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

In rotation: 7/2/20

Berlin, DE | The Discogs Guide To Berlin Record Stores: Berlin has enjoyed its reputation as one of Europe’s most important cultural hubs for over a century. Musically, the German capital has been a flashpoint for a vast spectrum of sounds: from classical to jazz, prog rock and Krautrock, punk and post-punk, avant-garde and pop, to the thumping beat that’s fueled Berlin’s nightlife for the last three decades, techno. In the same way that there is a scene for every music subculture in Berlin, there is a record store to satisfy every music lover’s tastes. With 87 individual stores, Berlin boasts the second highest concentration of record stores per capita in the world (beaten only by Tokyo), so there is plenty of room for every type of vinyl-slinger. Here are just some of the essential stops on the maps, including the traditional 2nd hand outlets, quirky specialists, DJ meccas and long-running institutions.

Aberdeen, UK | Plans submitted for takeaway in former Aberdeen record store: A former music shop and centre of Aberdeen’s cultural scene could be transformed into a takeaway. Plans have been submitted to convert 17 Belmont Street from a shop to a hot food restaurant selling items with a little Gallic flair. In 2013, the council made use of the empty property as a base for its ill-fated UK City Of Culture bid. For the three decades prior to that, the building had been home to the One Up record store. The independent music shop fell victim to the changing fortunes of the high street after 34 years, despite being a favourite of famous musicians and bands including Noel Gallagher, Biffy Clyro and Stereophonics. Now, Brighter North Recruitment has commissioned architects to oversee the transformation of the building once again, this time into a French food takeaway. Albyn Architects has lodged proposals to change the use of the ground floor of the council-owned building on the firm’s behalf.

London, UK | ‘It’s magical what they’re doing’: Buy one of the finest reproduced vinyl you’ll ever hear. To some extent the vinyl resurgence of the last decade has been fuelled by reissues. But no reissue label has gone to the same extremes as Electric Recording to recreate the recordings of the Fifties and Sixties, writes Ben Sisario. Interested? Then you better start saving now… Tucked in a trendy co-working complex in west London, just past the food court and the payment processing start-up, is perhaps the most technologically backward-looking record company in the world. The Electric Recording Company, which has been releasing music since 2012, specialises in meticulous recreations of classical and jazz albums from the 1950s and 1960s. Its catalogue includes reissues of landmark recordings by Wilhelm Furtwangler, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk, as well as lesser-known artists favoured by collectors, like violinist Johanna Martzy. But what really sets Electric Recording apart is its method – a philosophy of production more akin to the making of small-batch gourmet chocolate than most shrinkwrapped vinyl.

Will CDs Replace Vinyl as the New Retro-Modern Music Fad? It doesn’t seem like CDs have much of a chance of coming back anytime soon, but neither did vinyl records or cassettes. First introduced in the early 1980s, CDs quickly surpassed vinyl records and cassette tapes to become the main way that we listened to music. Starting in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, the popularity of CDs started to wane as digital music distribution began its upward climb. Now though, we’ve seen vinyl come back to the point where they’re selling almost as much as CDs, and may even outsell them soon. Cool as it is, vinyl is expensive to produce, which means some artists have turned to cassettes, which was unthinkable not that long ago. Is the CD the next format to reappear in the mainstream spotlight, or is the digital physical disc set to remain a thing of the past? In 2019, roughly 46.5 million CDs were shipped in the United States. That might sound like a lot, but that’s actually the lowest total in decades.

Andover Model-One Turntable Music System Reviewed: More often than not, the deciding factor on what makes an AV product “good” or “bad” comes down to performance. But is this really what modern AV equipment is really all about: being either good or bad? What if performance were a given? What then? What would cause a product to go from being good to great, or bad to worse? I’ve been asking myself this very question a lot lately, since in 2020 (as bad as this year has been) everything I’ve tested in terms specialty AV has been pretty great from the perspective of performance. Let’s face it: when we criticize a component at any level, we’re really just nitpicking and playing to our base, because 90 percent of the general public either wouldn’t be bothered by our gripe or wouldn’t notice it. So, what makes a product special? I argue what separates a product from the herd in 2020 isn’t performance, value, or any other AV buzz word. It really comes down to whether or not you actually use the thing, and in using said thing does it bring you joy?

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In rotation: 7/1/20

Canandaigua, NY | Vinyl fans rejoice as new record store opens in Canandaigua: In this age of digital music, those with a fondness for the old vinyl records now have a new place to go. The Canandaigua Record Exchange opened earlier this month at 170 Mill St. It’s operated by Jon Cooley. “Canandaigua’s chosen spot for new and used vinyl fills the void in the Finger Lakes region for a record store created when Geneva’s Area Records closed several years ago,” Cooley said, referring to the iconic store that closed in the fall of 2017 after 40 years. The new record store is open noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cooley said he will open the store by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cooley said his store stocks the latest releases, as well as new back-stock and used records from a wide range of artists covering many music genres. Records can be special ordered as well. Customers are asked to wear masks, use in-store hand sanitizer, and maintain proper social distancing.

There’s a 24-hour live stream taking place across 12 record stores this weekend: Move the Record will stream from London’s Phonica and KMA60 in Berlin with Move The Record. A 24-hour live stream is set to take place across 12 record stores this weekend. Move The Record is a new initiative devised in association with Dana Ruh and KMA60 Berlin, in response to the uncertain future that independent record stores are facing worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic. The first edition of Move the Record takes place this Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th July, and will feature two 12-hour streams live from artists spinning in record stores across the globe. 20% off will also be offered from the respective stores streaming, to encourage viewers to buy and support independent shops. On Friday 3rd July, between 4PM and 8PM, the DJ Mag Facebook page will exclusively stream Dana Ruh and Fred P from KMA60 in Berlin, as well as Jorge Caiado and Steffi from Carpet & Snares in Lisbon. On Saturday, we’ll also be sharing Bradley Zero and Nick Williams from South London’s Phonica, where they’ll be streamed from 4PM and 6PM.

Edinburgh, UK | Popular Edinburgh record shop will not reopen after lockdown: A popular record shop on Edinburgh’s Canongate will not reopen after lockdown ends citing the cancellation of the festivals and ‘non-existent’ tourist trade as reasons. Unknown Pleasures opened on the Royal Mile in 2006 as a physical spin-off to their established website, While the shop will not open its doors again, the website will still be running and those who have purchased gift cards will be able to redeem them online. In a post on their Facebook page, owners of Unknown Pleasures said that the size of the store would make social distancing extremely difficult, and limiting customers in store and implementing a queuing system would be difficult and would have an effect on people who enjoy spending long periods of time browsing the store and flicking through records, which is part of the store’s nature. They added that like many businesses, they are reliant on the summer tourist trade and trade from Edinburgh’s festivals which have been cancelled this year, as well as not being able to allow groups into the shop.

