Those who know me know that I love my records. I love them so much I had to build a specific room (man cave) at my house so that I’d have the space and privacy to listen to them without disturbing the rest of the household. I wouldn’t say I’m a collector, in that I buy them for their monetary value or to increase my indie/hipster cred. I collect records to listen to. Heck that’s what they were designed for right?
Recently I went to Melbourne and couldn’t resist the urge to seek out some of their more renowned record stores and although they have many more stores than can be found in the ‘cultural backwater’ of Brisbane I came away thinking that they weren’t necessarily better than the rare gems we have in my home town.
So I thought I’d list my favourite stores in Brisbane and throw in a few from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts as well. In case you ever venture to Brisbane (or in fact are from this fine town and just want to get your fingers dusty amongst the crates) this brief guide will help you discover the treasures that are available in wax and cardboard.
KTM is owned by my good mate, Paul Voge, (hence why it is at the top of the list). The store is focused on all things punk and hardcore. You’ll find Vinyl, CDs, DVDs, shoes, clothing and more. The store hosts the occasional in-store and I’ve been privileged to see a few here, including one standout show by Brand New. There are no secondhand records here but you’ll find many vinyls that no one else will stock.
Rocking Horse Records – Albert Street Brisbane
Rocking Horse has been around since I can remember. It was one of Brisbane’s originals and it’s still relevant today. It’s only a short walk from Kill the Music but the focus is on more of the independent and alternative scene although you will find all genres here. There is a large range of secondhand stock as well as new arrivals. In Store performances are becoming more and more frequent. Definitely worth a browse if you are in the CBD.
The Record Exchange – Adelaide Street Brisbane
The Exchange has also been around since I was a youngster seeking out my Clash and Neil Young records. The store is so well stocked it is often difficult to move around the store. There is literally so much secondhand vinyl here that you could get lost for days. You’ll also find T-shirts, memorabilia and oddities. If you are looking for those classics that you sold at the flea market when CDs were all the rage they’ll most likely be here.
Egg Records – 79 Vulture Street West End
Egg is one of my favourite stores. Not only do they have a wide range of genres the staff are the nicest people who are more than willing to point you in the right direction to that special rare pressing you’ve been searching for, even if it means sending you out to the back room to new, unpacked stock. Owner, Rick, travels the world to find the best secondhand stock you’ll find. There is a small collection of new records but it’s mainly secondhand. There is also a range of memorabilia and oddities that are like a rock and roll museum. A must see.
Jet Black Cat Music – 72A Vulture Street West End
Right across the street from Egg you’ll find JBCM. This is a quaint store that doesn’t have the floor space of the other stores I’ve listed here but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch. This is all new record stock and if you are an avid listener of all things Triple J then this is most likely your store of choice. They also stock a range of vinyl from local bands which is a bonus. Weekly in stores are a special treat.
Butter Beats – 11/8 Duncan Street Fortitude Valley (in the China Town Mall)
Although Butter Beats is predominantly Hip Hop culture store selling paint and other hip hop paraphernalia don’t be put off as there is a range of secondhand and new vinyl that can rival anything the other stores have to offer. Crates and crates of records are crammed into a rather small floor space and be prepared to spend hour upon hour here flicking through them all. The prices are very reasonable and if you’re buying multiples don;t be afraid to ask for a deal, you’ll often get one.
Tym Guitars – Winn Lane Fortitude Valley
Vintage guitars and amps are the order of the day here but owner, Tim Brennan, sold off his own vinyl collection to realise a long held dream of running a record store. The proceeds of his own collection have been used to build a very impressive record store of all new records. No matter what your taste in music you’ll fond a record here to match. This little store is a Brisbane institution and is internationally renown. If you’re lucky you’ll hit it on s day when a free all ages in store is in full swing!
Brookside Music – Brookside Shopping Centre Osborne Road Mitchelton
This store is in the neighbourhood where I grew up and it’s great to see it’s survived the downturn in music sales. Although predominantly a CD and DVD store there is a small selection of new vinyls available.
Rock Away Records – Carindale Westfield Carindale
This is an impressive combination of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts and memorabilia. The new vinyl prices are very competitive as there is a JB HiFi in the same complex. You’ll find some rare used vinyl here but check the prices as they can be a little on the high side at times.
Treasures 4 You – 20 Old Cleveland Road Stones Corner
Treasures 4 You is technically a second hand store but they have such a large range of second hand vinyl it is worth a mention. A lot of stuff here you could find for $2 at an op shop however there are some nice finds for those who are up for a thorough search. Spend the time here and you will be rewarded and the prices are very reasonable.
OUTSIDE A BRISBANE (but close enough to make an effort)
Beack Beat Records – 80 Howard Street Nambour
Just over an hours drive north of Brisbane, Back Beat is well worth the trek. The stock is all secondhand, covers a myriad of genres and owner, Lee loves a chat about music and rare vinyl. I can’t visit this store and walk away empty handed. If you have the time definitely worth a visit.
Vital Juices – Shop 9 Jetty Arcade Redcliffe
A small store that stocks new vinyl that JB most likely won’t. There is also a small selection of used vinyl.
Atlantis Music – 78 Scarborough St Southport
A huge store with a wide range of used vinyl, CDs, memorabilia and old hifi gear. Worth a look if you’re on the Goldie. Prices are affordable.