Culture + Style

Finding Music Amid the Noise: Where to Buy Music in New Orleans

It’s easy to spend hours lost in the tunes at NOLA Mix Records. (Photo: Alamy)

New Orleans is world-famous for its music scene, but the sounds you’ll find here are not limited to live sets on stage. The city is home to a slew of record stores where you can spend a whole day wading through oceans of ear candy — a rarity in a world where music sales trend toward digital purchases.

True music lovers head to NOLA’s record stores to physically browse through albums, discovering something new or finding a record they’ve been seeking for decades. When you’re in the Big Easy, you won’t want to miss out on these establishments.

Louisiana Music Factory

New Orleans music
The Louisiana Music Factory is a mainstay in the New Orleans music scene. (Photo: Emily Hingle)

Located where Frenchmen Street meets the French Quarter, the Louisiana Music Factory is so much more than a record store; it’s one of the most musical spots in the entire city. The long racks of music hold treasures like out-of-print albums from artists that only serious music historians recognize.

Jazz lovers celebrate the store as the top shop for vintage and hard-to-find music. You can catch free live performances there year-round, but their shows during the Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest) are the most popular.

Peaches Records

Peaches Records was once housed in the French Quarter, but the proprietors thought that Uptown was lacking a proper music shop. They relocated their massive store to a sprawling corner of Magazine Street, where it’s become an all-around cultural mecca with more merchandise than you can see in one lifetime.

NOLA Mix Records

On the far opposite end of Magazine Street, NOLA Mix Records isn’t just a place where you can hear and buy tunes; they want to help you become the next big thing by offering music lessons. NOLA Mix was originally the name of a youth-based DJ and music production course that morphed into a complete musical experience where you can buy records, sell your old guitar and even learn to be an expert music-maker.

Euclid Records

Deep in the Bywater neighborhood, Euclid Records is a funky shop that sells a bit of everything; albums range from punk to old-school country sounds. Don’t be surprised if you walk in on the weekend to find a full-blown concert happening right before your eyes.

The Mushroom

New Orleans music
Groove to live tunes while shopping for music at The Mushroom. (Photo: Emily Hingle)

You’ll have to pass by the frat houses of Loyola and Tulane Uptown to get to The Mushroom. The record store has been around for decades and occasionally hosts in-store concerts. There’s nothing like listening to a live band while digging through thousands of albums!

Sisters in Christ Records

Speaking of live music, peruse the offerings of Sisters in Christ Records before taking in a show at the eclectic venue Gasa Gasa on Freret Street. By day, the colorful little bar and arts venue houses the shop, so you can buy the album of the band you just heard play live.

Captain’s Vinyl

Holding down the fort in Mid-City, Captain’s Vinyl on South Pierce Street is run by people so serious about their music, they’ll close up shop just to go out and hunt for rare and coveted records at local swaps like the Record Raid.

Skully’z Records

If you’re going to be strolling down Bourbon Street, pass even the most enticing bars and opt for reaching Skully’z Records instead. It’s a tiny store but packs a ton of NOLA character and carries everything from Motown to metal.

Domino Sound Record Shack

If you’re coming into town for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and want to stay close to the fairgrounds while shopping for albums, Domino Sound Record Shack has music hounds covered. This small corner store is bursting with hot local sounds as well as one of the largest selection of reggae 45s and LPs in the South.