Good record shops in NYC?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Mr. Bewlay, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    Going to NYC next week. I'm looking for suggestions for stores that are worth visiting-punk/new wave/prog/jazz/alt.country/Americana. We'll be in Manhattan and Brooklyn. New/used vinyl & CDs.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JuanTCB

    JuanTCB Senior Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  3. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    My go-to shops are Academy, Human Head, Brooklyn Record Exchange, Captured Tracks, Material World, and Record Grouch. Brooklyn has a ton of great stuff
     
  4. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
  5. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    Thanks! I need to pin these to a map.
     
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  6. JuanTCB

    JuanTCB Senior Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I hear you. Co-op 87 in Greenpoint is no more (they rebranded/moved a couple of years ago) and Rough Trade is now in midtown Manhattan but I think everyine else is hanging in there. That said, definitely call ahead as store hours have definitely changed pretty much across the boatd
     
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  7. PimentDouceur

    PimentDouceur Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Record Grouch is my favourite small record shop.

    Academy in Brooklyn I could spend 200$ each time.

    Rough Trade is overrated but always has a gem or two.
     
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  8. btstu

    btstu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Great suggestions for Brooklyn above! Academy Record Annex, Record Grouch, Human Head, and Material World are all really good.
    Earwax Records is small but very conveniently located in Williamsburg.
    Face Records is great too if you’re into Japanese pressings.
    Almost Ready Records in Carroll Gardens is also cool but unfortunately kind of out of the way.
     
  9. btstu

    btstu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I can add a few for Manhattan. There are a bunch of great shops in the East village, all within easy walking distance:

    Limited to One (E 10th St): Small, highly curated used selection of primarily punk/emo/hardcore, with some hip-hop, indie, and older rock/jazz sprinkled in. Specializes in rare variants like first pressings and colored vinyl, especially from the last 25 years or so.

    Academy Records (E 12th St): A little bit of everything, mostly used / older stuff. Well organized, good selection of rock and jazz, but not as good as Academy Record Annex in Brooklyn IMO.

    A1 Record Shop (E 6th St): Very large and varied selection (all used). Beloved by DJs for its large hip-hop, R&B, electronic, jazz, and reggae sections. Questlove is a regular. Decent rock section too but be prepared to do some digging to find the good stuff.

    There’s Stranded on E 5th St as well, but I’m not a big fan—too expensive and kind of soulless IMO. But worth mentioning I guess, there is usually some cool stuff and I know it has its fans.

    A short walk away from all of those:
    Generation Records (Thompson St): If you like punk this one is a must-visit. Good new vinyl selection with a lot of the store devoted to punk and metal. Pretty good jazz too. Be sure to go downstairs to the basement too for cool T-shirts, punk 7”s, and tons of random cheap used vinyl and CDs.


    Midtown:

    Jazz Record Center (W 26th St): If you’re into jazz, this is a must-visit. Unfortunately it’s not too close to anything else, but the jazz vinyl and CD selections can’t be beat. Located on the 8th floor of a highrise—you’ll have to buzz up!

    Rock & Soul DJ Equipment (W 37th St): Really good selection of new records, especially pop, hip-hop, and R&B. Plenty of new rock and reissues too. This is my go-to spot for RSD. Not exactly the place for steals or crate diggers but good if you’re looking for some stuff that came out in the past couple years.

    Academy Records and CDs on W 18th St is cool but not really worth a separate trip. The rock and jazz vinyl selection is ok, but it’s really is hit or miss whether you’ll find something good. The contemporary classical vinyl section and CD selection (especially jazz) are pretty good though.

    The new Rough Trade in Rockefeller Center is not worth the effort unless you’re already in the area. Nothing you can’t find anywhere else or online. Not nearly as good as the old Williamsburg store.

    I’ve linked the Instagram accounts of the stores that regularly post records. I’ve found this is the best way to get a taste of what their stock is like.

    To make things easier, I highly recommend downloading the Discogs app to your phone. The button on the bottom right, “VinylHub,” will show you where all the record stores are, as well as your current location if you turn it on. There are a few on that map that have closed, but it’s still a good resource.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
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  10. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    Just be warned - and I say this as a local - don't set your expectations too high. On a per capita basis, NYC is not the treasure-trove of records/CDs that it once was. You'll probably find some good stuff, but they won't come cheap.

    In the last 5-10 years, my used record acquisitions from brick-and-mortar stores have been at least 80% from stores outside NYC.
     
  11. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    Thanks for all the responses, I do appreciate it. We ended up hitting Rough Trade (because we were right there) and I agree, nothing to write home about. I'm familiar with their East London store, which is a lot more interesting. We also hit Academy Annex in Green Point, which is where I spent money, and Captured Tracks, who were dealing with some flood issues(they're in a basement, this was the Saturday after the heavy rains). @NettleBed's comment about NYC not being the treasure trove of vinyl it was is interesting-I found Academy full of stuff I've never seen before and the prices were reasonable, compared to the three biggest stores we have in Denver. I guess it's all relative. My package from Academy arrived today(!) so I'm working my way through a new stack right now.
     
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