Record Stores

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the Sound Garden is the best record store in Baltimore and probably better than any stores in D.C. too

al, Sunday, 3 February 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
as a former resident of both g.r. and dearborn, i have to agree with the recommendations of vertigo and stormy records (especially vertigo). yes, vertigo is herm's new store. smaller than vinyl solution but still good stuff. herm is also extremely cool and will order you almost anything.

((still kicking myself for giving my copy of 'tony fletcher...' to a long-since-ex boyfriend...i got it at the old vinyl sol))

alas, now i am in saginaw mich and must travel for such things.


strawberry girl, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I thought about this thread the other day when I remembered a record store conspicuously omitted what with all the Midwesterner chat - Luna Music in Indianapolis. I still haven't been, but I hear good things. Any reports?

Curt, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

As for the Northwest...

There's nothing quite Amoeba-sized up here, but the closest store that comes to that is probably Zulu records in Vancouver, BC. Otherwise, most stores in the Northwest are a mish-mash of small stores.. and I kinda like it that way. I'd hate to have to see the same exact store every time I had the urge to shop, even if I wanted to dwell into a different genre.

Seattle has the following:

  • Sonic Boom records -- pretty much the 'indie' store
  • JAM records -- my favorite... lots of dance vinyl, very interesting rock selection, and other things... kinda like the NoiseNoiseNoise of Seattle
  • Wall of Sound records -- for weird world music, electronic, experimental, and other difficult things
  • Beats International -- dance vinyl store.. most genres covered
  • Zion's Gate records -- also in Portland, too. Very thorough selection of electronic, dancehall, reggae, etc.
  • Fallout records -- lots of garage, punk, postpunk, oddities, and undeground comix
  • Singles Going Steady -- punk punk punk crust etc.
  • Bud's Jazz records -- basement jazz record store. Pretty decent selection, though don't expect it to be into just all that Zornish stuff.
  • A shitload of second hand music store chains, almost everywhere you walk

Brian MacDonald, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Other Northwest stores worth mentioning:

  • Rodeo records in Ellensburg, WA. I WANT TO VISIT THIS STORE. Apparently, it's one of the best of the northwest. Owned by Mark Pickerel, who used to play with Pell Mell and Screaming Trees. (Hopefully, it'll open by the time I swing by there on my upcomin road trip!)
  • Scratch records in Vancouver. Very thorough selection of most rock genres. Friendly staff, too.
  • Beat Street records in Vancouver. Huge vault of old soul, dance, and disco records for cheeeeaaap
  • Ditch records in Victoria. Mostly indie and punk, but a great used rock vinyl section.
  • Ozone in Portland. I heard rumors this store was closing(?), but pretty much the best store in Portland, last I checked.
  • Platinum records in Seattle. For 'serious' DJS. A couple of really nice dudes work there, but otherwise watch out for some DJ attitude there.
  • Frequency 8 in Seattle. Mostly trancey type dance vinyl. But the TRON-esque internal decor is amazing

Brian MacDonald, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oops. One more. Phantom City records (is that the name?) in Olympia. As you'd expect, it's pretty much well stocked with KRS and K related stuff. Without fail, the sidewalk speakers are always blasting Le Tigre.

Brian MacDonald, Sunday, 10 March 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Is Mod Lang in Berkeley still there?

pnewsome, Sunday, 1 February 2004 01:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Streetlight in Santa Cruz, CA, is the best CD store in the world.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Sunday, 1 February 2004 20:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I very much doubt this!

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Sunday, 1 February 2004 21:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If you're looking for metal, noise, hardcore or music from Providence and environs, then Armageddon Shop is the place to go. Website with more or less full catalog; they also have a mailing list which is DEFINITELY worth signing up for, as they sometimes get things in very limited quantities and may not bother to put them on the website.

Ian Johnson (orion), Sunday, 1 February 2004 21:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I exaggerate a little. But it's definitely the most fun to browse in I've been to, with the least snarky staff.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Sunday, 1 February 2004 21:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, they're my local shop, I'm there pretty much every week. As you say, it's a friendly staff and a fun place to browse. Certainly far better than the Streetlight branches in San Francisco.

Pooly stocked in some categories (especially electronic/dance). Surprisingly well stocked in contemporary classical, I'll give them that!

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Sunday, 1 February 2004 21:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(off-post, sorry) How is Santa Cruz, by the way? I haven't been there since I studied at UCSC in 2000. Has it changed much?

