It’s easy to say, “to hell with all the new-fangled technology and whatever happened to good, old fashioned exchange of paper currency for a tangible piece of music?” as I download a new app on my smart phone. But as incredible and convenient as digital mediums are, it would be a sad, sad world without the trusty, brick and mortar record stores.
At the risk of sounding trite, I’m going to enlist the words of the fictional Penny Lane in “Almost Famous“: “If you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” I can’t help but relate to the sense of friendship Cameron Crowe’s heroine feels with the voices projecting from her phonograph. Some may call it delusional, I call it sentimental. Whatever the case, in observance of the Record Store Day, here are our top five favorite record stores right now in New Orleans, a town that celebrates music and musicians, both old and new. If you’re in New Orleans, make sure to stop by one of these stores and show your support for our independent record stores.
1. Louisiana Music Factory – Louisiana Music Factory is the unofficial record store of New Orleans, if not for the fact alone that they house the largest selection of New Orleans and Louisiana music in the world. Their knowledgeable and attentive staff is more than happy to find just the right record for you. In addition to their amazing selection, they have special in-store shows on Saturdays and have their own custom lineup surrounding Jazz Fest.
2. Euclid Records – You’ll know Euclid Records when you see the bright pink house that’s not out of place on Chartres St. by the levee in the Bywater. Inside this gem of a record store that is relatively new to New Orleans, you’ll find an extensive collection of old and new vinyl, from the 50s to recent releases. Euclid Records is a proud participant of Record Store Day, so expect some good specials and in-store performances while digging for vinyl treasures. Visit Euclid Records at their new location, one block away from the old one at 3301 Chartres Street.
3. Domino Sound – Domino Sound, located in Mid-City on quaint Bayou Road off of Esplanade Avenue is a vinyl head’s haven. Comprised of mostly vinyl records, the modest-sized shop is laid out by genre, from rock to punk to hip hop to local to world music. The staff is made up of music nerds who are well-versed in the store’s selection. They’re very accommodating and unpretentious, so they won’t judge you for buying that Fresh Prince or Michael Bolton record. In-store live shows occur occasionally, so be sure to ask whoever is behind the counter when the next one is.
4. Skully’z – It can be easy to pass up this little record shop located on lower Bourbon Street in the French Quarter among all the bars and clubs, but it’s definitely worth popping into. They have plenty of local offerings as well as the latest hit records from popular and indie bands alike. For as small in stature Skully’z Recordz is, it’s surprising the amount of time one could spend getting lost in stacks of records. Skully’z is also a participant of Record Store Day.
5. Mushroom – Mushroom has long been the favorite among the Uptown university and residential community, and with good reason. Besides having a rich and well-rounded music collection, it’s a relaxed atmosphere with a fun and friendly vibe. It’s great to just go and spend an afternoon leisurely perusing their records, CDs and DVDs.
For a look inside the Louisiana Music Factory, C=check out this episode of GoNOLA TV and see it for yourself on your next visit to New Orleans!