Vinyl records are a medium that is, technologically, considered outdated. Even so, they have been making a comeback in the last few years, and are now trendy. There is something about owning a physical copy of one’s favorite music that seems to make it more personal and meaningful, a feeling that a person can’t really get with streaming or digital platforms. Sure, records can be pricey, and aren’t convenient if you’re on the go, but that might be a positive. It’s a positive because records force you to spend quality time with them. Listening to music becomes a process; you have to open the sleeve, pull the record out while being mindful of not touching the grooves (which can compromise the sound), place it on the mat, find the right RPM, and finally, place the needle, sit back and listen. That is certainly more involved than just clicking play, right? In any case, if you’re new to records or already have a well rounded collection, here is a short list of great record shops in Hillcrest for you to enjoy. If you stop by, I’m sure you could get the shop owners to tell you why they think vinyl is better.
Record City is my go to place for records, especially on Record Store Day. They have a large collection that is pretty neat and is organized by genre. They have plenty of records in every catagory, and you can find some pretty rare gems for as little as a buck. This store has a great oldies/blues selection that you can browse through for hours, but they stay current too. They also have a pretty big selection of CDs and DVDs. Record City is right on 6th Avenue, waiting for you to check it out.
This store is located on the main street (Washington St.) that connects Hillcrest to Mission Hills. M-Theory has a really good collection of indie favorites, and they carry new music from underground bands that you may not be able to find at any other record store. But, like Record City, they have a great selection in all genres. Plus, they occasionally have in-store performances.
Unlike the rest, Taang! is actually its own record label, operating in San Diego. Located on 5th Avenue in Hillcrest, Taang! is much smaller than the other two shops. It’s usually not as organized, however, this makes you dig around, which can lead to surprising (and fun) discoveries. Taang!’s specialty is definitely punk, but they also have a large selection of rap and hip-hop.