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

In rotation: 8/10/22

Greenfield, WI | Not a fading fad: Return of vinyl lasts with revival of former Exclusive Company locations: When Jennifer Young learned the owner of Greenfield’s Exclusive Company location had passed away, she did whatever she could to keep the music playing. Jennifer is one of a handful of music-lovers who have stepped up in recent months to keep record stores in southeast Wisconsin open. “Music is very important to me. It’s a big part of my life. I’ve been going to record stores since I was a teenager and I actually came to this store to go to the Metalhaus,” said Young, now the owner of the newly-renamed Volta Records. “When I saw that article about the store closing and that they were looking for a new owner, I talked to my husband and I said, you know, this is essentially what we were looking to do in three years. It’s just happening a little faster.” She wants regular customers to know the Metalhaus, a section of the store which touts the largest selection of metal vinyl in the Milwaukee area, is here to stay.

New York, NY | You can now listen to and browse from 400 vinyl records at the library: The Vinyl Lending Library at Brooklyn Public Library opens Tuesday. Any vinyl record collector in NYC knows stashing your hoard is a challenge. Our small apartments aren’t fit for collecting hundreds of 12-by-12–inch squares, but tiny spaces be damned, we cram our beloved records into the smallest spaces. Well, Brooklyn vinyl lovers are in luck because the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library has just opened a Vinyl Lending Library to its cardholders, giving them access to 400 albums spanning genres (hip-hop, pop, classical, country, show tunes and more) that they can listen to on-site as well as borrow for up to three weeks. You just need your library card. Listening stations can be found on the first floor. This will definitely save some space!

Henrico County, VA | He’s collected over 1 million records, but he’s not unplugging any time soon: If you need a soundtrack for your trip back in time, Walt Smith can keep you on track. The 80-year-old combines his passion for music with his profession. “We’ve got it all here,” said Walt. He is the owner of Virginia’s Memory Lane Records in Henrico, where you’ll find just about every genre of music. “We’ve got probably half a million records here,” said Walt. “I grew up with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard.” Smith’s specialty is vinyl. “So that is the biggest thing. We’re selling memories,” said Walt. Walt started amassing records when he was a young teenager in New York. “I still have my 45 collection,” said Walt.

Lincoln, NE | Retail roundup: The end of Lefty’s and a bunch of new stores at Gateway: Les Greer, who has owned and run Lefty’s Records for the past 11 years, announced that he is closing the store in Lincoln. Greer posted on Facebook recently that he plans to retire and will close his store at 2776 South St. at the end of August. Greer opened the store in August 2011 and told the Journal Star in a 2012 article that he did so because, “vinyl is coming back.” “I want to thank everyone for their support over the last 11 years,” Greer said in the Facebook post. Lefty’s closing appears to leave just two Lincoln stores dedicated to selling vinyl records, and none south of O Street. Backtrack Records, which has been in business since 1988, is at 1549 N. Cotner Blvd. The other store is Lincoln Vintage Vinyl at 908 N. 70th St. in the Meadowlane Shopping Center.

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In rotation: 8/9/22

Orange, CT | Orange Record Store Celebrating 60 Years: Merle’s Record Rack, located in Orange, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this fall. The store opened on Chapel Street in New Haven in 1962 and has occupied a number of locations, including the CT Post Mall, before settling into 307 Racebrook Rd. in Orange. Merle’s has a large selection of new and used CDs, LPs and cassettes, as well as a variety of rock’n’roll merchandise, including t-shirts, posters and other collectibles. Additionally, Merle’s provides services such as stereo equipment repair and analog-to-digital format transfers (cassettes and LPs to CDs, VHS to DVDs). Merle’s will hold a celebration on Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will commemorate the store’s history as well as its future as it continues its mission to prioritize its customers and meet their needs and interests in a changing industry.

Derby, UK | See the early days of a beloved Derby record store still going after 35 years: A treasure trove for record collectors. Record shops are a rare treat these days – and independent stores especially so. The internet may have made it easier to find new music, but there’s nothing quite like thumbing through the shelves of these musical temples. A few weeks ago we spoke to the owner of Derby’s beloved BPM Records, Dave Hill. He’s served the city’s movers and shakers for 35 years, beginning with BPM’s old shop on The Strand. Dave first opened BPM in Derby in December 1987, having worked in music sales in London since the 1970s. He has also managed numerous city record stores including HMV and R.E.Cords. “I suppose I must be doing something right,” said Dave. “I’ve been here long enough.”

Liverpool, UK | Quirky Smithdown Road record store where people visit for music, coffee and ‘just to talk.’ Defend Vinyl opened six years ago and is based on Smithdown Road. The owner of a Tardis-like vinyl store on Smithdown Road was inspired by his friends to launch the business, and “didn’t expect” so many people to venture inside “just to talk”. Defend Vinyl is a music lover’s haven, packed with stacks and stacks of vinyl records, as well as framed prints and posters devoted to bands and musicians from over the years. There are stylish record cases to snap up, rails of band t-shirts and even original coffee, Defend Coffee, to take home. The small but mighty venue is a calming oasis, occupying a corner plot on the eclectic and often heaving south Liverpool street. Defend Vinyl is the passion project of owner Graham Jones, who first launched the store in 2016 – though in a smaller Smithdown spot. It’s the perfect city for an independent record shop.

New York, NY | Bella Hadid spotlights Palestinian record store on Instagram: ‘Please go visit.’ Model has encouraged her followers to visit the independent store in New York. Bella Hadid has taken to Instagram to promote a small Palestinian business in New York. The model shared photos inside the independent New York record store owned by Palestinian businessman Jamal Alnasr and encouraged her Instagram followers to visit. She shared Village Revival Records’ exact Greenwich Village address in the caption, along with a series of images inside the store. “197 bleeker street NY, NY @villagerevivalrecordsnyc Please go visit my friend Jamal,” she wrote along with the letters PS, standing for Palestine, and a love heart emoji. …On her Instagram, Hadid shared a photo of herself hugging Alnasr, as well as photos of records, including Billie Holiday and The Rolling Stones releases, and the compilation album Palestine Lives! Songs from the Struggle of the People of Palestine.

