New York is one of the world’s leading cities for commerce, music and fashion. So it should come as no surprise that the famous metropolis is home for many of the world’s most lavish shopping sprees, especially around the holidays. Anyone looking to do some holiday shopping can and should look beyond the enticing window setups on Madison Ave., as any real New York music lover will be the first to tell you that an underground thrift store has just as many great finds as Saks Fifth Avenue.
So as Small Business Saturday quickly approaches, here’s an AXS approved list of five great stores that any music lover should visit to kick off their holiday shopping season.
64 N 9th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Since arriving in the steadily gentrifying Williamsburg area of Brooklyn back in 2013, Rough Trade has become one of the city’s premier record stores and music venues. In addition to holding over thousands of CDs, vinyl, cassettes, books, zines and merchandise, the warehouse-styled store also has its own Sonos-branded listening room and mini cafe. It may not be New York's most indie record store, but it’s definitely one of the best.
Land of Buddha
128 Macdougal St.
New York, NY 10012
Land of Budda, which is located in the heart of the city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, may not be a music store, but it’s a must-visit shopping destination for anyone into psychedelic style and gifts. Its MacDougal St. location is right in the heart of where New York’s folk explosion took place in the 1960s. Beatniks and proto-hippies would gather in Washington Sq. Park (just a few blocks away) to perform and enjoy music in the early years of the counterculture movement, and the neighborhood hasn’t lost any of its loose-living vibes. Indian scarves, jewelry, Middle-Eastern CDs, incense and home decor all shine in this hidden gem, where any Tame Impala, Grateful Dead or latter-years Beatles fan should definitely visit.
72 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002
The Cast is a shopping haven for any punk fan with its great selection of leather, vintage t-shirts, bandanas and denim found within its walls. Located in the Lower East Side just a few blocks away from where former punk venues like CBGB and Lismar Lounge held court, The Cast is just one of those spots where local rockers go to expand their wardrobe with legitimate looks. Oh yeah, they also sell a handful of fantastic classic rock albums from some of the city’s best bands over the years.
84 E 10th St.
New York, NY 10003
The Turntable Lab in the city’s East Village is the spot for anyone who considers themselves a true DJ. The store offers a wide selection (both on-site and online) of turntable packages, in addition to audio accessories that any live DJ or home listener can appreciate as a gift this holiday season. The Turntable Lab also sells plenty of headphones, albums and apparel, which always make for great surprise stocking stuffers.
Music Inn World Instruments
169 West 4th St.
New York, NY 10014
New York City has plenty of stores which sell traditional western world musical instruments like guitars, pianos, woodwinds, horns and drumsets. If you’re looking for instruments from more culturally-rich areas of the world, the West Village’s Music Inn World Instruments is your go-to spot. In addition to its already picturesque shopping location, its a perfect spot to buy new a sitar. Drummers can also pick from their impressive selection of percussion instruments. The store also offers Indian music lessons, meaning you could be the next George Harrison!