Princeton Record Exchange Will Celebrate 8th Annual National Record Store Day on April 18

Inside PREX at the 2012 National Record Store Day celebration.
Inside PREX at the 2012 National Record Store Day celebration.

The Princeton Record Exchange will sell limited-edition releases and host a free concert to celebrate the 8th annual National Record Store Day on Saturday, April 18th.

Record Store Day celebrates the culture of independently owned record stores, and the event has been growing in popularity every year. Hundreds of limited edition titles are sold only at independent record stores like Princeton Record Exchange, and special music events are held all over the country to celebrate the occasion.

Sales of vinyl records have been sky-rocketing over the last couple of years as a new generation has embraced the warmer sound and eye-catching packaging. More than 9 million vinyl records were sold in 2014, a  52 percent increase over 2013. While many records are available online or in big box stores, the main attraction of Record Store Day is the vast amount of titles that are not available anywhere but at participating independent bricks-and-mortar stores.  At last count, there were well over 400 limited edition titles set to be released on Record Store Day.

Adding to the collectible appeal, most of these records have very limited production runs, typically from 100 to 5,000 pieces.  They are allocated by the distributors to stores around the country, and the stores don’t know what they’ll receive until just before the day.  The Princeton Record Exchange orders thousands of pieces each year based on past history with artists and cool factor, and has historically had a very good selection to choose from.

This year’s slate of releases features a wide variety of genres. Classic rock and indie-rock make up the majority of offerings,  but there are also exciting rap, soul, jazz, techno, country, folk, and metal titles, said Jon Lambert, manager of the Princeton Record Exchange.

The pieces are often on color vinyl, are numbered, on heavy 180 gram vinyl or otherwise different from the standard issues.

Some of the highlights include:

The Doors “Strange Days” in mono (first mono re-issue since 1967); Jerry Garcia “Compliments” on green vinyl, numbered; White Stripes “Get Behind Me Satan” two LP set, color vinyl, first time commercially available; Phish “New Year’s Eve 1995 Live at MSG”, this six LP box set is the first live concert released by Phish on vinyl; Miles Davis “The Prestige 10 Inch LP Collection Vol. 2”, a five 10” LP box set, as well as titles by Hendrix, Flaming Lips, Everly Brothers, Grand Master Flash, Kinks, Bob Marley and many more.

On the quirkier side, there is a  7”single from The Pizza Underground, featuring Macaulay Culkin (of Home Alone fame), a pizza-themed Velvet Underground parody band!; “The Time Warp” 10” single from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; and “RPM Turntable Baseball”, a 7” a two-player game played at 33 1/3 RPM.  A complete list can be found on Record Store Day’s web site.

The band Wild Rice will play an in-store show at 6 p.m.  Wild rice is heavy psych trio with a melodic edge.  The band includes present and former members of Princeton Record Exchange’s staff.

Doors open at 10 a.m., but customers line up much earlier than that to maximize their chances of getting the rarer titles. Last year, several hundred people were waiting at before the store opened, and the line continued for hours.

“There was a real sense of fun and camaraderie as like-minded folks came out to support the store and hope for their top picks of the limited titles,” Lambert said, adding that with the ever increasing base of vinyl fans out there, the 8th annual Record Store Day will be the biggest yet.

The Princeton Record Exchange has been consistently ranked as one of the top record stores in the country, most recently by USA Today.   The store is located at 20 South Tulane St. in downtown Princeton.  Visit the PREX website for more information.

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