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

In rotation: 7/30/21

Low Fidelity: Vintage Vinyl and The Precarious State of the Indie Record Store: Last month the news spread that Vintage Vinyl, the Fords, NJ bastion of independent music, was closing after four decades in the business. It wasn’t because of the effects of the pandemic but rather a shift in the priorities of the store’s ownership—a small consolation in a story that otherwise would have read like a broken toilet that people kept shitting in. For thousands of people growing up in New Jersey and the surrounding area—that’s not an exaggeration—Vintage Vinyl was that one shining beacon we had in a sea of corporate record store chains in the years before one-click online ordering. My friends and I would pile into one of our cars every few weeks to take the two-hour drive to Vintage, not only for the cool shit they brought in, but also for the experience of the store itself.

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange requiring masks again for all customers: The Record Exchange in downtown Boise is requiring masks for everyone, vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, inside their store. According to the announcement, all staff are required to wear masks inside the store as well. “It wouldn’t say its something I wanted to do, but it’s something we felt like we had to do,” Owner Michael Bunnell said. “Transmission rates and vaccination rates in this state are poor. Until we feel like we can fully protect not only our staff but our customers, we’re going to take any precaution necessary.” “…I think that it’s an appropriate response to the current data and they are doing the responsible thing,” Customer Mariana Adams said. “I think it’s great, they have the masks out here for you to take they have a very clear sign on the door. If you don’t wish to wear a mask, you don’t have to. You just can’t shop there.”

Detroit, MI | Record Store Recs: DJ Minx Brings The Detroit Heat: “…Detroit Threads is all of that and a bag of whatever you are looking for because they have vintage clothing and trinkets that you can grab while shopping for records. The vinyl bins are loaded! If I’m looking for some classics, boom! They’ve got it goin’ on! Somewhere in Detroit is a hot spot! People from around the globe visit there because of the good selections of music and for its sweet history. It’s owned by Submerge [Records] and is in the basement of the Underground Resistance building. Spot Lite is a gem that recently opened and my goodness it’s the whip! The atmosphere is funky and chill at the same time, so you can spend hours in there just vibin’!

San Antonio, TX | Best Record Store: Hogwild Records. If you’ve been involved in the punk, indie or metal music scenes at any point during the past few decades, you know Hogwild. If you’ve attended San Antonio College and have an interest in those music genres, you probably spent some time shopping there between classes. Stop by at any random time and you’re likely to be treated to a full-volume blast of one of the above music genres as its knowledgeable staff road tests new releases. The venerable indie music retailer remains a browsing paradise with its vast selection of vinyl, local and otherwise, as well as music merch including a sea of T-shirts arrayed across its ceiling. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask, since the store excels at hard-to-find special orders.

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In rotation: 7/29/21

Sutton, UK | Interview: Behind the scenes with The Sound Lounge: It has been a week since the majority of restrictions on social contact were lifted in the UK, which has been a well anticipated time for the entertainment industry. After a year of group bubbles, limited capacity and restrictions on live events, entertainment venues have been granted more freedom following a year of hardship. For this entertainment venue, they were able to defy the odds and launch a successful business during lockdown. The Sound Lounge opened a new venue in Sutton during December 2020, and have a pop-up venue in Morden. Founders Hannah, of Sidcup, and Keiron, of Mitcham, were forced to put arts and culture to a halt after the government announced the third lockdown. …On Tuesday (July 27), we visited the popular venue, which not only provides live music but is also home to a community garden, a bar and a record store.

Indie Labels Address Vinyl Warping Due to U.S. Heat Waves: As customers report warped and damaged records, labels like Ba Da Bing and Joyful Noise are attempting to mitigate the issue. As punishing, dangerous heat waves have become a massive problem in the United States over the past weeks, one minor consequence is that vinyl record shipments are being warped by extreme weather. Ba Da Bing Records, which released the new Cassandra Jenkins album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature, sent an email to customers noting that multiple people had received warped records. The label offered customers two options in an attempt to mitigate the risk of damaged vinyl. …Other labels are giving customers advance notice about the possibility of the weather impacting records. Sargent House Records, the label behind albums by Deafheaven and the Armed, noted that the merch store it works with—Hello Merch—added the following language about weather to its Terms of Service: “Please be aware we DO NOT issue refunds or replacements for damage due to extreme weather conditions, minor cosmetic damage, such as corner dings, bends, split inserts, and so on.”

Strong Vinyl Record Sales Show Why Going Retro Helps You Stay Rooted: Vinyl is very much back in vogue these days. At the height of COVID-19 last year, vinyl sales exceeded CD sales for the first time since the 1980s. And this year, the first Record Store Day of 2021 saw over 1.5 million vinyl albums sold in a week, with more sales being tallied up after the second Record Store Day drop on July 17th. While around 85% of music industry revenues now come from streaming sources, this slow and steady increased interest in vinyl is notable. While several factors affect music consumption trends, vinyl endures for two main reasons. First, the music sounds better on vinyl, and second, it’s a physical product that can be handled. The reward is an enhanced musical experience, an earthy, intimate session with your favorite artist or band. But is physical vinyl just an anomaly in a virtual landscape? Or can other retro technology enhance our mental health and stimulate our physical senses in ways that screens and virtual content can’t?

Vinyl Sales Power John Mayer’s ‘Sob Rock’ to Number One: Pop Smoke’s Faith debuts at Number Two. John Mayer’s Sob Rock comes with an old-fashioned price sticker on the cover, as if it’s an LP from the Eighties, and it launched at Number One on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart thanks to deluge of old-fashioned sales—more than 56,000 copies, close to 22,000 of which were vinyl. (Due to the higher cost of vinyl, record sales have a higher weight than album downloads in the RS 200 chart.) Mayer’s first full-length in more than four years also earned nearly 27 million streams and more than 9,000 song downloads. All those album sales allowed Mayer to beat out Pop Smoke’s posthumous set Faith, which came packed with high-powered guests: Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Pharrell, 21 Savage, Takeoff, Swae Lee, Lil Tjay, and more. Faith pulled in 100.5 million streams, dwarfing Mayer’s total, and 9,400 song downloads. But the posthumous set lagged behind in sales, with just 3,600, allowing Sob Rock to overtake it. Interest in Faith also powered the previous Pop Smoke release, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, to move from Number 13 to Number 10 thanks to a jump in streams and downloads.

