Vinyl has been back for a while now, and there’s no shortage of retailers in San Antonio offering to put the latest hot releases in your hands — or to let you scour their crates looking for obscurities, rarities and highly collectable nuggets. Here’s a listing of places where you can bulk up your vinyl collection or even start a new one: first, the shops with broad appeal, then smaller stores that cater to specific genres.
Known for its extensive metal and punk collection, Hogwild has been a go-to spot for many San Antonians looking for new releases and rare vinyl. A wide selection of t-shirts, stickers and patches also allows fans to proclaim their fan allegiances. Little known fact: owner Dave Risher started Hogwild as a stall at a local flea market. 1824 N Main Ave, (210) 733-5354.
Friends of Sound
What punk and metal are to Hogwild, hip-hop is to Friends of Sound. Located on a quaint corner in the redeveloping Beacon Hill neighborhood, Friends of Sound boasts an incredible collection of rap in all its different varieties, not to mention samplings from any genre you can imagine. Added bonus: the shop also carries a decent amount of Chicano soul. 700 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 971-8044.
With four locations across San Antonio, it’s not hard to track down a CD Exchange. The outlets offer new music in addition to serving as a high-turnover swap spot for vinyl, tapes and DVDs as well as the advertised CDs. Expect a selection spanning multiple genres, and keep checking in because the stock changes quickly. Multiple locations, cdexchange-sa.com.
If Friends of Sound’s got us covered for hip-hop and Hogwild has the metal, then Southtown Vinyl is the Alamo City’s dance music and electronica outpost. As the name suggests, the shop is located in the artsy Southtown district. Expect an extensive collection of dance singles ready for any club DJ or home enthusiast. 1010 S. Flores St., Suite120, (210) 231-0512, southtown-vinyl.myshopify.com.
San Antonio’s newest record store, Crazy Rhythms is a used vinyl haven nestled into an unassuming business park just north of Brackenridge Park. From rare sealed Madonna releases to black metal demos and used hip-hop CDs, the twin brothers and longtime collectors who run this small shop probably have something you just can’t live without. 3617 Broadway St., Suite 402, (210) 998-2700.
Although primarily known as a musical instrument shop, a vinyl bonanza is lies in wait among Robot Monster’s banjos, electric guitars, basses and array of weird pop-culture collectibles. Punk, metal, new wave and other stripes of underground rock are the specialty here. Much in the store’s collection is rare and collectible, so don’t freak at the big numbers on some price tags. 517 E. Woodlawn Ave., (210) 320-1710.
Janie’s Record Shop
This West Side fixture was opened in 1985 by Juanita Gonzales, aka Janie, and remains a hub for Tejano, conjunto and Norteño music. If you’re looking to explore Tex-Mex tunes, this is a great place to start. Don’t be surprised to find some pop classics mixed in as well. 1012 Bandera Road, (210) 735-2070, janiesrecordshop.com.
Flip Side Records
Catering to San Antonio’s South Side, Flip Side Records was run by the Clarisa Peña until hear death in January. The store, open since 1972, survived the digital music revolution and has stayed open thanks to an eclectic array of rock releases, T-shirts and music paraphernalia. 840 SW Military Dr., (210) 923-7811.
Imagine Books & Records
Part bookstore, record shop and indie music venue, Imagine Books & Records serves Northwest San Antonio but makes a worthy trip for music fans who reside outside the suburbs. Its welcoming environment and willingness to book new talent has made it a prime spot for discovering up-and-coming San Antonio musicians. 8373 Culebra Road, Suite 107, (210) 239-7380, imaginebookstexas.com.