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

In rotation: 2/1/24

NY | 18 top vinyl record store destinations in upstate New York: As the Baby Boomers will rightly recall, our lives changed when we bought our first record player and spent our chore money on records, both 45s and albums. Music freedom at last!! Vinyl records are huge right now. New ones are out there in big numbers, and at big prices. In fact, too big in my opinion. So, we settle for the used vinyl that we had, loved, through away, and now yearn for back. They are much cheaper than new vinyl re-issues, and are far more enjoyable to listen to, even with the errant pop, hiss, and dust moozy clogging things up a bit. Where just a few years ago a vinyl record store was a rare and much appreciated thing, today they are in almost every town, village, and shopping mall. In this gallery we find 18 great places to get your vinyl groove on.

Dundas, ON | Celebrated record store in Dundas closing doors after 45 years: Records on Wheels is scheduled to close on May 31. My record collection is something I take pride in, but it got off to a rough start. I was eight years old and a newbie Beatles fan when my dad landed home with a long-playing album that featured two of my favourites from the Fab Four — “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” I played that cherished LP over and over. Drove my family crazy. Many months later, a friend took a close look at the cover. “That’s not The Beatles,” he said. “It’s some group called ‘The Buggs.’ ” Sure enough, it was “The Buggs. With the Beetle beat … The original Liverpool sound. Recorded in England.” They were sound-alike pretenders, hiding behind misleading cover notes and a dimly-lit photo of four mop-topped band members. I’d been had. Talk about misspent youth.

UK | HMV profits jump thanks to vinyl revival: HMV’s profits have more than doubled after a boom in demand for vinyl records helped power a turnaround at the once-struggling retailer. Pre-tax profits at Sunrise Records & Entertainment, which owns HMV and the retailer Fopp, rose from £2m to £5.3m in the 12 months to May 2023, newly filed accounts show. Sales grew from £151m to £178m. Doug Putman, the Canadian businessman who owns the company, said: “Sales growth is representative of the continued revival of vinyl but also of our expanded pop-culture, anime and K-pop offerings, which have growing fan bases amongst younger audiences.” …Nearly six million vinyl records were sold last year, with albums from Harry Styles and Taylor Swift among the best-sellers. HMV has embraced vinyl and now claims it accounts for more than half of sales in the country in some weeks.

Long Beach, CA | VIP Records founder, who helped shape the West Coast music scene, dies at 82: Members of the music industry, especially local fans and artists, are mourning the loss of VIP Records founder Cletus Anderson — a visionary who helped shape the West Coast music scene and created the chain of shops that became a breeding ground for Long Beach’s musical talent. On Sunday, Jan. 28, surrounded by his children, his wife, family, and friends in his home in Mississippi, Cletus Anderson lost his battle with gallbladder cancer, passing away peacefully in his sleep at 82. Anderson opened the first VIP Records in 1967. In 1978, he opened the Long Beach location on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. He eventually sold that location to his brother, Kelvin Anderson Sr. By the 1990s, and with continued influence from Cletus Anderson, VIP Records became a haven for young people who wanted to escape the violence in the neighborhood by focusing on their musical talent.

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In rotation: 1/31/24

Nashville, TN | ‘It makes me really uncomfortable.’ Business reacts to bill allowing some guns in businesses who prohibit them: A proposed bill would restrict businesses from prohibiting guns. Currently, only a sign can prevent someone from walking into a business with a gun. But even that might not be enough for business owners to keep them and their customers safe. …Vinyl Tap in East Nashville said while employees can’t always prevent people from walking through its door, it can take steps to prevent trouble from arising. “I just feel the need to make it clear that we do not want those in here,” said Todd Hedrick, the bar and record store’s owner. He said he knows placing a sign restricting guns in the businesses may not stop people from bringing in guns. However, he said he has done everything to make sure people know they’re not allowed, or else they may be charged and fined. “It makes me really uncomfortable,” said Hedrick.

Redditch, UK | Redditch independent record shop counting down the days: There is just over a week to go until one of Redditch’s favourite independent shops closes its door for the final time on February 3. Located just off Church Green East, Vintage Trax record shop returned to the town centre in September 2020, amidst the Covid epidemic, after six years on Birchfield Road, Headless Cross. But despite the nationwide increase in sales of vinyl records, the past eight months have been challenging for the business that first appeared in Redditch with two pop-up shops in the Kingfisher Centre back in 2013. Owner Ros Sidaway said: “My bad fall at the end of May 2023 and subsequent time away from the shop to recover, rising overhead costs, the cost-of-living situation leading to a drop in footfall and sales, have all created a perfect storm that, try as I might, I can no longer navigate. “However, this is not the end of Vintage Trax…”

UK | Bruce Dickinson announces album signing appearances at five UK record shops: Want to have Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson sign your copy of The Mandrake Project, his first solo album in 19 years? Then try to keep some time free in early March. Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson is to undertake a series of album-signing sessions in UK record shops in early March. Dickinson will be signing physical copies of The Mandrake Project, his first solo album in 19 years, at five HMV stores on March 1, 2 and 3. The sessions will begin with a midnight signing at HMV Cardiff on March 1, and be followed by similar events in HMV stores in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester. The HMV website states: ‘Access to these events is limited. Pre-order the album + event entry bundle to secure your place (subject to availability, while stocks last).

Seattle, WA | There’s a huge record sale with tons of vinyl coming to Seattle this winter: If you love records, or collect them, there’s a show happening in March that you won’t want to miss. The Northwest Record Show is back in Seattle, bringing a lot of music-related collectibles to you! According to organizers, “at the Northwest Record Show, you will find tons of vinyl records, CDs, and other music-related collectibles for sale from dealers & stores from all over the PNW.” On March 3rd, you can expect over over 50 tables of records, LPs, 45s, CDs and music memorabilia at the Seattle Center Armory Food Court. As for genres, they include R&B, Funk, Jazz, Rock, Rockabilly, Blues, Country, Hip Hop, Folk, Bluegrass, Punk and more. There are no advance tickets for the Northwest Record Show, and admission will be taken at the door at $3. If your record collection is already overflowing, you’ll also be able to shop other collectibles.

