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Newport and Providence have always been my local choices for purchasing albums over the years. Even when I purchased tapes and CD’s, Newport and Providence always had those unique stores that carried artists like Phish and Fishbone, bands not typically found on the Top 40 countdowns. One store in particular, Music Box in Newport, seemed to carry an even more eclectic collection of music as well as rare European imports, rap music before it was mainstream, and all of the classic rock and punk you could handle.
On a rainy stroll through Newport last night, I was hard pressed to find the Music Box. That’s because the sign is missing from its familiar location on Thames St, just after the Brick Alley Pub and before Starbucks. In fact, the entire store as I once knew it is gone. In its place, a “Life Is Good” retail store. Over the summer, the Music Box converted into a “Life is Good” store and downsized their overall inventory. However, their vinyl inventory remains strong and has a prominent place in the middle of the store.
Although I struck out on increasing my Phish album collection, I did score a Fishbone album that I have been wanting for awhile. That along with My Morning Jacket, The Avett Brothers, Primus, and my personal favorite pick of the night, the new album by The Arcs. I found the music selection to be right on par with their past selections. They have chart toppers, jazz legends, rap heroes, and rock gods – all on vinyl and reasonably priced. Staff was very helpful as well. In fact, Music Box was willing to special order any album I was not able to find in the store.
So, if you are looking for the Music Box the next time you are out in Newport, you will need to re-direct yourself to the “Life is Good” store on Thames. I encourage you to shop local when buying vinyl records.