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Music

Quentin Tarantino’s three favourite record stores in the entire world

@TomTaylorFO

“I’m as proud of my discography as I am of my filmography.” – Quentin Tarantino. 

Music means a lot to Quentin Tarantino. When you leaf through his filmography in the playground of your imagination, the scenes that are projected upon the psyche are tantamount to music videos—the swagger of the Mr Men strolling the street in Reservoir Dogs, the twisting in Pulp Fiction, these are the musical vignettes the define his back catalogue to date. 

As the man said himself, “I go through my record collection and just start playing songs, trying to find the personality of the movie, find the spirit of the movie.” They give him the impetus to his movies, but so does a sense of where they place in the arts. The man simply adores pop culture in all of its guises and the way that it colours our dismal daily lives. As such he also loves the honourable domiciles where the best of that culture resides. After all, he is the real-life version of The Simpson’s Comic Book Guy, so it isn’t all surprising that he loves a good record store

And now, you can follow in the star’s fabled footsteps and see where he picks up his discs. As the Pulp Fiction director told Discogs, “I’ve always been afraid to put my obsessions under a microscope that much. But the truth of the matter is — I have a really, really, really good record collection.” With such confidence, it is worth a trip to top up your own in some of the coolest spots on Earth. 

As High Fidelity famously asserted in typical record store style: “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films—these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth.” Let’s take a look at where Tarantino likes to get the stuff that he likes. 

Quentin Tarantino’s favourite record stores:

Pet Sounds – Stockholm, Sweden 

Any record store called Pet Sounds is bound to be worth its salt. Located in Stockholm at Skånegatan 53, this Swedish institution dates back to 1979. And perhaps the finest mark of what it has achieved over that time resides in the fact that it now has a sister establishment: Pet Sounds Bar. Does anything really go better together than a little craft bar and cracking record store?

Tarantino’s praise is something that any place would be happy to pin on the wall, the director lauded, “I think the best that I know of in the world is Pet Sounds in Stockholm. It’s just so fantastic because they have a great selection, and their records are just in perfect condition. I’ll buy stuff I already have.” With pastries from the bakery around the corner, this piece of Scandinavian perfection does what a record store does best—it makes a day out of picking up a piece of art. 

Antone’s – Austin, Texas

The pristine wooden beauty of Antone’s is reflective of all the finest Texan emporiums, it offers up some cool, crafted Americana away from the baking sun. The ataraxy of Antone’s is the sort that could seduce you into perusing the vast records for hours on end. And while you’re in there, you just might bump into one of the areas many musical greats. 

Dubbed the home of the blues, this edifice of Southern artistry homes just about all of the area’s best output. Alongside the music it proudly serves up “beer-steamed ‘Cliffy Dog’ hotdogs and ‘Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys’ in five classic varieties, which were created way back in 1962. This makes it a one-stop shop where musicians hang in the typical High Fidelity fashion, as the quote goes: “I hired these guys for three days a week and they just started showing up every day. That was four years ago.”

Amoeba – Hollywood, Los Angeles

Amoeba may well be the most famous record store in the world. In truth, it’s more of a music-lovers warehouse. The aisles are endless, the nooks and crannies are plentiful and there is more than enough space for in-house appearances. And then, quite surreally, after hours in there, you wander out into the baking sunshine of Los Angeles as though you’re on set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with a bit of ‘60s swagger in your stride. 

As Tarantino puts it, “I would say Amoeba is pretty good. I don’t know if I’d call them “the best in the world,” but they’re pretty damn good for Los Angeles, I will say that!” Proud of its title as the ‘The World’s Largest Independent Record Store’, if Amoeba doesn’t have it, then are you sure it even exists. 

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