Drop by these indie record stores on your travels

45 RPM records in Hutchinson Kansas (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Wouldn’t you know it; I didn’t find out until late in the day that yesterday (April 18) was Record Store Day, supporting and highlighting independent music stores around the world.

A bit of scrambling to write a blog post anyway seems justified, since I’ve spent glorious travel moments poking through vinyl, tapes and CDs in small record stores from Guatemala to Hong Kong to France.

Before anyone had heard of them, I bought my first Gipsy Kings cassette tape in a tiny shop in Villefranche-sur-Mer (yep, it still works; it’s my tape player that keeps dying.)

Here are indie record store recommendations from two of the three Perceptive Travel blog authors – Antonia is waiting for Book Store Day!

Austin, Texas (from Sheila)

Stop in to Waterloo Records (you can also shop there online) for a huge selection of music in all genres, plus an extensive section for Austin- and Texas-based musicians.  The Employee Picks are always intriguing.

Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas (photo by Sheila Scarborough)You can also buy tickets to local music concerts, which in Austin means a pretty amazing selection of shows.

Waterloo is famous for its In-Stores; mini-concerts in the store by artists who are supporting their CD releases.

Sometimes fans get lucky with surprise appearances, like when Willie Nelson showed up to jam with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.

Wellington, New Zealand (from Liz)

In a time when the local record shop is almost a dying breed, here in Wellington vinyl fans can still buy up big at Cuba Street’s Slow Boat Records.

Sandwiched between other unique, quirky and obscure shops featuring artists, tattooists, cafes, fashion designers and sex shops, Slow Boat Records has been supplying Wellingtonians with an eclectic selection of new and second hand CDs and vinyl records since 1985.

Slow Boat Records window display in Wellington, New Zealand (courtesy Lester Ralph Blair at Flickr CC)The Wellington-based Texture blog has more about Slow Boat, the old school record store.

There’s also a detailed PDF case study about Cuba Street’s redevelopment in Wellington.

Funky shops like Slow Boat are leading the way to more than just music.

Your Town Here (from You)

Do you have a favorite independent record store? Please tell us about it in the comments below….


  1. Lanora April 22, 2009
  2. Sheila April 22, 2009
  3. Tim April 22, 2009
  4. John Dwyer April 24, 2009
  5. sex shop June 16, 2009

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