Earlier this week, we spoke with record collector Omar Roca about his meditative celebration of dedicated listening, Ears on the Couch. Roca’s philosophy on how people should experience music, specifically vinyl records, was so impassioned and magnetic that we decided to pick his brain for some suggestions for Record Store Day shopping in the city.
Surely a dude that has amassed over 1,200 records in his living room and hosts pitch-black listening parties showcasing his favorites must have some good insight on local places to dig.
Roca did not disappoint. He warns that RSD can be “a bit overwhelming,” so his suggestions include great spots for deals on used records as well as suggestions of where to snag some new limited releases. Take it from a dude that has flipped his fingertips through many a dusty crate – these are the places you’ll be coming back to year after year.
470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
This is Roca's most prized spot - to the point that he's almost reluctant to pimp it out to the public. Though the humble JP dine-and-dig is "small but well-curated," they'll be clearing extra space for RSD. What makes Tres Gatos
worth frequenting most is its atmosphere. Says Roca, "where else can you dig for vinyl with a glass of wine in hand and order slices of jamón ibérico?"
138B South St., Jamaica Plain
For folks that miss former Harvard Square stalwart Twisted Village, Deep Thoughts
is a fitting substitute. "It's a warm welcoming space with plenty to dig into," says Roca, who visits this JP spot for double the nostalgia.
332 Newbury St., Back Bay
"Vinyl is back in the front room," which is a good sign for this New England music institution. Roca notes that the flagship location, in particular, is the best place for new records this RSD, though Newbury Comics
does boast a hefty supply of used LPs that are certified to play like new.
26 Union Square, Somerville
For a well-balanced mix of "good quality used vinyl and new releases as well," Roca recommends Union Square's Somerville Grooves. Plus, this shop is know for it's bargain prices, which makes it a win on any day, not just RSD.
844 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square
lives up to its name for sure. This dusty vinyl playground has troves of treasures to be found by dedicated searches. Roca gravitates to Weirdo for just this reason, calling it a "fun place to dig and find something completely different."