse Coffee shop offers beans and beats in Steamboat: Owner Stephany Traylor opened her new coffee shop, Dusky Grouse Coffee, at 1585 Mid-Valley Drive to bring the perfect blend of tasty coffee and great music to Steamboat Springs. Traylor and her husband, Glen, renovated a space they owned in the Mid-Valley Shopping Center to create a welcoming gathering place filled with the aroma of roasted beans, espresso, latte, mocha and chai. The coffee shop offers more than 15 different handcrafted coffee drinks, including lattes, cafè Americos, espresso and cortados. Traylor and her baristas serve up drip and pour selections for those looking for a warm beverage, as well as a number of cold drinks like iced mochas and spicy chai. The menu also features ice tea, chocolate milk, cold brew and nitro, as well as bagels from the Colorado Bagel Co., croissants, cookies and breakfast burritos. Dusky Grouse also has the distinction of being Steamboat’s only coffee and record store.

Los Angeles, CA | Day trip to LA by transit (to Amoeba, Daybird) brought back old feelings: With vaccines coursing through my bloodstream, or wherever it is they go, I’m gradually resuming my former life. No need to rush things. It’s like when your leg falls asleep. You may stand up quickly, but you hobble around until the tingling goes away. I was ready to do something I hadn’t done in a long time, which was to take public transit to L.A. purely to eat lunch. …Amoeba Music’s Instagram feed said the line to get into the store was light. Why not take a chance? I ambled five blocks back to the subway and rode to Hollywood and Vine. Amoeba is the big kahuna of record stores and a favorite pre-pandemic stop for me. I was last inside in January 2020. The store soon closed in preparation to move from its home on Sunset Boulevard to a space a half-block from the Hollywood and Vine subway stop. But the pandemic delayed everything. When the store reopened April 1, the line to get inside stretched for blocks. Blocks! While it’s heartening to see so much interest in physical media, I wanted to shop, not make an all-day project out of it. So I bided my time…

Dundee, UK | Groucho’s Dundee: Plans submitted to change legendary record store into bar and restaurant space: Groucho’s was once the music lovers’ Mecca of Dundee, where people hunted for the latest release or vintage vinyl record to add to their collection. After its closure in September last year, four decades of trading came to an end for Groucho’s record store in Dundee’s Nethergate – famously run by the late Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, who died in 2019. But now plans have been submitted by the building’s owner to turn it into a bar, restaurant and takeaway, in the hope of leasing it to a new tenant. The B-listed building’s location is “ideal” for the night-time economy, owner Iqbal Jamal said. The design statement submitted to Dundee City Council by well-known local architect Jon Frullani states: “The proposals seek to make alterations to the premises, including a change of use from a class 1 shop into a class 3 food and drink with takeaway facility.

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In rotation: 6/2/21

New York, NY | Stephen Godfroy on Rough Trade’s New York City relocation and the vinyl boom: It’s a new era for Rough Trade today (June 1). The independent retailer, which launched in 1976, is launching its New York City Rockefeller Center store and events partnership. It follows seven years’ trading in Williamsburg. The new Rough Trade NYC is located at Rockefeller Center (30 Rockefeller Plaza, on Avenue of the Americas between 49-50th Streets), nearby the iconic Radio City Music Hall. While the new location in the former RCA building involves downsizing in scale, the amount of vinyl in stock will be roughly the same. “In many ways, it’s a typical Rough Trade store,” co-owner Stephen Godfroy told Music Week. “The scale of the product offering remains similar and curation is the same as ever.”

Taylor Swift breaks new record with biggest one-week vinyl album sales with ‘Evermore’: It only took her three days to beat Jack White’s previous record. Taylor Swift has broken another record, scoring the biggest one-week vinyl album sales in the US with ‘Evermore’. The album was originally released in December 2020, but only arrived on vinyl last Friday (May 28). In the three days following the record being made available, Swift racked up over 40,000 copies sold in the US, Billboard reports. That figure means she has already beaten the record previously held by Jack White’s ‘Lazaretto’, which sold 40,000 copies in the US in its first week of release in June 2014. As the tracking week is not over until Thursday (June 3), the star is expected to increase her sales – and record – even further in the coming days. Before White, Pearl Jam held the title with their 1994 album ‘Vitalogy’, which shifted 34,000 copies in one week. It was the first album to chart in the Billboard 200 through vinyl sales alone since CDs began to dominate the music market.

