The Record Connection plans biggest day ever

Record Store Day is turning it up to 11 this year.

Now in its 11th year, the annual celebration of the independent record store will feature more exclusive RSD music releases than ever, and from many huge stars. Well over 200 albums will appear in record stores – including the Record Connection in Niles – on April 21.

Jeff Burke, owner and operator of the shop in Pine Tree Plaza on U.S. Route 422, said The Record Connection will again put up a large tent in the parking lot. Doors will open at 10 a.m., and merchandise (and coffee and donuts if you get there early enough) will be displayed in both the tent and the store.

At 11 a.m., Youngstown-based band Radio Lark will perform in the tent, followed by a pizza party at 1 p.m. Also on hand will be a contingent from Redhead Wine and a few more vendors and surprises.

The day will be one of the release parties for Radio Lark, which is about to drop “The Wildflower” EP. Radio Lark will have another show the following weekend at Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts.

The goal of Record Store Day is to draw attention and support to the shops, which might be the last bastions for music lovers. Every year, artists show their support by releasing new music (plus re-releases, rarities and live stuff) on vinyl that day.

The Record Connection will have for sale almost all of the 200-plus exclusive titles. Here’s a small sampling of what you will find in the racks:

The Grateful Dead: “Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA 2/27/69,” a live collection.

Run the Jewels: “The Stay Gold Collectors Jewel Box,” a vinyl EP etched with custom Marvel-branded art and other goodies.

David Bowie: “Bowie Now,” a rare Berlin-era promo album.

Neil Young: “Live at the Roxy 1973,” a black vinyl double LP.

Taylor Swift: Three albums in colored vinyl.

Courtney Barnett: A 12-inch single of two songs from her upcoming album.

Rockabye Baby: For kids, lullabye versions of Beastie Boys songs.

Bruce Springsteen: “Greatest Hits” on colored vinyl.

U2: A 12-inch picture disc with two versions of “Lights of Home.”

The Rolling Stones: The 1967 album “Their Satanic Majesties Request” on splatter vinyl.

The list goes on and on. Go to

As usual, Federal Frenzy, the rock festival in downtown Youngstown and the unofficial start of spring, also takes place April 21. It begins at 2 p.m. and will feature more than two dozen bands, with headliner Smallpools, on two outdoor stages and in several bars.

Like Record Store Day, admission is free.

Comedy Cellar Shows resume with april macie

The Comedy Cellar at Mojo’s Pub in Austintown has been dark for many months but will get cranked up again beginning this weekend.

April Macie, a favorite in the area, will headline an 8 p.m. show Friday, and 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows Saturday. Tickets are $22.50 (a buffet dinner package ticket is $35); go to or call 330-793-6656.

Also on the schedule are Mark Eddie (April 20-21) and Kevin Farley (April 27-28).

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator.

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