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. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I got some good used vinyl at that store. I miss Mike who used to be the manager.
     
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  2. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I have to check out Looney Tunes in Allston. I used to buy lots of used records from them when they were on Boylston Street near Berkley College. They were good about returns if the vinyl wasn't up to standards.
     
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  3. thetman

    thetman Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Newbury in Norwood must have a lot of used vinyl on hand, since they are no longer buying any.
    Last time I was there it seems the bulk of their store inventory was used. I would think eventually they will need to start restocking ( buying) used vinyl again.
     
  4. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    hey have any of y'all been to the Infectious Groove in Amherst NH ?
     
  5. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    visited yesterday - small, but nice store with both new and used vinyl.
     
  6. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    After reading your post Wednesday I was a bit puzzled. I used to drive that stretch of 101A, pre-COVD lockdown, and I was unaware of a record store in Amherst. I thought I knew most of the record stores north of 128 and into Southern NH. That was explained with my visit today. The store opened in January 2020 and the last time I drove by this location was December 2019. I also had assumed incorrectly there would be less record stores in business after we all emerged from quarantine, not a new one that opened up when COVID started.

    The store is small but is well laid out, with a strong focus on rock and all the outgrowths of rock from the early 60's and beyond. There is actually quite a lot to chose from. There is a small amount of jazz and popular plus a little classical, country, soundtracks etc. Based on my limited browsing I would say they carry around 85% used and 15% new titles. They carry CD's as well, but there were less on the main sales floor compared to LP's. I didn't look at the CD's. There seemed to be many more CD's and LPs out back in a back room behind the counter. There also was a small room with what looked to be mostly used turntables and audio gear. I was there for LP's so I skipped this as well.

    The main row of back to back LP browser racks running down the middle of the store are 2 tiers high. The bins near the floor are actually roll out drawers with the records arranged left to right in the drawers. They are easily viewed by just bending down a little, there is no need to kneel on the floor to view any of the Rock A-R LP's. The remainder of the browsers for S-Z are on 3 sections of wall forming one end of the store. Along these three walls are two tiered browser racks with simple bins below. These lower bins feature the $1 LP's. I didn't bother checking any of them out. These same 3 walls are also the feature walls with the rarest releases on walls shelves above the bins. I scored a NM copy of Let It Be Naked from the feature wall.

    The music is well curated and the owner says he tends to shy away from a lot of the music you see everywhere. When he buys collections he tends to feature the more unusual titles in the main browsers and moves the other typical titles that don't interest him in the discount bins. The owner is very friendly and helpful. The regularly priced LP's in the main browser bins are all cleaned, put in outer sleeves with the price sticker showing the vinyl grading. Even the used box sets were in outer sleeves. All of the LP's I looked at were in very good condition and I thought they were reasonably graded and reasonably priced. I found several records I have been specifically looking for unsuccessfully for several years now and some ones I never knew existed on LP.

    This is one of the better stores in the Northeastern MA/ Southern NH area and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Who knew?
     
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  7. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    yes, i agree.. i visited the day after i made my inquiry about it.. great store imho
     
  8. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    I discovered -- by noticing the sign while I was stopped at a light -- that there is a new (six-month-old) record store on Main Street in Watertown, MA. It's at the heart of Watertown Square on Main between Spring and Mount Auburn and it's called Wanna Hear It Records.

    After circling around and parking (there is a massive metered lot on Spring, behind the CVS and that row of restaurants on Main), I walked into a small, neat store that is only going to be of interest to a smallish subset of this thread. 2/3s used to 1/3 new, focused almost entirely on punk, hardcore, metal, and indie, with a passing interest at best in classic rock. No CDs, typical of Boston-area stores.

    Prices aren't bad. The new releases I saw were all between $15-20 for single discs, into the $20s for double LPs. That's for new releases by current artists, I wasn't paying attention to reissues. They know what they're doing in terms of grading and pricing on the used stuff -- preferred pressings were marked and priced as such.

    I was in a hurry so I was only in there for about 15 minutes. Spent almost exactly a hundred bucks on five albums, a mixture of new and used. There were seven other customers, four men and three women (the only ones who were shopping together were two of the women), all of whom had pull piles.

    That's encouraging, because honestly, the idea behind this store seems kind of odd to me. There are plenty of specialist record shops in the Boston area -- this isn't even the only one that focuses on punk and metal -- but they're all in neighborhoods with a lot of foot traffic and shops of a similar vibe. And that's...not what Watertown Square is. It's a perfectly nice neighborhood, but it's not a hip urban oasis by any means.