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In rotation: 8/8/22

Memphis, TN | The Vinyl Countdown: It’s no secret that vinyl is resurgent. After being eclipsed first by CDs in the 1990s and then by streamed digital music, records were nigh impossible to find in mainstream stores for many years, until around 2008, when the manufacture and sales of vinyl albums and singles began to grow again. Since then, the trend has only accelerated, with market analyses predicting continued annual growth between 8 percent-15 percent for vinyl musical products over the next five to six years. What fewer people realize is how every step of the process that makes records possible can be found in Memphis. “The Memphis Sound … where everything is everything,” ran the old Stax Records ad copy, and that’s especially true in the vinyl domain: All the elements are within reach. Johnny Phillips, co-owner of local record distributor Select-O-Hits, says “There’s not very many cities that can offer everything we offer right here. From recording to distribution, from inception to the very end. Everything you need, you have right here. Memphis is like a one-stop shop for vinyl right now.”

Hot Springs, AK | Buried Treasure: There’s a new record shop in the basement of the Arlington: On Monday around lunchtime, a Facebook post circulated among musicians and vinyl collectors noting the arrival of a new record shop in the basement of the Arlington Hotel Resort Hotel & Spa, a hulk of a structure in downtown Hot Springs that opened its arms in 1875 to the upper crust who came for the town’s healing thermal spring waters and libertine charms — Babe Ruth and Al Capone among them. The hotel’s “basement” is a sort of precursor to the shopping mall, with a handful of ventures (Mamoo’s Creamery, for one) doing business among the vestiges of the bathhouse district’s heyday — vintage mosaic tile, an antique barbershop swivel chair. The newest of those underground storefront enterprises is the Downtown Record & CD Emporium, a 4-day-old vinyl record shop owned by vinyl lifer Tom Coleman. Buy, sell, trade, or just come in and look around. 78s, 45s, cassettes, CDs. The shop will do a soft opening this month and a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 2, in conjunction with Hot Springs’ monthly First Friday Gallery Walk.

Phoenix, AZ | How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire: MoFi Records claimed its expensive reissues were purely analog reproductions. It had been deceiving its customer base for years. Mike Esposito still won’t say who gave him the tip about the records. But on July 14, he went public with an explosive claim. In a sometimes halting video posted to the YouTube channel of his Phoenix record shop, the ‘In’ Groove, Esposito said that “pretty reliable sources” told him that MoFi (Mobile Fidelity), the Sebastopol, Calif., company that has prided itself on using original master tapes for its pricey reissues, had actually been using digital files in its production chain. In the world of audiophiles — where provenance is everything and the quest is to get as close to the sound of an album’s original recording as possible — digital is considered almost unholy. And using digital while claiming not to is the gravest sin a manufacturer can commit. There was immediate pushback to Esposito’s video, including from some of the bigger names in the passionate audio community.

Cloverdale, CA | Elevated Music to celebrate two-year anniversary with special sale: Music shop opened during height of COVID. Cloverdale’s Elevated Music is turning two. Owner Bill Haggerty can’t believe it’s already been two years since he opened his music store. “These past two years have been amazing,” said Haggerty. “Our expectations were blown away. The entire experience has been incredible.” Haggerty said several highlights from the past two years stick in his mind, such as the multiple Record Store Day sales they’ve hosted, his Clovie Award win, and the store’s one-year anniversary celebration, but the biggest highlight for him has been the customers. “The community support has been massive,” said Haggerty. “Every month it just grows exponentially.” Last year, Haggerty said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be nominated for a Clovie Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. At the time he said it was “a real honour to be recognized” alongside other deserving entrepreneurs. Haggerty ended up winning the award and he said the process was humbling.

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In rotation: 8/5/22

Denver, CO | Colorado Loves Vinyl More Than Any Other State: Coloradans love vinyl more than residents of any other state, according to a new study from ProVape based on google searches. The Centennial State is followed by California, Texas, New York and Nevada. That tracks for us, considering the Mile High City is home to several longstanding record stores, such as Twist & Shout, which has been around for more than thirty years; Wax Trax, a Denver fixture for 47 years that even underwent a restoration project after the pandemic; Angelo’s; and Mutiny Information Cafe. A 14,000-square-foot vinyl pressing plant is also coming to RiNo courtesy of Vinyl Me, Please, a Denver-based record club. VMP hopes the plant will be open to the public in October; it began construction across the street from Mission Ballroom in June. Visitors will be able to take a tour and see how records are made, then shop in the gift store and enjoy their purchases over cocktails in the vinyl listening bar. The plant is also looking to implement a greener process for pressing vinyl by using recycled materials.

Grand Rapids, MI | The Corner Record Shop shutting down iconic Grandville location: It has not been a good year for businesses along Chicago Drive in Grandville. At the end of June, we learned of the closing of the Grandvilla Restaurants. They had been in business for almost 90 years. The owners of The Villa and The Dungeon said that the COVID pandemic took its toll on the business. The owners also added: “It’s been a true blessing to be such a staple in the Grandville area and we will always and forever cherish each and every one of you.” Bad News and Good News for Record Lovers: If you are a lover of old vinyl records you have probably been to The Corner Record Shop in Grandville. It is located just down the street from the now closed Grandvilla Restaurants. First the bad news… The Corner Record Shop made an announcement on social media Tuesday, August 2nd that they will soon be closing down their Grandville location at 3562 Chicago Drive. Now the good news… The Corner Record Shop is not closing down its business for good. Instead, they are relocating just a mile from the Chicago Drive location. The new home will be in the Oakestown Mall at 2982 28th St. SW.

Richie Furay picks the albums and music that changed his life: The former Buffalo Springfield/Poco guitarist shares the music that made him the singer-songwriter he is today. If any artist could be said to have influenced the course of modern Americana, then suffice it to say that Richie Furay would be at the top of that list. His role in founding what arguably became America’s finest band of all time, the Buffalo Springfield, and then, following its breakup, the group that would establish an enduring template for country rock, the outfit humbly known as Poco, continues to ensure his status as one of music’s most influential icons. It’s appropriate, then, that his new album, In the Country, finds him going back and revisiting a dozen classic country songs and putting his indelible mark on each. Some could be considered standards — “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Walking In Memphis,” among them — while others, like his list of Top 10 albums, represent songs that left an imprint on both his life and his career.