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In rotation: 7/28/21

Vinyl sales increase by 108% on first half of 2021: On-demand audio streaming is also up 15%. 19.2 million vinyl albums were sold in the US in the first six months of 2021, a 108% increase on the same period of last year. The figure is significantly higher than the 9.2 million vinyl LPs that were sold in the first six months of 2020, and part of an ongoing trend that has seen vinyl make a huge resurgence in recent years. Vinyl album sales also just outedged the sale of CD albums, which sat at 18.9 million for the first six months of 2021, according to MRC Data, an analytics firm that specialises in collecting data from the entertainment and music industries. It follows on from vinyl surpassing the annual revenue of CDs in the US last year for the first time in 34 years, which was the first time that had happened in 34 years. The increase in music consumption isn’t just limited to physical sales, with audio streaming up by 15% in the first half of this year.

Penfolds Designs Rare Record Player To Mark Anniversary of Grange Wine: Only seven of them have been produced globally. Australian winery Penfolds has created a limited-edition record player in celebration of the upcoming 70th anniversary of their flagship wine, Grange. Each record player is individually hand-crafted by Symbol Audio, with only seven pieces produced globally. The record player takes on the classic “all in one” console design from the 1950s, the same decade in which Penfolds’ pioneer Max Schubert made the first vintage of Grange while experimenting with wine-making techniques he observed in Bordeaux. In addition to featuring luxury accessories from Riedel, Chateau Laguiole and Monopole, including a hand-blown glass decanter, the record player comes with a hidden wine compartment that houses two rare investment ‘White Capsule’ Grange magnums from 2010 and 2017, intended to be aged and consumed no earlier than around 2030. The record player’s cabinet design also reserves room for storing eight wine glasses and a vinyl record collection, backlit by automatic interior lighting.

Seventies Cameroonian Afrofunk collected on new Analog Africa compilation: Recorded in a DIY church studio on a single microphone. Analog Africa is releasing a new compilation, titled Cameroon Garage Funk, this September. During the 1970s Yaoundé — the capital of Cameroon — suffered from a serious lack of established recording studios. With artists unable to afford to book through the national broadcasting company, many turned to alternative spaces. Seizing on this opportunity, church engineer Monsieur Awono began to organise recording sessions in a church, with artists often only having an hour or two to record, and only access to a single microphone. Cameroon Garage Funk compiles a selection of tracks recorded in this manner, offering insight into the underground sounds of ’70s Yaoundé. It follows the label’s compilation of eighties Edo funk, titled Edo Funk Explosion Vol​.​1. Pre-order Cameroon Garage Funk here in advance of its 3rd September release,

Smashing Pumpkins announce new vinyl release, ‘Live At The Viper Room 1998.’ The band’s second archival release comes from a Billy Corgan acoustic set. Smashing Pumpkins have announced the release of a new vinyl, ‘Live At The Viper Room 1998’, available to pre-order next week. The band’s second archival release was recorded at The Viper Room in West Hollywood, California, on January 15, 1998. The 13-song set saw Corgan perform Smashing Pumpkins songs in acoustic form. “The thing you hear in the Viper Room show is you’re really sort of being allowed into the studio where the songs don’t have the accouterment of all the bells and whistles,” Corgan said in an Instagram clip announcing the vinyl. “There’s a certain innocence before songs are released to the world.” ‘Live At The Viper Room 1998’ will be available to pre-order exclusively through Madame ZuZu’s site (Corgan’s plant-based tea shop) on July 31.

Röyksopp Melody A.M. vinyl sells for $8,450 on Discogs: The limited release version features a cover by Banksy, with only 100 pressings in existence. A vinyl copy of Röyksopp’s seminal album, ‘Melody A.M.’, has sold for $8,450 on Discogs. Only 100 copies exist of the limited release version, which features cover art by Banksy and has consistently topped the official Discogs list of most expensive records bought on the marketplace, with a previous pressing bringing in $11,000, one of the most expensive purchases ever made on the platform. The album is the only electronic title to appear in the latest Top 30, for May 2021, which is dominated by rock, soul, and pop titles, including bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Vondells, Motley Crue, and Metallica. Discogs reached a milestone earlier this year, with more than 500 million releases catalogued on the database. Back in 2019, DJ Mag investigated the growing culture of ‘flipping’ records, where unscrupulous sellers use the website to inflate the cost of rare records.

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In rotation: 7/27/21

Los Angeles, CA | Permanent Records Roadhouse: Los Angeles hangout spot has bouncer checking for proof of vaccine at door: With masks now required at all indoor establishments across Los Angeles County, some businesses are taking COVID-19 safety measures to another level by requiring proof of vaccination at the door. In Cypress Park, a bar-and-record store has a bouncer checking for ID and proof of vaccination in front of the business. “For the protection of our staff and our community, that’s the decision we decided to make,” explained Permanent Records Roadhouse owner Lance Barresi. “Unless somebody does something soon, this thing is just going to continue on.” Customers like Vance, who downloaded a QR code from the state, can show the bouncer he is fully vaccinated via his cell phone. “It’s a good idea,” Vance told FOX 11.

Wichita, KS | Former Teacher Explores Love Of Heavy Metal With Wichita Record Store The Gate: Russell Horning began his journey as an educator in Mexico. Then, after teaching high school and middle school in Wichita, he decided to make a career change. Wichitan Russell Horning opened The Gate record store in May 2021. Located at 115 S. Pattie, the shop serves as Wichita’s home for heavy metal records. It’s stocked with a vast array of classic metal albums — looking for Ozzy Osbourne’s long out-of-print Speak of the Devil? Horning has it — as well as new stock from around the globe. The Gate feels less like a retail space and more like a friend’s living room. There are classic metal books and magazines on sale as well as the types of rarities only a true fan would take the time to notice. Horning’s road to opening the shop is an unlikely one. After teaching English for nearly 20 years, he decided to follow his passion for heavy metal and create a space that is uniquely his own and which seems poised to become a destination for metal fans in the region.

Newport News, VA | Old Dominion University offers free DJ classes at Newport News STEM lab: Wanda Mitchell feverishly concentrated on her controller, bobbing her head and tapping her feet as the music pierced her ears. Although she is a Hampton High School music teacher, she was the one learning July 16 during a DJ class at Old Dominion University’s Brooks Crossing Innovation Lab in Newport News. Taught by DJ Rick Geez and DJ Karee from 103 Jamz, the class learned about choosing songs to blend together, counting bars and fading music in and out. The program is a five-session trial on Mondays and Fridays, and ends Monday. The current class is full, but if things go smoothly, they may offer more and include children, said Mia Joe, the lab’s director. The lab is part of a larger facility called the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center, focused on workforce development and STEM learning. It’s stocked with science, technology, engineering and mathematics tools — such as a recording studio, vinyl and laser cutters, 3D printers, a woodshop, sewing machines, a mixed reality space and an electronic workbench.

