Record Shopping in Las Vegas
City Records on East Sahara is something I stumbled on while trying to avoid rush hour traffic from one corner of the Las Vegas valley to the other on my daily commute. And there it was, somewhere behind the strip away from the bright lights, a little shack that has been there since 1991. It does not look sexy.
It's worth going in, though. It reminds me of an old record store that is now a Walgreens that I grew up by. It's just boxes and crates of CDs, DVDs, VHS, and vinyl EVERYWHERE. It's fantastic. There's even posters for sale and those patches that I used to put on my Jansport backpacks, like the yellow and black Nirvana patch because I was so edgy and I needed everyone to know it, man.
Record City is great for rock, soul, jazz and classical. The hip hop selection was laughable. Their hours are certainly not catering to the full-time consumption craze that runs this city so stupendously, so I hope to go back on a Saturday with a little more time. It looked like there was a box of dance hall that I would love to get my paws on. I got some good stuff though! Queens Of The Stone Age because they're weird-ass desert kids who make amazing rock music that makes me want to buy a classic car and stay in weird motels in the middle of nowhere. I got a few Diana Ross records, one being the greatest hits because you can't go wrong and another because of the cover illustration with her cigarette going into the text. It's amazing. And, of course, the soundtrack to The Harder They Come by Jimmy Cliff because you can never go wrong with guests over if you put on reggae. My husband bought some Bach cello concertos and if you're ever wondering why I agreed to bone that guy for the rest of my life just read the first part of this sentence.
11th Street Records, not far from the fashionable for the downtown set Freemont District, has a much more scrubbed vibe. As the name implies, it's on 11th street and as soon as you walk in the requisite hipsters are standing behind counters piled with records. There is a recording studio in the back and fashionable eyewear abounds. This store is actually located right next to a community that is populated only by Airstream trailers and tiny houses and the CEO of Zappos lives there with his two llamas - or alpacas, not sure, don't care enough to stop typing and do the research right now.
11th street has a really well-rounded selection of rock, punk - lots of great punk, actually - and a much better selection of hip-hop than our friends over at Record City. Not a great jazz or classical selection. I've been looking for Tom Petty's Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) or Damn The Torpedos for several years now, but more often than not the Tom Petty section is cleared out with the exception of an obscure single. Yesterday, the bearded bespectacled shopkeeper disappeared for a moment and then Tom Petty was blaring over the stereo system and I knew that it was the day. I found Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) and also the beautiful Shades Of Blue by Madlib which I've only listened to on MP3. I didn't buy the punk record pictured below, just thought it was a great cover. The outside shot is taken outside of the store looking back on downtown.
Two stores, both great in their own ways.
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