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In rotation: 1/30/24

Vancouver, CA | How Sunrise Records became the last music chain standing: In today’s Big Story Podcast, most of the large record chains of the heyday of physical music are gone now. If the chains haven’t vanished entirely, most of their stores have, and the last few are disappearing one by one. But somehow, not Sunrise Records. In recent years, the chain has been expanding across Canada, buying up Canadian HMV outlets and now boasts more than 80 stores and hundreds of employees. Richard Trapunski is the digital editor at Billboard Canada. He wrote a piece for The Walrus about Sunrise Records and its ability to thrive in the streaming age. “A lot of the people who are still buying vinyl are not necessarily older people who still have their record player and are buying albums by the Beatles or classic rock bands. A lot of them are Gen Z and are young listeners,” said Trapunski.

Stroudsburg, PA | The Record Store: Veteran Owner Tells Us the Only Way to Collect: In this series launch, we’re profiling Main Street Jukebox in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. …An hour from my mountain home outside New York City, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania’s Main Street Juke Box is keeping the old-school independent record store tradition alive and proud, complete with store windows plastered with flyers for local events and faded classic album covers. Through the door and winding around the wide front counter, there are tall stacks of records (presumably to be filed), a collection of magnets, featuring both James Brown’s and Axl Rose’s mugshots, the counter’s front collaged with more classic covers, from The Stones’ Goats Head Soup to Popeye’s Songs About Health, Safety, Friendship & Manners. A red and black Public Enemy poster covers a mysterious back-room door. Under the cash register, a sign reads: “No refunds. All Sales final.

Decatur, GA | Decatur CD and Vinyl comes through in a pinch: …when my dad requested Dolly Parton’s Rockstar for his birthday earlier this month, I hopped online as usual to place it in my imaginary cart and go about my day. But I quickly encountered a problem: apparently, everyone else was excited about Parton’s foray into the world of rock -n- roll and the CD was sold out on every website I tried. It wasn’t until I was driving in downtown Decatur that it dawned on me to give Decatur CD and Vinyl a go. The store, stuffed to the brim with every compact disc and vinyl record you could imagine, opened in 2003 and has been a staple in the community ever since – even being featured in a New York Times article about Decatur as a place for trendsetters. I breathed a sigh of relief when the clerk told me they had two copies left and quickly bought the gift for my dad. “Thank God y’all are here, I couldn’t find this CD anywhere,” I remarked while checking out. “Next time, try us first,” responded the clerk with an all-knowing grin. Good advice – and good thing Decatur CD and Vinyl saved the (birth)day.

Winnipeg, CA | Vinyl score: Minimalist dream subsumed by newfound infatuation with LP records. Peter Dul was among the scores of music lovers who spun by the late, great Sound Exchange in November, to attend a clearance sale being staged at the one-time vinyl mecca. The Portage Avenue shop, which closed following the death of owner Jeff Bishop a few years ago, boasted close to 200,000 titles during its heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, when Bishop’s dad Tom, Sound Exchange’s founder, was in charge. Dul, the owner of Duly Records, a used-record store conspicuously situated inside an Ellice Avenue flea market, arrived there like everybody else, hoping to score a few hidden gems. The 55-year-old’s mindset began to change, however, when the parties responsible for the sale recognized him, and let him know that besides what could be seen on the main floor, there were tens of thousands more records and assorted treasures in the basement. “I’ll tell you what,” Dul announced after taking a closer look. “You guys finish what you’re doing up here and when the sale’s through, I’ll buy everything that’s left, including what’s downstairs.”

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In rotation: 1/29/24

To Stream Or To Own? What consumer trends tell us about the music industry: Each has their own unique benefits relative to your personal values. As the years go by, the decision between owning music and streaming music seems to be getting easier. The internet and streaming services have allowed leaps and bounds to be made towards the optimization of music consumption, discovery, sharing, and releasing. Many younger listeners have grown up in a world where they may have never seen a physical copy of an album, or possibly even heard a complete project front to back. There have always been ways to consume music without owning it. Radio stations have been broadcasting music to the masses for over 100 years, as one of the original ways to receive curated song recommendations at only the price of your playback system.

Valletta, MT | Valletta’s ‘Ancient’ Record Store Receives Copy Of Hungarian Novel Inspired By It: Valletta’s D’Amato Records store published a photo of a Hungarian young adult novel that was inspired by their store. The store which claims to be “The World’s Oldest Record Shop” were gifted a copy of the Hungarian book, authored by Zsolt Bernáth, and titled “The Record Store on Szent János Street.” The person who gifted the store a copy of the Hungarian novel shared a picture of shop owner William D’Amato smiling from ear to ear, book in hand, with a caption that said: “It is so exciting that William finally got a copy of the book that is basically about his shop and his family!” The novel, published in 2021, is about “an ancient record store” that hides secrets that Orsi, the story’s protagonist, thought only existed “in the legends of the Knights of Malta.”

If One Artist Dominates Vinyl Sales, Does That Still Mean The Industry Is Doing Well? It seems that every year a new modern-day vinyl sales record is being reported, which is a great sign for a music industry that could use more physical sales. The problem is, if one artist dominates those sales does that really mean that the vinyl industry is doing well? …Swift tallied almost 3.5 million vinyl album sales for the year, which is about 7% of the grand total. Not only that, “The top-selling vinyl album of 2023 was Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) with 1.014 million sold. That marks the largest yearly sales total for a vinyl album, and the first vinyl set to sell a million in a calendar year, since Luminate began tracking sales in 1991.” …The bottom line is that you have one artist who is skewing the sales numbers. Vinyl is still doing well and is a bright spot in the industry, but it might not be doing quite as well as we’re led to believe.

