15 Indie Record Stores You Can’t Miss on Record Store Day
To music mavens, vinyl hoarders and those who love a leisurely afternoon spent expanding their record collections, Record Store Day is basically Christmas. Every third Sunday in April, record stores across the world throw parties, welcome bands, offer deals and stock limited-edition RSD-exclusive releases. Even if the Indie Rock Coloring Book is Greek to you, RSD is the perfect time to meet musicians, support local businesses and get familiar with new releases and rare retro finds. Scroll on for our 15 can’t-miss spots worth visiting on Record Store Day and every day after.
1. Criminal Records (Atlanta): Come for the records, CDs and tapes; stay for the comics, magazines and toys. Fun fact: Founder and owner Eric Levin was one of the co-founders of Record Store Day. (Photo via Criminal Records)
2. The Sound Garden (Baltimore and Syracuse): No word on whether Chris Cornell and the members of Soundgarden shop here, but chances are they’d have a blast rifling through this indie store’s used vinyl collection. (Photo via @sg_bmore)
3. Phonoluxe Records, Movies + Music (Nashville): It’s fitting that this old-school store, just outside of downtown Nashville, is right down the road from Woodlawn Memorial Park, where country legends Webb Pierce, Tammy Wynette and Porter Wagoner (Dolly Parton’s longtime duet partner) are all buried.
4. Rooky Ricardo’s (San Francisco): For 20 years, this colorful and quirky shop with a 1960s feel has held court in the Lower Haight, focusing on girl groups, soul and R&B vinyl. Stock up on 45s here, because they’re only two dollars. (Photo via Rooky Ricardo’s)
5. Euclid Records (New Orleans and St. Louis): Not only is Euclid’s St. Louis location home to a plethora of in-store performances, but the store also releases the recordings as limited-edition 45s. If you’re at the NOLA location, make sure to check out the hot-pink Ernie K-Doe mural. (Photo via @stcardiff)
6. Graveface Records + Curiosities (Savannah): You can find music at this tiny shop run by the Graveface record label and get your taxidermy fix too. Or, opt for the wide selection of bitters and cocktail supplies. (Photo via Graveface)
7. Waterloo Records (Austin): This Austin staple pre-dates SXSW’s coolness, but it’s always been a mecca for Texas music-seekers. CDs and records are simply filed A-Z (not by genre), so you don’t even need to know what you’re in the mood for when you shop, which is half the battle, right? (Photo via Waterloo Records)
8. Permanent Records (LA + Chicago): We love everything about these two stores, but this pizza slipmat for your record player kinda takes the cake — er, pie. If you’ll be near the LA store on Record Store Day, check out an in-store performance by John Doe and Exene of punk legends X. (Photo via @permanentrecordschicago)
9. Sugar Shack Records (Madison): Trekking down 1-94 with only a tape player for tunes? Stop at Madison’s Sugar Shack Records to stock up on classic-rock and country cassettes for the road. (Photo via Sugar Shack Records)
10. Wax Trax (Denver): This teeny-tiny store is a goldmine of old 45s, jazz, punk and classic country. Pro tip: Pop over to the nearby Kirkland Museum of Fine + Decorative Art for a fascinating tour beforehand. (Photo via For The Love of Punk)
11. Aquarius Records (San Francisco): Opened in 1970, the oldest independent record store in SF specializes in “cool, weird and wonderful” music, and claims to only stock what the staff really loves. (Photo via Gallivant)
12. Everyday Music (Portland + Seattle): You can find everything from Top 40 pop to obscure reggae at Everyday’s five Pacific Northwest locations. The downtown Portland location even has a separate store that houses jazz and classical. If you’re at the Seattle location, make sure to pop around the corner to visit the Jimi Hendrix statue. (Photo via @tryttenpnw)
13. Hymie’s Vintage Records (Minneapolis): This East Lake Street mom-and-pop shop (literally — owners Dave and Laura Hoenack have two babies) is also a record label. Wile away an afternoon sifting through retro rock, early R&B and oodles of other gems. (Photo via Hymie’s Vintage Records)
14. Shangri-La Records (Memphis): If rare blues, funk, psych and soul — and just about any other genre you can imagine — sounds up your alley, downtown Memphis’ Shangri-La will totally live up to its name. (Photo via Shangri-La Records)
Where will you be shopping this Record Store Day? Did we miss your favorite store? Let us know in the comments below!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!