Celebrating Southern California’s records stores.

The Charming Record Stores of Southern California

The Charming Record Stores of Southern California

Behold
The Photo Blog
Feb. 4 2016 12:02 PM

The Charming Record Stores of Southern California

PooBahRecords
Poo Bah Records.

Mike Spitz

For lovers of brick-and-mortar music stores, the businesses in Mike Spitz and Rebecca Villaneda’s book, The Record Store Book: Fifty Legendary and Iconic Places to Discover New and Used Vinyl, which Rare Bird Books published in April, will feel like home.

Spitz grew up going to music stores in Cincinnati and started collecting records as a teenager. He started photographing stores in his new home, Southern California, to pay tribute to the kind of places that have served as refuges throughout his life. 

“For me, going to record stores is a meditative, calming experience and serves as a form of solitude or a winding down purpose, an escape from the daily chaos, as well as a place to gather and connect with others,” Spitz said via email.

RecordParlour
Record Parlour.

Mike Spitz

PennyLaneRecords
Penny Lane Records.

Mike Spitz

GlasshouseRecords
Glasshouse Records.

Mike Spitz

AmericanPieRecords
American Pie Records.

Mike Spitz

GimmeGimmeRecords1
Gimme Gimme Records.

Mike Spitz

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In 50 stores throughout Southern California—including the oldest, Canterbury Records, which opened in 1956, and one of the newest, Record Parlour, which opened in 2013—Spitz’s photos showcase the people and products that give each their distinct personality. He shot exclusively with film, an aesthetic that mirrored the sonic quality of analog music.

“Film is less perfect, has more grain, is grittier as are records that pop and have surface noise. Much of what I was capturing was the nostalgia, the records, the tapes, the memorabilia, and how record stores are connected to the past, the tangibility of music, so using film stock was the only way to go,” Spitz said. 

Rebecca Villaneda interviewed all the store owners featured in the book. While many of the veteran shopkeepers saw business decline as music went digital, she said they were all enjoying the renewed interest in vinyl and the boost in sales that accompanied it. These days, owners told Villaneda, it’s not uncommon to see three generations of a family shopping for records all at once.

“I think that is so special,” Villaneda said. “Parents are coming in with their kids and digging together.” 

RockawayRecords
Rockaway Records.

Mike Spitz

VacationRecords
Vacation Records.

Mike Spitz

record1
Left: TKO Records. Right: Jacknife Records.

Mike Spitz

GimmeGimmeRecords
Gimme Gimme Records.

Mike Spitz

Jordan G. Teicher is the associate editor of Slates Behold blog. Follow him on Twitter.