Denver/Boulder's five best places to buy records
For many music fans, the last time they bought a CD might be further back than the last time they bought vinyl, a statement that was more common in 1982 than 2012, but here we are: Vinyl is back. Whether through grassroots measures (more vinyl-only labels cropping up) or more astroturfed efforts (Record Store Day's wave of re-releases on major labels), the warm sound of vinyl -- and let's be honest, the collectable nature of wax -- is back. Whether you want to characterize a 12-inch as having more soul than a digital disc, or you just like that the artwork is larger, records are the coolest way to own music in this digital era. With this in mind, here are Denver and Boulder's five best places to buy vinyl.
5. Independent Records, 937 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
Wedged in between some of the best music venues on Colfax is Independent Records. Normally it can be a little pricey -- but every third Saturday of the month they give 10 percent off new and used vinyl as well as 50 percent off new sale vinyl, making it worth the wade through dashboard bobble-heads and Nag Champa.
4. Bart's Music Shack, 236 Pearl Street, Boulder
It is certainly no joke that the reincarnation of the beloved Bart's CD Cellar is in a glorified tool shack. Lucky for us, the shack is chock-full of gems. Of course the selection is much smaller than that of the late Bart's, but it's a great place to browse used vinyl and music from local musicians, and the staff is devoted and friendly. If you're looking for a rare experience, take the trip up there to support the tiniest local vinyl shop we've ever seen.
The Denver Record Collector's Expo is a veritable Mecca for music collectors. Twice a year (spring and fall), over forty dealers from every corner of the country come to sell hard to find LPs and 45s at the Ramada in Northglenn. It's worth the drive, and it's virtually guaranteed you'll find something you love. Mark your calendars: The next one is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 21. Get there early.
2. Wax Trax, 638 East 13th Avenue, Denver
For people who like to geek out in peace, Wax Trax is the most approachable place to browse an incredible selection of vinyl. The store is small and manageable, the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff is helpful and the prices are a steal. This is as real as it gets -- smell the ancient grit of music history past while perusing the notable rock section as well as rare and underground releases. Check out the cassette tape collection in the back, too.
1. Twist & Shout, 2508 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
After all of our vinyl searching endeavors, Twist & Shout continues to be Denver's treasure chest of some of the best used, new and hard to find vinyl, all for a really good price. Try out your finds at the record player station to ensure satisfaction before you buy. Another plus? They continue to impress us with live shows from the best local acts, as well as those coming through town.
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