Few things in life are more rewarding than walking into a bar, going up to…
Los Angeles is home to some of the best record stores in the world, whether you’re looking for classic vinyl, rare white labels or some of the most obscure indie label releases, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for here. Although the era of the large chain record store for better or worse ended with the iconic tower records closure. Now, in their wake, a vibrant scene of unique vinyl retailers, both new and vintage, each with a unique vibe and identity. These outposts are the last bastions keeping the tradition of listening to music in the physical analog medium alive. They remind us about how special the experience of hearing the full dynamic range of an analog LP is; what an exciting experience listening from first track to last in one sitting can be, and how much using your imagination and being inspired by the full size album art can add to the listening experience.
AMOEBA RECORDS HOLLYWOOD
Hands down the world’s largest independent record store, and a mecca for vinyl record lovers the world over. The amazing thing about this store is that no media format is a dead format here. The large vinyl record stacks sit along side CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks and even the odd sony mini-disc. They also carry the largest selection of current new vinyl LP releases I have personally come across in my travels. Not to mention they consistently have one of the best rosters of in-store concerts, bringing in a wide range of artists from Dungen to Paul McCartney, who all take part in their weekly free concerts.
Record Surplus makes our list as they’re another awesome record shop with a massive selection that rivals that of Amoeba Records. However where Record Surplus has the edge, is that they have some incredible vintage finds at some of the lowest prices you’re going to find at a physical store.
Vacation Vinyl has one of the best curated selections of vinyl in Los Angeles, catering primarily to the tastes of those who enjoy the full spectrum of indie, punk, industrial, goth and metal. Now calling a new location home off Santa Monica, they still deliver one of the coolest selections of music in the city. The team at Vacation have some of the most in-depth knowledge about the albums and artists they sell, and is a great place to go to have a conversation about your favorite micro-genre or band that you’ve assumed you were the only one who had heard.
Permanent Records has become another beloved fixture in Los Angeles’ music scene, not only selling some of the coolest records you’ll find in the city, but they also play host to some of the best in-store live performances we’ve seen. They also run their own imprint and have released records by Martin Rev, Frankie and The Witch and many others.