US | Small towns may have a “longer road” to recovery than big cities: …re-invention could be tough for people like record store owner Tom Lefevre. In record stores, people tend to browse and talk to the person behind the counter. “It’s definitely a personal experience,” Lefevre said. That experience has changed a bit at Main Street Juke Box, a shop that’s already survived, among other things, the age of digital music. It’s been a couple of months since someone walked in the door, Lefevre said. But, it’s not the first time he hasn’t had business for that long. “Twelve, 13 years ago, I was across the street, … and there was a fire, and I lost my whole business,” he said. “I was down for probably a couple months until I got insurance money, and then I landed in here.” Insurance, however, won’t cover the losses from the pandemic. “It was a big shock to be honest with you. I was kind of angry, too,” Lefevre said.

Denton, TX | The Comic Store Taking Over a Closing-Down Record Store in Texas: Record store Mad World Records in Denton, Texas, is closing permanently. Already closed because of shutdown, and transitioned to curbside pick-up, owner and manager Mark Burke is making it permanent after nine years. He is now launching an online shop, something he’d been dead set against until the pandemic. The store applied for the Denton County Small Business Grant program the day the applications opened, but two weeks ago, it was denied. Mark posted on Facebook, “Before we locked the doors, I would have customers come in and cough in their hands and then flip through our merchandise. It was terrible and impossible for me to ignore these all too common actions once the virus became a real threat to my customers and employees. Honestly, I am not a healthy guy and I have a wonderful little guy an wife at home, so even on a personal level this seemed crazy scary to me…”

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In rotation: 6/30/20

UK | Physical sales bounce back with 20% market share: Music retail has been back for a fortnight and the effect on physical sales is clear to see. After a vinyl sales surge last week when stores returned to the High Street after a three-month lockdown, there’s been a consolidation for the physical music market. According to Official Charts Company data, for the previous seven days physical sales were up 7.6% week-on-week to 371,738 units (physical artist albums were up 9.1%). In comparison, album streams were up just 1.8%. Crucially, physical sales were back above the 20% mark (exactly 20.0% to be precise). That’s up from 19.1% in the prior week and above the 19.4% share in the week before lockdown. During the first weeks of lockdown, physical’s share slumped. New albums from Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Phoebe Bridgers delivered decent volumes, while Lady Gaga’s former chart-topper Chromatica moved a further 4,268 physical copies.

Boston, MA | Record stores are getting their groove back: For the past 12 years, Christmas has come in April for independent record stores. The advent of Record Store Day, the annual blowout when musicians release hundreds of limited-edition recordings to support brick-and-mortar stores, has boosted the fortunes of retailers in a business that was practically left for dead by the arrival of the Internet. This year, though, Christmas never came. March brought the coronavirus, and by April, record stores across New England stood as silent as an album still sealed in its shrink wrap. John Damroth, who opened Planet Records in Kenmore Square nearly 40 years ago, furloughed his four employees and braced for financial impact. Then he went to his current location outside Harvard Square, locked the door behind him, and began filling online orders. Dismayed about closing, his mood quickly brightened. Having handled an average of 20-25 mail orders per day before the Great Pause, suddenly he had twice that many. With no live concerts to attend, it seemed that some music lovers wanted to spend some of that stimulus money adding to their record collections.

The Best Scene From ‘High Fidelity’ You (Likely) Haven’t Seen: Today (June 28) is John Cusack’s birthday, and while many best remember him holding a boombox aloft and openly pining for a girl with the help of Peter Gabriel, his best role is the heavily flawed, yet endearing Rob Gordon from 2000’s High Fidelity. Based on the Nick Hornby book of the same name, High Fidelity is one of those movies to which nearly every obsessive music fan can relate. Perhaps, you’re not as judgemental as Rob or his motley crew of record store employees. (Props to Jack Black for his breakout performance as the hilarious Barry.) But his passion is all too relatable, and there’s no greater example of said passion than in the scene [above]. This scene, which was deleted from the final cut of the film, finds Rob visiting a home where a jilted wife (played by the somehow still hot Beverly D’Angelo) is selling her husband’s incredible collection of 45s. (Rob’s reaction to the collection is priceless.) The wife’s asking price? $50. Rob’s subsequent conversation with D’Angelo’s character is simply pure gold.

Iowa City, IA | There’s something special about record stores: For those who view music as a vital necessity like food and shelter, being without Iowa City’s longtime institution the Record Collector leaves a gaping hole in the soul. “A record store isn’t really a record store without customers,” said co-owner Alissa Witzke. “It feels empty and sad, like we’re just a warehouse.” The store shifted to online sales and began doing free local deliveries during the COVID-19 lockdown, which was better than nothing but not the same as the real deal. Shops like Record Collector have been a key part of the cultural landscape for decades, gathering places where ideas and musical tastes cross-fertilize. “Honestly, I just miss some of the general human interaction,” said Bobby Larson, the store’s other owner. “Community happens when you get enough of those music-fiend types together and talking, which is why COVID-19 has made things extra hard on businesses that were already troubled by the move to online sales and forums.”

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In rotation: 6/29/20

Redditch, UK | Vinyl records cleaned top to bottom ahead of Vintage Trax’s grand reopening: Vinyl records were cleaned top to bottom in preparation for the reopening of record store Vintage Trax. The independent store on Birchfield Road opened on June 16 for the first time since lockdown began. It has done everything in its power, including only serving one customer at a time, to make music lovers feel comfortable in their search for retro tunes. Vintage Trax owner Ros Sidaway said she was nervous to reopen but that everything has gone ‘smoothly’. “I tried online trading for a while which was okay but I soon realised it’s not what I do this for,” she said. “I’m passionate about music and I like interaction with my customers and the chats that we have. “It’s also great for them to be able to come in and have a tactile dig through our crates. It always invokes happy memories for people.

Norwich, UK | Gloves, masks and mail order – how city’s record stores are coping with social distancing: From completely reshuffling a shop to sterilising items using UV lights, Norwich’s record stores have shaken up their businesses to reopen. Beatniks on Magdalen Street, in the city centre, opened its doors to customers on Monday, June 15, when nonessential shops were given the go ahead to reopen by the government. But with record stores usually a place for music lovers to casually browse, flipping through their impressive array of records, measures to maintain social distancing have been key. John Naylor, who owns the store, said the first few days had gone well and added: “The first week and up to Monday was very, very good, not that I’m thinking this is going to be an indicator of what we’ve got to come but I was very pleased, a lot of the usual people have been in.” Mr Naylor said he had introduced a number of changes to make social distancing possible in the store, including limiting the number of customers inside at any one time.

Leicester, UK | Leicester musician who played with Stevie Wonder opening record shop in Clarendon Park: Nick Murphy’s sons – both producers and DJs- are also involved in the new business. A Leicester musician who once played with Stevie Wonder is launching a record shop in Clarendon Park. Nick Murphy will open the shop, called Shakup Records, together with his two sons, who are also involved in the music industry. The new business will be based in Montague Road, and is described as “Leicester’s grooviest new vinyl store and music hub.” Nick has had a long career in music, which in 1984 included playing on a record, Feel It, with the legendary Stevie Wonder, when Nick was in the Leicester-based group Feelabeelia. He then fronted the band Ska-Boom and has played in bands ever since, before deciding to start this new chapter in his life. He has teamed up with his sons, Sonny and Finn, who are house music producers and DJs and go under the alias Murphy’s Law. They are full-time musicians and promoters, running an event in Leicester called Full House and performing all over Europe…. “We are a family that has grown up in the area, with all three of us being musicians, and this is what spurred us on to open this record shop.