Muncie, IN | This “book club for music” fosters an environment that allows for connection and understanding: The chicking of a hi-hat, the thumping of a bass drum, the pattering of piano eyes and dreamy, soulful harmonizations overtook KC Kings’ senses as the lyrics of Solange’s “Rise” swam through her thoughts. The lyrics—hushed sonnets that build throughout the two-minute song—reverberate across the background instrumentals, amplifying and intensifying as the track continues to play. The song is the lead track off of Solange’s record-breaking 2016 album “A Seat at the Table.” Its theme explores Solange’s identity and intermingles with messages of empowerment. Its contemporary R&B sound drew King, a fourth-year music media production major, in and helped foster her connection to music, which she hasn’t been able to shake. Music does this regularly, creating connections. Sharing that connection with others makes something deeply personal and important, as music speaks for us in ways we otherwise cannot.

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In rotation: 1/26/24

Isle of Wight, UK | Isle of Wight record shop owners on why records are important: In an age of digital media, with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music dominating the music distribution industry by giving users free access to almost all music out there, physical media is dying out. “…I think having a physical copy helps with focusing on the artist’s work fully, as you take time to choose listening, in comparison to having all musical genres from all-time at a second’s notice, on Spotify or another streaming service.” “Physical media, especially music pressed on vinyl, sounds different to digital music as it hasn’t been compressed during its production”, says Alex Lee. “Part of the fun of collecting records and CDs is the thrill of the chase, which is something you don’t get with digital media. “So much crafting goes into a record, from the music itself to the track listing and the artwork on the sleeve.”

Boulder, CO | Absolutely fabulous: Longmont record shop celebrates 15 years in BoCo: North Carolina native Doug Gaddy opened Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo in a tiny, spartan space in then-quiet North Boulder in 2009 with the help of his wife, Annie. The shop made fast fans, finding its niche by cleaning and grading every record it sells and boasting shelves full of vintage but near-mint, turntables, speakers and receivers. Doug and Annie weren’t in that location for long. “The fire department came by to inspect that building every four or five months, because it should have been condemned. I couldn’t wait to get out of there,” Gaddy says. “It was part of a remnant of an entire world that existed in North Boulder when it was a home for the disaffected, disadvantaged and disgruntled. I was there in the last days of that.” Absolute Vinyl—currently celebrating its 15th year in business—was only in that original location for a little under two years before moving to a larger storefront on Arapahoe Avenue near 55th Street.

RI | 9 Must-Visit Record Shops to Scratch Your Musical Itch: From Providence to Wakefield, these RI record shops offer a diverse selection of music. The tradition of record collecting has seen a recent revival, and it’s no secret. Vinyl tantalizes with the lure of nostalgia, from flipping through the colorful album art looking for an old favorite to the vintage sound of the record spinning on the turntable. Record stores thrive by delivering quality analog products and fostering a sense of community, ensuring that the timeless ritual of vinyl collecting persists in the digital age. From the lively streets of Providence to the welcoming storefronts of Newport, local record shops act as guardians of a rich musical history. They invite everyone to explore and enjoy vinyl (often also stocking cassettes, CDs, and other memorabilia of a bygone era), while boasting a diverse range of music genres from indie rock to jazz and beyond, inviting locals and tourists alike to discover new music and reconnect with beloved classics.

Otago, NZ | Store owner seeks to share his passion for music: Record store Threes and Sevens Records owner Jordan Cossill says he is not too fazed by JB Hi Fi’s Invercargill store opening. He said he was a rookie on the Invercargill retail music scene, but refused to let the launch of the home entertainment retail chain throw shade on his bright business plans and Invercargill’s music community. “It’s mildly concerning for me, they are a huge corporate business with massive buying power … ” he said. He hoped the differences between his boutique record store and the retail giant would be enough to maintain an interest in his store and engage new customers. “I’m trying to create something where you have an experience, something that has a bit more of the vibe and that’s the key. As a full-time musician, Mr Cossill believed his business allowed him to share his passion for music with others in the community.

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In rotation: 1/25/24

Global Vinyl Record Market on a Resurgence, Expected to Reach $2.8 Billion by 2028: The global vinyl record market, which reached a size of US$1.7 billion in 2022, is poised for substantial growth in the coming years according to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering, with an anticipated market size of US$2.8 billion by 2028. This growth is expected to be characterized by a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% during the forecast period spanning from 2023 to 2028. A vinyl record, also known as a phonograph record, is an analog sound storage device made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. These discs may have a core composed of metal, resin, cardboard, or glass, and they contain grooves with modulated sound information. Vinyl records are experiencing a resurgence in popularity among both music collectors and artists, making them a cherished medium for music production.

UK | Key Production CEO Karen Emanuel talks physical music trends for 2024: With sales growth continuing for vinyl and even CD seeing a rise in sales revenue in the past year, there’s a positive mood in the physical sector for the year ahead. The BPI reported that vinyl LP sales increased for the 16th consecutive year in 2023, growing at their fastest rate this decade with an 11.8% rise to 6.1 million units. Meanwhile, the annual rate of decline for CD slowed to its lowest level since 2015, dropping by 6.9% to 10.8 million units. In revenue terms, there was even better news for CD, with ERA reporting the first year-on-year increase in sales for the first time in 20 years. Karen Emanuel is the CEO and founder of Key Production Group, a leading manufacturer for vinyl pressing, design and packaging. Founded in 1990, the company has been at the forefront of manufacturing vinyl, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and bespoke products for the music industry. Here, she offers up her top predictions on what to expect from the vinyl market and other physical releases in 2024.

Lubbock, TX | Lubbock record store said physical copies are always in as streaming services increase: Ralph’s Records has been serving the Lubbock community for 44 years despite streaming services’ massive numbers and big stores doing away with physical media. Doug Stapp, Ralph’s Records owner, said he is certain of one thing when it comes to all the years of experience, “People want a physical product. Kids will use Spotify and iTunes, etcetera, to listen to music, to bands, if they fall in love with it, they want to own it.” Stapp explained why having a physical copy of things such as records, CDs and DVDs is important for the community. “A lot of them do, as I did when I was a kid, loan it out to your friends. You know, you got to listen to this,” Stapp said. “And now a lot of a lot of people use them as art and many, many things. But they want the physical product. It’s much, much cooler holding a record in your hand than staring at your phone screen.”

