While strolling through the Tucson, Arizona 4th Avenue Street Fair, I was delighted to find a new wrecka stow that was so fresh that it looked like the paint on the sign had barely dried. Hurricane Records (636 North 4th Avenue) had bins of records outside for sale during the street fair, and plenty of vinyl inside.
The selection there at the time was mostly classic rock, jazz, soul, and interesting soundtracks (note the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack record above).
There was also this little lounge area where I imagine DJ’s and small bands will play in the near future.
There were CD’s, too. Most of the discs were in box sets, and I scored a Steely Dan four-disc set for just twenty bucks. Unfortunately, the first two discs skip near the end of each, but I think I can buff out those scratches.
All in all, Hurricane Records seems to be on the right track to being a good place to score vinyl and promote the local art scene. 4th Avenue is a big art community in Tucson and a wrecka stow is a welcome addition there.
Keep your mind open.
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Toronto, Ontario’s Play De Record(411 Spadina Avenue) is a haven for vinyl enthusiasts. The place is packed with records for you to feast your eyes (and wallet) on as soon as you walk in the door.
This is all in the first room, by the way (and only a small sample of what was available there). Once you get done browsing all the new arrivals and reissues, you end up here.
Yes, more records await you. Most of them in this back room are, as the sign says, vintage vinyl.
You also might’ve noticed that sign mentions “studio gear.” They sold a lot of good stuff there. These wonderful toys were along the right wall as soon as you walked into the store.
I could’ve fiddled with that stuff until they closed if they’d let me. This wrecka stow is on the edge of Toronto’s Chinatown, so you can get some good food and then buy a bunch of vinyl. It’s a win-win.
Toronto, Ontario’s Paramusic(68 Dundas Street East) is a nice wrecka stow gem just down the street from a huge shopping center and wroth the stroll from the tourist trap mall to score some fine vinyl, DVDs, and CDs. They pack a lot of stuff into a small space. I mean, you walk in and see this.
The number of Blu-Ray DVDs there is impressive for the size of the place. The CDs are stacked seeming in every corner, and there is vinyl everywhere else. Hardcore record collectors came and went while I was there. One of them was such a frequent customer that he showed up to invite the store’s owner to his wedding.
The loft section had even more sweet vinyl and CDs in it.
A word of warning – The stairs are narrower than you think. I nearly down them coming back to the main floor. I walked out with CDs by the Besnard Lakes and Friendly Fires. I had grabbed a mix CD by Dmitri from Paris, but unfortunately someone had removed the bin label number sticker from it. The owner couldn’t find the disc because he had no idea where to begin looking for it.
Again, don’t miss this store if you’re in the neighborhood. The sight of so many regulars showing up is a good sign for rare finds and good deals.
Tucson’s Zia Record Exchange is a fun place full of CD’s, DVD’s, toys, games, and a bunch of other stuff I probably missed. They cram a lot into a small space at 3370 East Speedway Boulevard.
The number of CD’s alone was a bit staggering. I had limited time there, so I didn’t get to browse as long as I would’ve liked. Don’t worry, vinyl lovers, they had plenty of records, too.
All in all, a fun place. I picked up a used CD copy of Neko Case’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood for only eights bucks (review coming soon). It’s located in a shopping center with a great bookstore and a great bakery in it, so it’s worth a side trip if you’re in Tucson.
Keep your mind open.
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Tucson’s PDQ Records(2342 North Dodge) bills itself as a “rock and roll museum,” and that description is accurate. The place is a treasure trove of rare vinyl, tapes, CD’s, 8 tracks, and probably more stuff that I missed. Seriously, look at the size of this place.
I walked in and immediately spotted racks of newly arrived prime vinyl records to my right. Among them was this gem that I almost snagged, but I had to fly home after all and didn’t want to risk breaking any records in my luggage.
The place was full of cool, obscure records like this. You’ll spend an entire day here if you’re an obsessed collector of vinyl. I mean, look at some of this stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, they have more than vinyl LP’s. They have a large collection of 78’s and 45’s, cassettes, and even stereo gear.
They even repair equipment.
I walked out of there with CD’s by INXS, Bill Withers, Big Audio Dynamite, and Blue Cheer. I could’ve walked out much poorer, but thankfully I don’t have a vinyl obsession (yet). You owe it to yourself to swing by here if you’re ever in Tucson. It really is a museum of music.
Located at 808 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo’s Satellite Recordsis worth a side trip when you’re in the city, especially if you’re a lover of vinyl or bagels (it happens to be next door to a good bagel / coffee shop).
I knew I was in a good wrecka stow when I walked in and saw this mural.
That’s Devo, Sun Ra, Kraftwerk, the Replacements, and three others I can’t place. The man in the top hat might be Marc Bolan of T. Rex, but that’s just a guess. Regardless, the people who work here know their stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, the place is a vinyl lover’s dream with plenty of LP’s, 45’s, collector editions, and 12-inch singles.
They have CD’s, cassettes, DVD’s, and even 8-tracks as well.
I scored a pair of groovy used CD’s there – The Kills‘ Blood Pressures and Lorelle Meets the Obsolete‘s On Welfare, which I didn’t know existed until I found it there for only eight bucks. Look for reviews soon, and look for Satellite Records when you’re in Kalamazoo.
Located at 1836 South Calhoun in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Neat Neat Neat Recordsis a groovy place to pick up vinyl, CDs, or turntables. I went there between a couple sets during the Middle Waves Festival and discovered plenty of vintage and new vinyl.
There was a wide variety of genres, and plenty of 45’s and cassettes as well if you were looking for them.
Their used CDs are a bargain. All of them are $3.99, and they have another rack of shelves with 99-cent CD’s. Another impressive part of the store is their selection of turntables and other stereo gear.
I walked out with used CDs from Dead Meadow, Seal, and The Flaming Lips. I’d like to get back there the next time in town when I have more than 45 minutes to browse. Don’t skip it if you’re downtown.
Keep your mind open.
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Located in the Irvington area of Indianapolis, Irvington Vinyl / Bookmama’s(9 Johnson Avenue) is an impressive store on a winding side street that is easy to miss but worth your time to seek.
The place is two store fronts full of books and music. The books range from new fiction to classics, naturally, but they have plenty of collectibles and manager / owner Kathleen Angelone was knowledgable about new titles and what to read if you liked certain books. She and a customer were having a lively discussion on new fiction when I was in the store.
I was there for the music, and I had limited time, so I didn’t get to browse the books as much as I’d like. There was plenty of music to buy. The majority of it is on vinyl (go figure with a name like Irvington Vinyl), and includes collectible stuff from obscure Indiana bands.
As if all this stuff isn’t enough for you, just head down these stairs…
…and you’ll find a basement full of vinyl records, 8-track tapes, and cassettes.
It’s a crate digger’s dream. I scored a Nine Inch Nails EP, L7’s Smell the Magic, and an excellent double-CD compilation of early Indiana new wave and punk bands (review coming soon) there. Give yourself plenty of time to browse when you go there. You won’t regret it.
Located in a shopping center at 4615 Grape Road, Michiana Used Music & Media is exactly what you expect it to be from a name like that – a single storefront with a good selection of used CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, LPs, and video games.
There aren’t as many cult films as I’d like to find, but there rarely are in such places. The mix of CDs and vinyl is mostly newer stuff, but there are some fun gems if you dig through enough bins.
It’s worth a stop if you’re on Grape Road, and don’t miss the fine comic book store next door either.