“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” So says record store owner John Cusack in High Fidelity, between rambling about musical top-five lists and helping useless customers feel their way blindly through musical history.
But it doesn’t have to be that difficult for you – especially in Boston, where a small handful of record stores are still treading water despite the rapid shift to online corporate sellers.
Nuggets Records off Kenmore Square has been in business since 1978 and houses tens of thousands of rare items you may be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. You can browse their catalog online and have your favorite tracks shipped straight to you. Nuggets buys, trades, and also carries DVDs and videos. Normally closed on Mondays – unless there’s a Red Sox game!
In Your Ear Records – “the little store that could” since 1982 – has three locations, the best one being on Commonwealth Avenue near the Paradise Theater Rock Club. Here you’ll find laser discs, turntables, cassettes, 45s, and 8-tracks (and, better yet, people who remember what those are!). They also have some original artwork, as well as a super-rare Rolling Stones LP going for $250. Check out their ebay wares.
Cheapo Records has been in Central Square since 1954 and employs knowledgeable staff, but their website is currently being remodeled to introduce online purchases. This is a great place to find some Disco, Motown, Soul, Blues, and Cajun.
Weirdo Records is tiny but cozy and has plenty of foreign music to suit anti-mainstream tendencies. They have a radio station online and also host live music performances as part of something they call “The Series” every week. Upcoming artists and info on performing opportunities can be found on their website. If you’re looking for some Cantonese Opera, you’ve come to the right place.