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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


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.


Matt Alonso Breaks Down Walls in the Music Industry December 4, 2016

by Nicole Seitz

Last December I interviewed senior music industry student Matt Alonso about his Kickstarter for Cortex which successfully raised $5,500. It may sound cheesy, but what once was an idea has now become a reality for Alonso after nine months of dealing with the ups and downs of the industry and working four jobs to make sure his dream would come true.

The platform of Cortex is a way for musicians to connect with their fans, according to Alonso. Currently the website can be used for fans to download their favorite artists’ music for free. Artists that are registered with Cortex currently include current Blue Hawk Records artists Littlebear and The Ramparts Rebel and some Monmouth alumni bands like The Bunks, Flammable Animals, and Grin & Bear. Some local bands, such as Bounders and The Black Sox Scandal, are featured on the website as well.

The website had its first soft launch in mid-September 2016. Artists pay a single payment of $50 to start connecting with their fans and making money off their music. Although this is only the beginning, Alonso has a lot in store for Cortex. Within the next year Alonso wants to “go towards streaming music for these artists’ and get them paid more than Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music combined.”

We have seen artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift take a stand against the music streaming sites that only seek to take money from artists. Alonso’s goal is to “put the music industry back in the hands of the artists.”

He explained that current CEO’s of these streaming sites have a formula they use to calculate how much money goes to the artist and how much goes to them and Alonso blatantly stated “I made up my own formula and it’s better.”

His whole platform revolves around making sure the artist get paid fairly and can connect with their fans. Alonso recently celebrated his first two cents of revenue, and although that may not be much to most of us, it meant the world to him and the future of Cortex.

His focus is on the artist themselves. “If [Cortex] helps at least one other person, I’ll be grateful,” Alonso stated. He is a huge music lover himself and sees the dwindling appreciation for the art of music. “Music is a beautiful thing that is taken for granted,” Alonso believes.

Alonso’s goal is to raise awareness of this lost art by starting locally. Many of the artists that represent Cortex right now are Monmouth County bands, and Alonso hopes that by being a part of Cortex they can grow. Alonso said, “Every band that anyone has ever loved was once a local band.” He urged people to support their local artists by listening to your local music scene.

Joe Rapolla, Chair and specialist professor of the Music and Theatre Arts department, has had Alonso as a student and says “This is exactly the kind of creative initiative we love to see our students take. I applaud Matt’s entrepreneurial efforts with Cortex. I’ve told him, like we tell all of our students, that we are here to support them if they have an idea that they’d like to pursue…whether while here at Monmouth, or beyond.”

Rapolla continued “I am constantly making the point that the business world isn’t just looking for workers to come in to be told what to do, but rather innovators that ask how they can add value, and contribute to a solution.”

Dave DePaola, a senior music industry student, commented, “Matt is such a great dude and has such a love and passion for music. He’s doing something that the industry should have been doing for years and he’s doing it all to help promote the art of music and get artists’ the appreciation they deserve. I wish him all the luck through out this whole journey.”

The future of Cortex will provide artists an option to pay a little more and register to be Premium Artists. This premium feature will allow artists to see the demographics of who is listening to their music and where these fans are.

This feature will allow the musicians to get to the fans that are listening and make more connections with them. Alonso described how there is a huge disconnect between artists and fans and this feature can hopefully break down those walls.

The passion and enthusiasm Alonso has for this project and for music in general is evident. He has big plans for the future and hopes to change the world of the music industry. If you’re interested in checking out the website go to and sign up to be a fan and become a part of a music revolution.