Records

International Record Store Day 2015

It’s International Record Store Day and many independent retailers in Canada will be celebrating the event with sales and other promotions.

This is of course a great opportunity to find the vinyl you’ve always been looking for, or that rare CD that has yet to make it to iTunes. But you can also find memorabilia at some of these local stores like posters, hats, embroidered patches, etc. Or DVD/Blu-Rays featuring live concerts or music videos.

Click here for a listing of participating stores in Canada.

Gift Card & Vinyl Discounts

Select Rexall Pharmaplus stores are offering 10% discounts on iTunes Gift Card multipacks of $30 or individual gift cards valued at $50 or $100. This offer ends November 27th, 2014. Consult your local flyer for details.

Participating Target stores are also offering 10% off iTunes gift cards from November 28th, 2014 to November 30th, 2014. But they are also offering 25% Off vinyl records until November 30th, 2014.

Yes, I am also surprised to hear some Target stores have begun to sell vinyl records. And although I suspect their selection will be limited I guess I will need to take a look.

An App For Vinyl Hunters

Have you ever been to a new city and wondered where you could find vinyl records ? Do you have a mobile device that uses GPS ? Then try “The Vinyl District” app :

Click here to download the iOS version from iTunes
Click here to download the Android version from Google

Various FAQ Added

I’ve just added a general frequently asked questions page, in which I address questions I had previously been asked. It will of course expand over the next few days, as I start remembering some more emails.

Hope it helps you.

Universal Records & The Resurgence of Vinyl

Universal Records has decided to start a new crowd funding campaign to address the resurgence of vinyl.

UVinyl, a.k.a The Vinyl Project, is proposing limited re-releases on vinyl from the Universal Music catalog. But few details have been made available yet and the official web site, which will be at uvinyl.com, has yet to have gone online.

All that is known is that donations may result in bonus content, like free music and/or video downloads and personalized art prints. But personally I’d like to see an artist / label partnership that enables donators to obtain rare recordings, like that of Eight Second’s “Almacantar.”

Eight Seconds is a rock band from Ottawa primarily known for Canadian hits “Kiss You When It’s Dangerous“, “Where’s Bula” and Sincere“, which were taken from this Universal Records album. And for “Tell Diane” and “No Picasso” from their subsequent release, “Big Houses” on ATCO Records.

A re-release of Almacantar may be imminent independent of this new project this year. But this could have been an interesting fallback, provided the band were consulted in an acceptable amount of time.

This being an American project I suspect most Canadian releases would take some time to be considered, not only because of popularity in the states but because of contractual and rights issues.

I suspect its success will depend on the compensation artists will receive for these re-releases, especially the lesser known acts. I’ve signed on to get more details on UVinyl and will post additional information, if any.

A Vinyl Comeback ?

It appears that more and more consumers are choosing vinyl over compact disc when if comes to purchasing physical copies of their music.

According to Soundscan, Americans had purchased just over 330 million vinyl albums last year and over 76 thousand new record albums were released in the United States that year.

Apparently many audiophiles are purchasing mp3s for their portable players and purchasing vinyl for their home stereos instead of compact discs because they believe vinyl has a richer sound. And although many bloggers have claimed that this opinion was subjective, the sales of vinyl records continue to rise.

Regardless of the technological debate, consumers have not dropped vinyl as a physical format like the magnetic tape formats (8 track/cassette tape). And compact disc sales are dropping so dramatically in the United States that many major retailers have either reduced or eliminated the retail space they had dedicated to the format.

On the other hand, many online retailers have created vinyl stores to fulfill the demand, including Amazon.ca & chapters.indigo.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobleicon, CD Universeicon, DeepDiscounts.com & JR.comicon in the United States.

Yes, compact disc sales were still substantial at $225.5 Million dollars in the United States in 2011. But sales have slipped by 5.7% from 2010 whilst sales of LPs, digital singles and digital albums have grown.

LPs will not likely not surpass compact discs in sales anytime soon. But it obviously remains a niche product that is fashionable in certain circles, who also prefer the artwork found on LPs and 45s.

Compact disc inserts may be adequate to some but I personally prefer framing a LP for display if I am unable to find a poster of an album cover’s artwork. And I doubt that I am alone in finding the LP album cover more aesthetically appealing.

Many home audio systems and compact stereo units still include turntables but record players are available as separate components in Canada from Amazon.ca, Sears.ca, and Sony.ca.