The instant gratification of a music download doesn't even come close to the buzz you get from hitting your local record store, sifting through black-wax gems and chatting with fellow music devotees. Where else are you going to find out about an obscure bootleg or pick up your favourite album now that it's been remastered on vinyl? Not online buddy, that's for sure. And even if you can, it's not the same.
This small, unassuming Fitzroy gem opened in 2008 as one of the few second-hand bookstores at the city end of Smith Street. Since then, it’s evolved to include a healthy range of used records. Racks stretch from the door to the rear counter; and are helpfully divided into genres such as punk, soul and disco.
There’s a selection of CDs, but vinyl is the main focus. Shoppers can pick up anything from a reissued Nirvana LP to the back catalogue of Alice Cooper, Anthrax or Iron Maiden; but dig hard enough and you’ll find some indie rock and classic titles by artists like Arcade Fire, Weezer and Arctic Monkeys.
It’s easy to miss Round & Round Records if you're walking on Sydney Road; surrounded by bridal stores, the only telltale sign you’ve reached your destination is the sandwich board featuring a friendly owl outside. The store is small but packed with custom-built wooden racks of new and second-hand vinyl.
Two of Melbourne’s best-known record stores became one in August 2010. The first-level store now features stock from both businesses; with Missing Link’s range of new and used punk, hardcore and metal records and CDs complemented by Record Collectors Corner’s imports, classic titles and cheap music DVDs.
Run by the ultimate sovereign of soul, 3RRR’s Chris Gill, Northside has long been a favourite within local music circles, called on by DJs and jive-bunnies alike. Whether you’re after a straight soul groove or some jazzed-up reggae blues, these guys have their finger on the vinyl pulse of all things funk through hip-hop.
In the wee small hours before ticket sales open for major festivals, snaking queues of eager music beavers regularly hug the corner of the Fitzroy store; similarly, droves of hip young things turn out to Flinders Lane on a Friday eve for those infamous Polyester in-stores.
A specialist jazz store stocking only the very best in jazz classics. As you’d expect, the staff are true aficionados of the jazz form, and are therefore incredibly well placed to not only help you find your current favourite, but to arm you with an earful of brand new jazzy gems to take home.