uReview: Your Record Stores


Record Store Day is this weekend and we thought we’d bring back this thread to hear about some new shops, stores not yet mentioned, openings, closings, stores from new readers etc. As before, if you mention a store, we’ll take care of the linking and mapping.

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So, wherever you are, where are you going to be this Saturday to show your support for Record Store Day?

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  • Brendan

    I’ll start with my current standby. Rhino Records, New Paltz NY. There’s a membership card, great staff, and always a good record to go home with.

    ps. I will automagically link for you if you mention a store.

  • ian

    personally, i’m of the opinion that the best thing you can do for your own record collecting is to tell other people about the shops you go to. a secret spot isn’t worth anything if they can’t afford to stay in business. with that in mind, here are some of the more hidden gems of northern california:

    heavenly daze – yuba city (the owner marvin, a drummer for blue cheer in the 80s, is a total sweetheart, i just wish he’d get more product out on the floor. he’s got boxes and boxes in the backroom waiting to go out. that said, there’s some great finds to be made. i scored ernie graham – s/t here as well as bob martin – midwest farm disaster. in fact, with the bob martin, i’d seen a copy there one time and didn’t buy it cause i was broke and assumed it would still be there the next time i was visiting my in-laws. it wasn’t but he took my name and number down on a post-it and called me 3(!) years later to say he got another copy in. that’s customer service)

    salty’s record attic – modesto (the lady running this place is old-school, and a little surly, but she warms up real quick and they have tons of records. some scores the last time include big star – #1 record, flamin’ groovies – teenage head, u-roy – dread in a babylon, max romeo – war in a babylon. and this place is the absolute best storefront i’ve ever seen for a record store. serious time warpage.)

    replay records – stockton (willie is a total hesher but knows his shit up and down. you’d expect to hear maiden when you walk in and see him but you’re just as likely to hear the raspberries or coltrane. found eggs over easy, early paycheck on little darlin’, so much more i can’t remember.)

    mill valley music – mill valley (gary, the owner, worked at the legendary village music forever and opened this sweet little shop after that one closed. making sure mill valley was not without a record store for long. some great finds, a great guy to bullshit with and totally reasonable prices.)

    red devil records – san rafael (not cheap on the punk and jazz tip, the genres that owner barry knows the best, but you can often find reasonably priced gems in other genres. since country-rock is my main jam that works for me pretty well, plus once you get to know him he’ll call you when scores come in that look up your alley and give you first dibs on tasty collections.)

  • Justin

    Lost Weekend Records (Columbus, Ohio) Small shop with lots of good records, fair prices and plenty of character! Its competition pales in comparison.

  • Alex

    I will second the vote for Rhino Records in New Paltz, NY. It’s a terrific shop with a nice intimate atmosphere. There isn’t even a ton of wax as it’s a small shop, but everything there is worth getting. Mondays are 20% off used music day. This store is worth the trip and since we are not spoiled for choice in the Hudson Valley, this is a must visit. I used to love Cold Spring Music in Cold Spring, NY, but that shop is gone.

  • Lost Weekend is great! Although Used Kids, also in Columbus, OH, is another great local treasure. Columbus is a very good town for vinyl.

  • A.J

    i seem to be the sole british voice, Vinyl Exchange in Manchester for second hand and rare goodies, Fopp is the best small but perfectly formed and reasonably priced chainstore which is good for back catalogue at very cheap prices and vibes in Bury is the best independent, all in the north west of england

  • Jason

    Gerosa In Danbury CT
    Brass City Records in Waterbury CT
    Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton NJ
    Other Music in New York City
    Kim’s Video in New York City
    Midnight Records in New York City
    Rhino Records in New Paltz NY
    Last Vestige in Albany NY

    These are some decent close by places….

  • Kevin Warner

    Vintage Vinyl, University City, MO.

  • Nick

    Lexington, KY- Here are the vinyl dealers in my hometown along with my most recent vinyl purchases.

    1. cd central – Joe ely “honky Tonkin masquerade” $2.99

    2. Pops resale – delany and Bonnie “motel shot” $3.99

    3. Friends of the library– Hit on an unusual loot. The band “the band”, “stage fright” “cahoots” ($3 to $4), “the last waltz” ($9), Leonard Cohen “room with a view” and “songs of leonard Cohen” ($3 each), Neil young “everybody knows this is nowhere” ($2), Elton John “tumbleweed connection” ($3), and bob dual “Nashville skyline” ($3). And I passed up many more temptations.

  • Resident and rounder, both in Brighton, uk but there’s loads of great indie record stores here, pick up some real bargains at the Brighton Boot fair too, little as 25p an album!

  • 1. Wax Trax – Denver
    2. Twist and Shout – Denver
    3. Black and Read – Arvada

  • Main Street Music in Manayunk PA. A great little record store, the real deal.

  • david

    The Inner Sleeve in SW Calgary. A great selection of quality vinyl and new & used turntables plus they’ll even install and set up a new cartridge if that’s what you need to keep spinning the platters!

