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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...4/20/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 04/20/2017

"We do get contacted," says Graham Alexander the go to guy at The Vault in Berlin, NJ. "It's a hard thing to get people to understand what we are doing here. Recently we did a thing for Disney, licensing for film and TV is possible. I'm very passionate about it all. I want to build this place into a musician's ecosystem; I love it so much and never want it to leave Camden." 

To understand the breadth of his passion for "This place," one must get the background of what exactly goes on at this relatively small complex with the big history. The Vault is the new home of what remains of the RCA Victor catalog and its past and present branches, "Victor Talking Machine Company," "His Master's Voice," "Little Nipper" and "Radio Corporation Of America" among others. 

Perhaps this passage taken from the venue web site sheds a bit of light on this amazing piece of educational and musical history: "Part intimate, world-class entertainment venue and part official archive for the master recordings, and artifacts of the legendary Victor Talking Machine Co./Victor Music Group and associated record labels- The Vault™ at Victor Records was formed in 2015 as a means of establishing an education and research facility catered to the study and appreciation of the art techniques and development of sound recording, the history of the recording industry, & music performance. The collection focuses on the birth of the music industry with Victor Records - and traces its establishment and association to music giants EMI, Deutsche Gramophon, JVC, Radio Corporation of America, and HMV (His Master's Voice) until the modern day. From Caruso to Coldplay and Louis Armstrong to The Beatles - visitors to Victor's headquarters at "The Vault" will uncover the historic ties you never knew existed between Victor Records and nearly every major musical event of the last 100+ years."

Few people realize that some of the very first recordings were created and pressed into "Records" along the Camden, NJ waterfront where they were mass produced spawning the birth of the record industry. The history of recorded music from artists such as, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, legendary blues great Lead Belly, Enrico Caruso, Louie Armstrong, Bing Crosby and many more as well as some of the first ever recorded Presidential speeches, comedy routines and actual sounds of war are contained within the walls of this multi-purpose facility. According to Alexander, there are over, "10,000 masters, tests, acetates and shellacs of some of the earliest recordings ever made." 

"They were going to just let all of this go with the old RCA building," he said with a tone of bewilderment. "So much history here. To look at it and see where everything or just about everything in music over the last century has evolved from, it's right here and to think it could've been possibly lost would've been a tragic event. The connections, I liken it to branches of a tree and this, this is, or was the trunk; even Abbey Road Studios in the UK has a connection to Victor." 

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Alexander has starred in Broadway productions of two Beatles tribute shows, "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles" and "Let It Be" and is also an established singer/songwriter with several albums, tours and multiple credits to his name. This love of performing and the knowledge, both good and bad of the record/entertainment industry has aided this young entrepreneur and his partners in making the decision to take the plunge and invest in The Vault. 

"In general, I didn't have a good experience with the current music industry from my own label," he said with disappointment. "So I bought this and made myself the president. There's myself, Keith Hohing, Zach Harski and Christina Sees and the goal was to start a music company that was a different approach to the current ones. We unite software with hardware, we build machines here, we record here and most of all we make records here. When the record industry started, they built their own players for their product and over time, other companies began to just specialize in making the players. Many of the older companies sold off their hardware divisions but that ruined cross marketing and eventually, as the industry started to shift towards compact discs and digital downloads it left this huge void. There's not much happening in the music industry today, not much left of the industry in general and it's been in decline for years. Their business is their old back catalogs, very little new business, the bands are out there, there's so much good new music and so many great bands. The problem is that there is no real infrastructure anymore. Digital downloads are dead, CDs are dead and streaming is what's in now. Streaming has forced the format of the vinyl record to come back to the tune of a 400 percent increase in sales and output. A good way to look at it is, if vinyl were a book, then it'd be the hard copy. Young people today are falling in love with vinyl or experiencing it for the first time because they can see it, feel it, hear it but most importantly; touch it. They can read the liner notes, see the booklets or inserts that you can not with discs or downloads and we want to be a part of its rebirth." 

