“Philly is a great music town, that’s no secret. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also a great place to build a record collection.
“‘This city has some great record stores,’ says Bruce Warren, program director at WXPN (and former Inquirer music writer). ‘Repo Records, the Philadelphia Record Exchange, Brewerytown Beats … all these places have one thing in common: really passionate people that work there.”
“Here are some of the region’s most notable shops, well worth a visit on Record Store Day, or just whenever. Because really, can’t any day be Record Store Day if you, you know, visit a record store?”
On a recent trip to Digital Underground — the wildly eclectic Queen Village shop — one young browser ambling through the racks of recent reissues by bands like Sacred Reich, Mercyful Fate, and the industrial metal dance band Combichrist, commented that their distaste for mainstream music was so profound that, if stuck in traffic without an aux cord or Bluetooth hookup, they’d never even bother to turn on the FM radio, preferring instead to “sit in silence and vibe.” Digital Underground caters to such listeners, with its deep trenches of metal and electro, as well as used novelty records (I spied multiple copies of a 1970 promotional tie-in record for the sitcom All in the Family) and Japanese imports of old PlayStation game sound tracks, for which there is, apparently, a market.
Record Store Day: As a specialty shop, Digital Underground plans to go “all-out” for Record Store Day.
HBO’s recent hit whodunit Mare of Easttown generated plenty of hype for its regional accents, and its abundance of Yuengling bottles and plentiful hoagie-based supper scenes. Less remarked upon was the Repo Records shirt sported by one of Easttown’s millions of wayward, bleary-eyed teens. Celebrating 35 years on South Street, Repo is the rare record store that warrants its own merch (which it also sells). In addition to Repo Records T-shirts and stickers, the store also boasts an impressive collection of new and used vinyl, slanting toward classic rock. You’ll also find plenty of band shirts, posters, pins, and patches. Basically, if you were to wake up one day and decide, “I want to get into rock music,” you could be totally kitted out at Repo. A dream for music fans, or costume designers desperate to nail those lived-in, hyper-local sartorial details..
Record Store Day: RSD is a big deal at Repo. The store is already hyping up some of the exclusive “drops” — from a Joni Mitchell archival release to the Life Aquatic soundtrack — on its website and Insta.