Rapper’s delight: the record collection of DJ Kool Herc: The legendary DJ and Father of Hip-Hop’s catalogue contains foundational elements of the modern American musical canon. In DJ Kool Herc’s record collection, we see more than the musical interests of the Jamaican-American DJ recognized as the Father of Hip-Hop: these vinyl records are the genre’s essential building blocks. They contain breaks — the portions of the song that Herc would convert to drum loops in his signature ‘merry-go-round’ technique — whose grooves charged the makeshift dancefloors of the Bronx during the earliest hip-hop parties in the 1970s, and are still used today. Like the guitars of Eric Clapton or B.B. King, Herc’s records — on sale at Christie’s from 4-18 August in DJ Kool Herc and the Birth of Hip-Hop — are pieces of American musical history that changed the world’s perception of what music was, what it could be.

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In rotation: 8/4/22

Bristol, UK | Bristol record shop Idle Hands announces closure, launches crowdfunder for new location: According to a post by owner Chris Farrell, the shop has struggled since Christmas due to issues related to Brexit and the pandemic. Beloved Bristol record shop Idle Hands is shutting at the end of August, with the aim of moving to a more central location. The plan, according to a social media post by owner Chris Farrell, is to close the current City Road store “until something comes up” and in the meantime launch a crowdfunder to help with overheads and the move to a new premises. “Since Omicron hit just before Christmas the shop has struggled, with less people popping in and Brexit making EU trade pretty much unworkable for a business this small,” Farrell wrote. “These are tricky times, but I do believe Idle Hands still has a future.” He added: “When I decided not to renew our lease I had hoped to make a smooth transition to a new location—although there have been options I’ve been pursuing, the retail rental market is also in a bit of a state and that hasn’t been possible.”

Milwaukee, WI | Lilliput Records officially takes over for The Exclusive Company: After much anticipation — and some public anxiety — Lilliput Records will officially replace The Exclusive Company this Saturday at the store’s longstanding lower East Side location at 1669 N. Farwell Ave. Founded in 1956, The Exclusive Company made the sudden announcement in April that it would close all its stores, which encompassed locations in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Greenfield and Milwaukee. The announcement on Facebook garnered thousands of comments and reactions. But plans were already in motion for Lilliput, spearheaded by former Exclusive Company employees Brian Kirk and Tanner Musgrove. They launched a GoFundMe in March to help launch the new endeavor, raising more than $22,000. “There is no way we would be at this point in Lilliput’s journey without everyone’s support, donations, words of encouragement and excitement for the new store,” Kirk and Musgrove shared in a social media post Friday. “Our goal is to continually grow and help support our community and we feel so grateful to be given the opportunity to do so!”

Madison, WI | Boneset Records plans to open August 21 on the East Side: Musician Maggie Denman aims to create a cozy basement space full of vinyl and VHS. Madison’s newest record store, Boneset Records, will open its doors at 222 North Street. Owner Maggie Denman plans to be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, “with the goal of opening more, but for now that’s what I can do.” Denman, a visual artist and Madison musician (she’s played in bands including No Question, Proud Parents, and her Margerat Dryer solo project), is setting up shop in a basement space in an office building at the corner of North and East Johnson Streets; customers will enter through a door on East Johnson. (Full disclosure: Denman has also contributed editorial illustrations to Tone Madison.) Boneset Records joins a tradition of charmingly tucked-away record stores, including The Door in Monona and the much-missed Resale Records and Ear Wax. Boneset began to take shape when Denman took over the remaining inventory at Atwood Avenue’s Sugar Shack Records, which closed in April. With that collection as her starting point, Denman says she plans to flesh out the store’s selection to encompass “the kind of music that I like, which is kind of all over the place.

Newport, UK | Newport record shop owner to leave Hey Jude’s after ‘incredible journey.’ A record shop owner whose business has been at the heart of the Newport community for more than 20 years is selling up next month after a ‘wonderful journey.’ Jude Paton started Hey Jude’s in Newport Indoor Market in 1999 before setting up in Stafford Street. But she confirmed plans to retire this week and revealed, as of September 1, the shop will be under the ownership of Frankie O’Connor. “It has been a wonderful 23-year journey for me,” said Jude. “I have met so many amazing and loyal customers and have made many new friends. “When I was 13 years old I wrote an English composition under the title, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ “I said then that my dream was to own a record shop and it’s been an amazing experience to have a job like that. It has been an absolute joy and, of course, I love what I sell. “I have had an instant connection with customers and have loved to chat to every single one of them, finding out about their different tastes in music. It has opened my eyes to other music interests.” Jude says she’s thrilled to be leaving the shop in Frankie’s hands.

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In rotation: 8/3/22

Nashville, TN | Ernest Tubb Record Shop Sold to Group That Includes Tubb’s Grandson: The empty building on Lower Broadway in Nashville that was the site of the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop until it closed in May has been sold, and now it’s co-owned by a relative of the shop’s namesake. The Nashville Scene reported on Friday (July 29) that the three-story building at 417 Broadway has been sold for $18.3 million. Dale Tubb, a grandson of Ernest Tubb, now owns it along with real estate investor Brad Bars and Russian-born, Nashville-based bluegrass picker and session musician Ilya Toshinskiy. The Scene adds that the investors purchased the rights to the record store assets for an undisclosed sum, which creates hope that a shop that operated in downtown Nashville for 75 years may return soon thanks to the Tubb family.

