Saturday is a day for the records.
The vinyl kind. And for CDs and DVDs and all things you can find in your local record store.
The day, Record Store Day, is a time for many recording artists to issue new releases and for live music and merchandise giveaways, too.
Local music stores are taking part in the international event to promote the businesses and the culture of the record store.
“The retail group I was part of was part of the group that founded (Record Store Day),” Joe Nardone Jr. said.
Now in its sixth year, Record Store Day has grown, with mostly vinyl records but also CDs, DVDs and T-shirts given away.
“The whole first year we had less than 20 items to give away,” Nardone recalled.
Nardone’s Gallery of Sound music stores are part of the Music Monitor Network, which manages the event on the third Saturday in April in each year that was organized with the help of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, otherwise known as AIMS, and the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, or CIMS. The idea is to promote the independent record stores that face competition from corporate chains.
“We have about 90 stores in the group,” Nardone said.
“The orginal thought was, it is sort of modeled after like a giveway day, like a comic-book day,” Nardone said. “That was sort of the driver.
Now it’s a day with the most releases and most items for sale in one given day. Some are limited in number.
The two Gallery of Sound stores in Wilkes-Barre and others in Hazleton and Dickson City not only will have new and used records, but seven bands will play throughout the day at the Mundy Street store, Nardone said.
One of them, Leroy Justice, which has local ties, is now signed to a national label.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There usually are some exciting new releases, too. The Rolling Stones have been part of it every year, and Bob Dylan has been just about every year, Nardone said. But the releases, of which there are many, include numerous rock genres.
Musical Energi, on North Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, will host two live groups for Record Store Day, owner Jay Notartomaso said.
The event there will take place from 9 a.m. until about 7 p.m.
“This our biggest year,” the owner said. “We’ve been participating since the beginning.”
Notartomaso said Astorian Stigmata will play an acoustic set in the afternoon, and Mock Sun will play in the evening.
“They’re local bands,” Notartomaso said. “They don’t do covers; they’ll be doing their own stuff.”
He said the store ordered a lot of the exclusive releases, though it’s not certain which ones it will receive.
“Everybody orders, and nobody gets everything they want,” Notartomaso said. “We ordered a lot. We’re still waiting on stuff.”
But Notartomaso promised there would be plenty of free stuff, including CDs and T-shirts, as well as a raffle.
Notartomaso recommended customers check the store’s Facebook page for more information.
He said Record Store Day was started to support record stores, “to get back to music the way it was meant to be.”