Record stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Connecticut!!

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by panicproject, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. AlecA

    AlecA Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I haven't seen it mentioned, but there's Buch Spieler Records in Montpelier, VT. It's just off the main street. I'm not a vinyl guy so I can't attest to their pricing (I go in for the cds), but they seem to have a large selection.
     
  2. putney_swope

    putney_swope Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northampton MA
    Autumn Records in Winooski VT (just outside of Burlington) is excellent and relatively new. Large and very well sorted. There is also Turn it Up with two stores near each other in MA (Northampton and Montague) that are ok, but their shop in Brattleboro VT is great, and if you like CDs they have a nice selection. Western MA has a lot of places I regularly visit: Electric Eye (Northampton), John Doe Jr. (Greenfield), and Platterpus (Easthampton) are all excellent.

    People who have mentioned Bullmoose: they are an excellent place for new clearance vinyl because there are often significant discounts (50/75% off), but their used record selection tends to be a bit thin. Another great place for CDs though.
     
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  3. ivan_wemple

    ivan_wemple Forum Resident

    How's the CD selection at Buch Spieler?
     
  4. AlecA

    AlecA Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    They have a lot of good jazz, but the rest is hit or miss (at least for me).
     
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  5. CaseyJames

    CaseyJames Relaxed Fit Jeans Vibe

    Location:
    Maine
    I live right in downtown Portland so these are my thoughts on the store scene there:
    Moody Lords: Good dudes who run it, occasionally come up with interesting things, decent prices.
    Electric Buddhas: I hit this place, like, every three months hoping it'll be better and then I go in and am reminded that I never leave with a record.
    Enterprise: My favorite spot. Bob is the man and he comes up with interesting things often and always at great prices.
    Strange Maine: Love the vibe, lots of stuff is off-condition BUT you can find decent/interesting things sometimes.
    Merchant Company: Kind of under the radar place. Have scored some solid records there.
    Flea For All: There are two vendors there. I've never picked up anything from either. Decent enough selection, I guess.

    Moving outside of Portland...
    Deep Groove (Brunswick): I like the owner a lot and when I sell records, I go to him. Solid selection though the prices tend to be high.
    Vinylhaven (Brunswick): Pass.
    Record Connection (Waterville): Love this store and try to go once every few months. I never have major scores, but always leave with a stack of interesting stuff for not a lot of money.
    Dr. Records (Bangor): Similar to Record Connection in terms of selection. I've only been a couple of times because it is OUT THERE, but not bad.

    Now, I'm from New Hampshire originally, so I can also speak to these stores:
    Pitchfork (Concord): Used to be great, now is simply alllllllright. Worth checking out, though.
    Skele-tone (Rochester): I hit this place every time I go visit my family. Lots of overpriced records BUT also sometimes interesting things. Y'hafta dig a little, but deals do exist.
    Music Connection (Music Connection): Just revisited this store for the first time in a lonnnnng time and it was bummer central. This place used to be organized well and spacious and had rad records. Now it is a nightmare.
    Revolution Records (North Conway): Newish store, only been a couple of times. Not the greatest selection but I suppose you could do worse. Worth a visit if you're in the area.
    Oh, and there was a newish store in Portsmouth that I can't find the name of but is run by a cool dude with a nice assortment of used records. I grabbed a Michael Nesmith and Emitt Rhodes record there and was pleased as punch.

    Lastly, I just made a quick trip to Montpelier and hit Buch Spieler. I walked out with a couple interesting things. Spacious, laid back vibe, but also lots of new records, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Also made my way over to Exile on Main St in Barre. I only had like 30 minutes and an uninterested girlfriend so I didn't get to really dig, but I think this place might have some treasures to be found.
     
  6. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    ^^^^^^^

    Big fan of Enterprise, especially the jazz section. Small selection, bit qualify.
     
  7. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    I wanted to love Vinylhaven just because I approve strongly of the name (my wife's family has a summer house on Vinalhaven), but it's depressingly ordinary.
     
  8. PB with J

    PB with J Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Somersworth NH USA
    Enterprise has always been one of my favorites. I went in one day, and he asked what I was looking for, and I asked if he had a Very, Very Circus record. He told me to wait a minute and came back with a couple of great Henry Threadgill records that I immediately bought, as they were in great shape and priced cheaply. He's got a good selection and will try to get you what you want. I've made many great purchases there.

    I've been to Music Connection twice over the last three months. The first time it was packed with stuff and hard to get around (and not like the old, spacious place that I had also visited in the past). There were some good deals, and I made some purchases. At the second visit, the store was getting more organized, and I made more purchases. John's relatively new as the owner (not exactly sure when he bought it, but it was probably after the first time I vistited, when it was much cleaner), and he's working to clean up the clutter (although I'm not sure how successful he'll be. Still, I found ot worthwhile, pretty extensive, and some good finds (and some that is a bit overpriced).
     
  9. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    I really need to figure out this typing thing....let's try this again: SMALL SELECTION, BIG QUALITY.
    There, that's better.
     
  10. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I recently visited the Bullmoose location in Portsmouth which used to have a long run of browsers with used vinyl along a side wall deep in the store. Sadly, this has been reduced to one browser only, with all used categories. There is also some used vinyl mixed in with the new vinyl in the browsers you see when you first enter the store. No longer worth the 70 minute drive for me.

