I have bought most of my new vinyl online -SoundStageDirect.com. A few B&M stores in HOuston carry new vinyl but not as good of a selection. I have bought a few LPs from my local BB - what selection they had was good.
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No local B&M stores carry any new vinyl here. 1.5 hours away in Peoria, there's a couple of stores w/new and when I visit relatives in Dayton, OH there's a store which has a ton of new vinyl. There's a store in Iowa City also. I'm sure there must be some in Chicago, but I don't get there often (3 hours away). Otherwise, it's been Music Direct online.
Yeah weird right re J&R? Last new sealed "old" LP I bought there was a 77 issue of Dreamboat Annie by Heart like you say about 7 bucks and it sounds just lovely. Anyone visiting NYC should defiantly pop in there but bank on spending at least an hour hunting. Luckily Century 21 is nearby (no not the real estate agents) its NYCs best clothing discount store, send the "better half" there....
As a side note - In the most part I've had good experiences with the newer 180g reissues but once in a while I'll get a stinker with plenty of surface noise right from the get go. Maybe some of the newer pressing plants are still finding their feet??
Houston has a great vinyl store for new vinyl; Cactus Records on Shepard, and I just found one around the corner that I had never seen Black Dog Records, that has been there for 20+ yrs. They have new vinyl, but specialize in great copies of old vinyl.
I also buy a ton from MusicDirect and some from Rhino and Amazon.
Dustygroove.com has a fantastic selection of jazz, blues, funk, etc. I've been extremely happy with their $10-$12 collection of Blue Note, OJC, Contemporary, and Prestige re-issues. All new, sealed, and sounding mighty fine !! I've also done well with SoundStageDirect, keeping my purchases in their "$12.99" collection. I refuse to pay $50 for a record album. Come on, MusicDirect and Acoustic Sounds, what's up with those super high prices ? Give us a break !! 180 gm., 45 RPM pressings @ $50 ?? What gives ?
In the Twin Cities, I get most of my stuff at Cheapo Records.
When in Denver, I always stop at the Black and Read in Arvada. Wax Trax has yielded some awesome stuff too.
Tucson has a great store, PDQ
When my band played a show in Chicago a couple of years ago, I went into Permanent Records. Not a big shop but they had a lot of cool stuff.
Great store in DFW (Grand Prarie, TX) called Forever Young Records. Amazing. Store has square footage of a Wal Mart Supermarket. Over 250,000 pieces of vinyl. They even have a "collecors coffin' which is a small enclosed glass area with all highly collectible and audiophile (1/2 speed masters) vinyl. Over 1,000 MFSL copies of vinyl in one small area! They are a bit pricey though. Great stuff from all genres and time periods.
Another good one is the Arkansas CD Record Exchange in Little Rock, Arkansas. The store may be small, but they also have over 100,000 pieces of vinyl there. Great jazz collection.
In Oklahoma City and Norman, OK we have Guestroom Records, with mostly new rock and nwe and used indie rock.
In Tulsa, OK we have Under the Mooch, a indie rock new and used store. This store is small and the stock is limited, but it has the best store name!
OK, so re 2nd hand vinyl, when was the last time you had one of those weird experiences when you go into a store you've not been to before and find a bunch of stuff you've been looking for for years? I had such an experience in Maine recently - a little vinyl only store called Enterprise records in portland. Amongst other things I picked up the legendary "metal machine music" by lou reed (it's unlistenable noise but thats not the point) just too see it there as I fingered through the "velvet underground etc." section - to find it, oh my what a rush. To be honest its been a while. I know you can find anything you want online now (and I probably buy more online now than anywhere else particularly gemm.com) but that feeling of finding something in the flesh is just priceless.
Amoeba Music in Hollywood here in LA area has tons of records in all genres. They have wide selection of Jazz as well as electronic music. When I bought my classic jazz (miles davis, sonny rollins, coltrane and the likes)original pressings they were $15-25 a pop back in 2006. When I went last year same records were marked like $40-$50. Now that I see many reissues coming out ( acoustic sounds and musicdirect) at around $10- $15, I wonder if I should have bought mine at premium prices. I also buy from acousticsounds and music direct. Amoeba is great. Once you go there drooling stops only when you go at the check out counter and slapped with few hundred dollars worth of a tab. Ouch! every single time.
There is metamusic records in Santa cruz that I order electronic music from. There is Norwalk Records here in Norwalk,CA, Which specializes in hiphop and especially in DJ mixes ( not for this crowd)
I second the recommendation for Dustygroove.com---best online ordering experience I've ever had! I've placed dozens of orders with them over the years, and their website, service, selection and prices are top notch. They keep their online catalog up-to-date seemingly by the minute, and will e-mail you immediately when out-of-stock items on your wantlist come back in stock. When you place an order, it is fulfilled and shipped by the next day. If you're into Funk, Soul, rare grooves, blaxploitation, Jazz, this is *THE* place.
Worst online ordering experience I ever had: www.aquariusrecords.org. One time I spent several hours browsing their catalog and compiling a list of LPs to order. There is *no* online order form and no ability to keep a wantlist. I e-mailed them a list of about a dozen LPs I wanted to order, only to have them send a reply *over a week later* to inform me that most of the LPs I wanted were out of stock, and ask if I wanted to go through with the order. I said no thanks and never tried to place an order with them again. YMMV...
I live in Melbourne Australia. I just can't believe the dearth of record shops everywhere else. I mainly buy from shops as I know of about 30 shops in Melbourne which sell records. We even have one shop, Licorice Pie, who do not sell CDs, just records. There are a few shops which import a wide range of new records and lots of second hand records in various shops. Occasionally I do order online, I have found Amazon UK to be good - often they are just listing for a third party, but I have ordered a few through Amazon UK.
Mind you there are some record shops in the USA where I could spend days and we have nothing as large.
Newbury Comics Boston & Cambridge, Somerset records in Somerset MA., Cheapo Records in Cambridge MA. For used I shop at above and at Loony Tunes & In You Ear in Boston & Cambridge. I find small stores and chains like Newbury Comics sell both new & used. These other locations I hunt for the diamonds in the rough. Salvation Army, Morgan Memorial, flee markets and any other locations where I think they may be hiding the items of my addiction. Oh ya the usual spots on the web.
I drive all over New England for work and I find all kinds of places to buy records. My wife would like me to slow down but the fun is in the hunt ya know.