Just look at the acts tagged above, there are few truly great bands that Jim Sclavunos hasn't been a member of. With an ability to cherry-pick like that, you sure as hell can bet he knows the best stores to crate-dig around. With Record Store Day coming up on the 16th of April, we had a theory that he's a well-travelled man who knows all the very best record emporiums, and asked Jim what his 10 favourite stores are, and why...
1) Intoxica, London, UK
This tiny Tiki-themed bulwark on Portobello Road retains an excellent cream-of-the-crop record selection: all the essential listening of a lifetime can be found here under one roof – and it’s all vinyl only! You can find your indispensable rock, garage, surf and psychedelic items upstairs, classic soul, r n’ b, and out-there jazz gems downstairs -- and catch the occasional art exhibition to boot.
231 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LT, UK
T: 44 (0) 207 229 8010
2) Rough Trade East, London, UK
Not just a great record shop, but also the best in-store venue in London. And should you pale before the fray of rack-upon-rack of new releases on vinyl and CD, the handy in-house snack bar will help maintain your caffeine-addled equilibrium, enabling you to paw through the discs like a maniac until closing time.
Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Lodon E1 6QL, UK
T: 44 (0) 207 392 7788
3) Record & Tape Exchange, London, UK
No tapes here, but everything else good, bad and ugly under the sun can be found in this store, the detritus and unwanted orphans of various record collections, the promo cast-offs of failed label campaigns, and various vinyl victims of the shift to digitized collections. Precious rarities and limited editions vie for space alongside barrel-bottom scrapings in an ever-shifting landscape of bargain bonanzas. The Exchange’s various kith and kin storefronts up and around Notting Hill Gate and Camden are all worth nosing about.
38 Notting Hill Gate, London W11, UK
4) Amoeba, Los Angeles, USA
Self-advertised as the “world’s largest independent record store”, one steps out of the surreal glare of Sunset Boulevard and in through the front doors to this expansive warehouse-sized establishment, gasping in wonder as you gaze out across the seemingly limitless vista of music -- CD’s, LP’s, singles, even 78’s – that spreads out before you.
6400 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
T: 1 (323) 245-6400
5) Other Music, NYC, USA
If weird, experimental and obscure is the name of your game, this aptly named Manhattan shop not only stocks what you drool for, it also has heaps of oddities you’ve never heard of, oodles of stuff that will leave you scratching your head in wonderment, and a trove of sonic anomalies that will compel you to get your ears checked.
15 East 4th Street, NY 10012, USA
T: 1 (212) 477-8150
6) Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ, USA
The pride of “historic” Princeton, this fine establishment has on hand truckloads of records to peruse. The brutally bright fluorescent lights are excellent for extra-close groove inspection. Bursting with steals, the friendly staff and a low-key atmosphere make this a perfect destination for the habitual browser.
20 South Tulane Street, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
T: 1 (609) 924-3472
7) Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Chicago, USA
A funky unpretentious little shop chockfull of cool records, old and new. The neat array of classic 7” sides offers easy pickings to fill out any collection.
4639 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, USA
T: 1 (773) 271-3569
8) Basement Discs, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Self-described as a “musical Aladdin’s cave”, you’ll find a very choice selection of CD’s on offer here. The painted reproductions of classic album covers that adorn the arcade entranceway alone make this Basement worth visiting.
24 Block Place, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
61 (03) 9654 1110
9) Borderline, Brighton, UK
Next time you’re in Brighton, skip the Whac-The-Mole for a change and instead visit Borderline. They boast an affably knowledgeable staff (Hi Andy!), groovy vintage poster art on the walls and the best carrier bags in the business (illustrations courtesy of famed underground cartoonist Robert Crumb).
41 Gardner Street, The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1UN, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0) 1273 818611
10) Academy Annex, Williamsburg, NY, USA
I personally find the Annex preferable to its slightly stuffier Manhattan counterpart, Academy. Offering an impressively eclectic range of hard-to-find vinyl and a copious aggregate of priced-to-sell temptations, The Annex simply never disappoints.
96 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 1 (718) 218-8200
Share a photo or tell us a story about either your favourite store or one of the ones mentioned above, for a chance to win a copy of 'Palaces Of Montezuma' by Grinderman on a brightly coloured 12", which looks exactly like this:
Competition closes on Monday 11th of April, and winner will be picked at random by the sites editor, and you'll be contacted for your postal info.
P.S. Here's a little mixtape Jim made for those fine fellows over at theQuietus: