Tanlines and more...
Grimey’s (Nashville, TN)
Good Records (Dallas, TX)
Cactus Records (Houston, TX)
Wonderland Records (Newark, DE)
Bert’s Music (Wilmington, DE)
Rainbow Records (Newark, DE)
Academy Records (Brooklyn, NY)
Amoeba (Los Angeles, CA)—Duh.
I have to say Newbury Comics in Boston. I used to live right next to the one on Newbury Street. So effing amazing.
The Spring Standards have a double EP yellow//gold (Parachute Shooter) coming out on May 1.
My favorite record store is Rasputin Records in Berkeley. I always go there and buy classic albums from my childhood. Me and my friends go up there on weekends and go through old stuff, looking for new things for us to sample. I sample a lot in the music that I make because I have a huge appreciation for music’s past and I love that vintage sound. It’s a huge resource over the Internet because I feel more connected to the samples I find by hand.
IamSu! Released a mixtape The Miseducation of IAMSU in late 2011 and is working on a new mixtape, KILT.
Lou’s Records (Leucadia, CA) has played a big part in my musical education. It’s where I’d go after school to soak in some rock history and discover new music from around the world. One thing I’ve always liked about Lou’s is that right when you walk in, they feature new local San Diego music mixed in with all the other new national releases. I didn’t realize that the local band CD on the end cap was any less known than the new Pearl Jam CD.
Switchfoot has remix EP Vice Re-Verses (Atlantic) for Record Store Day and will be playing an in-store at 5:00 PM at Good Records in Dallas, TX to mark the occasion.
When people talk about record stores in my hometown of Pittsburgh, it’s almost always Jerry’s Records that they’ll mention. The once veritable goldmine of used vinyl has always been a must visit on any record collector’s trip to the ‘Burgh (as it’s called by locals). But for as much time as I spent at Jerry’s, my first ever “real record store” experience was at a place called Eide’s Records. One location of this two-store chain was near my parents’ house, and I would hang out there with my brother on a regular basis being what I can only imagine very annoying kids curiously questioning Ed Masley, who worked there and played in a band called Johnny Rhythm and the Dimestore 45s. It’s possible he was the first guy in a band I ever met and he seemed pretty cool at the time. He later became a music writer, and is maybe still doing that.
After Eide’s came a tiny store opened by infamous Pittsburgh promoter Manny Theiner named Pop Bus (Sub Pop backwards), after his label of the same name. They had an extremely limited selection of new and obscure vinyl, and at that store I met part-time employee and college radio DJ Randy Costanza, who’s voice I knew from WPTS (University of Pittsburgh’s radio station). We became friends and when Randy started working at Paul’s CDs (formerly Jim’s Records), I followed Randy there and it became my main source of new music. It was a great store and fun place to talk about life. But sadly, like so many other great record stores, Paul’s has gone out of business. I’ve heard that former Paul’s employee and Merge recording artist Karl Hendricks has opened a vinyl-only store across the street (Sound Cat Records, so if you’re ever in Pittsburgh, go buy records from him! Also, check out his amazing 1993 10-inch “Some Girls Like Cigarettes”, which is awesome.
But most importantly, please buy records from human beings who sell them. What I look back on and cherish about music is not just the records themselves but the memories and experiences of connecting with other people in celebration of the magic that is music. This summation isn’t really about the stores—it’s about the people and the relationships and memories that are left behind long after the stores are gone.
Tanlines’ debut album Mixed Emotions (True Panther) was released in March.
My favorite record store is Indy CD and Vinyl in Broad Ripple, IN. Their collection is exactly the right size: not too big to be overwhelming, but sizeable enough that you can lose yourself a little. I think they have south-facing windows, so the lighting is really good too. But the employees are the best part—smart, helpful, and genuinely excited to talk about music. And so friendly! I only make it there a few times a year when I visit my parents, but they always remember me. It’s got that family kind of touch.
volcano!’s new album Piñata (The Leaf Label) is due for release June 12.
Waterloo Records and Grimey’s are the surviving spearheads of the independent record store movement. Both are community based, creative nerve centers for independent music to have an outlet and home. They have supported artists like myself and many others for decades, so we must support them in return. Now more than ever.
I remember first moving to Austin, and hitting Waterloo on a seemingly daily basis to listen, learn, and buy the music that would shape my dream of becoming a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. At Waterloo, you could listen to anything in the store before you bought it, and I would loiter for hours sifting through the plethora of nuggets in those CD bins. T-Bone Walker, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bob Wills, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon were among the MANY albums I purchased and swallowed up whole. Just about my entire catalog of CDs were bought there.
Waterloo Records is a music haven, library, church, and shelter for the sometimes homeless musician and music fan.
Seth Walker has a new album Time Can Change (Roe) due June 12.
Dope Jams (Brooklyn, NY): My friend Tyler (from Liturgy/Thick Business) brought me to Dope Jams last summer while I was in New York. They specialize in singles mostly—it’s more of a DJ resource—but they also had a section dedicated to “occult” type books. My favorite thing was that the guy running the shop DJs for himself all day. He was dancing hella hard to some deep acid tracks behind his turntables, he actually seemed annoyed when we interrupted him to make a purchase. It was awesome.
Aquarius Records (San Francisco, CA): Aquarius Records meticulously writes reviews of the “highlight” records that come through the shop. I’ve turned to them for years whenever I’m in need of new music and they’ve yet to lead me astray.
Vacation Vinyl (Los Angeles, CA): Vacation Vinyl is a brilliantly curated store full of rare and extreme music of all sorts. The people who run Vacation are passionate about their store and don’t cater to hype in any way. It’s a must for genuine underground music fans.
Mississippi Records (Portland, OR): Mississippi Records is named after the record label run by the store’s owner. Both the store and the label are incredible places to find vinyl reissues of southern roots, blues, and gospel music. Some beautiful voices from the past.
1-2-3-4 GO! Records (Oakland, CA): I used to live right around the corner from 1-2-3-4 Go! Whenever I got paid, I would go in and pick out a new tape or record. They have a great selection of punk and underground rock records. They also have a small but solid rack of used records that is always rotating, but always stocked with gems. They also always have a nice range of zines in stock.
Chelsea Wolfe is recording an acoustic album for this fall.
I’m not really from anywhere. But if I was from somewhere, it might be New York. This city’s been a constant in my life from the time I was a child. I say that to say this: my favorite record store is Amoeba Music in Los Angeles. I was out in Cali and Bigg Jus looked out, took me around, showed me the town. So we went to Amoeba and you have to understand, we don’t have ANY record stores in New York anymore. No Fat Beats, no Tower Records, no Virgin Music, no nothing, so to go to a spot that had everything, including vinyl, was ill. It felt like the ‘90s or something, wandering around holding way more records than you actually can afford to buy.
Billy Woods’ new album History Will Absolve Me (Backwoodz Studioz) was released earlier in April.
Second Layer Records (Highgate, London): A great one for looking for more specialist stuff. You may not know what you are looking at but take a chance and you’ll be rewarded!
Haggle Vinyl (Essex Road, London): Ramshackle place, so take your time and dig deep and you’ll find some nuggets.
Lucky 7 Records (Church Street, London): Fight your way through the hoards of prams and you’ll enter a mess of records and books. Good prices and good finds. Like any decent record shop you need to put in the time.
Flashback (Crouch End, London): It’s a good record shop in North London…
Sister Ray (Berwick Street, London): It’s a little more expensive than some, but some great finds in here if you decide to brave Oxford Street [nearby].
Zulu Winter’s debut album Language (Arts & Crafts) is slated for a June 19 release.