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Friday, April 09, 2010

Buying Music in Stockholm

No direct music post today, but I'm in what I consider to be the pop music capital of the world right now, so I thought that that deserved its own post. If you have even a passing interest in Swedish music (or Sweden in general), you've gotta find a way to get over here. Each time I arrive in Stockholm the city takes my breath away. I'm convinced that there's no more beautiful city on Earth. This is my fifth time (!) and there's a reason I keep coming back, even though the weather looks nothing like the above picture right now. It's freezing and very gray. But I've been in the Summer and there's nothing better.

Being that this is a music blog, I'll give you a how-to to buying music in Stockholm. I could spend days in all the little used record stores around town and spend WAY too much kronor. Like London, and pretty much every city in the world, a lot of the chain record stores seem to have closed down. There's still the famous Bengans on the way to Sergels Torg, and you can also find a small selection of new cds in the chain department store Åhléns, though prices for new albums are almost always expensive (between 149 and 199 kronor - that's about 21-28$). It's fun too look, but there are much better deals to be had.

The best spot to find affordable used music is S:t Eriksplan, one street (just over a bridge) with at least four used record shops within minutes of each other. Record Hunter has new music on the ground floor and used in the basement. It's probably the best known, but I prefer a couple of other shops on the street... one a dusty basement no bigger than a large closet where nothing is sorted and all the cds are in random boxes. It makes it a real awkward hunt, but sometimes you can find real treasures (I found the latest Cinema Bizarre album today for under ten bucks). There's also another shop (can't remember the name of it now--Skivba something, I think) just down from Record Hunter where I always seem to find the motherload.

There are also some used shops in the southern district of Södermalm, one in particular (Pet Sounds) that I've heard great things about. Gonna check that one out tomorrow, as I've never been.

I'm well aware that this information may not be useful to most people, but it's the kind of reference I'd like to have when traveling to Stockholm for the first time. So I hope it's useful to someone!

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Anonymous Hallor said...

the name you're looking for is Skivlagret. It's one of the few chains still around and it's really good. It's the only record shop chain I know that is opening NEW shops these days.

I've only been to Pet Sounds once, but from what I remember of it it's GREAT. Söder in general is an amazing district, I love it.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Q Public said...

Color me jealous, you visiting Europe! I hope to see Norway someday (looking for a CD from there now, in fact), and most of the rest of the continent. I sheepishly admit I'm not much into Swede pop, so I wouldn't know a good find if it bit me on the nose. But I'm still jealous! Glad you've been having a fun trip!


10:13 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

This is awesome information. I really hope I can get to use it in the near future.

What other kinds of fun music things are there to do in Stockholm? I'd love to go, but I'm not sure I'd know what to do once I get there!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Ark Army said...

Damn, I am jealous. I wanna visit the most beautiful city on Earth too. :-(

Too bad the Ark album isn't out yet or you could pick up your copy while you are there. Bad timing ey.

12:17 PM  
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1:05 AM  
Anonymous Pranav said...

Nice post and it very worthy one. People underestimate the amount of "quality" pop music comes out of Stockholm and Sweden in general. It's funny that people with another first language are the few that have not forgotten the elements of what makes pop music work. Wish they'd share some of that wisdom with their american counterparts. Stockholm looks really cool. I've only been to Malmo in Sweden.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I hope you all get to visit the city sometime (that is, if you don't already live there :)

I just missed the Ark album by a couple of weeks. Sad, because I managed to time my last visit to the city with the release of their previous album. It doesn't matter so much, though. The new one's been preordered...

3:40 AM  

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