Silver Spring, MD | Bump ’n Grind and Moorenko’s Merge to Mutually Survive the Pandemic: When Bump ‘n Grind owner Dave Fogel took a look at his 2020 profits and losses, he realized business at his coffee shop-meets-record store on East-West Highway in Silver Spring was down 49 percent from the previous year. As 2021 unfolded, he realized he’d have to close his business due to high operating expenses and low revenue. May 26 was the shop’s last day. The pandemic had also economically devastated Moorenko’s ice cream shop, located a few blocks away on Georgia Avenue. Prior to COVID-19, the majority of its income came from bulk sales to restaurants, hotels, and convention centers. When those businesses closed or scaled down drastically, it wiped out 80 percent of Moorenko’s business in a blink.

Sandbach, UK | Vinyl man wants to spread the revival message at Crewe Market Hall Record Fair: A music obsessive will strike a note for nostalgia when he swamps Crewe’s Market Hall with vinyl on Sunday, June 13. John Beddows, who trades as Backtrax Music at Sandbach Market on Saturdays, wants to spread the message of the record revival in an age when many are getting disgruntled with the remoteness of streamed music and Spotify lists. John has recruited some of the area’s best vinyl dealers for the event in the reopened market venue in Earle Street and hopes to make it a regular bi-monthly fair. He says his love for the vinyl medium goes back to his days working in the music industry. In his twenties John worked as a stage manager for the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, China Crisis, the Style Council and Aswad. He was heavily invested in the late 70s/80s scene in his native Liverpool and as well as attending the legendary new wave club Eric’s he put on his own shows in the city, hosting homegrown bands The Las and The Farm at The Picket.

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In rotation: 6/1/21

Dearborn, MI | Dearborn Music plans second record store in Farmington: A longstanding local record shop is planning to expand to a second location as it celebrates its 65th year in business. Dearborn Music Monday announced plans to open a second shop later this summer in the Groves Retail Center at Farmington and Grand River. The new location will sell vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, clothing, accessories, games and other pop culture merchandise. “I’ve always thought Farmington would be a great town for a second location. I’m looking forward to establishing relationships with the community and branching out into a new era,” said co-owner Kevin LeAnnais. He and his brother, Rick LeAnnais, purchased the business in 2001 from their father Phil LeAnnais, who bought the store in 1956 from previous owner Norris Smith. An official opening date for the Farmington location has not been set, but it’s expected to debut with promotions and in-store giveaways.

St. Charles, IL | How Hoarders Trading Post in St. Charles became a top seller of used and rare records: Russell Martens was excited about the prospect of his new business, Hoarders Trading Post, when it opened on the east side of St. Charles two years ago. He felt his assortment of old toys, bicycles, video games and other items would draw a lot of attention. And it did — maybe just not quite what he was expecting. “Within the first week of opening, someone came in and bought out the whole inventory,” Martens said. “It was a woman who bought it to wipe out any competition and then sold it on Amazon.” It left Martens with a great idea for a store — at that time located at 504 E. Main St. — but with nothing much in it. “I thought, OK, I will replace it (the inventory) with something else,” Martens said. “And then it just turned into a record store and has stayed a full-blown record store since.”

Los Angeles, CA | Coachella Co-Founder To Open Los Angeles Record Store: Paul Tollett, one of the co-founders of Coachella, will open a record store in the Los Angeles suburb of Atwater. The store has been christened Record Safari Los Angeles. Tollett has taken a 10-year lease on the property. The building at 3222 Los Feliz Blvd was formerly the Sonora Recorders recording studio. Ben Harper, Rufus Wainwright, Keb Mo, Joe Henry, Emmylou Harris, Manhattan Transfer have recorded at the studio. Record Safari will host in-stores with artists, min-concerts on the outside and have a few food trucks to feed you as well. Virgin Megastore closed in Los Angeles in 2007. Tower Records closed in 2006. Amoeba Records in LA recently relocated from its Sunset Blvd address to its new address at 6200 Hollywood Blvd.

Klamath Falls, OR | Record store brings retro spin on music to Klamath Falls: As he painted a wall in his store “Pac Man Yellow,” Jim Turner recalled the way he and his wife, Sarah, sit down at the end of a long day with some wine and a vinyl record playing music in their house. Throughout their 18 years of marriage, the couple has collected records and memorabilia, with the dream that one day they would own their own record shop. “We love the romance of it,” he said. “It’s always been a passion of ours. I don’t know that we’d be much good at opening any other shop. And so we just said, well, let’s just see what the market’s like.” Turner said he prefers the sound of vinyl records, compared to their modern counterparts. “There’s a romance about music that you can really only get from listening to a song, one, all the way through to (the last) song and, two, reading the lyrics while you’re listening to it, looking at the pictures,” he said. “You have a relationship with artists when you listen on vinyl — you get to hear the whole story.”

