Monday, April 22, 2013

Record Store Day lists: Favourite Record Stores


Remember Record Store Day is not just for April, it's for life...

The record store day celebrations have quietened down and many of us are still nursing sore bodies and broken heads. As a sort of a greatest hits package I thought it would be cool to group a few of the answers taken from bands and artists interviewed in recent weeks and plonk them all into a single post. Genius.


Cal Folger Day: "Well I'm always liable to spend a lot of time in Other Music. It's like the Stuart Little record shop of Broadway, kinda lost on a block of big boxes. They have a lot of vinyl, good used CDs, handwritten reviews of staff faves, etc." Cal Folger Day

MDR Recordings: "That's got to be Plugd in Cork. It's pretty much the epicentre of the music scene here, any gigs, records or help you may need they'll take care of you. What more could you ask for?" Colm O'Herlihy


Beat Mark: "The one I know best and feel good going to is Total Heaven, in Bordeaux. I met Martial, one of the current runners of the place when I was 18, I was waiting for a bus to go to the Benicassim festival in Spain, which my friend and I eventually found out we could not get on, so we jumped into a train, which ended up being 3 trains. That was the year a huge storm caused stage lights to almost fall and kill the band Urusei Yatsura, the guitar player came close to being crushed on stage. Martial was there and absolutely thrilled at the way everything turned out. Total Heaven is cool.

There was another record store called Black et Noir in Bordeaux but it closed when I was 19. The guy owning the place spent his time reading novels behind the counter and never spoke a word unless you picked up a record he liked. Hanging out at those record stores was what made me steal my dad's old record player and buy vinyls. It was very frustrating to have to manipulate ridiculous tiny plastic CDs while those gorgeous black wax things that you couldn't touch in the wrong manner just waited to be unwrapped from their sleeves. " Chloe Labaye


Futur Primitif: "Not sure of the name, it might not have had a name. It was in my home town, Strasburg, Virginia. A little country town with too many antique stores. It was in one corner of a big indoor flea market. All around were shelves full of old plates and pocket knives, chairs and cast iron skillets and unused knickknacks of all variety. The record store consisted of four or five tables covered on top and below with crates of vinyl, organized by genre. I used to go in there and find old blues records, Bukka White, Son House, Robert Johnson. The prices were not firm and you could usually talk them down a bit. For a town with two street lights, it was pretty amazing that you could find those records." Daniel Lefkowitz

Daniel Martin Moore: "My favorite record store is probably Shake It Records in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. It was the first real record store that I had the luck of venturing into, and they also helped release my first album, Stray Age, on vinyl. I'll love them forever for that. They also have an incredible selection of music and books and  great staff. It's a music-lovers paradise in there." Daniel Martin Moore


Just Handshakes: "We’re pretty lucky in Leeds because we have 2 really good independent record shops. Crash is great but Jumbo Records* is my favourite." Mike Denham

"The staff are friendly and helpful and really passionate about music. And they’ve always
supported us by stocking our releases." Clara Patrick

The Crayon Set: "My favourite was gone the last time I was there, along with my memory of its name. I drifted in and out in a daze of what was playing at the time. The name may have involved an 'x', an 'a', a 'b' and an 'r' - or some other letters that make up an actual word...so next best for same reasons and in general vicinity is Other Music in New York, first shop I'd been to with descriptions on the records so you could follow the label, side projects and/or other various or tenuous links to more music otherwise undiscovered. I was listening to a lot of Cat Power at the time, these stores did little to discourage that." George Guilfoyle

Amiina: "We have a few favourite record shops. One is situated here in downtown Reykjavík. It's called Lucky Records. We like that shop because they serve good coffee and they know a lot about what they are selling. They specialize in vinyl but they also sell CD´s, mostly new Icelandic releases CD. And they also try to promote new Icelandic vinyl releases, which is nice! They're relocating to a pretty big place soon where they're also going to put on live music events, which is nice. We also like a store in Hamburg in Germany which Groove City. There they have a load of good records. And in the record shop they also sell shoes..." Magnús and Sólrún

Seamus Fogarty: "Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny. Why does it hold a special place in my heart? Probably because they sold vast quantities of my album God Damn You Mountain last year, and Willie [Meighan - owner. click here for a record store day interview posted earlier in the week] helped sort my first gig back in 2006 at the Rhythm & Roots festival and has been beyond helpful ever since. And Davy Holland that works there is a good egg too. Always great tunes playing in there and the lads always have plenty of gossip. Go in there yourself if you don't believe me. Évery honorable mentions to Plugd in Cork and Elastic Witch in Dublin." Seamus Fogarty


Valentiine: "We would have to say Thornbury Records. It's a local record store started by musicians that we have played with in the past and they have some great stuff. They support the local music scene which is really important."

