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Finding records in a haystack

Cantebury Record Shop
Cantebury Record Shop on the 800 block of E. Colorado in Pasadena, on Thursday, September 1, 2011. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

The music industry may have entered the Internet era of iTunes, YouTube and illegal downloading, but that hasn’t stopped some local stores from purveying tunes in their most concrete form — the vinyl record.

As vinyl has made a comeback among hip new indie groups, it has maintained its popularity for collectors and those in search of the classics, and the San Gabriel Valley is home to some of the best places to find records new and old.

Permanent Records

The new kid on the block, Eagle Rock’s Permanent Records opened June 4 after its owners, Lance Barresi and Liz Tooley, relocated from Chicago. After running Permanent Records in Chicago for five years (the original location is still in business), Barresi said the duo moved to the Southland for the sunshine, with weather narrowly edging out the music scene as his favorite thing about L.A.


With an “All killer no filler” stocking philosophy, Permanent Records carries only records Barresi and Tooley think are great, from brand-new indie rock to reissued classic rock or obscure noise rock.

Recommended if: You wear skinny jeans and only listen to rock bands your friends haven’t heard of yet.

1583 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 739-6141; noon-7 p.m Tuesday-Sunday;



Canterbury Records

The elder statesmen of the San Gabriel Valley record store scene, Canterbury Records was founded in 1956 by Leonard Gordon, and is currently owned by his four children. Co-owner Charles Gordon said that what sets Canterbury apart is its full catalog, from classical, big-band and musicals to the newest hits.

Gordon said that customers of all ages and tastes visit Canterbury, and that the store is stocking more indie rock these days because it’s a genre that has embraced vinyl.

Recommended if: You’ve had the same receiver and phonograph set up for years and want some equally classic records to play on it.

805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 792-7184; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday;


Poo-Bah Records

Poo-Bah is no spring chicken itself, having been founded in 1971, and since current owner Ron Stivers bought the business in 2003, it has moved to a new location and become a hot spot for underground beat fans.


Stocking the latest releases from the producers driving L.A.’s world-renowned underground-hip-hop-inspired beat scene, like Flying Lotus, Samiyam and Shlohmo, Poo-Bah is the spot to go for cutting-edge listeners. Plus, Stivers started a Poo-Bah record label with artists Ras G and Black Monk, which has released records from Samiyam and Kutmah.

Recommended if: You’ve ever been to the Low End Theory night at the Airliner in Highland Park; you wish J Dilla was still alive.

2636 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 449-3359; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon to 6 p.m .Sunday.;


Foothill Records

An unexpected treasure trove of music, La Cañada Flintridge’s Foothill Records has since 2001 been a repository of more than 60,000 albums, with owner Carol Scofield’s tastes running toward the Laurel Canyon sunshine pop sound of the ’60s. The store carries everything from soul and disco to world music and country, however, though those looking for the hippest indie releases might be out of luck.

Scofield, who moved to the Central Coast in November after living in La Cañada Flintridge for the past decade, still comes down to open the store. Scofield also maintains two record labels, MsMusic Productions and Citadel, as part of Foothill Records.

Recommended if: You’re looking for an old Beach Boys or Neil Young record that you can’t find anywhere else.


1043 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge; (818) 952-1282; Call, hours vary, but generally noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Monday;

DANIEL SIEGAL is a Valley Sun staff writer who keeps track of the indie music scene in his spare time. He can be reached at