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Sunday, 1 February 2004 23:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I prefer shopping for records in charity shops or really crap, cheap second hand places. That way you end up picking up stuff you'd never usually buy and stretching your collection: top amongts these is MArket Records in Southport. There's never what you want but always, say, a Heaven 17 album or an old blues compilation that might get drowned amongst stuff you're actually looking for.

As for decent places, Probe in Liverpool is good but not as good as i used to think. Also, Concepts in Durham will always hold a special place in my heart.

Jim Robinson (Original Miscreant), Monday, 2 February 2004 00:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Has it changed much?
Not since 2000 anyway. I like Santa Cruz but have complicated mixed feelings.

(Oops, way off-topic! You can track me down through my ILX "user info" page if you ever want to hear the whole story...)

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Monday, 2 February 2004 00:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm sure that Snickars' Records in Stockholm has to be the best recordstore in the world.

Kornél Kovács (Kornél Kovács), Monday, 2 February 2004 00:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Mod Lang is still there.

svend, Monday, 2 February 2004 01:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Encore Records in Ann Arbor is probably my favorite store. So much shit in there, stacks of CDs everywhere, but what a great place. College kids looking for W.A.S.P. records, older professor types looking for various classical rarities, and me finding the new Susanne Brokesch, a West End compilation and a Roscoe Mitchell one cold Sunday in January. I only manage to get out there maybe once or twice a year, but it's always worth stopping in there.

I'm also fond of Other Music and Mondo Kim's, even though the staff there is probably the least friendly I've ever come across.

Jeff Sumner (Jeff Sumner), Monday, 2 February 2004 02:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Mod Lang is still there! I was there today!

I'm not its biggest fan, sadly. But the Brazilian sandwich guy is a riot.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Monday, 2 February 2004 02:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I saw Travis play an acoustic set at Mod Lang in 2000. Awww.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Monday, 2 February 2004 02:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Certainly none here in Norway. I believe World Of Music in Hamburg and Tower Records on Piccadilly are my favourites because they have such great back catalogue departments.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 2 February 2004 04:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
Radio Kilroy and Vinyl Solution were great. So was/is Music Express in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I have also been to Lou's and Off the Record in San Diego. Nice stores.

Jean Cinsten, Monday, 30 August 2004 06:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...


this thread is almost certainly due for an update.

anyplaces in portland, oregon? i know of jackpot and ozone....any others i should look into?

drone/a/sore, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 20:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mississippi and Discourage.

ian, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 20:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Twisted Village, Cambridge, Mass.!

henry s, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 20:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

are you looking for vinyl in Portland? If so you should got to Crossroads (it's on Hawthorne, forgot the cross street, but maybe 3-4 blocks west of the jackpot etc. over there).
It's a building that houses a bunch of different vendors. This means there are like 30 separate sections to check for any genre, and condition and pricing vary. Some vendors have awesome stuff that's cheap, some have awesome stuff that's expensive, and some have regular stuff that's overpriced. Towards the front though there's a section that someone has for prog/psych/new agey stuff that's great. I've always found some cool stuff there, generally for $5-$10 (Steve Hillage, Curved Air, Tangerine Dream kinda stuff).

altair nouveau, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 21:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

My favorite store in Portland is Exile Records on like 49th and Hawthorne. Some of the members of Eat Skull work there.

t. weiss, Thursday, 14 August 2008 22:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

They've got psych, drone, experimental, noise, sublime frequencies type stuff covered.

t. weiss, Thursday, 14 August 2008 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

If it weren't on the expensive side I could truly love Volcanic Tongue.

krakow, Friday, 15 August 2008 07:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Off topic-ish, sry... I live in a small town that can't really support record stores, but what's it like in bigger cities that can these days? I mean, with online buying/stealing as big as it is, are they sort of going away / getting more specialized? At one time I thought they'd become more popular than ever, people would discover more music with greater ease and therefore buy more, but I think that's just me / people like me. What's the skinny, yo?

RabiesAngentleman, Friday, 15 August 2008 11:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't know. A friend of mine just opened a record shop in South London (The Dream Machine in Dulwich - obligatory plug!) which seems like a brave move when so many record shops are closing down. I shall be interested to see how it fares.

Masonic Boom, Friday, 15 August 2008 12:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

A new experimental/avant-garde record store just opened in Seattle (Ballard).

