When it comes to scope, it doesn't get much better than Houhai’s Rockland
. The shop boasts a range of albums focused on Western art rock and contemporary Chinese indie, not to mention plenty of burned compilations. The extensive library is curated by music fanatic Xiao Zhan, who’s been running the operation for more than a decade.
In the same neighbourhood as Rockland (literally and figuratively) is Indie Music
, a cheery little shop near the Drum and Bell towers where you can pick up all the latest Chinese releases. They specialise in indie rock (duh), but they've also got a good selection of popular Western and domestic releases.
666 Rock Shop
Tucked away in an alley off the south side of Gulou Dong Dajie, 666 Rock Shop
specialises in one thing: metal. The headbanger’s paradise is chock full of metal music and paraphernalia from home and abroad. Talk to long-haired owner Lin Zheng for some local recommendations.
If second-hand vinyl is more your bag, head over to the newly opened Fruitysho
p. Fruityshop is the new incarnation of Strange Fruit 33, a vinyl shop that was located northwest of Dongsi. Like its predecessor, Fruityshop sells second-hand records – but it also plans to serve drinks and put on live shows at the new location.