What’s spinning in Buffalo
A guide to record stores in the Buffalo area
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
When you’re looking for some new grooves to throw into iTunes, or for the more sophisticated listener, a vinyl record player, you may be tempted to scour the Internet for a cheap download. However, there is a way to procure the sound waves you need without downloading .wav files. What if there was someone out there with an astounding knowledge of music that catered to your every request? Well, when you’re in Buffalo, you can find these music gurus at every local record store. You might even be the type that’s entertained by vinyl browsing, or maybe you’re looking to add some décor to your new apartment or dorm; either way, record stores are a great place to discover music.
Here are a few stores in Buffalo that may have what you’re looking for:
3500 Main St. Amherst, NY 14226 - University Plaza - (716) 837-2090
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
If you’re low on transportation resources, Record Theatre is the easiest way to grab some new tunes with its convenient location in University Plaza, right across the street from South Campus. This store has pride in its diverse stock of CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records, so if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, this might be a great place to start. While offering a wide selection of used LPs and 45’s, Record Theatre also carries a large stock of new vinyl, which may appease the audiophiles who grow frustrated from blips and pops. While these records typically cost $20-40, sound quality is not something that comes cheap in the audio world, and many may prefer to buy new.
The store’s biggest selling genres are pop/rock and classic soul, which are the majority of Record Theatre’s stock, however, just about any genre can be found or special ordered with a deposit of $5-$10. This store also buys and trades used CDs and records, and they are very strict on the condition of the product.
Spiral Scratch Records
291 Bryant St. Buffalo NY – (716) 882-3200
Monday - Saturday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Punk rockers will rejoice at the extensive indie/punk rock/post-rock collection at Spiral Scratch Records. Located in the Elmwood area, this store has an underground vibe that can be seen from the local band Brown Sugar’s equipment, which is currently being stored in the basement. Browsing around the vinyl, one might find a few hidden gems in this rock and roll paradise. Spiral Scratch has a rare/collectable vinyl section that includes a rare Jimi Hendrix take featuring Jim Morrison and a Beatles record imported from Japan, among many others.
This store purchases from local record distributors, which makes Spiral Scratch a great way to buy local. They also buy and sell used vinyl and carry magazines and books. The price is another plus, with most records in the $5-15 range.
Spiral Scratch also hosts shows in the basement, which may make it the coolest place to buy records in the city. Bands that have made their way through include Utah Jazz, Area Denial, and May Day.
Doris Records Inc.
286 E Ferry St. Buffalo, NY - (716) 883-2410
Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 10:00pm
Hip-hop, R&B, jazz, soul, reggae, and funk legends all shine bright in Doris Records. While catering primarily to CD sales with few vinyl records, this store also has an extensive clothing and purse selection to provide some swagger along with a newly purchased album. Pictures hang on the store’s wall of the owner, Mac, posing with legends such as Prince, Ice Cube, and Rick James, showing a little glimpse of history behind the store.
Doris Records is based on its highly acclaimed customer service, and albums can be special ordered to arrive within 24 hours. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they will soon enough.
On top of providing a great environment and a wide collection of albums, Doris Records also sells tickets to shows at venues in Buffalo such as Town Ballroom, The Tralf, The Nugget, Shea’s, and even venues in Rochester. Doris Records is incredibly close to South Campus, placing its location right by Canisius College.
M&B Record Exchange
207 Delaware St. Tonawanda, NY 14150 - (716) 873-6030
Monday – Saturday 11:15am – 6:30pm
Bob Baran is not just a record storeowner – he’s a curator of musical merchandise that goes back to the 1950s. The vinyl M&B carries is an endless collection of ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s that includes The Who, The Beatles, David Bowie, ELO, Led Zeppelin, YES, Elvis Presley, Supertramp, ZZ Top, and much more. Stepping into the store is like walking through a door in time where one can take a peek at the February 1970 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, or browse press kits from ’80s tours of Bob Segar or Sly and the Family Stone. The store is mostly well organized but receives new merchandise frequently. Baran is always happy to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for and reeks of a man who simply appreciates music.