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

In rotation: 5/27/22

For the Record: How Vinyl Got its Groove Back — to the Tune of a Billion Dollars: …A few weeks ago at the Music Biz conference, MusicWatch founder Russ Crupnick presented a new consumer research study on the topic, “Revelations About the Vinyl Revolution,” about where this growth is coming from and why – as well as how the business might expand. (The study was funded by the Music Business Association and the RIAA.) Based on more than 1,400 consumer surveys, including more than 900 vinyl buyers, the report segments the market of vinyl buyers according to how long they’ve been collecting (38% more than a decade, 30% between three and 10 years, and about a third less than two years) and how often and why they buy. Although we tend to think of vinyl buyers as a particular tribe, there are more of them than most people realize – 17.6 million in the U.S. That’s more than a third of the number of Americans who bought tracks as downloads at the peak of that market. And although 26% are “veteran and committed,” there are also consumers who focus more on packaging (26%) and artists (20%), as well as pop fans (12%) and “new occasionals” (15%).

What Nostalgia? Vinyl’s Biggest Boosts Are Coming From Pop Fans and Mass Merchants (Even if Indie Stores and Rock Still Rule): Much of the audience that is driving vinyl sales to new peaks consists of fans who are experiencing LPs as their first and only physical format. Luminate data shows Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo are selling the format as well as themselves. “…Rock still controls the vinyl universe,” concedes Peter Krien, senior music analyst at Luminate. But with big surges for pop and country of late — not to mention the recent development of Tyler, the Creator’s album returning to No. 1 based almost entirely on a vinyl release — “it was just nice to see some increased diversity from a genre perspective over the past year.” The preeminence of pop in the vinyl format isn’t about to end any time soon. Tuesday, it was announced that Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” had broken the record for vinyl sales in a single week — and more than that, it’d done that in just its first three days out, with LP sales of more than 146,000 just in the first weekend.

West Allis, WI | West Allis record store changes some business practices after being victim of alleged check fraud: Record Head in West Allis has changed some of the ways it operates its business after learning it was a victim of alleged check fraud earlier this year. The business doesn’t just sell records. It also buys a lot of merchandise from customers to re-sell. Anything from a $50 game system to a $10,000 guitar. “So, when an item is more expensive, rather than keeping that cash on hand, we issue them a check,” said Bill Sanders, Chief Operations Officer at the store on Greenfield Avenue. Sanders says Record Head has issued thousands of checks over the years and never had a problem until one day in February. “We were rectifying all of our books, and my accountant was like, ‘Hey can you explain some of these charges? They’re not typical. What’s going on?’ I was like, ‘Oh I have no idea what any of that is,'” Sanders recalled. According to court documents, there were “eight fraudulent transactions totaling $2,485.36.”

Everett, WA | Vinyl Hunters: Buy One Record, or all 10,000: While meandering through the Everett Flea Market recently, I stumbled upon Vinyl Hunters. If you hear some good jams emanating through the space, it’s likely coming from Paul Burr in the back left corner of the store where he hangs out with his large collection of vinyl records. Admittedly, I had mostly just wandered into the flea market in search of home goods. Yet I managed to wander out with three new records instead. I blame Paul; in the best way. …Paul’s got it all, he shared. “Blues. Jazz. Country. A lot of stuff from the 50s-90s. There’s at least 10,000 records here.” The average price point seemed to run around $15-20; which compared to new vinyl is very reasonable. Especially when you consider that these 50-year-old records can go up in value. Don’t be surprised to see certain records priced at $50 or $100+. Paul uses, “a 16-year-old book for the prices, and then I usually add a couple bucks to make a little money.”

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In rotation: 5/26/22

Danbury, CT | Connecticut record store relives memories, revives collection: In this day and age of music apps and MP3, there are few who have missed the magic of vinyl. Vinyl records give you a sense of classic nostalgia and bring back memories for many. It’s not just the melodious sound of analog you hear, it’s the feeling like you’re listening to music in a recording studio as if you were getting a personal concert from your favorite artist, these records are a memory for many. can bring back. I’m so glad I was part of a generation that has grown up listening to and collecting vinyl records and the recent resurgence in popularity has me looking to build a collection back. I searched and found some great record stores around the Greater Danbury area and here are some that I found.

Bull Moose President and CEO steps down after 33 years: Bull Moose has been a name well known throughout Maine and New Hampshire as the place to go when you’re looking for music, movies and games. Today it was announced that its founder and CEO, Brett Wickard, is stepping down after 33 years of building Bull Moose into what it is today. Originally founded by Wickard in Brunswick in 1989, Bull Moose began to add more and more stores as its popularity began to grow. Frequent appearances on News Center Maine’s 207 by Wickard to promote the new record and video releases, Record Store Day and even making Oscar predictions, also helped put them in the spotlight. Today Bull Moose has 11 stores throughout Maine and New Hampshire. in January, Bull Moose became 100 percent owned by its over 170 employees. In a press release, Bull Moose announced that although Brett Wickers will be stepping down as CEO, he will still remain Chairman of the Board at Bull Moose, probably a position Wickard never imagined Bull Moose would have when he first opened up in Brunswick.

Forget Streaming. McIntosh Just Debuted Its Most Ambitious CD Player Yet. When conversations at cocktail parties stall, talk often gets kick-started by harmless subjects like automobiles or local restaurants. Musically aware folks, especially younger ones, might confess their newfound infatuation with vinyl. I always congratulate them, with the caveat that record collecting can be a slippery slope, and, like a baby pot-bellied pig, is manageable at first but can become a large, all-consuming burden. It’s true, I always add, that the best analog rigs can be more rewarding to listen to than any other playback medium, sonically and certainly for the tactile and aesthetic perks that come with LPs. But when I mention the other thing that spins, and that I still actively buy and collect compact discs, listeners are often rendered speechless, as if I’d suggested that spats and gaiters are still fashionable men’s footwear.