Gainesville, GA | Moe’s Record Shop finds rhythm in new downtown Gainesville spot: As soon as one vinyl record store moved out of the square in Gainesville, another has stepped in to keep the music going. Moe Lyons, owner of Moe’s Record Shop, said he never considered packing up his downtown Flowery Branch business and moving it to Gainesville, until he received a message from Joey Summer, the co-owner of Imperial Records. “He asked if I’d be interested in renting this spot,” Lyons said. “He’s an attorney and was busy doing other things and could no longer run the shop. I knew the foot traffic would be great.” During the beginning of May, Lyons opened his shop along Bradford Street. He started by only accepting customers on weekends, but is now running an 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday operation. “It’s been awesome since I’ve been up here,” Lyons said. “It just exciting being in Gainesville… Business is going real well,” Lyons said. “I’m meeting new people that didn’t come to Flowery Branch and just talking music with people.”

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In rotation: 6/26/20

HMV’s Doug Putman on the future of CD: HMV’s owner Doug Putman has spoken to Music Week about the future of the chain and physical music following its reopening. In the latest issue, Putman calls on the music industry to back HMV as it tries to regain some momentum after lockdown – and warns on a possible change to the product mix if suppliers don’t fully support him. HMV stores were able to open from June 15, in line with other record shops. The entertainment chain introduced strict safety measures, including social distancing signage, screens and sanitiser. Across the music retail sector, sales were up last week and were given a further boost by the Love Record Stores promotion at the weekend Shoppers returned to HMV from last week, and Putman is confident that vinyl fans will accept the new normal. “I think that’s just the culture, if you love being in an HMV,” he said. “We just have really great customers.” HMV also launched a new personal shopper service, which enables customers to leave a list with staff, who could also provide recommendations.

Kirkley, UK | Former restaurant to be transformed into vinyl lounge: A record store is to relocate and expand its business with the opening of a vinyl lounge in a popular former restaurant. Aux Records will move from its Waterloo Road base, in Kirkley, around the corner to London Road South as it prepares to welcome customers to the new vinyl lounge. The new site has been empty for almost a year after the closure of Desmond’s restaurant. Owner Jan Mulder said: “We are relocating to the former Desmond’s restaurant around the corner on London Road South and expanding our current business. “It is still going to be based around our vinyl store, but with a cafe and lounge where people can come and listen to music and have a coffee. People can still come and browse and buy records with a wide range on offer.” The store opened last autumn after Mr Mulder left his job at a care agency to pursue his passion for music. He said: “I’m really excited about the move. The current business has been building since I opened last October and we are ready to take it to the next level.

Move The Record aims to support local vinyl stores with live music streams: A bit like High Fidelity, but online and with many record stores. Want to save independent record stores (who often gain essential revenue from hosting live events and representing acts under their own labels) from closing, as a result of the coronavirus? Good, Rob at Championship Vinyl would salute you – but we’ll stop talking about the Nick Hornby novel and subsequent John Cusack movie High Fidelity now (promise). Move the Record is a global initiative devised in response to the uncertain future that bricks-and-mortar record shops are facing worldwide. And let’s not forget, the 33⅓ vinyl LP only just celebrated its 72nd birthday, so it’s high time for an online event. Move the Record’s first edition is set to take place across Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July, and will comprise 2 x 12-hour broadcasts of 2-hour sets from record shops around the world, featuring a diverse range of some of the world’s best DJs, all playing in the world’s best record stores. Organisers say that discounts of up to 20% – as well as various other offers and events – will be in place across partaking stores’ online platforms for 48 hours.

Aberdeen, UK | Aberdeen Vinyl Records shop relocates and announces plans to reopen: Aberdeen Vinyl Records has moved premises and announced its plans to reopen. The store, which was based in Aberdeen Market, stated it has now moved to a new unit on Union Street. Located on 101 -103 Union Street near HSBC, the popular vinyl record store will reopen on Monday June 29. The shop’s spokesperson said: “We’ll be sharing the shop with our good friends at Gift Wrap and we’ll have slightly more floor space than we had in the Market. “We’re getting our shop signage and social distancing measures all worked out and ordered up now.” In addition to more than 5,000 LPs, the store also has some reasonably-priced collectables on offer.

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In rotation: 6/25/20

UK | Love Record Stores Day boosts music retail, taking over £1 million in revenue: “We had really high hopes for Love Record Stores Day, but things exceeded even our most ambitious expectations.” Love Record Stores Day has delivered a big boost to music retailers in the UK after taking over £1 million in revenue. Taking place online on Saturday (June 20), Love Record Stores Day was held to replace the rearranged Record Store Day 2020 — which has been postponed twice this year due to the coronavirus outbreak — as the latter will now be split over three dates (August 29, September 26 and October 24). Its aim was to get music-lovers to support their favourite independent record stores by shopping online, with an array of exclusive and limited edition vinyl releases being made available by a variety of artists and labels. …A survey of participating retailers discovered that the vast majority of this stock was sold out within one hour of being made available online.

Wellington, NZ | The music’s not over, don’t turn out the lights: Julian Lloyd Webber popped in and bought a Pat Boone album. An obliging Kenny Rogers was getting fish ‘n’ chips next door. One of those Oasis guys dropped by. In the decades of selling music out of Slow Boat Records on Cuba St in central Wellington, Dennis O’Brien has seen a parade of famous musicians pass through his shop. He originally started Slow Boat in a storeroom off Plimmer Steps before moving to Cuba St. Eventually, he bought the former Westpac bank on the street, which has been home base for years. “I bought the bank,” O’Brien half-laughs in the back office, stacked high with music. As he prepares to sell most of the business to current staff and take a step back, it is the old friends that pop in that he’ll miss the most. “Everybody comes in at some stage, every guy I have ever been to school with.” …The history of the shop is peppered with celebrity, such as the time in 2015 a customer bought a Tami Neilson album, only to find out the singer was in-store and signed it for her. Neil Finn played in-store one day in 2015. Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin fame, dropped by in 2013 and bought an album by British singer Holly Golightly.

Harrogate, UK | U2 star this week in Harrogate’s Vinyl Sessions event: Harrogate’s weekly online Vinyl Sessions event returns this week with two classic albums by U2. The double bill of terrific albums from the peak of the Irish rock superstars’ success on Wednesday night will include The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. Since vintage hi-fi expert Colin Paine set it up two years ago, Vinyl Sessions has raised more than £13,000 for Friends of Harrogate Hospital charity. Even when lockdown forced it to move from physical to digital, Starling bar and cafe in to Zoom, it has still managed to raise more money as it has continued to shine a light on some of the world’s greatest music acts. Released in October 1984, recording on The Unforgettable Fire began in May 1984 at Slane Castle, where the band lived, wrote, and recorded to find new inspiration. The album was completed in August 1984 at Windmill Lane Studios and is full of what lead singer Bono described as atmospheric sounds and “sketches”.

