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

In rotation: 7/9/21

Warwick, NY | Record Store Day is Back at Original Vinyl Records: The Warwick shop is celebrating the RSD’s second drop on July 17 with free swag, giveaways, and more. Much to the excitement of vinyl-heads everywhere, Record Store Day, the beloved annual celebration of indie music retailers, has finally returned. Much like last year’s event, which was modified for the pandemic, this year’s event has been split into two separate “RSD Drops” days, the second of which is coming up next Saturday, July 17. And with the Hudson Valley’s recently eased restrictions, shops like Warwick’s Original Vinyl Records are welcoming Record Store Day devotees back in style. “Serious vinyl people make a pilgrimage out of Record Store Day,” says Jim Eigo, a 45-year veteran of the music industry who opened Original Vinyl Records in 2018. “Some of our regular customers may start out their day at a record store in Pennsylvania, drive to one in New Jersey, then head up to us.”

London, UK | A one-day pop-up record store giving away free vinyl is coming to London: Ahead of the next Record Store Day drop date on 17 July, a new pop-up record store called SMARTY Disc-overy store is coming to London for one day, and will offer each customer free vinyl. SMARTY Disc-overy store will launch in partnership with Record Store Day on 16 July, one day before the second RSD 2021 drop date, and will gift each customer one vinyl record each for free. The one-day pop-up does have a twist though, as customers won’t know what vinyl they’re getting as every vinyl will be covered. According to a press release, this is to encourage people to find new favourites. A variety of music will be available, from AJ Tracey to Ziggy Stardust, as well as rare, collectible albums and special editions. The store will also have listening stations for customers to play their latest additions, and an in-store DJ.

Wellington, OH | When cameras stop rolling, ‘White Noise’ murals must go: Wizard Records magically appeared more or less overnight on East Herrick Avenue, its yellow storefront advertising used tapes and vinyl. The side of the East Herrick store pops even more. It’s covered by a mural with the faces of Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Jerry Garcia and other rock ‘n’ roll legends. “I’d love to keep it. It’s brought a lot of people in here,” said Marti Folds, owner of Addie’s Antiques — that’s the real business inside the building, behind all the fancy new paint. Like many other storefronts, hers has been transformed as part of the fictional town of Blacksmith, where Netflix’s upcoming movie “White Noise” will be set. The record store isn’t the only faux business to materialize in Wellington in the past few weeks. There’s suddenly a hardware store, a movie theater, a comic book store, a laundromat and even a Radio Shack. …When done, village officials will require Netflix’s crew to reverse the Hollywood illusion it’s created and paint the buildings back in their original colors.

New York, NY | Frankie Knuckles’ record collection featured in new exhibit: With 5,000 LPs including test pressings, promos, and more. A selection of Frankie Knuckles’ extensive record collection — titled A Song For Frankie — is currently on show as part of group exhibit Social Works, at Gagosian Gallery’s Chelsea outpost in NYC. Presented by Theaster Gates, the installation features 5,000 records taken from Knuckle’s personal archive — including test pressings and promos. Many of the records are adorned with handwritten notes from his friends and peers, offering insight into the close knit bonds between DJs and friends. Alongside Gates’ installation, Social Works — curated by Antwaun Sargent — also includes work by David Adjaye, Kenturah Davis, and Linda Goode Bryan. A Song For Frankie follows Gates’ Black Image Corporation installation at 180 The Strand, as part of Prada Mode during 2019. Social Works will run at Gagosian until the 13th August.

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In rotation: 7/8/21

Hackensack, NJ | Record King in Hackensack to close after more than 50 years in business: Another New Jersey record store will be closing after being open for several decades. Craig Stepneski says that he walked in the door of Record King in Hackensack as a kid and stepped into a world of vinyl that he never wanted to leave. “I actually first walked in when I was 13, but they hired me when I was 14,” he says. Nearly 50 years passed and Stepneski never left. “I ended up buying the place in ’92,” he says. Record King is a favorite of music collectors. Many were surprised to learn that Stepneski will close the doors for good the end of July. The block on Main Street that the shop is located is now in line for redevelopment and Stepneski’s lease was terminated. Stepneski says he’ll miss the customers and the conversations the most. He estimates that he has 100,000 45s and thousands of albums and CDs.

Richmond, VA | A Matter of Records: As it celebrates 40 years in business, Plan 9 Music has evolved from a two-room consignment shop named for a Grade Z movie into a Richmond institution of music and culture: The 40-year history of Plan 9 Music involves startup woes, expansion, contraction, hopscotching locations, bankruptcy reorganization, shifts in technology, the dizzying fracturing of musical genres, economic crashes, distribution tangles — and now a pandemic. Bob Schick, a Plan 9 employee for 37 years, reflects on how the clientele kept the store operating during the past year. “Our loyal customers would call us up and have us walk their orders out to them,” he says. “I didn’t foresee that coming. They were saying, ‘We don’t want you to go away,’ and we are saying, ‘We don’t want to go away, let’s keep doing it.’” Through all the upheavals and downturns, Plan 9 has established itself as a center for the region’s culture — musical and otherwise — with its support for homegrown talent and its in-store events.

Ilwaco, WA | New record store hosts grand opening Saturday: Live music and barbecue will mark Saturday’s grand opening of Ship Wrecords and Moor, a used record store at 122 Lake Street, down the block from the post office in Ilwaco, next door to The Ebb Cafe. Clint Carter’s North Beach Blues Band will perform from 2-4 p.m., helping proprietor Michael Mathis introduce his venture to the public. Doors open at 11 a.m. The store offers an eclectic selection of old records, cassettes and equipment. In one corner are cushy, roomy sofas and chairs around a table where visitors can relax, lending the store an inviting, easygoing atmosphere. In another corner is a wide variety of equipment: stereos, an old philco radio and a jukebox, for instance. Like everything in the store, selection will depend on what Mathis gets his hands on at a particular time. Prices range from $50 to $250 for what Mathis describes as mostly mid-level stereo equipment, though he plans at some point to have higher-end receivers and other equipment…

Sarnia, CA | Cheeky Monkey sold to Toronto developer: The owners of a popular record store in downtown Sarnia are looking forward to retirement after selling Cheeky Monkey to a developer from Toronto. Mary Anne and Roland Peloza said July 6 marked the 22nd anniversary of the store, located on Christina Street North. The couple opened the business after closing a video rental and record store in Wallaceburg that operated for 17 years. “We’re at an age where we want to be able to travel and take it easy and still have our health,” said Roland. “We’re looking forward to the next chapter, the next phase of our lives.” He said the store has been up for sale for nearly two years. “I have no idea what they intend for the building but they made an offer and we accepted it,” said Roland. “The deal closes October 1.” Until then, Cheeky Monkey will remain open until mid to late September. “So right now, we’re running a promotion where we pay the tax on everything so everything is tax-free, which is a fairly significant saving,” he said.

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In rotation: 7/7/21

Albany, NY | Vinyl record sales boom with new national interest: For 9-year-old Avery Colomb, her love of Taylor Swift has no limits, but she’s not listening on a iPhone or CD. She’s listening to her favorite artist on vinyl. Her interest in records goes all the way back to last March. Avery is helping show her father’s record collection. “I get to have pictures taken of me and the records like every week,” Colomb says. Avery’s interest in records is part of a national trend. The Recording Industry Association of America said in 2020 alone, vinyl sales accounted for 62% of the physical revenue, marking the first time since the 1980’s that vinyl outsold CDs. That’s great news for Sound House Records in Troy and owners Matt Klein and George Weinish, who recently opened their doors. “We see across the board; young people, old-time collectors, people in the middle, people who have extensive collections, down to people who are just starting,” Klein says. Klein says this resurgence in vinyl sales is attributed to the nostalgic feeling of holding something and listening to music that is standing the test of time.

