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RevLiver 05-23-02 01:40 PM

Indie Record Stores
I thought it might be interesting to get recommendations on your favorite record/CD stores. I'm looking mainly for independently owned places, not mall or chain stores, unless it's a great local chain. Be sure to let us know what area of the world/country you're talking about. I can't be the only one who loves to scour through indie record stores whenever I visit new cities. And if the store has a website, feel free to list it.

I'm in central New Jersey, not far from NYC, so I'll list a few recommendations from this area.

Vintage Vinyl - Fords, NJ - http://www.vvinyl.com
My single favorite record store, though I've never been to California to experience Amoeba. Vintage is a CD junkie's paradise. Huge selection of indie, industrial, metal, hardcore, jazz, blues, 50s and 60s, electronic, imports, gigantic used section, a few rows of vinyl, lots of memorabilia, lots of music videos and DVDs. I usually manage to spend at least $100 every time I visit. The staff is very knowledgable without being condescending and if they don't have something you're looking for, they will order it if it's in print.

Mondo Kim's - St. Mark's Place, NYC - http://www.kimsvideo.com
The best NYC record store, IMHO. Not much mainstream here, but then, you can get that crap anywhere. Huge experimental music section, equally large indie rock and jazz sections. Nice sized used, smaller electronic, hiphop and blues sections. Plus, it's on St. Mark's Place, which also houses at least 4 other record stores of varying quality, all of whom have lots of used discs - Smash, St. Mark's Sounds (2 separate locations), 13 (formerly Venus) and Joe's. Kim's also has books, DVD and video on the second floor, including many import DVDs. Kim's West on Bleecker St. at W. 10th St. in the West Village is a smaller version of Mondo Kim's, but is also worth a stop.

Other Music - E. 4th St, NYC - http://www.othermusic.com
Another great place for stuff that is ignored by the mainstream. Hell, it's right across the street from the downtown NYC Tower Records and survives by carrying stuff Tower doesn't. Similar selection to Mondo Kim's, though CDs tend to be about a buck or two more at Other. I usually hit Kim's first with my want list and then pick up at Other whatever Kim's didn't have.

Compact Disc World - 10 New Jersey locations - http://www.clubcd.com
This is a NJ-based chain that mixes mainstream with some other interesting choices, though by no means as complete as the above stores. If you join their Club CD, you get great prices on everything they carry, which basically brings down to Best Buy type prices stuff that Best Buy doesn't have.

Jack's Music - Red Bank, NJ
Yep, the CD store featured in Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy. I used to like them when they had a larger used section. I find it hard to recommend now, though. Especially with their ridiculous prices. $20 for Aphex Twin's Drukqs when it was $13-15 everywhere else. A good deal can be found though when digging through everything.

There's lots more NYC stores, but these are my favorites. A more thorough, though by no means complete, list is at http://www.papermag.com/guide/music/record_stores.html

So that's the NYC area. Please add your favorite local stores from wherever you live.


Alyoshka 05-23-02 01:54 PM

In Dallas, TX

Bill's Records and Tapes

Gdrlv 05-23-02 03:09 PM

In Vegas, there's only one really good independent music store that I've seen...

Big B's on UNLV's campus. Great selection of indie discs and used cds...

zak52 05-23-02 04:04 PM

Soundgarden and Reptillian Records in Fells Point in Baltimore. Also Record and Tape Traders is a local chain that's good.

musick 05-23-02 06:52 PM

Coalition Of Independent Music Stores

RevLiver 05-23-02 08:55 PM

Originally posted by zak52
Soundgarden and Reptillian Records in Fells Point in Baltimore. Also Record and Tape Traders is a local chain that's good.
I've been to Soundgarden before. Where is Reptillian?

Toka 05-23-02 09:04 PM

Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton, NJ

RevLiver 05-24-02 09:57 AM

Originally posted by Toka
Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton, NJ
I used to use PREX a lot until I discovered Vintage Vinyl. Vintage is cheaper, closer to me and has a larger selection. I do like to hit the $5 and under used walls at PREX at least twice a year, though.

zak52 05-24-02 05:14 PM

Originally posted by RevLiver

I've been to Soundgarden before. Where is Reptillian?

Reptillian is about 4 blocks North of Soundgarden on Broadway. It's has a bright green front. It's a great store if your into punk.

Gdrlv 05-24-02 05:41 PM

Used to live in Pittsburgh, and there are some really good independent stores there...

Eides Entertainment is the one everyone knows about.
Brave New World is good if you're into underground hip hop, punk or garage rock.
Dave's Music Mine might just be the best used music store I've ever been to.

