Your three favorite record stores

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by tvstrategies, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Scroller

    Scroller Forum Resident

    Absolutely. I tend to value record stores not so much by how they price their stuff, although this is certainly a factor, but rather, how often does new stock and music that I am particularly looking for come in through the door? Steve at Bagatelle always seems to have new boxes of records to be sifted through and Record Surplus always always has great jazz records. Every time I visit there it pains me to have to leave things behind.
  2. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead Thread Starter

    98391 WA USA
    Totally agree!

    A friend and I took a week off in summer '75 (just graduated college) and drove from CT north up 87 through the Adks to Montreal. Then across to Toronto. We left his van at a Metro stop (the Metro was brand new, silent rubber tires!) and walked around downtown, and decided to take a bus back to the van. We needed a place to wash up (at age 22, a hotel wasn't top of mind), so I stepped forward to the bus driver and asked if there was a 'Y' or something public nearby.

    A woman a few seats back overheard this and invited us to her house - her parents were away and she had friends over. So we enjoyed hanging out and cleaning up, and after we ate, someone put on this music unlike we had ever heard. It was Gentle Giant Free Hand, 'just came out.' Where could we buy a copy? Sam the Record Man! Just played this copy the other day, in fact. Still sounds good. Canadian pressing.

    I was in Toronto on business about 10 years ago and asked about Sam's - gone.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  3. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Forum Resident

    Arlington, VA, USA
    Hard to limit it to three, but here goes:

    1.) Amoeba Music (San Francisco; Berkeley, Calif.; Los Angeles): I've never been to the Hollywood branch of this megastore mini-chain, but I visited the two shops in the Bay Area last year. They had the biggest and best selection of used CDs I've seen anywhere, with all sorts of great out-of-print items that you don't come across often. Good rock music book selection, too, especially at the San Francisco location.

    2.) Electric Fetus (Minneapolis): Kind of a sentimental favorite as this was my favorite store in my teens and 20s when I grew up and lived in the Twin Cities. I still visit it whenever I'm back in town. Deep and broad selection of CDs in many genres. The vinyl portion of the store has grown, but I'm not a huge fan of new vinyl. I'd like to see them sell more used vinyl. That nitpick aside, this is still a great brick-and-mortar record shop, probably one of the 10 or 15 best in the nation, IMO.

    3.) CD Cellar (Falls Church, Va.): This has become my favorite record store in the Washington, D.C. region, which is where I live now. Really solid collection of used CDs and vinyl with a pretty good turnover rate. They have good quality control in the discs they put up for sale; items are generally in nice condition. I've picked up many out-of-print CDs here and some great used vinyl, too. They recently combined their two branches of this store into one new, bigger shop in Falls Church, which is a plus.
    pikapika likes this.
  4. 762rob

    762rob Forum Resident

    Village Music Mill Valley CA (RIP) but John is still open at El Paseo across the street on Saturdays.
    Grimey's - Nashville TN
    Amoeba - Haight Street SF CA
  5. Descartridge

    Descartridge Well-Known Member

    Seminole, Florida
    Record Theatre, Buffalo NY
    Princeton sound exchange, Princeton NJ
    The one in Ann Arbor, MI

    The worst is Bananas in St. Pete, FL
    panasoffkee likes this.
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    LOL! she won't let me..."Pretty Poison"..
    showtaper likes this.
  7. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Scarborough is almost like a warehouse by comparison to Portland, especially for CD's and movies. If you're familiar with the Mill Creek store, this one is larger.
    kevimetal likes this.
  8. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead Thread Starter

    98391 WA USA
    Between these, Crossroads, and others mentioned, looks like another Portland road trip is in order... Like to stay at the Crystal Ballroom hotel (McMenamins)
  9. bopdd

    bopdd Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    For such a small city, Portland has a wealth of record stores (and vintage/antique stores selling LPs). Other than the ones mentioned (Crossroads, Mississippi, Music Millennium, Everyday Music, 2nd Avenue) I'm also a fan of Little Axe Records (specializes in experimental music), Jump Jump Music, and Vinyl Resting Place. I could easily go on. Just FYI, the Crystal Ballroom is directly across from the Everyday Music on NW Burnside. However, the majority of record stores are on the east side.
    tvstrategies and steelydanguy like this.
  10. Ruscl

    Ruscl Member

    Ok I will also add Exiled Records at the end of Hawthorne ... I like those guys a lot too ... very small shop though... lots of punk stuff.