Harry Styles’ ‘Harry’s House’ Breaks Modern-Era U.S. Vinyl Sales Record: After only three days on sale, Harry Styles’ third solo album, Harry’s House, has broken the modern-era record for the largest sales week for a vinyl album in the U.S. The vinyl edition of the album, released on May 20, has sold over 146,000 copies in the U.S. through May 22, according to initial reports to Luminate. That beats the previous single-week sales record, set by the debut week of Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), when it sold 114,000 vinyl copies in the week ending Nov. 18, 2021. It’s assumed that the first-week vinyl sales of Harry’s House will grow in the coming days, as the tracking week ends on Thursday, May 26. The set’s final sales number is expected to be announced on Sunday, May 29 – along with its expected robust debut on the multi-metric Billboard 200 albums chart. If Harry’s House debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, it will mark Styles’ third straight leader – the entirety of his solo albums. Harry’s House is available in a number of vinyl variants, including a standard black vinyl pressing, a Target-exclusive yellow-colored vinyl and a sea glass green-colored edition exclusively sold through Styles’ webstore.

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In rotation: 5/25/22

CT | Connecticut record stores rekindle memories and resurrects record collecting: In this day and age of music apps and MP3s, there are some that have missed out on the magic of vinyl. Vinyl records give you a sense of classic nostalgia and bring back memories for many. It’s not just the sweet crackle of the analog you hear, it’s the feeling like you’re there in the recording studio hearing the music as if you were getting a personal concert from your favorite artist, these records can bring back memories for many. I am so glad I was a part of a generation who grew up collecting and listening to vinyl records and the recent resurgence in popularity has me looking at building back a collection. I searched for and found some cool record stores around the Greater Danbury area and here are a few that I found.

Cork, IE | 6 of the best record shops in Cork for a dig through the crates: For a music fan, there’s nothing quite like vinyl. Sometimes we have to try out all the new, cool, and shiny before we can appreciate what we had the first time around. Over the last few years, the vinyl revolution has dominated music lovers’ imaginations and increasingly, their collections. Vinyl has clawed its way back from near extinction; due in large part to the commitment of record collectors and DJs. Luckily for us, there are plenty of dedicated record shops in Cork that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you’re eager to get on the vinyl property ladder or just want to add to your collection, head on down to these record stores and flip through the bins

Portland, OR | Too Many Records opens brick-and-mortar Portland store: What started as a tribute to old vinyl records on YouTube has now become the newest music store in Portland. Too Many Records held their grand opening Sunday at their store, 1854 North Lombard. Owner Matt Kessler, who started the YouTube channel that has more than 5 million views, said the brick-and-mortar store will be more than just a place to buy records. “I want to have live performances so I want to give local artists a chance to play music in an intimate setting,” Kessler told KOIN 6 News. “I want to build a music community out here in Portland where people can come in and listen to music and (have) listening parties.” Kessler also started a record label that has released 14 albums. They show off his love for the analog style of listening to music.

Stockton-on-Tees, UK | Attention music lovers: Record Fair returns to Stockton: Records, CDs and music memorabilia will all be on offer when the Record Fair returns to Stockton High Street this weekend. The specialist market, organised by Garageland.org in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, will be held in Stockton town centre from 9.30am to 3pm on Saturday 28 May, in its new location on the High Street Car Park. Entry is free of charge. Music fans can pick up new and vintage vinyl, CDs and DVDs, as well as books, magazines and memorabilia from a wide range of genres. Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: “After two years away, the Record Fair will be back on Stockton High Street with plenty for music enthusiasts in the Borough to enjoy. “The marquee in the High Street Car Park space will jam-packed with traders selling new records as well as collectable rare vinyl and memorabilia that can’t be found anywhere else, but even if you’re not an avid collector it’s still a brilliant day out so come along and browse the stalls.”

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In rotation: 5/24/22

Colchester, UK | Colchester’s Best Days Vintage launches vinyl venture: The owners of an independent business specialising in retro clothing have said they “believe in the power of records” after launching their new vinyl venture. Steve Hurdle and Jez Dixon are the familiar and friendly faces of the ever-popular Best Days Vintage, located in Eld Lane, Colchester. Since opening their shop in 2013 the fashionistas have prided themselves on kitting out the town’s younger generation in a range of cool and unique garments. In recent years the store has started to offer counselling sessions in addition to a safe space in which customers can enjoy tasty hot beverages and a calming chit-chat. Steve and Jez have now founded Best Days Vinyl, a new project which will see them offer both new and second-hand records from established and local artists.

Klang Valley, MY | 7 Record Stores In The Klang Valley For All Your Vinyl Needs: In the age of Spotify and free digital streaming platforms, you would think that vinyl records are a thing of the past. But as it is with fashion, it’s all cyclical, and the vinyl movement in Malaysia is making a solid comeback. Some may argue that it never left, but that’s a conversation for another time. Not into the oldies? You’ll be glad to know that vinyl records extend beyond the sounds of the 70s and 80s. Most respectable modern musicians still release their albums on vinyl because it simply sounds better. It isn’t just the nostalgia of listening via turntable either, as vinyl playback is the closest one can get to what the musicians intended for their songs to sound like. But don’t just take our word for it, head on over to one of these record stores in the Klang Valley area to pick out an album or two and listen to them for yourself.

MY | Stream time: Talking vinyl collecting in Malaysia, beat of the mridangam: This Aswara (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) mini documentary, presented by its faculty of creative writing and film, gives viewers a glimpse of vinyl culture in Malaysia. The localised views definitely sets it apart from the usual international vinyl chatter. In the last 10 years in Malaysia, there has been a big revival in record collecting, and a healthy secondary market for used local vinyl has emerged. The arrival of several independent record shops (since 2014) and online vendors has added to the buzz. But the days of affordable records and cheap digs are rare now. Prices have shot up due to various factors (mainly the weak ringgit) and there have been question marks if young collectors can sustain this hobby, which can be an expensive one.

