Tomorrow marks the 2013 edition of Record Store Day, which celebrates all of the local brick-and-mortar music shops that dot the country. We are so down with all of the special, limited-edition releases bands are putting out to commemorate it, but we have to admit: We don't really need a special reason to go record-shopping (or CD shopping, or whatever is your preferred method of listening). So we polled NYLON's staffers, who when they're not working hard putting together a magazine and website, can usually be found flipping through stacks, to learn where their favorite spots are across the country. Is this the definitive guide to the best music stores in America? No way--but just a few places that are worth enjoying more than one day a year. Check out our list, and then let us know what your local go-tos are in the comments below.
New York, New York
Store Name: Other Music
Address: 15 East 4th Street
NYLON Staff Pick: Rebecca Willa Davis, Executive Web Editor
Why She Loves It: Though it's pretty small, you could spend hours flipping through the vast selection of mostly weird (though they also have your usual indie releases, too) vinyl. They also have great in-store performances, for those times when you were too slow to buy your tickets to some up-and-comers NYC gig.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? Oh, definitely High Fidelity--they will judge each and every purchase you make.
Best Item Purchased There: Brendan Benson's One Mississippi. I got into the Michigan-native well before he hooked up with Jack White and formed the Raconteurs--as a suburban New York high schooler, there was nowhere for me to track down his very first (and woefully under-appreciated) first album, so I called up Other Music and they found it for me.
Store Name: Stormy Records
Address: 13210 Michigan Avenue
NYLON Staff Pick: Mellissa Giannini, Senior Editor
Why She Loves It: Aside from being two of the friendliest, most informed record store proprietors you'll ever meet, Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren also record lush, layered, ambient bliss pop as Windy and Carl. Their store is packed with an impeccably curated collection of avant-jazz and weird-leaning indie-rock, and decorated with local artist Davin Brainard's charming cloud and raindrop paintings as well as a number of plants that Windy lovingly propagates and occasionally offers to regulars to take home with their records.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? Empire Records.
Best Item Purchased There: During my Alice Coltrane phase (which is ongoing), I picked up a perfect-condition used vinyl copy of Journey in Satchidananda and a reissue of Universal Consciousness from Stormy, but maybe even more memorable was an in-store performance by Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, and Vetiver back in June of 2004, the night the Detroit Pistons beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. After the show at Stormy, our ride home to the city turned into a slow-moving victory parade, delirious sports fans hopping onto the bed of my friend's pickup truck as we rolled east down Michigan Avenue, resonant strains of Banhart's "Michigan State" still humming in our universal consciousness.
Store Name: Logan Hardware
Address: 2410 West Fullerton Avenue
NYLON Staff Pick: Ray Siegel, Senior Web Editor
Why She Loves It: You can't beat a record store that doubles as a museum where '80s arcade games have gone to die. At Logan, I spent the afternoons of my youth browsing for Nirvana and The Beatles with boys that my parents disapproved of--only taking a break to play Ms.Pacman or Super Mario Brothers. Happy Record Store Day.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? It's neither.
Best Item Purchased There: The album that I listened to the most during that period was Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness I was like, whoa it's a double! This is major.
NYLON Staff Pick Jenny Peck, Marketing and Events Manager
Store Name: Wuxtry Records
Address: 197 E Clayton Street
Why She Loves It: A huge selection of new and used records, cds, and tapes, so you never leave empty handed. Knowledgeable employees, who are legendary for their sass and their side-projects. And for super nerds, theres a comic store upstairs called Bizarro Wuxtry.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? High Fidelity, for sure.
Best Item Purchased There: David Bowie's Low.
NYLON Staff Pick: Kirsten Stamn, Newsletter Editor
Store Name: AKA Music
Address: 27 N 2nd Street
Why We Love It: It's a beautiful, friendly store that's filled with vinyl and CDs for great prices; plus they have used records for only 99-cents.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? I would say Empire Records.
Best Item Purchased There: Jimi Hendrix, man. He's the best.
Store Name: Wax 'N' Facts
Address: 432 Moreland Avenue NE
NYLON Staff Pick: Stephen Michael Simon, TV Producer
Why He Loves It: The shop smells like your childhood home's attic. It's super laid-back and the people who work there can help you with basically any question you have.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? Empire Records.
Best Item Purchased There: Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends.
Store Name: Bullmoose Music
Address: 151 Middle Street (along with other locations across Maine and southern New Hampshire)
NYLON Staff Pick: Kelley Garrard, Marketing Designer
Why She Loves It: Bullmoose is an independently-owned music store that sells both new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and video games. Growing up in Southern Maine, it was the spot to get new music from lesser-known artists-- and as a girl perpetually ballin' on a budget, their used CD section was always a must. A favorite Bullmoose memory was seeing Rocco DeLuca play an acoustic set there when I was in high school.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? Definitely more Empire Records. Everyone that works at Bullmoose has a story--and a new album recommendation--and they are always more than willing to share.
Best Item Purchased There: I always rely on Bullmoose to pick up the latest Greetings From Area Code 207 album, which are compilations of local, independent musicians from Maine.
Store Name: Weirdo Records
Address: 844 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge MA 02139
NYLON Staff Pick: Blair Waters, Associate TV Producer
Why She Loves It: There's nowhere else in Boston stocking obscure '60s garage band comps, bizarre Japanese noise cassettes, bootleg recordings of The Fall, and tons of ye-ye LPs. Owner Angela Sawyer (possibly the friendliest record store owner in history) has spent her life listening to everything forgotten or hard to find, and packed all the gems she's found into her tiny Central Square storefront. PS: If you're not ready to get weird, there's a great re-issue selection.
More Empire Records or High Fidelity? Definitely High Fidelity.
Best Item Purchased There: Turkish Freakout: Psych-Folk Singles 1969-1980 or Brigitte Fontaine & Areski: L'incendie