For The Record… Stores: National Record Store Day

April 16, 2009
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Where’s the best record store? Pierce The Veil, Sugarcult and more tell us.

It’s good to be independent, and there’s no better place to find like-minded souls and kindred spirits-not to mention the best music-than your local record store. Trolling for free music online can’t compare to finding that dusty gem in a dollar bin. So in celebration of NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY, we got some of our musically inclined friends to tell about their favorite hometown record stores and why they rock. — Jennifer Grathwol

“I’ve actually worked at my hometown record store for about six years now, BULL MOOSE MUSIC in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And although we’re struggling against the ever-upswing of internet sales and downloads (legal and otherwise), I think what separates us from said means is our staff’s love and knowledge of music, not just the sale. Record Store Day was co-created by Chris Brown, who works in our office in Portland, Maine, as a way to celebrate indie record store’s customers around the world, as well as trying to gain new ones through artist in-stores and exclusive records from popular and underground artists pressed specifically for the occasion. I think it further shows the effort and hard work put in by small chains and indie stores to keep record sales where they started.”

BEST FIND: “I’ve bought far too many records there to count… so picking one would be nearly impossible.”




Pierce The Veil

"Definitely LOU’S RECORDS in Encinatas, California. They support the local scene and they also have secret shows there sometimes. Mike [Fuentes] even DJed there one day–it was rad!"

BEST FIND: The Illusion Of Safety by Thrice

"ATOMIC HI FI in Sugar Loaf, New York. It’s all vinyl. Everything you need is there. And the owner, Raffi, is a great dude who will school you on what you need to hear. It’s all the education you need."


Coheed And Cambria


The Bouncing Souls

“We’ll be celebrating Record Store Day at GENERATION RECORDS in New York City, one of my all-time favorite record stores. Long live rock ’n’ roll, and long live record stores!”

BEST FIND: Infiltrate The System by Madball

“Without a doubt my favorite record store is EXTREME NOISE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is a collectively owned and volunteer-run store that focuses on punk and hardcore. The Noise is having its 15-year anniversary this year; and I think that’s something to be really proud of. Extreme Noise stays very current in a ton of different genres of punk and hardcore, so it’s pretty easy to stay up to date on all kinds of releases. I love the used section.”

BEST FIND: “So much good stuff I had been looking for was found there: The Turn It Around 2×7”, the first Rose Tattoo LP, first pressing of Out Of Step… I could go on on and on. Hmm, I think it’s time for a record store run!”


Dillinger Four


Portugal.The Man

“I am from Salem, Oregon, and we happen to only have one good record store–but it’s awesome. It is called RANCH RECORDS and everyone who has worked there since I have been going has been badass: Just a bunch of people from local bands hanging out and talking about music. The guys there have helped me find a bunch of rad bands; it’s good vibes all around. They have a really good selection and a downtown location.”

BEST FIND: “I actually think the best purchase I ever made there was a Harry Nilsson record. I think it was his greatest hits; definitely a mind opening record. I also got a Radiohead live DVD that I probably watched a hundred times. I have made some good decisions there.”

AMOEBA in Hollywood.”
BEST FIND: Lounge Against The Machine by Richard Cheese and the Fall Of Troy’s Manipulator





BARON WOOLY’S: Not only is it the best record store in Antarctica, it’s the only record store in Antarctica. The store is run by an eccentric Norwegian immigrant who was abandoned by his comrades in an isolated research station. We gave him the money to transform the facility into a record shop. It only sells Gwar records.” [Good luck finding this one. — geography ed.]

BEST FIND: “Our new album, Lust In Space, even though it isn’t done yet.”

“In our hometown of Toronto there’s an amazing record store that we all love to go to called ROTATE THIS! I’ve been going there since I was a young kid just getting into hardcore and punk, and I’ve bough so many amazing albums there. The owners Pierre and Brian are rad dudes and have put up with me distracting their staff for years. They sell tickets for most shows there, too, so you don’t have to deal with Ticketmaster bullshit.

BEST FIND: “The best record I bought there was by a Toronto band called Youth Youth Youth.”


Cancer Bats



JUST PLAY MUSIC in Santa Barbara, California. I worked there before Sugarcult started touring. Rock ’n’ roll antics that went down included British owner Adam Stelmach passing out in the storefront window display on occasion; tons of vacationing celebs, like Drew Barrymore: She bought tons of rare ’60s soul and Beatles vinyl, and ‘used’ the bathroom with her boyfriend for like half an hour. I also sold a bunch of Depeche Mode bootlegs to a woman who turned out to be Martin Gore from Depeche Mode’s wife; she said he collects them so not to worry!

BEST FIND: “Like an alcoholic bartender, the job basically fed my habit, so I bought a lot of music. Somewhat serendipitously scored an original pressing of the first Ramones record, then had Dee Dee Ramone autograph it later that evening as he was passing through town on a solo tour. That was pretty rad.”

RECKLESS RECORDS on Broadway in Chicago has lots of punk and indie records. (And there used to be a place called the Pleasure Chest next door, which at 15 was somehow both intriguing and terrifying.)”

BEST FIND: “Bad Religion’s No Control on cassette a long-ass time ago.”


The Lawrence Arms/Sundowner



“My favorite hometown record store would have to be ZIA RECORDS. Growing up, I would go down to the Phoenix location almost weekly, and that got even more frequent when I moved to Tempe and lived just down the road from another location. They were also the very first store to carry our first CD, We Couldn’t Think Of A Title, which we had on consignment for a while. Nowadays, I try to make it down as much as I can, especially [since] my friend Audrea works there and always has some crazy new band to listen to that I have never heard of. Zia rocks because it is the only record shop I have ever been to that consistently has the albums I am looking for. They have all the locals, all the obscure hardcore bands, everything I listen to. Oh, and they always have really bad B-movies for cheap–if I want to torture myself for 90 minutes.”

BEST FIND: “My current favorite band are Brand New, so I’ll say Deja Entendu.”

“In Massachusetts, we are lucky enough to have a small chain of record stores called NEWBURY COMICS that lends to all types of music, including major support of underground bands. Not only do they carry underground music CDs and DVDs, but they also allow local bands to post their fliers on the windows to promote their shows. They also carry band T-shirts, comic books, magazines, movies and toy collectables: The store is a one-stop shopping haven for a music, movie or comic enthusiast.”

BEST FIND: Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera




And Then There Were None

Bull Moose Music is a great independent record store chain located throughout the New England area. Not only do they offer new releases insanely cheap and have a huge selection of used CDs, but they carry tons of up-to-date and rare vinyl.”

BEST FIND: “Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity when it first came out in 1999. [It was] life-chaning.”

SOUND OF MUSIC in Brunswick, Ohio. I’ve been shopping there since I was a kid. They were the only store near me that carried underground metal and European imports. It was also the only place you could get T-Shirts from rare metal bands.”

BEST FIND:Cause Of Death by Obituary. I bought that record because the guy on the back of the CD was wearing a Sepultura shirt and the album was on Roadrunner (or was it Roadracer then? I can’t remember) When the vocals came on for the first time they scared the living shit out of me. I had never heard something so evil or demonic! I couldn’t listen to it for weeks! Then something just clicked and I became a huge fan and wanted to become a singer that would scare people on my own.”



Written by AltPress