101 Musicians Discuss Their Favorite Record Stores
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91. Jon Jameson
Store: Lou’s Records
Location: Encinitas, Calif.
Lou’s was one of those spots where you knew that everyone working behind the counter was way cooler than you. I remember getting nervous when I would ask them if they had some hardcore CD that I wanted, or trying to figure out what the coolest Belle & Sebastian album was. When I first got my car, I would literally come to Lou’s three to five times a week to dig through the bargain bin. When we put our first EP out they had us do an in-store in the parking lot. It was an early highlight for us. Sadly they have had to downsize the store, but they are still fighting the good fight! Keep it up Lou!
92. Dallas Good
Store: Record Land; Rotate This
Location: Calgary, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario
I want to have my ashes scattered at Record Land in Calgary.
My favorite record store is Rotate This in Toronto and I have my reasons, but they’re far too personal to share. Not every record store is good, but every record store is great. Recently I got a copy of a very rare 45 by the Quiet Jungle. My particular copy is blank on both sides, making it even rarer. I’m willing to make you a tape.
93. Robbie Arnett
Store: Amoeba Records
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
As a kid, I remember telling my mother I was going to the city (San Francisco) to hang out with my cousin, but really went to Amoeba. I would try to pick a discounted vinyl from each section in the store purely based on cover art. I found Astrud Gilberto’s Beach Samba that way, and it’s still one of my favorite records.
94. Page Campbell
Hope For Agoldensummer and Dream Boat
Store: Strictly Discs
Location: Madison, Wis.
My favorite record store right now is Strictly Discs in Madison, Wis. The basement is an incredibly organized and well-stocked vinyl paradise! The jazz section is for-REAL rad and you can explore and listen to any weird thing from any place, time or genre there is. There’s even a keg of free beer in the corner and a DJ for maximum hanging-outness.
My favorite memory is finding one of those obscure psych-folk ’60s deals with an amazing hand-written letter—an account of a drug trip in a barn or something—tucked into the gatefold. Yes, please :)
Store: Criminal Records
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Well, as many folks will tell you, Criminal Records in Atlanta is pretty dang rad. We’ve had plenty of good times shopping there because we [sure] do like to shop. And for some reason, our most-watched music video of all time is the performance we did there on Record Store Day of 2008. We covered “Are You That Somebody?” by Aaliyah (ft. Timbaland).
95. Jesse Marchant
Store: Landlocked Music
Location: Bloomington, Ind.
I had a day off tour in Bloomington for my first visit there, and after an very intense game of ultimate frisbee in the park with some tourmates, I stumbled into this store just in time to catch a live set from tUnE-yArDs. I had never seen her perform before and it was quite a vivid experience. I like this store a lot and I like the town it is in.
96. James Wilson
Sons of Bill
Store: Sidetracks Music
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
The biggest thing that I miss in the iTunes culture is the importance of the ‘used section’ as a corner stone for any true music fan. Sidetracks Music always had a massive used section—so as a teenager you could spend hours searching for gems and discovering bands. It was all time well spent. I bought Life’s Rich Pageant because I thought the cover looked cool. Best decision I ever made. It’d be a good thing for rock ‘n’ roll if kids read fewer blogs and bought more records because the cover looked cool.
97. Erik Gage
Store: Exiled Records
Location: 4628 SE Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, Ore. (in the little strip between the deli and the liquor store!)
Besides shootin’ the shit and swappin’ sounds with the owners and the small but wise set of PT employees, the most excellent (and dangerous) thing about Exiled is knowing that no matter when you pop in, you’re gonna find at least seven things you want. Reissues up and down, anything you need, Royal Trux, old punk shit, amazing and rare reggae and dub, New Zealand guitar-pop shit, all the new cool and weirdo records, etc. Dividers for Sublime Frequencies AND Siltbreeze! Best paycheck spot, right next to the sandwich spot and the liquor store.
98. Rees Juenger
Store: Amoeba Records (on Haight)
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
On our way back from SXSW, we stopped here and stayed for multiple hours and all of us got a lot of awesome stuff you can’t usually find in Seattle. It was also part of a great road trip we did with some of our closest friends, so that probably heightened the experience. There is also a really rad one in Seattle called Wall of Sound that has a lot of really cool small-run records.
99. Wade Ryff
Store: Origami Vinyl (Vinyl-only record store directly next door to The Echo)
Location: 1818 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif.
I bought Cass McCombs’ Wit’s End on vinyl. We also recently did a feature for Origami Vinyl’s upcoming zine where we interviewed our friends in So Many Wizards inside the store and vice versa. Wound up talking about music for almost an hour.
100. Kelly Pratt
Store: ear X-tacy
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Ear X-Tacy was one of the grandaddies of independent record stores. Unfortunately, they went out of business last year after about 25 years. I am from Lexington and would make the trek to Louisville once every few weeks, primarily to go to ear X-tacy. It was an enormous store, with pretty much everything you could want. There was a ton of underground music, and a nice selection of local music too. I bought Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese there when it came out—an album that changed my life.
101. Brian Hannon
Store: 52.5 Records (closed)
Location: Charleston, S.C.
52.5 was my first ever show trying to play as a band. We never rehearsed, and I remember we would go back and forth between me playing solo folk songs to these improvised jams, and it was just awful. I put up all these flyers but I didn’t know you could only put them in certain areas, so the owner of 52.5, Clay Scales, totally bitched me out a few days after the show to take the posters down, otherwise he would have to pay fines. Clay and I are friends now, but it was a pretty shaky start to being in a band and playing shows.