    Because of this, I was thinking of taking a run up to Portland and will check out some of the stores mentioned here.
     
  11. CaseyJames

    CaseyJames Relaxed Fit Jeans Vibe

    Location:
    Maine
    There is another store in Portsmouth worth checking out but the name still escapes me; it is attached to a coffee shop, I believe. Bummer to hear about the used section at Portsmouth. Up until the summer, it was still there. I think it was mostly stocked by a guy out of Northwood, NH who has a pretty big presence online and at his antique place.
     
  12. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I was shocked to see the change, I had last visited in the fall myself. The Bullmoose in Salem NH has next to no used vinyl. They told me their record buyer in Portsmouth was really into used vinyl and that was why Portsmouth had so much and they had so little.

    Thanks for the tip on the other store in Portsmouth, I will try to find out more about it.

    BTW Love your "Sandy" avatar. I grew up watching the "Big Bad Bruins". We got our second TV (with UHF) just to watch the Bruins. Our main TV only had VHF and TV38 was the place to be. My parents really got into hockey too and they used to let me stay up late to watch games on the west coast as long as my grades at school didn't suffer.
     
  13. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    The one time I visited Maine I chanced upon this shop. I liked it and bought about 20 albums. The owner is very cool. I was looking at a Steeleye Span promo at the counter [not yet placed into inventory] and wondering aloud if the promo copy might sound better than the stock copy I have which is noisy. He just gave it to me for free!
     
  14. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    It's usually hit/miss at Pitchfork. The owner is a bit of a jerk though. The last time I went-last summer-the owner was berating a mentally challenged customer and basically threw him out. It was kind of a turn off. Reading reviews online, I guess I'm not the only one.

    Agreed on Music Connection. I haven't been for a long time. It was nice when Richard owned the place but it's gotten kind of hipster and as you say, completely unorganized.
     
  15. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Yikes, you ain't kidding.
     
  16. CaseyJames

    CaseyJames Relaxed Fit Jeans Vibe

    Location:
    Maine
    Yeah, Pitchfork's owner is a bit prickly to put it mildly.
     
  17. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    So the question is whether the buyer’s departure was voluntary or not. Other stores in the chain have added a book department. Portsmouth could be doing this but it would be difficult since they’re a smaller store.
     
  18. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Not to be morbid, and I know nothing about this more than what I typed before, but there are also two types of involuntary...one from upper management and one from a higher power.

    Seeing what is going on around me, my theory about Portsmouth was this: The independent, single-location, predominantly vinyl stores around me seem to be doing better than ever. They are bringing in a bit more new vinyl, but they are expanding their shelf space for all records too. So I am not worried the vinyl bubble has burst. The regional chain store Newbury Comics which is in malls and strip centers and have a higher rent, are cutting back on vinyl and CD's in favor of more of the sh!tknacks. It may be a case of their computerized inventory control tells them what is selling the most and they bring in more of that. The other Bullmoose locations I have been to a predominantly new vinyl and Portsmouth has not cut back on that from what I can tell. The used vinyl is more work to handle and curate than new and sells for less. The crap that sells for more is more profitable for less work and pays the higher rents.

    This is my WAG I came up with while driving home empty-handed after my wasted trip to Portsmouth.
     
  19. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    For Newbury, you should check out their Norwood store for the used vinyl. very large selection that’s worth the 40 mile drive.
     
    ARK likes this.
  20. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks!! I will do that. Which Newbury have you found to carry the most new vinyl?

    The ones around me were possible at best and they have been cutting back since summer. They seem to have reduced shelf space by 5 percent or more. About all I go there for these days are MoFi inner sleeves. The Newbury Comics in Nashua isn't even worth the 15 minute drive all I end up with is inner sleeves. To my great surprise, I find more decent new LPs at Barnes and Noble than Newbury, Lately I have been buying LPs at Elusive Disk fairly regularly and I just order Mofi sleeves from there.
     
  21. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    For new vinyl I’d suggest Norwood or the Newbury St flagship. I can’t speak to Nashua but Natick would be better than average for a mall. Likely similar to Burlington, though I’ve not been there in a while.
     
  22. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks @cdash99 . Burlington has had a reduction too. I used to drive to Burlington as a planned trip and go to B&N across the street. NC is no longer worth a special trip. Since the fall I have only been stopping in Burlington if I was passing through and had extra time to stop.

    I do see a trip to Norwood in my immediate future.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  23. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I remember Mystery Train in Amherst, MA in the early 00s. They had a huge room at the back dedicated to records. Boxes and boxes of LPs just waiting to be bought. The Pound/Dollar exchange rate would have been good too. Decent records for less than a price of coffee at Costa.
     
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  24. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thank you so much for the heads up on Newbury in Norwood. I headed down this week and it was WELL worth the 4 minute drive. I was told it was the biggest store in the chain by square footage and it is 2x to 3x or more bigger than any Newbury Comics I've ever been to.

    I spent too much time and too much money there and I had "A Wicked Good Time" just like their catch phrase promises. I filled in some holes in my jazz albums that I have been looking for for over a year now. I also picked up a couple jazz box sets. This was most unexpected where jazz is far from the prime focus of the Newbury Comics I have visited. I found some great new and used rock disks too.

    Thanks again.
     
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  25. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Damn. I'm on the South Shore for the weekend. I might have to drive up there.
     

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