Los Angeles, CA | Vinyl Record Sales are Booming, Study Says: Needle scratch—could it be true? Vinyl record sales have been booming since the start of the pandemic in 2019, with the biggest consumers being Gen Z, according to a new study. Fifteen years ago, vinyl records were all but obsolete, but thanks to the pandemic, sales have skyrocketed, according to a new study. Vinyl has seen a resurgence in the music industry, the study from the Luminate Midyear Music Report finds. Current vinyl album sales are up 27.4% compared to this time last year. Luminate produces foundational entertainment data and consumer studies for over 30 years. Luminate, formerly known as P-MRC Data, answers the unasked questions that direct entertainment’s most crucial decisions. With the return of popular demand of vinyl records, companies have started to repress their catalogs, including records like Nirvana’s iconic “Nevermind” and The Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”

Elizabeth City, NC | Just Shut Up and Listen: Record store opens in EC’s downtown: Kevin Blade grew up listening to his favorite music on vinyl records, which have seen a resurgence in popularity the last 10 years. “First off, vinyl is a growing industry again,” he said. The retired Navy master chief still prefers the crackle and hiss of the needle as it digs into the grooves of the record. “It just sounds better,” Blade said, comparing the warm analogue sound of vinyl records to digital compact discs, which basically replaced records in the early 1990s. So, Blade decided to open his own record store, Shut Up & Listen Records, located at 610 E. Fearing Street. The store officially opened on Saturday, but the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and business after hours event at the new shop Friday evening.

Wichita, KS | Love and Vinyl: At Spektrum Muzik, a new marriage but also an anniversary: A high school student from Mulvane walked into a Wichita record store seven years ago not expecting to find anything aside from some records that she could buy for her vinyl collection. She ended up finding not only some new records, but also her husband, business-partner-to-be and future workplace. Kirsten Phillips is now the full-time manager Spektrum Muzik, which she runs alongside her husband, Adam Phillips, the store’s owner and founder. The couple got married this past January and are also getting ready to celebrate another important milestone in their lives in August — the 10-year anniversary of the store on 905 W. Douglas. “We’re getting ready to have a party and celebration,” Kirsten said, sitting next to Adam. “To him [Adam], it’s so shocking that it’s 10 years. It feels like from when you started, not that you didn’t think it would do well, but he would have never guessed that this is where we would be, especially married.”

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In rotation: 8/2/22

Grand Rapids, MI | Vertigo Music: Quite possibly the best record store in Michigan: Goldmine’s Record Store Recon discusses why Vertigo Music might be the best shop in the state of Michigan. The Record Store Recon edition of the Goldmine Podcast puts the Michigan record shop Vertigo Music up for discussion after (somewhat) anonymous reporter Dr. Disc takes a trip there to review it. He brought guest Tom Trauma from the Punk Till I Die podcast along, and they come to the conclusion that this is probably the best store to go to in the state. Listen why.

Montclair, CA | Rhino Records readies Montclair shop for August 5 opening: The last days of Rhino Records in Claremont were wild, with old customers thronging inside for one more purchase. On the final day, June 26, a line of 100 people trailed around the block to get in as temperatures likewise hovered near 100. Some were weekly customers before the pandemic, others hadn’t been seen in a decade, but they felt the urge to breathe the atmosphere and take home a souvenir of a store that had been a touchstone. Grandparents brought in grandkids, who flipped through LPs by vintage bands and asked their elder which album by such-and-such was the one to get. “There’s something beyond commerce,” Aaron Kenyon, who’s clerked at Rhino for 20 years, mused to me in conversation last week. “Part of it was buying music and part of it was that place to go, that place to commune.”

Aberdeen, UK | Bruce Millers: Remembering Aberdeen’s beloved record shop: Making its debut in 1900, by Charles Bruce Miller, the shop quickly resonated well with people in Aberdeen’s music scene as they flocked to buy records, instruments, gramophones and sheet music. In its hay day, Bruce Millers would have been the place to be if you were looking for a new LP or tape for your cassette player. It’s no question Aberdeen has been home to many great stores and Bruce Millers is certainly one that many Aberdonians miss dearly. When it first opened on George Street, people flocked to buy records, instruments, gramophones and sheet music. Making its debut in 1900, owned by Charles Bruce Miller, it quickly resonated well with people in Aberdeen’s music scene. The shop was later taken on by various family members until it closed its doors in 2011. Undergoing a huge expansion during the 1950’s, the shop received a new look when it fashioned a new sign out front. As the shop got more popular throughout the years, the family business had to up and move a couple times.

New York, NY | New York’s Octopus Records opens bricks-and-mortar shop: It’s located at 204 Irving Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A new record store opened in New York over the weekend. Launched online in 2019, Octopus Records cut the ribbon on its first bricks-and-mortar shop last Friday, July 29th. It stocks a broad range of styles, from disco and classical to pop and rock. Current electronic recommendations include LPs by Mr. Fingers, Byron The Aquarius and Huerco S. The store is located at 204 Irving Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and includes one listening station, plus a selection of books. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own headphones. Browse the store online, and check out some photos via Instagram.

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In rotation: 8/1/22

Charlotte, NC | Premium Sound, the little record store that could, closes up shop: Here we are in 2022, a year when it’s hard to make sense of things, so of course a small vinyl record store in east Charlotte is shutting down because business is too good. What’s happening: Luke Stemmerman’s Premium Sound store inside Tip Top Market spun its final sale this week amid its best year financially. The independent bookstore it shared a space with, I’ve Read it in Books, packed up and closed, too. Tip Top, the easy-going market with craft beer and wine and local goods, is still open, thankfully. Why it matters: Still, for regulars like me, the changes hit like a hard scratch in our favorite track. The combination of Tip Top + Premium Sound + I’ve Read it in Books — three independently owned businesses that shared the same space — gave us the divine trinity of music and books and beer. It was a communal space where you could spend an hour browsing alone in the peace and quiet, because everything you thumbed through had something to say.

Wellingborough, UK | New Wellingborough record shop ready for vinyl lovers with music for all tastes: The record shop opened last week. Music fans who prefer to own their records physically rather than as a download have been flocking to a newly-opened Wellingborough shop. Rotten Records in Midland Road opened its doors last week to fans of vinyl, CDs, and music memorabilia – a reaction to streaming and web-based consumption. Dad-of-three Warren Lee (known as Lee) started records dealing as a side hustle, a job he could do from home around childcare. He said: “I started from home when I was a stay-at-home dad. I bought some records from a charity shop and car boot and sold them online. “I was brought up with records. It was more music than TV. My punishment when I was younger was being made to watch Woodstock with my dad and his mates. They were all ex-hippies.” Even though his father had owned a record shop in the 1970s it wasn’t Lee’s first career choice, spending six years in the construction industry. He understood people’s love of vinyl.

