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Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

August 25, 2011 5:55 AM

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(Photo by: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

By Brendan Sullivan

Remember vinyl records? They’re those circular slabs of wax with grooves in them and, for the avid music fan, they’re still the best way to listen. The audio quality can’t be beat and holding the album and cover art in your hands is far more engaging than any mp3 file will ever be. Pittsburgh has plenty of places to buy vinyl, so break out that turntable and check out our picks for the best local spots to buy records, both new and used.

jerrys records brendan sullivan Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Brendan Sullivan)

Jerry’s Records

2136 Murray Avenue, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – noon to 5 p.m.
(412) 421-4533
Local Business Directory

Jerry’s is internationally-known and a true highlight of Pittsburgh. People travel from all over to explore the (literally) millions of LPs and 45s. If you’re looking for used classic rock, jazz, soul, folk, gospel, classical, comedy—anything really—chances are, Jerry’s has it. With so much to choose from, casual listeners and rabid collectors alike will walk away more than satisfied. Also see their website for monthly silent auctions on particularly valuable/collectible items.

Specialty: Visit the “Top Sellers” section in the front for the most popular rock albums, and use the in-store turntables to sample anything before you buy.

vinyl record 120203285 Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Mind Cure Records

3138 Dobson Street, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Sat – noon to 8 pm; Sun – noon to 5 pm
(412) 621-1715
Website

Mind Cure is quite new, having just celebrated their one year anniversary, but they’ve quickly become a go-to stop for the indie music crowd. Located above a coffee shop in Polish Hill, this store is somewhat tiny but very well-organized and they sell only vinyl. Their used selection is more eclectic than other shops, and their “new releases” section has all manner of indie rock, underground punk, and other interesting albums. If it seems daunting, just chat with whoever is working there; they’ll surely find something you’ll like.

Specialty: Mind Cure has a fantastic turntable at their listening station, and a great selection of current indie rock 7” singles. Owner Mike also runs a record label with exclusive releases from local artists.

pauls compact discs brendan sullivan Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Brendan Sullivan)

Paul’s Compact Discs

4526 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun – noon to 5 pm
(412) 621-3256
Local Business Directory

Don’t be fooled by the “CDs” in their name—Paul’s is the best place for new vinyl releases, and their prices generally can’t be beat. That said, they also have an impressive used CD selection, but the racks of sealed vinyl in the back of the room are what you’ll want to investigate.

Specialty: Talk to an employee if you can’t find a certain record or CD, because they’ll likely be able to order it for you. If you’re lucky, you might even spot local indie rock legend Karl Hendricks working the register!

davesmusicmine Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Dave’s Music Mine -www.davesmusicmine.com)

Dave’s Music Mine

1210 E Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun – noon to 5 p.m.
(412) 488-8800
Local Business Directory

The first floor of Dave’s is full of used CDs and DVDs of all genres, which may be their main selling point, but their vinyl collection has really expanded recently. They’re stocking new releases upstairs, and the basement is full of used LPs and cassettes. The selection is still small, but they’re growing quickly, and the prices are always low.

Specialty: Stop in to buy tickets for upcoming shows at local venues, like Club Cafe or Mr. Small’s, and avoid the pricey online fees.

atticrecordstore Top Spots to Find Vinyl in Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Flickr care of Brian Pennington)

Attic Record Store Inc.

513 Grant Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun – noon to 5 p.m.
(412) 821-8484
Local Business Directory

A family-owned business since opening in 1980, Attic is the place to go for oldies and doo-wop records, and they have a lot of 12” singles for DJs. The store suffered serious damage during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but you wouldn’t know that if you stopped by today. The walls are filled floor-to-ceiling with 45s, and they also have a good selection of music DVDs (rockumentaries and concert films) and CDs.

Specialty: Attic fully celebrates national Record Store Day every April, opening at midnight the night before and staying open all day! If you go to Mr. Small’s Theatre for a concert, stop at Attic beforehand—it’s right around the corner.

Best of the Rest:

If you’re a student in Oakland, Wicked Discs and Desolation Row (inside Caliban Books) are both on S. Craig Street and will fully satisfy your vinyl and CD needs. If you’re into hip-hop and rap, 720 Records in Lawrenceville has the best selection in town. The Exchange has a half-dozen locations around the Pittsburgh area, each with a small assortment of new and used vinyl, too.

Brendan Sullivan is a graduate student in mathematics and avid music fan/blogger. You can find more of his music writing at www.drawuslines.com.

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