Ground Zero

Arch Woodmann: "My favourite record store is Ground Zero, Place St Marthe in Paris. It's one of the first stores I have visited in Paris. It's located in Belleville which I love. The records really don't cost too much and you almost feel in your own place once you've begun searching what you're looking for. Close to the place I live there's a guy, selling piles of hi-fi stuff, repairing cameras etc, and he has some records too (krautrock, rock, funk, soul, 60's, 70's stuff in general). He smokes weed with his friends in the store. He doesn't give a shit!" Antoine Pasqualini

Relatives: "There are a few record stores grouped very close together in Greenwich Village: Generation Records, Bleecker Street Records, Other Music. If I can’t find a record I’m looking for in one, I’ll move onto the next. So, not so much one particular store as an area. And luckily it’s my favorite neighborhood in New York City, so I love the walk between stores as I’m on my hunt. By doing this, I feel connected to some of my favorite artists who walked these exact streets and played in venues in this area, especially Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed." Katie Vogel


Double Dagger: "My current favourite is Celebrated Summer in Baltimore, MD. Tony Pence (owner/operator) worked at Baltimore's legendary Reptilian Records in the late 90s when I first moved here, so I've seen him around and bought records from him for years. He has the right attitude about his store: it has a point of view, a focus, but he's not afraid to branch out and show some range. Also he refuses to sell store stock on eBay, even when he gets rare stuff in. Permanent Records in Chicago is a favourite of mine because Double Dagger played some great in-stores there over the years, and the folks who run it are great." Nolen Strals

"One of my favourites here in Baltimore is Normals Books & Music. It's half used-book store, half-used record store with a small, but excellently curated selection of new vinyl. It's nice to be able to pick up some obscure new release by a local band at the same time you're buying a classic used Neil Young record (at a nice price!)." Bruce Willen

"I totally agree with Nolen about Celebrated Summer. For me, I would have to add Reckless Records in Chicago and Lunchbox Records in Charlotte to the same rank. I spend way too much money in Reckless every time I am on tour. Lunchbox is in a place where I have some close friends and is always fun to visit and such." Denny Bowen

Beach Day: "Our favourite record store is Radio-Active Records. It's located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I've been collecting records for years and they always have what I want. If they don't have it, they can always get it for me. The most original and one of our favourite record stores is Grimey's in Nashville, Tennessee. We played there last summer and it was awesome! They have such an amazing selection of records and they have a venue downstairs and a beautiful park across the street. Awesome shop! " Kimmy Drake

This Is The Kit: "Without a doubt, Off The Beaten Tracks in Louth, Lincolnshire. It's special because it's run by a most excellent man called Mark and it's a proper all round something for everyone indie record shop. " Kate Stables


House of Cosy Cushions: "It's called The Magic Buzz and it is located in my hometown Groningen. This record store is run by a man called Bertus. He loves music and he always surprises me with his eclectic selection of vinyl. I found many treasures there like Cynthia Dall's self-titled E.P. and I still regret that I didn't buy the vinyl The Covers Record by Cat Power when I was broke. I should have sold my bike. The weirdest record store in Holland I ever visited was run by a big man who sat on a chair and seemed to sit on this chair forever. He called The Cure 'The Curry' and would throw out vinyls if someone mentioned they were scratched. I used to visit this store ages ago until the big man died of a heart attack." Richard Bolhuis

Admiral Fallow: "My favourite record store would be Groucho's in Dundee. It's where I grew up and I must have wasted countless hours, not to mention a small fortune, in there. It's where I would go after school, and for a while every weekend too, and it was where I discovered a whole lot of different music just by taking chances on second hand CDs I'd heard people talk about. Or even if I was just intrigued by the cover. They have a cracking vinyl section too, and a special shelf which houses only Prince VHS tapes. Although I cleaned them out of most of those a few years back. Honourable mentions should go to LoveMusic (Glasgow), Avalanche (Edinburgh) and Monorail (Glasgow) too though." Joe Rattray

Thrill Jockey: "I buy tonnes of records. I love records. I honestly do not have a favourite shop - I love any record store that I score something I am looking for. I live in Chicago and we are blessed with a bunch of good stores and I mail order records just as often and recently received a Peter Green record [in the post] from a store in Germany. I buy my records from mom and pop aka independent shops, not chains. There was a record store in Tokyo dedicated to the fluxus movement [an artistic ideology influenced by experimental composer John Cage and French artist Marcel Duchamp]. I am a fan of Joseph Beuys and I picked out five records to buy. Then the clerk told me they ranged in price form 300-500 dollars each - I put them back. Knowing there was a store like that was enough. I left happy." Bettina Richards

Visit your local independent record store now!

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