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A look at some of my favourite record stores from around the world

Jeb Taylor

This week I saw some memories pop up of a road trip I did through the south of the USA five years ago! I was traveling a lot at the time and writing my Record Stores Of The World feature regularly, from this road trip there are two features that you can read here (Tennessee) and here (Mississippi, Louisiana & Alabama). I haven’t travelled as much in the last few years so I haven’t written many Record Stores Of The World features but checking out different record stores around the world is still one of my favourite things to do and there are a lot of places I have been to where I didn’t get to write about. So for this week’s counter culture column I decided to talk about five of my favourite record store discoveries.

Randy's Record Shop - Salt Lake City, USA

In 2017 I was on tour across the USA with Hockey Dad and they were playing at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City, a regular stop for the band and one of the best and most unique small venues in the USA. It was late fall in Utah and I took the opportunity with a few spare hours to walk up the street to see what record stores were around, I found a place called Randy’s Record Shop and it had the most records from my want list that I’ve ever experienced. I’m not sure if it was coincidence or it is just really well stocked all the time but I definitely blew a lot of my record budget on that tour (and I’d already had solid digs in Chicago, New York and Detroit) in a place where I didn’t really expect to!

Easy Street Records, Seattle, USA
Seattle’s music has had a lot of influence on me over the years and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the city a few times and check out some of the musical landmarks of the place. Easy Street Records is an inconic store that was established in the 80’s and has hosted early instores for artists such as Nirvana, The Shins, Band Of Horses and countless others. I’ve been here a few times now and it is really more than just a record store. It has the real feal of a cultural hub, it obviously has a massive, well stocked vinyl selection but it also has an in house café and is very spacious so even though it’s always been busy when I’ve been there, it has never felt crowded. The first time I went there I really had to get a record connected to Seattle and I found a copy of the Fluid’s great EP Glue  released via Sub Pop there. While the band weren’t from Seattle (they are from Denver), they were still a big part of the early Sub Pop story. I’d never come across it before (but have since done so numerous times), but I really treasure that I picked that record up in a mainstay store in the home city of the label that released it.
Concerto, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If you’re in Amsterdam at any point, Concerto is a record store established way back in 1955 that is a must visit. It is extremely well stocked with second hand releases (and also has plenty of new stuff). I’ve spent plenty of hours, finding lots of great records in this store. Weather pending, Amsterdam is a great walking city and there are some other excellent shops nearby as well, it is also a fairly short walk to the iconic Paradiso music venue that hosts live music every night in multiple spaces across the building.
Lollipop Music Store, Marseille, France
I love the south of France and although Marseille is probably not my pick of places to visit in the region, it is worth heading to the city for a stop off at the long running Lollipop Record Store. When I was there in 2014 with The New Christs, I spent a few days in the city and a lot of time at the store. Paul the owner is a true rock n roll fan and the store is well stocked with guitar heavy music, the shop also has a small little bar and performance space which really adds to the homely/hang out feeling of it.
Levykauppa Keltainen Jäänsärkijä, Helsinki, Finland
Back in 2010 I was on tour with Mondo Generator across Europe, one of the first dates of the tour was in Helsinki, Finland so we all still had that beginning of the tour enthusiasm. The tour lasted nearly two months, kicking off in Finland, looping all the way down to Rome and back up through Europe to finish in Tromso at the top of Norway, so naturally that tour enthusiasm would wear off. But with that freshness still there in Helsinki, it was out to explore record shops as soon as loading and sound check was done. Levykauppa Keltainen Jäänsärkijä was the main one we ended up at and it was a fairly general, well stocked store, but it is the store that got me really back into vinyl and took us on a fresh new direction with Music Farmers. At the time Music Farmers was just operating on-line and very part time out of our Crown Lane warehouse, partly because I was away on tour a lot, and partly because the sale of physical media was it it’s lowest point. But entering this store on a rainy Saturday on the other side of the world it was buzzing, I thought about it at times across the whole next couple of months while the tour was happening and by the time I got back to Australia, the plans were starting to fall into place to open Music Farmers back up full time as a vinyl record store, at this point Nick joined into the business and we were back and running at the start of 2011.

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