Bruce Dickinson recalls how the record store was his sanctuary: “Record stores, when I was a kid, before the Internet — you can go and listen to everything for free now on the Internet, but back then it was a bit more difficult. You would have to go into an actual record store and you would ask to listen to a record and you’d listen to probably most of the album and you wouldn’t buy it, ’cause you didn’t have any money. But you were in the store with all these people who loved music, and you’d talk about music and you’d hang out, and just being there was like being recharged when you were a kid. It was just, like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve got school. I’ve got this. I’ve got that. I wanna escape my parents.’ You get on a bus, you go to the record store, you hang out and meet all these people who think and talk music and think like you, and your life is suddenly better.”

Spiritualized reveal vinyl reissue of Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space: Spiritualized’s acclaimed 1997 album will be re-released later this year – the third part of their vinyl reissue programme. Spiritualized have revealed they’ll re-release their critically acclaimed third studio album Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space on vinyl later his year. The follow-up to 1995’s Pure Phase was originally released in 1997, with the new version – part three of the band’s vinyl reissue programme – set to land on September 10 through Fat Possum. Like the re-releases of Lazer Guided Melodies and Pure Phase, Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space will be pressed on heavyweight 180g double vinyl. It’s been remastered by Alchemy Mastering and will be presented in a gatefold sleeve with new artwork by Mark Farrow. Along with the standard black vinyl, the record will also be available in limited edition neptune-blue vinyl.

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In rotation: 7/26/21

Solihull, UK | HMV Solihull among 7 new shops in town centre: …HMV marked its 100th anniversary on July 2 by opening a new store in Solihull. Two years after its landmark shop in Mell Square closed down, the record retailer launched a new site in the old Cotswold Outdoor unit next to Dunelm. The 4,500 square-foot store is stocked with over 5,000 vinyl LPs, collector’s edition Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD films and series, pop-culture must haves like exclusive t-shirts, sweet treats and collectable figurines and a great selection of classic turntables and the latest headphones. The new HMV also offers a brand new delivery service, allowing customers to order any item not in store direct to their door. Commenting on HMV’s return, the leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Ian Courts, said: “It’s great that such a well-known brand as HMV is returning to Mell Square with a new store. It shows that Solihull is still a good place to do business, remains attractive to retailers and I am confident they will not be the last to invest in the town.”

UK | HMV at 100: why the beleaguered record store is more vital than you think: It’s easy (and fun!) to take the piss out of the retailer, which may seem like a relic from yesteryear, but we’d miss its accessible approach to music. A couple of years ago, a comedy writer called Laura Crisp went viral with her thread of tweets about working in HMV as a teenager. Anecdotes included a man who came in every week and pretended to faint in order to receive mouth-to-mouth, a staff member who was nicking cash and storing it in a Keeping Up Appearances boxset and, hilariously, a bloke claiming he was Paul Weller and asking if he could have some Jam CDs as he’d “lost” his. The stories were brilliant, but I think the other reason it resonated with so many people was that fact that for many generations, HMV played a role in their adolescence. This week, the store celebrates its 100th birthday – or at least that of its flagship store in central London – so despite the fact this has probably just made you aware that HMV still exists, let’s give it up for them for making it so far.

Manchester, UK | Sifters Record Shop: This small record store was a favorite of Oasis’s Noel and Liam Gallagher, who mentioned it in one of their early songs. IN 1977, A 29-YEAR-OLD PETE Howard (now known as Mr. Sifters) opened his own record store using 700 of his own LPs. After multiple“punks,” as he called them, started coming into his store and causing mayhem amongst his collection, he moved Sifters from its original location in Burnage to Fog Lane in 1983, where it’s located to this day. The small record shop attracted a lot of attention from the locals of Manchester and started to become quite popular. The store also caught the eye of two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, who used to visit Sifters in the late 80s, years before they started making music as the band Oasis. Liam and Noel have both said they used to go into Sifters at least once a week to buy, or nick, records. In an interview, Pete Howard said, “The other lads from Oasis have said in the press that they used to come in and nick stuff, but I don’t think that’s true, really, I kept a close eye on them!”

San Antonio, TX | Illness forcing San Antonio-area record collector to find a new home for his 113,000 vinyl albums and singles: On the Facebook page for Stevie Ray Vinyl (@stevierayvinyl), record seller Steve Anderson refers to his collection of more than 113,000 albums and singles as an adoption agency for abandoned and unwanted vinyl. Now the 65-year-old Lakehills resident urgently needs to find a new home for the entire collection. Anderson recently announced on Facebook that he’s selling the Stevie Ray Vinyl inventory because he has been diagnosed with terminal liver disease. He and his wife Suzi run the business but can no longer continue to do so without him being able to work full time. Several callers have expressed interest in buying Anderson’s collection. But after several decades and so many more dollars spent on all those records, he would prefer a buyer whose own love for vinyl is as big as his asking price — about a dollar a disc. “I would like to see somebody take the business and the passion and continue my dream with it. That’s the perfect world,” Anderson said.

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In rotation: 7/23/21

Pittsburgh, PA | The Government Center record store makes tracks to bigger location on the North Side: Apparently, one of the things that kept Pittsburghers going through the pandemic was record players (and records). “As people were staying at home, we sold a ton of record players. At one point, you couldn’t keep them in stock,” says Josh Cozby, owner of the North Side record shop The Government Center. “There was definitely more demand for things that could make home a little bit more cozy and comfortable.” The Government Center (named for a song by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers) quickly became a fixture on Pittsburgh’s music scene when it opened in early 2019. Pittsburgh is blessed with a number of terrific record stores, but this one stood out as a place that sold both new and used records in a dizzying array of genres — and wasn’t afraid to stock things that were offbeat or obscure. Now, it’s expanding in a new space on East Street in Deutschtown, several blocks away from its original location on East Ohio Street. Cozby bought the building in 2019, which had been abandoned for a number of years. It was once a bar called Key West, and a flower shop…

NH | New Hampshire’s Record Stores Make A Comeback: Here’s where to find an old favorite or a new passion: Used record stores have a smell. It’s a musty but comforting bouquet with subtle notes of nostalgia and your parents’ basement. They also have a soundtrack — a background score that stays the same whether you’re in Skele-Tone Records in Rochester, Pitchfork Records in Concord or Music Connection in Manchester. It’s a consistent, unchanging refrain that goes like this: “I had that. I had that. I had that.” “I hear people say that all the time,” says Todd Radict, the owner of Skele-Tone in Rochester. “It’s because when CDs came in, it sort of forced people to get rid of their records. I never fell for it.” Al Barr, lead singer, Dropkick Murphys – “The first record I purchased was ‘Burning Love’ by Elvis Presley. I purchased it from Rock Bottom Records — shout out to Kevin Guyer! “One of my most treasured records is ‘Three Hits From Hell’ by the Misfits. I wish I had never given away my OG copy of Social Distortion’s ‘Another State of Mind’ single.” Nostalgia has certainly played a role in getting people back into the stacks, but make no mistake — they are back.

