The best Record stores in Southern California


Staff writer

Before the rise of the digital age, where you can now download any song in an instant, people used to rely on local music or record stores to purchase their favorite albums or one-tracks. Unfortunately, throughout the past decade, with the rise of cellphones and internet, a large quantity of record stores have shut down or gone out of business. Beloved stores such as Licorice Pizza, Morning Glory and recently FYE have all been driven to ultimate closure in the Santa Barbara community, leaving many customers disappointed. Although it is easy to acquire any CD or vinyl through online shipping, even digital sources such as Spotify, iTunes, or Soundcloud, many people still take pleasure in hunting down their favorite albums but are unable to.

I think it is really upsetting,” said senior Alex Pitchford. “All these stores are closing and we have seen this before with bookstores as more and more people move into the digital age. The digital fad lacks the sentiment.”

To those in Santa Barbara who still uphold an interest in browsing through vinyls and CD’s, there is however still hope. This is a list of the best locations to purchase hard copy music in Santa Barbara county

Just Play Music- Located on State Street, Just Play Music offers one of the best (and largest) selections of hard copy music for purchase in Santa Barbara. Ranging from LPs to Vinyls to CDs, this store offers essentially anything a music goer could desire. Although the store is known for selling music from the past few decades, there is also a nice modern selection for millennial listeners. The store has been around for well over a couple decades, and the Santa Barbara community has found it as the core location to purchase cultural rock and roll classics.

Warbler Records- Located only a street away from Just Play Music, Warbler Records is the perfect location if you are looking to purchase old vinyls. Although the selection inside the store is smaller than most, it hosts a great selection of alternative records and artists from the 50’s-70’s. Although most of the vinyls are in “used” condition, they are priced rather cheap and still remain in great condition. This store also has an amazing staff who seem to possess an abundance of music related knowledge, and are always willing to help aid your record hunt.

Salzer’s- Despite being slightly outside of Santa Barbara, Salzer’s is located when entering into Ventura county. The store is composed of two separate buildings, one containing music while the other movies. The store has a great selection of CDs from all decades, and is rather up to date with selling newly released albums and pop artists. The store is very organized and finding what you want will take no longer than ten minutes, which makes it a perfect location to stop for a quick purchase.

Amoeba Music- Last on this list is Amoeba Music. Though it takes about a two hour drive to locate the store on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, it is well worth it. Amoeba is not only the world’s largest independent record store, but also the longest lasting on the West Coast, followed by its two sister stores located in San Francisco and Berkeley. From a music lover’s perspective, Amoeba Music is practically heaven. The store on Sunset Boulevard is a two story location, complete with a warehouse sized selection of practically any artist, genre, or album you could dream of. Aside from this, Amoeba also holds live monthly performances, some of which in the past have been by artists such as Lana Del Rey, Mac Demarco, and Father John Misty.

Although many have turned to digital music or online shipping to obtain their favorite albums, there are some still left in the world who still take interest in visiting music stores. Whether you are searching for a particular CD, vinyl, LP, or just browsing through different genres and artists, these locations are the best remaining music stores to visit for any music lover.



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