Louisiana Music Factory, an essential stop at both the beginning and the end of every trip to New Orleans, is an old-fashioned music store with a heavy emphasis on local acts. Come by early during your visit to sample the work of New Orleans groups at the CD-listening stations, then pick up one of the free publications to see if any your favorites are playing. At the end of your trip, return to grab CDs of resident artists you enjoyed at the clubs. (The store also hosts frequent, low-key concerts on weekends.) It’s conveniently located where Frenchmen and Decatur streets meet, near the city’s live-music nexus.
An indie record store with a local focus
Before you leave New Orleans, wouldn’t you like to pick up copies of all the incredible music you heard during your visit? This is the place. Music lovers who visit NOLA should already be familiar with Frenchmen Street, home to many of the city’s best live music venues. It is also home to one of the best music stores anywhere, Louisiana Music Factory. The shop staff are also music fans, and incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. You can listen before you buy and browse new releases, store recommendations, and my favorite section, “Reviewed in OffBeat” which features music discussed in OffBeat magazine, the definitive guide to New Orleans and Louisiana music. LMF even hosts free in-store concerts, often featuring big-name artists; the schedule is posted online. If you don’t have time to visit the store during your trip, you can shop online when you get home. You’ll find musical gems here that you just won’t find anywhere else. Open daily 11-8.