FAIRHAVEN (WBSM) — A Fairhaven record shop is the place to be for Pearl Jam fans next weekend, as one of just two stores in Massachusetts that will be holding an advanced listening party of the band’s new album Dark Matter.

Max J Records, located at 145 Bridge Street, will be playing the album in its entirety at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, five days before the album is officially released on April 19.

Reservations are required to take part in the in-store listening party and can be done through the Max J Records website.

The only other Massachusetts store holding a Dark Matter listening party is Music Connection in Turners Falls, out in the Springfield area.

There are no Rhode Island shops holding one, so it’s expected Pearl Jam fans from all across the region will descend upon Max J Records.

Pearl Jam Just One of Many Listening Parties at Max J Records

Shop owner John Pimentel said the in-store listening parties are arranged through the record labels.

“We do that every month for different artists,” he said. “We recently had ones for Fletcher, Green Day, Metallica. We’ve had Duran Duran. I try to get as many of them as I can.”

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Pimentel plays the album in its entirety on his record player behind the counter, and the speakers throughout the store reverberate with the sound of new music being heard for the first time.

He said the cozy store can get packed with people, and will actually play the album multiple times if the crowd is big enough to have to come into the shop in shifts.

“The biggest one we had was Green Day,” he said. “We had 45 people in the store and another 40 waiting for the second round.”

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Pimentel said he also has the opportunity for music collectors to pre-order the albums, especially some of the rare variants. In the case of Dark Matter, he is taking pre-orders now for two of the variants, including the “Boston Exclusive” variant, which is limited to just 1,500 copies worldwide.

Not only do people attend the listening parties in order to hear new music first, there are also special giveaways as well. Pimentel said he has posters to give away for Pearl Jam and that there may be other items as well.

“We had The Black Crowes a couple of weeks ago, where there was a raffle for a couple of tickets and $500. We had Kasey Musgraves, and gave out a Kasey Musgraves candle. We had Fletcher posters, all sorts of stuff,” he said.

“Everyone gets something, assuming there’s at least one of the things we have a lot of, which is typically the poster,” Pimentel said.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Pimentel also said he will have some special Pearl Jam items for Record Store Day on April 20.

“There will be lots of Pearl Jam signage. We have a sticker that goes on the floor for Pearl Jam just to spruce up things, so we’ll put that up soon,” he said. “We did get some Record Store Day stuff, which includes some Pearl Jam records in there.”

It sounds like April is shaping up to be quite a month if you’re into Eddie Vedder and the guys.

“I think this is going to be huge, definitely for Pearl Jam fans,” Pimentel said.

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Hear Dark Matter in a Movie Theater

In addition, there will also be a special “Global Theatrical Experience” happening for one night only on April 16, where you can hear the album twice in a movie theater – once with just the audio, and the second time with on-screen visuals.

The closest location to the SouthCoast will be at Providence Place, with Showcase Cinemas in Warwick being the only other Rhode Island screening. It will also be happening at Showcase Cinema de Lux at Patriot Place in Foxboro.

Other locations include The Cabot in Beverly, AMC Boston Common, Landmark Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, AMC Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, AMC Methuen 20, and the other Showcase Cinema de Lux theaters in Dedham, Hanover, Lowell, Blackstone Valley and Woburn.

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