An Insider’s Guide to New York’s Best Record Shops

By Laura Cooper Brown of The Bowery Hotel
An Insider’s Guide to New York’s Best Record Shops
Cake Shop

This week I’m handing over this space to guest blogger, Johnny Christ, who’s our resident Man About Town at The Bowery Hotel.

As someone who used to work in a record shop for over 20 years, I’m choosy about where I get my music. Fortunately, the best shops are right here in the East Village and the Lower East Side. Here are a few of my favorites:

Good Records
This place is for serious vinyl junkies only. Rare Public Enemy records, first edition Led Zeppelin, perfect-condition Billy Holiday? You’ve come to the right place. The range here is staggering, and everything’s really high quality.

There’s quite a bit of digging-in-the-crates stuff, but having said that, the guys who run the place are super friendly and are on hand to help you find what you’re looking for. They’ll also pay decent sums for your old collections — just make sure you’re not bringing in your scratched rejects!

Other Music
Something of an East Village institution, Other Music is the music store for independent music lovers. In addition to vinyl, there’s an impressive selection of CDs, DVDs and magazines — and the prices are good, too.

For me, the cool thing about coming here is that I get to check out the endless genres of out-of-print rarities and experimental CDs, not to mention the staff picks. From the moment you walk in, you know this place is run by music heads — I know some people who go there just to check out the handbills and stuff posted on the walls by New York’s music community.

Cake Shop
Name me another place where you can get American low-fi vinyl and vegan peanut butter whoopie pies under one roof? Only Cake Shop.

Equal parts café, live music venue, and record store, Cake Shop is one of those rare places that does a bunch of things really well. Upstairs has a really long bar with great coffee and pastries, and the record store casts a laser focus on indie music. Downstairs I’ve seen some of the best live gigs in New York.

— Johnny Christ