Underneathica's Guide to Atlanta Record Stores, part 4
I can't conclude this series without mentioning my favorite haunt, Eat More Records, though it is a bit of a drive from Atlanta. Countless musicians, gypsies, tramps and thieves have made the trek from Atlanta to Athens, and Eat More Records is midway along that route. If you are traveling north from Atlanta on I-85, and you bear right onto Highway 316 (to go east toward Athens), take the first exit (Sugarloaf Parkway) and turn right. You will pass a Publix shopping center, and then another Publix shopping center (both on the right). Eat More Records is adjacent to the second Publix (in a strippe mall called the Village Shoppes).
Eat More first opened in Norcross in 1979, and they moved to Lawrenceville about three years ago. They sell new and used CD's and movies, but the glory of the store is its wealth of 12", 10", and 7" vinyl. Craig (the owner) loves Dylan and the blues; Cliff is the expert on power pop and synth-pop; and Jeremy is the go-to guy for all things REM-related. 3370 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite G-3, Lawrenceville (678-442-9530). Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am to 8pm; Fri-Sat 11am to 9pm; Sundays 12noon to 7pm.
While you're in the area, there are a couple more places to find good music. From Eat More Records, head back toward 316 on Sugarloaf Parkway, but turn left onto Lawrenceville Highway 29. Go about 7 miles south, and you will see Book Nook II on your left. This is a spin-off of the Book Nook in Atlanta, and I think there's more vinyl here than at the Atlanta location (plus CD's, books, movies and comics). 4664 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn (770-564-9462). Hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm, Sundays 12noon to 8pm.
From Book Nook, continue southwest on Lawrenceville Highway to the first light, and turn left on Indian Trail Road. Go a little over a mile, and on your left (just past the Burns Road intersection) is another goddam strip mall. There you will find Audio Alternative, a retailer of high-end audio equipment with a modest but intriguing selection of vinyl and SA-CD's. Try not to drool on the vacuum tube amplifiers. 895 Indian Trail Road, Suite 15, Lilburn (770-931-0606). Hours: Tues-Fri 11am to 7pm, Saturdays 10am to 6pm.
Longtime WREK DJ Jon Kincaid recently reminisced about Atlanta record stores that have closed their doors in his "Personality Crisis" blog. He mentioned Rowan's in Marietta as a good place where you can still buy records. There is also a Book Nook in Marietta. I haven't been to either of these stores.
The growth of online CD sales, as well as legal and illegal download sites, has contributed to the decline of the independent music retailer. Atlanta has its own online CD store, Joe Rockhead. I'm not saying Joe Rockhead is causing record stores to close. It's a great site for independent music that features a lot of Athens and Atlanta bands, plus some of the hard to find titles from (Joe Rockhead owner) Steve Pilon's label, Long Play Records. If you're going to shop online, you can still buy from an independent local retailer. Thanks for shopping Atlanta's record stores with me. Now go buy some music!
Labels: ATL record stores
Underneathica's Guide to Atlanta Record Stores, part 3
Atlanta has an interstate called I-285 that circles its perimeter (wouldn't that make it an intrastate?) If we look at I-285 as the face of a clock, today we're covering the area between twelve and two o'clock.
Fantasyland Records has been open in Buckhead (Atlanta's uptown shopping district) for almost thirty years. They stock new and used CD's and vinyl, plus cassettes and VHS tapes, old rock posters and t-shirts, music mags and porn. Randy Johnson (the Big Unit) has been spotted buying records here. 2839 Peachtree Road (404-237-3193). Hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 7pm.
When I planned this article, you could go from Fantasyland to Tower Records by traveling north from Peachtree to Roswell Road, and Town Cryer Records was about a mile north of that. But Town Cryer closed this year, and Tower is on its way out. Instead, drive north on Peachtree Road from Fantasyland, bear right at the "Buckhead split" and go past Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza. Peachtree Road eventually becomes Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. When you are within spitting distance of I-285, turn left on New Peachtree Road (at the CVS on your left). Low Yo Yo Stuff is just past Brown & Brown's junkyard on the left.
Low Yo Yo Stuff's owner, Todd Ploharski, moved his store from Athens to Atlanta last year. He bought another record store here, brought in his inventory from Athens, and he's been trying to sort it all out ever since. He's got twice the space that he had in Athens, and he's trying to get even more space from another tenant in the building who is being slow to move out. Low Yo Yo Stuff has an incredible selection of CD's and vinyl, but it's so disorganized that it's best to either give yourself lots of time to browse, or call ahead to ask Todd if he can put his hands on something specific that you're looking for. I've tried e-mailing him with a want list, but he seems to be computer-phobic. 3854 North Peachtree Road. 706-207-7014 (cell) Hours: 12noon to 6pm, Fridays and Saturdays.
From Low Yo Yo Stuff, get back on Peachtree Industrial heading north, and take I-285 West past I-85 to the Chamblee-Tucker Road exit. You will find Circle Sky Records in the Embry Village Shopping Center (facing the Goodyear store). Circle Sky opened four years ago, and they carry new and used CD's, plus a healthy selection of new and used 12" and 7" vinyl. They have some music DVD's; VHS, cassettes, and 8-tracks; magazines, t-shirts, and other memorabilia. If you are a fan of the music on labels like Sundazed, Norton, and Bomp, you will find a lot to like at Circle Sky. 3633-E Chamblee Tucker Road (770-491-2100). Hours: 11am to 7pm Mon-Sat, 12noon to 6pm Sundays. In our next (and final) installment, we'll venture into the suburbs!
Labels: ATL record stores