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In rotation: 5/14/21

Denver, CO | Vinyl Sales Explode During Pandemic: With live music shut down for more than a year, fans have turned to albums, and vinyl collections have boomed. Leading up to Christmas 2020, for the first time since 1991, the record for most vinyl sales in a week was shattered twice, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Nearly 1.5 million LPs were sold between December 10 and 17, and in the following week, nearly two million were sold. While vinyl sales have been growing since 2007, they increased in the United States by almost 30 percent in 2020 alone. There seems to be no sign of sales slowing down, either, says Jordan Wiggins, who works at Vinyl Moon. …“We’ve doubled in subscribers in just the first three months of 2021,” says Wiggins. “Though spending habits have changed for many consumers in light of the pandemic, a subset of spending has actually gone up, particularly when it comes to leisure and home entertainment.”

Santa Clarita, CA | New Indie Record Store, Gray Skull Vinyl, Opens in Canyon Country: A new independent record store, Gray Skull Vinyl, has opened in Canyon Country, where local music fans and collectors have suffered without one for years. Located at 19983 Soledad Canyon Road, the shop is stocked with new and used vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, VHS videos, DVDs, posters, framed photographs, t-shirts, caps, guitars, amps, music magazines, books, and more. Victor Torres Jr., a 25-year Canyon Country resident and lifelong record and music collector, and his family opened the retail shop in early April in the small strip mall anchored by the Oak Tree liquor store at Soledad and Langside. “Customers come in and they’re like, ‘Wow, I could spend a good half a day here going through all these records and talking about music,’” Torres said in an interview at the store last week. “That’s what I want when people come in and just enjoy the record store. “I want people to walk in here and feel like they’re 15 years old again, see a favorite record or a poster, and say, ‘Oh, I had one of those! I don’t know what happened to it,’” he said. “But if they find it here, they could buy it again.”

Simply Analog has released a Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition in a wooden case: Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition in a wooden case has been added to the catalog by Simply Analog, a specialist in vinyl accessories. The kit includes two different record brushes, a piece of cleaning cloth, record spray and a needle cleaner. According to the manufacturer, all these accessories will allow you to take care of the records in the best possible way and without damage. The included brushes should remove even the tiniest dust particles. Simply Analog recommended the kit for daily use. As for the wooden case, this design is offered as an alternative to the usual Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset in a cardboard box. In Europe, the cost of the new Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition was 60 euros.

Margo Price Launches Rarities Vinyl Record Club: Margo Price has launched a mail-order report membership, A Sequence of Rumors. The primary tune from will probably be “Lengthy Dwell The King” which is able to seem because the B-side to the Rumors spotlight “Hey Little one.” Additionally a part of the primary cargo bundle is “Twinkle Twinkle” b/w Worth’s tackle Bobbie Gentry’s “He Made a Lady Out of Me” and “Letting Me Down” b/w “I’d Die For You” (Synthphonic). The primary set of data will ship now, and subscribers will obtain their second/third deliveries in June/July. Some are misplaced songs from That’s How Rumors Get Began periods at each Hollywood’s East West Studios and Nashville’s Butcher Shoppe; others are from pre-production periods in Texas with Band of Heathens, or lockdown recordings with Worth’s band The Pricetags. Over three month-to-month shipments, A Sequence of Rumors members will obtain a restricted version, an autographed field of seven-inch vinyl data that includes music from Worth’s 2020 album, That’s How Rumors Get Began, backed with unique B-sides, covers and unreleased collaborations.

Chicago, IL | Bob Koester, known for his famed Jazz Record Mart and founder of Delmark Records, dies at 88: Bob Koester, founder of Delmark Records, the oldest indie label for jazz and blues in the U.S., died Wednesday from complications from a stroke. He was 88. Koester also ran a retail space, the Jazz Record Mart, that was a fixture and destination point for music lovers, occupying several different downtown Chicago locations before closing in 2016. Almost immediately afterward, Koester would open a new store called Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart on W. Irving Park Rd. “When you’ve spent most of your life in the record business, how do you celebrate your 84th birthday? By opening a record store, of course,” Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich wrote at the time, noting that when Chicago bluesman Eddie C. Campbell arrived for the grand opening, “there was no question that musical royalty was paying homage to a man who has championed blues and jazz for more than half a century.” Born in 1932 in Wichita, Kansas, Koester attended college at St. Louis University before moving to Chicago in the late 1950s and opening his first store.

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