Gulou, CN | Turn on the Turntables, Bring Your Own Vinyl is Back in Gulou! The Factory is opening up its turntables this weekend, allowing anyone with a record collection – be it one, two, or 50 records – to share their favorite tunes with the masses as part of Bring Your Own Vinyl (BYOV). Zak Elmasri, native Beijinger DJ Wild Wata, and Brooklyn born ADDJ began hosting the event way back in Jan 2020 just before Covid hit, after Wata brought the event from the US. The event has been hosted in different venues but now finds its resident home at the Factory. In an age where we can just tap on our phones to open an app and listen to any kind of music (depending on where you are, that is) and skip back and forth, play on repeat, mix and match, listening to vinyl records played on a turntable is almost a means of taking a step back. Add a bit of age to that record that’s spinning and you get the sound of that age, a few scratches and mixing and that’s another layer to the experience.

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In rotation: 1/24/24

WVA | Small businesses say need for customers is greater during winter weather: Cheap Thrills Records and Bee Noodle’d encourage people to shop local during the cold part of the year. Cold temperatures and snow may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but small businesses have another reason to dread winter weather. Cheap Thrills Records, a record store in Mercer County, says snow days can often mean slow days for sales. The store relies on their loyal customers coming in on the warmer days to keep things running smoothly. “…It helps out because, you know, you get corporate places that… don’t really have problems and you get people that are more independent. You really need the customers to make that work…” says Jonathan Fralick a cashier for Cheap Thrills Records. Fralick says they were able to stay open during the snow days, but not every business has that ability.

Chicago, IL | The 20 Best Record Stores in Chicago Right Now: The vinyl revival isn’t going anywhere. Here’s where to build your collection. Last year, revenues from physical music, a category that includes vinyl and CDs, reached its highest levels since 2013, with vinyl accounting for 72% of the pie. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl sales in the first half of 2023 were a whopping $632 million. If you’re one of the many, many people still buying physical music, there’s no greater joy than a record store. Whether you’re new to vinyl or an old wax head, a fundamental part of the experience is browsing the stacks and seeing what creeps into your hands. The fingers and eyes dance together, seeing, feeling and flipping. It’s mindfulness in the music. And once you get the collecting bug, the hunt really begins. Lists will pile up and it’ll become harder and harder to walk past a record shop without sneaking in to check for your must-haves.

Portland, OR | Portland’s Too Many Records Goes Brick & Mortar To YouTube Leaders: The places your passions can take you are endless. As music fans, we have heard some of the most awe-inspiring tales pave roads of gold for some of the most acclaimed artists of our time. No one’s story is perfect and art gives these unperfect moments a platform to reach out and grab people with similar feelings, bringing everyone closer in their confusion. Record collecting has its own art to it and Matt from Too Many Records has stretched this art form to its furthest dimensions and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. The vinyl enthusiast has taken his love from the medium and created a successful YouTube page dedicated to all things vinyl, a page he has flipped into a record label and now, a storefront in Portland. Too Many Records has come full circle to now building its own brick-and-mortar experience inspired by the passion that launched the YouTube page a decade ago in 2014.

HK | ‘Part of this big vinyl revival’: DJ new to Hong Kong who helped take city’s party scene up a notch opens a record store to share rare grooves: Bad Times Records was born from a love for vinyl records and a desire to share the diversity and versatility of music in Hong Kong. The origin story of the store—newly opened in shopping destination Heath in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon—goes back to 2019, when co-owner Ani Phoebe Hao arrived in Hong Kong as a DJ. Unable to find the type of musical community she was looking for, she opened a shop that is, she says, “closely tied to the music I like”. “I’m interested in playing real diggers and stuff that people don’t know – the more obscure and left field side of electronic music and a lot of older music [going back to] the 1970s.” Before beginning her Hong Kong chapter, Hao spent six years in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she got into music. “It’s inseparable from Brazilian culture and identity—they use music in socialising, community-building and bonding ways.”

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In rotation: 1/23/24

Danville, IL | Seven Point cannabis dispensary to also sell vinyl records: As construction continues on Seven Point Danville Cannabis Dispensary, CEO Brad Zerman says the design of the dispensary will make it a first of its kind cannabis and vinyl record shop. “We’re planning on inviting record stores to participate in like a record exchange,” Zerman said. The dispensary would sell new records, but people and stores could bring in used records too, he said. “We’ll see. We have to get that together,” Zerman said. Zerman says he’ll be bringing in some of his own music, rock-n-roll memorabilia too, to have on display in an area in the dispensary, kind of like a Hard Rock Cafe. He said he will be bringing in items such as signed guitars from Pearl Jam, a U2 signed leather jacket and Rage Against the Machine signed cymbal. “We’re working on some things to bring other music companies into the fray, however they participate, whether it’s a venue or merch from a venue or merch from something in Chicago or Indy. We’re working on stuff, but we need to get open and show how cool the whole vibe’s going to be in here,” Zerman said.

Cambridge, UK | Much-loved café and record shop on Mill Road for sale with £145k asking price: This shop is rated an average of 4.5 out of five by both Google and Tripadvisor reviewers. A popular Cambridge café with a basement full of records for sale is on the market for £145,000. Relevant Records on Mill Road was opened by husband and wife Andy and Angie Powell in 2014. Since then, it has become a go-to spot for music and coffee lovers, gaining an average rating of 4.5 out of five by 908 Google reviewers and 4.5, and the same by 168 Tripadvisor reviewers. One Google reviewer described: “A really lovely café with a nice, lively atmosphere and fantastic food.” The business also grew into an online vinyl shop during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this will be included for the buyer. Relevant Records is being sold on a leasehold basis by Intelligent. The lease would be until October 2024, but Intelligent explains that the landlord will be ‘flexible’ for the right buyer. The listing describes an annual turnover of £572,826 and an annual net profit of £73,881. The business currently has 18 members of staff.

