For music lovers, independent record stores are a coveted, dying breed. Not only are they locally owned, but good, old fashioned stores are also quick to hire knowledgeable locals with a passion for the industry. These shops are a haven for people to connect with fellow music lovers, discover new artists and listen to local bands they may have otherwise never found. Denver has a flourishing local music scene with several independent record stores to choose from. Here are a few of the best.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Twist & Shout offers a comprehensive music experience to any music lover. The store frequently hosts in-store appearances by local artists and is a great place to find limited edition and rare releases. Twist & Shout recently completed an expansion to house all of the music in the store. With an extensive vinyl collection in addition to CDs and DVDs, this store is the perfect place to go to get lost in the music for an afternoon. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about music and will help you find whatever you are looking for.
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Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri to Sat – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This landmark store has been part of the Denver music scene since 1974. Staffed by friendly and helpful employees who will not follow you around the store trying to push you to buy, Wax Trax is a fun place to browse for and buy music. The selection is vast, and if the store doesn’t have something in stock the staff will offer to order it for you. Wax Trax also sells used items, so if you want good music for a decent price, this is the place to go. In addition, you can special order albums directly from the website.
Hours: Daily – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Second Spin sells a wide breadth of new and used CDs. From pop music to more obscure sounds, Second Spin has what you are looking for. Since a lot of what they sell are used CDs, the prices are low. The staff is polite and helpful and willing to help you find what you are looking for. With a huge selection of music, Second Spin is a place for people who are into any and every type of music you can think of. Come browse the 12,000 square foot store if you are looking for something that you are finding it impossible to find elsewhere.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – Noon to 6 p.m.
For over 30 years, Albums on the Hill has been selling music to Boulder residents and visitors. This store specializes in vinyl and also sells CDs and music memorabilia. Located near the University of Colorado, Albums on the Hill is the place to go for your music needs. The store features in store artist appearances and album release parties. Albums on the Hill also has a good selection of limited releases and rare music finds. In addition, the box office for the Fox Theater is in the same building, so you can pick up tickets to a show with your music purchase.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Black & Read sells used books, music and movies and is a great place to go to buy and sell music. One of Denver’s favorite indie stores, Black & Read specializes in used vinyl re-releases and underground and indie CDs. Customers can browse the music catalog online and have their order shipped to their home, or they can go into the store and browse the extensive selection. If you’re into vinyl, check this place out; it probably has something for you.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.