Dissonant Plane.

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Thursday, 27 November 2008 00:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

there's abs. nothing here in upstate NY (binghamton). we had a record fair the other day that wass decent but nothing special really.

k3vin k., Thursday, 27 November 2008 01:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

drive to rochester and go to the bop shop.

ian, Thursday, 27 November 2008 01:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

i've got family there, so i'll "pop" into the bop shop next time i'm there, thanks!
if anyone's got other suggestions (closer to bing) that'd be cool.

k3vin k., Thursday, 27 November 2008 01:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Any good ones (2nd hand too!) in Cambridge, UK? Going to see a friend in March, won't have that much time for recordshopping but would like to scour for a bit if there's a good shop...

willem, Wednesday, 28 January 2009 09:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

So... what advice does ILM have for starting a small record store?

I have the space, which is free (part of my house - and local regulations allow businesses in the home), a Visa Merchant account, Paypal, an eBay account, a Discogs account (which I'm thinking can function as a de facto web site for stock listing), and a fair amount of stock. I know I need a business license, business cards, a land line, and some physical modifications to the space (wall shelves, crates, etc). What I especially need more info on is distributors, and distro contacts. I'm basically going to be working on the small-but-good model of Wall Of Sound in Seattle, TD's in Bloomington Indiana, Exile in Portland, etc. I am interested in how people typically set up accounts with distros, how to contact ones people think are good, and what the usual minimum orders are.

I'm also sure I'm missing other crucial details, which is why I'm asking.

sleeve, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

sent an e-mail to your efn account...

ian, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

scott seward, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

i like how that reads like it's one genre. it would be funny if you went into their store and they only had 5 avant-garde japanese noise industrial art-rock indie alternative free-jazz folk experimental ambient world electronic electro-acoustic neoclassical records and nothing else.

scott seward, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

scott you just made me laugh.

thanks ian!

sleeve, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

When I first read that I thought it was an ad for scott's new store.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 1 July 2009 14:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Twisted Village store in Harvard Square is closing tomorrow.

nerve_pylon, Saturday, 24 July 2010 17:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Ear X-Tacy in Louisville is closing

Ned Raggett, Monday, 31 October 2011 22:25 (six years ago) Permalink

Dear Louisville, and all who have shopped, supported, and loved ear X-tacy over the years,

It has been a dream come true...actually, a dream exceeded, to be part of your musical lives here in Louisville for the last 26 years. My life was changed forever, and guided by the power of music since I can remember. Music has been the soul, the heart, the passion of my life for my entire 56 years. The record store experience has been the only child in my life. Now, it's time for me to let it fly.

Thank YOU...for allowing me to be part of your musical universe. Louisville, you made me feel like I was truly HOME when I moved here in 1976. It's been a great ride, but as George Harrison knowingly said, "All Things Must Pass." It's with sadness, but also with great pride I say to you now...

ear X-tacy is no more

Long live ear X-tacy!

Please keep the music alive. Support the incredible music scene and independent businesses we have here! Until you leave this great city, you cannot realize what a unique treasure we have here. Embrace it, celebrate it, and promote it. Love it.

Thank you all for making my dreams come true. Thank you for making ear X-tacy the wonderful place that it was. I thank all of the staff that made this store THE hub for music in Louisville for the past 26 years. Please take pride in knowing that YOU have been the heart and soul of what this store became. Thank you for sharing my dream and exceeding all of my expectations! To all of the musicians who have graced our store and stage, I cannot tell you what a thrill it's been. From the local newbies to the incredibly huge national artists...THANK YOU for gracing our store and sharing you incredible musical talents with us all...that's what I like to call: "earX-tacy".

Love, peace, music and ear X-tacy to you all,

John D. Timmons
President, ear X-tacy, Inc.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 31 October 2011 22:25 (six years ago) Permalink

Every record store is closing and it's fucking depressing.

International Waters, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 03:44 (six years ago) Permalink

one store that's still chugging along:

skip, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 03:57 (six years ago) Permalink

This Toronto store has been in the same location since the mid-'70s:

I was there all the time during the '80s, but only drop in once every year or two now.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 04:03 (six years ago) Permalink

As far as I know, also the same two owners the whole time.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 04:05 (six years ago) Permalink

ear x-tacy wasn't really so hot the last few times i went there, much prefer underground sounds.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 November 2011 08:39 (six years ago) Permalink

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