Nashville, TN | Ernest Tubb Record Shop Building Sells for $18.3 Million: New owners include local developer, Tubb relative, Russian-born musician. The Lower Broadway building home to iconic retail business Ernest Tubb Record Shop has sold for $18.3 million — more than three times the figure for which it changed ownership hands 24 months ago. The new owners of the three-story structure are Nashville-based real estate investor and developer Brad Bars, Dale Tubb (Tubb’s grandson) and Ilya Toshinskiy, a Russian-born and locally based musician. The seller was an LLC affiliated with JesseLee Jones, who has owned Lower Broadway’s Robert’s Western World for 23 years. In August 2020, Jones bought both the building and the record shop business, located at 417 Broadway, for $4.75 million from longtime friend David McCormick (read here). For context, McCormick acquired the building and the 0.08-acre parcel on which it sits in 1992 for $128,000. Ernest Tubb Record Shop began operations in 1947 and has been located at its present site since 1951. The store specializes in hard-to-find CDs, DVDs, books, songbooks and vinyl LPs.

Fort Wayne, IN | “Neighborhood record store” turns 40: An Interview with Wooden Nickel’s Bob Roets: Fort Wayne’s iconic independent record store, Wooden Nickel, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this Saturday, with a city-wide party at Baker Street Centre. Its co-founders, Bob and Cindy Roets, have been dedicated to filling the personal music needs of the community as well as promoting the local and regional music scene since their arrival here from Madison, Wisconsin in the early 1980’s, and are grateful for the continued support and the many connections they have amassed over the decades. Here WBOI’s Julia Meek talks with Bob about their early days in the business, the evolution of the industry and the adventures he and his wife Cindy have had along the journey. “…It just kept growing. I wanted to be the neighborhood record store, if I could make it happen. And we quickly went from a single outlet to we had six by the end of the decade.”

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In rotation: 7/29/22

San Antonio, TX | Best record store: Southtown Vinyl. The digital media boom has some folks convinced that physical media is dead and that streaming is the name of the game. Whoever subscribes to that notion clearly hasn’t checked out LP sales data lately — or visited Southtown Vinyl. The store provides a comfortable, spacious browsing experience. That’s vital because physically digging through stacks of records is a big part of the vinyl shopping experience. Customers praise the staff for being friendly and knowledgeable — qualities that can be hard to find in tandem at record stores. This year, Southtown Vinyl even unseated long-running champs Hogwild Records in this Best of San Antonio category. If that’s not enough to lure vinyl fiends, there’s a Daft Punk mural on the side of the building. Hard to go wrong.

Chicago, IL | Graveface Records And Curiosities Opens This Weekend, Bringing The Weird, Eclectic And Sometimes Shocking To Bucktown: The business includes a record store, John Wayne Gacy exhibit, horror shop, museum and arcade. It will also house thousands of items from former video store Odd Obsession. “This is going to be a jail cell.” Ryan Graveface is standing in the back room of a cluttered Bucktown store, describing what will soon be a recreation of where John Wayne Gacy spent his final days alive. The cell will display paintings, books and other items Gacy owned before he was executed in 1994, memorabilia Graveface has collected over the years as part of his research and interest in the infamous Chicago-area serial killer. The jail cell is just one part of a museum Graveface is building in his expansive store, Graveface Records and Curiosities, 1829 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is holding a soft opening Saturday.

Asheville, NC | Asheville FM’s Record Fair and record release set for Sept. 10: Continuing on the success of their previous Record Fairs, 103.3 Asheville FM announces the return of their annual event, partnered with the release of a local music compilation EP on a vinyl record. On Saturday, September 10, 2022, Asheville FM will host the Record Fair at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville (87 Haywood St, Asheville). The fair brings together an estimated 30 professional and personal vinyl record dealers and collectors in a single venue for an all-day record shopping experience. …“This is the best example of a community collaboration we could think of,” said KP Whaley, General Manager for Asheville FM. “It includes local talent, recorded locally, pressed locally, and promoted by your favorite local community radio station!”

Best Bluetooth turntables 2022: wireless record players for streaming vinyl: Beam your favorite vinyl to a wireless speaker or a pair of headphones. The popularity of vinyl continues and that means more and more people buying turntables for the first time or upgrading their existing record players. And one turntable feature that’s proving increasingly popular is Bluetooth. The best Bluetooth turntables deliver great vinyl sound from your deck to a pair of Bluetooth speakers or headphones, making listening to records – and building your vinyl system – easier than ever. How to choose the best Bluetooth turntable for you: As with any new purchase, you need to decide on your budget. We’d suggest limiting it to around a quarter of your system’s cost if it’s being added to an existing hi-fi set-up. With that in mind, make sure you read up on the sonic characteristics of all your components – even five-star products benefit from the right partnering.

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In rotation: 7/28/22

New York, NY | Limited to One record store celebrating 5 Years at Brooklyn show with rare record mart: Limited to One, the East Village record store that focuses on rare, collectable vinyl, turns five this week and to celebrate they’re throwing an anniversary party at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus on Sunday, July 31 featuring live performances and a record mart. Tickets are on sale. The music lineup includes NYC emo/post-hardcore group Common Sage, Providence screamo band Amitié, Light Tower (featuring members of Spotlights / On the Might of Princes) and some “special guests.” One of those special guests is Ryley Walker who will be doing a set of XTC covers. As for the record mart, Limited to One says it features “rare records never sold in the shop” and “exclusive releases direct from select indie labels” like Sacred Bones, DAZE, Expert Work Records, and more.