London, UK | The best hi-fi bars to check out in London: From moody cocktail bars to hidden gems in the heart of the city, we’ve put together a list of all the best London listening bars flaunting high-quality soundsystems. London is famous for its bountiful pubs, but in recent years, there’s another type of watering hole gaining traction in the city. With the disheartening decline of live venues and clubs in the UK and a fair bit of turbulence among the government over grassroots music funding, many of us are being drawn to hi-fi bars. These headsy institutions serve up a different type of musical experience, ushering in vinyl lovers and audiophiles for a late-night pint backed by a decent soundtrack. Also referred to as listening bars, there’s been a variety of these nightspots coming and going in London over the years, but in the past 24 months they’ve been notably trending upwards. A strong selection of new venues have popped up in the capital, catering for changing nightlife habits and a love for high-fidelity audio.

Dayton, OH | Dayton Record Fair returns with new venue, free admission: Luke Tandy, organizer of the Dayton Record Fair, has announced big changes to his annual event, including a new venue and free admission. The Fair will be noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 at Eudora Brewing Company in Kettering. Tandy said he wanted to try something different this year and host the record fair at a venue with amenities such as food and drinks. In previous years, the record fair was hosted at the American Czechoslovakian Club and the Yellow Cab Tavern. With this venue change, he’s also exploring hosting the record fair outside of Dayton. Attendees can expect thousands of new and used records, CDs, tapes and music memorabilia. There will also be DJs spinning records throughout the day. Tandy is the owner of Skeleton Dust Records in Dayton, who is a co-sponsor of this event. Other co-sponsors include Omega Music in Dayton, Resignation Records in Troy, Blind Rage Records in Dayton and Catacomb Records in Kettering.

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In rotation: 1/22/24

State College, PA | Algorithms Can’t Match the Record Store Experience: …The best part of the old record store was the experience. Sometimes you went in there with a specific album in mind—like when a new U2 album was released and we were there to watch them take the albums out of the box they were shipped in. Or the goal was a multi-year quest for the rare Led Zeppelin B-side “Hey, Hey What Can I Do” that was finally found in a used record store in New Orleans. Other times you’d go to your favorite store just to hang out and perhaps discover something new. The clerk would have new tracks spinning on the turntable, and you’d listen as you perused the aisles of new and used records. Sometimes they’d ask “Have you heard the new album by…?” and play it on the turntable behind the counter. That was part of the experience.

London, UK | HMV is planning to shake up retail with Oxford Street comeback: Everybody loves a comeback story, and it is good news for music and pop culture lovers as HMV reopened its flagship store on London’s iconic Oxford Street at the end of last year. After a four-year absence, the return to 363 Oxford Street is a full-circle moment as it was also home to the very first HMV store back in 1921. Customers can expect the location to become a hub for entertainment in the capital and the largest entertainment outlet in London offering an unparalleled range of music, film, merchandise and technology products as well as performance spaces. Nevertheless, the new store signals a dramatic turnaround under Canadian owner Doug Putman, who took the reins back in 2019. “Having the store there and open is great and the excitement around the business that its generated,” HMV Managing Director Phil Halliday told indy100. “Whenever I speak to people outside of work or wherever it really seems to mean something to people that we’ve reopened on Oxford Street and in that store.”

New Kensington, PA | New Kensington record store owner buys out Allentown shop, opening 2nd storefront: As more big retailers stop carrying physical media, and more people find limitations to streaming, New Kensington record store owner A.J. Rassau believes there will be more demand for what he offers. That’s his hope, at least. And after investing a half-million dollars to take in more than 100,000 vinyl records and more than 100,000 compact discs, he’d better be right. It took four tractor-trailers to bring all that music to New Kensington from Allentown, where Rassau, 38, bought out the inventory of Double Decker Records, which closed in December after being in business for nearly 30 years. “It took every dollar to my name, plus a lot of loans,” Rassau said. Without enough retail space at his shop, Preserving, in the former Salvation Army building on 11th Street, Rassau is opening a second storefront nearby on Fifth Avenue.

Östersund, SE | Vinylen appeared—the record store opened in Stortorget: After leaving his old job, due to old age, Ulf Grinder knew what he wanted to do. To create something that Östersund lacked. Vinyl shop like the old days, but in a modern style. This is something Östersund has not had for many years. It’s the kind of store that’s needed in the city, where you can walk in and experience not just browsing through the registers, but also spending some time, talking a little, and feeling the vibe. The feeling should be a little different than when you walk into a store and there are only ramps, says Ulf Grinder. The store in Stortorget feels more open than many other vinyl stores. The small room is filled with natural light, it’s not cramped and it feels like there’s real thought behind the design of the room. Queen, Status Quo, ELO, David Bowie and Bob Dylan are just some of the famous names lining the walls. He bought the records from three unnamed sellers. Now in the startup phase, I drive used, but the goal is to also drive new. “I’m going to try to work as broadly as possible with this record store,” says Ulf.

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In rotation: 1/19/24

Lakewood, CO | Lakewood record store hit by suspected drunk driver, forcing owners out: Chain Reaction, a popular Lakewood record store, was left picking up the pieces after a suspected drunk driver crashed into the store early Saturday morning. It happened Saturday morning around 1:30 a.m. when the driver traveled off of West Colfax Avenue, hitting a light pole and street sign before ramming into the store. Then he fled. Investigators followed tire tracks that led away from the scene to West Estes Street and West 20th Avenue, a residential area. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the damages to Chain Reaction are devastating. “It was crushing. The first thing you think is like, this is it, we’re done,” co-owner Josh Lent said. “This is our 10th year — we should be celebrating at that point. The business is more financially stable and you’re thinking about growth and the future, but I was like, that’s it. End game. Over.” But he changed his mind quickly about closing.

