Jackpot Records, depicted here, has wooed vinyl lovers for nearly two decades. Photo by Roger/Flickr.
By Jon Shadel
If you’re a music geek, you’ve already marked it on your calendar.
Every year, the third Saturday in April sees fans line-up at mom-and-pop music retailers around the country. They’re lured by limited edition releases from their favorite artists on Record Store Day, which has become an unofficial holiday for die-hard vinyl collectors.
While it’s all well and good to show love to your favorite record shop, why stop at just one day? Here, we highlight 10 of our favorite independent record-sellers, where you can hunt for rare finds and classic vinyl releases year-round.
400 S.W. 2nd Ave., 503.222.3783, 2ndavenuerecords.com
For more than three decades, leather-clad metalheads, punks in skinny jeans and tattooed college rock geeks have flocked to this stalwart record shop for its electric selection of new and used vinyl, which favors the fringes of popular music. No other shop in town has more metal or hardcore, but it doesn’t stop there. Ska, jazz-fusion, grunge, reggae, you name it. If you’re looking for a record store that strays from hushed indie folk and polite classic rock, you’ll find it here.
3158 E. Burnside St.,503.862.8826, musicmillennium.com
Portland’s oldest and most storied record store, Music Millennium stocks underground and hard-to-find vinyl releases in nooks and crannies meant for hours of tuneful treasure hunting.
3130 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503.232.1767, xro.com
As you browse the bins here in Crossroads Music, you might find yourself asking, “Flea market or record store?” This genre-spanning collection of vinyl features records from more than 35 individual vendors — all housed in one big musical consignment shop.
1914 E. Burnside St., 503.327.8473, futureshockpdx.com
You can’t help but think this store was an inspired by some vision of the future from the mid-‘90s. Part designer toy store, part vinyl record shop and part art gallery, Future Shock is the kind of place where you can stock up on anime figurines while perusing used New Wave and old school funk records. The eccentricity of the shop’s concept shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that a weirdo crew of professional DJs own and operate it. They hope to give shoppers a “visually stimulating experience,” as they claim on their website, likely circa-1997 (just a guess).
3574 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503.239.7561, jackpotrecords.com
As you walk into Jackpot Records, a vintage sign bears the words: “Vinyl is forever.” This long-standing music shop, which opened in 1997, proves this declaration true. While its downtown outpost may have recently shut its doors, this original Hawthorne location remains an enduring source for trading used records and shopping for indie rock classics, including a selection of local stars like the weirdo Dandy Warhols and punk-rockers the Wipers.
5202 N. Albina Ave., 503.282.2990
Named one of the top 10 record stores in the country by USA Today, Mississippi Records packs a special collection of rare blues, gospel and pre-Beatles rock records into a pint-sized shop that doubles as the headquarters for the label of the same name.
2510 S.E. Clinton St., 503.235.5323, clintonstreetrecordandstereo.com
You have dozens of dusty and slightly scratched records, but they’re not giving anyone pleasure tucked away in a cardboard box in storage. So what do you play them on? Skip the vintage-styled plastic players from the supermarket and pop in this friendly shop for serious turntables and ear-perking stereo equipment. An impressive but manageable selection of records, including a variety of obscure electronic and out-of-left-field indie rock, makes this a notable highlight for record collectors snooping around for something unexpected.
1313 W. Burnside St., 503.274.0961, everydaymusic.com
Occupying a warehouse-sized retail space, Everyday Music may have Portland’s largest selection of vinyl, including top new releases as well as deep discounts on used and scratched records. A wall divides the library-like shop into two overwhelming spaces, one focused exclusively on vinyl and the other on new and used CDs.
3636 N. Mississippi Ave., wearebeaconsound.com
A modern record store with an avant-garde twist, Beacon Sound has a meticulously curated selection that spans all genres, but focuses on cutting-edge electronic, modern composition and experimental music. In addition to their compact North Portland store, Beacon Sound also operates a label, and you’ll find a number of their vinyl and cassette releases on display in this minimal retail space.
3334 S.E. Belmont St., 503.234.6996
Where else in Portland can you grab a beer and eat some pizza while record shopping? Only on Southeast Belmont Street, where you’ll find this neighborhood music store tucked into a trendy strip of bars and eateries. A relative newcomer to the music scene in Portland, Belmont Records opened in 2013 with a varied collection of new and used vinyl. The shop stays open a tad longer than others, which means you can lower inhibitions at Sweet Hereafter, or another nearby bar, before splurging on the hundreds of $2 records they stock.
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