At the beginning of Record Store Day, there was Metallica. James Hetfield and the boys performed in 2008 at San Francisco's Rasputin Music. It was on that day that the third Saturday in April became somewhat sacred. Given that record stores are like temples for the musically obsessed, the event has since spread like an itchy (hopefully curable) rash throughout the world. And in South Florida, we take RSD very seriously by hosting plenty of gatherings in honor of the vinyl that brings us such aural pleasure.
Perhaps you didn't know, but we in Broward and Palm Beach counties actually boast quite a few record stores. Here are seven awesome places (in no particular order) where you can score pressed wax and meet your fellow music nerds for a good argument over music nerd shit that no one else can stomach.
See also: Top Ten Signs You're a Music Snob
7. Radio-Active Records
If you've never been to Radio-Active Records, start flogging yourself now. With co-owner Mikey Ramirez and operations manager Natalie Martinez at the helm, this place offers the most comprehensive selection of vinyl in town. They host live music in-store events fairly regularly and even meet-and-greets with such heavyweight scene-stealers as John Waters and Deltron 3030.
It's not only a place to develop your personal predilections and musical collection, it's a cultural hub in South Florida that is both invaluable and impressive. We should be proud we've got this place in our backyard.
6. Reggae Land Muzik
In 2012, we declared Reggae Land Muzik the best reggae record store in our land. Located on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, we compared it to a well-organized museum. Owner Juicy V or Jah V stacks the place with impressive dancehall mixes, cassettes, and rare vinyl. His collection in wax alone amounts to more than 100k records. He's been doing this for two decades now, so, better trust the man in what he says, and he's down to advise you on which album you actually need to get the full Caribbean experience.
5. We Got the Beats
Fort Lauderdale's We Got the Beats is a record and CD store that keeps the interest of the LGBTQ community in mind. And with Wilton Manors so close by, that seems very considerate of them.
Owner Tony Cicalese got started out on eBay in 1999 but only four years ago set up an actual shop. He'd traveled the country for years gathering some amazing finds. We Got the Beats moved to a bigger spot in Oakland Park just this year, so you should check out their new digs.
He says on the website, "I tried to take what I liked and didn't like about all the music stores I'd visited over the years, throw in a little funk and glitter, and create the ultimate destination for dance music and more in South Florida." So the glitter's what's gay about it? Maybe it's the Donna Summer tribute section or Deee-lite and Freddie Mercury posters?
Anyway, this store is inclusive. It's for everyone, so feel free to come get anything your heart desires. They'll be open a full 12 hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Record Store Day with a DJ and giveaways.
4. Record Rack
For those who prefer an old fashioned headbang over "Hot Stuff," Record Rack in Pompano caters to a more traditionally "masculine" crowd. Their focus musically is more in the rock, metal, jazz, and blues vein. So there is certainly an overlap with We Got the Beats in the area of Queen, at the very least. This spot sells new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, turntables, and a ton more.
Owner Richie Siegrist is laid-back, cool dude according to Yelp commenter Rob B. He also says that instead of the indie stuff you'll find elsewhere, this place has all the classics: "The Record Rack will have the quintessential album to own on wax which will give you the warm and fuzzies." And the place features a KISS inflatable sofa. So, oh, hell yes. We like.
3. Top Five Records
Top Five Records is a thing we music geeks and film fanatics know from the classic book-turned-film High Fidelity. It was through that story that we all imagined what life would be like working at a record store, and it was equally parts dorky and awesome, basically cooler than you.
Top Five Records, located in Lake Worth, is pretty much as indie and hip as it gets. The store sells vintage vinyl, rare collectables, and at fair prices. You can sell your old LPs there too, which is fantastic. But if you're going there to check out the live acts performing as part of RSD, make sure to hit the ATM first, since they only deal with dolla dolla bills.
2. Confusion Records
This Lake Park store is packed to rafters with LPs. It's the dream spot for those of us who love to get elbow deep in vinyl and only see our hands again once we've unearthed a rare gem that we'll cherish till our last day on earth. Confusion has both new and old records, T-shirts, toys, they've got it all.
1. VP Records
VP Records knows you love Bob Marley, because only a monster would hate that medley up there. That's why, besides a massive collection of reggae, roots, dancehall, ska, soca, calypso, hip-hop, gospel, and R&B (pant), the company's Miramar store features a Bob Marley corner. Lord 'a mercy.
But VP Records got its start back in the motherland when Vincent and Patricia Chin opened up shop in Kingston. Now stateside, the couple's business is based in Jamaica, Queens and includes their fashion line Riddim Driven clothing.
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