Wolverhampton, UK | Wolverhampton record shop to close tomorrow after more than 50 years selling music: A popular city centre record store is set to close its doors for the last time at the weekend. Oldies Unlimited in Wolverhampton will close its shop on Darlington Street on Saturday, December 4, marking the end of more than 50 years of record sales and band signings in the city. The shop was initially due to close on November 30, but is being kept open until the weekend when it will shut its doors for good. Owner Simon Malpas said the plan for the business going forwards was to run it online, shipping out records and posters through the Facebook page, as well as joining record fairs across Wolverhampton. Mr Malpas said it had been a difficult decision to close, but said the business would go on and thanked customers for their support. He said: “I just want to offer an immense thanks to everyone who has supported us over the last 50 years.
Tampa, FL | Seminole Heights record shop staple Microgroove celebrates 10-year anniversary this weekend: The dark lord of surf-rock, Mrenc plays the tunes. In the decade Microgroove has been open the Seminole Heights record shop—owned by New Granada label head Keith Ulrey—has been in a Buccaneers promo, hosted numerous shows including Xetas, Hand Out, Permanent Makeup, and, of course, struggled through an ongoing pandemic. The Best of the Bay-winning shop celebrates its tin year with a party featuring shoegaze-grunge act Mrenc plus live art and painting with Josh “Bump” Galletta. The party won’t be as raging as past years, but better than last year because the anniversary didn’t happen in 2020 (thanks to that son a bitch, COVID-19). Ulrey still is being extra-careful with the whole pandemic, so he said, “We’re keeping it light, a mini-party if you will, a truncated celebration.” There won’t be free beer and masks are required inside the store. But plan to do holiday shopping, everything is 10% off. And whatever you do, don’t park at Cappy’s.
Durango, CO | Toast Records and Tapes can help round out your vinyl collection: Shop will be open late for Noel Nite. For some music lovers, vinyl albums have never really gone away. And for a new generation of listeners who are just now discovering the warm sound, the cover art and yes, the smell (especially of old albums), there are plenty of records to be had. In fact, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s Mid-Year 2021 RIAA Revenue Statistics report, consumers’ investment in vinyl records continues to climb, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. “Vinyl records continued a remarkable resurgence in the first half of 2021. Revenues from vinyl albums grew 94% to $467 million, though the comparison versus the prior year includes a period in which retail stores were significantly impacted by COVID-19, and Record Store Day 2020 was delayed and did not occur in the spring (as it did in 2021),” the report said. It’s not just older acts still pumping out vinyl – artists like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Adele have albums available on vinyl as well, drawing in younger listeners.
Birkenhead, UK | Birkenhead record shop receives rare John Lennon vinyl gift from Yoko Ono: A Birkenhead record shop has been the lucky recipient of a rare John Lennon release thanks to the former Beatle’s wife and son. Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon have sent out 50 vinyl copies of Happy Xmas (War is Over) to charities and shops across the UK in the hope the record’s sale will generate funds. A note attached to the gifts urged the charities to use the limited edition 12-inch vinyl acetates to “sell, auction [and] raise money”. The one-sided acetate, featuring John and Yoko, was hand-cut on the lathe at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Each edition is stickered and numbered out of 50 and includes a machine printed signature from Yoko, making them hugely collectable. The selected recipients, which include 25 charities and 25 independent record shops, were personally chosen by Yoko and Sean with a note reading: “Happy Xmas.”
Philadelphia, PA | Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill offering new and vintage vinyl for music lovers: Brian Reisman can take you on a musical trip back through time at his store, Hideaway Music, in Chestnut Hill. He says many of the albums in his store’s racks are classic rock, but he offers a variety of musical genres. Customers can find music from legends like George Harrison, Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin. His vintage vinyl offerings are varied depending on what he can find. On this day, he had the Cheap Thrills album with Robert Crumb’s cover art from Big Brother and the Holding Company available. It was their last album with Joplin as the lead singer. Reisman says he’s always been into music, growing up in the ’60s. He lists the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Doors as some of his favorites. “I listened to rock and roll,” he said.
Our favourite vinyl artwork and packaging of 2021: Sound and vision: Kicking off VF Magazine’s 2021 feature coverage of our favourite releases of the year, we begin by exploring artwork and packaging. Over the past twelve months, the bounds of vinyl artwork continued to unfold in transfixing ways – with record sleeves, box sets, and picture discs that thrilled, mesmerised, and elated in equal measure. With the power of cover artwork alone, artists’ utilised the medium of vinyl to portray the album’s inner life in full 12″x12″ glory: JASSSS’ eyes and mouth emerge witchlike from crimson moss; Lotic’s exultation is washed in blue; L’rain emerges from hazy, sepia waterfall. Elsewhere, illustrators created their own worlds on their square cover canvas, transporting you to realms entirely of their own imagination – like Al White’s work for 12th Isle, and Bruxas’ aerobic introspection.
Craft Recordings Celebrates 70 Years Of Contemporary Records With New Box Sets, Vinyl Reissues And More: 2021 marks 70 years of Contemporary Records, the Los Angeles-based audiophile jazz label that both defined and radically expanded the sound of West Coast jazz. Throughout the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, Lester Koenig’s artist-friendly company released career-defining performances by some of modern jazz’s most influential and accomplished improvisers, including Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Hampton Hawes, Art Pepper, Harold Land, Shelly Manne, and Teddy Edwards. In celebrating the history of this essential label and its exceptional catalog, Craft Recordings is releasing a variety of content throughout the coming year, including deluxe box sets, vinyl reissues, SACDs, and digital compilations, as well as exclusive merchandise, video content, and curated playlists. Full details of these new releases follow.