Muncie, IN | Muncie gets back in the groove with new record store opening: Good news for music-lovers who prefer their tunes delivered via old-fashioned vinyl: Muncie’s getting a new record store, and in a very familiar spot. Locked Groove Records opens Saturday, July 30, in the same space that housed Village Green Records for more than 15 years until this past spring. After Village Green announced it was leaving, but before it actually closed down in May to shift its operations to Montgomery, Alabama, Celeste Outen was looking into opening another independent record store in Muncie. An employee at Village Green, Outen was encouraged by Village Green’s owner and others in the community to pursue establishing her own store. …The new store—which will be not just a locally-owned business, but a woman-owned and Black-owned one as well—will start out with a stock of used records acquired from dealers, a “really amazing jazz record collection” she came across and Outen’s extensive record collection. Selling off her own collection is hard, but Outen looks forward to sharing what she loves with her customers, she said.

Cleveland, OH | One Year Later: How This Cleveland Record Store Continues To Thrive. In 2021, GOBankingRates featured “Small Business Spotlight” nominee A Separate Reality Records, a record store in Cleveland started by music industry vet and cancer survivor Augustus Payne. At the time, Payne shared how he adapted his business during the pandemic to keep it going through difficult times. Now, one year later, we’re checking back in with Payne to talk about what he’s learned over the past two years and what his hopes are for the future of his business. “…I wish I knew how totally consuming it is to own a store. If you have a store, it’s best to love what you do.”

Wichita, KS | New record store to open in Wichita: Les Easterby was a teenager in high school taking an entrepreneurship class when he was asked to create a business plan. “My business plan was to open a record store,” he said. Now, just over two decades later, that’s what he’s doing. Next month, Easterby is opening the Record Ship at 230 N. Cleveland, just up from the Workroom. He considered more prominent sites along Douglas and Central avenues, but Easterby said, “People kept telling me a record store is more of a destination, so you don’t necessarily need to be seen on Douglas.” He’ll have 600 square feet of retail space and another 1,000 square feet of warehouse space where he eventually also plans to host events, such as concerts or vinyl swap meets. Record Ship will sell a variety of music, including rock, soul, jazz and alternative selections. Easterby also wants to offer new wave, punk and experimental music, which is much of what he likes.

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In rotation: 7/27/22

Vinyl Sales Continue to RISE in 2022: A new report reveals that the sale of vinyl has exceeded 19.4 million in the first six months of 2022. According to, Luminate, this figure represents slightly over half, or 53%, of all physical music sales (36.5 million) in the US during the first six months of 2022. This figure is an increase from the 19.2 million sales in 2021, which was a huge 108% increase in vinyl sales from the same period in 2020. This was a 30-year high for vinyl sales. These sales in the first half of this year were largely down to new recent releases rather than older titles from the catalog. Luminate’s report shows that new and current album vinyl sales (such as Harry Styles’ album) are up by 27.4% since last year.

Milwaukee, WI | ‘Romance and nostalgia’: Love for vinyl leads to record store ‘Acme Records’ in Milwaukee: Ken Chrisien started buying records at the age of 15 out of a love for music. “It coincided with the birth of CDs, so everybody was dumping their records. I could buy boxes of records for like $10,” said Ken. As his collection of records grew, he realized that buying in bulk also gave him music that he wasn’t interested in. This led Ken to sell at record shows. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew that selling them for $3 each when I’d paid $10 for a box, I was making money. I probably lost more than I made in the early days,” said Ken. For Ken, eBay was a great resource as he spent many nights searching for records and learning their value. Now 22 years later, Ken is still selling records, but with a keen sense of knowing the value of what’s trending. He opened Acme Records in 2012, building out the space himself to create a wonderful atmosphere for vinyl lovers.

Hamilton, ON | Hamilton record shop Into the Abyss is leaving Locke Street: A Hamilton favourite for vinyl finds is leaving its cozy quarters on Locke Street and setting its sights on a new location. Into the Abyss, a popular spot for records, turntables, vinyl accessories, and more, announced on social media that they will soon be vacating their current shop at 119 Locke Street South, where the business has lived since 2017. With their current building in line to be sold and rent increased to unsustainable amounts, Into the Abyss made the difficult decision to leave their first home behind and find a new spot in the city to relocate to. Thankfully, the record shop has a new home lined up, and they’ll be opening up shop soon along King Street East in Hamilton’s International Village after formally closing their Locke location as of August 28th, 2022.

Vinyl fantasy: how gamers fell in love with records: Gaming albums have been steadily rising in popularity since the early 2010s. Players and creators explain why. Caroline Grace has always enjoyed vintage technology. An IT tech in the Mid-Ohio Valley, they collect retro games, laser discs and cassette tapes, but mostly, vinyl records. Their collection is in the thousands, and hundreds of those are video game soundtracks. “I’ve been a big fan of games all my life,” says Grace. “Some of my earliest memories are playing games like Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap and Goof Troop with my dad and brother. I get positive feelings from listening to the Wonder Boy III music now. I have a lot of pleasant memories of playing it with my family back in the day.” The idea of buying video game soundtracks on vinyl may seem counter-intuitive: the most hi-tech digital entertainment medium meeting this fragile relic of the analogue era. But gaming albums have been steadily rising in popularity since the early 2010s.

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In rotation: 7/26/22

Eight Isle of Wight, UK | Eight Isle of Wight record shops for new and preloved vinyl: Record shops are the height of retro cool and where better to snap up vinyl than on the Isle of Wight? The industry celebrated its 14th consecutive year of growth in 2021 and records are flying off the shelves and onto our turntables – which these days come with helpful USB connections and built-in speakers. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), more than 5 million vinyl LPs were sold last year. It made 2021 the biggest year for record sales in three decades. Whether its for latest releases or preloved gems, the savvy shopper can be be found hunting through boxes of records, which range in price according to their condition. The Isle of Wight boasts perfect places to lose yourself among classic artwork and decades of music development. Here are eight Isle of Wight record stores to while away a few hours, as you search for your favourite 7″, EP, or LP…

St. Petersburg, FL | St. Pete artist Steve Madden is bringing flair to the bins at Daddy Kool Records: He’s brought life to the plain, white, thick plastic sheets the shop uses to categorize and separate its stock. If you’ve recently visited Daddy Kool, St. Pete’s premier record store located at 800 28th St S at The Factory, you’ve probably noticed some pretty eye-catching and artistic divider cards, colorfully indicating individual artists’ sections while browsing. The store’s manager and resident music expert, Manny Kool, enlisted the services of local artist Steve Madden to bring artistic flair to the plain, white, thick plastic sheets the shop uses to categorize and separate its stock. Madden, who is also a devout music lover, told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay how the partnership came about and how he approaches each and every mini-art project he cranks out for usage around the record store.

