Record Shopping

As I travel, I'm always looking for places to shop for vinyl. With limited information available, I thought it would be helpful to others if I shared my experiences. Feel free to make your comments about the stores or to recommend stores in your city. I collect mostly 80's New Wave, Punk and Alternative so that's what I base my recommendations and reviews on.

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New York City

Was disappointed in the few stores I went to- Finyl Vinyl, Gimmie Gimmie Records, Kim's. Kim's was ok but the vinyl was a bit pricey so I only grabbed a few things. Walked around the corner, to Norman's Sound and Vision between 7th and 8th Street on 3rd Avenue (I believe-Cooper Square???) anyway I stumble upon a store that has a cardboard sign that says all vinyl $1.00. I walk in, no vinyl in sight, the guy says go down the stairs. I walk downstairs to the basement and there is box after box of records (the owner says 40,000)! After three hours of digging through boxes and a sore back, I had to weed out the truly rare or perfect condition ones as my stack was huge and I had no idea how I was getting them back to Arizona. I ended up with 92 LP's and 12"'s, and he gave them to me for $80 and I lugged them around the corner and shipped them home .

Just returned from this year's excursion to New York- here's the scoop: Day 1-Start in the morning (mistake- nothing opens before noon it seems!)1st stop is Bleeker Street Records as a Watt White(?) video shoot wraps. They point me in the direction of their other store that focuses on punk/new wave/alternative. From what I see they are very high priced but didn't spend enough time to give a fair assesment. Generation Records - Picked up a handful of records, not too bad on price, condition didn't seem to be much of a concern though here. Staff was friendly. Rebel Rebel Uh, you know those people who pass away and there is 10 foot high stuff piled around the house? Floor to ceiling boxes piled upon each other with a tiny walk space big enough for only one person, next to impossible to navigate your way through anything. Owner was super nice and there were a ton of people in there when he finally opened (at least an hour past the posted time of noon!). No purchases. On to Kim's in St. Marks Place, picked up three or four records. Walked around the corner to last years score Norman's . This year all vinyl was 50% off and was neatly organized. All CD's in the basement were 50% off their already reduced price. Picked up 30 or 40 records and a dozen or so CD's. Highly recommended!Wandered around St. Mark's looking for other stores but to no avail. Day 2-Record Show (monthly?) at the Holiday Inn, got there at 8am and paid the $25 admission fee from 8am to 10am. I was the first person there and as feared, that wasn't necessary. Anything I bought could have been purchased after 10 am when admission dropped to $6. Found 20 or 30 records, but was amazed at how over-priced some of these guys had their records at. I was looking through one guys stuff, mostly 12"'s from early 90's, late 80's by mediocre R & B and pop acts, stuff that is no more than $1 at any record store I have ever been to and readily available. I asked him how much a 12" record was since nothing was priced, debating in my head if I'd go $2 or $3 and the dude says $30. I said "Pardon Me?" He says, everything is between $10 and $300. Huh? Oh well.Picked up a couple cool records from other sellers, who all were pretty nice. Ok, time to go with wife and shop down Canal Street when I see a 3"X3" sticker on a light pole- 20,000 LP's and CD's for sale with an address. I ask someone where this is and find out it is 1 block away. We walk over there and immediately my wife recognizes I will not be leaving anytime soon and takes a cab to Macy's! Apparently it's a non-profit music archive that I do not believe is open to the public yet that is funded in part by many musicians and donations( ). Semi -Annually they have a sale of duplicate records and cd's that covers two weekends. Anyway, I ended up picking up over 200 pieces of vinyl, most $1 or $2 (I think the most was $4 or $5) for pieces worth many times more. I don't even recall what I got, they packed everything for me right there and were even cool enough to wheel it down the street for me and load it into a cab. Awesome...and I stumbled across it! I went to Mercer Street Books the next day and they had a pretty decent selection of vinyl, many of which were a $1, picked up another 20 or 30 pieces. Definitely not your run of the mill stuff.

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