Asheville, NC | Mark Capon brings an analog pastime into the digital age: Mark Capon, co-owner of Harvest Records on Haywood Road in West Asheville, says his shop has been closed to the public since March 17. Despite being allowed to reopen at a limited capacity, he plans to wait to ensure the safety of his staff and the community at large. But while the storefront remains shuttered, the business has started offering curbside pickup, mail orders and the occasional local delivery as Capon tries to reimagine the usual record store experience through a virtual platform. Instead of customers leisurely thumbing through hundreds of vintage and new vinyls — which includes about 10,000 pieces of vinyl among its 15,000-item inventory — Capon says he’s using the store’s social media accounts to present glimpses of its collection and highlight noteworthy offerings. “It’s a physical store with physical media that people like to come in and comb through, so you kind of have to rewire your brain to get people to feel like they’re still combing through the records,” he says.

Daniel Johnston Box Set Confirmed For Record Store Day: Daniel Johnston’s work will be celebrated in a new box set. The special Record Store Day release comprises several out of print albums, alongside some cool merch. Only 500 copies will be available, with ‘The End Is Never Really Over’ following the much-loved songwriter’s death last year. The box set features vinyl copies of two albums – ‘1990’ and ‘Artistic Vice’ – alongside seven stickers of Daniel’s inimitable doodles, and a 16 page art-book. Alongside this, you’ll get a Jeremiah the Frog pin, and a Daniel Johnston x FOLK Clothing tee with the songwriter’s Captain America ‘End of the Show’ drawing. Pretty damn snazzy, we’re sure you’ll agree. ‘The End Is Never Really Over’ is out on August 29th.

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In rotation: 6/24/20

UK | Love Record Stores event delivers £1 million boost to music retail: The Love Record Stores event delivered a big boost to music retailers, according to figures release by campaign organisers. The event was a day of online shopping for vinyl exclusives at indie retailers and HMV, with a range of strictly limited-edition releases being made available to music fans. Love Record Stores ambassador Tim Burgess was a Music Week cover star this month, alongside interviews with organisers. The aim of the initiative was to provide participating stores with a significant spike in custom and revenues in the absence of Record Store Day, which has been postponed until later this year. Alongside the retail activity the event was supported by a virtual in-store, with performances by a number of artists and exclusive DJs sets broadcast throughout the day.

UK | Who Needs RSD? British Music Retailers Surpass £1m In One-Day Sales: Though the first of three planned Record Store Day 2020 legs won’t arrive for two months yet, UK-based music retailers enjoyed more than $1.24 million (£1 million) in one-day sales on Saturday, June 20th. The substantial sum derived from the Love Record Stores event, during which fans were encouraged to purchase limited-edition (and vinyl-exclusive) albums from their favorite British music retailers. Importantly, June 20th was the original date of Record Store Day 2020, which organizers have now split into three weekends (across August, September, and October). As part of the Love Record Stores initiative, labels and artists (including Elton John, Tom Walker, and The Rolling Stones, among others) shipped approximately 50,000 vinyl units, encompassing 83 new and reissued records, to retailers ahead of 6/20.

Grass Valley, CA | Clock Tower Records up for sale: After almost nine years of owning Clock Tower Records in downtown Grass Valley, Curt Smith is putting the business up for sale. He said he’s making the decision not because of COVID-19 or the subsequent orders stemming from the pandemic, but, rather, because of his current health condition, and because he wants to spend more time with family. Smith said he got into the record business because he enjoys listening to entire albums, and interacting with others about their musical interests. “When you pick (an album) up, you actually listen to the whole record,” he said, adding that many great songs from albums were never played on the radio, meaning music lovers may have otherwise missed out on a certain song if not for records. In addition to his store, Smith sells his inventory online. He noted that for decades records have been growing in popularity and in 2019, for the first time since the early 1980s, records were on track to actually outsell CDs.

US | 19 awesome Black-owned record stores: Racism, racial inequality, and racial injustice have plagued America for centuries, but long overdue conversations on these topics have been happening on a major, mainstream level ever since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police led to nationwide protests, all of which happened during a worldwide pandemic that especially impacts black and brown communities. Because of this, we’ve seen a recent increase in activism, fundraisers, and the promotion of art/literature that benefit the fight for racial justice. Even beyond that, there are more ways to get involved, including directly uplifting and supporting Black people (those you know and those you don’t) in regard to their ideas and their endeavors, in your everyday life. One of the most direct and sustainable ways to support the Black community is to shop at and support Black-owned businesses as often as possible, especially now that the pandemic has taken its toll on small, independent businesses in general. …We’ve compiled a list of 19 Black-owned record stores all across the US.

12 record shops unite on 24-hour Move The Record streaming event: Vinyl outlets in Europe, the US and South America will participate in the event on July 3rd and 4th. 12 record shops from around the world will take part in a two-day, 24-hour streaming event called Move The Record. The two 12-hour broadcasts will take place on July 3rd and 4th, with DJs like Bradley Zero, Steffi, Prins Thomas and Fred P playing sets. There will be a discounts in place at all the shops for 48 hours, with a sweepstake competition offering prizes including vinyl, hardware, studio sessions, production courses and merchandise. All of the proceeds will be distributed among the participating record shops. “We all—artists, clubs, labels, distribution, pressing plants—are facing uncertain times as a direct result of the Covid crisis,” said Dana Ruh, who will DJ from Berlin’s KMA60, which she runs with Jamie Fry. “Our industry is all connected, and many people have already lost their jobs. Clubs are closed; performing artists have lost their primary source of income; record stores—our cultural hubs of community and discovery—are struggling to stay afloat. So on July 3rd and 4th, myself and 11 other stores around the world will come together to support one another. It’s all connected. We are all connected.”

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In rotation: 6/23/20

UK | Vinyl sales soar as record stores re-open for first time since lockdown: Liam Gallagher’s No.1 MTV Unplugged album led the sales last month. Sales of vinyl have soared after record stores re-opened for the first time since lockdown. According to data from the Official Charts Company, sales over the past week reached the highs of pre-COVID-19. Vinyl sales surged by 27.57% week-on-week to a total of 88,486 units, while CDs also experienced a rise of 11.09% to 253,779 units. Liam Gallagher‘s No.1 ‘MTV Unplugged’ album led sales after shifting 17,938 units, followed by the reissue of Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Gold Against The Soul’ with 2,838 physical sales. Overall, physical sales accounted for 19.1% of the overall albums market across the past week, a three-month high. It comes after Rough Trade confirmed that they would be re-opening their record stores from Tuesday, June 16. Sales had been processed solely online since the UK lockdown was implemented back in March.

New York, NY | Rough Trade NYC to reopen amidst COVID-19crash: Rough Trade’s iconic New York location has announced plans to reopen June 24th at noon following its temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Brooklyn-based record store, label, and concert venue is the final of the five Rough Trade locations, all of which have successfully restarted operation. While the brand and this address specifically is an established mecca for physical music consumption, even the big guys aren’t safe these days. Following news that Amoeba’s original Hollywood location would be permanently closing its doors, the idea of losing the country’s most treasured record markets has become increasingly real. The organizers of Record Store Day told Rolling Stone up to 80% of record stores across the country have had to close their doors completely in respect for the quarantine, although many of them are able to continue accepting orders or sell in another capacity. This unprecedented hit comes at a time when streaming is the preferred vehicle for music consumption and while vinyl sales have trended positively, the massive losses recorded in the past four months have proven to be too much for many retailers.