Leeds, UK | KSI visits Crash Records Leeds to sign new album All Over the Place set to reach Number 1 in charts: Youtube sensation KSI visited Crash Records Leeds today to sign copies of his album which is expected to reach Number 1 in the charts. Queues formed on the Headrow in Leeds as fans rushed to catch a glimpse of the star – who has more than 10 million followers across social media. Paul Young 37, was one of the lucky fans who got to meet KSI. He said: “It was brilliant. “He was very chatty and polite to everyone. “There was a big queue going down the Headrow.” All Over the Place is the second studio album from KSI. It was released on July 16 and has been tipped for the Number 1 spot this weekend.

Simpang Bedok, SG | Record store owner grateful to make a living out of his hobby: It had always been his dream to run a shop selling hi-fi systems since he was in school. But it took Mr Gabriel Tan several years before he finally left a teaching career to pursue his love for music. Mr Tan, 64, told The New Paper: “I have not worked a single day since, because it has never felt like work.” Zenn Audio Electronics, named after his eldest son who is now 31, is a record store in Simpang Bedok that carries an extensive selection of vinyl records. “I was confident enough to tender my resignation as I made enough money from my part-time job to support my family,” said Mr Tan. He had worked part-time repairing various kinds of audio equipment while teaching and finally set up Zenn Audio Electronics in 1990. The shop initially focused on repairing and modifying audio equipment. It was a struggle for the business to take flight at first, he said. “The business grew quite slowly when it was first established. It improved as my customer base expanded.”

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In rotation: 7/22/21

Roanoke, VA | Vinyl continues to set records: Assuming you were paying attention, Saturday was a banner day. For starters, it was World Emoji Day. The first of these emotive symbols was :-), introduced by computer scientist Scott Fahlman in 1982 on a school message board. When Apple added emojis to their iPhone keyboards, emojis blew up. On an average day, 5 billion emojis are used on Facebook Messenger each day. But alas, this post is not emojis. This past Saturday was also Record Store Day in the U.S., a day that had special significance this year. This special day was begun in 2007, highlighted by Metallica’s appearance at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. Since then, artists from around the country show up at their favorite record stores. If anyone values the allure of vinyl, it is musicians. In Detroit where I’m from, Jack White has built not just an homage to vinyl—his Third Man Records operates as a vinyl stamping plant. I made the trek to take in the sweet sounds and smells of his retail tribute to record albums, a trip well worth taking.

IE | Ireland’s Official Top 50 biggest vinyl albums of 2021 so far: New releases from Glen Hansard, For Those I Love and Taylor Swift have proven popular with record collectors. Sales of vinyl albums in Ireland have increased 81% year-on-year as the vinyl revival shows no-one signs of slowing down. A mixture of carefully crafted new releases celebrating the format and heritage classics are among the Top 50 best sellers of 2021 so far, with almost 150,000 vinyl records purchased so far this year. Leading the list is a staple among many record collections, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Ireland’s most popular vinyl album of 2019 and 2020 remains in pole position with over 2,000 sales in the first half of the year. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon lands in second, Fleetwood Mac are back in third with Greatest Hits, the same title album as the album in fourth from Queen. Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth is Legend from Bob Marley & The Wailers. The best-selling new release of 2021 is Glen Hansard’s Live at Sydney Opera House which comes in at Number 8. The self-titled debut album from Dublin singer and spoken word artist For Those I Love also bags a top flight placement at Number 10.

Extreme record collecting: Confessions of an analog vinyl snob: …I became pretty leery of these heavy vinyl reissues, but I did still buy a few more. One day I went to the record store and picked up new reissues of the Fall’s I Am Kurious Oranj, The Slider by T.Rex and A Kiss in a Dreamhouse by Siouxsie and the Banshees. All three of them, from different labels and each a 180 gram platter, sounded like shit. Lifeless. All of the energy had been drained out of them. They were so bad that I knew that I would probably never play any of them ever again—all of them sounded far better on CD or streaming—and I felt ripped off and disappointed. Why would anyone want products like this? Are they viewed merely as “collectibles”? Maybe they look nice sitting next to your Crosley, but to actually listen to them?

Centre, AL | Dolly Parton releasing limited edition of ‘Songteller’ that features two unreleased songs: When Dolly Parton drops the limited edition of Dolly Parton: Songteller in Octoberl, fans will have access to two songs that have never been shared before. Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, Limited Edition will come with a pink vinyl record featuring a pair of unreleased songs, “I Don’t Care” and “The Fall,” with the lyrics printed on the back. The special version of the book is also housed inside a denim-wrapped clamshell box and features a ribbon bookmark. Originally released in 2020, Songteller chronicles the stories behind the lyrics of more than 100 songs from Dolly’s catalogue, including “Jolene,” “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You,” alongside photos and other memorabilia gathered during her more than 60-year career. The limited edition is available for pre-order now.

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In rotation: 7/21/21

UK | HMV at 100: ‘I worry they will go bust for good. It’s not going to get easier’ In July 1921, HMV opened and brought pop culture to the high street. It has weathered the arrival of downloads and streaming – but is vinyl enough to keep it going? A once-illuminated sign featuring a Jack Russell called Nipper sits above some hoardings on Oxford Street in London. Head cocked to one side, he appears disappointed that there’s no music emerging from the gramophone he’s quizzically scrutinising. There’s still a poster claiming it’s been the “home of entertainment since 1921”, but it’s reportedly now home to squatters, including Piers Corbyn. HMV’s 363 Oxford Street branch is shuttered, the remnants of a once famous high street presence still lingering on its facade. The company celebrates its centenary this month, and after soldiering on through store closures and bankruptcy in recent years, had almost become profitable in its May 2020 financial results – despite, at that point, three months of Covid-enforced closure. Given the ride that the record industry and the high street has experienced since the beginning of the 21st century – including during the pandemic – reaching this anniversary seems miraculous.

UK | HMV to mark 100th birthday with new store openings and in-store Ed Sheeran gig: The music, film, TV, gaming and merchandise retailer shut 27 shops in 2019 after falling into administration. HMV will celebrate its 100th birthday this summer by opening a proposed 10 new stores around the UK and putting on a special in-store concert by Ed Sheeran. The music, film, TV, gaming and merchandise retailer shut 27 shops in 2019 after falling into administration. Dough Putnam, an entrepreneur and owner of Canadian chain Sunrise, secured a rescue deal for HMV at the time and has since been plotting ways to revive it. As well as opening new locations, one of which opens today (July 20) in Solihull, a return of its flagship store to Oxford Street in London is high on the priority list. Putnam told the i that he still thinks “there’s a place” for HMV on the high street. He has so far failed to strike a deal with the Oxford Street landlords to get the flagship shop back to it original home but noted that there’s currently “a bunch of vacancies” elsewhere nearby. He added that a demand for merchandise such as T-shirts and board games, as well as the resurgence in vinyl, justifies HMV’s place in the market after the ongoing slump in CD and DVD sales.