Poughkeepsie, NY | Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie set for big birthday celebration: The popular record store will celebrate its 13th year with a big birthday bash. Darkside Records first opened its doors on Jan. 15, 2011 at their first location on Main Street in Poughkeepsie. I remember it well, being so excited that we were actually getting a record store in town. The location on Main Street was there for 5 years, before they relocated to their current location at 611 Dutchess Tpke on Jan. 15, 2016. I’ve always liked how they have hosted artists for meet and greet events at Darkside Records. Back on June 1, 2013, Tom Keifer from Cinderella came through the area for a show at The Chance and Darkside had him by the store signing copies of his critically acclaimed debut solo album The Way Life Goes. Another highlight for me at Darkside Records was getting to meet John Waite back in September of 2017. He came by for a meet and greet and intimate performance with his band. I had always been a fan of John Waite from his work with The Baby’s to Bad English and of course his solo career.

MI | Michigan’s record shops sure ain’t what they used to be: Record stores just ain’t what they used to be…not in Michigan, anyway. Back many decades ago, especially in the pre-Beatle era, anyone could go into a record store and listen to a record before buying it. You would pick out a record, the store clerk would open it and place it on a turntable, while you went inside a ‘listening booth’, put on headphones (or listen thru a speaker) and decide whether or not you wanted to buy it. If not, the clerk would re-seal the record and put it back on the shelf. This routine eventually petered out but later, there were shops where you could listen to a CD before buying. Nowadays, just listen online. The old record stores had record album covers all over the place: on all the walls, the ceiling, countertops, and the rows and rows of shelving that contained literally thousands and thousand of vinyl lps. There are some of these shops still out there, but they are mostly used record shops.

Manchester, UK | Vinyl Destination: Rubber Ducky Records. With an ongoing cost-of-living crisis and post-pandemic era that sent shockwaves through small businesses, aspiring record store owners have been finding increasingly niche ways to offset the costs of traditional brick-and-mortar shops. One such spot is Rubber Ducky Records, a boat-based record store run by Myles Greenwood. Opening in October 2022, the appointment-based store has been serving its visitors with a fine selection of mostly secondhand electronic vinyl, all from the cosy confines of a canal-anchored boat. Unfortunately, last April, any boat owner’s worst nightmare became reality when Rubber Ducky sank on a journey to Manchester. In the following months, thanks to an online fundraiser and the support of the music community, Greenwood managed to restore the boat and its stock. Now back in action with a new location in Manchester, Rubber Ducky has returned to calm waters.

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In rotation: 1/18/24

Riverside, CA | The Penrose Record Room: IYKYK. Downtown Riverside’s newest musical haven is here to stay. …Rooted in Riverside history, the Penrose Record Room is co-owned by Gabe Roth and Matt Beld, both of whom have their roots settled in this city. While the shop officially opened its doors at the end of Oct. 2023, its conception has been a lifetime in the making. Roth and Beld, two lifelong friends, musicians and record-collecting enthusiasts, agreed to go in on the business together after they considered how a record shop would support and promote both of Roth’s independent record labels, Daptone Records and its daughter-label, Penrose Records. Both Daptone and Penrose produce funk music and soulful sounds, with Penrose essentially pioneering the Southern California souldies scene that is distinctly sentimental to Riverside locals.

Longmont, CO | The Vinyl Cafe brings more music to downtown Longmont: At The Vinyl Cafe, Longmont’s newest record store, owner Martin Banks wants music and community to go hand in hand. Banks’ store at 716 Main St. aims to have something for all tastes. The nearly 4,000 albums sit in colorful stacks grouped by styles, including ‘60s pop, country, reggae, classical, funk, soul and many more. The collection is true to the store’s slogan: “every genre, every era.” “Almost every section we’ve got in here, I love a lot of it,” Banks said. “People come in and ask for the most obscure things, and you need to know most of them.” Originally from Birmingham, England, Banks moved to Longmont in 2022. He cited “The Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails as a formative moment in his musical journey, since it was the first physical piece of music he bought at 14. “From then on, my collection just grew and grew,” Banks said.

Taylor Swift sets staggering vinyl sale record: Taylor Swift dominated vinyl sales in the US last year, with the pop superstar accounting for one in every 15 sales. That made 2023 the third straight year that Swift was the top-selling act on vinyl. In 2022, one out of every 25 vinyl albums sold was by Swift. According to reports in Billboard, last year 49.61 million vinyl albums were sold in the US, an increase of 14.2% from 2022 when 43.46 million were sold. Of all the records sold in 2023, 3.484 million were by Swift – 7% of the industry’s total. The next biggest seller was Lana Del Rey, with 646,000 copies sold. Then came Tyler, the Creator (552,000), Travis Scott (474,000), Olivia Rodrigo (408,000), Kendrick Lamar (382,000), Metallica (378,000), The Beatles (373,000), Fleetwood Mac (357,000) and Mac Miller (354,000). Vinyl sales made up 47.1% of all album sales in the US last year, and 57% of all physical albums sold.

Greenville, SC | Horizon Records: Iconic Greenville music shop offers thrill of discovery: As Horizon Records approaches its 50th year in business, I asked founder and owner Gene Berger what he has learned over the time he’s been in business. “I’m really old,” he quipped. “When I started out, we were selling 8-tracks and LPs. Then we had cassettes and CDs, and now into the vinyl record renaissance era. The return of the physical medium of the LP record has saved the indie retail music store industry, period. It’s gargantuan.” Berger says that the holiday season was busy for the store, beginning with Black Friday, which was “gargantuan,” he says. …“What’s the reason someone would come to your shop? It doesn’t matter if you’re selling books, artwork, fishing gear, plants or whatever things people care about and shop for,” he says. “People will visit because it’s exciting and interesting, the experience is good and there’s a really passionate curation of product mix. That’s the front line and most important advertisement there is.”

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In rotation: 1/17/24

VN | Vietnamese vinyl vendors that any music aficionado needs to visit: You might think that the 12″ record is a thing of the past, but it’s having a major resurgence with more and more looking to get their hands on a physical copy of their favorite album of all time. When I am not writing about the ever-blossoming travel industry, I spend my spare time trawling through YouTube channels and forums in search of the perfect soundtrack for any moment. On a recent trip to Vietnam, I got the opportunity to combine the two and head out on the back of a motorbike (with a helmet of course) to some of the best-kept secrets in the ‘land of the ascending dragon’. So if you’re headed to Vietnam, or have a client with an eclectic ear, here are my top recommendations on where to find some music that’s a little more off the beaten track.

