Seattle may have been the epicenter of the grunge movement in the 1990s, but the Emerald City is still home to a vibrant, thriving list of contemporary musicians. From the indie folk sounds of Fleet Foxes and The Head and The Heart to the intricate beats and hard-hitting lyricism of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Seattle remains a major music hub for aspiring and established artists alike.
Its many record shops, music stores and cold-brew coffee joints make the city one of the premier destination points in the U.S., and there will be no shortage of outlets for those looking to take advantage of Small Business Saturday this year. Whether a local looking for a new spot or a nomad just stopping by, check out Seattle's five best music shops below and treat yourself to a new find next Saturday.
Sonic Boom Records
2209 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
One of three locations around the city, Sonic Boom Records' Ballard neighborhood spot has housed in-stores from many of the biggest folk and rock bands in the scene. Since opening in 1997, the shop has seen the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, M.I.A. and Andrew WK all perform. Its weekly Top 20 bin is a staple at each store and features tons of vinyl and cassette options.
Easy Street Records
4559 California Ave.
Seattle, WA 98116
Named one of best record stores in the U.S. by Rolling Stone in 2010, Easy Street Records is a must-visit when visiting Seattle. The shop has seen both local and national acts perform since opening in 1988 and is perhaps best known for its external wall murals, which are designed by local artists and updated frequently with iconic album covers and other music-inspired works.
321 Broadway E.
Seattle, WA 98102
Music is just one of several selling points for Spin Cycle, who also buy, trade and sell video games. Priding itself on its "mad cheap cassette tapes and tons and tons of DVDs," Spin Cycle is a little nook of paradise for even the most hardened vintage hunter. New and used vinyl and LPs line the small shop while live music, album release parties and other occasional fun are littered throughout the upcoming calendar.
Bop Street Records
2220 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
One of Seattle's oldest record shops, Bop Street Records boasts nearly a half-million titles in just about any music genre imaginable. Vinyls, CDs, 45s and 78s line the massive walls along the NW Market St. storefront, while visitors are greeted by "Bop Girl" before entering. Its reputable eBay store has shipped items across the globe. There visitors will likely run into founder Dave Voorhees, whose love for selling music dates back to his parents' North Seattle home in 1974.
Wall of Sound
1205 E Pike St. #1C
Seattle, WA 98122
For those with an itch for avant-garde or Japanese noise, Wall of Sound has just about every genre of music covered. The modern store sells vinyl and CDs and also hosts in-store performances. They specialize in carrying music "for the discriminating listener." Whether visiting the storefront or online, Wall of Sound has an intricate list of music goodies.