By Dr. Disc
Goldmine’s secret shopper — who will be known to you only as Dr. Disc — travels extensively and loves to visit record shops during those trips. An avid collector and music lover, the good Doc scopes out shops near and far and grades them on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of five different categories: Stock, Staff, Store, Selection and anything deserving of Special Mention.
Name: In Your Ear!
Address: 957 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass., plus shops in Cambridge, Mass., and Warren, R.I.
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Noon-6 p.m. Sunday
STOCK: To date, this store has the largest selection of used records and cassette tapes I have come across in a standalone record store. Pack your sleeping bag if you expect to get through the selection, though, as you may be there a few days. In Your Ear stocks new and used records, CDs, stereo equipment, 8-track tapes, shirts, posters and videos. The shop was voted “Best of Boston” in 2012 for its used records.
STAFF: The day I was there, they had two staffers working. Both were very helpful and willing to talk music. I sold some used/new records, and they were willing to haggle on the price. When I asked about some hard to find records, they helped look for them.
STORE: This was tough, because the disheveled look adds to the feeling of being in a classic record store. It’s dark, in the basement of a building and hard to find, but this will become a regular stop for me. The chaos has order.
SELECTION: The selection is amazing, not just in the record section but in most of what they carry. In Your Ear! stocks rock, punk, jazz, blues and most traditional styles of music at the Cambridge, Mass., store. The shop also sell local artists’ music.
SPECIAL MENTION: This store does not participate in National Record Store day. When I asked why, the response I got surprised me. The shop’s staff fees it is a hassle and encourages people who only come out on that one day. They cater to a more regular crowd. So I would go somewhere else on RSD, but make sure you stop by here on any other day. GM