Worcester, MA | Worcesteria: A trek in search of retail shopping downtown: …That was certainly the case at Joe’s Records on Friday. I didn’t even intend to buy anything, I just found myself in the neighborhood and realized I hadn’t browsed there in ages. Honestly, I don’t even own a record player, but I still love the look and feel of vinyl. I don’t have a lot of deep sense memory connections, but the feel of a vinyl record is definitely one of them. As to the rest of the merchandise, do I have use for a Johnny Cash lunchbox? No, I do not. Do I really want the Johnny Cash lunchbox on display? Yes. Yes, I do. I also had to stop myself from buying a Rush T-shirt for the sole reason that someone posted an old pic of me from the ’90s wearing one on Facebook, and I kind of miss it. I left with a set of Police pins, because I was starting to feel guilty about not buying anything and I’ve been listening to the album “Ghost in the Machine” a bit lately.

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In rotation: 5/23/22

Bendigo, AU | Record shop ready to lower the stylus: Vinyl enthusiasts are in for a treat when the city’s newest independent record store opens this Saturday. Regular attendees of the Sunday Showgrounds markets would recognise Bendigo Vinyl co-owners Paul O’Farrell and Sam Edmonds, but now the pair are preparing to take their business to the next level at 333 Hargreaves Street.“We’re feeling nervous, we’re gathering all the stock so that we’ve got plenty on offer for day one,” Mr Edmonds said.“We really hope that it’s a safe place where people can come and hang out. There’s a lot of little shops like this now coming up on Mitchell Street and it’s really exciting.“We hope that we can fit in there and be another option for people to come and hang out, talk music and buy some music. People are really enjoying the vinyl revolution, so we want to help them with that.”

Stroud, UK | Bigger and better – Sound Records is on the move: Formed in Stroud in 2018, Sound Records has gained an enviable national reputation amongst vinyl connoisseurs and music lovers. Last year they released Patched In: Sounds of the Stroud Underground on their own record label, also called Sound Records. The business was established by Tom Berry and Sean Roe and is currently situated at the top of Stroud’s High Street and is a mecca for music enthusiasts. It was named Best Small Shop in 2020 by the Independent Retailers Association. “We moved from Gloucester Street after our first year to the High Street,” said Tom. “Sean left the business earlier this year so I’m now taking Sound Records into its next phase. “The current premises are fantastic and beautiful to look at, but there isn’t the scope to develop some of the projects we want to develop – we’re keen to develop our record label and we need office space for that; we want to be able to host live events and talks and discussions, and we just want a bit more room for more stock. We’ve also got plans to sell books and CDs.”

Seattle, WA | Seattle record store hoping to find neon sign that was sold by accident: The 32-foot sign, which once hung outside the store’s Lower Queen Anne location, was accidentally sold after being in storage. The owner of Easy Street Records is searching for the person who purchased a neon sign that once hung outside the store’s original Lower Queen Anne location. He says it was sold on accident and he’s looking to buy it back. “I cannot find the sign. The case of the missing 32 foot neon sign,” said Easy Street Records owner, Matt Vaughan. The sign reads “Easy Street Records” in neon green and features a neon red star above the letters, in the middle. Vaughan described what happened as a ‘comedy of errors.’ He said the sign was being stored at the National Sign Company. When the company moved locations he said the sign was mistakenly taken to a secondhand store and sold. He’s now trying to find who bought it. “I know that it’s a man that got it, and that he collects cars and that he has a big garage. Those are the only clues that we have,” said Vaughan.

Chicago, IL | New horror-themed coffee shop opens in Avondale with adjoining record store: The Brewed is a horror-themed coffee shop that is connected to Bric-A-Brac Record store. The Avondale neighborhood is quickly gaining a reputation as the mecca of the horror movie community in Chicago. The latest addition, the Brewed, is a horror-themed coffee shop brought to the neighborhood by the same owners (and internally connected inside the building) as Bric-A-Brac Records. The new coffee shop is named after David Cronenberg’s horror classic “The Brood” as an homage to the cult-classic godfather of horror. It serves as a labor of love for owners Nick Mayor, Jen Lemastersa, and Jason Deuchler. With years of collecting items, the collection is truly unique and very personal to the owners. It’s presented in a welcoming way, carefully curated to bend between the owner’s admiration of the genre while creating a unique coffee experience.

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In rotation: 5/20/22

Cleveland, OH | One Year Later: How This Cleveland Record Store Continues To Thrive: In 2021, GOBankingRates featured “Small Business Spotlight” nominee A Separate Reality Records, a record store in Cleveland started by music industry vet and cancer survivor Augustus Payne. At the time, Payne shared how he adapted his business during the pandemic to keep it going through difficult times. Now, one year later, we’re checking back in with Payne to talk about what he’s learned over the past two years and what his hopes are for the future of his business. “…It’s an amazing feeling when people love the records you’re selling. This is not only a business for me but a true labor of love.”

Mumbai, IN | For the record: vinyl is back: Analog music in India is growing steadily, with both Millennials and General Z collecting records, releasing albums with labels, and even a vinyl bar is now in the mix. Couldn’t be worse than this. Fifteen days after Record Store Day (April 23), Apple announced that it was discontinuing production of the iPod. The iconic gadget that changed the way we listen to, store and share our favorite songs has gone silent. If someone had a scorecard on May 10, it would have written Analog: 1, Digital: 0. While it is true that most of us stream songs on our phones and computers, the standard stream of music enthusiasts around the world converts music to algorithm-based music for the close and definite pleasure of vinyl. The form that rose in the 70s, declined in the 90s, almost disappeared with the arrival of the new millennium. It must have been ruined, à iPod, but it’s interesting

Washington, DC | From Pat Boone to the Sex Pistols: Inside the secret White House record collection: It all started on a Carter family vacation, around 2008-09. John Chuldenko’s uncle, Jeff Carter — the son of former President Jimmy Carter — was talking about a night at the White House during his dad’s administration in the late 1970s. Uncle Jeff wasn’t sure if it was a state dinner, but it “was something fancy,” Chuldenko remembers him saying. Later in the evening, presumably after the fancy dinner, Uncle Jeff snuck upstairs to the residence with a couple friends and they started playing records and “drinking wine and stuff.” They were playing The Rolling Stones, specifically the song “Star Star” off their 1973 album Goats Head Soup. The song is not rated PG, and it drew the attention of Uncle Jeff’s mom, Rosalynn Carter, and then-second lady Joan Mondale. They apparently did not stay long.

