Man, I have sucked a blogging in October. Sucked sucked sucked. This has mostly been due to travel – work for the first half of the month, and finally some well-deserved vacation towards the end. But vacation always brings some record shopping with it, and this trip is no different. So without further ado, here’s a recap of my vinyl digging in Stockholm, Sweden.
This is our second trip to Stockholm over the last three or four years, so it isn’t the first time I’ve haunted the city’s shops. The good news, my friends, is that vinyl culture is alive and well in the home of ABBA, and I’m pretty sure there are more stores in the city now than there were on our last trip.
My first official shopping stop was at Trash Palace, the punk & metal speciality shop up in the northwest part of the city, far away from the tourists. I’d been to Trash Palace on our last trip and came away with some winners, and while I was limiting my purchases this time around because we’re traveling straight from here to Iceland for Airwaves I still found some Swedish gems from the 1980s: Sator Codex’s Wanna Start a Fire, Bitch Boys’ Continental, Attentat’s Tatuerade Tårar, and the self titled album by Kommissarie Roy. Trash Palace is super deep in this type of material, even going so far as to have separate sections for “Punk” and “Hardcore,” as well as breaking down those punk categories by country/region, which makes for a more targeted digging experience. While the prices were a bit higher than Discogs, everything was quite reasonable and I felt good about the condition and price of everything I bought. Trash Palace is also attached to a larger used record store called Nostalgia Planet, so it’s easy to lose a few hours here. If you can only visit one record store on your visit to Stockholm, this is the one.
Bengans is more or less a chain music store. When we visited one of the locations a few years back, the vinyl section was about the size of a sofa. This time around, though, a considerable amount of floor space was given over to records, mostly new releases. I scored the 2015 re-release of Ebba Grön’s 1998 album Live, as well as a brand new releases from local band SPR! called Mental Health, which got some good online reviews. All in all Bengans is an OK place to stop if you’re looking for new, popular music releases as well as re-releases of classics. There’s some local flavor on the shelves as well, but you probably aren’t going to find any major surprises.
You may have heard of Pet Sounds before – it was #11 on Buzzfeed’s 27 Breathtaking Record Stores You Have To Shop At Before You Die. And I have to admit, it’s a pretty damn cool shop. Located in the southern part of Stockholm, it’s a bit of work to get to but well worth it. Sticking with my Swedish theme I picked up a first pressing of Sex Sex Sex’s debut LP Chaos In Cancerland (though without the inserts) as well as Rädsla’s Sanningen För Pojkar. I almost bought a copy of the great Icelandic comp Northern Lights Playhouse for pretty cheap, but I already have it and frankly space in my record bag is going to be at a premium once we get to Reykjavik tomorrow, so I managed to restrain myself. Pet Sounds is a solid shop with a nice selection, heavily weighted towards rock.
I hit up a few more shops, but didn’t see or find anything notable so left them off my recap. Had this been our only stop I’d likely have added another 10 or so records to my pile, but history shows that when we’re in Reykjavik I lose control of my checkbook and there’s a lot of great new Icelandic music I want to bring back so a little self-control was in order. That being said, if you get yourself to Stockholm you’ll probably be able to track down some vinyl you like, especially if you’re into rock and punk.