By Nicole Seitz
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!