I’ve been to most of the vinyl record stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, I went to Groove Yard and if it wasn’t an hour from my home, I’d go all the time. If you’re looking for the best selection of used vinyl jazz in excellent condition (and very fair prices), it’s Groove Yard. Continue reading
You can buy records online, or at a local store, or you could try the KCSM Record Swap! KCSM is the College of San Mateo’s 24-7, commercial free jazz FM radio station (91.1) and they might be the last all jazz all the time station in the USA. Saturday they held a record swap on the campus where they broadcast from, which is about 30 minutes south of San Francisco.
This was not a gigantic flea market sized extravaganza. I estimated 19 vendors, each with a table or two, selling mostly jazz vinyl. There were a few selling CDs, another selling old posters. But the emphasis was on j-LPs. Continue reading
I wondered what would happen to Big Al’s Record Barn. Al’s has been ‘closing’ for well over a year and it looked like it was going to keep on chuggin’ along. But with the death of owner Al Farleigh on April 30, 2014 due to complications from tonsil cancer, the future of the store is a bit murkier. Al’s son, Will, is hoping for a buyer to come along and take over the inventory. Continue reading
One of the coolest things about living near San Jose, CA., is what I call Record Row, a string of four record stores mostly centered around Bascom Avenue, which also runs through the city of Campbell. But if you count The Thrift Box, a thrift store in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, it’s five. Unlike most thrift stores, it gets regularly restocked every few weeks by Bud Nemier, who sometimes sells LPs at local flea markets. Continue reading
After a day of working in San Francisco recently, I took some time to peruse record stores on Haight Street in the City. Yes, the same Haight Street made famous (infamous?) during the late 1960s for drugs, free love and protests. THE Haight-Ashbury district. Haight street is record alley. There are a number of record stores on it or nearby. In one respect, the Haight hasn’t changed. Some of the stores still take on the appearance of that time, with peace symbols and tye-dyed t-shirts in the window. But that’s just for show. They’re in business to make money, not love. Two of the record stores I tried to check out weren’t going to make any money on me, however, as they both closed on a Friday afternoon! Continue reading
I hadn’t been to this store in many years and when I had, it was called Ragin’ Records. The name and owner has changed a few times since then. This Fresno, CA., vinyl record store was a pleasant surprise. First off, all the LPs are in alphabetical order. Sure, there are the usual sign/labels for popular musicians like Santana, but in the bins for jazz, for example, all the records in the “G” bin are in order. Sure makes it easy to find a particular artist. It was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the store had a steady stream of customers. Continue reading