    My least favorite in Portland is Jackpot on Hawthorne ... everything there(vinyl wise) seems like a bootleg ... unless you are looking for that type of thing.

    I will also add that recordsbymail ( is in the NW industrial side of Portland ... and they ARE a warehouse. But they may be a little shocked if you show up on their doorstep!

    Not to say that Portland is the epicenter of vinyl ... I would hand that award to Ameoba.
    tvstrategies and bopdd like this.
  11. bopdd

    bopdd Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    I'm with you on all fronts! Just out of curiosity, do you know if recordsbymail does allow people to come by in person?
  12. Vinyl Addict

    Vinyl Addict Forum Resident

    Garnick's - Lowell, MA
    Welfare Records - Haverhill, MA
    Newbury Comics - Norwood, MA Always a great selection of new and used LPs!
  13. Ruscl

    Ruscl Member

    Ha ha ... actually yes they did!

    I had found a Pink Floyd Meddle first Japanese pressing on their site. When I googled them I realized they were about 4 blocks from my office(what were the odds of that). So I walked over to see if they had a shop or what the deal was. The only thing they had was an office number on the door, but I could see records in bins through the door! The two guys fulfilling orders looked astonished when I walked in and asked if they still had the Japanese Pink Floyd Meddle Album.

    But hey they grabbed the album out of the warehouse, took may cash, and waved the shipping fee!
  14. bopdd

    bopdd Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    ARK likes this.
  15. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead Thread Starter

    98391 WA USA
    Great story. Now I must drop in, next time in PDX
    ARK likes this.
  16. bopdd

    bopdd Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    I actually called them to confirm. You can order their stuff online and pick it up in person to save on shipping. They said they don't allowed people to peruse their inventory.
  17. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead Thread Starter

    98391 WA USA
    Oh well, i can't be greedy - plenty of other stores there to visit!
  18. Ruscl

    Ruscl Member

    But you can look at the vinyl on site to see if you approve of the quality!
    tvstrategies likes this.
  19. Hammock

    Hammock Member

    I'd have to echo
    1) Ragged Records in Davenport, Ia.
    2) Younger Than Yesterday in Peoria, Il
    2) Euclid Records in St. Louis, Mo.
  20. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    Can you elaborate? There's another thread (and many Yelp reviews) that say the exact opposite! And I'm visiting Tampa/St. Pete in 6 weeks and was looking forward to visiting.
  21. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead Thread Starter

    98391 WA USA
    Went to Everyday Music in Capitol Hill (Seattle) tonight. $28.28 bought me:

    Don Juan's Reckless Daughter - Joni Mitchell
    How Late Are You Playin Till - David Bromberg
    Reckless Abandon - David Bromberg
    Arc of a Diver (promo copy) - Steve Winwood
    Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits

    Not bad! This store has replaced the place in Pike Place Market among my favorite record stores. Plus it's across from (the new) Elliott Bay Books.

    Also went to Neptune Records in the U district. Don't bother. They are too full of themselves, 2x the price for 1/2 the selection
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  22. NotOneStraw

    NotOneStraw Well-Known Member

    @Descartridge trying again. Can you elaborate on why Banana's is "the worst?"
  23. eskaton

    eskaton Forum Resident

    Pennsylvania, USA
    I'm in Northeastern PA. MY go-to local shops are:

    Double Decker Records (Allentown)
    Long in the Tooth (Philly)
    Digital Underground (Philly)

    I also try to make it out to Princeton Record Exchange a few times a year.

    Double Decker has a really extensive, eclectic selection of new and used records and an approachable staff that knows their stuff. They've got everything from Top 40 material to really obscure industrial/noise. They also have a packed 50 cent room. I'd go here regularly anyway as it's very close to where I live, but the wide variety and consistent quality of their stock makes it a permanent fixture in my weekly schedule, and easily puts it at the top of my list out of the many record stores I've been to. If you're in the PA/NY/NJ area or just passing through, definitely check this place out.
    steelydanguy and jimac51 like this.
  24. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    Locally I like:

    1. Academy Records - the Manhattan and Brooklyn version
    2. Rebel Rebel - West Village - yes I know it's cramped and you can't find anything, but you can walk in with a list and they will find everything in a flash and charge fair prices
    3. Second Hand Rose - 12th St. Union Square - they have everything and are always incredibly nice and patient when I'm there. A bit pricey, but I like them.
  25. Spanish Prisoner

    Spanish Prisoner Forum Resident

    Central New Jersey
    Have you been to Positively Records in Levittown, PA? They're my number two store after PRE.

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