Norman, OK | The Vinyl Countdown: Record Store Day at Guestroom Records in Norman: I hate to admit it, but last month’s Record Store Day Drop was something of a bust for me. The one album that I most desperately wanted—a 12-inch reissue of the 1981 U2 single “Fire”—was nowhere to be found in Oklahoma City, apparently due to an ordering problem. Heartbroken, I still haven’t ordered it online, as the price has now nearly doubled. Regardless, I still had high hopes for last Saturday’s second and final drop of the year, my heart unequivocally set on the WAR vinyl collection. But, with Guestroom Records ordering only one copy per store, I knew that my chances weren’t that great. Not only that, but since I’m currently housesitting in Norman, I would be celebrating at a record shop that I was quite unused to, the store at 125 E. Main Street. Still, I was able to procure an appointment for 9:20 a.m., hoping that the spirits of the Latinx band would be traveling with me as I search for their long-awaited and long-wanted—by me, at least—box-set.

Manhattan, KS | Sisters of Sound owner says records provided comfort during pandemic: The annual Record Store Day on Saturday capped a year when people turned to music, and new ways of listening to it, to get through an emotional time. Sisters of Sound co-owner Sarah Cunnick said people found music a good distraction and something interesting to get into while spending more time at home. “I think it helped so much,” Cunnick said. “Music will save your soul.” Record Store Day consisted of two days of new special releases on July 12 and again on Saturday. One of the releases Saturday was a 3-inch vinyl single of “Beat on the Brat” by Weird Al Yankovic for $10. The single features album art and a poster by Garbage Pail Kids artist Neil Camera, who lives in Manhattan and signed autographs outside Sisters of Sound Saturday. Cunnick said the line typically extends around the corner of the store’s Aggieville building for Record Store Day, and while they say the line starts at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. store opening, some people show up early.

St. John’s, NL | Why We Should Keep the Record Culture Alive: A MUN Musician’s Perspective: July 17th marked the second “Record Store Day” of the summer, a set date to support local independent record stores with rare, limited-edition releases internationally. As such, this allows people the opportunity to both appreciate and support the culture of buying physical copies of music. As students in an age of ever-developing steaming technology, the concept of analog listening through CDs, vinyl, or cassettes may seem unnecessary or excessive without considering the repercussions on the artists who make the music we love. St. John’s holds one of the oldest independent record stores in North America and, in turn, provides an environment to share high-fidelity recordings of both mainstream and local artists. In light of the upcoming opportunity to support independent record stores, I interviewed one of MUN’s own independent artists as an opportunity to understand exactly how different forms of listening (Analog vs. Digital) impacts musicians.

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In rotation: 7/20/21

AU | Vinyl continues to outpace CD sales in first half of 2021: Vinyl album sales in the US exceeded those of CDs for the first time in 34 years in 2020, and new data suggests their buoyancy is continuing this year. According to a new report from entertainment analytics firm MRC Data, vinyl grew by 108% Stateside in the first six months of 2021 to 19.2 million. CD sales were 18.9 million, up 2.2%. The top-selling vinyl albums at the midyear point were Taylor Swift’s Evermore, Harry Styles’ Fine Line, Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City and Billie Eilish’s When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Swift’s Evermore had the highest single-week vinyl sales in MRC Data’s 30-year history. In April, ARIA reported that in 2020 Australian vinyl sales were up 32% (translating to a value of $29.3 million), more than three times of the industry’s 7.3% growth, and constituting 5.4% of the market. Although in a 17% decline, CDs were still the dominant physical format shifting 3.92 million units (value: $30.5 million) and making up 5.6% of total revenue. ARIA predicted then that vinyl would take over some time later this year.

Mishawaka, IN | Local stores celebration National Record Store Day as vinyl sales continue to climb: Independent record stores across Michiana celebrated National Record Store Day with deals and sales throughout the weekend. This year, the observation comes as vinyl album sales continue to skyrocket. “We never did stop selling records but it hadn’t been a big part of our business,” said Doug Zimmerman, Owner of Orbit Music in Mishawaka. “For older people like me, it’s a nostalgia thing but for the younger kids its like the first time that they’ve actually held their music in their hand.” Music lovers like John Sholty say the growth in vinyl sales can be partially attributed to the better quality of sound a vinyl record can produce. “It gives you sweeter sweets, better highs, better lows,” said Sholty. “The whole spectrum of the sound, if you have the ear for it, vinyl provides while digital cuts things off.” According to Billboard, more than 40% of physical album sales in 2020 were on vinyl. That was a 46% increase from 2019.

Davenport, IA | Ragged Records, Trash Can Annie reopen in Downtown Davenport after flood, COVID: Bob Harington doesn’t mind time off, but after being closed for over two years, he was ready to get back to work. “It feels pretty good (to be back) it’s been two years and two and a half months so it’s kind of nice, it’s been a bit of a long, extended vacation but I’d rather be working,” Harrington said. Harington’s the owner of Ragged Records, and on national record store day on July 17, open up a new store along with Trash Can Annie, a vintage clothing store. “The long hours of being away from home and 16 hour days put in here just to get back up and running and we’re just really pleased with how it looks,” Trash Can Annie Owner Laura Heath said, “We curated it to become our own Bohemian Industrial Vibe here.” Both stores began their uphill battle to reopen after the 2019 flood of Downtown Davenport in 2019, and then the emergence of COVID in 2020. The two businesses, deciding to work together when reopening. …Although many businesses shifted commerce to more online options, Heath feels there is still huge value in a physical location.

CA | The SoCal 5: Vinyl record stores to visit: Los Angeles is home to some of the world’s best musicians, but it’s also home to some of the world’s best music curators. Here are some of the best places to find both vintage and new music albums on vinyl and CD, as well as vintage DJ and music equipment. Rockaway Records – Silverlake: Rockaway Records is a great place to buy and sell music collections. From vinyls to CDs to memorabilia, Rockaway is the place to get those hard-to-find, rare collectible items you’ve been looking for. Brothers Wayne and Gary Johnson began re-selling albums in 1979 after attending one of the legendary record swapmeets in Hollywood’s Capitol Records parking lot. What began as a hobby more than 35 years ago quickly turned into a business when they were forced to open a store to house their growing collection. Check them out. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday…

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In rotation: 7/19/21

Record Store Day offers a sign of hope for businesses working on their pandemic rebound: Of all the aspects of normality Americans missed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, physical touch has been a common theme. The touch associated with browsing at a record store is no exception — clicking a download button can’t match the feeling of walking into a shop with other music fans, flipping through album covers and holding a new disc. Vinyl may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the impacts of the pandemic, but for some business owners, it’s everything. This Saturday, the second of two Record Store Days being held this year, offers a sign of hope for independent businesses trying to recover from some of the darkest days they have seen. …Record Store Day is a global event to “celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally,” according to organizers.