Furness, UK | Readers Choice: The best independent stores in Furness: We asked our readers to tell us who their favourite independent traders were. 1. TNT Records: Found on Duke Street, Barrow, this record shop won Record Shop of the Year in 2019. The store stocks vinyls from a variety of genres, as well as band merchandise so you can get kitted out with items from your favourite artists. 2. Bumblebee at the Hive: Tucked away on Scott Street, Barrow, is Bumblebee at the Hive. The unique shop sells giftware for all occasions. They specialise in painting, distressing and giving new life to furniture. 3. Crafty Hobbies: Craft Hobbies, based on Cavendish Street in Barrow, describes themselves as the number one model shop in South Cumbria for model railways, dolls’ houses and crafts. They cater for younger crafters as well as those with more experience…

Southampton, UK | Jack Savoretti heading to Southampton Record Store: Singer songwriter, Jack Savoretti is due to head to Southampton this September as he releases his new album. In celebration of his new album ‘Europiana’, Savoretti will be taking to the stage at Vinilo Record Store on September 14. ‘Europiana’ is the follow-up to his breakthrough 2019 album ‘Singing to Strangers’, his third consecutive gold seller and first UK number one. While ‘Singing to Strangers’ was recorded in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s studio, the new disc was conceived in between lockdowns at his home in Oxfordshire. Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar, Florence & The Machine), has produced the album which was recorded late last year at Abbey Road with Jack’s longtime touring band. Now though, the performer has announced that he will head to the Southampton store to play an acoustic set and will also embark on a 12 date UK tour in spring 2022, kicking off at the Plymouth Pavilions and finishing up at London’s Eventim Apollo.

The Fluance RT81 Is A Perfect Starter Turntable For New Lovers Of Vinyl: I can still remember the first turntable I bought for playing my growing collection of vinyl records that I’d previously played on my parents’ audio system. The turntable was a Kenwood Trio 1033B and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Back then, in 1978, it cost me more than $100, which was a lot of money at the time. Later, I dreamed of owning a Linn Sondek LP12 but in the early 1980s, I was seduced by the CD revolution. I switched to digital music by selling some of my vinyl records to buy myself a CD player and silver discs to play on it. It’s something I regret to this day. If you are looking at getting into vinyl, then the good news is there are quite a few reasonably priced turntables on the market that will do fine for playing those old albums you still have from your teenage years or even for playing records from flea markets and thrift stores. You may even come across some real gems like an original Blue Note pressing of Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. I recently got the chance to review an entry-level turntable made by Canada’s Fluance that I think would be just perfect for anyone wanting to get into vinyl but who doesn’t want to pay out a fortune for something high-end like the new Solstice turntable released by Naim earlier this month.

For the Love of Vinyl: An Appreciation: Held on the edges, the platter is gently dropped on the turntable. The needle is lowered onto the vinyl and the hair goes up on the back of the neck. A warm blanket of music wraps itself around the listener. Perhaps more than any other form of recorded music, listening to vinyl is a participatory experience. From the stunning visuals of the poster-sized record sleeves to the feel of the edge of the vinyl on your fingers, to even its unique warmth and nostalgia-inducing fragrance, there is something truly magical about vinyl. Not to mention entering a record store is like joining a secret club. There’s a camaraderie there: Even if ones musical tastes are different than the owner or the other patrons, there is a mutual love of music — and a common emotional commitment to music that one just can’t get from streaming music from Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music…

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In rotation: 7/6/21

Brooklyn, NY | Bed-Stuy Record Store Halsey And Lewis Searches For A New Home: “We have survived the pandemic, but alas we cannot survive gentrification,” the shop posted with news a pizza and wine bar will replace it. A record store that has called Bed-Stuy home for more than four years is searching for a new home after losing its storefront on Halsey Street with only a week’s notice, Patch has learned. Halsey & Lewis, which opened on Lewis Avenue in early 2017, announced on Instagram this week that it will be closing to make way for a pizza and wine bar that will take over the storefront. “We have survived the pandemic, but alas we can not survive gentrification,” the business wrote on Sunday. “Our little record shop is being replaced by a pizza and wine bar.” The record store, which also sells books and other handcrafted goods, will be open for the rest of the week until the shop is empty, according to the post. They are hosting a “clearance sale” until the close of the business.

Somerset, UK | The Somerset record shop whose vinyls are the trendiest around: More and more young people are buying vinyl records as the novelty of Spotify wears off: Some of us are old enough to remember that brilliant feeling when you bought a new record. You couldn’t wait to get home to take it out of its sleeve for the first time and listen to it on your record player. It was the best, best feeling and you felt like a million dollars just owning this precious thing. Well those times are coming back, the novelty of Spotify is wearing off and more and more music lovers are returning to vinyl. Raves from the Grave is a fantastic record shop in Frome, the artiest and trendiest town in Somerset, famed for its independent shops and cafes. The record shop is absolutely full of vinyl records new and old, CDs and DVDs, it is a treasure trove and wonderful place to browse, you could spend hours in there.

Barcelona, ES | A new record store has opened in Barcelona: Acting as a community hub – with a radio station, events space, recording studio, and booking agency. A new record shop and multi-purpose community hub, called The Underground Music Network, has opened in Barcelona. Launched by Subwax founder Jimi Disko and Ramon Espinosa, The Underground Music Network will act as a record shop, radio station, booking agency, community hub, event space, and recording studio. The space will also offer a range of courses, with the aim of helping independent artists enter the music industry. “The project has great meaning to me as I want to use my experience to give something back, mainly by helping young producers and DJs get started and also to make the whole Barcelona scene stronger, more versatile and less commercial,” shares Disko.

Christchurch, NZ | Bill Cosby albums and ‘Norman’s rice’: The ‘weird’ record store that works: Christchurch independent record store Ride On Super Sound, aka ROSS, is run by a collective of passionate volunteers and music enthusiasts. Think Black Books but with music, comics and zines. Co-owners Nick White, Michael Daly, Annemieke Montagne, Johnny “Electric” Harris, and Isaac Bennet volunteer their spare time to run a tiny store from a room atop the Smash Palace “bus bar”, selling locally made music and art. “We don’t pay ourselves, we sell on commission and all the funds go back into keeping the store going,” Daly said. It is open Thursday and Friday, from 3pm to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 5pm. In the centre of the High St store is a display pyramid stocked with New Zealand-made zines, comics and music, and small publications by international artists.

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In rotation: 7/2/21

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Panic’ Results from a Record Store Day Distribution Error: A major oversight cost the Madison shop business on one of its biggest days of the year. …Well, the first of the two Record Store Day drops is Saturday, and this one is significantly larger [and has] significantly more releases. And they’ve kind of restructured some of the way that we ordered products this time in hopes to get to the stores earlier and to kind of manage the allocation process in a more equitable way. But last Friday, I still didn’t have the bulk of my product. And so I messaged the rep at the main company that we’re getting it from. And the response was, “Well, this is what’s shipping today” — and it was just about four titles — “and the bulk of your titles are in July.” …And so I pulled up the spreadsheet that I sent to her, and not only did I order a lot of product, but from them I ordered over 4,600 pieces. Unfortunately, the person who was in charge of inputting those orders missed the June tab on our spreadsheet.

