New Orleans’ record stores aren’t quite like record stores you’d find anywhere else in the world. They’re quirky, they’re specialized but mostly what sets them apart is, they’re filled with local music and New Orleans’ music isn’t quite like music you find anywhere else in the world.
We’ve got over a dozen shops in town, so here’s the first half of the record store deep dive. Consider this the “downtown” half.
Louisiana Music Factory is on Frenchmen Street, the stretch with the biggest density of live music venues, so they’ve planted themselves right where the music is. The Music Factory, arguably, has the largest selection of Greater Louisiana local bands and genres; If you’re looking for Zydeco or Cajun music to take home, this is the place to get it.
They also sell local artwork, Jazz Fest memorabilia, replacement guitar strings, useful and exciting odds and ends, they’ve got occasional in store performances, jazz, blues and rock albums and a famous feline resident named Snooks.
Euclid Records is in the Bywater neighborhood, which is a bit of a hike from the touristy areas of town, but well worth it. They’re a great independent record shop with new and used records and CDs. Among other highlights, they’ve got the ultimate indie rock stamp of approval because Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco, used to work there, so who knows who you might run into while picking up some vinyl!
The two record stores centrally located in the French Quarter are Silver Lotus Records and Man Ray Records and, yes, their location is their main selling point but Silver Lotus also has some incredibly beautiful Indonesian carvings lining the walls, as the husband and wife who run it travel there often. Man Ray is on the third floor of Beckham’s Books and has a hilariously terrible review on Yelp because of a man who went into the bookstore on the main floor and never made it into the actual record shop. They are, indeed, a record shop with a very solid selection, if you’re up for conquering two flights of stairs.
Domino Sound is in Bayou St John, which is north of the French Quarter and by the beautiful body of water that it’s named after. It’s a chill shop with occasional live DJ sets, beautiful old postcards and books and a specialization in reggae and world music.
Each one of these shops is surrounded by great restaurants and pretty views, so, think of your record search as part of a larger treasure hunt adventure!