Best record player under $300 in 2020: Audio Technica, Crosley, Pro-ject, and more: Spending a little more on a turntable can help bring your vinyl collection to life. CNET tests eight of the top record players under $300. The time is right to get into budget hi-fi. From amazing, cheap speakers to a high-quality turntable, it’s never been more affordable to get a great-sounding system for vinyl records. One of the first questions to ask is: How much should I spend if I want the best turntable? Name a price from $40 or up, and there’s no doubt you’ll find a record player to fit your budget: from vintage turntables to the newest fully automatic and Bluetooth turntable options. For example, the Audio Technica LP60 is a great little turntable for $100. But there are even better choices for the best turntable under $300 out there. I’ve chosen $300 as the sweet spot because it opens up the options for finding a high-quality model. These vinyl record players are no longer simple toys but can be considered true hi-fi: They offer elevated vinyl record sound quality and high-quality components.

Empire Records: 90s cult classic starring Liv Tyler and Renée Zellweger is ripe for a comeback: What’s not to love about a band of scrappy teenage misfits and a music store so cool even shoplifters wanted to work there? If the idea of a “dream job” is a myth, the employees at indie record store Empire Records didn’t get that memo. For them – self-identifying misfits and weirdos, prone to petty crime – the shop floor was a place where obeying societal norms didn’t count for much. It’s 1995 in Delaware, US, an era in which music was becoming increasingly commodified with the rise of CD sales, and placing celebrities on a Swarovski crystal pedestal was considered the norm. Inevitably, everything that was once good and sacred about music fandom was under threat. The film turns 25 this year and it’s having a moment. A cinematic underdog that bombed on release, it’s now a respected cultural touchstone. It’s not just a heady dose of nostalgia for an era where dancing on rooftops or singing along with the Cranberries was normal. It’s also grown into a go-to comfort watch for a generation who might need to remember the value of being understood over betraying their sense of self for a bit of easy cash and glory.

Fleetwood Mac to release expanded reissue of 1969 album ‘Then Play On’ in September: A deluxe, expanded edition of Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 album, Then Play On, will be released on CD and as a two-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl on September 18. The reissue, which can be pre-ordered now, will include the original U.K. version’s 14 songs, as well as four bonus tracks. The album has been mastered at half speed, offering improved audio quality. The CD edition will include a 16-page mediabook, while the two-LP version will be packaged with a 16-page book pack, both of which will feature a foreword penned by drummer Mick Fleetwood and sleeve notes by veteran music journalist and author Anthony Bozza. Released in September 1969, Then Play On was Fleetwood Mac’s third studio album. It also was the group’s last album to feature founding singer/guitarist and original band leader Peter Green and its first to feature guitarist Danny Kirwan. Then Play On became Fleetwood Mac’s third straight album to reach the top 10 of the U.K. charts, ascending to #6, although it only reached #109 in the US.

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In rotation: 6/22/20

UK | Vinyl sales surge as record shops reopen: Finally, here’s some good news for physical music sales. According to the latest Official Charts Company data, sales for the past week were back to pre-Covid 19 levels. Record shops were allowed to reopen under strict safety guidelines from June 15. HMV returned with a new personal shopper system. The Love Record Stores event (June 20) is set to deliver a further boost for the following week. ERA reported strong trading following the reopening. While it wasn’t the busiest week for releases, Liam Gallagher’s No.1 MTV Unplugged album (17,938 physical sales) and the reissue of Manic Street Preachers’ Gold Against The Soul (2,838 physical sales) were among titles to drive footfall. Lady Gaga’s Chromatica racked up 7,107 physical sales last week. Of course, a big chunk of those sales – particularly for Gallagher and Gaga – were D2C pre-orders. But there is no doubt that record shops have had an impact on the market since reopening. Physical sales increased by 14.55% to 345,443 units for the week – the biggest tally for 14 weeks.

Hagerstown, MD | Hub City Vinyl turns auto shop into something groovy: Hub City Vinyl, a record store, has opened its doors in the once-vacant and now-restored Massey auto building at 28 E. Baltimore St. Lloyd Thoburn, an owner of 339 Antietam LLC, bought the property from the city and had it renovated. His wife, Sheree Thoburn, owns the record store. Thoburn, owner of Coinopwarehouse, has restored other buildings in the city, including structures on Antietam and Franklin streets. “I’m really thrilled with how it came out,” he said of the Baltimore Street building. “This is our jewel,” Sheree Thoburn said. “This is the one that’s beautiful and fun and functional. … I love it. I just love being here.” Hub City Vinyl offers new, used and vintage 45 and LP records, ranging in price from $2 to $3 to expensive collector editions. The Thoburns said people have traveled from as far away as Delaware to browse through the crates of records, which range from metal to country, and from jazz to comedy.

London, UK | There is nothing more sexy than a vinyl lp, says Etienne Daho, the godfather of Record Store Day this year, as a prelude to the Fête de la musique celebrated on 21st June, the 10th edition of the “Record store Day” has all of the same place, but in condit. This year, as a prelude to the Fête de la musique celebrated on 21st June, the 10th edition of the “Record store Day” has all of the same place, but in conditions that are a bit special due to the health crisis of the sars Coronavirus. The organisers of this event dedicated to independent record stores have decided to “ventilate” in four sequences, the festivities related to the vinyl record : the 20 June, 29 August, 26 September and 24 October. The godfather of this edition, Etienne Daho display at the AFP, “the idea is to have fun, to self, to support the record stores, to accompany the culture. With the beautiful. What could be sexier than vinyl?

Wirral, UK | Wirral author unearths the amazing story of Skeleton Records: Bebington-born author, Graham Jones, who claims to have visited more record shops than any other person and had one of his books turned into a film, takes us on an adventure into Wirral’s legendary Skeleton Records. Any vinyl fan visiting Liverpool should make the effort to take the ferry across the river to visit the legendary music institution known affectionately as Skellys. As a 13-year-old schoolboy, growing up in Bebington, I would get the bus each weekend into Birkenhead to visit Skeleton, a magical and mystical experience. The shop had no window and to enter you walked along a dark corridor. The throbbing sound of progressive rock could be heard coming from the end of what seemed like a cave, while the air was filled with the heady smell of joss sticks and patchouli oil. Time has not dimmed the memory of my first visit. I recall entering a dimly-lit world where anyone with less-than-perfect eyesight would struggle to read the sleeve notes of the LPs on sale.

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In rotation: 6/19/20

Jacksonville, FL | Don’t let the music stop: How First Coast record stores are fighting their way back: Despite being closed as non-essential businesses in mid-March, several of Jacksonville’s locally owned record shops said they’re making solid recoveries now that they’re able to operate again. Whether they’ve been around for less than a year – such as Tiger Records – or more than half a century – such as DJ’s Records Shop – First Coast record retailers faced a significant challenge when non-essential businesses were closed following the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the shops haven’t skipped a beat during reopening. “Everything is great, everything feels like it’s getting back to normal,” said James Siboni, owner of Tiger Records, which is located near Bold Bean. “The café near me just reopened – while they were closed we were a little bit slower than normal – but this week feels like a completely typical week pre-Covid.” Siboni debuted Tiger Records – an 850-square-foot shop located at 875 Stockton St. – in November 2019, and he said the relative youth of his business made closing up shop a frightening prospect.