  • dk

    They’re hardly secrets, but Rasputin and Amoeba in Berkeley pack a mean one-two punch. You can pick up a lot of nice LPs (and spend a lot of dough) in a few glorious hours in those stores. I particularly enjoy Rasputin’s basement o’ vinyl, although Amoeba has the bigger and better selection.

    When in Chicago, be sure to visit: 1) Dave’s, 2) Dusty Groove, and 3) Laurie’s Planet Of Sound.

    House Of Records in Eugene, OR is a sentimental favorite because it’s my hometown/college town joint, but it’s a good store that’s worth checking out if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods.

    Portland, OR has several great record stores. 2nd Avenue Records is a must-visit for fans of LPs – amazing bunch of vinyl in that store. CrossRoads Music features something like 40 different vendors who all consign their stuff under one roof. It’s chaotically organized, but worthwhile.

    I know it’s technically off-topic, but my local flea market is one of the best record stores I know. I never fail to walk away with 25-30 very inexpensive albums, as well as a vintage Fillmore poster or two. And it’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning – strolling around in the sunshine, looking at other people’s expired treasures…

  • Semi-annually, I like to visit Music Plus in Biddeford, ME – it is my favorite record store. But – WTF – no one else seems to like it. 10 -15% of my records come from in there. Also – – – in nearby Saco, ME is Bill O’Neil’s House of Rock ‘N Roll. Bill is nice & knows a lot about Rock ‘N Roll. Visit those shops next time you are in Southern ME, USA!

  • ray orkwis

    Falls Church, VA, is home to The CD Cellar (so called because they’re beneath a coffee shop and it makes for a good pun). They’ve lately taken to filling their bins with vinyl (at good prices) and they have a good DVD selection but their stock in trade is used CDs. Most everything comes through the store at one time or another, so the trick is to visit a lot, which helps someone like me who has a slightly compulsive collector streak in him. It’s almost like being in a dream when I’m going through the bins and something (like an out-of-print Japanese pressing of an Everything But the Girl compilation) just pops out at me. They also have a very disorganized bargain bin ($1.99 per) full of promo and scratched CDs (they tend to be blissfully anal about their standards when buying CDs). It’s chaos and somewhat hard to find things, given that the cardboard cases are shoved under the regular rack, but that’s part of the game, part of the dream. I’ve fed my taste for physical product at the CD Cellar for well over a decade now. That place and its laid-back staff have gotten me through some bad times and buoyed me higher during good times.

  • buck

    from louisville ky……Earx-tacy

  • MIke

    Madison, WI is the world headquarters for “Strictly Discs“, a small indie shop that sells new, used and rare vintage CDs as well as the largest assortment of vinyl in the midwest. But its not just their selection that makes the shop unique and special – its the incredibly knowledgable and insightful staff that keeps me coming back. Or maybe its the Pabst on tap served during their special events.

  • Shane

    Best In The Southeast US – Papa Jazz Record Shoppe (Columbia, SC)

  • George

    In College Park, MD, we have a great place called the CDepot, which, in addition to new and used CDs, now sells vinyl.

  • Brendan

    Definitely want to 2nd Angry Mom!.The basement of Autumn Leaves book store on the Commons (which recently became Angry Mom) is geat.

    Also want to 2nd Ear Extacy in Louisville and Last Vestige in Albany.

    And I thought of another place. Instant Karma records on the ground floor of the “Earth House” in Orleans, MA (Cape Cod).

    I’m gonna put these all on a google map when I get the chance…

  • Anybody knows of any good ones on the Miami area?

  • antmanbee

    only because a) i’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned and b) it’s super-simpatico with this site:


    (in the sf mission district btw…)

  • Daniel

    MIke above mentioned Strictly Discs in Madison, WI – two more great stores in Madison are The Exclusive Company (originally of Milwaukee, now with several locations statewide), and B-Side Records (fantastic purveyors of indie and local music of all genres).

  • Norman

    although it has been overhyped, amoeba records in hollywood is THE place to find anything. most of my classical LP’s were purchased there for under 2 bucks.

    but perhaps the best hidden gem is just a short trip north on the 101 to the record outlet in thousand oaks. this place is tiny, but the owner casey is a really swell guy and you never know what you’ll find. i’ve bought some really rare promotional records by kate bush, some original john lennon apple-released 45’s, aside from the complete beatles and beach boys collections for just a few bucks each. check it out.

  • DinTX

    if you are visiting the FtWorth (or worthless dallas) – after you fly into DFW – head South on 360 – you’ll see Forever Young – Exit Mayfield and do a U. also good in big D is good records – headed up by the dude from that cult – Polyphonic Spree… dig it

  • clayhill

    Another vote for Papa Jazz Record Shoppe in Columbia, SC.

    Also, Harvest Records in Asheville, NC is great little place with tons of stuff and friendly and knowledgeable owners.