Currently the facility is only open during its ever growing list of shows and prearranged tours. Alexander says that the facility plans on possibly opening more and expanding its hours of operation as the word gets out and the business begins firing on all cylinders. "Right now we give tours of the facility as part of VIP packages before our events but we are growing and that's a good thing. As we grow we intend on hiring more people and increasing our hours so that we may be open to the public more than we are now. We were still kind of new in 2016 and now that we are getting the operation up and running and things are going more smoothly, we are hoping to do so by early to mid 2018." 

The Vault has a capacity of 85 with up to 120 standing room for events which currently take up approximately 20 percent of the building's usage. Book signings, Q & A's, clinics and live performances are just some of the activities which take place in this museum/recording studio/manufacturing facility. Recent personalities who have held book signings with meet and greets are the legendary vocalist Bobby Rydell and drummer Carmine Appice. Rydell, who's hits included "Volare" and "Wild One" held a wonderful storytelling/Q & A session and Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart) gave an informative 45 minute drum clinic before mingling with those in attendance.

"This is what it's all about," says Alexander. "Putting people in these seats and getting to educate them on the history of music from the past and the present. We are so happy that we have the opportunity to be part of something that is so rich in history with an eye to the future; we really do combine the past with the present and it can only keep getting better. Can you imagine this collection anywhere other than Camden. NJ? I can't and this is where it belongs."

To discover more about The Vault and all that it offers musicians and fans alike; please go to

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!

