Best of Boston

BEST Music

2014 BEST Music
Photograph by Jesse Burke

Cheapo Records

Cambridge

Some used-record stores are disorganized warehouses, while others have sparse offerings to match their small spaces. This circa-1954 Central Square icon manages its wide catalog well, making it easy to hunt down the original gatefold edition of Led Zeppelin III… read more »

2013 BEST Music
Photo by Jesse Burke

Somerville Grooves

Somerville

For music nerds, the neighborhood record store used to be a home away from home, and its disappearance in recent years has left us distraught. So it was with sweet relief that we welcomed Somerville Grooves to the scene two… read more »

2012 BEST Music, Used

In Your Ear

Boston

Thirty years is a long time in the music business, particularly when you’re still vending vinyl in the age of iTunes. But with hundreds of thousands of records, CDs, and eight-tracks stacked in a subterranean space, In Your Ear’s Boston… read more »

2011 BEST Music, New

Newbury Comics

Boston

The Newbury Street flagship of this legendary local chain is stocking less music (and more knickknacks and novelty books) these days, and the fact that it constantly repositions its racks can make for a genuine hunting expedition. Yet it still… read more »

2011 BEST Music, Used

Looney Tunes

Boston

This beloved store serves bargain hunters and obsessive collectors alike. What would be a rare find elsewhere is commonplace at Looney Tunes, especially when it comes to the jazz, soul, and classical vinyl offerings. And if you want vintage punk… read more »

2011 BEST Music, New Arist

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

With an unadulterated sound and a timeless, gamine look, Aly Spaltro, a.k.a. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, upstages every testosterone-fueled act in Boston. Her voice is light yet certain, as are her banjo and guitar stylings, which will sound even better… read more »

2008 BEST Music, Specialty
2008-specialtymusic1

Twisted Village

Cambridge

Largely, and proudly, devoid of the latest by Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, and their mainstream compatriots, this Harvard Square basement shop is ideal for seekers of Japanese guitar noise, old Dick Dale surf tunes, and free-jazz and psychedelia. Most important,… read more »

2007 BEST Music, Specialty

In Your Ear

Boston

An old-school record store that drowns out the download age by cultivating loyal customers and an understated cool you can’t buy on iTunes, In Your Ear caps one of the city’s best vinyl collections with a superior trove of classical… read more »

2006 BEST Music, New

Newbury Comics

Boston

For all its diversification into DVDs, action figures, and Napoleon Dynamite doodads, Newbury Comics maintains an unparalleled selection of obscure art rock, under-the-radar hip-hop, and hard-to-find imports. And, as an unflagging booster of the local music scene, it always gives… read more »

2006 BEST Music, Used

Cheapo Records

Cambridge

In a world choking on Black Eyed Peas, this cluttered basement shop is a refuge for the lonely few who still cling to the classics. The R&B, soul, and blues vinyl selection is simply astounding, and the music-obsessed staffers are… read more »