Columbia, SC | National Record Store Day showcases independent shops, hometown bands: Midlands participants say events like these show how record stores are an integral part of a community’s culture and art scene. July 17 marks National Record Store Day. Record stores across the country celebrated the day with live performances and by selling limited-edition and rare vinyl records. “The reason why the event was created, it was really as a way to showcase not only just the music we all love as a culture, but it was also a way to focus on independent record stores,” said Eric Woodard, owner of Scratch N’ Spin Records in West Columbia. “As technology has progressed and there are so many digital options for people, they created Record Store Day as a way to celebrate physical media. In other words, actual vinyl records, CD’s , tapes, that kind of thing.” In order to get a first pick of the exclusive National Record Store Day vinyls, residents formed a line out the door of Scratch N’ Spin Saturday morning before the store opened.

Lincoln, NE | Vinyl lovers line up for Record Store Day in Lincoln: It’s a day to celebrate all things records and vinyl. Local businesses have struggled through the pandemic, and locally owned and operated record stores across the country are no different. Still, the vinyl fans line up to celebrate World Record Day. At Lefty’s Records on 27th and South in Lincoln, the line was formed just shortly after the sun came up. This is a day record fans celebrate the unique culture of record stores and the music they love. World Record Day started in 2007 and has now spread to just about every continent.

Richmond, VA | Record Store Day brings lines of customers to local shops: ‘Music means so much to people’ The 14th annual Record Store Day was celebrated in music shops across the country on Saturday for music lovers to come and grab limited edition vinyl records to support their local stores. Record stores like Plan 9 Records had a line out the door before opening, and owner Jim Bland said that’s completely normal. “We had about 60 or so people in line,” Bland said. “More people were coming. We still pace it, people run around the store and grab their stuff. We were done in about an hour and a half.” Bland just celebrated Plan 9’s 40th anniversary this past week, and he said there is nothing like putting the needle of a record player on new vinyl. “I can’t believe it. You just get so immersed in what you do, you don’t realize that it has been another decade,” Bland said. “In celebration of Record Store Day, the music communities and record collecting, you really realize just what records mean to so many people.”

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In rotation: 7/16/21

Vinyl Record Sales Are Up 108.2% This Year — Not Everyone Is So Thrilled, However: Though U.S. vinyl record sales enjoyed a 108.2 percent year-over-year increase during 2021’s first six months, a number of indie acts and record labels are expressing their frustration with the popularity uptick’s impact upon the production process – and moving away from the format altogether. MRC Data recently disclosed the triple-digit vinyl record sales growth in its 2021 half-year report, covering January 1st through July 1st. According to this analysis, stateside vinyl LP sales surpassed 19.2 million units through 2021’s initial two quarters, up 108.2 percent from HY 2020’s 9.2 million units. Additionally, the breakdown relayed that vinyl had outsold CDs in the U.S. “for the first time at the midyear point in MRC Data’s history (since 1991).” More than a few mainstream acts are capitalizing upon the trend, the report also indicated, as Taylor Swift claimed the uppermost spot on the list of “Top Vinyl Albums” with Evermore (143,000 units sold during the period).

Frisco, TX | Frisco record store to offer exclusive, limited-edition vinyl for Record Store Day this weekend: ZT Records in Frisco will offer dozens of exclusive and limited-edition vinyl at its Frisco Mercantile booth Saturday, in celebration of Record Store Day, which has been recognized annually since 2008. According to the official Record Store Day website, the event was conceived at a gathering of record store owners and employees as a way to “celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture” of independent record stores around the world. Throughout its 13 years, cities across the nation — including New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas — have declared Record Store Day an official holiday, and the event is recognized on every continent except Antarctica. “This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store — the staff, the customers, and the artists — to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities,” the website states.

Chicago, IL | 3CR’s Guide to Record Store Day Drop 2 2021 in Chicago and Beyond: It’s time for another Record Store Day Drop! What once was a single day toward the end of April (specifically the third Saturday), has transformed into a multi-day event! COVID-19 forced the annual day of record store celebration to split into three last year and two editions this year. Thankfully things seemed to go pretty smoothly during the June 12 Drop with a little more digging into the record stacks and lines outside shows (social distanced, of course!). This Saturday, July 17, will be the second and last proper Record Store Day of the year (not including Black Friday, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves)! The fun event has always had some criticism, specifically its focus on costly vinyl, records that don’t necessarily need to be repressed, flippers picking up all the rarest goodies to resell at even more ridiculous prices, record stores not making as much as they once did because of all the corporate overlords digging their nails into the backs of small business, etc. And now with the ever looming pandemic, safety has become an issue. Thankfully stores are adhering to their neighborhoods’ COVID-guidelines and making sure that everything is as safe as can be.

Solihull, UK | HMV reopening in Solihull two years after Mell Square store closed: The new record store’s opening will mark 100 years since HMV launched its first shop: HMV is celebrating its 100th anniversary by reopening in Solihull town centre. The record retailer will be opening at a new site in the old Cotswold Outdoor unit next to Dunelm next week – just across from its old landmark store which closed in 2019. The former branch shut down after failing to agree rent with landlords and remains vacant two years on. In February that year, HMV announced the immediate closure of 27 “unprofitable” UK stores including its intu Merry Hill branch. The Mell Square site was not included in the list of closures and it seemed the branch’s future was secure – until the announcement came in March. The business then fell into administration that December but was rescued by new owners Sunrise Records. Solihull’s new 4,500 square-foot record store will be opening its doors to customers on Tuesday, July 20 to mark 100 years since the company opened its first branch in 1921.

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In rotation: 7/15/21

Music fans pushed sales of vinyl albums higher, outpacing CDs, even as pandemic sidelined stadium tours: …Music consumption in the first half of the year has remained robust even without the sold-out stadium tours, according to a new report. While on-demand audio streaming is up 15%, consumers are also looking to own more tangible collectibles like vinyl albums, which continue to surpass CD sales. In the first six months of 2021, 19.2 million vinyl albums were sold, outpacing CD volume of 18.9 million, according to MRC Data, an analytics firm that specializes in collecting data from the entertainment and music industries. Vinyl has slowly been making a comeback in recent years. In 2020, vinyl trumped annual revenue of CDs in the U.S. for the first time in 34 years, the Recording Industry Association of America reported. That trend is continuing in 2021. The number of vinyl LPs sold rose 108% in the first six months of the year, up from 9.2 million during the same period in 2020.