Denver, CO | Wax Trax Pays Homage to Its ’80s Glory: Pete Stidman began working at Wax Trax when he was twelve years old, alongside his father, Dave, who has owned the Capitol Hill record store with Duane Davis since 1978. “My dad is working six days a week,” says Pete. “I’m working on setting things up so he can take it easier, but he loves the job and will be hard to pry out of here. My dad is responsible for how amazing the used store is. Probably one of the biggest collectible record brains this side of the Mississippi. Duane is using his days here to focus on the live music, social media, etcetera, and we’re hoping to build on that stuff.” As a teenager during the ’80s, Pete wasn’t “one of the cool kids” who played in punk bands. “I was a starry-eyed kid just kind of lurking on the wallpaper,” he says. Back then, he recalls, Wax Trax was a place to find out about live music. “If you wanted to find out where the cooler shows were, you had to come and look at the fliers and the window…”

Hit the Deck: The Cassette Tape Revival Is in Full Swing: Artists, tape manufacturers, and distributors weigh in on major-label involvement in the latest trend in physical music media. As the decade-plus resurgence in vinyl sales continues, one thing that has become all too noticeable for buyers is the often steep price of being a vinyl snob. From heavyweight vinyl to hard-laminated cardboard packaging, a single LP usually sells for around $30, thus making most off-beat sales prohibitive for the more casual collector. Lately, though, cassette tapes have come to the rescue. Once the province of the romantic mixtape maker looking to show off their good taste and curatorial skills—to say nothing of their roles as de facto love letters or breakup notes—the pre-recorded, artist-driven cassette tape’s costs were on an equal footing with vinyl album sales prices. Looking at the days before the revolution that was (supposed to be) CDs boosted the price of an artist’s music, the cassette tape and the vinyl LP usually topped off at about $8. And like the vinyl LP, the cassette, too, went into a hibernation of sorts, banished to an image of antiquation, yard sales, and thrift store bins near the front counter.

Phoenix, AZ | Love Them or Hate Them, Record Album Hype Stickers Tell a Story of Their Own: Mark Funk keeps reminding me he doesn’t consider himself a record collector. “I think of these as time capsules,” he says, pointing to the tidy piles of vinyl albums that ring the front room of his Glendale apartment. “First, there’s the music on these fine platters. But you look a little closer, and that’s where your little time machine kicks in.” Mark is the sort of fellow who says “fine platter” and who punctuates a sentence by waving a Wham! record over his head, which he is doing right now. “Look at this!” he crows, pointing at the cover of Make it Big. “On the front here, you’ve got your price sticker from Sam Goody. You’ve got a nice little sticker telling you what hit single you’re going to find on this LP. And inside, you’ve got the receipt from the record store saying what day I bought that record and what I paid for it!” Receipts and price stickers are nice, I tell Mark, but I’m here to talk about hype stickers, those decals that record companies attach to album and CD jackets, usually to tell us what hit songs they contain.

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In rotation: 7/1/21

Amazon wiped-out countless book shops, now it’s coming for your vinyl store: While physical media hasn’t been Amazon’s forte in recent years, it’s easy to forget the company started life as an online book store when the Kindle revolution was still a twinkle in Jeff Bezos’ eye. However, it’s still somewhat of a surprise to see Amazon attempt to cash in on the vinyl revival with a new record of the month subscription service in the United States. And, in some respects, it isn’t a surprise at all. The $25-a-month Vinyl of the Month Club, like so many of the vinyl subscription services, sounds like a service for people who want a record collection, but don’t really care enough about music to curate it themselves. Or, as Amazon puts it, “the music lover who’s just fallen for analog sound.” Amazon is promising an album from the “Golden Era of Vinyl” each month, which it classes as the 1960s and 1970s. It’ll be ‘hand-picked by the experts at Amazon Music.’ So what can users in the US expect? Well, the likes of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis and ABBA, for starters. Given some of the classics retail for upwards of $30 in the United States, it probably will work out quite well.

El Paso, TX | All That Music and Video celebrates part one of Record Store Day 2021: In honor of Record Store Day 2021, All That Music and Video opened their doors at 9 a.m. June 12, two hours earlier than their usual hours of operation. Last year, Record Store Day was broken up into three days to account for social distancing. As COVID-19 cases have gone down and people become more comfortable with going out and participating in events, Record Store Day 2021 has been broken up into two days: June 12 and July 17. Record Store Day is a worldwide event that honors and celebrates independently owned record stores. Every year, record stores all across the world celebrate by selling special records and albums, which are often exclusive and limited edition, made specifically for Record Store Day. All That Music and Video has been celebrating the annual event since 2008, but this year, the store experienced its biggest turnout yet. Some record stores have their own traditions, but the staff at All That Music and Video keep it simple: they offer exclusive records and albums. They are happy to meet record– collecting customers who are just as excited as they are.

Washington, DC | Feelin the Vibes of Black Music History at HR Records: DCW50 visits HR Records to talk about black artists you should know about, the music scene of DC, and how this black-owned record store is keeping Jazz and Soul and alive in our city. This past week the team at DCW50 took a field-trip to HR Records in Brightwood Park. The self-described (and frankly we agree) ‘best brick and mortar shop in Washington D.C for used Jazz, Funk, Soul, and More!’ to learn about some of the many hidden gems of Black Music History. We spoke to Charvis Campbell, owner of HR Records about his music mission, and the incredible selection at the shop. Below are some of the albums Charvis talked about. We highly recommend you give them a listen if you can, most were available on Spotify. However as often happens with great black artists: their work is hard to come by today.

Lakeshore, MI | KDL puts a spin on traditional music library with its Grooves vinyl collection: In recent years, with a huge nod from an entire holiday dedicated to the flat, black, circular disc, vinyl records are not only popular again, but they’re back with a vengeance. Record Store Day has boosted sales with special releases, timely reissues and promotional products, including special-colored discs. Additionally, through in-store performances and a host of special activities, it has helped support local independent record stores and artists alike. Current artists are releasing their music on records, and customers are buying tangible music again, despite large streaming numbers. Collecting vinyl can be a rewarding, yet costly hobby, but for local library cardholders, it doesn’t have to come at a hefty price tag. Kent District Library (KDL) offers patrons an opportunity to give vinyl a spin with its own collection of records. The KDL Grooves vinyl collection launched in 2019 and has grown to include over 1400 individual titles to check out at eight branches. KDL Collection Development librarian Stacy Schuster is in charge of purchasing for the entirety of the branch library system. She purchases adult nonfiction, adult music, CDs and items for their growing vinyl records collection.

