FLORIDA LASER - 24 de Maio st., 116, loja 07 - Downtown
Before speaking of Florida Laser, let me speak about 24 de Maio street. It's downtown, a pedestrian street, full of huge shops and people selling stuff in the streets. In the middle of the street, on the 116, there's a gallery crowded with small specialty shops. They are all CD shops. Each one with a different style. It's heaven. One of the best shops inside is definitely Florida Laser, on the ground floor, specialized in oldies from the eighties, black and dance music. A must see. (Rumor has it there's another Florida Laser at Rua Hollywood on the corner of Guararapes, on the Brooklyn neighborhood).
MR.CD, EMBAIXADA, GRINGOS RECORDS, BOX 12" and STOP DISCOS - 24 de Maio st., 116, Lojas 12, 18, 19 and 28 - Downtown - Phone: 222-5836
Five another must sees in the same gallery. Here you'll find mostly compilations of dance music from all times.These are my favourite spots in town. Ask for the compilations of 12" versions from the 80's and 70's.They have very good prices as well.
LONDON CALLING - 24 de Maio st., 116, loja 29 - Downtown
On the same gallery (second floor), London Calling has the widest variety on CDs from the 80's. Unfortunately, they know how to charge for some rarities... Worth the visit. There's a fascinating shop on the side of London Calling called "bizarre", with a weird selection. On the same floor, another shop (I haven't got the name) sells cds from 5 dollars and "Up Dance Music" is one of the various shops specialized in dance CDs. And don't forget: whatever your musical taste is, there's a shop among the over 20 shops in this gallery that will fit you. Unless you're looking for heavy rock. If it's the case, keep on reading.
ROCK MACHINE - 24 de Maio st., 62, loja 263 - Downtown
Yes, one block down from the gallery on number 116 there's another gallery on the 62th, with other 20 shops, this time all dedicated to rock and heavy metal. Check Rock Machine and Cactus Records (sala 281) among them all.
MUSEU DO DISCO - Conselheiro Crispiniano st., 311 - Downtown - Phone: 220-8063
A very old shop, remanescent from those good old vinyl times (doesn't it seem so long ago ?). When you go to the galleries on 24 de Maio, visit this shop, since it's on the same block. Good opportunities of good CDs from 10 dollars. They have other adresses in town inside some Shopping Centers, as Shopping Morumbi, Shopping Center Norte and Shopping Center Iguatemi. I've already been to the Morumbi and Iguatemi adresses and it's worth to browse the promotional counter: there can always be a surprise hidden there for as little as 5 bucks.
BILLBOX - Shopping Center Morumbi and Shopping Center Paulista
Billbox is inside Morumbi Shopping, one of the most beautiful shoppings in Sao Paulo. It's got a lot of import CD's, and you can hear each and every one you like. Indeed, a very complete shop.
FNAC - Av. Pedroso de Morais, 858 - Phone:867-0022
This is located where there used to be a Cultural Shopping Mall called Atica. Opened in June-99, this shop, as its sisters in France, Belgium, and Spain offer not only CDs, but books as well. Actually, I haven't been there since the change from Atica to Fnac, but the old shop used to stay open daily until midnight (including saturdays and sundays), so I bet they will keep on doing this. As it happens in any megastore around the world, don't expect the best prices in town.
If you visit Fnac, don't miss this little shop on the side street, half-a-block from the megastore. It works basically with imports on (as you might have guessed by now) indie cds. With the rise of the dollar (or the fall of the real, depends from what side you're looking), all prices of imports went to the galaxies, but they sometimes manage to keep some prices affordable. And besides, they do have a good variety for people who want to pay. Also carries CDV, DVD, MD and VHS. Worth the visit.
SARAIVA MEGA STORE - Shopping Center Morumbi, ground floor (Phone: 542-0336), Shopping Eldorado, first floor (Phone: 870-5999) and Shopping Ibirapuera, Moema floor (Phone: 5561-7290).
In spite of being smaller than Fnac, Saraiva Mega Store is indeed very complete. I've been to the adress inside Morumbi Shopping. Actually, it's a bookstore which decided to include CDs in their shelves. Good prices and the first ones to sell CD singles in Brazil with decent prices.
This is a small shop owned by a japanese couple, Carlos and Lourdes. Alternate rock, hard, progressive and rarities. It's a nice tip if you're around the Paulista Avenue area, which is indeed worth the visit.
SOUND SQUAD - Oscar Freire st., 1039 - Phone: 852-5265
Located on Sao Paulo most fashionable street, Oscar Freire, among lots of griffe shops, Sound Squad is specialized in dance music. Nice attendants who will let you listen to everything.