St. John’s, CA | Vinyl hunting: St. John’s woman trying to recover her father’s record collection stolen and sold while he was hospitalized. GoFundMe set up to help with potential recovery costs as the N.L. vinyl community rallies to support one of its own. Any serious collector, whether it be of books, records, sports cards or any of a thousand other things, will tell you their collection is priceless to them, no matter what the actual book value. That’s why April Miller was so upset when she discovered someone went into her father Gary’s home in St. John’s, stole his collection of thousands of vinyl records while he is hospitalized in the ICU with a severe lung condition and sold them. “Mine and my family’s hearts are so broken over this, as music is my dad’s whole entire life,” Miller wrote in a social media post. “And where I get my love for music as well. I’m gutted this person could do this to my dad.”

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In rotation: 5/19/22

UK | Genesis, Rush, Wakeman, Oldfield white label discs up for charity auction: A host of prog goodies up for auction at this year’s White Label Auction in Aid of The BRIT Trust. Over 170 rare white label pressings from bands such as Genesis, Rush, Rick Wakeman, Hawkwind, 10cc, Mike Oldfield, Moody Blues, Brian Eno and more will be auctioned off for charity next month. The White Label Auction in Aid of The BRIT Trust returns on Tuesday June 7 offering fans the chance to grab a slice of prog rock history. The auction – first staged in October 2019 – will be hosted live onsite/online for UK and international collectors by the music memorabilia and vinyl records specialists Omega Auctions from their Greater Manchester base. Funds raised will go to support the work of recorded music industry charity The BRIT Trust, which since 1989 has donated around £28 million to charities and causes that promote education and wellbeing through the power of music and the creative arts, such as the BRIT School and Nordoff-Robbins music therapy.

UK | Rare LPs and memorabilia from John Peel’s private collection will be auctioned off next month: The records on offer were “carefully selected by [the legendary DJ’s] family.” A series of records owned by legendary DJ John Peel – once branded by NME as “the king of the live session” – will be sold at an auction in London next month. Before his death in 2004, Peel amassed a weighty collection spanning over 26,000 LPs, 40,000 seven-inch singles and countless CDs. A selection of those, as well as various items of memorabilia, will be auctioned off at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge location on Tuesday June 14. It takes place a week before the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury, which has long honoured Peel with a stage named in his honour. According to a press release, the records on offer were “carefully selected by the family, whist retaining the integrity of the John Peel Record Collection”. Key pieces in the lot include an annotated mono pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ LP (which holds an estimated value of £15,000-20,000), a promotional album signed by The Rolling Stones (£6,000-8,000), a copy of the rare Marc Bolan album ‘Hard On Love’ (£5,000-6,000) and a copy of ‘Queen II’ that comes with a letter handwritten to Peel by Freddie Mercury (£1,000-1,500).

The Offspring’s ‘Smash’ repressed on limited “lava” vinyl: The Offspring recently launched a 30th anniversary reissue of their 1992 Epitaph debut Ignition (available on limited marigold vinyl), and now we’re also partnering with them on an exclusive repress of their 1994 breakthrough album Smash. It’s pressed on “lava” covered vinyl, and limited to just 500 copies. Pre-order yours now while they last. Smash probably needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated, it — along with Green Day’s Dookie — helped bring punk into the mainstream, influenced countless bands in the process, and still holds up today. (It also remains the best-selling album ever released by an independent label.) It’s home to some of the band’s most recognizable songs (“Self Esteem,” “Come Out and Play,” “Bad Habit”), as well as several of their best deep cuts. It’s the band’s crowning achievement and a stone cold classic of ’90s punk, and it managed to take punk into the mainstream without forgetting where the band came from.

Adrian Sherwood releasing new compilation celebrating female dub artists: Featuring Yehaiyahan, Likkle Mai, Maria Wenda, Saba Tewelde and more. Adrian Sherwood is releasing a new compilation shining a light on female dub artists, called Adrian Sherwood Presents: Dub No Frontiers, via Real World Records. The album’s ten tracks were all produced by Sherwood, with a collection of female artists later adding their own vocals. “Many of the singers said they felt the dub/reggae arena was a male preserve and a little intimidating even,” shares Sherwood, “so we decided to invite artists to perform a song of their choice, all in non-English on our rhythm tracks.” Adrian Sherwood Presents: Dub No Frontiers follows Real World Records’ release of Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra’s The Unfolding album. Pre-order Adrian Sherwood Presents: Dub No Frontiers here in advance of its 22nd July release; check out the artwork and tracklist below.

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In rotation: 5/18/22

York, UK | York Record Fair returns this month: A popular record fair in York is returning this month – with thousands of records available to customers. The York Record Fair returns to the City Screen cinema on Coney Street in the city centre on Saturday May 21. Thousands of records are under one roof for collectors or the curious. “The collectors bubble just doesn’t seem to burst, and bargains from £1 to three figure sums are displayed on the day,” said a spokesperson for the event. The usual guys and additional traders will be in town and the valuation service will return in the form of antiques roadshow style vinyl experts. The public are welcome to bring along anything from one item to full collections – and the organisers said they are also happy to visit customers to value if its too much to carry through the city.

Kelowna, BC | Kelowna Music Collectors’ Show returns after three year hiatus: The Kelowna Music Collectors’ Show is a music lovers’ paradise. Thousands of vinyl records, CDs, tapes, stereo equipment and music memorabilia were up for grabs at the first Kelowna Music Collectors’ Show in three years. “It’s been a long wait. As you can tell everybody is pretty happy to be here,” said Doogie Irvine, Kelowna Music Collectors’ Show organizer. Twenty-two vendors from across B.C. and Alberta came to the Ukrainian Catholic Church Hall in Kelowna to sell their wares from the 1950s to the present day. John Gowland of That Old Black Magic Record and Stereo Sales is an independent vendor that sells from his personal collection, including signed vinyl records. “We have a pretty wide variety,” said Gowland. “Everything from jazz, rock, blues, you name it, contemporary, folk, we have it.”