    But I repeat, I was one of eight customers on a hot-as-balls Saturday afternoon of no particular import after most of the students have skipped town, and even in a busy record store town like Boston, that's noticeable. So best of luck to them, and I'm interested to see how they evolve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  9. PB with J

    PB with J Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Somersworth NH USA
    You can park on Charles River Road for free (I like the Diner at North Beacon).
     
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  10. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    By the way, for anyone that was piling on Bull Moose a few weeks ago over the closing of their Salem store, they are in the process of re-0pening it and hiring back the employees, with a program to increase wages.

    Fair is fair.
     
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  11. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    "Program"

    Mm-hm.
     
  12. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
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  13. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
  14. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    I've read Brett's statement, thanks. In fact, let me quote directly from it: "We made a commitment to 'Drive for $15' -- an effort to accelerate companywide raises so that all employees can earn at least $15/hour by next June."

    I've read and written enough corporate statements to recognize weasel words like "commitment" and "effort." Let's just agree to circle back to this and see who all is making $15/hour next June.

    Nowhere does he acknowledge either the unionization effort or the employees' safety concerns, even to the extent of "gosh, we're sorry one of our employees had a gun pulled on them, that sucks."

    So my dismissiveness is not presumptive. My dismissiveness is due to the fact that this statement boils down to "We're very sorry that we showed our whole ass on this, especially since literally everything we sell can be purchased elsewhere. Please stop boycotting us."
     
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  15. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    I finally made it to Redscroll Records in Wallingford, CT. Micro-review: 5 clean-looking used records for $17 (haven't had a chance to listen to them yet). I'll go back unless they all wind up being much more trashed than they look.

    Mini-review:

    I was expecting this to be in the town center, but it's in a big warehouse near the highway, behind a battery store. Which is a good thing, because they have a very large inventory.

    That said, the inventory maybe doesn't need to be quite so large... I mean, yeah, you've got ten copies of Tormato in stock, but do you really need to put all of them out on the racks? I'm sure these guys are busy, but if they could curate the albums with multiple copies so that the cleanest copies are on the racks and the rest are in back stock somewhere, that would be a great service for their customers, IMO, but OTOH, the place was pretty full, even in the Fourth of July, so they don't seem to have any trouble getting customers in the place.

    Based on my visit, it looks like anything really "desirable" probably goes out the door pretty quick, e.g. while they had many copies of Yes' Tormato, they didn't have any copies of Fragile or Close to the Edge in stock. I saw a similar dynamic with other bands (you can buy any Rolling Stones album you want, as long as it's from the mid-80s).

    But as I say, I'm sure this is due to "good stuff" getting snatched up quickly. Nothing wrong with that. As for the rest of their stock, I didn't find any "grails," but I was able to find five albums from my "nice to have" list at very good prices.

    They also have a ton of new records, including a lot of semi-obscure indie artists.

    Definitely worth a visit, and a return visit.
     
    Hep Alien likes this.
  16. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    One place I haven't seen mentioned yet (AFAIK) is Cheap Thrills in Dedham, MA. This place is literally on the Boston (West Roxbury)/Dedham line, near the VFW Parkway.

    To say this place is quirky is to undersell it, but it's worth a visit. I've only visited once, pre-COVID, but I'm itching to return.

    This is a tiny storefront with barely enough room to squeeze between the racks. About half the stock is in typical racks, alphabetical, with prices and even ratings written on the plastic sleeves. Unfortunately, the ratings are pure fantasy, although the prices are realistic (e.g. if you see an original brown-label pressing of American Beauty rated "NM" and priced at $10, you can rest assured that the sound quality will correspond with the price, not the rating).

    The other half of the store, though, has a bunch of sorted, but unpriced and unrated records. I was impressed by the very large number of Fairport Convention records this guy had. So if you're looking for something a bit off the beaten path, it might be worth popping in here (or calling) and just asking the guy if he has it, rather than digging through the stacks.
     
  17. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    i just recently purchased from them through Discogs - positive experience, i'd buy from them again
     
  18. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Yeah, I've bought from them online as well. Definitely a smoothly-running, reliable operation.

    One minor annoyance I must mention, though... their used "Reggae" section was about 20% reggae at best, with the rest consisting of soca and calypso music. It was actually a very impressive collection of soca and calypso (reflective of the large Jamaican/West Indian population in CT, I'm guessing), but finding any actual reggae records in that rack was a challenge.
     