Los Angeles, CA | Time Collapses In Dave Muller’s New Record Store Pop-Up: The artist has opened his second record store pop-up as the centerpiece of his recent solo exhibition. In the spring of 2017, the L.A.-based artist Dave Muller and local record purveyor-turned-music producer Ethan Swan created the P&B Records shop at The Meow, a pop-up exhibition-retail space for artist-run businesses located inside a backyard shed at the Mt. Washington home of Angeleno artists Lisa Anne Auerbach and Joel Kyack. “It was so popular it scared them. They were afraid too many people were gonna start showing up, so now it’s just a kind of yoga cottage,” Muller says with a laugh during a call from a road trip the week after he opened his second record store pop-up. This one is the centerpiece of his recent solo exhibition, Sunset, Sunrise (repeat) b/w The Record Pavilion, in the upstairs gallery of his L.A. dealer, Blum & Poe. “It’s kinda like the record store I’d like to go to, combined with an art installation that still works as a record store,” he says. “But I can paint on the ceiling, paint on the walls, all that stuff.”

Selangor Darul Ehsan, ML | Here’s an event celebrating music collector culture, vinyl lovers: The inaugural Kena Sound music collector culture event at Nero Event Space, PJPAC, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya on Aug 6 promises a day out with a difference for music lovers who have not lost faith in physical music formats. It’s an event to celebrate listening to music via a physical format, notably vinyl, CDs, cassettes and more. Organised by the Kena Sound Crew (a collective of music lovers) and supported by PJPAC, the independent event aims to broaden and liven up the record-buying experience and give music collectors an opportunity to interact with kindred spirits and discover new developments in this niche music collecting scene, which is being propped up by independent record shops and online sellers nationwide. “…“Kena Sound is about bringing back the fun when it comes to music collecting. It will be presented in a laidback setting, with music conversations (on stage), pop-up music stalls, record shop storytelling, video screenings, open turntable sessions and more…”

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In rotation: 7/25/22

Who’s Driving Up Vinyl LP Sales In 2022? It’s Probably Not Who You Think. What might a GenZ female have in common with a Millennial male? How about vinyl LPs? During the first half of 2022, vinyl album sales – the only segment of recorded music for sale that continues to grow, according to Luminate’s Midyear Music Report – were driven by younger women, with 34% of female buyers in the Gen Z category, while 62% of male buyers of vinyl were Gen X-ers or Millennials (31% for each). What’s driving those sales is not classic catalog titles, which might attract those older male consumers, but rather current releases, sales of which are up 27.4% year-over-year while catalog LP sales fell 8.4%. And who’s driving them is Harry Styles, currently the dominant act at CHR with two of the format’s top five songs based on Mediabase’s weekly spin count. Since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991, Styles’ album “Harry’s House” has posted the largest vinyl sales in a single week with 182,000 units upon its release in May.

Appleton, WI | Former Exclusive Company employee brings new record shop to downtown Appleton: The Exclusive Company may be gone, but its legacy carries on. A former Exclusive Company employee is keeping the tradition alive with his own record store, Eroding Winds Record Shop, which opened at 229 E. College Ave. in downtown Appleton on July 8. It’s the second Eroding Winds location for owner Adam Bartlett, who opened his flagship record store at 436 N. Main St. in downtown Oshkosh in 2016. It’s fitting that shortly after The Exclusive Company closed its doors in Appleton (and in many other cities), one of its former employees has made sure the Fox Cities will still have a place for music lovers to gather. An Oshkosh native, Bartlett was a regular at his hometown’s Exclusive Company location during his teenage years. He started working there on his 17th birthday in 2000 and reported directly to the late Exclusive Company founder James “Mr. G.” Giombetti. Bartlett also spent time as an employee at the Northland Mall Exclusive Company in Appleton.

Athens, GA | All things music: Local music shops in Athens: It is no secret that several major bands and artists like R.E.M., The B-52’s, Pylon, of Montreal and many more began right here in the Classic City. The city of Athens is famous for their long history in the music scene. While many of those famed bands rose to the top, other local bands took their place, and the Athens music scene is still alive and well. As the music continues to flow from the Classic City, the legacy of local music stores in Athens grows stronger as well. Athens has several locally owned music stores that offer all things music to its customers. Whether you are looking for instruments to learn to play, gear to start up a band or are looking to add to your vinyl collection, Athens has a store for it. The Red & Black has compiled a list of locally owned stores for all things music.

Milwaukee, WI | Former The Exclusive Co. employees will open Lilliput Records at Farwell St. location: Employees of The Exclusive Company’s Milwaukee location will open a new record store in its place as Lilliput Records, by the end of July. Lilliput Record’s soft opening is tentatively planned for July 30, two days after The Exclusive Co.’s last day, Thursday, July 28. Long-time manager Brian Kirk and assistant manager Tanner Musgrove decided that buying this store “was for the best” after learning of the Wisconsin-based record store chain’s closure. “Initially, we were just looking at the inventory. But it quickly morphed into purchasing the building as well, which, in the end, made much more sense,” Kirk said. Though the grand opening for Lilliput Records is still in the works, Musgrove said it will likely be the third weekend of August. James Giombetti opened the first The Exclusive Co. store in 1956 in West Bend. The company expanded with locations in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Greenfield, Oshkosh and Janesville. The Milwaukee store has been continuously operating since 1991.