Wonder Woman 1984 Soundtrack Getting Vinyl Release With New Posters: Mondo is teaming up with Warner Bros. and WaterTower Music for a special vinyl release of the Wonder Woman 1984 soundtrack and new posters. Mondo is teaming up with Warner Bros. and WaterTower Music for a special vinyl release of the Wonder Woman 1984 soundtrack and new posters. The DC Extended Universe sequel picks up just over 65 years after the events of the first film as Gal Gadot’s titular hero is still reeling from the loss of Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. However, as she looks to uncover the secret behind his surprise return, Diana must also face off against the charismatic businessman Maxwell Lord and Cheetah. On the heels of announcing a special vinyl release for the soundtrack of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Mondo has announced a three-disc vinyl release of Hans Zimmer’s score for WW84. Featuring artwork by La Boca and housed in a tri-fold jacket with holofoil elements, the vinyl pressing also features liner notes from writer and director Patty Jenkins. The vinyl pressing are being offered in a special 180-gram fireworks colored vinyl exclusive to Mondo’s webstore in a limited 1,000 copy inventory, as well as 180-gram black vinyl and swirl-colored vinyl through select independent retailers.

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In rotation: 6/30/21

Barcelona, ES | New record store and community hub The Underground Music Network opens in Barcelona: The space was launched earlier this month by Subwax Bcn founder Jimi Disko. Jimi Disko has opened a multipurpose music space in central Barcelona. Located at Sant Bernat 8 and spread across two floors, The Underground Music Network encompasses a record store, radio station, booking agency, networking space and recording studio. It also offers production and DJ classes. Jimi Disko, who founded the label, record store and distribution service Subwax Bcn, opened the new space on June 1st, leaving Subwax Bcn to focus on distribution moving forward. “The Underground Music Network is more than a record store,” says Jimi Disko, “it’s a collaborative centre which will shape and reshape itself with projects and artists involved on many different levels. The project has great meaning to me as I want to use my experience to give something back, mainly by helping young producers and DJs get started and also to make the whole Barcelona scene stronger, more versatile and less commercial.”

St. Augustine, FL | Dream comes true for man who bought his favorite record shop, St. Augustine’s Music Matters: Music Matters, St. Augustine’s oldest record store, has a new owner and a new name: Music Matters Remixed. Eric Wenstrom was “passed the torch” about six months ago by original owner, Casey Kelber, who opened the store in 1989. Wenstrom turns 50 in November, and has been shopping at Music Matters since it opened. He remained a loyal customer over the years, stopping in to buy music every time he returned to town to visit his mom. Wenstrom was furloughed during the COVID pandemic in 2020, and called Kelber at Music Matters to “order a curbside music pickup,” when Kelber handed him a yellow paper flyer stating that the business was for sale. An avid music fan and music memorabilia collector, Wenstrom said he went back to his mom and asked her what she thought about him buying the store and moving back to St. Augustine. After a long career in hospitality at theme parks, he decided it was time to go after his dream of owning his very own music store.

Shawnee Mission, KS | Brothers Toys and Collectibles opens in Mission selling new, vintage items for buyers ages ‘4 to 45’ Kyle and Cole Maggart, the brothers behind Brothers Music KC, a vinyl record store on Johnson Drive in Mission, have a new venture: toys. And their loyal customers won’t have to go very far. Brothers Toys and Collectibles opened earlier this month at 5810 Johnson Drive, right next door to the Maggarts’ record store, which relocated from another spot just up the road more than a year ago. Kyle Maggart sees the new toy store as an attraction for “everyone from 4 year-olds to 45- and 50-year olds.” Brothers will sell new toys, like Marvel, Star Wars and Transformers action figures and accessories, as well as vintage items from the 1980s and 1990s, when the Maggarts themselves were kids. “We have brand new stuff for kids, things that are current that they won’t be able to find at Walmart,” Kyle said. “And we’ll have stuff for older collectors, who may want stuff they had as a child or items to round out a collection.” …Mission residents and Johnson Drive shoppers may already know of the Maggarts through their record store, Brothers Music KC, which opened in its original location in 2015. They’ve built up a loyal following selling new and used records, along with guitars and accessories.

Columbia, MO | Mid-Missouri Vinyl Lovers Gathered in Columbia to Celebrate “Record Store Day” On June 12, vinyl music fans worldwide descended on their neighborhood record stores for Record Store Day. Folks stood in lines throughout downtown Columbia to snag a special release: Maybe the live six-LP box set from the Grateful Dead or the acoustic set by Prince – pressed on purple vinyl, of course. All in support of their favorite artists and local record stores, including: Hitt Records and Slackers. Due to social distancing and global production issues, there are two Record Store Days this year. The next one is July 17. Kyle Cook, co-owner of Hitt Records: So, I’m one of the two owners and here we are on “Record Store Day.” “Record Store Day” is great for independent record stores – it drives business to a lot of places that have a hard time in the past, getting a lot of people to come in, and it’s just one of those things that started small and now here we are almost 20 years later. And it’s really cool to see how many people come out for it – both locally and from far and wide. For us, it’s a really big deal.

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In rotation: 6/29/21

Oxford, UK | Hunting old vinyl records in Oxford – the best spots: Ramblers have been enjoying walks throughout the lockdowns so I decided to join them and get some exercise while pursuing my favourite hobby – hunting old vinyl. There has been a resurgence in sales of vinyl records in recent years so on Saturday I decided to see what I could find, while taking in some of the sights of Oxford city centre at the same time. My first stop was Gloucester Green market off George Street where second-hand record dealers can sometimes be found. The market – now running four days a week from Wednesday to Friday – is a hidden gem, combining street food stalls with second-hand clothes, antiques, bric-a-brac and old records. My luck was in as London-based Mick Melbourne was at his stall selling albums and 45s. Mick told me footfall in the market has been picking up in recent weeks after lockdown restrictions continued to ease. I picked out three singles for a fiver by Lindisfarne, Nick Lowe and the Icicle Works before walking the short distance to Riverman Records in Walton Street.

Grand Rapids, MI | Records make comeback as people buy at Grand Rapids record show: Dealers and collectors from all over the Midwest took a trip back in time on Saturday. “You know, it’s just a good time for people to talk about music and get some new music to put on their turntable,” said Jeremy Bonfiglio of South Bend, Indiana. American Legion Post 179 hosted the Grand Rapids Record & CD Show. There were all different sizes from 45s and 33s to 78s. The music covered all genres as records are now making a resurgence. Especially among the younger crowd. “They kinda grew up not having any real physical media it was always streaming,” Bonfiglio said. “They didn’t have anything they could hold in their hands. So, I think part of the resurgence is it’s tactile. It’s something they can hold in their hands, the mechanics of putting it on the turntable, dropping the needle.” Bonfiglio says collecting is becoming more and more popular.

AL | Remember When: The days of Don’s Record Shop: In the 1930s and 1940s, my mother and her friends bought many a 78 record from the O. C. Wood Amusement Company at their storefront on South Cotton Street. In addition to their records, Mr. Wood also sold juke boxes and popcorn machines to restaurants and bars. After he retired or “slowed down,” his daughter Mildred who married Donald Cook (in the electrical business) operated The Record Shop who had moved to East Three Notch on the Prestwood block. Adjacent to Finley Jewelry, The Taylor Shop, Benson and Co., and Star Cleaners, it was a narrow building but also deep. Some say that the space may have been at one time an alleyway. In 1962 Don Parsons bought the business and changed the name slightly to Don’s Record Shop. In addition to the 45 rpm records and 33 rpm albums, he also offered for sale guitars, strings, and picks. Mono records were sold for $3.98 and stereo ones for $4.98.

