We keep hearing that physical media is going away.  From music, to magazines, to newspapers, everything is becoming more and more virtual.  There's an online migration that will make the media 'product' completely obsolete.  To a degree, it's probably true.  We see it in actual consumption statistics.  But there's something in us that still requires the tactile.  Music is, or should be immersive. We not only listen to music, we experience it.  We read liner notes, check out the inner sleeve photos from a vinyl record, read lyrics to the songs.  And we can do all of these while we listen!   It adds to our engagement with the music and the artists who make it if we hold that product in our hands.  On that note, here are my favorite places in Abilene to buy music.

1. Hastings


Hastings has by far the largest selection of music in Abilene.  The store is among a diminishing number of retailers that truly offers a large variety of new releases and catalog titles on cd.  They also now stock vinyl records in our Abilene Hastings, and there's a lot to choose from there too.  New vinyl releases are actually increasing as record companies realize that it's amazingly a growing segment of the music buying public.  You can find new vinyl releases from artists like Adele and Coldplay, to classic vinyl albums from Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Boston, Journey, and Neil Young.   Hastings is at 4701 South 14th.

2. The Record Guys


The Record Guys are Abilene's only vinyl record store.  They have literally thousands of LPs ranging from Rock & Roll, to Country, Classical, Jazz, and Nostalgia.  The cool thing about the store besides the selection is their price.  The majority of albums are just $2.  They also sell record players to play your vinyl, and usually have a couple of complete stereo systems in stock.  And you can get a record player starting at around $45.  The stock changes regularly, since they buy collections and search out vinyl around the region.  Hundreds and hundreds of 45s are available too.  Highly recommended.  The Record Guys is at 729 South Leggett.  More info at the link below.

3. Target


Target might not be your first thought when it comes to buying music in Abilene.  But the chain frequently has exclusive releases unavailable anywhere else.  Most recently Target featured a series of four Beatles vinyl 45s in picture sleeves, each with a different Beatles t-shirt in a box.  The records were beautifully packaged with the shirts in a 45-sized box with full color graphics.  You can see two of those Target exclusives at the top of this post.  These 45s are also sourced from the 2009 Beatles remasters, and are among the only songs from the Fab Four available on vinyl that way.  The singles with t-shirts retailed for $19.95 and they're currently on eBay for as much as $50 each.  Target had an exclusive on Alison Krauss' latest album 'Paper Airplanes' that featured a bonus cd with six additional tracks unavailable anywhere but Target.  They've had exclusives on Elton John and a host of others.  It pays to check their website and to visit the store music department about once a month to see what's there.  Target is at 3710 Ridgemont Drive

4. Best Buy


Best Buy is associated with electronics.  You expect to go there for a computer, mp3 player, high-def tv, smart phone, or  camera.  But Best Buy also has a great music department which often features exclusive releases.  Every once in a while, you can even find some recent vinyl releases in the Abilene Best Buy store.  Most of the time, the exclusives will be a deluxe edition of an album or a music dvd with bonus songs or material you can't get anywhere else.  These items are only available for limited time frames, so if you're shopping there and see one you like, it's a good idea to grab it.  Another bonus with Best Buy is that you can order almost anything in print on vinyl LP from their website.  Click the link below to browse over 17,000 vinyl LPs!  Best Buy is in the Mall Of Abilene at 4310 Buffalo Gap Road.

5. Walmart


You knew Walmart would have to be in here somewhere.  While their music department has diminished in size and selection over the past year or two, Walmart still makes my list due to their exclusive distribution of some of the biggest artists out there.  The Eagles released their last studio album exclusively via Walmart.  And AC/DC of all bands, did the same.  The bonus with Walmart exclusives is artist merchandise.  When they get a distribution deal for a new release, they usually will also stock some very cool t-shirts and caps from the artist.  AC/DC is notable in this regard.  Walmart had an awesome selection of their t-shirts and some really nice 'pageboy' AC/DC caps.  Even if there's not a featured artist release in the music department, you can often find some cool classic rock t-shirts with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Bad Company stocked in the clothing department. Walmart has two Abilene stores at 4350 Southwest Drive, and at 1650 Highway 351.

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