Here’s one for those that worry modern music companies are giving away too much power to third-party retail / streaming partners.
Concord Music Group, the acquisitive record company and publishing house backed by masses of private equity money, has just opened its very own vinyl store.
Stax of Wax is, as it sounds, an outlet which pays tribute to the classic soul label Stax – but its range covers a wide range of genres and all labels.
The inspiration for the retailer, based at Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, CA, comes from Satellite Records, the tiny record shop in Memphis, TN that was the retail arm of the Stax Records label (that’s owned by Concord Music Group).
In its ‘60s heyday, the Satellite Record shop served as a community hub for passionate music fans in Memphis and became synonymous with ground-breaking music.
Founded in 1957 in Memphis, Stax Records was a big player in American soul music during its 15-years in business, spawning the careers of recording artists, songwriters and producers such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the MG’s, The Staple Singers, Albert King, Sam & Dave, and Rufus and Carla Thomas.
Today it exists largely as a reissue label with a handful of new recordings from artists such as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals.
The new Stax of Wax store offers a handpicked selection of 900 titles spanning new releases, classic reissues and box sets in an array of genres from a number of distributors, including rock, jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, electronica, blues, country, Americana and indie/alternative.
It also sells special orders for vinyl releases and merchandise like T-shirts, books and photography, including prints from art music gallery Morrison Hotel.
Alongside Concord Bicycle Music, the shop was created by Liliana Casabal of boutique-clothing store Morgane Le Fay (located next door to Stax of Wax).
Concord, backed by Wood Creek – an investment manager with over $2.5 billion in committed capital – merged with independent publisher The Bicycle Music Company in April last year.
At the same time, it raised $100m to help expand its market presence.
Since then, it’s gone on a bit of a spending spree, snapping up the likes of Fearless Records and Wind-Up Records and signing a worldwide JV with US indie Razor & Tie.
Just last month, Concord licensed the global recorded rights to R.E.M’s classic ‘Warner Bros’ catalogue – a deal executed under the nose of the major label which helped make the band’s name.Music Business Worldwide