101 Musicians Discuss Their Favorite Record Stores
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21. Patterson Hood
The Drive-By Truckers
Store: Deep Groove Records
Location: Richmond, Va.
Jay Leavitt, who owns it, used to manage the better record stores in my hometown growing up (Muscle Shoals and Florence, Ala.) and was the guy who turned me onto Springsteen, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, among many others. Deep Groove is a tiny, vinyl-only store but has the best selection imaginable for its size, great prices and Jay curates it like a record museum or something.
He’s the last of that breed of record store guy. Knowledgable and super friendly. It’s worth seeking out.
22. Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir
Of Monsters and Men
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
It’s just a great record shop. And when I was about 19, I remember being really excited about going and buying tickets to Iceland Airwaves Festival for me and my friend, who was in India at the time. I remember riding my bike up the huge hill from the Kindergarten school I was working at then to the store on the main shopping street. I got the tickets, was so excited, and then she ended up staying in India longer. I was so mad! That damn hill!
Store: Lucky Records
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Lucky is probably the largest second hand vinyl store in Iceland and it’s just a really great store to go to and look through vinyl. And it’s open every day! Most of the bigger record stores only have the newest vinyl, they do not have old records so if you want to find old records, you have to go to Lucky. Once I was able to find full symphony LPs for 500 kronur (which is really cheap!), so I bought 30 of them!
23. Sean Carey
Bon Iver, S. Carey
Store: Electric Fetus
Location: Minneapolis, Minn. (oh, I love the one in Duluth, Minn. too)
Bon Iver played an in-store at the Fetus in February of 2008 and that was the first time we got store credit, which I thought was the coolest thing (keep in mind this was the day before I left on my very first tour, I was 22). With the credit, I got two records: There Will Be Blood soundtrack (super intense), Fat Kid Wednesdays record with spoken word (also really intense, mostly because I spun the van into the ditch while listening to it… so haven’t touched that one since). Anyway, it’s a great store and the one in Duluth is equally as good.
24. Gemma Ray
Store: Mr. Dead and Mrs. Free
Location: Bülowstrasse 5, Berlin, Germany
On the day I moved to Berlin, I decided to check out this record store as my labelmates Joe Gideon and The Shark named a song after it. When I walked in, I realized I had been there before in a dream. Every record on display had huge significance to me, and when I heard that they were playing Melody Nelson, I knew without a doubt that I was in the right place, at the right time.
25. Craig Finn
The Hold Steady
Store: Treehouse Records/Oarfolkjokeopus Records
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
I bought most of my favorite early records from the earlier incarnation of this store (Oarfolk): Suicide Commandos’ Make a Record, The Replacements’ Let it Be, Husker Du’s Zen Arcade and The Ramones’ Too Tough to Die are all vivid record-buying memories. It remains an amazing store after rebranding to Treehouse Records, and I just had the honor of playing a really fun morning in-store there. Great selection and a super friendly and knowledgeable staff. Long may they run!
26. Hanni El Khatib
Store: 101 Music
Location: North Beach on Grant and Green, San Francisco, Calif.
When I was 18 or so, my best friend Ricky and I would go into that place religiously and spend hours downstairs in the basement digging for records with our portable turntables. Imagine a garage bursting at the seems with vinyl. Nothing was organized and they were all in crates and piles. It was like a treasure hunt.
27. Shelby Lynne
Store: Tower Records
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
I spent more time in the long-gone Tower Records store in Nashville. I never really started buying a lot of records until I started making records myself. My tastes varied but I needed an education on popular records that I had heard about but had never listened to. So one evening, late after spending a week making a list of important records I needed to educate myself on, I went to Tower and dropped about $600 on music like R.E.M.’s first album, Let It Bleed and The Ramones.
28. Jon Foreman
Store: Lou’s Records
Location: Luecadia, Calif.
I’ve had many amazing moments at Lou’s Records, but my favorite memory would probably be selling my first record there. I was in high school playing music with my brother in a three piece band called “etc…” I saved up all my money and recorded a CD. I did the math that we only needed to sell 300 to break even. So every week I would roll into Lou’s records to see if any of our CDs sold (on consignment). Unfortunately, I spent most the money we earned buying used CDs across the alley.
29. Shawn Rosenblatt
Store: Princeton Record Exchange
Location: Princeton, N.J.
I would drive there a lot from my parents’ house in Pennsylvania during the summer. I was about 17 or 18 years old and would drop over $80 on records. I remember the employees being pleasantly rude to me and my high school friends and would make fun of our t-shirts and read the name on the records out loud while we checked out. I still loved spending many hours perusing the bins of used jazz and pop records.
Store: Jack’s Music
Location: Red Bank, N.J.
They have this really cool guy named Tim, who’s in a band called the Ribeye Brothers, that works there. He’s super friendly and cool and when I was a lot younger I went up and asked him what would be something cool to get. He gave me Can’s Tago Mago. Shit blew my mind right up.