BANANA MUSIC STORE - Alameda Lorena, 1641 - Phone: 853-8877/8538771
Very close to Soundsquad, BANANA is a nice shop where you'll find a lot of imported stuff. In the back of the shop there's a box of Cds with reduced prices. Of course, they are reduced compared to the prices you'll find on the regular Cds on the store (don't forget you're on the fashion center of Sao Paulo, the most expensive city in Brasil).
EMPORIO PAULISTA DE CULTURA - Av. Paulista, 2518 - Sala 2 - Phone: 3159-3098 - opens from Sunday to Saturday, including holidays, but don't come too early in the morning...
Ok, now for something completely different. First of all, it looks as if it's an apartment building. Don't get impressed and enter. You'll find three different departments here: one that sells old books, one that sells used cds and one that sells memorabilia from old tv series. Although this is a page dedicated to cd shops, I'll have to make an exception to speak about the memorabilia shop (and, hey, I said they sell used cds too!). You'l find here everything about cartoons and series you haven't heard of for a while, such as Ultraman, Lost in Space, Spiderman, etc. The VHS tapes (bootleg) cost from 10 U$ up, and they also have t-shirts, posters, photos, soundtracks (here are the cds again...), stickers and used hero magazines from Marvel and DC. This place is one of my favourites in São Paulo, a wonderful program for sundays before having lunch...
MO' BETTER SOUNDS AND OTHERS - R. Nazaré Paulista, 438 - Vila Madalena - Phone: 62-0108
As the name says, here you'll find not only cds, but magazines, videos and other stuff as well...
INTERGROOVE - R. Augusta, 2690, loja 05 (Galeria Ouro Fino) - Phone: 282-3524 - Mon-Fri, 11-19.
OK, let's start our tour on one of São Paulo's most famous streets: Rua Augusta. Galeria Ouro Fino, a small gallery of shops near Oscar Freire Street (the most charming street in the city), is the place to go to be fashionable. Among very nice club wear shops, you'll find Intergroove, specialized on eletronic music. Don't expect good prices, since they work only with the latest imports. Only come here if you're longing for novelty. You can also mail them or visit intergroove on the internet .
TECHNO RECORDS - R. Augusta, 2690, loja 22 (Galeria Ouro Fino) - Phone: 881-2453.
Still on Rua Augusta, still on the same gallery, another house/techno/garage/trance/jungle/drum&bass shop just like Intergroove. So much alike that the same comments I did about the former one apllies to this one. If you want to mail them , go on.
RHYTHM RECORDS - R. Augusta, 2690, loja 106 (Galeria Ouro Fino) - Phone: 883-4771.
Again on Rua Augusta, again on the same gallery, again the same dance stuff. What's different here? The e-mail .
ALWAYS DISCOS - R. Augusta, 1371, loja 104 (Galeria Ouro Velho) - Phone: 285-6677
This is a small shop specialized on movies and their original soundtracks. If you need something special from the 7th art, drop by or just e-mail the owner, Marco .
GOLDEN RECORDS - R. Augusta, 1365, loja 4 - Phone: 289-3702
A few steps from Always, Golden Records dedicates its existence to rare cds and lps, mainly deleted items. Speak with Fernando if there's something you've been after for a long time. By the way, speaking of Augusta avenue, there are three more spots you should check before leaving the area: Blow Up records on number 2194 (phone: 282-7988), Laser World on the 2215 (phone: 280-9335) and Celso's booth of rare cds, on number 1221 (phone: 278-2919)
Compact Blue is a small net of shops installed inside little galleries. They have the biggest selection on the smallest amount of space I've ever seen. Lots of stuff, including singles and imports (mainly on the one located on Av. Paulista 332), but with high prices and no promotions... The adress on the small gallery on Av.Paulista, 2408, very near from EMPORIO PAULISTA DE CULTURA opens on Sundays.
CD LÂNDIA - R. José Paulino, 257, loja 9 - Bom Retiro - Phone: 223-9219
This is not a specialized shop at all, just one of the hundreds of normal cd shops you'll find on São Paulo's numerous neighborhoods. I just included it here for the interesting street it's located, José Paulino, where women will find the cheapest clothes in town on lots of small shops along the street. So, if your wife decides to come to this part of town and brings you, you wil certainly be needing the only adress that will be of any use for you here: Cd Lândia.