New York, NY | Record Store Owners Don’t Skip a Beat, Prepare for Reopening: The Limited to One Record Store is the one thing that’s been a constant for co-owners Kristian Sorge and Nichole Porges. The couple was let go from their jobs as casting directors for extras in TV and movies and they lost their main source of income when the coronavirus crisis erupted. “Everything kind of fell apart within a week. I lost my job, I had to file for unemployment for the first time,” said co-owner Nichole Porges. When Governor Cuomo ordered all non-essential businesses to close, the couple had to face the music. They needed the record store to make money, but without physically being open. Before the health crisis they’d focused solely on sales out of their East Village shop. Now they needed to offer an online option and were shocked at the response. “We started selling rare records thru mail order on our Instagram and that had a really positive, we’d sell I’d say, 80 percent of everything posted would sell within minutes,” said co-owner Kristian Sorge.

UK | Love Record Stores: how to help save your local record stores: Over 130 record stores will take part in the 24 hour event on June 20. With the official Record Store Day postponed from June 20 to three dates later in the year (August 29, September 26 and October 24), a new campaign to help support independent record stores through the continuing Coronavirus crisis has popped up and stepped in. Fronted by ambassador and vinyl obsessive Tim Burgess, the Love Record Stores campaign will host a virtual 24-hour in-store event on Saturday, with live performances, interviews, DJ streams and special limited edition releases only available online. Beginning at 7am, highlights of the #LoveRecordStores programme – which has been curated by curated by independent labels including Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans and ATO Records – include appearances from Four Tet, Fontaines D.C., Laura Marling, Erol Alkan, Khruangbin and Tim Burgess himself. Over 130 record stores from across the UK are taking part, from Chameleon in Aberdeen down to Mr Bongo in Brighton, with special releases from the likes of Oasis, Radiohead, Bon Iver, The Libertines, Robyn and dozens more available to buy online.

New York, NY | Record Mart, Manhattan’s Oldest Record Store, Is Shutting Down: Record Mart recently confirmed the unfortunate news on Facebook, writing: “Sad to say it is the end of era!!” Outside of that brief statement, the famed Times Square subway station record shop hasn’t addressed its closure on the internet. Instead, the store taped a typed message on its entrance (penned by Lou Moskowitz, son of the brand’s co-founder). Citing the pandemic as the chief cause of his store’s closure, Moskowitz thanked customers for their support and signaled that his brand “will be moving into the vintage audio business.” Founded by Jesse Moskowitz and Bob Stack in 1958, Record Mart quickly emerged as one of New York’s foremost distributors of Latin music. Following nine years of suspended operations (between 1998 and 2007) as the Times Square subway station was renovated, Record Mart reopened and achieved relative success. Unfortunately, New York City’s total number of subway riders fell dramatically amid the early portion of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and its associated lockdown measures.

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In rotation: 6/18/20

UK | ERA: First day’s trading ‘exceeds expectations’ for music retail: The Entertainment Retailers Association has reported a positive start for music retail after stores reopened on June 15. It follows almost three months when shops were shuttered during lockdown. As reported in the latest issue of Music Week, many indie retailers are still weighing up when to reopen. While some independents will find the current social distancing restrictions challenging, HMV and Rough Trade have reopened under the government’s Covid-19 guidelines. “The outpouring of affection for stores is clearly apparent with customers really pleased to see shops open and enthusiastically visiting their local shops, many arriving with lists of records they wanted to buy,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “Most shops reported steady numbers throughout the day and the vast majority of shops have been very pleased with the trading in store so far. In many cases, this has exceeded their expectations for the first day’s trading.”

Edmonton, ON | For the record: Caution a big concern for Edmonton’s very hands-on vinyl music stores: We walk up to Revolver in Bonnie Doon, one of the few remaining in-mall record stores left in the city, hoping for a used vinyl fix. Customer capacity is already at the max six shoppers, and so — wearing the masks and gloves no one else is besides the worker at the till — my buddy and I wait maybe five minutes to get in, no biggie, then do. About a minute later, five people bust straight into the at-capacity store, are patiently told there’s a customer limit… then simply walk away instead of waiting. And that, in a nutshell, is a snapshot of life in a record store in phase two Edmonton, where in the space of a couple weeks we went from 45 to 175 active cases of COVID-19; no vaccine in sight; world-record infected numbers still reliably rising overall planet-wide. So, just to be clear, it’s a fickle balance: trying to keep customers and employees safe but also stay alive and in business.

Senator Thom Tillis Seems Really Pissed Off That The Internet Archive Bought A Record Store To Make Rare Recordings Accessible: Senator Thom Tillis (or perhaps some staffer in his office who is desperate for a job as a legacy copyright industry lobbyist in his next job) really seems to have it in for the Internet Archive. Beyond trying to rewrite copyright law to make it favor the legacy players even more than it already does, and beyond telling copyright experts that they shouldn’t even dare think of commenting on the state of copyright law today, Tillis really seems to have an infatuation with the Internet Archive wanting to help people by providing them information. I don’t know what the library ever did to Tillis as a child, but as a Senator he sure seems to hate the very concept. He sent one very confused, misinformed, and angry letter to the Internet Archive over its National Emergency Library, and now he’s sent another one after news broke that the Archive had purchased the distressed, but famed, Bop Street Records in Seattle.

Making Vinyl is hosting a free instructional webinar: Making Vinyl is hosting a free online event for anyone interested in record cutting. This 1-hour session will be fast-paced and will demystify the vinyl record cutting process. Get the customized answers to your specific situation to ensure high-quality pressings every time. When: Wednesday, June 24th @ 12 pm (New York) 5 pm (London) Scott Hull – Masterdisk, Margaret Luthar, Welcome to 1979, Clint Holley, Well Made Music, Greg Reierson, Rare Form Mastering & Noah Mintz, Laquer Channel Mastering. This event is free of charge but registration is required.

6 slick Bluetooth turntables to put a modern spin on your vinyl records: Buying a Bluetooth turntable? You’ll have plenty of choice, from brands like Cambridge Audio, Pro-Ject and Sony. Here’s how to pick the best Bluetooth record player for you… From the Walkman to the iPod, the music world has long been obsessed with technological advances, and job number one has always been increasing convenience and ease of access. So where does your classic rock vinyl fit into that? After all, vinyl is an outlier, a relic that’s stubbornly refused to bow to the ‘everything now’ culture, but Bluetooth turntables have changed all that. Essentially, Bluetooth is an old technology being put to fresh use, and a new breed of the best turntables are requisitioning this tech to shake up the vinyl market. Bluetooth turntables wirelessly sync to any speakers within range (around 30 feet) and operate your stereo remotely. They can also be used with the best headphones for private listening sessions. If that tickles your fancy, we’d also recommend you check out the best headphones for vinyl – these beauties are perfect for such use.