  • Mark

    Treehouse Records – MPLS

    The Electric Fetus – MPLS/Duluth

    I’ll second a vote for the Black and Read in Arvada. It’s a bit sketchy and disorganized, but they’ve got a lot of great stuff (and thanks for the suggestions in Denver!).

  • jimbo

    I second both of the above for the best in/around Minneapolis. Treehouse Records is owned by a guy who just simply loves music & The Electric Fetus is staffed by the same kind of folks. Both shops have roots back into the 70s, both support local & indie artists (true indie, not merely ‘indie-branded’ acts) and both stock all the mainstream stuff you could ever want. Great shops!

  • olaf

    i gotta vote for encore records in kitchener ontario canada cause there ain’t no other place like it anywhere near it and it is really really awesome

  • Len Liechti

    Hope this isn’t off-topic, but in these days when independent record stores have become as rare as rocking horse manure in the UK I fondly remember one in Bath that I used to frequent avidly in my student days and that disappeared around thirty-five years ago along with the whole of the block it stood in. Wessex Records was run by two little old spinster sisters with blue-rinsed hair who could get you anything that hadn’t been long deleted and whose knowledge of sixties and early seventies rock music was inexhaustible. I remember one of them explaining to me in earnest how Neil Young’s back problems suffered during his recording of Harvest were down to his “frolicking” with Joni Mitchell. Little old ladies shouldn’t know about such things! We shall not see their like again.

  • Stevie

    Real Groovy Auckland, New Zealand

  • Sound Exchange in Houston, Texas. LOTS of regulars make it a fun place to hang out any Saturday. Vinyl stock is always in excellent condition and new stock is put out almost immediately. Everything has a price on it. Very fair. Owners are good eggs!

  • Walker

    Angry Mom Records – Ithaca, NY
    Strictly Discs – Madison, WI
    Grimey’s – Nashville, TN

  • diskojoe

    The North Shore of Boston, MA has two good stores, the Record Exchange in Salem (I’ve been going there for over 30 yrs.) & Mystery Train in Gloucester.

  • George Davis

    Unfortunately, Washington DC’s Melody Records (near Dupont Circle) went out of business this year.

  • Main Street Music in Philadelphia is a great spot, still in business, still hosting live in-store appearances, and still participating in Record Store Day.

  • Jeff S

    VVMO in Evanston,IL
    Cheapo’s in Cambridge,Ma
    Record Exchange in Salem,Ma
    Probe in Liverpool,UK
    Vinyl Tap,UK

    Honorable mention RIP- Mars, Mystery train, Planet records in Boston. Side One and Check it out! in Brockton,Ma, Phoenix Records in Waterbury,Conn.

  • I will be at the Exclusive Company in Green Bay, WI. … But I also recommend Inner Sleeve Records in Wausau, WI … Madcity Music Exchange in Madison, WI … Music Boxx in Sheboygan, WI … Book Cellar in Waupaca, WI.

  • PhilZ

    Recycled Records– San Francisco,CA
    Best selection, staff, and prices.
    If you are on Haight to visit Amoeba make sure you stop at Recycled

  • Warren

    Fargo , Paris

  • Waterloo Records, Austin, TX
    Gibert Joseph, Boulevard Saint-Michel, Paris, France
    The Great Escape, Nashville, TN

  • Jeff S

    RIP… Second Coming Records Cambridge ,Ma. Where the owner cut out holes in a plexi cabinet so people could browse 45’s without stealing them!

  • Josh Z Bonder

    Representing Toronto, I’ve got to name a few outstanding music stores – I collect CDs, but some of these stores also stock records.

    Soundscapes – A small shop that’s jammed with amazing stuff. New copies of rare and out of print discs are mixed in with everything, staff are very friendly and know their stuff, and you’re very likely to leave with a new discovery as well as the things you went in for in the first place

    Vortex Records – Another tiny upstairs shop specializing in used CDs, they do also stock records. The trick is to check in often, and they are constantly purchasing quality (and often rare/out of print) music, and selling it for the same price as your average used CD. If I ever have stuff to sell, this is the first place I go, and can usually find plenty to exchange for in trade.

    Sonic Boom – A surprisingly massive store with both new and used discs. They stock many import/rare/out of print titles, and I’ve scored many a rare CD at a used price. Go to this one if you have a good chunk of time on your hands, you could browse for a while.

    I really love going to these places, they make me feel like a kid in a candy store. I’m glad to see stores such as these thriving, while the big chains are shrinking and closing by the day. Toronto used to have a massive Sam’s as well as HMV. These have either closed, or halved their size and changed their modus operandi to sell more toys, DVDs and t-shirts than actual music. Just goes to show that appealing to those of us that want more than the latest release by the latest pop star can actually pay off if you know what you’re doing. I will certainly help to support these stores when I can, and if you’re in Toronto and looking for a fun place to find some great music, I’d advise you to do the same.

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