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JACK’S PLAYS THE LIVE CARD ON SATURDAY

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Chris Dargis and Laura Monzo are among the well known locals (and mysterious guests) appearing at Jack’s Music Shoppe during Record Store Day this Saturday.

By TOM CHESEK

April 17 is National Record Store Day — a name that, contrary to what you might have heard, is not designed to remind you of some charitable cause, nor to serve as a solemn remembrance of such fallen giants as Tower and Virgin.

Rather, it’s a joyous occasion — one in which hundreds of indie businesses from coast to coast work to celebrate “the culture, and the unique place that they occupy in their local communities.”

In this particular community, that cultural touchstone is of course Jack’s Music Shoppe — and that unique place is the store’s savvy straddling of Broad Street and the English Plaza municipal parking lot.

But before you blow in one end and out the other like a bag of WOW Chips on a prune-juice chaser, consider that with such attractions as a sought-after instrument room, a choice video department, a locally unique sheet music loft and a renewed commitment to polyvinyl platters, Jack Anderson’s duplex diskerie has continued to hold a kingly hand — even as most other indies have folded ‘em, walked away, or even run.

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NYC singer-songwriter Jennie Arnau drops in at Jack’s on Saturday evening, while WRXP deejay Rich Russo organizes an earlybird bus trip of artists featured on a special compilation album.

On Saturday, the landmark shop plays another of the trump face-cards in its deck, with a daylong slate of live music that spotlights some buzzworthy homegrown talent, several one-day exclusives, and a literal busload of special out-of-town guest performers.

According to store manager Chris Van Orden, the in-store excitement commences on the early side — at the decidedly un-rockstar hour of 10a —  with the expected appearance of Rich Russo, on-air personality for New York radio station WRXP and host of the Sunday night Anything, Anything program.

As a special promotion for Record Store Day, the station has put together a vinyl-only compilation album of regional artists (including veteran powerpop prodigals Dramarama and 90s Shore favorite Matt Witte) performing live in the RXP studio. Adding to the collector’s cachet is the fact that the record will be offered for sale this Saturday only (and only at a handful of stores in New York and New Jersey). Adding to the aura of mystery is the fact that Russo will be visiting Jack’s and other participating shops with a bus trip of artists featured on the disc, although Van Orden offers that fans shouldn’t expect to be seeing the California-based John Easdale and his Dramarama gang.

At 2p, singer-songwriter Laura Monzo commandeers the far aisle of the store for an intimate set in which she’ll be accompanied by Chris Dargis — himself a veteran Shore scene artist and a longtime member of the Jack’s crew — as she spotlights songs from her self-released Manic EP. Then at 3p, New York based folkrocker Jennie Arnau sets up shop to promote her (just released this week) newie, Chasing Giants.

There’s more in store promised for Saturday, with some additional artists TBA, along with complimentary refreshments and several one-day deals on recordings from the likes of Neil Young, Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen (who famously caused hundreds of sleepy-eyed Jerseyans to come out to Jack’s in their jammies for a midnight-madness album drop in 2001).

Specials remain in effect through 9p, and updated info on Record Store Day at Jack’s can be found right here.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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