WILKES-BARRE – They’re die-hard music fans.
Brother and sister Mark and Christina Collier were lined up at 5:30 a.m. waiting for Musical Energi to open Saturday on Record Store Day.
Mark waited for the band Cake’s box set containing all of the band’s eight individually wrapped records, each pressed on 175-gram colored vinyl.
After he bought it, he hung around to dig through some used vinyl.
“This is the purpose of Record Store Day,” said Mark Collier, of Berwick. “The new releases are awesome, but the purpose is of you to visit your local record store. This is a dying thing right now and we need to put life back into it.”
Record stores across the nation, including Musical Energi in Wilkes-Barre and the Gallery of Sound in Wilkes-Barre Township, participated in Record Store Day on Saturday, which celebrates the culture of the independently owned record store.
“Pets” by Porno for Pyros was blasting on the stereo at the Gallery of Sound as dozens of shoppers browsed through the records, CDs and other merchandise. The cash register line was about 40 people deep.
Nearly every one of the day’s exclusive releases was issued on vinyl, said Joe Nardone Jr., Gallery of Sound owner.
“There was a Ghostbusters 10-inch that was really cool,” he said. “There was a Nirvana 7-inch that we sold out in the first 10 minutes. There was a Cake box set that we got one of, but there were about 50 people here for it.”
Nardone said when Record Store Day started seven years ago, only 200 stores were involved. Now there are more than 1,200.
“It’s our most exciting day,” Nardone said. “There are 400 new releases just for this day. There are reissues, there’s stuff specifically put out for this day, there’s special packages for this day. It’s a variety of things. Seven-inch singles. Picture discs, colored vinyl.”
Mark Collier, at Musical Energi, compared vinyl records to digital music.
“It’s so easy to take your phone and push a button and listen to a song,” he said holding a Papa John Creach record. “But this album, when I play this, I have to take it out, I have to dust it off, I have to put it on the turntable, I have to put the needle on it. I have a connection with this piece of music now.”
Jay Notartomaso, owner of Musical Energi, said he just opened the store yesterday. He relocated his store from a smaller spot on North Main Street.
“We made it by the skin of our teeth,” he said.
Record Store Day, he said, is for people who like to own their own music.
“It’s good for the customers, it’s good for the musicians and artists, it’s good for the labels,” he said. “Everyone wins on Record Store Day.”
Steve Barber of Harveys Lake came to get the Soundgarden box set, which includes all five singles from their record, “Superunknown.”
“Just wanted to come out and support Record Store Day and get some exclusives,” he said. “The Soundgarden box is the main thing I came for.”