There’s something very relaxing about shopping for records—strolling through aisles of milk crates, occasionally flipping through stacks that look promising, and breathing in the slightly musty smell of 30-year-old cardboard. Similar to high-waisted jeans and Converse sneakers, vinyls are making a huge comeback. You can find turntables and vinyls in many locations, from Urban Outfitters to garage sales, so jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already, and start experiencing music through records available at these locations.
Although it’s a half-hour walk from campus, shopping at Beatnick is an experience you can’t miss. The store is large and carries just about every genre of music you can think of—thankfully, it’s very well organized. The shelves also display CDs and some cool memorabilia, such as figurines and model cars. The staff is accommodating and friendly, providing ample knowledge of cool music trivia, which is not surprising considering the store has been around for over 20 years. The records are mostly used records, and the best deals are in the three for $1 bins; however, the records are all very reasonably priced ($5 to $10 on average).
After climbing a lilting set of stairs, you’ll find yourself in a musty little nook of a store filled with records, CDs, and used books. It is recommended to head directly to the used section to find the best deals. The store is fairly well organized, which makes it easy to find the records of your liking. The new records tend to be between $20 and $30, while used records are priced anywhere between $5 and $20. The store also carries all genres, from ’40s jazz to current pop. A great bonus to this store is that it’s only a five-minute walk from campus.
Le Pick Up
This store carries an interesting assortment of records, mostly pop and alternative music from the 1960s to 1980s; however, there’s a large collection of classical music near the front as well. The store is a 20-minute walk from campus and well worth the trip. The owner is friendly, helpful, and plays great music, which provides a perfect ambiance for the store. The store also sells used books and cassettes. The records are mostly used and go for $5 to $20. The owner also stocks mostly original records rather than reissues.
This store is just over 30 minutes away on foot. More than just a record store, Soundcentral also carries cassettes, vintage gaming consoles, t-shirts, posters, and used books. It also has a small café that serves coffee and occasionally hosts live music performances and screenings of independent films at night. It sometimes sells used turntables, but it’s recommended to call ahead to see what’s available before making the trip. Their records are priced anywhere between 25 cents and $300, but the average price is around $10 to $20. As a bonus, the availability of records can be checked for online on the store’s website.
Death of Vinyl
This store feels like an empty bar full of records. Death of Vinyl is organized in a seemingly random fashion, so don’t hesitate to ask for help from the friendly staff. The records are priced around $10 to $30 and are mostly used. Although it’s quite a hike (an hour from campus), it’s one of the best places to buy a used turntable. New turntables can be priced anywhere from $150 to $150,000; however, Death of Vinyl understands the struggle of students on a budget, offering good-quality used turntables for between $50 and $100, with a three-month warranty.