Record store options in LA
Permanent Records houses a wide variety of pop, post-punk, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop LPs from scores of older and newer artists. The shop was originally located in Eagle Rock, but has taken up residence in Highland Park as well as Echo Park (in the space previously owned by Origami Vinyl, RIP). Find a plethora of limited editions of obscure releases here, and discover a new favorite or rediscover old classics in the small but carefully curated collection. The Chicago-based record store/label is also engaged in the community, putting on shows with touring and local bands most Saturdays at 8pm—plus the in-the-know staff members DJ at the Black Boar on Sundays.
Vacation Vinyl offers the usual selection of records, plus an extensive array of cassette tapes. This shop specializes in punk, metal and experimental music, but don’t worry, they’ll also have that Hall & Oates album you’ve been searching for.
An indie vinyl record store with Edwardian decor, Wombleton specializes in rare and imported used LPs, 45s and 12-inch singles. The owners scour the globe on buying trips in search of hard-to-find original titles from their countries of origin. Check their Facebook page for upcoming listening parties featuring vinyl DJs.
Pasadena's high-end retail districts don't leave much room for record shops, but this old-school spot has managed to make space for tunes on the eastern edge of town since 1971. Poo-Bah primarily focuses on underground hip-hop and experimental, but you'll find all sorts of other music for sale and trade, including limited run vinyl and cassette releases on the shop's very own imprint.
Walking into this tiny little shop off Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park feels like stumbling upon a pretty incredible secret. There's not much on the block–no cool bars or hip boutiques—so it's surprising to come across such a well-curated vinyl collection here. But the place exists, the staff is friendly (never snobby) and there's always an incredible record playing while you peruse the bins. Used indie and vintage is most of what you'll find here, but if you're looking for something particular, they'll usually try to hunt it down for you.
While the longstanding likes of Rhino in Westwood and House of Records in Venice have fallen by the wayside, the Los Angeles branch of San Francisco's Amoeba has gone from strength to strength; indeed, this is the largest independent record store in the US. The variety of stock (CDs and DVDs, new and used) is awesome, the prices are fair and the staff knows its onions.
This cozy record shop boasts not only new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs, but also a great selection of refurbished vintage hi-fi equipment. There's a comfy red leather couch where you can sit and talk shop with other music lovers, and a stage in the back for in-house (often free) shows by local bands. It's a clean and welcoming spot with good acoustics, a knowledgeable staff and an extensive music selection.
This one-of-a-kind, uber-hip shop specializes in new and used vinyl, cassettes, books, foreign film, clothing, art and posters. Check its Facebook page for an updated schedule of live music and visual artist pop-ups. The shop also doubles as the US headquarters for Finders Keepers Records and the B-Music collective, a UK outfit that focuses on psychedelic records.
Opening up a New York record store in 1994—amidst the rise of CDs—seemed like a crazy idea. And moving that store to Highland Park in the middle of streaming service ascendancy? Even crazier. But Gimme Gimme Records has endured, and it now calls an increasingly hip stretch of Fig home for its genre-hopping selection. The shop specializes in used and hard-to-find records, and even boasts housecalls if you're looking to sell a particularly large collection.
Like the best pre-digital age shops, this Sherman Oaks record store doesn't tie itself to any single format. Sure, about half of the store is dedicated to vinyl, but you'll also find movies, zines, a 99-cent room and a selection of CDs that ranges from new releases to old school KROQ compilations.
While all your Hollywood pals are looking for parking and dodging snobs to spend an hour at Amoeba, swing leisurely up to this laidback Burbank record shop. Offering a robust selection of vinyl for as low as 50 cents—from Linda Ronstadt to rare jazz albums—the place leaves collectors feeling like, well, music nerds in a record store. DVDs, VHS tapes and cassettes can also be found at fair prices, and the lively staff is more than happy to take a look at any old goodies you might be interested in selling.
This new and used bookstore just off the beach has the funky feel of a vintage shop, in part due to its best kept secret—the vast new and used vinyl selection, plus vintage record players, speakers and amps. Listen to records for sale as you peruse the aisles—Angel City offers books in every genre, and even has specialized book catalogs to help you find what you're looking for. There's also a gallery inside the store that features contemporary fine art from local beachside artists.
Used CDs, rare vinyl, new alternative and LA-based bands, 1960s memorabilia and videos are the specialities of this unassuming shop. The breadth of their collection rivals Amoeba, and though the space is considerably smaller, the knowledge and rare finds housed inside are comparable. You can buy, sell and trade here, pick up posters and tour art and even check out some insane music memorabilia (like an original Beach Boys surfboard, which will only cost you 100,000 bones).
Physical media is far from dead on Sawtelle, where a movie theater, bookstore, video shop and record store all share a single block. Touch Vinyl is the musical component of that equation; the late-night shop stays stocked with new releases and regularly hosts in-store performances. The shop also releases cassettes on its Touch Tapes label.