We recently visited the best record shops in Little Five Points, Atlanta, Georgia!
Little Five Points is Atlanta's hippest neighborhood. Locals and tourists alike need not look further for all the essentials of a trendy downtown area: vintage clothing, one-of-a-kind curios, skate shops, new-age boutiques, smoke shops as well as great cuisine running the gambit from Indian to Ethiopian to Vegan/Natural to burgers and beer.
Among Five Points’ most valued establishments are their record stores. All independently owned, boasting titles both new and old, we recently visited to see what they have to offer.
Opened in 1976, Wax N Facts offers a selection of mostly used records with a well-curated stock of new titles. Records are organized by category, then alphabetically, and one can spend hours browsing through seemingly endless racks of both classic and rare titles. The store even dedicates a section to Georgia bands and musicians, giving buyers the unique chance to pick up some rare Elephant Six titles or discover indie artists who do not (and perhaps will not) have distribution.
Wax N Facts is also, by association, a piece of pop history. Co-Owned by Danny Beard (producer of artists such as Pylon and the B-52’s), the Atlanta Music Hall of Famer uses his store as a defacto HQ for his label DB Records, making Wax N Facts a must see for any self-respecting music nerd.
Part record store, comic book shop, and live music venue, Criminal Records has something for all lovers of physical media. While most of the floorspace is dedicated to a selection of vinyl, spanning virtually all genres, and split down the middle between new releases/reissues and used records, the store also carries used cd's, cassettes, DVDs, toys, Blu-rays, comic books, and even turntables.
Displayed tantalizingly on the walls and under glass are a great selection of sought-after classic rock/pop original and rare pressings. Unlike other such Newbury Comics-esque stores, however, Criminal Records has small stage in the back of the store and hosts intimate concerts by local musicians as well as those touring the indie circuit.
Located a stone's throw from Criminal Records, this incense-filled, good-vibes-only shop offers not only used CD's and DVD's, but also books, t-shirts and gifts. While Wax N Facts and Criminal Records feature a more traditional selection of genres, Moods Music offers a “funky fusion of acid, afro-cuban, jazzy, house, rare grooves that make your hips move and sway like they never have before, and in that instant,” says owner Darryl “D-Nice” Harris. As well as running Moods Music, Harris has also released several Moods Music compilations and contributes a weekly Mood Music Picks column to Rolling Out Atlanta.
Located around the back of Junkman's Daughter thrift/antique store, Beatlab caters mostly to Atlanta’s many electronic producers and beat makers. Whether you're a working DJ or building a new studio to record Georgia's next breakout artist, Beatlab Audio offers professional audio gear ranging from sound mixers to turntables to monitors and other accessories. Beatlab also provides repairs for digital and analog audio equipment.
Unlike the other stores we visited, Beatlab’s vinyl selection covers exclusively hip-hop, rap, trap, EDM and house artists. While it is a smaller selection, it showcases the best of Atlanta’s recent Hip-hop renaissance, making it a vital visit for both music lovers and artists wanting to participate.