|205 F Street across from Starbucks|
|Cash, Check, MasterCard, and Visa|
Armadillo Music is a small and friendly independent record store. They sell music, videos, and videos with music, along with diverse other items like vinyl, cassettes and T-shirts. You can listen to almost any CD in the store (except for special orders/box sets/rarities), new or used, at their three listening stations. The selection varies, but they are always willing to special order something not in stock and have it in a few days. If you're strapped for cash they also buy used CDs, DVDs, and vinyl.
Used CDs that don't sell quickly end up in the Bargain Bin near the door. Often, amazingly good music can be found in this non-alphabetized rack for under $6, with some CDs selling for as cheap as $2. If you're looking for a gag gift, there is no shortage of Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys here. Cruise often, as the Bargain Bin is frequently replenished.
Thinking consumers appreciate the independent spirit and employees of Armadillo Records, as well as the always changing supply of used CD and DVD discoveries. If you are spending lots of money on CDs anyway, why not keep your business and tax dollars in a locally-owned independent retailer? Also, ask someone behind the desk to add you to the mailing list so you can get first crack at the bargain bins.
They also sell tickets to local venues.
They now sell Armadillo and KDVS t-shirts at great prices! Go in and check out the styles available...
Supposedly formed from the Buyout/closing of CD Research
In the December 2006 issue of Alive and Kicking, manager Paul Wilbur announced that he would be leaving Armadillo at the end of the month after 11 years of service. He cites the financial burden of having so many employees at a time when CD sales are dwindling as the reason for his departure. Note: Paul Wilbur is back (2009?), but doing other things to help the store.
The "rivalry" between Armadillo and Dimple Records across the street was the focus of an article in Sacramento News & Review titled The Great F Street War.1 Don't forget that the Dimple Records location used to be a Tower Records and there was a pretty good "rivalry" back then as well.
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2007-03-27 11:29:59 Has anyone noticed the awful smell and stuffiness of this place? It must be experienced to be believed, and if you spend enough time hunting for CDs here the odor will leave with you. Also, 3 for $20 on used cd's is pretty expensive. $4-$5 per CD is much more reasonable, though I will say that the three used CD's I bought from them are in such good shape they seem to be new. I just wish they would open a window! —ColinMcEnroe
2007-03-27 11:56:27 Never noticed the smell, but it is kind of pricey for used. I traded in some of my CDs and got about 4.00 credit for each. —MyaBrn
2007-03-27 12:33:11 I remember they used to have a record store. It closed right before I started collecting vinyl. —BradBenedict
2007-03-29 18:00:52 Yes, I wish there was a place to buy decent/clean or new records in Davis. You can always make the journey to Sacramento to hit Records on K Street or The Beat. I have never been to the Beat, but Records is a fine but somewhat overpriced place. They do have a very hit or miss $1.99 section at Records. But be warned that if you go there, it is reallllly funky, with middle aged guys in sweats and fanny packs looking through stacks of obscure 45's for records from the 50's that no one has ever heard of. Also, as far as $4 per CD, great, but what can you get for it? It is all relative to the pricing of the store. —ColinMcEnroe
2007-04-01 14:04:39 I do agree, Armadillo is small and it's too bad they don't sell vinyl anymore, but I'm much happier with a store like Armadillo in town than having no such store and being forced to buy CDs from Borders or the awful UCD Bookstore CD section. —ChrisThielen
2007-04-01 15:08:58 Interesting that you say this, I did find a few gems at the UCD bookstore: Bob Dylan's The Times Are A Changin, Johnny Cash's Live At Folsom Prison being among them. Also, they were very reasonably priced for new CD's. Obviously they have nothing on Armadillo in terms of selection, but you can find some classics for a good price, particularly at the Corral. —ColinMcEnroe
2008-01-27 13:07:45 Armadillo is great and we're lucky to have this store. I've been cruising "record" stores since the 70's and they keep this great tradition alive. Lively conversation, eclectic tunes in the air, funky smell (haven't noticed that, could be a personal problem), knowledgeable employees and a parade of interesting customers. Doesn't get any better than that. This place is a big part of what makes Davis special for me. And good luck to long time manager Dylan, moving on to other endeavors. —DavidFeliz
2008-05-10 18:33:32 They said they are going to start selling vinyl again in a couple months. Apparently they haven't had any vinyl in the store for six years or so. Hopefully they get some good stuff. —OscarSabino
2008-06-21 18:22:24 The vinyls are coming back! I just saw some last weekend during their weekend sidewalk promotion. Too bad I don't have something to play them with though... —SunjeetBaadkar
2008-06-26 21:56:44 The owner of Armadillo has passed away within the last week or so. His memorial will be this Saturday. I don't know exactly where, but its posted on their front door. You could also call them up for details. —SunjeetBaadkar
The owner of Armadillo Music, Mike Krell passed away due to a heart attack on Monday. His memorial will be on Saturday from 1-5pm at the Palms in Winters. He will be missed! - Aaron.Curtin
2008-07-01 09:40:24 I also remember when Armadillo was up on G Street — I think. I remember going to an interesting record store with the register in a center island. I bought an Orbital CD that they were playing, and have since listened to it a billion times. (This was pre-1998, when I was still in college and came to Davis to visit my girlfriend (now wife)). Huh-huh-huh. I'm OLD. —BillKendrick
2008-08-14 14:37:56 I have been a patron of this store for over 6 years now and still love it. Some think they are expensive. Try going across the street and compare stock on hand, selection, and yes, even price. Armadillo has them beat. Look at product knowledge and it's the same thing. Half the employees are either in bands or are DJs independently or in association with KDVS. All are good people and they know their material.
