Studio Nibble : Record Shop Guides

NE Heights
Nob Hill/University
West Side
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Albuquerque Record Shops

Last Update: April 9, 2000

Please send any additions, corrections, and inquiries to (I cannot answer questions about upcoming concerts, etc.)

All phone numbers are in area code 505.

NE Heights

With a couple of exceptions all of these stores are north of I-40 and east of I-25.

Charley's Records & Tapes
7602 Menaul Blvd NE; 296-3685

  • In center on SE corner of Menaul and Pennsylvania, N of I-40.
  • Lots of used vinyl and used CDs, some new CDs. Decent mix of stuff, including (rock/metal) bootlegs.

Hastings Books Music & Video
1201 Juan Tabo Blvd NE; 296-6107
6001 Lomas Blvd NE; 266-1363
4315 Wyoming Blvd NE; 299-7750

  • Juan Tabo store is a few blocks N of I-40.
  • Lomas store is on N side of center on NW corner of Lomas and San Pedro, S of I-40 and immediately NW of the State Fairgrounds.
  • Wyoming store is in center on SW corner of Wyoming and Montgomery.
  • See notes on Hastings below.

Krazy Kat
9013-A Central Av NE; 294-5644

  • West of Menaul in center on S side of street. Next to a laundromat.
  • Family-run store. Big family too, they almost always outnumber the customers, as if it wasn't hard enough to get around!
  • Mix of all kinds of things (new/used cds/vinyl) all in big piles and stacks and narrow aisles. Bring a wet-nap. Occasional surprises, though.
  • Eentsy selection of used DVDs.

Merlin's Record Workshop
9609 Menaul Blvd NE; 299-8031 / 800-950-ROCK

  • In shopping center on NW corner of Menaul and Eubank.
  • CDs and vinyl. Kind of caters to the Rush-Zep-Zappa crowd.
  • The grandaddy of indie record shops in Albuquerque, but I've never been that impressed. Haven't been in since before the new owner took over (1/1999).

Page One Too!
11200 Montgomery NE, 294-5623

  • Shopping center at SE corner of Juan Tabo and Montgomery, way in the back. (The big shiny one across the street is Page One, the main store -- many books but almost no music anymore.)
  • Only music is used CDs. Kind of eclectic selection with an occasional surprise. Prices vary, $6-$9.
  • Come for the CDs, stay for the books! Best used-book store in town (if you're into that) with an incredible Southwest collection.

Record Roundup
2529 San Mateo NE; 881-9877

  • In center on SW corner of San Mateo and Menaul, just N of I-40.
  • Mostly new/used CDs; some vinyl (top-40 dance music and hip-hop).
  • Most used CDs $8 or 3/$22.
  • Only mentionable selection of used laserdiscs in town; some still-sealed dead stock. Prices are okay if you're still buying laserdiscs.
  • Handful of used DVDs.

Wherehouse Music
2511 San Mateo NE; 884-4848

  • Immediately south of center on SW corner of San Mateo and Menaul, just N of I-40.
  • Loads of overpriced new CDs.
  • At this writing they've just formally changed over from Blockbuster Music to Wherehouse and have brought in a lot of dead stock from other stores to seed the used selection. Some interesting things but it'll take time to see how it develops on its own.

Also In The Area

  • Best Buy, 55 Hotel Cir NE; 298-3585 (Cheapest new CDs in town but selection shrinking fast!)
  • Borders Books Music & Cafe, 2100 Louisiana Blvd NE, W end of Winrock Shopping Center; 884-7733 (Deep new stock -- strong jazz/classical -- but ex-penn-sive!)
  • Bound To Be Read, 6300 San Mateo NE; 828-3500
  • Circuit City, 4400 Cutler NE, W of San Mateo and I-40; 872-3066
  • L.A. Underground, 3220 San Mateo Blvd NE; 878-9455

Nob Hill/University Area

Central Avenue (old Route 66) roughly from San Mateo to downtown, this is sort of our Melrose, right down to the funky storefronts (which Bow Wow pretty much started). New shops pop up from time to time and close just as quickly so a slow cruise of the area may reveal surprises.

Bow Wow Records
3103 Central Av NE, NW corner at Richmond; 256-0928

  • Best source in town for new/used vinyl but they know what they want for it. Best in town for non-mainstream new CDs too though any Tower or Virgin would kick their ass so if you visit from the big city don't get your hopes up too high in that department. Decent used CDs.

Natural Sound
3500 Central Av SE; 255-8295

  • NW corner of Nob Hill Shopping Center. (SW corner of Central and Carlisle, blue Art Deco style, can't miss it!)
  • Probably the best used CD selection in town. Good turnover, okay prices (usually $8 or $9). Seems to have a promo source, so new releases will show up here. Lots of non-mainstream titles, new and used. No vinyl.

We Buy Music
3025 Central Av NE, NW corner at Richmond; 256-2524

  • Smattering of vinyl but mostly CDs. Unremarkable selection.

Also In The Area

  • Flea Market, State Fairgrounds E of San Mateo on Central (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • L.A. Underground, 2000 Central Av SE; 246-9455
  • Loft Records, 3007 Central Ave NE; 268-5015

The West Side

Anything west of the river is the "west side" around here. This is all bedroom community so indie stores have had a rough go of it; at this writing there aren't any I'm aware of.

Hastings Books Music & Video
6100F Coors Blvd NW; 898-9227
1630 Rio Rancho Blvd SE; 892-3844

  • Coors store is in shopping center immediately north of Montaño just on the west side of the river. (Montaño == Montgomery, just keep going west.)
  • Rio Rancho store is, of course, in Rio Rancho. Get to Coors Blvd (first major street W of the river) somehow, go north to 528, take 528 up the hill and keep going.
  • See notes on Hastings below.

Notes On Hastings

Hastings is a chain store with the usual high prices on new things but they move a lot of used CDs through their doors. There's absolutely no telling what you'll find in the bins; I rarely leave without at least one or two interesting items. Good price range too, lots of $4-$7 items. No notable differences between the various stores -- all are worth checking out.

They do have a bad habit of marking up used cds. I've seen everything from paint-pen dots on the rear tray insert up to punching holes in the booklet and even writing "U" or "USED" on the label side of the disc in permanent marker (haven't seen that for a while, thank god). Be sure to check the discs before leaving the store with them if this bothers you.

Also make a point of looking for a clearance table out on the floor somewhere; it may not necessarily be in the CD department. Lots of crap and in-store promos but they'll put box sets or gold discs there sometimes too. (Unopened Hank Locklin box on Bear Family -- $5! Woo!)

Copyright 2000, Ernie Longmire (Lazlo Nibble). All rights reserved.