Monday, November 9, 2009

Record Store Round-Up, November '09

11-9-09 Record Store Round-Up, November 2009

Towards the end of 2009, there are only a handful of record stores I regularly go to in the Los Angeles area.

Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd. has the largest selection, but not the most esoteric stock. One can find nearly any CD there – provided it isn’t a major label non-US release. I used to do a lot with their vinyl selection, but not so much anymore. I guess not much interesting vinyl comes in (it sure seems to in their northern California locations!).

Record Surplus is my perennial favorite. I’ve been going there almost 20 years, and it truly is possible to find anything under the sun in their bins. Lots & lots of vinyl, and a smaller CD selection, which can nonetheless ‘yield’.

CD Trader out in the San Fernando Valley has CD’s, yes – but also a fairly interesting selection of vinyl. It’s a bit of a drive – I mostly get to go there on my way home from having visited Santa Barbara or Ventura. There’s an annoying girl who works there, but I haven’t seen her lately.

Soundsations in Westchester is a rather interesting store. They are “not in love” with their inventory, and they regularly mark titles down that have been sitting (i.e. lots of good $3.99 CD’s!). I’ve never bought very much vinyl there, but they do have a selection available.

I used to go to Canterbury Records in Pasadena all the time, but then they quit having “used vinyl” – but a visit last Sunday saw it’s return! So, I may get back into going there regularly. A good place to find 50 cent used easy listening and C&W LP’s.

Rhino Records Claremont is a nice place to go to – but it is quite a few miles from my home. We stop in there when we’re on our way home from a visit to Las Vegas! And they have a “progressive rock” section – and you never know what will turn up there.

The new vinyl stores near Dorothy aren’t supplying me with much, unfortunately – Origami Vinyl, Territory BBQ & Records and Vacation Records all had the opportunity to win my record dollars, but I can really only ever find stuff @ Territory (and that was just 7” singles, so far).

A few weeks ago, I went with Joe to a new record store in Orange County, Burger Records – fairly interesting place – absolutely no foot traffic. The $1 had really beat up records in it. But I found an original British Brian Protheroe LP there! I will definitely go back and check them out at a later date. Again, kinda far from my home.

Speaking of Joe, we do still try to visit F.Y.E. (i.e. Wherehouse) and Second Spin stores, whenever they publish 40% coupons. Makes a big difference when you’re looking at CD boxed sets.

- Ron


Anonymous said...

Gloryoski, I had a record revelation this weekend! I was downtown for a haircut and had 2 hours to kill while Sue got her hair cut an hour later elsewhere. We were meeting for a movie afterward. So I went to the used bookstores and record stores downtown to see if anything interesting was there in the meantime.

At Voltage Records they had a US OMD 12" for "Pandora's Box" that I hadn't come across before. I have all of the UK CD singles for this title but no vinyl. The UK vinyl cuts were all represented on the CD singles. You never know about these things so I scanned the contents for a US-only remix and ZAP! Looks like we have us a "Prize Of Beauty Mix" @ 5:35 that is unique to America!

Let me explain that OMD is what I consider a "core collection," meaning that I have sought to buy every track and variation released, and in their case, my fandom dates in a rare instance from the time of their debut single. Most of my fave groups I discovered after a few years of activity. The likelihood of discovering an unknown track by a group I've collected for 29 years in a record store in my home town is about 30,000:1!

Let me reiterate. This isn't an instance of researching on and finding a new track to obsess over. This is walking into a record store in town and buying something I'd definitely have on my hotlist, if I only knew about it, and walking out of the store to the tune of $5 and tax! (No exorbitant overseas shipping!)

This was a rare day.

Ron Kane said...

I sometimes find amazing stuff @ Amoeba, but it's much more likely at Record Surplus, these days. I always love finding something I didn't even know about...which isn't too easy anymore.

How many record stores in your town, JHim-san?

- Ron

Anonymous said...

Asheville Record Stores:

1. Voltage Records - mega vinyl
2. Static Age - vinyl:CD - 40:60
3. Karmasonics Music & Video - vinyl:CD - 25:75 mega music DVD
4. Harvest Records - Asheville's "best" record store. I'm not sure anymore... Started out great, though. mega vinyl
5. Mr. Ks - big used bookstore with vinyl, DVDs & CDs too. Good CDs lately though the vinyl is stagnant
6. FYE in mall. The last time I poked my head in there it was like a visit from the Ghost of Music Future. It chilled my blood to the core.
7. Best Buy - heinous
8. B&N type bookstores (2-3) smaller CD selection than my home.

The first 4 of these stores stock lots of the pestilential new, expensive collector's vinyl proliferating. I will never buy that stuff!

I buy at 1,2,4 & 5. Not much, maybe $20-30 quarterly at best. I'm putting my foot down on buying things that are available versus what I really want. It used to make me annoyed that I was going to these stores and dropping $20 or more on stuff that was there versus stuff I desperately wanted, but was only available mail order. As of now, Mail Order is it for me. Buying my desires versus what's merely available is the way forward.

My story of this weekend meant a lot to me because it approximated what it used to feel like shopping for records in my youth, when the world was my oyster. At 20, stuff like that happened every week. At 46 it is rare as hell to be surprised and pleased by the contents of a record store.