It’s official: Record Store Day 2013 will take place on Saturday, April 20th. But as psyched as we are that Record Store Day is just a few weeks away (and by few we mean six), and the opportunity to pick up some extremely amazing pieces of vinyl (see picture above) is just around the corner, we would like to remind you that every day should be record store day. Andrew Neerman of Beacon Sound said it best last year, “[Black Friday] and Record Store Day are increasingly turning into an embarrassing sham. The major labels and giant one-stop distributors are all over it—any time 7-inch singles cost $7 wholesale, you know something is wrong with the picture. So… yuck.” — well said, Andrew. Well said.
Record Store Day does have some perks, though. There are loads of in-store performances, special release deals and an assortment of other goodies. Get there early though (and by early I mean noon) — last year we showed up at 3pm and missed all the action. Events vary by location, so check out the Record Store Day website for details.
Without further ado, in honor of Portland’s independent record stores, here are our top 5 favorite independent vinyl shops in PDX.
1. Anthem Records
2706 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97232 // 503.963.9000
Home of the unparalleled label LoDubs Records, Anthem Records has been holding it down for experimental electronic and dance music lovers for since before the dawn of time (basically). A favorite pastime is asking Jon AD and Ryan Organ which 2-Step or Jungle record to buy and following suit, no questions asked. Always works out in your favor.
2. Beacon Sound
1465 NE Prescott St, Portland, OR 97211 // 503.360.1268
This pint-sized shop holds some of the best electronic releases out there, as well as a killer soul, funk and indie selection. They’ve reached the point where the amount of vinyl they have literally spills out onto the floor (in the best way possible). Absolutely worth stopping by — it’s Northeast Portland’s hidden gem. It’s also extremely hard to leave empty handed.
3. Mississippi Records
5202 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217 // 503.282.2990
Serious collection of jazz, soul, funk, blues and everything in between. Now located on Albina Ave, just north of their previous location on Mississippi proper. They’ve expanded to include receivers and other musical devices, but have kept up their fantastic $1 bin. Last weekend I scored a Patsy Cline 12″ for $3 and Herbie Hancock’s “Head Hunters” for $7. Doesn’t get much better than that.
4. The Record Room
8 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211 // 971.544.7685
You might be wondering where the AUTOGRAPHED copy of Martin Prechtl’s “King of Cow-Bell Players” in the picture above was found (if you’re curious it reads “In memory of beautiful hours. Sincerely yours, Martin Prechtl – June 3rd 1981”) — welp, it was found at The Record Room on Record Store Day 2012. Our lives haven’t been the same since. Also, you can drink a beer while you’re thumbing through records. Another reason why this spot is so great.
5. 360 Vinyl
214 SW 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 // 503.224.3688
One of the best shops in town for hip-hop, soul and electronic vinyl, as well as a place you can stop in to purchase tickets to that show that you really need to go to. Perhaps the best located store in terms of it’s central positioning in Downtown PDX, just a stones throw from Powell’s Bookstore.
So yes! Do a good deed and support your local record shop, despite whether or not it’s Record Store Day.