Underneathica's Guide to Atlanta Record Stores, part 2Today, our record hunt takes us to Little Five Points, which has been Atlanta's version of Greenwich Village for the last few decades. Travelling west on Ponce de Leon Avenue from Decatur (where our tour ended last time), turn left on Moreland Avenue and go half a mile south. Criminal Records is on your right. Criminal opened 15 years ago as one of the first post-vinyl independent music retailers in Atlanta. There is a decent selection of audiophile and local vinyl, but no crates of dusty old LP's. The store specializes in new and used CD's, plus music and lifestyle magazines, books, DVD's, comics and collectibles. The staff (which includes Tessa) is friendly, which more than compensates for the occasional lapse (I found Thin Lizzy filed under L). Frequent instore performances, and a website that puts other Atlanta online stores to shame. 466 Moreland Avenue (404-215-9511). Hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 10pm, Sundays 12noon to 7pm.
From Criminal, it's just a block south to Wax'n'Facts, opened in 1976 by Danny Beard. Danny is also the founder of DB Recs and its sister label, Press Records. Wax'n'Facts has an exhaustive selection of new and used CD's, vinyl, and cassettes. You need to give yourself a couple hours here. 432 Moreland Avenue (404-525-2275). Hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 8pm, Sundays 12noon to 6pm.
While you're in Little 5 Points, you can visit two of Atlanta's remaining independent bookstores, A Cappella Books(where Richard Buckner once worked) and Charis Books. And you can listen to WRAS (88.5FM), WRFG (89.3FM), or WREK (91.1FM).
At the next light south of Wax'n'Facts, turn left onto McLendon Avenue, and go about a mile. Just past Candler Park, look for a row of shops on the right. Full Moon Records has a small selection of new and used CD's, which is dwarfed by the surprising range of their vinyl collection. There's a nook upstairs with used LP's for $1 each. 1653 McLendon Avenue (404-377-1919). Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 12noon to 8pm, and Sundays from 12noon to 6pm.
Ready for more? Find your way back to Ponce and go west to Midtown. Cross Peachtree Street and you'll spot the fabulous Fox Theater, where Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded their double live album. Ponce dead ends on Spring Street at the backside of the Varsity (largest fast food restaurant in the world!) Here once stood the 688 Club, where Richard Hell and the Voidoids recorded their live album. Turn left on Spring Street and go south a few blocks. Earwax Records is on your left. Catering primarily to hip-hop fans, Earwax also carries rock CD's, DVD's and rare vinyl. Their inventory and their busy schedule of instore appearances are detailed on their website. 565 Spring Street (404-875-5600). Hours: Mon-Sat 12noon to 8pm.
If you continue south on Spring Street, crossing under the interstates (75/85 and I-20), turning right on Fulton Street and left on Metropolitan Parkway, your next right is Shelton Avenue. You're in the historic West End neighborhood, the home of Joel Chandler Harris and Stickfigure Distribution. Stickfigure is a record label, a show promoter, and a distributor of music, books, films and magazines. The website says that their store is open "most Saturdays" from noon to 6pm. 712 Shelton Avenue SW (404-752-7399). In our next installment, we hit the north! Stay tuned.
Labels: ATL record stores