Vinyl Records: Crate Digging for Gems on Melrose

Vinyl Records: Crate Digging for Gems on Melrose

Vinyl can be a super hip and affordable gift, but a little tricky to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the terrain. Melrose Ave has an impressive variety of destinations for crate digging. Here are some tips on how to find good gift ideas in and out of the crates and what each of these shops have on offer. Special Note: Used vinyl runs anywhere from $12-$40, with the frequent $1-5 sale bin which provides great options for the more adventurous crate digger. First-press records can get pricey because they are more rare and brand new records fall anywhere from $18-$50 for more popular titles.

Beatology @ The Melrose Trading Post

Located every Sunday from 9-5 at the Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High, Beatology offers an eclectic mix of odd books, cool vintage rock t-shirts/jackets, other vintage clothing, and vinyl. These guys have the classics like Prince, Bowie, M.J., Marley, Clapton, Hendrix, and The Doors. They also have a nice selection of reggae and rap/hip hop. If you are into roots music, this is the spot. Friendly staff, good prices, and good vibes all around.

At the Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, California 90046

FB: Beatology Records

Headline Records

Headline has been the specialty store for punk rock enthusiasts in the Melrose area since 1995. This is a one-stop shop for everything punk rock, thrash, ska, garage, hardcore, rockabilly, psychobilly, etc. They feature a wide selection of independent and imported records specific to the punk rock and ska genres. The place has a cool community vibe, catering to die hard punk enthusiasts with posted fliers promoting local bands. They also have a really nice selection of pins, studs, stickers, patches, spikes, key chains, shirts, and other punk accessories.

7706 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 655-2125

The Record Collector

This old neighborhood classic has a robust selection of jazz, classical, and quite a few first-presses. There is a lot to sift through here, but if you are looking for vintage or rare, you will likely find it. Not the best place to find brand new releases, but ideal for oldies, collectibles and exploration.

7809 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-6653

Revolution Records

Revolution is a small, well-catalogued space with a limited yet well-curated selection of vinyl. For new collectors, this should be the first stop because their choices are thoughtful and you won’t find a bad record here. Their selection is well-rounded with a focus on soul, jazz, classic rock, and some ska/punk. I found some really nice indie cult classics among most genres available. There were great choices for spiritual jazz like rare Sun Ra Arkestra, Ornette Coleman, and Charles Mingus records as well as a handful of Nick Cave. Their $1-$5 bins are located underneath the main record bins and have much to offer. In addition to vinyl, Revolution sells some nice vintage record players, cool t-shirt merch, and memorabilia like well-kept vintage clippings from old magazines.

7305 Melrose Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 424-7205
FB: Revolution Records L.A.

Urban Outfitters

While not offering an extensive selection, Urban is excellent for vinyl gift shopping. There are about 20ish carefully-curated records ranging from Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time to Anderson Pak’s newest release, Oxnard. Pretty much anything you pick here will be recognizable and somehow clever to bring to a gathering. Conveniently, Urban also sells mid-end Crosley brand record players with built-in speakers. They don’t sound hi-fi, but look super hip next to a kitschy lamp.

7650 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 653-3231

About Aaron Leibowitz

Aaron Leibowitz is a SoCal native, professional saxophonist, and touring member of Grammy-nominated electronic group, Zhu. Notable highlights in his career include a gold record for Jason Mraz's We Sing, We Dance, We Steal, Things, a co-write with Zhu and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker on the song “My Life,” and performances with artists Solomon Burke, Dave Matthews, Trombone Shorty, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Aaron has frequented Angelino music venues around the east side and downtown for over 10 years and enjoys writing about his musical experiences.