Spending about a buck on music may only be one touch on your phone or computer, but the satisfaction of finding that rare, Grammy-nominated (possibly one-hit-wonder) sound in a record shop is priceless. The music industry has changed drastically with the invention of CDs and of course, iTunes, but some of us are still vinyl die-hards. LA’s record shops cater to collectors with hard-to-find releases and every Grammy-nominated artist in the last 54 years. If you are addicted to the adventure and acquiring tunes from the lost and found bin, LA has the best resources to aid in your hunt.
East of the 405
Hours: Mon – Sat 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Amoeba Music opens its doors to music lovers of all genres. The store stocks sounds from the top 40 to the best in underground rock and hip-hop, soul, electronica, new and classic jazz and world music. Recently, the boutique highlighted 14-time Grammy-winner Chet Atkins Chet Picks On the Grammys.
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Hours: Mon – Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Debuting at the height of New Wave music in 1985 when Cyndi Lauper was crowned Best New Artist, Record Surplus is one of the largest sellers of used vinyl records and CDs on the West Coast. Loyal customers swear by Record Surplus’ affordable prices, rare finds and “laid back vibe.” The extensive collection is restocked daily and covers rock, soul, jazz, big band, classical, opera, blues, oldies, rap, reggae, new age, gospel, country, folk, world music and 12-inch singles.
Hours: Daily 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Touting itself as the “best kept secret record store” for hunters near Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Angel City Bookstore & Records has one of the largest collection of new and used vinyl LPs, classic rock, blues, jazz, country, soul, funk, pop, Elvis, Sinatra, movie soundtracks, Broadway shows and comedy. You might even be able to locate Grammy-nominees from the 1st Annual Grammy Awards in 1959 when Van Cliburn, Tchaikovksy: Concerto No. 1 In B-Flat Minor, Op. 23 and Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook topped the charts and ran away with Album of the Year.
Off the 101
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
CD Trader began as a hole-in-the-wall independent music and video store in 1995 and has been servicing music lovers for the last 10 years. CD Trader features classic rock Grammy-nominees and winners including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Byrds and the Doors.
Hours: Mon – Sat 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Freakbeat Records store is filled with new and used vinyl from all musical genres. The shop features hundreds of collectible records lining the walls and ceiling beams and vinyl box sets from The Doors, Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. Freakbeat Records’ $0.99 room is a Mecca for bargain hunters and restocked daily.
Worth the 20 minute drive
Hours: Mon – Sun 10a.m. – 9 p.m.
If you are looking for it, Penny Lane Records will help you find it. The record shop is known for its database of one-of-a-kinds and scouring the earth for the rare vinyl on your wish list. Penny Lane Records will let you know if a title is currently in print, locate it and will usually have it for you within one to five days.
Jennifer Geisman is a freelance writer and faithful beauty junkie living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.