Record Store Day Special: Musicians Pay Homage To Their Favorite Indie Record Stores

By Darren Ressler

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20. In advance of this special annual event where indie shops present limited edition collector’s items, invite musicians into their shops to perform and celebrate the wonderful world of physical music with fellow music lovers, we asked several musicians and DJs to share the musical love by telling us about their favorite record store.

DJ Muggs
Favorite record store: Amoeba Music in Los Angeles
Most memorable purchase: The Who’s Live at Leeds.
Best musical tip received from the staff: If you’re gonna smoke weed in the store, then buy a smokeless pipe and no one will know who’s smoking.

Amoeba Music Hollywood

Andrew Dost from fun.
Favorite record store: UHF in Royal Oak, MI
Most memorable purchase: Multiple pressings of Nilsson Sings Newman. They always seem to have one and I buy it every time I see it as a superstition/rule.
Best musical tip received from the staff: They’ve turned me on to lots of great albums, mostly jazz. They have a great selection and are eager to share their knowledge, find out who I like and try to suggest things I might be into. I never feel stupid there for not knowing a record — they just make me feel excited to be discovering. My favorite suggestion thus far has been A Day in the Life by Wes Montgomery.

UHF in Royal Oak MI

Favorite record store: Wired For Sound on Mare Street, Hackney, but it’s sadly closed down now.
Most memorable purchase: Wily Cat’s “I Will Not Lose.”
Best musical tip received from the staff: Steve played us MJ Cole’s “Sincere” for the first time.

Cole Furlow of Dead Gaze
Favorite record store: End of All Music where I live in Oxford, MS. For Oxford being such a small place, End of All Music has an amazingly deep selection of new, used and rare stuff. My friends David Swider and Bruce Watson have done a great job of making sure the store has everything you could need. Lately I have spent all of my money there stocking my record collection with tons of great weird things. I go there and drink coffee and hang. I’ve become one of those older record store nerds that hangs around too much probably.
Most memorable purchase: I’ve been trying to buy a bunch of new vinyl recently, but I would probably say my favorite purchase have been the bootlegs I found. I got this great Bruce Springsteen bootleg that has overtaken me in the best possible way.
Best musical tip received from the staff: You would probably have to ask them but I would say buy more Eno and less Mumford and Sons.

End of All Music

Sister Crayon
Favorite physical record store: Dimple Records. They were located out in Davis, CA. I actually worked at several Dimple stores for nearly four years when I was 19 and learned so much about artists, movies, etc. it was there I was introduced to Jeff Buckley, Björk, Charles Mingus, Monk, opera music, Aphex Twin, etc.
Most memorable purchase: That would be tough because over the years I worked there, I spent thousands of dollars on albums. I’d say a standout was discovering Jeff Buckley. I had always heard of him but had never taken the time to listen. Dimple had a used copy of his White Boy live album, and I decided to finally give it a listen while working in the back. I remember hearing the first note of his voice and completely stopping everything I was doing. I was numb. I’ve been obsessed ever since. Studied his voice and helped broaden my range. I was 21 and just enthralled. That record is sacred.
Best musical tip received from the staff: I learned so much working there. I discovered so many artists just by looking through the used product. I mean, really, I don’t know where I would be musically had I not worked there because I was exposed to so much stuff and so many genres, artists that I inevitably got inspired by/studied.

Brandt Brauer Frick
Favorite record store: OYE Records, Berlin
Most memorable purchase: Labuzinski & Graef’s Ivory Boy
Best musical tip received from the staff: He’s totally into tips, like a real record store owner. Hard to say though which one was the best. But he recommends good stuff all along!

OYE Records Berlin

Louis Osbourne
Favorite record store: Gramaphone Records, Chicago
Most memorable purchase: I bought a copy of The Prodigy’s What Evil Lurks for $8 in 1997 and re-sold it for £100 GBP back in the UK! I literally spent a week in the shop in 1997, going through every single rack. I bought three boxes of records. It was in the good old days when serious crate digging paid off as it made your sets unique. I miss that. Everyone has everything these days thanks to digital files, so it’s hard to get unique tracks.
Best musical tip from this store’s staff: Too many to mention. The staff there were great, Oscar and I kept in contact and shared music.

gramaphone records

Chloe Chaidez from Kitten
Favorite record store: Amoeba Music in Los Angeles
Most memorable purchase: It was a gift: Urgh Music War, which has a lot of different post punk new waves bands.
Best musical tip received from the staff: Don’t go in with any particular goal, just meander around and you’ll find something.

