Area shops Gallery of Sound, Musical Energi ready for Record Store Day
As the needle prepares to drop on another Record Store Day, two of the area’s record stores are poised to celebrate in grander fashion than ever before.
Doors will open at 8 a.m. on April 21 for the annual celebration of physical-format music, and more than 400 first-time and limited-edition releases will be available at record stores across the country.
Not all items will be available at every store, and patrons should check with their local establishments to verify the availability of specific products.
The Gallery of Sound will feature a full schedule of live music at both its Wilkes-Barre Township and Dickson City Locations.
“This is our first time doing the live music in Dickson City,” said Gallery of Sound co-owner Joe Nardone Jr. “We have a solo, acoustic set-up up there.”
Jay Notartomaso, owner of Musical Energi in downtown Wilkes-Barre, is making Record Store Day a two-day affair.
“Basically Saturday (April 21) is still Record Store Day, and you’ll want to show up for all the releases,” Notartomaso said. “And Sunday (April 22) will have all the entertainment.”
The expanded RSD plans come less than a month after the Recording Industry Association of America released its 2017 year-end revenue report showing that CD and vinyl record sales surpassed digital download sales for the first time since 2011. While subscription-driven streaming services still accounted for the majority of the music industry’s growth last year, both Nardone and Notartomaso have seen a continued positive trend in record store culture.
“Every day, we get new customers,” Nardone said, noting that he sees fresh faces in the form of a younger generation of record-buyers and older patrons who have re-embraced the medium. “Ten years ago, the new customer flow was zero. … It’s trendy again. Finding vintage records is big again.”
Notartomaso said the movement is encouraging because music fans are buying entire records again instead of downloading singles.
“When people identify with an artist, they want to open an album cover, read the lyrics, and make that album a part of their home and a part of their life,” he said.
This year’s RSD releases include an LP of The Sunday’s 1990 debut “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic,” a 7-inch picture disc for “Roxanne” by The Police, a Frank Zappa LP titled “Lumpy Gravy b/w Primordial” in burgundy vinyl, and “Run for the Roses” by Jerry Garcia in black and orange marbled vinyl.
“A big one this year is a Led Zeppelin 7-inch with an unreleased version of ‘Rock And Roll’ on it,” Nardone said.
Other featured releases include four distinct titles by David Bowie, a 7-inch by The Flaming Lips titled “The Story of Yum Yum and Dragon,” and Pink Floyd’s “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” on LP and in mono.
“One that I’m particularly excited about is called ‘Hillbillies in Hell,’” Notartomaso said of an LP subtitled “Volume 666 (Country Music’s Tormented Testament: 1952-1974).” “It’s a compilation of country music songs, twangers, but really inappropriate songs with off color-lyrics. I’ve gotten into old country of the ’50s and ’60s.”
As the day approaches, the store owners are looking forward to the annual campaign but also to another potentially successful year in an ever-changing industry.
“I spend most of my time right now looking for great used records,” Nardone said. “I have a collection of about 9,000 records with outstanding titles I’m going to be unleashing.”
Notartomaso, who has traditionally had a focus on buying and selling vintage titles, said he sells as much from his used shelves as he does limited titles on Record Store Day. Also a refurbisher of used turntables, he sees the re-engagement of physical format music as an opportunity for people to get excited again about sharing music in an organic way.
“It’s cool to sit around a record player and listen,” Notartomaso said. “You’re touching the data; it’s exposed to the air, and you can see it. It’s an event. … It doesn’t seem to me like it’s just a fad.”
For the full list of Record Store Day releases visit the official RSD website at recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
Record Store Day live music schedules
Both Gallery of Sound and Musical Energi open at 8 a.m. April 21 to offer limited and first-time Record Store Day releases and free giveaways.
Gallery of Sound, 186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre Township
Noon: Bret Alexander
1 p.m.: Indigo Moon Brass Band
2 p.m.: Rockology Music Academy student bands
3 p.m. Jackknife Stiletto
4 p.m. Aaron Fink & The Fury
5 p.m. Trippy Switch
6 p.m. Rockology Music Academy staff jam
Gallery of Sound, 237 Scranton Carbondale Highway, Dickson City
1 p.m. Daniel Rosler of Esta Coda and A Fire With Friends
1:35 p.m. Jordan Ramirez of Half Dollar
2:10 p.m. George Yurchak of Eibes
2:45 p.m. Sean Flynn of American Buffalo Ghost
3:30 p.m. Doug Griffiths of Purcell
4:15 p.m. Charles Davis of Doghouse Charlie
5 p.m. David Hage of Coal Minor Canary
Musical Energi, 24 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre,will offer live music from 2 to 6 p.m. April 22 to cap off a full weekend of celebration in honor of Record Store Day. Featured acts are Brendan Brisk with Stephen Stec, Tori V, and Matt Ratt spinning vinyl. Any RSD releases still in stock and leftover giveaways will be offered on April 22.
For more information on the Gallery of Sound, visit galleryofsound.com, facebook.com/galleryofsound, or call 570-829-3603. For more information on Musical Energi, visit musicalenergi.com, facebook.com/MusicalEnergi, or call 570-829-2929.