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Record Store Week

Record Store Week: Juno, Bleep, and the Challenges of Digital

In advance of this Saturday's Record Store Day happenings around the globe, XLR8R has put together a week-long series of features devoted to taking a closer look at some of our favorite record-selling outlets from around the world. Check out the entire series here. It virtually goes without saying that the internet has changed music—without exaggeration, it's a fair assertion that the past two decades have seen the entire concept of music consumption completely deconstructed and rearranged. On the downside, illegal downloading has crippled record sales and music has, for many, lost its value entirely. Where fans once hunted down releases and cherished their collections, music has now largely been transformed into something to be downloaded en masse and allowed to sit unlistened on some forgotten hard drive. … Read more »

Record Store Week: Mount Analog

In advance of this Saturday's Record Store Day happenings around the globe, XLR8R has put together a week-long series of features devoted to taking a closer look at some of our favorite record-selling outlets from around the world. Check out the entire series here. Los Angeles is associated with many things—sunshine, traffic, Hollywood, etc.—but quality record stores rarely make the list. Sure, there's an LA branch of Amoeba and the city boasts a handful of shops specializing in a variety of sounds, but for those looking to purchase electronic music, particularly of the house, techno, and experimental persuasion, the city has felt like a bit of a dead zone for quite some time. That said, a major ray of hope emerged last year with the opening of Mount Analog, an impeccably curated shop in the city's Highland Park neighborhood. Though it has only been open for less than a year, the store has quickly made its presence known, and already feels like an integral part of the LA music landscape. … Read more »

Record Store Week: Spacehall

In advance of this Saturday's Record Store Day happenings around the globe, XLR8R has put together a week-long series of features devoted to taking a closer look at some of our favorite record-selling outlets from around the world. Check out the entire series here. No one can deny that running a traditional record store is a hardscrabble, occasionally heartbreaking commitment in today's tech-savvy times. Despite feverish industry statistics about a rebounding vinyl market (records sales are now said to back at the same level as in 1997), the rate of announcements about independent records stores shutting their doors in the face of diminishing returns doesn't seem to be slowing. Berlin is a notable exception, a place with a curious overabundance of vinyl outlets, from specialist plattenladen to used-record sellers at flea markets. There's no shortage of variety, yet Berlin still has its standout locales, one of which is undoubtedly Spacehall, a shop situated just off a bustling shopping strip in the southern end of the city's Kreuzberg neighborhood. "I think that Berlin is almost the last city in the world that offers several record shops," said Markus, one of Spacehall's now-former staff members, in a video interview last year. "In a lot of cities, it is now difficult to go to a record shop on a normal weekday, buy the vinyl that you want, have it in your hands, and come back home. I think in this way Berlin is affecting the vinyl market, but it is not only the people living in Berlin that like vinyl." … Read more »

Record Store Week: A-1 Records

In advance of this Saturday's Record Store Day happenings around the globe, XLR8R has put together a week-long series of features devoted to taking a closer look at some of our favorite record-selling outlets from around the world. Check out the entire series here. In 1996, New York City's East Village (which was then simply called the Lower East Side) was a much different place than it is today. What's now one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Big Apple, an area stuffed with high-rise condos, exorbitantly priced cocktail lounges, and an inordinate number of sports bars, was then a neighborhood on the edge. Marijuana was being sold out of bodegas, heroin addicts occupied the benches and bathrooms of Tompkins Square Park, and cab drivers would sometimes refuse to even take people there. This was the East Village where bookstore owner and flea-market vendor Isaac Kosman opened a new kind of record store, which he named A-1. … Read more »

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