You’ve heard of Christmas in July, but April 22nd is practically the best holiday of the year for music lovers. Record Store Day celebrates the love of vinyl, independent record shops, and vibrant music communities all across the nation. This year claims to be even bigger and better. It’s the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day!
Shoppers can sift through the crates and stalk the aisles for exciting new releases, limited runs, special editions, and re-releases. Some of the best include Prince, David Bowie, Leon Russell, David Crosby, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting, Run the Jewels, Notorious B.I.G., Talking Heads, Sun Records, Spoon, and way, WAY MORE.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the awesome mitten, you’ve got plenty of mom & pop record shops to browse in celebration of this holy, holy day. You can check out the full list of participating Record Store Day shops in Michigan here.
Check out The Awesome Mitten’s record store rundown:
Street Corner Music, Oak Park
Street Corner Music is coming up on its 25th anniversary. You can tell they’ve been in the game for awhile. Their shop is one of the largest jazz/R&B/urban music stores in the Detroit area. There are plenty of inexpensive records (great shape, too!) in stock. These feature rock ‘n’ roll, disco, folk, Motown, soul, hip hop, and more. Also on-deck is a large selection of CD’s. They’ve even got $20 album crates in case you go a little overboard buying records (if that’s even a thing).
Solo Records, Royal Oak
Solo Records originally opened in Birmingham in 1982. Dan Levitt and daughter, Lorna Kuschel, moved their location to Royal Oak in 2001 and haven’t looked back. Their shelves, however, are a stroll down memory lane. They include plenty of ’60s and ’70s singer-songwriters, folk artists, vinyl LP’s, 45’s, 8-tracks, CD’s. There is even an extensive collection of cassette tapes near the checkout.
What’s better than a record store with all your favorite oldie gems?! One with an unofficial mascot and door greeter, Pomeranian puppy, Georgie!
UHF Records, Royal Oak
Perhaps the hippest, most streamlined, clean record store in the metro Detroit area is UHF Records in Royal Oak. UHF is stocked with mostly newer sealed higher-priced releases. They also have a stock of music-related books. In store, they sell fee-free concert tickets for shows at the Crofoot in Pontiac, which is handy dandy.
Third Man Records, Cass Corridor
Detroit’s own Jack White is no stranger to the music scene. He fronts bands like the White Stripes, but he’s recently been way more involved locally. In November 2015, White opened Third Man Records in Cass Corridor . White also opened up a vinyl pressing plant in Detroit. This occurred in February 2017 to solidify his love for keeping music alive in Midtown. Thanks for reppin’ the 313, man.
People’s Records, Detroit
People’s Records has two separate locations in Detroit (Livernois and Gratiot). This store has seen plenty of changes within their stores and within the music business. They have an emphasis on jazz, R&B, gospel, and dance. Warning: There will be dust, and you WILL love it.
Electric Kitsch, Bay City
Electric Kitsch is a cutesy vintage resale shop with new and used records. They even offer instrument repair. Brightly colored walls give it a fresh, vibrant feel; contrasting the tale-as-old-as-time retro finds. If you’re thinking it looks Pinterest-worthy, it’s because it does.
Found Sound, Ferndale
Found Sound is part record store, part music memorabilia museum. It is plastered with concert posters, music and movie quotes, and album covers on every wall. Found Sound could be overwhelming for some, but for music lovers, it’s truly a mecca. It has an entire back room of VHS tapes and shelves of quirky vinyl finds for just 25 cents each. Found Sound is your new playground. The back contains books full of band stickers — some thirty years old, Frank Sinatra Barbie dolls, a vintage jukebox, and a huge wall of upcoming concerts, and artsy events.
Records & Tapes Galore, Saginaw
Bill Wegner and his wife Judith A. Wegner opened up shop in 1974. They have kept Records & Tapes Galore up & running for over 40 years. Thankfully, they have no plans of retiring anytime soon. They’ll leave the light on for ya.
Vertigo Music, Grand Rapids
If glowing Facebook reviews weren’t enough to convince you that owner Herm has got your back (and your special order records), just check out Vertigo Music’s ‘about us’ section. It declares itself as, “your anti-superstore for music that matters to you.” See? Someone gets it. This ain’t your lackluster Best Buy music section, and you’d never want it to be.
The Corner Record Shop, Grandville & Grand Haven
The Corner Record Store opened in 1999 in a tiny strip mall space. It has since expanded to include over 80,000 alphabetized albums and tapes. Yep, you read that right — alphabetized. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. The store also has an upstairs space with bargain pieces and a section up front specializing in high-end audio equipment. The Corner Record Store has got it all, dude.