Yarra, AU | Exploring the Record Store Day Vinyl Party going down as part of Leaps and Bounds Music Festival: Here’s your guide to what’s happening in City of Yarra this Record Store Day. Record Store Day Australia has teamed up with Leaps and Bounds Music Festival and City of Yarra for the second installment of Record Store Day 2021 to bring you a sprawling vinyl party happening at record stores throughout the inner north. Featuring a massive spread of in-store performances, album and single launches, and sales, you won’t want to miss out on all the fun going down for RSD on Saturday July 17. To help you put together a game plan, we’ve rounded up what’s going on where as part of the Leaps and Bounds Record Store Day Vinyl Party. Plug Seven Records: Prepare to do some serious crate-digging at Plug Seven Records this Saturday. As well as slinging a slate of RSD special releases, there’ll be discount crates, pick packs and loads more goodies to get your hands on.

AZ | Record Store Day is coming! Here’s where to celebrate in Arizona: The celebration was created in 2007 after independent record store owners and employees gathered together and formed a way to celebrate the unique culture. …ll record stores listed, except for Studio G Vinyl Records, have signed the Record Store Day pledge, according to the celebration’s main website. The pledge signifies that a store will sell Record Store Day releases only to its physical customers, rather than gouging them or holding back products to sell online. The first 2021 Record Store Day was held on June 12, but the organization decided to hold another on July 17 to support stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration was created in 2007 after independent record store owners and employees gathered together and formed a way to celebrate the unique culture, the website said. Special vinyl and CD releases and other promotional products are made exclusively for the celebration.

Kansas City, MO | Record Store Day is back again: It’s that time again, folks. The second installment of Record Store Day is here and we know all the places to hit up while you search for that perfect record to get your summer going. Stop by record stores July 17 to try your hand at getting a new addition to your collection. The Kansas City stores participating are: Records with Merritt (1614 Westport Rd.), The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven (7621 Troost Ave.), Josey Records (1814 Oak St.), Mills Record Company (4045 Broadway Blvd.), and Revolution Records (1830 Locust St.). All stores open at 7 a.m. except Revolution Records, which opens at noon. If you’re really up for it check out our suburban record store buddies like Brothers Music KC (5812 Johnson Drive Mission, KS) and Vinyl Renaissance & Audio (7932 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS) who are also participating.

Chicago, IL | Businesses in tune for Record Store Day: Nicky’s of Beverly is the Simon to Beverly Records’ Garfunkel as the two business establishments embark on another celebration of vinyl records on July 17—the industry’s unprecedented second drop for Record Store Day 2021. “I love vinyl, and that’s why we started playing it for our customers,” said Nicky’s of Beverly owner Paul Kostopanagiotou. “Customers dig hearing records, whether it’s in their own collection or something they’ve never heard before.” On Thursday, July 15, Nicky’s of Beverly, 10500 S. Western Ave., will team up with Beverly Records for a “Roots of Rock” party, an eclectic presentation of songs from all genres and eras that thread together today’s hit sounds with “those of yesteryear.” “We’ll have something for all music lovers, and it’s selected to entertain and enlighten,” said Beverly Records DJ John Dreznes. “We appreciate that Nicky’s of Beverly is building momentum for the second record drop two days later.”

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In rotation: 7/14/21

UK | Sainsbury’s supermarket will stop selling CDs, sale of vinyl records to continue: UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has announced it will no longer sell CDs and DVDs, although it will continue to stock vinyl records. The company says that “customers increasingly go online for entertainment”, which may come as no surprise given the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Netflix. “Earlier this year we took the decision to gradually phase out the sale of DVDs and CDs, so that we can dedicate extra space to food and popular products like clothing and homewares,” Sainsbury’s added (via BBC News). The CD market was worth £115 million in 2020, but it’s still shrinking. Vinyl record sales, meanwhile, are at their highest since the 90s, but the format was worth less than the CD market last year at £86 million. Sainsbury’s has been stocking vinyl records since 2016 and will continue to sell them in 171 stores.

Sicamous, BC | Vinyl back in rotation with opening of new Salmon Arm record shop: Music enthusiast Morgan Labrecque unlocks The Vinyl Vault at Westgate Public Market. For Morgan Labrecque, listening to electronic music on vinyl is comparable to enjoying a slice of chocolate cake. “It’s rich, delicious, it’s enjoyable – it’s the best,” said Labrecque, whose passion for music extends into a variety of genres, preferably pressed into a platter and placed inside a cardboard jacket. “…Listening to music on the radio or your phone, it’s OK, but listening to it on vinyl, you get to experience your favourite songs through a whole different realm,” said Labrecque, extolling the virtues of vinyl. By comparison, MP3 files, she explained, are lossy (compressed), meaning the quality of the music is sacrificed for a smaller file size. “With vinyl, it’s literally physical grooves that are making the music and there’s nothing more pure than that.”

Liverpool, UK | Liverpool’s lost record shops that may be gone but won’t be forgotten: Take a look back at Liverpool’s most iconic record shops. Liverpool’s shopping scene is known for being dynamic and eclectic, offering everything from high street retailers and designer boutiques to bargain stores and market stalls. There’s no doubt it has changed over the years, with businesses closing up shop and new, state-of-the-art shopping centres taking over the city centre. These days the likes of Primark and River Island rule the streets, but years ago, before the heyday of online shopping and music streaming, it was record shops that dominated Liverpool’s shopping scene. Often a rite of passage among Liverpool’s teenagers, vinyl records were coveted – and so the retailers gave them just what they wanted; a haven where they could delve into their favourite albums. These stores were everywhere, on high streets and tucked down side alleys, emitting that distinct love-it-or-hate-it smell and offering everything from obscure independent releases to Top of the Pops hits.

Honolulu, HI | Aloha Got Soul has opened a record store in Honolulu: “Celebrating homegrown local music.” Aloha Got Soul has opened a record store in Honolulu’s Mōʻiliʻili neighbourhood, called AGS. Described as a celebration of “sound and vision”, AGS will stock new releases from independent labels and artists across the world, alongside Aloha Got Soul’s own releases. The shop will also offer a curated selection of secondhand vinyl — traversing an eclectic range of genres and eras. “Thanks to everyone who’s supported us throughout the years … without your support and presence, we wouldn’t feel as confident and comfortable in taking this next step.” AGS is open Thursday to Sunday 12pm — 7pm, at 2017 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826.

