Goner Records (Memphis) - Rolling Stone
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10 Best Record Stores in America

Top spots for unique vinyl, CDs and other music finds, from Los Angeles to Boston

Music and vinyl fans are digging vinyls from the crates at Record Store Day 2013. DenmarkSTOCK

Gonzales Photo/Malthe Ivarsson/Pymca/REX/Shutterstock

Remember when record-store chains ruled the music world? It now sounds like the stuff of legend, but in the not-too-distant past, music fans of all types spent hours flipping through vinyl, perusing CDs and listening to songs before buying. Now that they’re much rarer, our city’s record stores have become some of our country’s greatest tourist attractions. Whether you’re looking for a relatively unknown African psychedelic rock band, an obscure techno 12-inch or your favorite indie act on limited-edition vinyl or other collectible merch, here’s a selection of 10 of the best from coast to coast.

goner records

Don Perry

Goner Records (Memphis)

Memphis indie label Goner opened their spin-off shop in 2004, “when record stores were dying left and right,” according to co-owner Zac Ives. His partner in the venture — Eric Friedl, of veteran garage-punks Oblivians — had started Goner two decades earlier to release an album by leather-clad Japanese faves Guitar Wolf. Their discography now exceeds 150 releases, including titles by Ty Segall and late local legend Jay Reatard. The store itself of course carries plenty of label stock, along with a large selection of vinyl both new and used. All manner of underground rock is the focus, but blues, funk, religious music and many other styles are well represented in Goner’s bins. Don’t miss the Memphis section, which proudly includes everything from Big Star to Booker T. and the MG’s. Goner’s sweaty in-store shows whet customers’ appetites for the annual Goner Fest, set for its 16th installment next fall. —HANK SHTEAMER

jackpot records

John Cranford

Jackpot Records (Portland, Oregon)

The City of Roses’ premier indie record store opened in 1997 and contains rows and rows of new and used vinyl. It also hosts the occasional in-store performance. Since the beginning, the concept behind the shop was simple: “We were really focused on filling in the neighborhood’s needs, so our tastes were dictated by what people wanted,” owner Isaac Slusarenko once told CMJ. It further serves the Portland community by serving as headquarters to the Jackpot Records label, which has reissued LPs by regional punk heroes like Wipers and Green River, as well as more famous artists like Dr. John, Sun Ra, Etta James and Devo. It’s all housed under an electric-red ceiling in the city’s Hawthorne neighborhood. “The sharp colors give the store a sort of Las Vegas-y feel,” Slusarenko said, “and that’s why we named it Jackpot.” —KORY GROW

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