Wilkes-Barre stores prep for Record Store Day with limited editions stocked
WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Over a decade ago, co-owner of Gallery of Sound, Joe Nardone Jr. met with other members of the Music Monitor Network in Baltimore to discuss how to breathe life back into the record industry.
“It was 2006, and it was just around the time when Tower Records closed and Sam Goody tucked it in,” Nardone said. “There was a lot of negative press about record stores during the Napster era.”
More than 10 years later, the promotion conceived at that Maryland meeting is moving forward and running parallel with a resurgence in the industry.
The 10th anniversary of Record Store Day takes place April 22 with several local record stores including Gallery of Sound locations and Musical Energi in Wilkes-Barre opening doors at 8 a.m. to celebrate.
Gallery of Sound’s Wilkes-Barre Township location and Musical Energi will offer Record Store Day limited edition vinyl records and merchandise in addition to live music and free giveaways throughout the day.
Nardone said the yearly event has come a long way since its inauguration.
“The first year, we had eight titles to sell and cleared out years and years of free and promotional stuff,” Nardone said. “The idea was to celebrate the community.”
This year, record stores chose among more than 300 titles that will be debuting in honor of RSD.
“In a year when streaming services are grabbing all the headlines, vinyl is still climbing,” Nardone said.
In the beginning, Nardone said, the intent was to create and release titles that were only available for one day, but as the event has progressed, titles have fallen into one of three categories: Record Store Day exclusive releases, limited run/regional releases and Record Store Day first releases.
Among RSD exclusives are “Live Los Angeles ‘74,” by David Bowie, “P.N.E. Garden Auditorium, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 7/29/66” by Grateful Dead and “Live from San Francisco” by moe.
Some, Nardone said, are pressings of records that were never released on vinyl or reissues of albums that were only printed on vinyl in small numbers — coming primarily from groups that were popular in the ’90s and early 2000s at the height of the CD medium.
These titles include a Marcy Playground self-titled LP and an Alice in Chains 7” single, “Get Born Again.”
Among first releases are six Prince titles including “Sign O The Times” and “Partyman.”
Nardone said 95 percent of RSD releases are limited edition and can’t be reordered or repressed.
“The small group of titles listed as Record Store Day first releases may be available again in the future,” Nardone said. “We sell all RSD titles until they are all gone — some are gone Saturday and some remain available for a few more days.”
Other items include a “Strawberry Fields Forever” 7” by The Beatles, a “Stabitha Christie” 7” by Against me, and a Crosley “Star Wars” record player.
“When we started, you couldn’t buy a turntable,” Nardone said. “Now, they’re everywhere.”
Owner of Musical Energi, Jay Notartomaso said RSD is his biggest day of the year.
“It’s always been,” Notartomaso said. “We’ve been doing this almost since the beginning. It does bring people back into the stores.”
Notartomaso said his store has been doing well over the past five to six years as vinyl sales have been climbing.
“It’s nice to see young people interested in wanting to own a physical product,” Notartomaso said. “This is a big deal to us, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Among titles Notartomaso is excited to carry are The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s EP “Lime and Limpid Green” and Soulwax’s “Belgica.”
“It’s kind of funk/Motownish, really upbeat,” Notartomaso said of “Belgica.”
Live music will be performed at Musical Energi by Ed Randazzo & the Husty Brothers and Dennis Condusta.
Gallery of Sounds’ live music bill will include Aaron Fink, Inner Temple, A.J. Jump, Charles Havira and students from Nardone’s Rockology Music Academy in Wilkes-Barre Township.
“It’s our first band of students,” Nardone said. “We’re pretty excited about that.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Record Store Day
Where: Gallery of Sound, 186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre and locations in Dickson City and Hazleton; Musical Energi, 24 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre
When: Doors open at 8 p.m. April 22