Being a vast cultural spectacle likewise renowned for its excess, New Orleans is properly blessed with an excess of great record stores. First and foremost there is Louisiana Music Factory, smack in the heart and heat of the French Quarter. From the outside, the Factory might look like an unthinking, cynical tourist trap. But it’s not. The first floor is flashy with brand new CDs, yes, but the selection is the opposite of superficial. Here you will find all manner of Louisiana-related material—the latest, the greatest, the expected, the necessary, the obscure—and the utterly who-ever-heard-of-dat unexpected. The second floor, heavier on the vinyl and used CDs, gets even deeper in unpredictability.
A fairly new comer to town is Euclid Records, a hip-shaking wood structure within hurling distance of a Bywater levee and clad in eye-fetching pink and crammed to the nooks and crannies with, especially, vinyl in the 45 and 33 1/3 sizes.
We would be pleased to begin our “Record Store of the Month” department with either of these darlings—and both Louisiana Music Factory and Euclid Records will eventually get our spotlight. But for now, we happily debut our coverage with Domino Sound Record Shack, the smallest of these three gems, but arguably the funkiest and weirdest (and cleanest). Run by Matt Knowles, Domino Sound Record Shack can be loved for its emphasis on soul, jazz, and foreign music, the extraordinarily affordable prices of its wares (Knowles would rather disseminate music than stiff customers—we kid you not), and by the off-slant records and cassettes that Knowles releases on his own label. Next week, we will discuss and share some of these releases. Today, though, we just want to heartily recommend Domino Sound Record Shop as a place to visit and absorb (on 2557 Bayou Road; phone: 504-309-0871).