Ho Chi Minh City, VN | Việt Nam music lovers welcome vinyl record turnaround: Viet Nam has not been an exception to the recent comeback of vinyl records, a late-1880s invention known for its rich, high-quality sound. Many music producers and artists in the country have released vinyl records to preserve and promote this sophisticated channel among a new generation of music enthusiasts. Nguyễn Ngọc Thien, director of the Audio Space Production-Release Company, said the vinyl market was more profitable now than five to seven years ago. This is reflected in a series of vinyl products released recently. The increase in vinyl record sales marks a turning point for the music channel loved for many years by collectors in particular and music lovers in general. Honoured artist Tố Nga sprange a surprise recently by releasing her album “Moon” on vinyl. Singer Đồng Lan also released a vinyl record called “Do you remember” with songs by composer Trịnh Cong Sơn.

Pembrokeshire, UK | Ex-Coronation Street actor found working in tiny record shop in Welsh seaside town: Charles Dale is known for his roles in Casualty, as Big Mac, Chef in ’90s dark drama, The Lakes, Coronation Street’s Dennis Stringer, recently he’s been spotted in ITV big hitters, The Pembrokeshire Murders and Unforgotten. With gruelling schedules and intense scrutiny, it’s no wonder that many soap stars decide to shun fame. Acting isn’t always a long-term career option and many former soap stars have stepped out of the limelight to support their families and go back to a quieter life. But one former Coronation Street actor has been found fulfilling a rather normal job, while still enjoying a very successful acting career. Charles Dale has been discovered to be running his family-owned record shop in the tiny Welsh seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire.

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In rotation: 5/17/22

UK | 10 of our favourite independent Scottish record shops: Nowadays, music is often as insubstantial as your average ghost. When a song is released into the world it drifts and flows upon the ether – on Spotify, iTunes or SoundCloud – before creeping into the listener’s skull via a plastic earbud, where it haunts the head in a flimsy, flickering, fleeting fashion. But music used to be a solid thing. Something you touched with covetous hands. It was vinyl. Or a CD. Perhaps even a cassette. There was album artwork to be adored; lyrics to study on the back of a record sleeve. Now all that’s gone… though not quite. For hardcore obsessives are keeping the culture of the long player (and single) revolving on a turntable that refuses to grind to a halt. In independent record stores across the nation vinyl is making a valiant last stand. Here’s our pick of the best shops where that music war is being waged, and perhaps even won by the good guys… the Battling Brigade of Renegade Record Collectors.

Richmond, VA | Vinyl Conflict record store moving to downtown Richmond: Since 2008, Richmond’s Vinyl Conflict Record Store has made its reputation on its premium selection of punk, metal and hardcore goods. People from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to the storefront in Oregon Hill. However, owner Bobby Egger says he’s ready for the store to move to its new home. Although he’s made many memories in Oregon Hill, Egger said the business has outgrown its familiar roots at 324 S. Pine St. and that he is excited about relocating. The store is moving to 300 E. Grace St. in downtown Richmond. The store will continue to sell records in Oregon Hill through Sunday, and Egger is aiming to settle in the new building by June 3, he said. Making the decision to move was a bittersweet one for Egger, who’s resided in the neighborhood for years since taking over the store in 2012. He even lived in a residential space above the retail store at one point. “It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make,” he said. “I have a lot of attachment to that space, but I’m really excited to show everybody what the new space looks like.”

Where to Buy Vinyl Records Online or in Person: The best way to support your favorite musicians is by going straight to the source. I usually decide what record I want when a familiar song comes on Spotify. That would be great to grab on vinyl, I think to myself. But these days, I don’t buy ’em right away on Amazon. As a local musician who has put out vinyl (in very limited quantities), I’ve come to realize there are ethics when it comes to buying physical music—it’s best to ensure your favorite musicians are seeing as high a cut from your purchase as possible. …This might be obvious, but the best place to check first is your local record store. Vinyl is a physical medium where music has been pressed into literal plastic, so the best way to ensure you’re getting a quality record that’s clean and without damage is to shop in person.

Dubai, UAE | New book traces Egypt’s cassette culture: In an age where online music streaming dominates, American historian Andrew Simon is old-school. His office is lined with books, a retro boombox, and an impressive archive of cassettes, bought from his forays into Egyptian kiosks. Their content is varied; ranging from Madonna’s Eighties hits to former President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s political speeches. The Dartmouth College professor, who specializes in Middle Eastern studies, has released a new book — “Media of the Masses” — examining diverse cassette culture in modern Egypt, a pioneer of cultural production in the Arab world. The author hopes his book will be translated into Arabic and intends to digitize his collection for public usage. “Anyone in the Middle East, or outside of it, will be able to listen to the tapes,” he said. “The audio quality is not as bad as you might expect. It feels less filtered, more raw and grainy.”

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In rotation: 5/16/22

Muncie, IN | The final verse: Village Green Records owner says goodbye to the Muncie community: “I think every city in America should have a record store,” Travis Harvey, owner of Village Green Records (VGR) said. Harvey started out as a business associate to the record store in 2006, but slowly found himself imagining what the store could be – which consisted of five or six crates of classic records at the time. “I had a sort of different kind of vision for the store,” Harvey said. “There were definitely qualities about it that I wanted to carry over, but that [also included] affordable records, kind of quirky stuff and hosting shows.” The five to six crates of classics has morphed into a home filled floor to ceiling in albums, records, and compact discs over the last 10 years. Not only is the house covered in music, but it exudes the feeling of music as well.

