Boston’s a good place to be if you’re a vinyl junkie like I am. Despite what seems like an epidemic of record store closures across the country, this lovely city of ours has continued to boast a vibrant record store scene. Many local independent shops — from Cambridge to the Back Bay — have managed to stay in business amid hard times for the music distribution industry. And the even better news? Vinyl appears to be back in vogue with the kids; vinyl record sales have increased by 17.7% in the past two years, the highest they’ve been since 1997. Even Whole Foods is selling records now. So, yes, you can pick up the new Daft Punk LP with your locally-grown-organic-gluten-free kale chips. Whether you’re a veteran record collector, you’re looking to start, or you just want some new music to listen to, this is the series for you. Every week, I’ll be featuring a different record store in the Boston area, giving you the lowdown on each shop’s eccentricities, and highlighting some of my cool finds. Think of it as a grand tour of Boston, record store edition. Or, like, the Freedom Trail of Vinyl Records. Whatever works. This week, to kick everything off, I visited Somerville Grooves— a quaint little record shop located in the middle of Somerville’s Union Square. The owner told me that he opened Grooves about two years ago, making it one of the newest additions to the Boston record scene. In a city like Somerville, whose “hip” status seems to escalate every day (clearly a cause for worry as of late), Grooves has fit right in among the plaid-shirt-wearing and bike-riding locals. Grooves is a decently sized, well-organized store with a hearty selection of records from all genres, including rock, indie, R&B, reggae, electronic, and classical. You’ll mostly find a treasure trove of used LPs when browsing around, but the shop does offer a few bins of new vinyl near the register. It’s also definitely worth checking out the 45s tucked in the back corner of the space— among these are classic releases from the Stones, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Talk Talk, and many more, if you’re willing to dig. I was especially delighted by Grooves’ extensive collection of old rock records. After a good amount of crate surfing, I came across Buffalo Springfield’s second record, Buffalo Springfield Again (1967). This short-lived band — its most famous members being Neil Young and Stephen Stills — produced some of the most influential folk, country, and psychedelic rock of the late ‘60s. With an idyllic album cover that includes a butterfly and an angel and lots of charming greenery, their sophomore release is a velvety compilation of songs that feature a perfect balance of spunk and soul. I always prefer to listen to older albums on vinyl because the light static fuzz makes me feel all retro and cultured; for that reason, tracks from Again like “Bluebird” and “Broken Arrow” absolutely beg a spin on the turntable. I’d also like to give a brief shout out to Grooves for carrying local-ish band Speedy Ortiz’s debut record, Major Arcana (2013). From Northampton, Mass., Speedy Ortiz came at us this year with a brand of ‘90s indie rock that evokes Nirvana and Pavement but manages to hold its own, especially with frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’ gusty vocals. Plus, the vinyl itself is a gorgeous shade of teal that you’ll probably just want to stare at all day. There’s really nothing else like wandering into a record store and stumbling upon your favorite albums in their purest physical form— Somerville Grooves knows this. The recent resurgence of vinyl bodes well for our beloved neighborhood record stores, and it’ll be interesting to see if any other new shops pop up in Boston á la Somerville Grooves. Because, as the owner said when I asked him about the vinyl market, the timing’s never been better. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) One Response A Guide to Record Store Day 2014 in Boston » Sound of Boston April 15, 2014 […] Somerville Grooves: 26 Union Sq., Somerville […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.