Leesport, PA | Record Riot draws hundreds of vinyl and CD lovers to Leesport: From The Beatles to Blind Melon, music enthusiasts find their favorite artists. It was a lifetime ago when the Beatles played before a fanatic crowd of young Americans on the Ed Sullivan show, but watching that historic musical moment on television is something Quentin Black will never forgot. “I saw that and I was sold,” he said of the night his Beatles fanhood began. Now 67, Black continues to collect Beatles albums and singles on vinyl, which is why on Saturday the Hazleton man drove an hour to Leesport for an event he hoped would bring him new Beatles treasures. He and several hundred others attended the Record Riot at the Leesport Farmers Market, where there were dozens of tables manned by vendors selling albums, compact discs and music memorabilia. The event was staged by Record Riots, a New-Jersey based company that will hold 18 such events across the Northeast this year, said owner Stephen Gritzen.

Releasing records on vinyl is getting too expensive for indie musicians: A million years ago when I was in university and shopping for music at places like Krazy Kelly’s on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, I remember being shocked at seeing a new single album on sale for $10.99. Prices had been creeping upwards–$6.99, $7.99, $8.99–for the last few years but to see one selling for beyond ten bucks (about $30 in today’s money) and being outraged. Fast-forward to today and despite the continued rocketing popularity of vinyl, it’s never been more expensive. It’s almost impossible to find new vinyl for $30 today; we’re more likely to spend $40 and beyond. I’ve seen Tragically Hip albums in the bins priced at $70 dollars. Why? The usual excuses are trotted out. Supply chain issues. Lack of pressing plants to fulfill all the order. Superstar acts are commanding pressing schedules. But let’s not discount pure greed on behalf of labels. All of this is conspiring to hurt indie musicians who certainly could benefit from the margins realized by selling vinyl.

Luminate’s Decision Could Hurt the Vinyl Record Industry: Have you ever wondered how Billboard gets its data for its charts? They get it from a company called Luminate. Luminate is also responsible for reporting data on sales. Not just vinyl record sales but also streaming and digital media sales. Even radio airplay. It’s a big deal. What we’re concerned with is the reporting of vinyl sales, which has brought in over a billion dollars in revenue this past year, according to a recent Forbes article. A billion in revenue. A billion. It’s great news for vinyl records. Luminate has always been responsible for delivering that great news. When you hear good news like that, it gets attention. It helps bring about more sales. If you hear a market is healthy and bringing in revenue, more folks will jump on it. Both sellers and buyers. So, bring on the good news. However, Luminate reported a couple months ago that it is changing how it reports this data. It’s a big deal. And not in a good way.

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In rotation: 1/16/24

Guildford, UK | How Ben’s records got the ‘winning formula’ to selling vinyl: One record shop owner spills the secret to Guildford’s most sought after tunes. If you know about music in Guildford, there is no doubt you will know about Ben’s Collector’s Records. It has been a pivotal part of the town’s music scene since 1993, and is still going strong. With vinyl back in the mainstream, SurreyLive had a chat with the shop’s owner to see what Guildford was dancing to. Inside the shop it is a maze of records, CDs and cassette tapes, all piled high and ready to rifle through. Ben Darnton who owns the store believes this kind of ordered disorder is what keeps people coming back. He said: “People like coming in for a dig, they say ‘I don’t know what I’m gonna find next.’” They could find anything, the Tunsgate shop sells a complete assortment of music styles including classical and jazz . With so much to choose from, the clientele is as eclectic as the stock, and growing all the time.

Nottingham, UK | ‘Quirky’ vinyl and clothing store opens in Nottingham city centre: The St James Street shop has a huge range of clothing items and records. A new ‘quirky’ shop filled with vinyl records, clothes, and vintage pieces has opened in Nottingham. Fac1968 is the latest shop to open on St James Street, in the city centre. Since opening their doors on November 9, last year, owner Gary Prail and his partner Cheryl Marshall say they have had a ‘wonderful’ first couple of months of trading. The couple shared that their main focus was to make a ‘comfortable’ environment for customers to shop in. With upbeat music playing in the background, unique artwork on the walls, bursts of colour, and different decorative pieces, the couple have created quite a ‘quirky’ space. “[It’s been received] incredibly positively. The amount of people who come in and say ‘we love the shop’ has been beautiful,” said Gary, who is from West Bridgford. The 55-year-old continued: “They comment on loads of things. It’s been a positive reaction so it’s been great.”

IE | A guide to Ireland’s record stores: Crate-digging spots across Ireland. We travel to Ireland to highlight the best record stores out in the community selling new and used vinyl for all tastes, from record megastores to the “smallest record shop in Ireland.” All City Records Address: 4 Crow Street, Dublin, Ireland D02 AF84. Nestled in Dublin’s tourist centre of Temple Bar, All City Records is home to one of Ireland’s most comprehensive hip-hop and electronic offerings. Operating since 2001, All City boasts its own label and series of sub-labels including Arís, Jheri Tracks and First Second Label. A hub for local DJs, graffiti artists and vinyl enthusiasts.

South Surrey, BC | Vinyl Vibes to close after owner faced with $4,300 rent increase: Adrian Clements says he’ll pivot to online auctions after rent increase of 172 per cent. A local record store is closing after the owner faced an astronomical rent increase. Vinyl Vibes, a staple on 176th for more than eight years, is closing near the end of January because of a $4,300 increase in rent. Owner Adrian Clements said t0 sign his new lease, he had to agree to a 172 per cent increase. He was paying $2,500 a month and was notified at the beginning of December his rent would increase to $6,800 per month. “The lease came up and the landlord wanted to almost triple the rent,” Clements said. “They said it was way below market value.” Clements explained that he doesn’t even make that in a month and can’t possibly pay it. As such he’s shutting down the record shop sometime around Jan. 26. “I was prepared to go up to $4,500, but they wanted more.”