Flat Black and Circular, East Lansing
According to their website, the staff behind Flat Black and Circular are deemed “purveyors of bargain-priced music since 1977.” And, yeah, they’re right. They are East Lansing’s only one-stop-shop for all things records, CDs, and DVDs — ranging from independent label releases, magazines, and more. There’s even a listen-before-you-buy option, so no regrets there. It’s been voted Lansing’s best music stores. It is also included in the top 10 campus indie music stores from Sports Illustrated magazine.
The Record Lounge, REO Town Lansing
The Record Lounge was once housed in East Lansing, directly on MSU’s campus. It now calls Lansing’s upcoming REO Town neighborhood home. Owned and operated by Heather Frarey, the Record Lounge is mid-Michigan’s only all-vinyl store. It has a huge stock of local music to browse. Once she was evicted from her old E.L. digs, the community rallied support. Regular customers helped her move stock into the new last-minute location. Turns out, she’s described the move as a “blessing in disguise.” She has had busier foot traffic already, given the new location’s convenient parking. Looks like no one has to mourn the passing of the Record Lounge. Not now. Not ever. Hallelujah.
Schuler Books & Music Eastwood, Lansing
Schuler Books‘ original location hails out of Grand Rapids. The Eastwood location hosts an impressive supply of vinyl and local Michigan music. It is down to order pretty much anything you want. I’ve requested special UK copies of things. They’ve gotten them in quickly and called me when they were ready to pickup. Not having to deal with international shipping is nice. You still can support both the artists overseas AND a local shop. That’s a win-win in my book.
Checker Records, Hillsdale
Checker’s Records holds extra appeal for shoppers, given their coffee drinks and cafe items. The restaurant is in the running for MLive‘s best pub sandwich in Michigan. If there’s one thing that’s better than buying new records, it’s doing so while enjoying a hearty sandwich. Whoever said “you can’t have your cake and eat it it too” hasn’t been to Checker’s Records.
Radio Wasteland, Midland
This father-daughter-duo-owned small shop is the newest on the list. Radio Wasteland opened on January 13th of this year. The family biz, run by Jim and Katie Gleason, fills a void for Midland residents needing more noise pollution.
Round Midnight Records, Owosso
It’s only right that a record store down on Main Street would sell Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” album. Round Midnight Records in downtown Owosso has been around since 1986. It continues to sell the sweet sounds of old time rock ‘n’ roll day after day.
Dearborn Music, Dearborn
This record store comes highly requested and recommended by music lovers and record shop owners alike. Dearborn Music opened in 1956. It hosts many exclusive album listening preview parties, artists signings, meet and greets, and other musical events. They even have concerts in store. Their motto is “You may start elsewhere, but you’ll always end up at Dearborn Music.” Vinyl junkies who regularly get their ‘fix’ here would agree.
Encore Records, Ann Arbor
Encore Records, rather 417 E. Liberty Street, can be referred to as an “original gangster” in the family of record stores in the state. Its roots trace back to 1939. First, the storefront was known as the Liberty Music Shop, then the business was bought and became Encore Recordings, and now it is Encore Records. The spot has been a staple in the Ann Arbor landscape for decades, no matter the name or the owner.
Underground Sounds, Ann Arbor
Underground Sounds is not a dark, dingy basement. Rather, it is an airy storefront with plenty of natural light. Deep within the crates you will find plenty of garage bands and indie label artists. Their site suggests that anything conventional (ie Top 40, MTV, Grammy’s) is ignored.
Wazoo Records, Ann Arbor
A mural staircase leads shoppers up to the second floor of this U of M campus mainstay shop. Wazoo Records has been providing music lovers with a unique mix of both old and new music since 1974. Finding new (to you) music and getting your daily steps in– multitasking at its finest. Plus the name is fun to say. I can only hope they have sell Wazoo Kazoos because it’s just too good of a rhyme to pass up.
Satellite Records, Kalamazoo
Satellite Records is in the heart of the vine neighborhood of Kalamazoo. It provides a “paradise” for collectors and newcomers to the vinyl world. Their website is also one of the better, more up-to-date ones. It includes blog entries letting customers know when new releases can be expected, and they’re a top-rated Discog seller.
Phoenix Records & Boutique, South Haven
This quaint little hippie store features fair trade clothing, purses, bags, scarves, soap, lotion, incense, and of course, plenty of music. New and used LPs are stocked at Phoenix Records & Boutique. They also provide an MP3 transfer service if that floats your boat in this coastal South Haven town.
RPM Records, Traverse City
Northern Michigan’s music stores are more rare than Petoskey stones. RPM Records in Traverse City stays plenty busy, given the area’s many festivals and events. The tourist town often brings thousands of visitors each summer. Many of them have added RPM to their list of must-see places in the cherry town. They even host a two-day vinyl record show in partnership with Right Brain Brewery.
What is your favorite record store in Michigan? Tell us in the comments!