Best and worst record stores.

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Slash-n-burn, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. That's what I was trying to figure: what are "member countries" of the US? Are you instead meaning NATO?
    Lost In The Flood likes this.
  2. Vinyl is final

    Vinyl is final Not Insane

    Louisville, KY
    No. Not NATO. I'm referring to the fact that when member nations tried to leave the US back in the 19th century it got kinda ugly, but Brexit was less violent. :D

    The US has Dollars. The EU has Euros. The development of the EU is what opened the borders between member nations, for the most part. Etc. But this is getting into politics, at least technically, so I'll just leave it at that.
  3. OK. I know all that, and wasn't asking about politics. I just didn't particularly understand what you were meaning. I guess you could call the Civil War a departure of "members" (if not "member nations"). But then were you saying that you just wouldn't visit some of those record stores listed because they are not in the US, and you're not leaving the US? I'm not judging, and even financial constraints could come into play (I often get these places via my work to that lessens the blow). But it was just a bit hard to follow the logic.

    I knew ear-x-tacy back when it had the little shop on Bardstown Road. And once they moved into the bigger one on Bardstown Road (near the BBQ place) it because truly fantastic. In the late 1990s and very early 2000s, it was perhaps one of the best in the whole country. And it was strong in all genres, too. I was sad when John had to close it down.
  4. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    Not all EU countries have the Euro as their unit of currency.
  5. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Westerville, Ohio
    I'm EXACTLY the opposite. Leave me the funk alone while I'm browsing and when I'm ready to check out, it means I'm ready to pay for my purchase and leave, NOT hear the story of how/when/where you first heard one of the albums I'm buying from you.
  6. Vinyl is final

    Vinyl is final Not Insane

    Louisville, KY
    Yeah. I was just speaking in generalities as the two being generally similar.
  7. Vinyl is final

    Vinyl is final Not Insane

    Louisville, KY
    Well, that's not usually what we talk about. I used to be in the business back in the day. We tend to talk about the business, not the albums themselves. ;)

    But I get where you're coming from. That kind of conversation is annoying.
    MekkaGodzilla likes this.
  8. IllinoisCheesehead

    IllinoisCheesehead Forum Resident

    The worst would be one where I couldn't find anything to buy. Haven't run into that problem yet. :)

    The best I've been to recently is a little shop in Oshkosh, WI -- Eroding Winds. Fair prices, nice selection, updated frequently, good mix of new and used. All used is graded and marked on the label. In my experience, gradings have been pretty accurate.
    zphage and rockinbrian19 like this.
  9. merlperl

    merlperl Forum Resident

    Omaha, NE
    Freakbeat is great but cd trader is meh.
    Mr. LP Collector likes this.
  10. arcamsono

    arcamsono Forum Resident

    Electric fetus. Mpls
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  11. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Enjoyer of driver excursions.

    "Best" is subjective but one of my favorites that I try to frequent is 2nd Avenue Records in downtown Portland, Or. They've been weathering that corner for a few decades and it's packed with well-curated LP's.
    danasgoodstuff likes this.
  12. I do like that place, but the last couple of times I've gone I just haven't found as much that I really wanted. Last time was in Fall 2020 and of course, there might not have been as much foot traffic or turnover in that time due to all that was happening in downtown Portland that year.
  13. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Enjoyer of driver excursions.

    I bought three unfamiliar jazz records the last time I was there and they all turned out to be winners. Particularly Kenny Dorham's "Afro-Cuban", what a record!
    CBackley likes this.
  14. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    I have been trawling record stores in various US cities and abroad for 35 years.

    I will attest that Columbus, Ohio has some absolutely fantastic A++ record stores today...

    Used Kids
    Records per Minute
    Lost Weekend

    Some other smaller but still fun and interesting like Elizabeth's
    zphage likes this.
  15. normanr

    normanr Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Only been there once but I really liked Clocktower Music in the ‘historic industrial and vintage quarter’ of Bridport, Dorset. There’s a fantastic selection of vinyl with lots of reissued British jazz/prog à la Nucleus etc plus a back room full of vintage radios and the like. It’s the sort of shop that puts a sticker saying ‘every home should have this’ on a Mike Westbrook album. So one of the best…