Austin, TX | New Roky Erickson Tribute Books A Waterloo Records Release Party: Black Angels, Eve Monsees, Charlie Sexton, and more sign vinyl July 18. In 1990, Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye reintroduced the world to Texan psych pioneer Roky Erickson with an extensive tribute album including contributions from the Butthole Surfers, R.E.M., the Jesus & Mary Chain, Doug Sahm, and ZZ Top. Three decades later, it remains an essential document of the rock & roll pioneer’s vast influence. Produced by longtime Erickson fan, booster, and friend Bill Bentley, then a senior publicist at Warner Bros. Records, the collection of covers manifested with the intention of raising money for its struggling subject by exposing his music to a wider audience. In fact, it proved a turn-around event evidenced by the ensuing late-career triumphs of Erickson, who died May 31, 2019. Now, Bentley’s captained a second Erickson tribute, an all-new songbook brimming with modern interpretations of the 13th Floor Elevators frontman.

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In rotation: 6/28/21

Glens Falls, NY | Old technologies, new customers: New shop features records and books: A new records and books shop has opened in the Shirt Factory Annex on Curran Lane, celebrating the physical and sensory appeal of art forms that can also be found, disembodied, online. The Bookhouse and Sweet Side Records offer used records and used and new books to a clientele that still appreciates vinyl and paper. Despite predictions those customers would vanish with the proliferation of new listening and reading technologies, they are still around, and a trickle of them has been finding the way to Curran Lane. Matt Funiciello (books) and Ed Martuscello (records) are hoping the trickle becomes a stream as more Shirt Factory shops open for the summer, crowds come to the Thursday night food truck corrals and visitors use the Warren County Bikeway, which runs near the building. Funiciello is the owner of Rock Hill Bakehouse, running a breadmaking business and a cafe out of a space around the corner in the Shirt Factory Annex.

Lockport, NY | Vinyl is back — and it’s spectacular: In decline for years, by 1988, the sale of vinyl records had taken a deep dive. The CD, or compact disc, had been introduced to the mainstream and it was easier to handle and carry around. However, that meant the production of vinyl also slowed, and today any record albums from that era are solid gold. These are the threads of conversations that take place all over the world, especially in record shops where music fans flock to get a piece of what was once obsolete. In Western New York that includes places like Hi-Fi Hits Records in Williamsville, Music Matters in Niagara Falls, Bob the Record Guy in Depew, Revolver Records in Buffalo and The Record Baron in Kenmore. Vinnie’s Vinyls in Lockport and Niagara Records in Sanborn come to mind, too. There are countless other places that sell vinyl records, from big corporate giants like Barnes & Noble to small shops such as Gutter Pop Comics, as well as thrift shops, yard and garage sales and online.

Carlisle, PA | Carlisle man’s collection takes up an entire warehouse, music to record hunter’s ears: This is Dennis Gotthard. “It’s a mess but I don’t apologize for that,” Gotthard said. This is his stuff. “It is what it is. People love to go through stuff like that,” he said. Warehouses and garages can barely contain it and there’s no containing Dennis’ enthusiasm for things. He used to own hardware stores. Now he owns everything. “I have like a thousand mannequins. I’m known as the mannequin guy,” Gotthard said. But those plastic bodies are no match for Dennis’s vinyl. “There’s about 50,000 albums in here and they are categorized,” Gotthard said. He has 45’s and 78’s, which match his age. “Rolling Stones, they’re as old as me and one of these days when they stop, this will be real collectible,” Gotthard said. But there’s no stopping Dennis, who buys records every week and has a warehouse that’s an international hit.

Denver, CO | Opening Soon: Edgewater Tiki Bar Promises to Keep It Weird: “We want to pay tribute to the world of weird,” says Lexi Healy, co-owner of the The Electric Cure and Velvet Lounge. The bar is slated to be the latest addition to the vibrant Sloan’s Lake neighborhood when it opens mid- to late July at 5350 West 25th Avenue, adding another must-see libation destination into the mix that includes favorites like Joyride Brewery and Edgewater Public Market. Healy and her business partner, Veronica Ramos (or, as they describe themselves, “the short one and the tall one,” respectively), are veterans of the service industry and were friends and co-workers before deciding to go into business together. They met at the now-closed Bushwacker’s Saloon on South Broadway, a street that has since became a second home to the pair. Later, they worked together at Bowman’s Vinyl and Lounge, where Healy was the general manager. Taking inspiration from their experiences, the concept for the Electric Cure took shape.

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In rotation: 6/25/21

Pueblo, CO | Swan song: Pueblo Records & Tapes to close in September after 32 years: Pueblo Records & Tapes is closing its doors for good in September, ending its 32-year run in the music business. Owner David Dwight was just 27 when he opened the business May 12, 1989. Back then it was in a 1,000-square-foot shop offering vinyl and compact discs in the Regency Square. “It was about one-third the size of what I am in today, but gradually we increased the inventory. After five years I moved up front by Hastings and we were there for another five years,” Dwight said. In 2000, Dwight decided he didn’t want to be a tenant any more so he built the building that currently houses the store at 1112 Pueblo Blvd. Way Space A. “I never really wanted to be an entrepreneur of a building, I just wanted to run my store. I think I picked a good spot because it was all open prairie when I built this thing and now I have to sell this building and there is already a line (of prospective buyers) for it,” he said.

Fords, NJ | A popular Jersey shore vintage record store closes up shop: Vintage Vinyl in Woodbridge, NJ is closing its doors for good. When I heard this news, I was not just saddened but a little surprised. Vintage Vinyl has been THE destination for Jersey Shore music lovers for 42 years. National vinyl record sales have also been on an incredible high the past few years. But according to founder and owner Rob Roth, he says,” it’s time to retire.” As a self-described music aficionado and a collector of vinyl records, the pandemic brought me closer to my albums. I alphabetized my vast assortment of records, compact discs, and cassettes. In the process, I found a few rare gems hiding, I had forgotten about. Going to the record store to find more, was a treat. I am not the only one. As I mentioned, records have been a popular item of late. Music lovers across the country reached deep into their pockets and shelled out tons of money at their local record shop. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s annual survey, vinyl sales reached a record high of $619.6 million in 2020. That’s an increase of 29.9% from 2019 sales totals of $479.5. [Ed note: Vintage Vinyl is nowhere near the Jersey shore.]

UK | How vinyl records are trying to go green: With the vinyl revival showing no sign of easing up, its environmental impact is becoming more of a concern. There were 22 times more vinyl albums sold in the UK in 2020 than in 2007 – with sales leaping from 210,000 to 4.8 million. The most recent figures from the British Phonographic Industry reveal sales grew by more than 30% in 2020 alone, bringing in revenue of more than £86m. For the first time since the late 80s, the value of record sales in 2021 is expected to surpass that of CDs – although it still lags way behind digital streaming and downloads. As sales rise, record labels and artists are beginning to look at sustainability issues. PVC (poly vinyl chloride), the plastic from which records are made, isn’t exactly environmentally friendly. “Vinyl is a form of plastic that is quite difficult to recycle,” says Dr Sharon George, senior lecturer in the environment and sustainability at Keele University. “The C in PVC means chloride (from chlorine) which is quite toxic and difficult to handle. This is one of the reasons recyclers don’t really like PVC, so it tends to either go to the landfill or incineration.”