Los Angeles, CA | No Faking the Funk: Orange County’s Funk Freaks Keeps it Real: Sometimes music brings people together or saves them in unimaginable ways. For others, it evokes sentiment as a reminder of family and culture. For the Funk Freaks, a DJ collective and record shop based out of Santa Ana, funk music encompasses it all. Funk is a part of Orange County Chicanx culture, explains Funk Freaks founding member Ivan Marquez. He tapped into funk music from older siblings, and it echoed from neighbors’ homes, kickbacks and family gatherings. His younger brother, Robert Marquez or “Luer” affirms that the music, lifestyle and challenges are wrapped into appreciation and respect. Funk Freaks is a crew recognized internationally with chapters even in Europe, but more locally, the DJs welcome fellow crate diggers to their shop, Funk Freaks Records in Santa Ana. Rows of records are displayed next to men’s branded apparel and a women’s boutique a few doors down. On top of the record store, the crew also throws their seminal vinyl parties. The crew has a lot of projects in the works, but it all began simply, at a party.

Lansing, MI | Spaces & Places: Michigan’s female-owned, all-vinyl record shop, The Record Lounge: Michigan’s only female-owned record store is going from strength-to-strength. Now both a physical store in Lansing and an online shop, The Record Lounge has seen a boom in vinyl sales in recent years. DeWitt resident and owner of The Record Lounge, Heather Frarey opened the store in 2008. She started out in the now-defunct local record shop Michigan WhereHouse Records in 1979, where she worked while in high school. The Record Lounge is an all-vinyl shop with both new and used vinyl, posters, t-shirts, cassettes, vintage stereo equipment and local music and art. Specialising in collectable, new, used and rare vinyl, the music selection at The Record Lounge “graces every genre from the last 150 years of recorded sound.” Heather Frarey – who herself loves funk, soul, garage and psych – has always been into vinyl from a young age. “I grew up in the 70’s so my mom bought me a lot of 45s growing up,” she told Women In Vinyl. “When I got into Jr. High I bought my first album with my own money which was Van Halen‘s first LP.”

Cheshire, UK | Why Cheshire’s Manchester-themed music store is more than just a record shop: Proper Sound in Macclesfield is a haven for music lovers while offering a whole lot more. A popular Manchester-themed record shop in Cheshire has put its success down to being more than “a one trick pony”. Proper Sound in Macclesfield – recently visited by music legend Peter Hook – describes itself as a ‘concept store’ offering products and a service which is related to a specific theme. Lucy Wright, who runs the Chestergate premises, believes these types of venues are coming more into fashion and are the way forward for the high street, post Covid. As well as selling records, the store also has clothes and artwork available to purchase as well as its own bar and cafe – all linked to a Manchester music theme. For example, Proper Sound have ‘Hacienda Gin’ behind the bar and also serve their own musical-inspired cocktails. It’s also home to the town’s original mural of Ian Curtis from Joy Division in the courtyard, and even has an ‘Oasis Window’ where customers can interact with the window display, have their photograph taken and become part of the Definitely Maybe album cover.

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In rotation: 5/13/22

London, UK | Richard Prince’s record cover artwork featured in new pop up: Including his work for A Tribe Called Quest and Sonic Youth. American artist Richard Prince’s record cover artwork is featured in his new takeover of the Gagosian Shop in London’s Burlington Arcade. The shop includes Prince’s work for A Tribe Called Quest and Sonic Youth, as well as his series of custom 12” sleeves housing second hand records. The store also includes his books, posters, prints, and upcycled furniture, alongside a special selection from his Katz + Dogg line created in collaboration with Darren Romanelli. A grouping of High Times drawings (2019) will also be exhibited for the first time. The takeover coincides with the opening of Prince’s Hoods show at Gagosian’s West 21st Street gallery in NYC, which runs until the 25th June. As part of this year’s London Gallery Weekend, Gagosian is hosting a drinks reception at the shop, complete with a vinyl-only set from Kirollus, on Saturday 14th May from 4pm — 6pm. The shop takeover will run until May 28th.

London, UK | Inside the forgotten Piccadilly Circus Tower Records store that was once the coolest place to buy music: Many Londoners lost hours of their lives browsing the shelves at Tower Records. For many of us, a trip to Piccadilly Circus meant only one thing: a chance to head straight for the absolutely fabulous Aladdin’s cave that was Tower Records and spend hours lost in a daydream of sounds. The iconic store was a music-lovers paradise. The 25,000 square-foot flagship outlet at 1 Piccadilly Circus was jammed full of everything from the latest hits to the most obscure items from a barely known folk singer’s back catalogue. You could feast on vinyl LPs, rare seven-inch singles and hard-to-find box sets. There were sought-after posters and music videos, and rows and rows of cassettes – and later CDs. That’s not to mention the t-shirts, books and posters on offer. Depending on your taste in music this place meant the world to many people for different reasons. I can remember trawling the shelves and being dumbstruck when I uncovered an obscure cassette from a Scottish band’s back catalogue which I literally could not get anywhere else. Those moments of discovery really gave you a buzz.

Become a Vinyl Cutting Expert By Following These Useful Guidelines: …When deciding which type of vinyl cutting machine to purchase, it’s important to consider the size and quality of the machine. According to the incredible team at thebestvinylcutters.com, when choosing the right vinyl cutter, a good rule of thumb is to choose a machine that’s at least twice the width of the largest vinyl roll you plan to use. They also recommend considering a machine’s cutting speed and power, as well as its compatibility with your computer. On the other hand, a larger cutter is generally more suitable for creating large designs, while a smaller one can be used for more intricate and detailed work. Additionally, you should look for a vinyl cutter that produces high-quality cuts and has a good track record for reliability. If you want your vinyl cutter to last for many years, then it’s important to take care of it properly. First and foremost, you should always make sure to clean and lubricate the cutting blade after each use. Additionally, you should regularly check the machine for any signs of wear and tear.

Washington, DC | Home Rule Music Festival: Join us for amazing performances by Black Fire artist, Plunky & Oneness of JuJu, legendary progressive jazz artists Doug Carn and David Murray. The Home Rule Music Festival features the best Food Trucks, Craft Beverages, and a Record Fair with the finest local vinyl shops and record dealers. This year the festival gathers around the story and legacy of Black Fire Records, the legendary distribution service turned label, magazine, and cultural movement that served to define the soundtrack of 1970s DC. Guests will be able to purchase a limited-edition Festival Magazine that will include original reporting and vintage images. The Home Rule Music Festival will end with a screening of a new Documentary Short Film on Black Fire Records. The mission of the festival is simple: to promote, support, and preserve DC music and film through performance, education, and advocacy.

