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Tenth Annual Record Store Day April 22, 2017

Filed under: music news,Music Swap — NVMP @ 8:04 AM
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By Nicole Seitz

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Record stores are not as popular and hoppin’ as they used to be with the introduction of music streaming and less of a need for physical copies of music. However, Record Store Day is keeping the music alive. This year is going to be the 10th Record Store Day across the nation. Every April, record shops get special releases of some your favorite artists and they get their staff ready for the biggest day of the year.

This year, Record Store Day is Saturday, April 22. Some special releases for this year include newer artists such as All Time Low, Dave Matthews Band, and The Lumineers. There will also be special releases of live performances, unreleased music, and remastered music from legends like David Bowie, Prince, and The Beatles.

“Record store day reminds us that music is an art form – it can be listened as a single song or as I prefer, in an entire album of material from an artist.” said Communication Department Chair and Associate Professor Aaron Furgason at Monmouth University.  “What makes this day special is that a trip to a record store means that you leave with tangible evidence of the artist, instead of simple download or stream of the music. A record allows you to admire the album cover art, read the lyrics, credits and thank you’s by the artist – elements you don’t necessarily have access to through streaming or downloading a song.”

“In the past, I’ve been excited to get exclusive content that was only available on Record Store Day,” said senior music industry student, Joey Affatato. “In 2015, I bought a special 10th anniversary release of Brand New’s Deja Entendu, and last year I got a special acoustic version of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.”

To pick up some cool tunes, you can either stop at your favorite local record store or make a whole day trip out of it. Senior music industry student Dave DePaola mapped out a whole days’ worth of NJ record stores to visit a few years ago and has been doing that with his friends since 2015.

DePaola said, “I love Record Store Day because I love being able to just explore with my friends. Not only is it exciting every time I find an album I’ve been looking for or discover a new album while searching through all the stores, I love being able to explore all the different towns we stop in and see all different areas in New Jersey.”

If you start your day around 10 a.m., it should be easy to get through all the stores and stop wherever you want for lunch and dinner along the way in one of the various towns.

The route starts locally at Hold Fast in Asbury Park, right on Cookman Ave. This a cool little store with a pretty good collection of new releases and old ones alike. They also have some cool music memorabilia for collectors.

The next stop is everyone’s favorite, Jack’s Music Shoppe, in Red Bank. Red Bank is always a good time and Jack’s has not only CD’s, vinyl, and tapes, but also an extensive collection of posters, sheet music and even movies (if you’re not into music).

The next stop on the list is Vintage Vinyl about 40 minutes north in Fords. Vintage Vinyl is probably the largest record store on the list and has a huge selection of music on various mediums. The store is even a venue for local and bigger acts from time to time with their stage in the back of the place.

Next stop is New Brunswick. There are two pretty cool record stores here and obviously lots of other cool places to check out around town. Spina Records is a tiny little hipster record store in the basement of a building. They have $1 records outside and you can walk down the stairs to a solid collection of CD’s and records for a fairly small space.

The next one in New Brunswick is Revilla Grooves and Gear, which is just outside of the main town area in New Brunswick. It was here that we found some rare finds like Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and The Wall by Pink Floyd both on vinyl for a great price.

Next up, Princeton Record Exchange (PREX). If you’ve ever been to Princeton to just walk around and get dinner, you’ve probably wandered into PREX. This is probably the most organized, considering it’s not that big of a place. There is always something new to find and you can always find at least one album that you’ve been looking for for a while there.

The last stop on our list is Randy Now’s Man Cave in the heart of Historic Bordentown. The Man Cave is a tiny shop with music knick-knacks and various mediums of music. There is also a whole room of movie/TV show memorabilia for those interested in that.

Overall, Record Store Day is a great day to explore and find new music. It’s also a good chance for up and coming musicians to give their music to various record stores. Affatato has copies of his album The Ramparts Rebel available at Randy Now’s.

DePaola said, “I have always loved collecting CDs and records. Record Store Day allows me to dedicate a whole day to collecting and listening to music and it’s the coolest thing ever.”

EDITORS NOTE: If you venture to North NJ, you must check out Merchant Music in Westwood!

Click here to view the list of all releases for Record Store Day.

 

Dirty Sweet – American Spiritual May 13, 2010

Filed under: CD Reviews,Music Swap,New Music — NVMP @ 6:47 PM
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TNT thinks: Consider yourselves warned- Dirty Sweet’s American Spiritual is extremely catchy and highly addictive.  I’m in love with this album because I grew up with Southern rock and they have vibes that remind me of Tiger Army, only less punky.  There are also some great, chilling guitar solos.  The titles of each track are brilliant, “Rest Sniper, Rest” and “Star-Spangled Glamour” and “Crimson Calvary”, genius.  These are all amazing songs that I suggest you check out.  I also love “Please Beware” (the lyric ‘please beware, I’m going crazy’ I relate to on a daily basis’.  New TNT anthem?) and “Rest Sniper, Rest.”  When I’m listening to this album, I imagine myself driving down a long open road.  So you can bet your dirty sweet ass I’ll be packing this album on my next road trip.