    As for the worst, Sanity must be up there. It was like a cross between an airport shop and the CD section of a supermarket: garish, brightly lit, poorly stocked and just a horrible place to shop. The sad thing is that it was a rebrand of Our Price Records, which started out as a small chain of specialist record shops where chart hits rubbed shoulders with obscure reggae and punk, and then got taken over by a huge retail conglomerate and it all went downhill.
    zphage likes this.
  16. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Worst: any that put anything good on Discogs and eBay and the rest in the store. Vegas is all but over for stores. Wax Trax is pretty funny. Freakbeat is great. Rockaway needs to be unearthed back to retail.
  17. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident

    Denver, CO, USA
    The one in the Sunset? That place was great!
  18. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Downstairs Records 1976 NYC. Junior Vasquez before he named himself that in the 12" room. Record Surplus comedy many NY Catskills 1950's comedians put out indy albums in the 60's in L.A.? They all look like Shecky and Henny. Record Surplus "Attic" rap $1 section of double promo albums 15 years car was down the ground with "The Attic" is street level of no rap and lotsa VG Bobby Goldsboro albums.
  19. bob338

    bob338 Forum Resident

    Sausalito, CA
    Chicago had the best record stores when I was growing up.
    Wax Trax was the best. The Turntable in Schaumburg was great for post-punk stuff. Vintage Vinyl in Evanston was always great for overpriced stuff you'd never seen before, but the owner was not exactly friendly. I usually found something at Dr. Wax. 2nd Hand Tunes got all kinds of weird stuff super cheap all the time. Val's Halla if you felt like digging. There was a place out in Elgin that always had super cheap punk and post-punk records. Full Cyrkle in Cary. Prada (they had a couple names, they were next to the Metro,) Jazz Record Mart, Reckless Records, Hegewisch Records, etc...I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of places. There were so many!

    In San Francisco we had a great Reckless on Haight. Rooky Ricardos was great for oldies. The mighty Aquarius Records on Valencia was awesome and I lived within about 100 feet of their front door, so I was there often. Amoeba in Berkeley was great until the SF store opened. Amoeba SF kinda took over when they opened, but I still love that store. There is a good one on Noe that I can't remember the name of now. There was also one around the corner from Target on Market that always had really good bargains.
    We live in Marin now and I have yet to find any good record stores. I never found a thing at Mill Valley Music despite so many people preaching about how great it is. It was probably the last place you could find Scruffy the Cat records, but is anyone actually looking for those? Red Devil in Petaluma was okay, but the owner was always so unpleasant. They moved to San Rafael a few years ago and the move did nothing to change his attitude.
    recstar24 likes this.
  20. drpep

    drpep Whizzing and pasting and pooting through the day

    Corning, New York
    Scruffy the Cat!!. That’s a band I haven’t seen mentioned since probably 1986. Heading to YouTube now.
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  21. shakti

    shakti Senior Member

    Ramnes, Norway
    Best is hard to say, but I will give a big thumbs up to Råkk & Rålls in Oslo, Norway.Over the years they’ve grown into a great place to shop records.Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. They regularly get rare gems which, even if I might not buy them, makes it interesting just to go look, and I don’t think I’ve ever left empty handed. The best part is that they don’t sell anything online. They’ll put some teasers on Facebook to let you know when a new collection has come in, but any shopping has to be done in the store.

    Worst, by a very long distance, is Franz & Josef Schallplatten in Berlin, Germany. Just Google it. In retrospect I kind of look on it as an interesting glimpse into the darkest corners of the human psyche.
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  22. maxbe

    maxbe Active Member

    arizona, USA
    My favorite generation record in New York. here you can get all the records, and worst records are new stores in many malls.
  23. Exactly. Already plotting some way to return to Oslo for a weekend in some future year when business travel might take me through Europe again (when that happens is hard to say, of course). But a huge draw of visiting Oslo again would be Rakk & Ralls. Also, I just find Oslo to be generally pleasant and interesting to visit. On a couple of prior visits, there have been utterly outstanding shows at Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria. So much worth visiting. Last time, the Arild Anderson show was just spectacularly musical. It left me really inspired.
    shakti likes this.
  24. raindog69

    raindog69 Well-Known Member

    Chicagoland, IL
    He is still not friendly. They have great stuff, but it’s such an unpleasant buying experience I don’t bother anymore.

    Nearby is a newer, great little shop in Evanston - Squeezebox. It’s not the biggest selection but it’s solid and it’s a friendly, enjoyable place. Used books and CDs, too.
  25. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Senior Member

    Mudwest, SoCal
    Two of the best, imho, were Village Music (Mill Valley, CA) and Vogue Records (Westwood, CA), both long gone.

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