Louisville has a wide range of music stores - many of them locally owned - that are certainly worthwhile for the avid music fan to check out. Exploring the city can uncover many hidden gems, and this is a selection of the best:
1. ear X-tacy - Bardstown Rd. - The best and most famous music store in Louisville (it has even been featured in movies about the city), ear X-tacy has been having some financial troubles at the time this article is being written, and so it is even more important to support our locally-owned, independent music store. ear X-tacy is owned by John Timmons, a Louisville native and founder of the Keep Louisville Weird movement, which supports locally owned businesses. This store definitely has the best selection in the city, and is also an excellent place to go to for concert news and tickets. They even hold free, in-store concerts a few times a month, often from very popular bands that are passing through the Bluegrass State.
It also definitely has the best selection of albums from local and independent musicians in the area, and the vinyl record selection of the store is definitely worth checking out - you can find some excellent rarities here. ear X-tacy also has a selection of t-shirts, books(often about Louisville or written by Louisville authors), and DVDs. ear X-tacy is the first place to go when you're looking for anything music-related in the city. The staff are also friendly and are perfectly willing to help you out with suggestions and friendly conversation.
2. The Great Escape - Bardstown Rd. - While the Great Escape is not primarily a music store, their selection of used CDs and vinyl earns them a spot on this list. The store also features a variety of comic books, video games, and all kinds of new and used treasures. The excellent part about their music selection is the fact that they tend to get in some real rarities and they are relatively inexpensive. Definitely worth a look.
3. Book and Music Exchange - Various locations around the city, including Preston Highway and Bardstown Rd. - While the selection varies from store to store, Book and Music Exchange is always worth a look for their good prices, and because of the fact that you can bring in some of your old stuff and trade it in for something that you really want. They also feature a wide selection of movies and video games. Everything here is used and has been traded in, and if you know how to spot it, you can find quite the diamond hidden in the rough at this store.