Repo Record, a new and used vinyl, CD and DVD store, is in its third year at 3325 Commonwealth Ave., but it has a long history in Charlotte.
Owner Jimmy Parker started Repo Records in 1988 on Central Avenue and it eventually grew to three stores before closing in 2005. It re-opened in 2012, dropping the “s” at the end of “Records,” to avoid being confused with another Repo Records elsewhere.
Here’s why you should check it out.
(1) Vinyl isn’t just for hipsters.
That stereotype doesn’t hold water at Repo. Parker says that lots of kids come in with their parents to discover or rediscover music together.
“Music is bonding,” Parker says.
(2) It participates in Record Store Day.
The stores can’t raise prices or sell them on the Internet for a certain amount of time, which means that you can still find lots of the limited releases at Repo. But not the Ryan Adams one. I got that.
(3) You can crawl around and look through the $1 bins.
If you’re willing to get down and dirty, there are 15 bins of $1 records on the floor, covering the gamut from country to rock to R&B.
(4) The Beatles section.
If you’re into Beatles rarities, this is the store for you. The section also includes merchandise from the Beatles spin-off bands and solo projects.
The David Bowie section is extensive, too.
(5) It has new records too.
(6) You don’t need a turntable.
If you haven’t signed up for the vinyl revolution, don’t worry. There are tons of CDs, too. Repo also sells turntables if you want to give records a try.
(7) There’s a lot to see.
The store is jam-packed, not just with records and CDs but also with kitschy items like vintage lunchboxes (look up — they’re hanging from the ceiling), NASCAR mugs and View-Master toys.
(8) You can get your sewing machine fixed here.
Parker bought the building from the owners of Heywood Sewing Center and still has a sign up with a phone number to call for sewing machine repairs. You can drop your broken sewing machine off in the shop. Parker says he’s even seen the repairs done right in the parking lot.
(9) It’s a music venue.
Follow Repo Record’s Facebook page to learn when bands are playing in the back of the store. It’s not fancy. It’s a BYOB kind of thing. And it’s free.
(10) It’s a judgment-free zone.
No one here will judge you by what music you buy. Whether you’re into punk, country, classic rock, jazz or show tunes, nobody is going to raise an eyebrow.
This is a friendly, pretense-free place.
When I got ready to leave recently, a man came in with a DVD he bought a few days before.
“I didn’t like it too much,” he said. “I thought there’d be more action in it.”
Parker waved toward the shelves of DVDs.
“Go pick out something else,” he said.
Jody Mace is a freelance writer who also publishes the local website Charlotte on the Cheap. Follow Charlotte on the Cheap at @cltcheap and everything else she does at @jody_mace.