Sunday, October 5, 2008

L.A.'s Top Independent Record Shops

from - by Jason Gelt

Let's have a round of applause for the independent record shop. Their numbers have dwindled in recent years as digital downloads supplant CDs as the predominant cash-and-carry music format for the general music buying public. But if you're into vinyl records, the indie store still reigns supreme. As records become more and more of a niche market, those little mom and pop shops become even more important.

Now, everybody loves Amoeba (unless it's a Saturday afternoon and the aisles are so crowded you can barely look through the bins), but for that up-close-and-personal old-fashioned record shopping experience, why not try one of these other stellar options.

1. Freakbeat Records
: 13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-995-7603. The Valley's finest used and new record store, featuring a great selection of vinyl, collectibles and CDs, plus a knowledgeable and helpful staff. Not only that but you can sample the used records on the premises.

2. Vinyl Solution
: 13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-995-7603. Huntington Beach's solution to the punk rock record collector's quandary. Great records, great prices and knowledgeable staff, plus frequent in-store performances from local and touring acts.

3. Rockaway Records
: 13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-995-7603. Silver Lake's only remaining independent record store has an impressive selection of collectible vinyl and CDs. Prives can be high, but the quality is guaranteed.

4. Canterbury Records
: 13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-995-7603. Pasadena's premier mom and pop record shop stocks a little something for every taste, plus cheap turntable supplies.

5. Headline Records
: 13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-995-7603. A punk rock enthusiast's haven, Headline Records serves up hard-to-find punk platters to distinguishing collectors, not to mention an outstanding selection of t-shirts.

6. Rhino Records
: 235 Yale Ave., Claremont, CA 91711, 909-626-7774. I know it's a bit of a drive, but the trip is definitely worth it, even with today's gas prices. Hidden away in collegiate Claremont, Rhino Records is a classic independent music store with a great selection of new and used records, CDs and DVDs.

7. Pasadena City College Flea Market
: Held on the first Sunday of each month, this flea market has an entire floor set aside for record dealers. Whether you're looking for old punk, old jazz and R&B or obscure folk rock, chances are you'll find something here to suit your tastes. Best of all, it won't break the bank.

8. Don's Music
: 4871 Eagle Rock Blvd., L.A., CA 90041, 323-255-3551. Jam-packed from floor to ceiling with vintage vinyl of every variety, Don's has a little of something for every taste. Don't forget to pet the store cat, 13

9. Poo-Bah Record Shop: 2636 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 626-449-3359. Since 1971, this East Pasadena institution has provided vinyl nerds with an excellent selection of new and used rock, jazz and soul LPs and 45s.

1 comment:

Robert Benson said...

Seems to me there are a lot of record stores at the same place on Ventura Blvd!