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In rotation: 7/13/21

Kitchener, CA | A forty year encore: local record store continues to thrive during pandemic: The pandemic has seen Encore Records embrace e-commerce, establishing regulars across Canada for the first time. Around since 1981, Encore Records has been through it all, from the downloading frenzy of the 2000s to a ruthless pandemic that has forced thousands of businesses to close their doors for good. But despite being repeatedly closed throughout the year and having an extremely limited capacity due to lockdowns and restrictions, owner Mark Logan is pretty confident they will make it to their 41st year. “Business has been great. It’s been busy the last six or seven years for vinyl, but the pandemic really opened our website up to people who live across the country,” Logan said. When everything initially shut down at the start of the pandemic, he figured they could be shut down from March to July 2020 and still be able to pay the bills. Beyond that, he wasn’t sure what they would do.

London, UK | Independent Label Market hosting new record fair in London: With 4AD, Mute, Rhythm Section, Touching Bass, Soul Jazz, and more. Independent Label Market has unveiled a new one-day fair, held in London’s famed Carnaby Street this July. The fair will feature labels including 4AD, Bella Union, Domino, Mute, Rhythm Section, Soul Jazz, Touching Bass, Woman in CTRL, and Circadian Rhythms selling a curated array of limited edition records. As part of the event, Soho Radio will be broadcasting live, with a lineup including Simone Marie and DJ Kobayashi. It follows the release of The Vinyl Factory and Soho Radio’s new compilation of live performances cut direct-to-lathe, titled Together: Heart n Soul. The Independent Label Market will be take over Carnaby Street on Saturday 18th July from 12pm — 6pm.

Andover, UK | A record shop that kept Andover on the ‘Threshold’ of music: This striking colour photograph shows a celebration window for the Andover Carnival’s 50th anniversary and is a real explosion of musical tastes and artefacts from that 50-year period. Threshold’s first shop was in Cobham in Surrey and was connected to The Moody Blues, whose 1969 album ‘On the Threshold of a Dream’ gave the shop its name. Andover’s was the second branch of the company and Phil tells me that he was ‘poached’ from K L W (Ken) Cook whose shop was in The Broadway by a representative from Phonogram who put him in touch with the Threshold company. The opening day in 1972 saw a large crowd outside waiting to be let in, possibly helped by some members of The Moody Blues, including Justin Hayward, being on hand to sign autographs. That said, the evidently young audience were able to access the largest stock of all music genres then available in Andover.

UK | Aldi’s £49.99 record player is putting vinyl fans in a spin: The Maginon is a vinyl turntable with a difference: actually, several differences. Currently an online exclusive Special Buy from Aldi priced at £49.99, this deck could have you rekindling your love affair with vinyl records. Even in these days of streaming music services, vinyl still holds a special place in our heart. Pundits tried to write it off in the eighties, when CDs made their debut, but it’s still exciting buyers today. According to the BPI, the industry body that compiles sales charts, the appropriately named Disco by Kylie Minogue, was the most purchased 2020 release on vinyl. Sales are booming. But then so are smart speakers. The fact is we like convenience, which is where this Maginon Turntable comes in. Not only is this a fully functional record deck, able to play albums, singles and 78s, it also has stereo speakers and amplification built-in, making it a retro-style all-in-one.

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In rotation: 7/12/21

UK | Sainsbury’s stops selling CDs and DVDs: Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s says it has decided to stop selling CDs and DVDs as streaming services take their toll on sales of the products. A spokesperson said Sainsbury’s customers increasingly went for music and films online instead of buying the shiny silver discs. The firm said sales were being phased out, although it would continue to sell vinyl records in some stores. CD sales have shrunk in the past decade but were still worth £115m last year. Other big supermarkets show no sign of following Sainsbury’s lead, with larger branches of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons still stocking a range of CDs and DVDs. “Our customers increasingly go online for entertainment, so earlier this year we took the decision to gradually phase out the sale of DVDs and CDs, so that we can dedicate extra space to food and popular products like clothing and homewares,” Sainsbury’s said.

Hackensack, NJ | Hackensack’s music mecca, the Record King, succumbs to redevelopment after 56 years: Get a musical immersion education while you can at Hackensack Record King. Owner Craig Stepneski says he has been notified he must vacate the 56-year-old Main Street storefront where he has worked since 1974 to make way for downtown redevelopment, and is welcoming in-person customers while he can. “That’s the part I’ll miss,” said Stepneski. “Talking to the customers.” The store’s attraction for musical buffs of all ages is its ability to come up with that obscure tune that never found its way onto the internet, as well as the historic favorites. Customers benefit from Stepneski’s encyclopedic musical memory, his ability to pick a disc from an obscure stack, and the store’s encyclopedic range of music on 45s, LPs, eight-track tapes, cassettes and CDs. If you hum a few bars, he can usually come up with the name of the song, the name of the group, and sometimes sing all the lyrics. With arm motions. And finger snaps. “I don’t do that so much anymore…”

Memphis, TN | ‘Immersive Memphis music experience’: Inside look at the Memphis Listening Lab at Crosstown: John King has rarely ever been at a loss for words. The 77-year-old Memphis music industry veteran spent a career using his gift of gab to pitch, promote and hustle records. But on an early July afternoon, as King made his way through the recently completed Memphis Listening Lab — a music library and archive built around his more than 60,000-piece personal collection — he was, uncharacteristically, speechless. “I’m flabbergasted to see how well and beautifully they’ve put this all together,” King finally said, shaking his head. “They’ve done a tremendous job.” Located in the Crosstown Concourse, the Memphis Listening Lab is a nearly 3,000-square-foot audio library. Operating as a nonprofit, the Lab’s contents are built around the collection amassed by King, a co-founder of Ardent Records, a longtime Memphis music promoter, radio historian and ravenous record collector.

Surrey, UK | Surrey business owners say they will keep wearing face masks beyond July 19: Businesses in Guildford, Godalming and Cobham have explained how they will handle things after ‘freedom day’ The announcement that legal restrictions on social distancing and mask-wearing will finally be scrapped from July 19 has been met with a mixture of jubilation and trepidation. With infection rates soaring, some Surrey businesses say it is too early to ditch masks. Ben Darnton runs a vinyl record store in Guildford and will maintain the current rules in his store longer than is legally necessary. He said: “I will continue wearing my mask as a courtesy to my customers and expect them to wear it in here too. “I don’t think the situation is good and we still have to be really careful of opening up. “If they do not want to wear one and there are customers in the store at that time, I will not argue with them but perhaps suggest they come back when it is empty.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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