RIO DE JANEIRO
To start talking about the marvelous city, let's visit what I imagine is the most complete store in Brazil. Man, this guys have it all! The shop exists for 30 years and carries everything from the classical to the popular, from brazilian to japanese. Lots and lots of imports on a very clean and well-organized scenario of 350 square meters. The prices tend to go really high mainly because they garantee you the variety. Even if you don't buy anything, it's a colirium for any serious collector's eyes to see a shop like this.
Let's start our tour on Ipanema. This is my favourite neighborhood in Rio, and the best place to go to the beach. Visconde de Pirajá is the main shopping street on Ipanema and has got a lot of cd shops on its galleries. Let's visit them one by one. Spider is a small shop on the second floor of a gallery that also has a nice comic shop (and is located almost in front of the Hotel I was staying at...). The owner is a very friendly guy named Volmar. Spider also locates cds and VHS tapes, and despite it hasn't got a big selection of cds to sell, they are specialized in very hard-to-find stuff, mainly from the 90's. Visit or drop them a line.
SEMPRE MUSICA - 365, Visconde de Pirajá Street, Loja 11 - Ipanema - Phone: 523-9405 -
A small shop of used cds, most of them around 12 R$ (6 dollars after the 1999 devaluation). They could have more variety, but the nice thing here is that if you manage to choose 4 cds, they'll let you have them for the price of 3.
POINTER DISCOS - 540, Visconde de Pirajá Street, Loja 107 - Ipanema - Phone: 294-3428 - Monday-Friday, 13-19; Saturday, 10-14.
Some time ago, this was the only adress I had to recommend on Rio. Well, even with all the other tips I now can give you, I continue thinking this is a nice place to go. The cds are shown on progressive-prices boxes, ranging from R$ 2,50 (!!!) up to 19,00. The only stupid thing here is that you can't listen to the cds on your own: the owner plays them himself and you have to ask him each time you want to change the tracks.
HEADBANGER - 346, Conde de Bonfim Street, Loja 316 - Tijuca - Phone: 284-1034
Ok, heavy-metal fans, I haven't forgotten you. This shops claims to be "South America's Heaviest Heavy Metal Store" (sic), selling the best from USA, Europe and Japan. Since I'm a little bit ignorant on these noisy field, I have to take their word for granted. Some curious stuff: this store has a radio-show every friday at 91,3 FM (Radio Progressiva) showing their new releases. If you really like Trash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal and Alternative Rock, another good tip: on the same gallery there is another store with that follows the same briefing: Renaissance.
PLANET ROCK - Natal Shopping Center - Lj. 205 - Phone: 235-8220.
For those who are unfamiliar with Brazil's geography, Natal is the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, one of the states in the northeast of the country. Although this is not a touristic guide, let me tell anyone who plans to come to Brazil, don't miss this little paradise. Beaches, dunes, hot water, good food and no criminality make Natal the perfect place to stay. And yes, there's a Shopping Center, where there is a Cd shop. Actuallly, a very good Cd Shop, with seven listening posts, excellent prices, new and used Cds AND a whole shelf full with bootleg Cds.Yes, all those live concerts Cds from Italy that you can't find anywhere in Italy are here ! Don't miss it !
AKY DISCOS - Natal Shopping Center .
Well, there is another CD shop inside the shopping called AKY. It's not as fascinating as PLANET ROCK, but... if you leave Natal Shopping and cross the street using the suspended platform, you'll reach another shopping center, without walls, which name I don't really remember. But that's not important. What you should know is that in this other shopping there is another AKY DISCOS, this one bigger and better. Why is it better ? Because they have a shelf that sells CDs for as little as 5 dollars. If you're interested in brazilian music, welcome ! If you're not, welcome too. Here is where I bought the 2 "Rare on Air" cds for 5 bucks each.
DISCOS RAROS - Rua Gonçalves Ledo, 23 - Lj. 15 (on the corner with Monsenhor Tabosa street)- Phone: 219-7987 / 482-4161 / 987-8430.
Going up north from Natal, Fortaleza is the next main city, the capital of the state of Ceara. A huge city, with more than 2 million inhabitants, and a central point for visiting wonderful beaches as Lagoinha, Morro Branco and mainly Jericoacoara, considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. But let's leave this kind of comments for the touristic guides and focus our attention on what we like most: cds. Between a visit to one beach and other, you'll take a walk on Monsenhor Tabosa street, a small open-air shopping center. On the corner with the small lane Gonçalves Ledo, you'll see a small sign where you'll read "Discos Raros", which means "Rare Cds". But the best thing here aren't the rare cds, but the regular cds you'll find for low prices. It's a small shop with a big surprise hidden inside, certainly the best place in town to buy cds for a tiny little price. Most of the cds are used, and range from 8 to 12 Reais (4 to 6 dollars, according to the 1999 devaluation of the Real). And the variety is incredible, Carlos (the guy who runs it) has almost everything you can think of. And more: I bought 10 cds and he even gave me a 10% discount on the reduced price! That's whay I think If you've got time for only one place in Fortaleza, welcome to it.