Andalusia 05-24-02 06:07 PM

Let It Be, in Minneapolis. It was my favorite hangout, lotsa cool and knowledgable people working there. Also, a great place to find obscure CD's and albums (and an alternative to friggin' Sam Goody's). More great Minneapolis indie stores were Electric Fetus and Oarjokefolkopus. Haven't lived in Minnesota for five years now, though, so don't know the current situation is with these places. Is Oarjokefolkopus even around anymore? Oh yeah, I did a lot of shopping at Disc-Go-Round, good selection of used CD's. God, I miss Minneapolis... :(

cisgere 05-25-02 06:51 PM

Amoeba Music in LA is without a doubt the best music store. Not to mention they have live music all the time.

Rypro 525 05-25-02 07:34 PM

record and tape traders in baltimore, lots of indie, local, punk, ect that you wont find at sam goody and fye.

shaggstheclown 05-26-02 12:53 AM

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: Gallery of Sound

shaggstheclown 05-26-02 12:55 AM

Thats in Northeast Pennsylvania...sorry about that

grunter 05-28-02 11:32 AM

Reckless Records, Broadway, Chicago ('cuz the Wicker Park store blows chunkage)

DodgingCars 05-28-02 12:26 PM

Originally posted by cisgere
Amoeba Music in LA is without a doubt the best music store. Not to mention they have live music all the time.
I think there is like 3 Amoeba's. I want to get down to the LA one soon... I heard its really cool.

Locally (to me), I go to Offbeat Records or Go Boy Records (I believe both are in Hermosa Beach)

Alyoshka 05-28-02 02:32 PM

I forgot about Good Records which is also really cool.

RevLiver 05-29-02 11:18 AM

A few more recommendations of places I've been:

Penguin Music - Toronto, ON, Canada - McCaul St just north of West Queen.
They specialize in techno, ambient, indie, post rock, industrial, goth. Pretty much most of what I listen to. Their used section is more genre spanning.

Digital Ferret - Philadelphia, PA - South 5th St, just north of South St.
Another goth, industrial, techno, ambient specialist. They used to be called Digital Underground.

Spaceboy Records - Philadelphia, PA - South St.
Probably Philly's finest indie shop.

Repo Records - Philadelphia, PA - South St.
Another good indie store, and they have a location in the suburbs in Bryn Mawr.

Dr_Evil 10-07-03 09:44 PM

Bumping a pretty old thread to see if anyone has some recommendations for me. I just moved to the Denver/Colorado Springs area and was wondering if anyone knew of any good indie record stores in the area?

Gdrlv 10-08-03 12:49 AM

Twist & Shout is really good. They get a lot of really cool artists doing in-stores.

Poink 10-08-03 12:56 AM

I'll second Reckless on Broadway. Never even been to the Wicker Park one. That area scares me for some reason. In the southern suburbs where I'm from, Threshold Music in Tinley Park is the only indiependently run store worth a damn I know of. They're not anything worth visiting Illinois for, but I can't really knock them seeing as probably 1/3 of my collection has come from them.

To be honest, I do about 90% of my CD shopping online nowadays. There's still nothing like spending an hour or so browsing through a record store and picking stuff up out of the blue, but I find that I'll go out looking for something in particular, not find it, and then buy 4 other albums instead. this doesn't happen quite as much when I shop online.

Matt925 10-08-03 01:44 AM

Originally posted by DodgingCars
I think there is like 3 Amoeba's. I want to get down to the LA one soon... I heard its really cool.

Also in SF and Berkeley. Awesome store. Check out the site

Another great indie chain in the Bay Area is Rasputin's

fallow 10-08-03 04:01 AM

Know any good DC stores? I know of the one in Fredericksburg, VA, one an hour above it (in the middle of nowhere), and a couple in the Norfolk/Newport News/Williamsburg/Richmond areas. I have yet to really venture around DC, though.

The Bus 10-08-03 05:45 AM


Kim's (great rarities - that's where I got Money Mark's Love Stains Demo)
Virgin MegaStore (I have yet to see a store with better import selections... anywhere)
J&R (good for CDs and DVDs)

Fell's Point has an OK record store, I think it was mentioned here already
CD Depot off Joppa Road and Loch Raven Boulevard near the Towson campus

Amoeba Music in Hollywood

Most of these CD stores try to have a DVD selection as well, but with the exception of J&R, they are worthless. Amoeba and Kim's don't have enough of a selection, Virgin has awful MSRP pricing, and the smaller stores have a lot left to be desired -- although I did get Thin Red Line oop DVD in Fells Point a year ago.

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