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In rotation: 5/12/22

Nashville, TN | Sources: The Ernest Tubb Record Shop to Reopen: …over the past few days, the previous owner, David McCormick, and people close to him have been signaling that hope springs eternal, and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop will be opening its doors once again, and soon. While commenting on an article here at Saving Country Music on Sunday, May 8th, David McCormick said, “Too bad there are those out there who want to make up lies with their opinion. On a lighter note, the record shop will be reopening.” Then On Monday (5-9), former Ernest Tubb Record Shop music buyer and recording musician Cliff Gerken said, “Hundreds of news articles…Thousands of fans…Multiple petitions…And wonderful people who love country music and prayed for it’s heritage… Great news! The Ernest Tubb Record Shop is not closing!! They will be reopening soon!! Details will be forthcoming!!”

San Antonio, TX | Hogwild Records celebrates 40 years at the center of San Antonio’s music scene: This year, Hogwild Records, the old-school record store off Main Street and Dewey, quietly celebrated its 40th anniversary on March 1. It is one of the oldest standing records stores in San Antonio, and a lot can happen in four decades. The shop has weathered the heavy metal and punk scenes of the early 1980’s, a high-profile court case, the transition to CD’s and MP3’s, a global pandemic, and the hipster-era record store Renaissance (which has since invited vinyl back into the mainstream). Miraculously, the inky purple building near San Antonio College is still going strong. Looking for an album or band T-shirt? Allow the grimacing hog logo to be your north star.

San Diego, CA | Convoy Music Bar Brings Vinyl Records and Craft Cocktails to Kearny Mesa: A sleek speakeasy opens Wednesday, May 11 in one of Kearny Mesa’s busiest dining complexes. Hidden away next to the latest Taco Stand location on Convoy Street — its entrance is accessed from the alley behind the strip mall — Convoy Music Bar is an intimate and elegant 40-seat space modeled after a Tokyo-style listening bar. It’s the creation of Showa Hospitality, the local hospitality group behind Himitsu, Showa Ramen, and the booming Taco Stand chain as well as upscale Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. Co-founder Julian Hakim says the bar was built to offer a high-quality sound paired with a high-end but relaxed cocktail experience. A set of Kenrick custom speakers from Japan will transmit the evening’s soundtracks from a vinyl collection curated by Showa’s Yuichiro Edamatsu and selected by different nightly DJs.

Bengaluru, IN | Inside Record Room, India’s first vinyl and craft beer bar: An exclusive peek inside the all-new Bengaluru space, which opens this Friday. One of the greatest personal rediscoveries—post the pause of the pandemic—has been the sensation of touch. It isn’t just that human contact was missed and desired, it was being able to freely touch the things around us for fear of infection. It’s been a thrill to hold mangoes again at a market and breathe them in this summer, to press against them to test for their ripeness and caress them to check their skin for colour and corruption. And it isn’t that technology doesn’t respond to our slightest touch, it’s that with physical objects, there’s a resistance, a materiality, and an insistence that it exists that counters our every touch. On the evening of our exclusive look at the Record Room—India’s first craft beer and vinyl bar located in the bustling heart of Bengaluru city, we had a similar feeling of rediscovery.

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In rotation: 5/11/22

Nashville, TN | Iconic Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Lower Broadway officially closes doors: After more than 70 years in business, a part of Music City’s history has closed a chapter. Ernest Tubb Record Shop announced earlier this year their building and business in Nashville has been sold. They opened the lower Broadway location in 1951. Owners say their goal has always been to preserve the history of the building, but circumstances out of their control has pushed them to sell the business and real estate. “We are heartbroken that the store, which has existed in its current location in the heart of lower Broadway since 1951, will close this Spring. Preserving the history and tradition of country music remains at the forefront of everything we do. We remain committed to preservation work and look forward to new projects that will allow us to continue to protect and nurture the invaluable history and tradition of country music.”

Muncie, IN | As closing date approaches, Village Green Records plans big final concert for Saturday: In advance of closing the doors of its iconic Muncie store permanently on May 21, Village Green Records will have a final concert on Saturday, May 14. The Ball State University campus-area record store is moving its operations to Montgomery, Ala., Village Green owner Travis Harvey announced earlier. …In addition to music on sale in the store, handmade clothing by BS Limited and food by the Food Vault Food truck will be available, according to an announcement. The store, which has sold new and used records since 2005, will continue to offer music through a subscription service to customers anywhere even while the physical store is moving, Harvey noted. And a current Village Green employee is looking into opening a new record store in Muncie.

Louisville, KY | Jack Harlow visits record shop in Louisville, promotes new album with fans: Rapper Jack Harlow, a Louisville native, visited a local record store in the Clifton neighborhood on Sunday. Guestroom Records on Frankfort Avenue hosted Harlow for an in-store appearance. Attendees were allowed to enter the store with the purchase of limited edition autographed CD of Harlow’s “Come Home the Kids Miss You” album. Inside the store, Harlow met with fans, taking selfies and signing memorabilia. More than 1,000 fans showed up. Evan Olinger is a huge Jack Harlow fan – showing his appreciation for the Louisville rapper through his art – a colored pencil drawing that took him 10 hours. “I would love to get it signed but if he wants it I would give it to him just because he is a huge inspiration to me and it would be really cool to have him own it,” said Olinger. The line wrapped around the store and went for several blocks as some people waited for more than 24 hours to have the chance to meet Harlow

Duluth, MN | Best Bets: Find something to do this weekend in the Northland: Pop up record shop. When you think of brunch, you’re probably more likely to envision circles of Canadian bacon than circles of black vinyl, but Pizza Luce — which knows a thing or two about flat circles — is bringing records to breakfast this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the downtown pizzeria is collaborating with Duluth’s Round Here Records to offer a pop-up record shop featuring new and used vinyl with plenty of local flavor. If you have some platters you’re looking to unload, you can also bring records to trade or sell. For details, see facebook.com/pizzaluceduluth.