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  19. Ringo

    Ringo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania, US
    Did a little tour of four Worcester/northeast CT shops last week. I was in the area for a few days since some plans to go to Maine fell through, and was able to get away solo for one of the days, so I did some googling and planned a trip to 4 area shops. Mixed results:

    Joe's Albums, Worcester: This store had glowing reviews which is why I was willing to drive into downtown Worcester in the rain. It's nice, but a bit overhyped in my view. This could be down to personal taste as this store has more new reissues than used vintage. I prefer the latter. Store is nice, and spotless, and the guy seems chill. However, I walked out empty handed after driving an hour. Just couldn't find stuff I wanted. And I have a pretty lengthy list. For example, he had a punk section and some Clash LPs but not their debut which is on my list. Had a Metal section with some extreme metal, but no Death LPs at all, which are all on my list. Maybe it was just bad luck but the selection was lacking, for me. The $1 and $3 sections were extremely moribund. Again, it could come down to personal taste but for me, bottom line, it was a wasted trip.

    Next I drove to River Bottom Records in Putnam, Ct. Small, usual run of the mill Dad Rock mostly, nothing that special honestly. Some of the stuff I found to be overpriced. Did snag a good deal on a copy of Byrds - Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

    Next was Willimantic Records in Willimantic CT. Meh. Weird selection. Small. Kind of a half-assed shop in a co-op. Wasted trip.

    I was getting discouraged but I pushed onto my 4th and final stop on the day's itinerary: the interestingly named Records - The Good Kind in Vernon, CT. So glad I did make it to this one. Made the whole day worth it! Soooo many gems. I found many fairly obscure 80's New Wave releases, 2 by Comsat Angels, The Lucy Show, Classix Nouveaux, etc. in the $3 bins. All delightful finds. Also added several from my wish list like a sweet copy of Talking Heads' Little Creatures, Deep Purple's Burn, and Madonna's True Blue, which I actually found at River Bottom, but passed on it, as I thought I could do better. Well, this place had a better copy for considerably less, so it was a bit of a mini-triumph for me. Also found some quirky import gems like a French pressing of Lene Lovich's Stateless, and a UK press of Siouxsie & the Banshees' A Kiss in the Dreamhouse. The selection is definitely a bit eclectic but plenty of mainstream dad rock too. The selection is nicely curated too, all the stuff seemed to be in great shape, even in the $3 bins, not much damaged goods or outright trash at all. Walked out of there giddily, with about 13 LPs and about $125 poorer. It's right off I-84 so it's an easy stop if you're passing through CT. Prices were fair. Owner is a nice guy. He was playing a Human League Lp when I walked in, and I was like, wait a minute, I think that's on my list; I ended up buying that same copy. He then played a CD by obscure yet solid 90's trip hop duo Mono. My kind of place, in terms of the music played! There is even a turntable headphone listening booth, which some teenage girls were hogging for the entire two hours I was there so I didn't get to use it, but I was delighted people in that age group were into vinyl, so I didn't mind that much. There were some CDs, which I ignored.

    Anyway, long story short if you're a vinyl hound in the Nw CT area, a stop at Records - The Good Kind is a must.
     
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  20. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    i haven't been to Willimantic since around 1990 ... and never to that store, but yea, that all sounds about right
     
  21. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Is the Vernon store in the same strip mall as Reins Deli? That place (the deli) is a must stop when driving from Mass to points south.
     
  22. Ringo

    Ringo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania, US
    Sure is! I didn't check it out. But I'll have to grab a sandwich next time. I definitely intend for there to be a next time on that record store. Will be a nice pit stop.
     
  23. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    It certainly is.
     
  24. roverb

    roverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    603 - LFOD
    yesterday i went to Music DNA in Methuen MA.
    it's small, dark and cramped. i was only there for about 15 minutes. i looked through the jazz section, found nothing and left. not my kind of store tbh...
    i also went to Welfare Records in Haverhill MA where i did find a few things.
    i believe they have expanded their used gear section -- it looks bigger to me anyway.
    i like this place. they always seem to have a few things i'm interested in and the guys who work there are pretty friendly. prices are not bad imho. and, again, i just browsed the jazz section.
     
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  25. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mt. Kisco, NY
    Might have to swing by here the next time I'm over that way.

    Redscroll Records | UNDERGROUND MUSIC & CULTURE
     
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