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In rotation: 6/17/20

UK | Record shops across the UK have reopened: Virtual event Love Record Stores is also taking place this Saturday with a number of special vinyl releases. Now that the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are easing and non-essential high street shops across the country are allowed to welcome customers again, many of the UK’s record stores are back open for business. Many record shops have been making sales online and sending them out for delivery since the lockdown began in March. Now the physical stores are able to open their doors for footfall business with new safety guidelines and social distancing measures in place. Just some of the stores now open or opening this week are Tribe Records, Jumbo Records and Crash Records in Leeds, all four of Rough Trade’s locations, Brighton’s Resident, RPM Music in Newcastle, Eastern Bloc and Vinyl Revival in Manchester, Sheffield spot Spinning Discs, and Flashback Records, S.T. Records, Honest Jon’s, Sounds of the Universe and Sister Ray in London.

UK | Tim Burgess on the Love Record Stores campaign: Love Record Stores ambassador Tim Burgess has spoken of the need to support record shops in a new interview with Music Week. Burgess, who graces the cover of our latest issue ahead of Saturday’s (June 20) LRS event, penned the 2016 book Tim Book Too: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul To San Francisco about his passion for physical music retail. The sector is facing tough times during the Covid-19 crisis, but Burgess believes record stores remains an “essential” part of the industry. “They’ve got to be protected,” The Charlatans frontman told Music Week. “They are a community and an essential meeting place for like-minded people. Rooms surrounded by popular music and records are great backdrops to talk about a look and a sound that you want to try and create. “They have had tough times over the years, but there are some amazing shops and amazing people working flat out, so with support they’ll be fine.”

SG | Singapore’s White Label Records and Bar announces their shut down amidst COVID-19 and 5 highlights: Through social media posts made earlier today (15/6), White Label Records & Bar announces that it will be closing its doors following the current COVID-19 situation, which paused operations for live music venues all across the country. The locally beloved record store-bar intended to return after Singapore’s two-month-long circuit breaker period. However, with so much uncertainty surrounding the return of live music venues, they were forced to close down. They, instead, intend on building Singapore Community Radio and its music news platform, Vinyl of the Day. While many mourn the loss of an iconic spot in the local music scene, White Label Records ensures that this is not the end of the record store bar and may return once the coronavirus situation has settled down. “This is not all goodbye for the White Label concept, and we’ll definitely look into bringing it back to life again down the road when the situation is under control and regulations are eased,” said White Label in their public statement.

Wolverhampton, UK | Let’s rock! Wolverhampton vinyl shop reopens to public: Claire Howell was reopening Vinyl and Vintage, on Cleveland Street, after having been closed for nearly three months due to lockdown restrictions. The store will open to the public, albeit with a number of restrictions in place to help people observe social distancing. These include a buzzer system to enter the shop, a waiting area outside to limit the number of people entering at any one time and a screen around the counter, with hand sanitisers throughout the shop. Claire said she had mixed feelings about being able to reopen the shop, saying she was delighted to get back to work, but didn’t know how many people would be prepared to come in. She said: “It’s nice that people can come out, although there are still social distancing rules and people may be wary of going out in public. “However, we do know a lot of people who want to go out and spend money and who will be delighted to get out, so it’s all about managing it.”

The Zombies three vinyl reissue due in July: It’s time to take a deeper dive into one of most influential bands of the ‘60s, Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees,​ The Zombies​. That’s why the iconic group is proud to announce reissues of their classic albums, ​The Zombies​, ​I Love You​ and R.I.P​ on vinyl. With a slated release date of July 31, the vinyl collection will be available for casual fans and dedicated followers alike to add to their collection. The Zombies​ is the classic debut album from the rock icons including smashes “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No”. ​I Love You​ is best known to Zombies fanatics as the crucial compilation, originally released as an introduction to the American public, featuring the top 5 hit “She’s Not There.” The reissue of ​I Love You​ will be the record’s first wide re-release in the United States. Originally scrapped in 1969,​ R.I.P​ has gone down in musical lore as the legendary group’s “lost” album. Assembled in the wake of the success of “Time Of The Season” the album contains the band’s last recordings and other assorted unreleased numbers including, “Imagine The Swan” and “If It Don’t Work Out.”

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In rotation: 6/16/20

Aberdeen, UK | North-east store taking part in 24-hour campaign to support vinyl sales amid Covid crisis: Sales of vinyl have experienced a resurgence in recent years, hitting a record high in the UK in 2019. But, like many businesses which rely on face-to-face transactions, traders have had no option but to watch takings plummet during the Covid-19 crisis. Chameleon is a home design and vinyl record shop on Union Grove in Aberdeen, and it is just one of more than 130 premises supporting the #LoveRecordStores initiative on Saturday, June 20. Owner, Michael Moloney, said Chameleon has been closed for 12 weeks and had suffered from missing out on the usual boost in sales associated with the annual Record Store Day in April. Mr Moloney said: “To fill the gap, a number of independent distributors put together a campaign. “It is intended to support local stores that have had to close and offer unique products to sell online.

Belfast, IE | Record shop campaign shares new details of event to support ailing stores: A campaign launched to help independent record stores survive the coronavirus pandemic has announced new details of its 24-hour event. More than 130 shops will take part in the project, which will see dozens of new and re-issued vinyl releases being made available to music fans. As part of the #LoveRecordStores day, on June 20, organisers say they are planning “the world’s biggest online in-store event,” with 24 hours of live performances, interviews and more, curated by some of the most influential independent labels. It comes after Record Store Day, an important fixture in the music retail calendar for UK music retailers, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jason Rackham, co-founder of the #loverecordstores campaign, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from artists, DJs and labels for the #loverecordstores event on June 20. “Alongside the dozens of new and re-issued record releases we’re making available for music fans to buy online from their favourite record stores, our 24-hour ‘virtual in-store’, which is the biggest online ‘in-store’ event the world has ever seen, has a stunning line-up of talent, all of whom are passionate about supporting this event.”

A Guide To Sell Your Vinyl Records: The vinyl record is back in trend, and the market is hot right now. So it is a good time to sell if one is interested in making money. A few years back, vinyl collecting was considered a favorite hobby, and people enjoyed it most, and then things have changed. We entered in the age of streaming services and digital formats. But now there is a kind of vinyl revival, and people are far more interested in adopting it as a hobby and looking for the old record to add to their collections. Vinyl revival comes up with an advantage that people have started to make money through it. Those who have old records are willing to sell them. Today even different online platforms are available that are serving people in order to purchase their old records. Cash For Records is an online platform that guides people through the process of how they can sell their vinyl records. They provide reliable and honest services to their clients. Here we have also collected the tips that can help you to sell your records and make money.

Cape Coral, FL | Revolution Records in Cape Coral well worth a spin: After opening in January 2019, Revolution Records quickly became a downtown must-stop for music lovers with its new and used vinyl, CDs and cassettes covering heavy metal, pop, jazz, rhythm & blues, soul, country, reggae and more. It contributed to the downtown music scene by providing a welcome escape from online streaming and other digital services. Then owner Jason Handy had to close his store in March due to the Stay at Home order. But not only have loyal customers returned upon its reopening in May, new ones have been dropping by as well. Handy attributes it to music being “a tonic for the soul and a mood-enhancer” that’s especially helpful these days. The 16-month-old store has plenty more to offer visitors. “If someone wants to hear something first before deciding (whether to buy it), I’ll play it,” said Handy. And ambient music in the store isn’t set on one satellite channel or his Spotify playlist. “I might play a certain genre based on what some people are considering or that reflects the mood I feel at that time. It’s how I relate to music.”