Andover Audio SpinSub review: Deeply satisfying vinyl listening thanks to deep, vibration-free bass: The affordable SpinSub is the perfect low-frequency companion to the company’s SpinBase turntable speaker, pumping the bass from a remarkably vibration-free enclosure. Turntables, and the vinyl records we play on them, are extremely sensitive to vibration. A delicately balanced tonearm with a tiny needle glides inside a fine spiral groove precisely cut into a vinyl platter to reproduce sound that must be amplified twice: First by a phono preamp (to bring the signal to line level) and then by an amplifier or self-powered speakers. Any vibration transferred to the turntable can degrade this process or even cause the tonearm to skip. Until Andover Audio wowed vinyl lovers with its SpinBase stereo speaker system, one would have scoffed at the notion of putting a turntable directly on top of a speaker, to say nothing of locating a subwoofer anywhere near one. Putting a subwoofer in the same stand as your turntable? That’s downright anathema.

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In rotation: 6/24/21

Record Store Day 2021’s First Drop Sparks 1.5 Million in U.S. Vinyl Album Sales: Record Store Day 2021’s first drop, held on June 12, helped sell 1.546 million vinyl albums in the U.S. in the week ending June 17, according to MRC Data. That’s a record for a Record Store Day week and the second-largest week for vinyl album sales since MRC Data began electronically tracking sales in 1991. The only larger week for vinyl album sales since 1991 came in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020, with 1.841 million sold. Further, with 1.209 million vinyl albums sold at indie record stores in the week ending June 17, that marks the largest week ever for the format at the indie sector in MRC Data history. It surpasses the previous MRC Data-era high for weekly vinyl LP sales at indies: 733,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020. Record Store Day, the annual indie music retailer celebration, is being staged over two days in 2021 — June 12 and July 17 — owed to complications caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, Record Store Day is held on one Saturday.

Philadelphia, PA | A peek inside the world’s greatest record store: A lovable grouch, obsessed with the magic of American sidewalk harmony, runs the Philadelphia shop. I first heard about Val Shively—a legendary figure among serious record collectors—from a friend of mine in Philadelphia named Aaron Levinson. He’s a Grammy-winning music producer, composer, DJ and rare vinyl collector who has been buying records from Shively for 40 years. “He has a store called R&B Records in this sketchy neighborhood out past West Philly,” Levinson told me. “The building is listing like the Tower of Pisa because he’s got five million records in there. It’s likely the biggest record store in the world and collectors fly in from the U.K., Germany, Japan and wherever else, in order to buy from Val. But if they say something wrong, or he doesn’t like their attitude, he explodes in an unbelievable rage and throws them out of the store.” Levinson continued, “He’s a born-again Christian who curses like a mobster. He’s a white guy who went nuts for Black music when he was young and never recovered. He’s the authoritative collector of doo-wop records on the planet and one of the greatest record collectors of all time, even though his genre is narrow.”

Lansing, MI | Michigan’s only female-owned record store is in Lansing: There are more than 60 record stores in Michigan, but only one is owned by a woman. DeWitt resident and owner of The Record Lounge, Heather Frarey, is that woman. Her shop is right here in REO Town. “It’s amazing. I always want to shop here,” said vinyl collector Ella Spencer. “Women-owned businesses are incredible especially in a music scene, because that’s kind of hard to find.” “I worked really hard to get to this point,” Frarey said. “My husband and I, we were in a bad motorcycle accident in ’99.” Frarey was a dental assistant in 2007 when she realized that because of the accident, she was no longer able to stand for long periods of time. So, she had to find something new. “The only thing I knew was music and vinyl,” Frarey said. She worked at a record shop when she was in high school. Frarey opened The Record Lounge on January 2, 2008. Thirteen years later, her record store is thriving.

Elmira Heights, NY | A new and unique music store is set to open in Elmira Heights: A one of a kind business is preparing to open in Elmira Heights. Squatch Den is aiming to open on July 2nd. The Squatch Den will sit in a plaza right on College Ave. across from Thomas Edison High School. It grew out of the Squatch In the Pit website. The store is dubbed, a one-stop music shop for vinyl, music apparel, and even photography. The owners had planned to open the music store back in 2020 but were delayed because of the pandemic. Half of the store will be dedicated to record sales and the other half will be a dedicated photography studio. They say customers can expect all the best music on vinyl and CDs. Aaron Cullen, one of the stores owners, says it’s the perfect place to find a variety of music including early 2000s EMO music. The Squatch Den will also be holding live music regularly with some bands already booked for this year.

Las Vegas, NV | On The Record at Park MGM opens July 2: “…On The Record offers visitors a unique twist on the Las Vegas nightlife experience with its iconic spaces including the double-decker DJ booth, the karaoke rooms and the Vinyl Parlor,” said Ann Hoff, president & COO of Bellagio and Park MGM. “We look forward to the Fourth of July weekend as Las Vegas visitors will join us in celebrating the reopening of our speakeasy and club, as well as the return of major entertainment at Park Theater.” Conjuring a feeling of nostalgia inspired by different musical eras, the 11,000-square-foot three-room On The Record is a hidden club experience driven by Jonnie and Mark Houston’s award-winning interior design. A functioning record store entry with a robust vinyl collection available for purchase, indoor and outdoor spaces, a double-decker bus DJ booth and patio bar, and three hidden karaoke break rooms are among the venue’s unique features.

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In rotation: 6/23/21

Fords, NJ | New Jersey’s Vintage Vinyl is Closing: The record shop served as a crucial hub for New Jersey’s punk and metal scenes for decades. Vintage Vinyl, the Fords, New Jersey record shop that sat at the nexus of the state’s punk and metal scenes for decades, is closing next month. Owner Rob Roth announced today (June 21) in the shop’s newsletter that it would shut its doors permanently on July 31 after 42 years of business. In addition to hosting one of the state’s largest collections of new and used punk and metal records, the shop also played host to scores of in-store performances over the years, both from local acts like Thursday, Saves the Day, Midtown, Titus Andronicus, and My Chemical Romance, as well as national acts such as Queens of the Stone Age, the Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, and many, many more. Roth opened the first iteration of the store at 23 years old in Irvington, New Jersey in 1979. It has been at its current location since 1984. “I couldn’t get the music I wanted in the chain stores,” Roth told NJ Advanced Media. “It was the era of punk and you couldn’t get those records anywhere. I wanted to fill that void and bring the obscure, selling the punk and British records, and the stuff that was being ignored.”

Eugene, OR | Last Ones Standing: House of Records. House of Records lives in a sage-green house finished with a copper-red trim on 13th Avenue in Downtown Eugene. Inside on May 3rd, 55-year-old Greg Sutherland stood polishing a record with scraps from an old cotton T-shirt. He calls records artifacts and says polishing them is his favorite part of the job. That morning, he finished sifting through 500 disks. It took him a few days to get through them all. He liked about 300 of them. For Sutherland, this is routine. “I’ve done the same thing every day for a decade,” Sutherland says. Sutherland has been the manager of the House of Records for 35 years. He was a big fan of the store while he was in college at the University of Oregon. After three years of being a dedicated customer, the store hired him in 1986. Records have been important to Sutherland for decades. And House of Records has a special charm that Sutherland can’t quite put his finger on. But it drew him in 38 years ago. He thinks it’s one of the best in the Pacific Northwest, right up there with popular shops in Portland and Seattle. The House of Records has had some success in its sales since the pandemic hit Eugene. Sutherland says that a lot of that can be attributed to stay-at-home orders.