Soul Clap
Favorite record store: : This is a real tough question but after years of globe trotting and record schlepping our hearts are torn between our two favorites: Simon Rigg’s Phonica Records in London and Markus Lindner’s OYE Records in Berlin.
Most memorable purchase at this store: At Phonica Records during one of our early tours we discovered Larry Levan’s special disco mix of Gwen Guthrie’s (produced by Sly & Robbie) “Padlock.” We’ve actually just done an interview in FACT about this find. Then at OYE last summer, Charlie finally found MK’s remix of Romanthony feat. Nyree’s “Good Tymz.” He’d been looking for this one since the “drive home from rave days”!
Best musical tip from this store’s staff: Marcus from OYE once told us, “Don’t dump in the urinal” Go figure.

Phonica Records

Charli XCX
Favorite record store: Rough Trade East, London
Most memorable purchase: I bought my first Kate Bush CD there when I was 14. I bought The Sensual World just because it was my favorite cover. I love that record so much. Every song is beautiful.
Best musical tip received from the staff: I always like to be in my own little world when shopping for music, so I do not really talk to anyone but their staff picks are always really good.

Rough Trade East

Sebastian Pringle from Crystal Fighters
Favorite record store: Haggle Vinyl, Essex Road, Islington, London
Most memorable purchase: It is a second-hand, vinyl-only record shop, where I was delighted to discover Noise Khanyile’s The Art of Noise, an LP by the enigmatic South African violinist/vocalist.
Best musical tip received from the staff: The owner is a well-known and cantankerous East London character who gave me the tip that the shop is called Haggle for a reason, so haggle those prices down boy!

Haggle Vinyl Essex Road

Grant Widmer from Generationals
Favorite record store: Amoeba, Los Angeles
Most memorable purchase at this store: Endtroducing by DJ Shadow.
Best musical tip received from the staff: I remember overhearing the cashiers talking about how people always apologize or explain why they’re buying something that they’re embarrassed of but that they truly don’t ever care. I always remember that.

Icky Blossoms
Favorite record store: Reckless Records, Chicago
Most memorable purchase: With the passing of Jason Molina recently I was thinking about the moment I discovered his music which was when I purchased his Songs: Ohia’s Axxess & Ace at Reckless Records.
Best musical tip received from the staff: Not sure if they do this anymore but I loved going to Reckless Records ’cause the store’s staff would put a sticker with a brief description of the record and other bands they are similar on the records. They were spot on and smart. It made it fun to browse and take chances on music you’d never heard before. I bought Songs: Ohia’s Axxess & Ace because it said you might enjoy if you liked Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s I See a Darkness which at the time I was obsessed with.

Reckless Records Chicago

Andrew Cook from A Rocket to the Moon
Favorite record store: Mystery Train Records in Amherst, MA
Most memorable purchase: Albert Hammond’s self-titled record.
Best musical tip received from the staff: “You should buy that Albert Hammond record. He’s great.”

Simon Muschinksy from When Saints Go Machine  
Favorite physical record store: A small record shop/gallery called Can Records in Copenhagen.
Most memorable purchase: A Klaus Wunderlich album. Unfortunately I can’t remember which one since I lost it a couple of years ago. But I used to sample from it a lot.
Best musical tip received from the staff: Not so much a tip, but they were playing a Fairuz song in the store one day. And I’ve been a fan of her since then.

David Alvarado
Favorite record store: : Hardwax Records in Berlin
Most memorable purchase at this store: Every Basic Channel record they had in the bins.
Best musical tip from this store’s staff: First time I went there was one of, if not the first time I had been to Berlin, it was before Berlin was cool and the place to be. There was a much smaller music community and DJ culture there than there is now. They were really cool to point out good spots to eat in Kreuzberg and cool places to go hear music. It was also early in my career and I had an opportunity to hear Basic Channel live — it changed my life forever, they helped point out music that I would not have otherwise had access to anywhere in the States. It was probably one of the most impacting encounters in my career.

hardwax records berlin

Favorite record store: Waterloo Records in Austin, TX. I always find something I am looking for over there. The vinyl selection is out of control good! And they are super friendly and helpful.
Most memorable purchase at this store: They had a repress of The Left Banke’s Too. I had the first Left Banke, but had never see this one at any store. It is incredible.
Best musical tip received from the staff: I haven’t yet received a tip from them, but I imagine they tell people to stay hydrated all the time. It’s Texas, after all.

Waterloo Records

Jim Putnam of Radar Brothers
Favorite record store: Fingerprints in Long Beach, CA
Most memorable purchase at this store: Leonard Cohen’s Live at the Isle of Wright.
Best musical tip from this store’s staff: Mac DeMarco’s 2.

Fingerprints Long Beach

Images via Facebook