POSTED Thu. Apr 5, 2018

With so much emphasis on live music in New Orleans, it can be easy to forget about all the great places in town where you can buy physical music (vinyl, CDs, cassettes). Purchasing music you can hold in your hand remains an essential way to support the musical community, and though shopping online might be convenient for some, there’s a magic to perusing the aisles of an independent record store, finding that gem of an album you can spin again and again in the comfort of your own home. Here’s a quick take on the local spots worth checking out.

Skullyz (907 Bourbon St.)
Hidden in the French Quarter towards the edge of most raucous stretch of Bourbon street, Skullyz takes the prize as the most compact record store I’ve ever been to. What they lack in space, they make up for with diverse content. Stocked wall to wall with a constantly circulating collection of the latest hip releases, as well as a carefully selected backlog of indie, alternative, hardcore, and classic rock LPs, Skullyz is a well-run place that caters to a more millennial audience. For a record shop this small to survive, they must be attuned to what sells and what doesn’t, and Skullyz does a great job of mixing the commercial with the niche. What they don’t have they’ll special order for you, but every time I visit there’s at least one new, unexpected LP on the shelf I end up taking home. One minor downside: While the central location is a plus in some respects, being so close to the all the action on Bourbon makes it a difficult place to drive to. Bike or take the streetcar.

Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St.)
Also located in the French Quarter, the award winning Louisiana Music Factory is one of the longest running record shops in New Orleans. With two full floors of albums – CDs and DVDs on the first floor, vinyl upstairs – it’s the perfect place to spend hours digging for that elusive, rare LP. A wide selection of Louisiana-based music – swamp pop, cajun, southern soul – solidifies LMF as the go-to place for historical, local vinyl. Knowledgeable, helpful staff can help you find whatever you’re looking for or make suggestions based on artists or bands you’re already into. There’s an old fashioned, Tower Records-esque charm to LMF, the kind of shop my father and I would spend hours browsing when I was younger and CDs were in their heyday. But LMF still carries a fair amount of new releases, and they occasionally hold live concerts on a small stage on the ground floor. All in all, the place is an old-school record shop still kicking in an increasingly digital age.

Mushroom (1037 Broadway St.)
Located uptown above The Boot, Mushroom doubles as a head shop as well as a record store. Some customers peruse the aisles of new and used vinyl, CDs, and an impressive poster collection, while others show up to purchase water pipes and, er, tobacco products. The place is plugged into the local scene as well as what’s trending in the indie music world, and friendly employees will always help you find what you’re looking for.

Domino Sound Record Shack (2557 Bayou Rd.)
Surprisingly dense and varied for how small it is, Domino gets my vote as the most unique record shack in the city. Located in Mid-City, the building is easy to miss, but once inside you find yourself digging for hours through tons of LPs, particularly soul, reggae, afro-beat, and other international records. But really, almost every genre is represented in some form or another. Cash only (which might be a blessing in disguise with how much dough you could drop in one trip here).

Euclid Records (3301 Chartres St.)
The place has a perfect mix of old, recent, used and new LPs, and it’s also more spread out so you’re not bumping elbows with the person next to you all the time. A great selection of oldies and New Orleans music, but where Euclid really shines is with new vinyl. A plethora of indie bands from all over the country are represented here, and if they don’t have it, they’ll special order it for you fairly quickly. Great, well-organized layout and super helpful staff.

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    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

    WWNO

    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

    NOMA

    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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