London, ON | Forked River Brewing and Speed City Records Release Sparton Press Pils: Forked River Brewing has announced the release of a new beer in collaboration with local record shop Speed City Records. Sparton Press Pils (4.7% abv) is named after a record company and pressing plant that operated in London from the 1930s to 1960s, and is described as follows: It’s our latest Pilsner, this time dry hopped with some of your fav American hops. We dry hopped with Cascade, Amarillo and Mosaic and used more Mosaic and Citra in the kettle. Dry, crispy, light biscuit malt profile with clean hop finish. This beer clocks in at a friendly 4.7%ABV, a patio beer if there ever was one! Sparton Press Pils is available now, along with a co-branded Forked River/Speed City glass and a Forked River turntable slipmat, at the brewery retail store and online shop.

Lorde Is Doing Away with CDs for the Release of Her Third Album, Solar Power: “I didn’t wanna make something that would end up in a landfill in 2 years.” Lorde’s return to the top of the charts is eminent with her third studio album, Solar Power, slated for an August 20 release. But this time around, the New Zealand–based pop star is taking a sustainable approach to sharing her music with the world. Per Billboard, the singer released a statement expressing why she will not have her upcoming album pressed into CDs this time around. The entire project was inspired by the importance of taking care of the environment and preserving the world—and it wouldn’t make sense for her to release her music in a way that would eventually go against that mantra. Instead, Lorde will give fans the option to purchase an eco-friendly “music box” if they desire something physical in addition to the streamable album; it’ll come with handwritten notes, exclusive photographs, and a download card. Lorde will be selling copies of the record in vinyl form also.

Forget Prime Day, these are the best hi-fi and audio deals that aren’t on Amazon: If you’re in deal-hunting mode then remember that specialist independent retailers are the best place for hi-fi bargains. You have probably noticed it’s Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales extravaganza. But while that’s great for bagging discounts on Echo speakers and Fire TV Sticks, it’s not so successful at delivering great deals on hi-fi separates, speakers and audio gear. But, lest we forget, there are a whole world of specialist retailers ready to cater to your specialist needs with great deals on some of our favourite turntables, DACs, amplifiers and plenty more besides. We’ve done our level best to deliver you a selection of the best hi-fi and audio deals to be found on Prime Day… but far from the madding crowds of Amazon.

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In rotation: 6/22/21

Fords, NJ | Vintage Vinyl, N.J.’s premier record store, closing after 42 years: Vintage Vinyl, the longstanding Central Jersey record store revered for its vast selection and in-store performances, will close for good July 31. “It’s time to retire,” founder and owner Rob Roth told NJ Advance Media Monday. “I lived the dream. It’s more than I could’ve dreamed. This will be my legacy.” Roth, 65, announced the closing Monday in a mailing list email sent to customers, writing: “Thanks for 42 wonderful years, it’s been a great ride.” Roth said the pandemic helped put “life into perspective,” but was not a deciding factor in closing the iconic shop. “I have children and grandchildren I want to see,” Roth said, also noting his lease is up this year. The store has been a staple of the Fords section of Woodbridge, just off Route 1, since 1984. Vintage Vinyl is known among New Jersey music lovers as a mecca of rock, punk and metal, as well as a destination for Record Store Day exclusives and high-profile performances on the store’s tiny backstage.

St. Louis, MO | St. Louis’ First Listening Lounge, Takashima Record Bar, Gets in a Groove in The Grove: At the corner of Chouteau Avenue and Sarah Street in The Grove business district in St. Louis, a swanky, modern apartment complex stands prominent, and beneath the Chroma complex lies Takashima Record Bar, an innovative listening lounge that can elevate your next social outing. The establishment’s new owners, Robbie and Dan Hayden, value accountability and have made it one of most important aspects of the business, which reopened in April under their leadership. Based on listening lounges first created in Tokyo, Takashima (which translates to “tall island” from Japanese) features a noir-like vintage vibe, and the atmosphere is inclusive and welcoming. “We want to make [Takashima] something awesome and positive going forward,” Robbie Hayden says. She and her husband agree that goal was the motivation for keeping the establishment’s name. The couple did, however, put their own spin on the place, introducing a diverse record library and new bar program, with small plates, and classic cocktails.

Coventry, UK | Rock band Inhaler to play ‘intimate’ gig at hmv Empire: It comes after comedy gigs had to be postponed. Hmv Empire has announced an album launch show from Irish rock quartet Inhaler. The rock group from Dublin will play an “intimate” record store show on August 19 following the release of their debut album. This announcement comes just one day after the venue announced the postponement of shows prior to July 19 following the extension of restrictions. On June 16 hmv Empire confirmed that its reopening had been pushed back following Monday’s announcement. Two scheduled comedy performances, Ed Byrne and Milton Jones, have been cancelled and ticket holders told to seek refunds. But the venue is looking ahead to the future with shows planned following the expected lifting of restrictions in July. Tickets for the Inhaler album went on sale yesterday, June 18, as part of a three-stop UK tour for the band.

Rennes, FR | Robert Lacire, the man with 21 tons of vinyl: Robert Lacire, 78, has accumulated over 130,000 vinyl records throughout his life. “I speak by weight because it is easier”, he explains. A total of 21 tons of discs, therefore, which can be found in every corner of his Rennes home and in several garages. A visit to his neatly tidy three-room apartment is a tasty moment. In each room, records: in the dresser, in a closet … A quick calculation makes it possible to imagine that it would take ten years to listen to them all. By way of comparison, the collection of Champs Libres, the main library of the Breton capital, amounts to 39,000 records. “I wonder how I managed to get so many”, he has fun, cultivating a country look, blue jeans, knotted scarf and boots. “There is some crazy stuff!”, he still enthuses, blurting out a few curses as he leaves the “pancakes” from Lenny Escudero or Johnny Cash. Born in 1943 (“the same year as Johnny”), May 24 (“the same day as Bob Dylan”), Robert Lacire started “in the bakery”, his father’s job, before taking a CAP as an electrician. Called in Algeria, where he is “troufion“according to his term, he takes care of the sound system of a rock band Les Kakis, the beginning of a long history with music.

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In rotation: 6/21/21

Melbourne, AU | A special in-store gig is going down at Wax Museum Records next week: Featuring two of Melbourne’s finest selectors. The hallowed Wax Museum Records in the city is playing host to a pop-up event on Monday, with its residents GSM and Doc Felix performing a special vinyl-only set at the record store. It comes as part of City of Melbourne’s new LOLI POP UP live event series – an extension of their ongoing Looking Out, Looking In Spotify playlist series that’s seen the likes of thando, High Tension’s Karina Utomo, Barney McAll, Soju Gang, Rings Around Saturn, and more, curate a special collection of tracks for listeners to enjoy. Produced by The Operatives, the playlist has been a huge success, offering music lovers consummate selections in everything from metal, soul, ambient, hip hop, jazz, First Nations, contemporary and electronic explorations – standing as a fascinating adventure into the minds of some of Melbourne’s most revered artists. So it’s no surprise to see Looking Out, Looking In develop into a live series.

Long Island, NY | The definitive guide to record stores across Long Island: Last year, vinyl LPs and EPs outsold CDs for the first time since 1986. This trend was unthinkable 25 years ago. By the turn of the century, vinyl appeared in the twilight of its years and seemingly marked for death. Cassettes and CDs dealt devastating blows to the format and it shied away to irrelevancy in the digital age. But it never reached extinction. The 12 inch 33 1/3 rpm vinyl LP has lived to see its 90th birthday this year. Some may be quick to dismiss vinyl’s newfound popularity as a hipster trend. However, it’s not simply the number of vinyl records sold that indicates its permeation into the mainstream; it’s where it is being sold. Department stores like Kohl’s, Target and Walmart have sold vinyl records for a number of years, the latter of which launched its own “Vinyl Mania Week” last month, during which it sold exclusive releases, primarily color variants of popular titles.