I have made long lasting friendships with many of them and also know that if you want to order something, they will be able to get it within a matter of days, not two weeks, not "I don't know what that is, let me see if I can find it", days.
Basically, it is one of the best establishments in downtown Davis and has really made an impression on the residents as a whole. If you've never been you should give it a try.
Oh, one last thing... someone mentioned that they have 3 "cds" for 20.00 which was incorrect, it's three DVDs for 20.00 which has since changed to 4, with 25% off all their used cds in the bins. Not expensive but truly inexpensive. -edited by wesone at 2:48 pm on 08-14-2008
2008-08-14 15:18:20 I go into this place once or twice a week to get in on that 4 DVDs for $20 sale...and to talk to the pretty peoples... —SunjeetBaadkar
2008-10-16 20:55:10 Armadillo is now carrying all of the KDVS Recordings releases we still have copies of. Dead Western LP (new!), San Francisco Water Cooler LP, Who's Your Favorite Son God? LP, and the Boss the Big Bit CD! —SimiSohota
2008-12-09 19:00:53 lol, who is that really hot guy who works there? he is really tall, he helped me last time find a lena horne cd. i know im not giving enough information on physical characteristics, but its hard to miss him. thats an extra reason i go to armadillo. i actually like the small place, the atmosphere there over dimples..though i like dimples. just it feels cozy at armadillo and friendly. —KimberlyMiller
2010-01-07 20:22:18 This place is a rip off! They are selling CDs for $17.98. Newsflash, it's not 1994 anymore. They sell used CDs for about $8 bucks. This is ridiculous. Go to Sac or the Bay area and you get a much better selection of used CDs for half the price. Go to Target or iTunes and get new music for much cheaper.
I have brought CDs in the past to sell and the staff is always really nasty and condescending. Recently I brought in a huge stack of CDs and the guy behind the counter offered me 25 cents for each CD in the first stack and 50 cents for the other. I knew he was gonna give me some BS so I before I approached the counter I checked to see what they were selling the same disks for......hmmm U2, Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, John Mayer, Led Zeppelin all were selling for $8 bucks or more.
Do yourself a favor and sell and buy your music elsewhere. I am all for independent retail, but not when they take advantage of the public. —stodd84
2010-01-25 15:19:27 I've shopped at Armadillo for a long time because the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. Back during his first stint here, Paul recommended the New Pornographers to me and I've been a huge fan ever since. More recently, Jordan, Jason, and Audrey's picks have been great for expanding my collection. Sometimes I wish I could stop spending money on music, but they keep recommending good stuff. —Risky
They have their pictures and names next to their staff picks section. You might want to check it...perhaps buy that person's pick...maybe talk about it with him... —SunjeetBaadkar
2011-07-05 21:29:26 I've traded music at Armadillo for several years now. The staff is very knowledgeable of all genres spanning several years and I've found their prices very reasonable, especially for their used cd's and the price they are willing to pay to buy music. I have nothing but positive things to say. —MarkSanger
2011-08-07 09:44:26 Great place to get cheap CD's. They have sales pretty often, with varying degrees of cheapness. A lot of the bargain CD's tend to be much older, like from the 80's and 90's. I found Eiffel 65's "Europop" album here for about $1.00! The guys who work here are also really nice. I've chatted with the owner a couple times and he seemed sweet. I liked the way he interacts with his other customers, and I really liked the fact that they don't take my bag away! (Unlike Dimple Records). I don't like being treated like a shoplifter, although since Dimple has video games, I can see their concern... but still.
I also LOVE the fact that they let you LISTEN TO THE CD'S BEFORE YOU BUY THEM! There are three CD players in the back replete with headphones. If you find a CD you're not sure about you can pop it into the player and give it a listen. Just make sure you don't forget to put it back in the case. One time, I accidentally left one of my CD's in the player and ended up buying an empty case. Feeling incredibly stupid, I called that night and explained what happened (I wanted my CD! D:). The guy answering the phone kinda laughed but he was very nice and wrapped up my CD for me to pick up the next time I came in the store. In a protective sleeve! So it wouldn't be scratched up! Yay!
It's a little small and when it's crowded it can be difficult to navigate past people but I actually like the smallness of the store. It makes it seem cozier and old-fashioned. Speaking of old-fashioned, I understand that they buy and sell vintage records and they seem to have a pretty good stock of them. I always see a collector or two when I'm in there and they don't usually leave empty-handed. There is a pretty good rotation on the selections available too! Definitely ****/***** stars. :) —nutmeg