was in vegas last month for MAGIC, where the fashion industry convenes to shop for next seasons latest trends in apparel, footwear & accessories. johnny was able to tag along and it was nice not being alone for this trip when i wasnt shopping the floors at the convention center. after we checked into our room at SLS (thankfully at the end of the strip) we wandered across the street into thai pepper restaurant, a super cute 24 hour thai restaurant & karaoke place with records all across the walls and it really set the mood for our mini vinyl adventure.
weve traveled to vegas a few months before specifically to explore the record shops for a day and got a good handle on some of our favorite spots. after having a late dinner, we also knew there were only two shops open after 10:30pm on a sunday. i decided on 11th street! they close at midnight so we had about an hour to quickly find some gems.
11th street records is located on fremont st. in downtown las vegas and is a great example of an all vinyl independent shop that has a good variety of genres without the junk records. i think the entire store was categorized alphabetically rather than grouped by genre which made it easier for me to get through in an hour.
our 11th street finds: robert johnson - king of the delta blues singers elvis costello - this year's model (johnny) various - no new york (johhny) wipers - is this real? guitar wolf - jet generation
the next morning we popped into record city, located across the street from our hotel on sahara avenue. the exterior looks a bit sketchy, but totally worth it. i prefer buying used vinyl but ended up leaving with brand new records. This little independent shop is full of records, cd's, dvd's and im sure other memorabilia junk. i cant remember.
we went thorough most of the shop, but found ourselves back in the new section. they had some rare finds in there for sure that we have not come across in any other shop we've walked into. i did go through the used, but once i realized they had everything in there... what i consider junk records (aka dollar bin stuff), i just searched alphabetically for artists on my wantlist and got through them quickly. our new vinyl picks: section 25 - always now (johhny) crispy ambulance - the plateau phase (johnny) red lorry yellow lorry - smashed hits black lips - good bad not evil the smiths - the queen is dead for only $23! cant find a smiths record under $29 these days.
our favorite zia record exchange is the one on sahara avenue. i will admit, at first glance i was not into this store at all. it kinda reminds me of a novelty store with pop culture stuff like figurines, toys, shirts, and games. well, no. it IS a pop culture novelty store that sells music. its full of books, magazines, records, cd's, dvd's, and video games. they pretty much sell everything. but we did find some great stuff and that changed my opinion about the store right away. i liked how they accurately categorized their vinyl by genre. usually when im digging i go straight to the punk section (cos everything else is blah) or whatever, but the sahara location had great items in all their categories. my favorite sections being.. punk, reggae, obviously rock cos thats where all the indie/new wave stuff hangs out, hiphop, and electronic. they also have a decent 45" section. oh and theyre open till midnight.
sahara zia record buys: la luz - weirdo shrine minutemen - double nickels on the dime alain goraguel - la planète sauvage (johnny) viet cong - viet cong pylon - chomp shannon and the clams - dreams in the rat house adolescents – welcome to reality minor threat - first demo tape minor threat - salad days this record johnny picked up, la planète sauvage original soundtrack by alain goraguel is nuts! if youre into hip hop it will be familiar to you. this record has been sampled by so many artists like madlib/quasimoto and j dilla. so good. find it and space out. totally worth it.
eventually we found ourselves on the strip and popped into the vinyl section at urban outfitters in planet hollywood. i mean, what can i say. its urban outfitters. it is the only place on the strip to pick up new records that i know of and theyre open till 11p or 12am. johnny walked out with: talking heads – more songs about buildings and food.
before we headed back to california, we had to pop into moondog records. its my favorite curated punk and rock all vinyl independent shop in vegas. its the perfect store for someone starting out and building their punk collection. unlike myself...i have so much. their prices on rare or original pressings is spot on too. i picked up these two: various – secret - the punk singles collection volume 2 new york dolls - new york dolls
our vegas finds made it home safe...and yes, we definitely toted them around with us so they wouldnt warp in the car with the awful heat.