Trojan Records, Legendary Reggae Label, Resurrects A Long Out-Of-Print Trove: Growing up in Southern England, Bob Bell fell in love with Jamaican music as soon as he bought his first recording, in 1963. As far as he was concerned, the explosion of musical creativity in that country, fueled by thousands of Jamaican immigrants in the late 1950s and early 60s, was being ignored. Clearly, the U.K.’s musical gatekeepers didn’t share his enthusiasm. … Bell came up with the idea of putting out a triple-LP anthology, titled The Trojan Story, in 1971 and was in charge of selecting its 50 tracks, which range from mento – the Jamaican cousin of calypso – to ska, rock steady and reggae. But Bell made a conscious decision not to include any hits on the compilation. Instead, he emphasized the music’s breadth. The 1969 song “Pressure Drop” by Toots and the Maytals didn’t make it onto the U.K. charts, but it’s one of two songs from The Trojan Story that made it into The Harder They Come, the film credited with greatly expanding reggae’s popularity.

Chino, CA | Oingo Boingo gave Chino record store an opening-day bounce in 1981: Danny Elfman, The composer who won 16 films for director Tim Burton and created the theme song for “The Simpsons”, and other highlights have been released His first album In over 30 years. But did you know he once played in Chino? His new wave band Oingo Boingo It was said that it appeared at the grand opening of Chino’s Music Plus Store on August 1, 1981. Chino Memories Yesterday and Today’s Facebook Page.. (Coincidentally, it’s also the date MTV debuted.) “It was a pretty coup,” recalls Rick Miller among the employees on the first day on a phone call Thursday. “They weren’t huge, they were just broken because it was their first album.” 8 members of the band I sat at the back table and signed a copy of the album for the customer. The store was filled with hours of queues and a steady stream of customers buying albums at the cash register. Miller estimates that 300 or 400 people were found.

UK | Rod Stewart gives daughter Ruby his treasured record collection in rare family insight: Sir Rod Stewart’s daughter Ruby Stewart has told the star’s fans that she is the lucky recipient of his prized record collection. Ruby revealed that after she showed a passion for collecting vinyl records when she was 15-years-old, her dad gifted her his treasured collection. The family revelation comes after Ruby took over the Maggie May hitmaker’s Instagram page in view of his 474,000 followers this evening She revealed in a video: “I am obsessed with vinyl. I think I have over 200. “I’ve been collecting since I was fifteen. “My dad introduced me to it. He also gave me his record collection.” The family revelation comes after Ruby took over the Maggie May hitmaker’s Instagram page in view of his 474,000 followers this evening She revealed in a video: “I am obsessed with vinyl. I think I have over 200. “I’ve been collecting since I was fifteen…”

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In rotation: 6/18/21

Dundee, UK | Former Groucho’s Dundee staff awarded £46,000 in unpaid redundancy after tribunal: A group of Groucho’s Record Store staff have secured a £46,000 win over their former employer after claiming for unpaid wages and redundancy cash. The four former employees raised an employment tribunal action against Stella Brodie claiming for redundancy money, unpaid wages and damages. Mrs Brodie took over the running of the iconic record store after Alastair “Breeks” Brodie died in 2019. Mrs Brodie closed the store in June 2020, but former Groucho’s staff said they were left without wages for weeks after she told them they would not be paid redundancy money. Following an employment tribunal, Mrs Brodie was ordered to pay £45,971 in total. … The former employees went on to start their own business following the closure of Groucho’s, but were left without an income for 12 weeks whilst they established Thirteen Records.

Minneapolis, MN | Electric Fetus Ranked Among The 10 Great Record Stores In America, According To Spin: Minneapolis’ iconic record store, Electric Fetus, has been ranked among the greatest record stores in America. That’s according to music website Spin, which put together a list of 10 of the greatest record stores in America. While there’s no particular ranking of these top vinyl stores, the Electric Fetus is listed third from the top. “Strange name, cool place. So cool, it was apparently the last record store Prince visited before his passing,” Spin writer Jolie Lash said. The list was released in honor of Record Store Day returning June 12 and July 17. Reckless Records in Chicago, Illinois, Music Millennium in Portland, Oregon and Amoeba Music in Hollywood, California are some of the featured stores. The Electric Fetus opened in 1968, and those who run the store admit that the origin of the store’s unique name has been lost to history. As a possible explanation, Lash noted that Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland was released in the same year as the store’s opening.

West Norriton, PA | Coffee Closet with Barista Jake now part of Vinyl Closet Records: Flipping through the record bins can certainly build up an appetite. Fortunately, it’s no longer 1976, and if you happen to be munching on a hot dog with mustard while at the record store, the clerk won’t be asking you to kindly leave the premises with your snack. Eating while browsing is not frowned upon at Vinyl Closet Records. In fact, owners Jason and Angela Bucci McFarland encourage customers to patronize the shop’s new café, Coffee Closet with Barista Jake, which is run by the couple’s son Jake. There’s a mission behind the espressos, medium roast and dark roast coffees, which started from humble beginnings as a coffee cart back in May of 2020. The supplemental business was created to give Jake something to do during the quarantine, Angela McFarland said. … Jake proudly added, “I take the orders and make the coffee. I’m a star, and so is my dad. We work together.”

Austin, TX | Faster Than Sound: Love Wheel Records Rolls In: Austin music mainstay Mike Nicolai retails vinyl and Indoor Creature parties at the Ballroom. Just off Burnet, North Austin stop Love Wheel Records opened in late April nestled between a nail salon and barber shop. Joe, the three-legged shop dog, greets vinyl patrons in the cheery green and orange store. I left with a few very reasonably priced vintage wares and a complimentary Joe coaster. Love Wheel, named for the gushy Daniel Johnston track about a “love wheel spinnin’ round round round,” offers new and used vinyl across genres, with some books and CDs too. “The first time I moved to Austin I was 26 – I had come here on tour and sort of fell in love with it,” says owner Mike Nicolai, who runs the Brentwood store with wife, Nancy. “I’ve been in and out of town, but I always come back because this feels like home. We’re real happy here, so it seemed like the place to do this.”

Tysons Corner, VA | Remembering the day the Rick Springfield fan army shut down Tysons Corner: June 17 is the 40th anniversary of the day Rick Springfield shut down Tysons Corner. Larry Houck was there. “Talk about having a front-row seat,” said Houck, who worked at the Variety Records in Tysons Corner Center, where Springfield was scheduled to meet fans. “It was totally nuts. All the roads leading to Tysons, all the ramps off the Beltway, were totally congested that day.” In 1981, the Australian heartthrob was doubly famous: as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” and as the artist behind a priceless piece of pop perfection called “Jessie’s Girl.” “He just had so much exposure that summer,” Houck said. The shopping mall record store has pretty much gone the way of the passenger pigeon, but there was a time when it was a busy crossroads for music lovers, both fans and performers alike. “Santana came in once,” said Houck, 63. “Lou Rawls came in one day. Catfish Hodge used to come in. Bill and Taffy Danoff used to come in quite a bit.”

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