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In rotation: 5/10/22

London, UK | London’s Rat Records Set to Close in June: Beloved London record store Rat Records is set to close on Saturday, June 18th. “It is with regret that we need to tell you that the Rat Records shop will close in the third week of June,” store owners wrote on their website. “After June, Tom [Fisher, the store’s record buyer] will continue buying as normal and will sell online and direct to the trade.” The Camberwell, U.K. store has made a name for itself as a hub for vinyl lovers to buy, sell and trade. The store specializes in second-hand releases with an emphasis on reggae, funk, soul and punk. Fisher began buying, selling, and trading them at a street market beginning in 1988. Since then, he estimates that he has sold over 850,000 used records. Philippe Giron, the store’s manager, is in charge of pricing the inventory brought in by Fisher. He is known for his tough bargaining process, having brought “seasoned record dealers to tears” according to Rat Records’ website.

Reading, UK | Reading record stores that were forced out by iconic Virgin Megastore: Competition between High Street music stores was fierce, with HMV and Our Price threatened by the entertainment retailing giants. Virgin Megastore was truly epic. The massive store was sprawled across the corner of Broad Street Mall, providing a magical haven for music lovers from across the town. While now a Metro Bank, this shiny, modern building, in Reading town centre, was once a must-visit spot – now most people walk past without a backwards glance. Next to it, Taco Bell, an American Mexican takeaway that was one of the first in the UK, can be found. Both of these services have undoubtedly been good additions to this part of Reading, but what they took over was far more exciting. The Virgin Megastore was a joyous visit for many ‘90s children. The huge superstore sold all things music-related, with the exception of instruments which were instead provided by Modern Music in the Broad Street Mall. They really optimised the Nineties CD boom, while also selling a great variety of heavy metal T-shirts and enormous posters of the bands of that time.

Chicago, IL | Chicago Vinyl Connection: Shop for records and listen to deep tracks from DJs at the Chicago Vinyl Connection, noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at Marz Community Brewing Co., 3630 S. Iron St., Chicago. Presented by Miyagi Records and South Rhodes Records, Chicago Vinyl Connection is a new record show with a mission from old — connecting discerning diggers of Chicagoland to the best records and to one another. Miyagi Records and South Rhodes Records have come together along with several other vendors and DJs offering thousands of new and vintage vinyl albums. Expect to find the classics you know and need, plus the genres and artists not typically available at record shows. The show will feature thousands of records, new and used, in all formats and genres, from local, independent record dealers like Miyagi Records, South Rhodes Records, A1 Records & CDs, Aadam Jacobs, Beverly Phono Mart, Groove Thang DJs, Jaytoo, Mississippi Records, and Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl.

San Antonio, TX | The 21 best San Antonio-area stores to shop for vinyl records: For music fans and obsessive collectors, nothing beats the thrill of scoring a rare album after a serious session of crate digging. Whether you’re scouring for hidden gems or looking to pick up that brand new release available in a beautiful marbled swirl, good thing San Antonio has got plenty of spots to help you with your vinyl fix.

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In rotation: 5/9/22

Here’s the Complete List of Record Store Day Exclusives for June’s RSD Drop: Titles from Nicki Minaj, MF DOOM, Voivod, Prince and more will hit the shelves next month. As a result of the ongoing production challenges the vinyl record industry presently faces, organizers of Record Store Day scheduled an “RSD Drop” date in June for titles that didn’t make it out of the pressing plant in time for the April event. Now, we have a clearer picture of the exclusives up for grabs next month. As previously reported, next month’s RSD Drop goes down June 18, packing shelves with a selection of titles that may have been announced for Record Store Day 2022, but were unable to be delivered in time for the special day.

Tokyo, JP | Music lovers may spend all day exploring this nine-floor Tower Records in Tokyo: Tower Records is a store, an experience, and sadly, something Generation Z in America will never experience. Unless they make a pilgrimage to Japan. Once an international powerhouse in retail music, Tower Records, founded in the United States in 1960, reached its zenith in the 1990s just as Gen Z was being born. Burdened with debt and besieged by competitors, Tower filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. in 2006. However, the Japan operation became independent in 2002 and today the landmark store in Tokyo is the flagship for more than 80 retail outlets. Its nine floors are worth any music lover spending an hour, an afternoon, or a day exploring. The store is just a short walk from Shibuya Station, across the famed Shibuya Scramble crossing. Step off the street past the “No Music, No Life” sign and into the first floor and you’ll find the newest music by the trendiest artists.

Burnsville, MN | Shop passes the Record Store Day test: The annual Record Store Day was Saturday, April 23, and Burnsville’s South Metro Music was prepared. Owner Kristian Marinello used online registration allowing 10 people in the store at a time. He scored 12 copies of a 7-inch single that RSD global ambassador Taylor Swift released just for the occasion. He was well-stocked with gaudily priced RSD exclusives past and present, such as the soundtrack from cult horror film “The Devil’s Rejects” pressed on orange and red-splattered vinyl. “We had more than 200 people in throughout the whole day,” said Marinello, who was experiencing his first Record Store Day as a shopkeeper. “I was expecting like 125, 150 maybe. But 200 was like, whoa. We did reservations instead of a big line. You’ve probably heard about Record Store Day lines. I hate waiting in line.”

Conception Bay South, NL | Flip Side: For the Love of Vinyl: Doug and Melisa Jones, operators of Flip Side Music + More and Record Fair NL, dive-in to their longtime passion & love of vinyl. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It has the innate ability to transport through time and space and to conjure up feelings we scarcely recall we had in us. But there it is, tucked away down deep, awoken by a sight, sound or smell. For many, music is a great binder, a changer and binder, an agent of togetherness. The vinyl record, for example, was the touchstone of a place and time that signalled the boom in musical innovation; the dawn of blues, the rise in heavy metal, birth of hip hop and emergence of the country music star. No longer is the vinyl record a figment of the past. No, the record is in, baby, and those in the know, know best that if you need that rare find or can’t miss hot product, you go to Flip Side.

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