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In rotation: 1/12/24

Las Vegas, NV | Analog Dope Store in Arts District bringing Las Vegas community together: Couple Rachelle and Charlie Luster are making their mark in the Las Vegas Arts District. As musicians, they’re sharing their love for creativity and culture by operating the Analog Dope Store, offering a curated selection of books and vinyl selections. “Historically in this country going back to slavery, Black people were not allowed to read. We had to sneak in and find spaces to read and learn how to read from each other. So these spaces became underground libraries where people would gather,” Charlie said. “We wanted to carry on that legacy and we pay homage to that during Black History Month with an event that we do called Roses and we educate about the lineage of Black bookstores in America.” The shop first opened in 2022 and Rachelle said the Analog Dope Store is more than just a bookstore, it was born from the wants and needs of our community.

Rome, IT | These Top Record Stores In Rome for Vinyl Collectors Will Transport You To Another World: Among my favorite things about Rome is that many thriving subcultures lie beneath the city’s historic façade. One subculture will transport you to another world – the world of vinyl records. Whether you are looking for rare gems, classic albums, or new releases, you will find them in the many record stores that dot the Eternal City. Here are some of the best places in Rome to satisfy your vinyl cravings and discover new sounds. Transmission: Transmission is the spot to be if you enjoy experimental, indie, or alternative music. In this bright and inviting storefront close to Piazza Navona, you can find a handpicked assortment of CDs, books, posters, and vinyl records from indie artists. Additionally, you can take in exhibitions by artists and musicians from all over the world, as well as live performances and DJ sets…

Newcastle, UK | Independent record store could have lost ‘up to 30 customers a day’ after broadband switch left phones dead: A Newcastle city centre independent record shop has been left in a spin after a phone mix-up led to the potential loss of up to 30 customers a day and ‘hundreds of pounds worth’ of business. Reflex, on Nun Street, has been serving music fans since 1999, but customer service ground to a halt between Christmas and New Year, when owner Alan Jordan arranged for his broadband to be switched from Plusnet to BT. The switch went according to plan – but his TalkTalk telephone line mysteriously went dead at the same time, meaning that up to 30 calls a day were going unheard. A week later, the business, which is famous in the city for the long queues forming outside every Record Store Day in April, is still without a phone line as BT and TalkTalk try to get to the bottom of the problem. ‘BT say they can’t do anything because the account is with TalkTalk and TalkTalk say they can’t help because the phone line has been disconnected by BT,’ Alan said.

Long Beach, CA | Take a spin with Record Store Meet Up: Record Store Meet Up invites residents to travel through SoCal cities every other month in search of their next best vinyl find. When someone enters a shop on the Record Store Meet Up tour, they are greeted with a sign, a button, a nametag and a warm welcome from club founder Crystal Martinez. They are then thrown into an at-your-own-pace browsing mingling session with fellow vinyl connoisseurs searching for their next prized find. …“It just makes me so happy when I see someone I haven’t seen before come to a meeting and to see people start talking to each other and making new friendships,” Martinez said. “That just makes me so happy because I love building community and supporting these small businesses and these record stores. They are so important.”

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In rotation: 1/11/24

Edmonds, WA | Edmonds record store now accepting used vinyl: A new record store, Musicology Co., will open next month in Edmonds at 420 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 107. “Though Edmonds boasts a vibrant arts scene, one element has been missing from our downtown core: a brick-and-mortar record shop,” said local musician Rachel Gardner of The Band LeLe. The store will sell new and used vinyl, CDs, and other music-related merchandise. It is now buying used vinyl. Gardner is behind the newest addition to downtown Edmonds retail, along with business partners Elizabeth Murray – also of The Band LeLe – Jason Murray, and Brian Gardner. Gardner has been involved in the music world her entire life: She was born in the back of a music store in Port Townsend. With two musician parents (and many other musicians in her family), she grew up in music shops, backstage at gigs, radio shows, and more.

Aberdeen, UK | Aberdeen record shop owner issues funding plea with business in ‘vast amounts’ of debt: Nick Duthie, owner of Red Robin Records on Correction Wynd, has started a GoFundMe campaign to help save the popular Aberdeen business which is at risk of closing. The owner of an Aberdeen record shop and cafe has issued a heartfelt plea to customers in a last-ditch effort to help it stay afloat. Nick Duthie, owner of Red Robin Records on Correction Wynd, has started a GoFundMe campaign after revealing that the popular north-east business was in ‘vast amounts’ of debt. Nick cited the oil industry downturn and the coronavirus pandemic as reasons for the business’s current situation. He first opened Red Robin Records in 2019 and says that he’s currently unsure of the business’s future beyond this month. The campaign, which has just been launched, is seeking to raise £100,000, with Nick saying that a ‘cash injection’ is sorely needed.

UK | UK music store defies odds by considering expansion: Physical music is on the comeback despite the continued growth of music streaming and could help regrow the high street. Iconic UK music retailer HMV are considering expansion. Following a fantastic year of growth in physical sales – aiding overall growth for UK music revenues – the high street is looking a little more appealing. The death of the high street for music has come from two directions. Firstly, digital music has taken over music consumption diminishing physical sales. Then online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have hindered the in-person shopping of high streets massively. So it’s especially good news that HMV’s Managing Director is discussing plans to expand their shops. The retailer already operates around 120 stores across the UK. The retailer survived its second large collapse in 2019 thanks to investment from Sunrise Records. Their considerations follow a great 2023 for physical music.

Glasgow, UK | Glasgow Record Shops: 14 of the best record shops to visit in Glasgow: Glasgow is a music city that takes it tunes very seriously with there being a wide range of great record shops to explore no matter the kind of genre you are searching for. The city has produced several huge acts such as Simple Minds, Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream, with some setting out on their musical discovery browsing through the racks of records stores in their younger days. Although vinyl records may have made a ‘comeback’ in recent years, the revival came too late for many shops with Glasgow having bid farewell to many great record shops which had been part of the city’s identity for years. So, whether you are looking to take shelter for the rain or are in search of an album you’ve not quite yet been able to get your hands on – here is a list of fourteen of the best record shops in Glasgow.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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