The Music Store celebrates 25th anniversary with a month-long Summer Music Series!
The shows are free every Saturday afternoon, 3-5pm and open to all ages, so bring Grandma, bring the kids! Sales and discounts will be offered during the shows — including 25% off all used records, CDs, tapes, and movies. And come thirsty — cold beverages will be available.
The Music Store 25th Anniversary & Summer Music Series
Saturdays in August / 3-5pm
5: Jody & The Roadies (classic country and bluegrass)
12: Nashville Honeymoon (classic country and honky-tonk)
19: Low Bote (80s post-punk and 90s alt-rock)
26: Lester T. Raww & The Graveside Quartet (tin pan alley and old-timey jazz / featuring members of the Pine Box Boys)
and Gaucho (gypsy jazz)
@The Music Store
66 West Portal Ave, San Francisco
It’s been a long strange trip…and The Music Store has taken the curvy, bumpy journey the entire ride. The Music Store in the heart of the West Portal neighborhood has seen it all — the CD boom, the download boom, the CD decline, the record revival, and now the new CD revival, the cassette tape revival, and even the video tape revival.
TMS opened in 1998, in what seemed to be a boom in the music biz. Owner Shelby Ash remembers “it being so busy the first year, a year later we moved to a larger space two doors down. Business kept increasing daily and at one point we had 5 employees”. However, like most businesses during the “great recession” of 2007-2009, TMS saw a hit in business, not once, but twice. “The recession was one thing, but our core customer base also stopped shopping; stopped buying music, stopped buying movies, and pretty much stopped coming in all together for well over a decade. They stayed home and downloaded music and movies”. That core customer base was primarily teenage girls, but also anyone with an iPhone or computer. Ash calls it “the download generation”. “But luckily San Francisco is a BIG music city and a large portion of our population still want that physical CD, record, DVD, “old-school technology” what some call it, in their hands. We appreciate good music and good movies here in San Francisco. So thankfully we didn’t see a very long decline in business”.
Starting 10+ years ago TMS saw the revival of vinyl records increase with each year, and the decrease in CD and DVD sales. “That first year “BC” (before Covid) we noticed record sales over taking CD sales, so we decided to shrink down our CD selection and make room for more vinyl. I personally went through every CD and DVD in our store and lowered the price by $2, some even $3. Then Covid hit. That killed us for 3 months. But somehow, by the grace of the “Music Gods” once we reopened in June 2020 everyone came back. People were running out of movies to watch on streaming platforms and wanted something new to watch. Lucky for San Franciscans we had what they wanted; used, classic, rare movies at an affordable price. But it didn’t stop there. Our core customer base came back! A whole new generation discovered us during the pandemic. Teenagers once again are buying music…some on record, but mostly on CD and cassette tape. We’ve seen a huge increase in CD sales in the last 2 years and as well as cassette sales. And this revival is not limited to teenage girls or hipsters — it’s everyone; from teenage boys, to men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and up. Everyone is going back to that “old-school technology” everyone abandoned a decade ago and have spent the last 10+ years making fun of anyone with a CD player or VCR.
“As long as there are people into physical music and movies, I’ll keep the doors open and the lights on another 25 years” says Ash.