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In rotation: 7/22/22

New-gen vinyl buyers are ‘serious, dedicated and valuable.’ Research firm MusicWatch has been diving into its data on the new generation of vinyl buyers in the US: those born in 1989 or later. It found that nearly 80% of them have started buying vinyl in the last five years, and that while 37% of them say they buy it to display, 78% intend to listen to their LPs. Yes, that means a crossover: “some records jockey between the wall and the stylus,” as MusicWatch’s Russ Crupnick put it. Another finding: one third of these new-gen buyers say that they buy vinyl to support their favourite artists: “They overwhelmingly believe it is important to support artists beyond just listening to their music.” Interestingly, packaging – artwork and the design of the record itself – appear to be bigger motivators for buying than audio quality.

Ocean County, NJ | One stop shop: A guide for all things vinyl around Ocean County, NJ: It’s been about two months since moving to New Jersey, but if you took a look around my apartment you’d think my fiancee and I just moved in last weekend. It’s definitely a work in progress. …Usually, when I shop for records, I’ll just go to an antique store, which New Jersey has a plethora of, and browse their selection. That’s always fun because antique shops I think have the most eclectic stock of records. But if you’re looking for a store that specializes in vinyl, there are a few right here in Ocean County that are worth visiting.

Portland, OR | Shopping For Vinyl Records With A Portland IPA In Hand? Yes Please! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could stroll through aisles of vinyl records and cassettes with a Portland IPA in your hand? Really wish I’d thought of this idea! Black and White rock posters on the walls, aisle of record bins, and the beer. The bar will stay simple, sticking to six taps including Rainier and a rotating cider. The rest of the taps will generally focus on Pacific Northwestern beers, in particular things made in Portland; a nearby beer cooler will have a wider collection of beers, ciders, and non-alcoholic options. The Record Pub will open its doors officially on Friday, July 22 at 11 a.m.

Marquette, MI | Find Some Classics At The Latest Vinyl Record Show And Sale This Weekend In Marquette! Your latest chance to check out and buy some classic and new vinyl records is happening in Marquette this weekend. Jon Teichman, organizer of the latest Ore Dock Record Show & Sale, spoke about the event today with Mark & Walt in the Morning. Teichman said from Noon to 11:00 p.m. each day, from this Thursday, July 21st until Sunday, July 24th, the pop-up vinyl record show will be held in the Community Room at the Ore Dock Brewing Company at 114 W. Spring Street in downtown Marquette. He also shared some stories about previous record sale finds, including a special Jackie Gleason collection from 1962! Teichman added that thousands upon thousands of new & used vinyl records, CDs, posters, cassettes, books, and t-shirts will be available and trades welcome!

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In rotation: 7/21/22

Chicago, IL | Meteor Gem opens its doors to Chicagoland’s trve metalheads: Chicago’s newest record store specializes in all things metal. Meteor Gem occupies a garden-level boutique at 3082 N. Elston, and its stock is so laser-focused on extreme music—including death, doom, black, post-, and progressive metal—that the records in just one subgenre outnumber the entire metal inventory of many local shops. Owner Mikhail Fedyukov has been involved in Chicago’s heavy underground for about a decade, booking and occasionally performing at DIY shows. He began selling records online about five years ago, and when the pandemic hit, he decided to devote all his working hours to that pursuit. “I had a small vinyl warehouse in my one-bedroom apartment,” he says. Fedyukov launched Meteor Gem’s website in January 2021, signed the lease for the Avondale brick-and-mortar location in February 2022, and opened the store on July 1.

Guelph, CA | A ‘love letter’ to Guelph: Royal Cat Records releases new zine: It’s in Guelph, and it’s about records, punk and junk: meet Grunk, Royal Cat Record’s long-awaited zine. After “many personality crises and a worldwide pandemic,” Royal Cat Records is finally launching their long-awaited zine, Grunk. The 21-page, self-published, small-batch magazine is “a loveletter to our dumb little city from a couple of record-collecting junk lovers,” featuring comics, playlists, album picks, an interview with a renowned cartoonist, and tidbits of trivia about the Guelph music scene. Bryan Munn, who owns Royal Cat Records with his wife Kara, has been toying with zine making since he was a child, making little comic books with the help of his dad’s photocopier. He was just as captivated by zine culture when he met Kara in the 90s. Together, the two punk rockers started making small zines, manually binding them together and giving them out to anyone who would read them.

Klamath Falls, OR | For the record: Klamath record store holds rock trivia night: A local business in Klamath Falls has set the bar exceptionally high when it comes to musical entertainment here in the Basin with its monthly trivia night. The brainchild of Kurt Liedtke, as well as owners and founders, Jimmy and Sarah Turner, Rock Trivia is an event that is certain to satisfy even the most fastidious music critics. In a cozy theater room located in the back of the store, a score of Klamathians volunteered as tributes to compete for the title of Rock-n-Roll Historian of the month. Liedtke organizes the questions in the form of a slide show, playing clips from music videos for each of the songs and artists in question. This month, the game was broken up into three rounds: Oneders, Gibberish Lyrics and Rip-Offs. The Oneders category consists of popular songs by one-hit-wonders, artists who are known for only having one hit single. Songs such as “Mambo No. 5” and “What Does the Fox Say” were reasonably popular upon their release; yet no one in attendance could recall the artists that recorded them.

Newcastle, UK | Hunter Record Fair has vinyl lovers in a spin: Vinyl lovers will be in a spin this weekend. The Hunter Record Fair is back on the calendar, after a COVID-enforced hiatus, with a huge array of bargains, rarities, LPs, 45s and more set to adorn the Kotara High School auditorium, between 9am and 4pm, on Saturday 23 July. There, devotees face the enviable choice of thousands of albums across all genres of music, including country, rock, soul, metal, punk, pop, hip-hop, jazz, blues, reggae, rockabilly, folk, R&B, ska, alternative, house, hardcore punk, electro, indie, new wave and noise. “We’re really looking forward to it,” organiser Dan Phelan said. “I think 2019 was the last time we staged the event. “So, hopefully, it’ll make a positive return. “Stallholders from around the country will offer a massive range of both new and second-hand vinyls and CDs.”

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