Arts & Entertainment

The 6th Avenue Record Walk

A guide to buying LP’s and 45’s in Tacoma.

One of the great things about Tacoma is that it has four, long-standing record stores within walking distance of each other. These businesses each fill a niche within the record business, from cheap records to obscure finds, they all have must-see collections. 

Hi-Voltage Records

Specialty: New Records

Currently working on an expansion to begin selling books and apparel, Hi-Voltage has been a new and used record hotspot in Tacoma for 15 years. The store features rows of neatly organized records, a wall of band tees, hot album displays, in this case, Adele’s “30,” along with displays of rare pressings and limited edition bright colored vinyl. With an average price of around $25 and a diverse range of genres, Hi-Voltage is the best spot for new records. Excited about the expansion, opening in late November, store manager Adam Davis-Stockman says “we’re a local store and we’re happy to provide more culture to Tacoma.”

Janku Land

Specialty: Deep Cuts

Vintage peach boxes full of 45’s, cute green ottomans and bright red record displays — Janku Land is a visual delight just as much as it is a great record store. The owner, Taiga Dinger, took over the Golden Oldies space a little over a year ago, making it the newest record store on the 6th Ave Record Walk. The store specializes in oddball pressings and inexpensive essentials, Dinger says “if someone was looking for a Carpenters record they might come in here because they’d find it for $5, but they may also come here looking for a ‘free-jazz’ record.” With average 45 prices around $3 and record prices around $8-15, Janku Land will be the perfect place to find well-curated punk deep-cuts, obscure indie and more. 

House of Records & Turntable Treasures

Specialty: Used Records

Don’s House of Records and Turntable Treasures, opening in 1988 and 1996 and merging in the early 2000s, holds a giant collection of over 120,000 used records. The space is packed from floor to ceiling with records, including everything from classic rock to classical and polka. Owner Peter Vanrosendael says “if you wanted to buy everything online you’d never have to leave your house, half the fun is the search,” Vanrosendael adds, “we’re a one-stop shop,” as Turntable Treasures offers reasonably priced repairs and sells a variety of audio equipment.

Drastic Plastic

Specialty: Original Pressings

Opening in 1976, Drastic Plastic sells high quality records at a fair price. With an array of records, cassettes, CD’s, VHS tapes and a large selection of pipes, the store truly has a little bit of everything. Focusing on inexpensive essential albums, Drastic Plastic has a good selection of classic rock, along with Northwest bands and live comedy records. Owner Charles Rice says Drastic Plastic is “where you go to get the same record because when they remix and remaster it, they change the sound.” The time-capsule record store exclusively sells original pressings and used records in great condition.

This holiday season, bundle up and walk between 6th Avenue’s four record stores to find the 45 you’ve been searching for, a classic Beach Boys album in perfect condition, a forgotten live pressing Supremes album or the brand new Andy Shauf LP.