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Triple Shot: Not your mainstream music

Three local record stores offer unique selections, good atmosphere

 by Kate Kliner
 published on Thursday, April 14, 2005

Stinkweeds record store offers a relaxed atmosphere, a wide selection of music and a large listening station. /issues/arts/692897
Danielle Peterson / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Stinkweeds record store offers a relaxed atmosphere, a wide selection of music and a large listening station.
 

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If you have an unusual taste in music, then you probably already know how difficult it is to find a place that actually carries the CDs you want.

Hoodlums is the first place ASU students usually go to stock up, but for anyone who is tired of trudging to the MU every time they need a music fix, there are a lot of other local places where you can get quality music at prices that won't put too serious a dent in your paycheck.

This week, SPM tells you about three music stores that will sate your music cravings in a unique atmosphere.

Zia Record Exchange
105 W. University Drive
(480) 829-1967
www.ziarecords.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to midnight daily
Best for: A music shopping experience in between classes

At any given time on any given day, college students mill around and shop at Zia Record Exchange on University Drive, just one of several Valley locations.

The atmosphere is laid back and hip, and hot beats smash through the store from the overhead speakers, encouraging buying CDs on a whim. However, the service is sometimes on the nonexistent side.

Service aside, Zia offers a wide selection of new and used DVDs and posters ranging from classic James Dean and Bob Marley shots to raunchy pin-up girls fit for the dorm rooms of ASU freshmen. The prices are low and a rack of fliers for upcoming shows are available at the front door.

In addition, a dry erase board lists the new albums coming out and current top-selling CDs. Zia also offers a few records and used CDs, and there is even a cozy leather chair and headphones to test out the used albums before purchasing them.

Zia also is a good place to dump any unwanted CDs, since they buy them for in-store credit or cash. But be aware, the more obscure the band, the smaller the amount of money you'll get.

And, you'll be lucky to find anything worth listening to in the used CD section, as it mostly consists of Ricky Martin albums and vintage techno.

Eastside Records
217 W. University Drive
(480) 968-2011
www.eastsiderecordsaz.com
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight
Best for: A more thorough music selection

Eastside Records exemplifies the true definition of a record shop. Although the decor is a bit dingy and the vibe is not as hip as Zia, the selection of music is definitely not lacking.

Rare bands from every genre fill the racks and LPs line the walls.

The shop carries a little bit of everything, catering to a variety of customers. The eclectic shop also carries everything from T-shirts and DJ turntables to art and paintings. A rack of magazines and vintage comic books also adorn the front door.

The store is usually not very crowded, and shopping here is an intimate experience, as there are often just one or two clerks on duty. However, they are very well informed and passionate about music, and are quick to help out.

The prices are a little higher than some of the other shops in the area, but the selection is wide and you'll be able to find anything you're looking for here.

Stinkweeds
1250 E. Apache Blvd.
(480) 968-9490
www.stinkweeds.com
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Best for: A more laid-back shopping experience

Nestled between the Bartending Academy and Pita Jungle, Stinkweeds caters to college students and has a good selection of tunes.

A few humorous T-shirts spatter the walls and there is a large rack of music magazines. The overhead music is much more soothing than at the other stores, usually played at the perfect background volume.

The laid-back atmosphere persuades customers to stay a while and wind their way around the racks to check it all out. It's refreshing to be able to shop in peace, but some of the customers are a bit overtly showy in their musical knowledge.

An unusually large section of local Arizona talent, including up-and-coming bands and hip-hop groups, spans the back end of the store.

There is a large listening station for all of the new releases, although they don't sell any used CDs. Prices range from around $2 dollars up to $20. Everything is labeled alphabetically instead of by genre, which makes it easy to find artists by the searching for the name.

Reach the reporter at kate.kliner@asu.edu.



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