TOK DISCOS - Av. Santos Dumont, 2849 - Lj. 6-9 - Phone: 244-6840.
On a busy corner on the trendy neighbourhood of Aldeota, TOK is probably the hugest shop in Fortaleza. Come here if you want to buy cheap brazilian music. The store has lots of compilations of almost any brazilian artist you can think of for very promotional prices. It really worths a visit, mainly if you are going to visit the brand new Aldeota Shopping Center, which is located very close to this shop but is very poor on music stores.
OPUS DISCOS - Pedro Jorge Gallery - R. Senador Pompeu, 834/2nd floor/sl.229 - Phone: 252-2220.
It seems every big brazilian city has got its downtown building full of cd shops. This is Fortaleza's contribution to this tradition. Most dedicated to skatists and heavy-metal fans, the 2nd floor of this building on Senador Pompeu street, on the heart of the nervous Fortaleza downtown, offers us almost 10 different cd shops (although they are all very alike on the stuff they sell...). After visiting stores with suggestive names as Planet CD's, Darkness, Gallery's Cds, Chakal and so on, you'll agree with me that the most interesting spot on this gallery is OPUS DISCOS for its nice variety, for its rarities, for its bootlegs and for its side dishes: t-shirts, videos, rings and other skate material. Come here to browse for your favorite heavy/punk/rap/progressive/alternative/reggae/ska and even blues stuff with prices around 20-35 Reais (10-18 dollars in 1999). But come prepared for the "wildness" of the downtown of a big brazilian city...
RARIDADE DISCOS - Rua Comendador Araújo, 110 / Loja 02 - Phone (041)224-8829
The best surprise in Curitiba lies one or two blocks down the 24 hour street, downtown, inside a little alley full of shops. Raridade Discos is certainly the best place in Curitiba to find a real bargain. The owner, Marcos, has a wonderful selection of used stuff (a rare thing in Brazil) with really nice prices (always around 10 bucks). The price compensates the lack of organization. If you're into vinyl as well, there's lots of stuff here from all ages. Marcos claims to send rarities to your home if you call by phone but I haven't tried yet. He will also buy your used cds and vinyl, or trade them if you want
ARMAZÉM DO ... CD - General Osorio Square, 437- Phone (041) 322-8858
Not far from Raridade, in the heart of downtown Curitiba, you'll find Armazém do ... CD (which translates as "Market of... Cds". I find particularly annoying this reticences in the name of the store, it seems they don't want to take responsability for playing with words, but that may only be a grumpy comment by the copywriter in me). Armazem is a huge shop, with a big stock of only new Cds and very good prices on selected material. It's worth the visit, mainly because it's close to most hotels downtown
CAPITAL DISCOS - Shopping Garcez - Av. Luis Xavier, 103 - downtown - Phone (041)225-4275
Capital is inside a beautiful and new shopping mall (or is it a department store ?) in downtown Curitiba. With other adresses in Londrina and Ponta Grossa, it's main attribute is the charm of the little store, mostly a place where you'll find the latest releases from the mainstream. No second-hand.
D.CD CLUB - Shopping Curitiba, at Oswaldo Cruz Square, 2698 - Phone (041)326-1122 - There's also an adress in the Beira Mar Shopping in Florianopolis.
D.CD CLUB is located inside the Curitiba Shopping, a shopping center that was made inside a huge old building that was restored. The shopping itself is worth the visit for the restoration work. The best Cd shop inside is this one. In spite of not having a big selection, they offer only prime-time material and a lot of imported cds. If you're into surf music, welcome !
PLANET MUSIC STORE - Shopping Curitiba, at Oswaldo Cruz Square, 2698 - Phone (041)326-1111 / Estacao Plaza Show - Phone (041) 323-5871
One of the Music Store shops is located inside the same shopping as D.CD CLUB. I wouldn't lose too much time inside it. Although it's huge, beautiful and lets you hear anything you want, the selection isn't as big as it seems and the prices are a little bit too high. But, since you're here, give them a chance. Maybe you'll find something you like. It's part of the same chain of Aky Discos in Natal.