H-Toof thinks: Dirty Sweet brings us some enjoyable Southern cock rock on their second studio album, American SpiritualAmerican Spiritual is like a rock canvas splattered with everything from gospel, country and blues to R&B and heavy metal.  The album plays like a chronicle of problems facing our country today, and takes aim at warmongering politicians and our celebrity-obsessed news media.  Overall, American Spiritual is a strong, varied rock album that both new and old fans will enjoy.

Check out Dirty Sweet’s video for “Marionette”

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Music Swap #2- The Blue Van, Man Up April 28, 2009

Filed under: Music Swap — NVMP @ 3:46 AM
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Tina’s Review

     The Blue Van, hailing from Denmark, just released their third album Man Up.  The album was released April 7th via iTunes and will follow shortly with the physical release.  You have probably heard their first single “Silly Boy”, on the Samsung Behold commercial.  Other songs from Man Up have been featured in VH1’s new show Free Radio, an episode of 90210, CSI NY, and a PlayStation NBA video game.  “Silly Boy” presently sits in Denmark’s Top Ten.  The band’s name comes from the word blue van in Demark (Den blå varevogn), which picks up the mentally ill.  That links with the term Denmark used to describe the new and loud rock n’ roll music, pigtraad.  Loosely decoded, it means barbed wire.  Barbed wire, blue vans, the crazies- make sense now? 

     It’s hard to imagine that a band from Demark could be so musical impacted by American music, mostly from classic rock bands like Cream, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks.  They have that 1960s rock n’ roll sound, but also incorporates some raw R&B, a touch of soul, and explosive drums.  Their songs are all catchy, every single one.  Just when you think that you’ve found a song you’re not crazy about, those charismatic rhythms pull you right back in.  I’m not calling The Blue Van the next Rolling Stones or Cream, but I think they have pure elements of rock and it’s great that they are heavily influenced by the greats.  Although Man Up has no apparent theme, I’m still happy with the outcome. 

My favorites:  “Be Home Soon”, “Man Up” (love the guitar bends and it’s blues elements), “Silly Boy”, “The Socialite” (so beyond catchy that a new word needs to be creative), “Out of Control”, and “True”.  

The ones that only brought their B game:  “The Goes My Love”, “Lay Me Down An Die”, “In Love With Myself”, and “Trees”.

Review: 4.5 out of 5

Dan’s Review          

      When Tina gave me The Blue Van’s album Man Up, I really had no idea what to expect at all. They’re from Denmark, they’ve released two albums already, and they’ve been getting some play on television commercials. After listening to the album, I can say that The Blue Van delivers a solid bluesy rock album that’s catchy and quirky at its best, and a little repetitive and derivative at its worst.

     The more I listened to Man Up, the more I heard bands like The Kinks and even The Bravery, which isn’t a bad thing, but too many of the tracks sound too similar. Every musician has their own style, but the same beats and guitar riffs didn’t really make this album stand out. They’re a good band, don’t get me wrong, they just need to do something to differentiate their songs from each other.

      There are some great tracks on the album. “Silly Boy,” “I’m A Man,” and the album’s title track, “Man Up” are catchy and have some good hooks.  Overall I liked what I heard, but Man Up works better as chill-out background music than anything else. 

Listen To: Man Up, Silly Boy, I’m A Man, There Goes My Love 

Skip ‘Em: In Love With Myself, Trees,  

Review: 3.5 out of 5

 

Music Swap #1 – It starts… March 24, 2009

Filed under: Music Swap — NVMP @ 1:52 AM
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While our respective music libraries do have some similarities, for the most part, they’re two juxtaposing musical tastes.  Every week, one of us will pick an album for both of us to review, and I can guarantee it won’t be pretty. Instead of getting one opinion from someone who either loves or hates the album, artist, or genre, we’ll be providing two very different takes on the same album. For our first column, we’d like to give a brief overview of the music we can’t get enough of.
Tina’s Library (iTunes Library Name: It’s Only Rock n’ Roll (and so much more) but I Like It)
My two favorite bands are The Grateful Dead and The Get Up Kids.  I have a vast range of genres I listen to; I like to be open to everything, but sometimes I need to jump right past that cliché indie/emo pop/rock band to find a band that makes my ears ring with the resonance of awesome.  Some of the bands that circulate my iTunes are Metallica, The Beatles, Jukebox the Ghost, Alkaline Trio, Joan Jett, Rise Against, Bob Dylan, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ok Go, Bob Marley, and The Living End, just to name a few.  My biggest pet peeve with bands these days are their lack of knowledge with the synthesizer, lyrics that have no meaning, and fashion (aka, guys thinking they can get away with v-neck t-shirts)
Dan’s Library (iTunes Library Name: The Euphoria Dome Dance Party Plus)
No Doubt and Lola Ray are my two favorite bands of all time; Kylie Minogue, Cobra Starship, Men Women & Children, The Cardigans (they’re still making music!), Klaxons, The Donnas, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Head Automatica round out the Top 25 Most Played songs on my iTunes.  I like pop music that I can move to.  Half of my Workout playlist consists of Britney Spears with a side of Beyonce, Kat DeLuna, Kenna, The Sounds and The Blakes for good measure.  I’m open to music of all genres, but anything with a bouncy pop undertone is the stuff I crave. 
Music Swap #1 : Robyn (self-titled)
Dan’s Review:

Remember that song “Show Me Love” from the late 90’s by a chick from Sweden named Robyn?  What about “Do You Know (What It Takes)?  That was another one of her singles.  What about any other of her songs?  I don’t remember them either, but in August of 2007, she released a new EP on iTunes called Konichiwa Bitches – EP.  I don’t remember how I happened upon it, but within a minute of hearing the clip, I downloaded all four of the songs and instantly fell in love.

 

In April of 2008, Robyn released Robyn.  You probably didn’t hear any of her new music outside of MTV bumps or “Cobrastyle” on one of those dance shows that are all the rage today.  If you’re in the mood for a record that runs the gamut from hip-hop beats to pop ballads and everywhere in between, then Robyn is definitely worth a listen.

        

Unlike some of the artists who hover around the top of today’s Top 40, Robyn can actually sing, and sing with a heartbreaking sweetness and playful honesty that permeates the entire album.  Her rhymes in “Konichiwa Bitches are clever; “Jack You Off”s piano-pounding and obscene lyrics will make you smirk; “Robotboy is quirky and melodic; “With Every Heartbeat will break your heart.

           

Some editions of her album came with bonus tracks, the must-haves being “With Every Heartbeat (Acoustic), “Be Mine! (Ballad Version)”, and “Bum Like You (Alt. Version).  While they’re not all acoustic, the music definitely takes a back seat to Robyn’s beautiful and sincere vocals.

           

If you’d like a break from the overproduced pop fare littering the airwaves, give Robyn a listen.  It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s fun. It’s quirky. It’s sexy in a look-but-don’t-touch way.

 

Listen To: Konichiwa Bitches, Handle Me, With Every Heartbeat, Bum Like You…pretty much the entire album except… 

Skip ‘Em: Should Have Known, Any Time You Like

 

Review: 4.5 out of 5

 

Tina’s Review:

Swedish Pop sensation Robyn has come a long way since “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know What It Takes”, especially to Americans, since she took a ten year break promoting her music on this side of the world. She reminds me of an alternative version of Pink; she’s saucy and full of life, but I feel like there is something missing.  Her songs either sound over or under-produced.  Because she is a solo pop artist, background beats and tracks make up a good portion of her music.  At times, it sounds like there isn’t enough music combining or surrounding her voice, making her intonation detectably awkward.  On this self titled album, most of her songs stay in a comfortable range (like five notes) until she hits the chorus, which then broadens up her note selection.  I am not about to bad mouth an international pop star and tell her how to do her job, I’m just giving my honest opinion; she could do better, production wise.  I do admire her ambition though.  She knows what sound she’s looking for and putting her two cents in, since Konichiwa Records is her very own label. 
Her prelude track “Curriculum Vitae” was a bit ostentatious, but I hope one day I could reach this Robyn status:  “She split the atom, invented the x-ray, the cure for AIDS, and the surprise blindfold greeting. She performed and Choreographed the fights for Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and Game of death and still does stunt doubles for Jackie Chan on the weekends. She suckerpunched Einstein, outsmarted Ali, and even outsuperfreaked Rick James.”  Really Robyn?  You outsuperfreaked Rick James?  It was a great introduction to the next song “Konichiwa Bitches”, my favorite track on the album. The rhymes are clever and I love her attitude.  Robyn covered “Cobrastyle” from Teddybear that was reputable, but made me realize that it shared similarities with Kid Rock’s hit “Bawitdaba”…very interesting.  The two biggest problems I had with this CD was her voice in general and the conformity of her songs.  Even when she expanded her vocal range, it sounded like she was straining to hit the notes.  Maybe she could have used backup singers instead of her own vocal track; it would have at least added some diversity to the music.   While listening to Robyn, I constantly thought I was listening to the same song.  With a lot of them, the back beats ruined it for me, especially the ones featuring the unflattering high pitches.  Also, they were predictable, but then again, what pop song isn’t?  Slower tracks like “Eclipse” and “Should Have Known” were more tolerable because they were not bombarded with unnecessary tracks.  These songs focused more on her voice, which when stripped down or accompanied by only a piano, is quite pleasant. 
Final summation: this electro-pop diva could not get farther away from the music that circulates my playlist, but even after a giving the time for a closer listen, she does not excite my musical desires, unless of course I was in a club and had a few too many.  Too predictable and poor background beats.
Review: 2 out of 5