Los Angeles is home to countless cultural hubs and flourishing neighborhoods full of music and art. One can never be short of new places to explore. The problem is never finding things to do, it is always choosing what to do out of a vast array of options!
Amongst the chaos that is Los Angeles, you can always find a little time to stop at a record shop. There are far too many to ever visit them all, but you can certainly make a decent dent in the list. For the non-native of Los Angeles, here are a few record stores that you should definitely check out!
1. Permanent Records: Echo Park
Permanent Records is an independently owned small and cozy record store located in Echo Park. While the collection of vinyl offered here is limited, it is clear that the anthology of vinyl has been carefully curated. Records sold here are priced relatively high, but there are some amazing and unusual finds. You can find various rare compilations and new releases in many genres, the only criteria; that it is fashionable and stylish. Permanent Records has a cool underground, independent feel, with dim lighting and dark walls, one feels as if they are a true treasure hunter. Permanent Record is a great place to splurge on rare and new vinyl, and a great excuse to visit the thriving neighborhood of Echo Park.
2. Record Surplus: Santa Monica
Record Surplus truly felt like shopping at a surplus store for records. This was refreshing considering that many record stores in Los Angeles can be overpriced and exude an overzealous pretentious attitude. There were fantastic deals here with a great mid sized selection. This store did not offer a pleasing aesthetic, the light was sterile, and there was limited decor, but Record Surplus is not the store you should seek that kind of experience from. Record Surplus is the store for the vinyl bargain hunter and the record enthusiast lusting for the hunt. This was a great place to buy used vinyl, CD’s, and cassettes at great prices. It was more of a thrift store for records rather than a hip cultural hub.
3. Rockaway Records: Silverlake
Rockaway Records is home to a well curated, and extensive collection of vinyl, cassettes, DVDs, and Cds. Since 1979, Rockaway Records has been buying selling, and trading, collectible music. Home to a wide array of collectibles, vinyl and other media, they also house a great collection of t-shirts, books, and posters. This made the employees at Rockaway Records extremely knowledgeable about rare vinyl and music which was great for asking questions and making conversation. This store is eclectic, with a community feel, not to mention there were some great deals here as most of the inventory was reasonably priced.
4. Mount Analog: Highland Park
Located in Highland Park, this record store had a great selection of new releases, genre’s, and artists. From Solange to rare jazz and soul, Mount Analog offered a wide and unusual selection in their small shop. Mount Analog offers a community that is more than simply a vinyl shop as they host live music performances, gallery showings from local and international artists, film screenings, and book signings. It is even home to the UK based label Finders Keepers and the US headquarters for B Music Collective making it more of a co-op than a record store. The records here were on the more expensive side, but you are definitely paying for the cool minimalist aesthetic and community offered at the shop.
5. Amoeba Records: Hollywood
The holy grail of Vinyl lovers. Need I say more? Amoeba Records Hollywood is the largest of the three Amoeba stores and their only Southern California location. The store occupies a whole city block on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood housing “the most diverse collection of music and movies ever seen under one roof.” Amoeba also sells a wide array of comic books and posters, making it a long stop on your vinyl journey through Los Angeles. Their endless selection of rare vinyl, popular vinyl, and new releases is unmatched by any other store. This is a great place to find deals with a massive sale selection, dollar bins, and awesome holiday sales.
**Featured Image: Patty Frorella, 16, Cheryl April, 21, and Ray Benson, at a local record shop. Photo By Duane Howell (The Denver Post), 1968, Pulled from Tumblr.