101 Musicians Discuss Their Favorite Record Stores
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41. Todd Bell
Braid, Hey Mercedes
Store: Philadelphia Record Exchange
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
There are almost too many great record stores to list, but this is the store I always choose to go to if my time is tight and I’m passing through Philly. They have a good variety of genres and the basement selection is not too overwhelming—you can make a pretty good sweep of the place in about an hour if you move fast.
Last time I was there, I got an original copy of The Ramones Rocket To Russia for $20 and about 10 years ago I stumbled upon an extremely rare promo only vinyl copy of Failure’s Comfort on Slash. I don’t think it ever had a proper vinyl release and the store obviously didn’t know what it was. This was a moment a record-nerd dreams about and I wasn’t even sure it existed at this point. It was in a white DJ jacket with a sticker on it. It was marked $3.98.
42. Rollie Pemberton
Location: Montreal, Quebec
I spent a lot of time at Phonopolis. There’s a very accommodating staff. They have a lot of in-stores and I have a lot of memories of people play. I saw an artist named Mozart’s Sister. It was a very memorable show, and it’s a cornerstone of Montreal. It’s really cool to see local records prominently displayed there. It’s exciting to see when your friend’s record comes out and they get the front display.
43. Jamie Stewart
Store: Streetlight Records
Location: San Jose, Calif.
I used to work there and then asking a fellow employee to find me some depressing classical music and being introduced to Shostakovich. It changed my life. Also, they played the record Jerusalem by Sleep almost everyday. It was good to have my then-whimpy mind blown by it day after day.
44. Brendan Benson
Store: Off the Record
Location: Royal Oak, Mich.
I worked, for a long time, at a record store in Royal Oak, Michigan called Off The Record. I was obsessed with collecting records. My paycheck went to buying records. So, needless to say, I’ll always an affinity for that place.
45. Parker Gispert
Store: Schoolkids Records
Location: Athens, Ga.
Many great memories of drinking coffee/listening to whatever records Ross Shapiro put on the stereo.
46. Zakk Wylde
Black Label Society
Store: Amoeba Music
Location: Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif.
Brings back so many memories—they have all the great records I had as a kid. Great childhood memories with bands that I can only find there.
47. Tommy Siegel
Jukebox the Ghost
Store: Plan 9
Location: Carytown in Richmond, Va.
In high school, I remember seeing an in-store performance of Lake Trout, one my favorite bands at the time. At some point, I remember wandering downstairs and finding their gigantic used vinyl section and thinking, “Why would anyone ever buy vinyl?” A question that seems funny now. Ten years and 250 records later, I’m only regretting that I didn’t start my collection sooner.
48. Hugo Manuel
Store: Avid Records (RIP)
Location: Gloucester Green, Oxford, United Kingdom
A huge, three-level affair—dance music in the basement and everything else on the groud floor and weird old stuff upstairs. I used to go there a hell of a lot and would only very occasionally buy anything. The stock never seemed to change over the five or six years I would frequent the place, but it seemed like an absolute haven to me. I would normally be too scared to go to the dance basement, and would spend most of my time looking through the weird world music and the uncategorizables upstairs.
49. Tom Nguyen
Store: Sound Exchange
Location: Houston, Texas
Sound Exchange is this rad little house that was converted into a record shop; it was the first record store that I ever went to. They have a sick collection of rare and obscure records. I was 15 when I started going there and I remember all these posters on the walls of bands I’ve never heard of at the time. There was this one poster with a chick half-nude eating a banana (I think), and I always thought the guys working there were gonna catch me staring at it. It was hard because it was right in the front next to the register. I remember going there to buy The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka with a friend and both of us being really excited. They were the only store in town that had it. We tried to sync it for hours never getting it quite right.
50. Caitlin Rose
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Several Record Store Days ago, Charlie Louvin showed up at the Grimey’s Day Party in Nashville, Tenn., where I live. He sang a couple songs with one of my favorite Kansas bands, Drakkar Sauna, who happened to be swinging through Nashville at the time. They had just put out a Louvin Brothers tribute album so it was pretty exciting show for them.
He was carrying around the albums he’d picked up that day in a bread bag and looked terribly charming. After shaking his hand and getting our picture taken together, he said I had a nice smile, which I don’t, but it made my year anyway. Grimey’s is undoubtedly a magical little place. Nashville is lucky to have it. We’re playing the Record Store Day party this month so I’m hoping history will repeat itself and something as fabulous as this will happen again.