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In rotation: 6/15/20

Nottingham, UK | Intu Broadmarsh store Fopp could be shut for good after shopping centre closed: Rumours are circulating that Nottingham’s Fopp store, located at intu Broadmarsh Centre, has closed for good. The popular, longstanding music and entertainment shop was one of only six UK branches left. With the announcement that more non-essential shops would be reopening on Monday, June 15, HMV – who are the parent company of Fopp – released a list of stores that would be welcoming customers back. While the social media accounts for the Nottingham branch indicated it was reopening on Monday, the list from HMV now does not include it. The last Instagram post from the store read: “We are really looking forward to welcoming you back through our doors! Social distancing measures will be in place.” …However by the end of the day, both the Facebook and Twitter page for Fopp Nottingham had been taken down.

Stoke on Trent, UK | This city centre record shop is reopening after almost three months – but only one customer can enter at a time: Rubber Soul Records closed for business on March 17 ahead of the government’s lockdown announcement. A popular record shop selling everything from vinyl to music memorabilia is reopening in the city centre – almost three months to the day it closed because of coronavirus. Rubber Soul Records, in Hanley, closed for business on March 17 ahead of the Government’s lockdown announcement on March 23. Business owner Robert Barrs said he ‘went into hibernation for a little rest’ following the closure – but is now ready to welcome customers to his Marsh Street record shop again from today. But things will be a little different from now on. Robert said: “Traditionally, Rubber Soul Records is a quiet store anyway, which is why we can offer a bespoke and personal service when people come in to buy and sell records. But going forward, and to adhere to social distancing, we will only allow one person in the store at a time.

Wolverhampton, UK | ‘Shop local’ plea as stores prepare for a ‘new way of trading:’ Non-essential retail stores have been given the green light to begin opening their doors from Monday. Business bosses across the region said it is now more vital to the future of the high street than ever before that people use their local shops. …The owner of Stay Loose Records, is among those looking forward to the return of customers next week. He said: “I can’t wait to open up – I’m going to open three to four days a week and see how it goes – but everyone, including me, are itching to get back to the way things were. “If we all follow Government guidelines we will be OK and that’s the way it’s got to be. I’ve done the measurements in the store and two people can be in the shop at any one time – one either side – and I can stand outside as people have a look.”

UK | HMV to re-open more than 90 stores next week as lockdown measures ease: HMV is set to re-open 93 stores next week as the UK government continues to ease lockdown measures. According to Music Week, the record shop chain will re-open 93 of its stores across England and Belfast under the latest Covid-19 safety guidelines for retailers, which come into effect on Monday (June 15). Music Week reports that HMV will “employ strict safety measures, including signage to ensure social distancing among shoppers, screens at tills, and compulsory use of hand sanitiser during vinyl browsing.” There will also be a limit on the number of shoppers allowed in the store at any one time. Other services put in place to help customers include a “personal shopper” and “ring and reserve” service. Another new measure — the “List and Leave” service — will enable customers to drop off a list of items they wish to buy and collect later. Speaking to Music Week, HMV Owner Doug Putman said: “Our teams have been working on plans to re-open since the day we had to close our doors. “We’ve redesigned our store layouts so that customers can make their way through the stores, buy what they want and pay seamlessly, while maintaining spaces for those who want to browse while maintaining social distancing.”

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In rotation: 6/12/20

New York, NY | Closed: Record Mart, Manhattan’s Oldest Record Store Located in Times Square Subway Station: Beneath the bright colors of the Lichtenstein mural inside the Times Square subway station, you could always find a subway musician performing in the open space between the shuttle and the 1/2/3 lines, along with Record Mart, the record store that is also Manhattan’s oldest and a fixture on every New Yorker’s commute. The glass display cases showed the latest products, including equipment you could buy there like headphones, stereo equipment, cameras and more. And the goods usually spilled out in front of the entrance with stands holding postcards and posters for sale. You could still find LPs for sale inside. The store actively bought previously owned LPs, CDs and DVDs and they had regular, devoted fans who would pop in. Record Mart had a particularly acclaimed curation of Latin music.

Louisville, KY | Local record shops reopen… slowly, carefully: Brett Ralph was initially nervous about reopening his record store and book shop Surface Noise on June 4, worrying that we were still too deep in the pandemic. But as the store’s regulars migrate back, with safety and distancing measures in place, it’s been reassuring to Surface Noise’s goal — to be a neighborhood cultural nerve center. “It reaffirms that the store isn’t just a part of a creative community, but also a physical community,” Ralph said. “It’s part of Irish and Phoenix Hill, and we’ve been closed for three months, and it feels really good to be open again.” Many local record shops closed before they were required to back in March, and some are opening later than May 20, when retail was allowed to reopen in Kentucky. That’s because they face challenging circumstances. Most independent record stores are small spaces with thousands of items. Customers are generally in close proximity and touching the same things. In Louisville, record shops have been both scrappy and safe during the coronavirus, setting up online stores, curbside pickups and deliveries. As they slowly start to reopen their doors to the public, they are also taking careful precautions.

Golden Valley, MN | Down in the Valley feels the punch with loss of Record Store Day: A number of dates during the last few weeks have been notable to Scott Farrell, the general manager of local record store chain Down in the Valley. There was the first day that all three stores closed to the public, March 17, with limited curbside service at the Golden Valley location. “Every day my guys out in the stores were getting more and more nervous, and we were arming them with cleaners and things like that, but we had a discussion and decided it just wasn’t worth it,” Farrell said. Then, there was the announcement of the stay-at-home order March 27, which shut down in-person sales for good. Then there was April 18. For many, it was just another sluggish Saturday spent drumming up things to do around the house (or maybe spent fervently scouring supermarkets for toilet paper). For Down in the Valley, it was a melancholy reminder of what should have been the biggest day of the year for the business.

Hoboken, NJ | How Chip Heuisler of Tunes Hoboken Keeps the Music Going: It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted all industries —both big and small — to measurable extents. One industry that had to act quickly for stay-at-home orders was the music industry, with several of its sectors to take into consideration, particularly local record stores. Independent record stores have faced a lot of uncertainty during this time, as nonessential businesses were prompted to close their doors to promote social distancing. During this time, store owners were presented with unique challenges on how to maintain their businesses and retain customers. Record stores, many of which rely on sales from foot traffic, have had to strategize how to uphold sales without the assurance of in-store purchases. In Hoboken’s stretch of local shops, the Mile Square’s beloved record store, Tunes Hoboken, closed its doors mid-March to adhere to city guidelines for COVID-19. Hoboken Girl had the chance to speak with Chip Heuisler, owner of Tunes, about the coronavirus’ impact on the shop, what we can expect for Record Store Day 2020, and how he plans to keep the music going.

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