This week's event listings

Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers Street Trenton
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. The Doc Rottens, Pissed, The Dirty Merlins, Del Mar. All ages, $8
Fri. 7 p.m. Drag County Speed Queens, Side Slam, The Mighty Nothings, (TBA). All ages, $10
Sat. 6 p.m. Jynx, Real Leather, Wolf Herder, Perennial, Imankita, Drifter. All ages, $10
Sun. 6 p.m. The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Face Your Maker, Planetary Alignment, Ocean Of Illusions, Sinking Monroe, Reborn Divided. All ages, $12/$15
Mon. 6 p.m. Affiance, Sirens And sailors, Silence In Solitude, Circadian Lapse, Atrinity. All ages, $12/$15
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-0192
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke Contest (Cash prizes) 
Ages 21+ 
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Shaun Ruymen
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Neil Podgurski Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 8 p.m. Hazelrigg Brothers
Sun. (12 p.m.) Brunch With Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Michael Long
Wed. 6 p.m. Brad Staudle
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Adam Schwartz. $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet) 
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie and Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval 
Main Street Hightstown 
(609) 241-7103
Check web site for programming
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Al's Pals
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Byrd
Sun. 4 p.m. Dave Weber & Donna Weber
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Superstar Entertainment
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. DJ DNIAL
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Chris
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Dana Collins
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour" feat. Cecil & Ray (9 p.m.) Cara Cartney
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Michael Leggerie (9 p.m.) Mia Johnson
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale Jazz (4 p.m.) Stephen Anthony
Wed. 8 p.m. Jeff Selby
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Fri. 8 p.m. John & Maggs
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
(609) 716-8771
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Thurs. 8 p.m. Kasim Sulton Band. Doors at 6 p.m., $20
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Bigg Romeo
Sat. (2 p.m.) School Of Rock "Best Of Season." Doors at 1 p.m., $10 (8 p.m.) Jump Off
Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra Birthday  Special
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Series" Hosted by Pat Foran 
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
(609) 466-9889
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" Spaghetti Dinner feat. Ambiance The Duo. $20
Fri. 6 p.m. Craig Leach Group
Sat. 6 p.m. Piano, Bass and Jazz
Sun. (2 p.m.) "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Darla & Rich (5:30 p.m.) Project Autism 2nd. Annual Reception
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(267) 914-4517
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Joe Vadala
Sat. 1  p.m.  Ronnie Brandt
Sun. 1 p.m. John & Maggs
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. Smoked Ice
Sat. 9 p.m. Soul Custody
Tues. 7 p.m. Teddy Z Jam
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Mike Dialto's Stand Up comedy
Fri. 9 p.m. Squid Subject A / Prowler
Sat. (3 p.m.) The Fermenters (9:30 p.m.) St. James & The Apostles 
Sun. (3 p.m.) Ellie Spy (9:30 p.m.) Trio of Madness
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Tim
Tues. 9 p.m. Something Is Happening
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
(609) 586-1166
Thurs. 5 p.m. Joe and Matt Acoustic Duo
Sat. 10 p.m. The Polish Nannies
Sun. 3 p.m. "Session Sundays" feat. the Successful Failures
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Thurs. 7 p.m. "2017 Laurita Idol Singing Showcase" Adult Tryout.
Fri. 7 p.m. (Closed for private event)
Sat. 1 p.m. Deb & Mike
Sun. 1 p.m. The Bergers
Wed. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Yoga and Wine
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 10:30 p.m."Beer Pong" w/ DJ RV & MC Slim
Fri. 10 p.m. "Frisky Fridays" w/ DJ Favs and MC Fredo
Sat. 10 p.m. Stem
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Thurs. 8 p.m. Neon Bone, The Sheckies, Mad Splatter, Erotic Novels.
Sat. 9 p.m. Dinosaur Eyelids, Alpha rabbit, Doc Rottens, Casino Sundae. $5
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase 
Nook's PourHouse
2043 Route 130 South Florence
(609) 447-0927
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Fri. 7 p.m. "Dueling Bartenders" Fundraiser feat. Mayor David Fried vs. Councilman Ron Witt
Sat. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
PANJ Radio
Bridge Street Lambertville
(609) 460-4673
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Jack Petruzzelli & Cameron Grider
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Out Of The Red
Sat. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)
Plumsted Grill 
457 Route 539 Cream Ridge 
(609) 758-5552
Fri. 9 p.m. Tom Reock & Ernie White
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Sat. (9:30 a.m.) "Record Store Day" (8 p.m.) Spanking Charlene, $10
RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 10 p.m. "College Night" feat. DJ Nater & DJ So WaWavveyy. Ages 21+
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
(609) 419-4200
Fri. 8 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Sat. 8 p.m. Rainbow Fresh
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Odessa Klezmer Band
2673 Main Street Lawrenceville
(609) 414-3320
Fri. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Anker
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Fri. 8 p.m. Bluegrass feat. Magnolia Street String Band. $20
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ Big Daddy G
Sat. 10 p.m. Bent Mushroom
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 9 p.m. Smoke & Mirrors
Sat. 9 p.m. Round Trip
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
Temperance House 
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8050
Thurs. 7 p.m. Blues Open session w/ Steve Guyger
Fri. 7 p.m. Craig Lieboff
Sat. 7 p.m. John & Maggs
Wed. 7 p.m. Live Jazz
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong
The Dubliner
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
(215) 693-1816
Fri. 8 p.m. Willie Lynch Band
Sat. 8 p.m. (TBA)
Mon. 7 p.m. "Monday Night Session"
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
(609) 291-7020
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. Radio Fiction Duo
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Never Enough
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius
Sun. 1 p.m. Communiversity
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Pines Tavern
6217 North Radcliffe Street Bristol, PA
(215) 788-1659
 Sat. 9 p.m. Barefoot Bobby and the Breakers
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
The Raven 
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2081
Thurs. 5 p.m. Russell Eiffert
Fri. (9 p.m.) Michael Ferreri (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (9 p.m.) Russell Eiffert (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Wed. 6 p.m. Dena Underwood
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Sat. "Record Store Day" (12 p.m.) Anker 8 p.m. (9 p.m.) Kinky Friedman "Resurrected Tour." All ages, Doors at 8:30 p.m., $35 (advance)
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. ArHouse
Sat. 9 p.m. Out Of The Red
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. Infinite Bandwidth
Sat. 9 p.m. Off The Record
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Successful Failures
Tues. 9 p.m. open Mic. Hosted by Jerry Monk
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine Street Trenton
(609) 392-6000
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic. 
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Audio History of Funk and Soul" w/ Professor DJ Tangency
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Sat. 10 p.m. Hustle Souls ($5 cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage Night (Sign ups at 6:30 p.m.)
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton, NJ Location)
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 10 p.m. "Grateful Dead Tribute" w/ Dean & Company
Sat. 10 p.m. Bob Denson Blues
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Tues. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson
Ages 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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