Easy Street Records is an independent record store located in Seattle, Washington. Easy Street opened its store in West Seattle in 1988, and later added a cafe/bar, which serves coffee, breakfast, lunch and beer & wine. Easy Street Records often hosts live in-store performances by national and local musicians. Our store carries new and used CDs, vinyl records, DVDs/BluRays, new books, magazines and company-branded merchandise.
Owner/President Matt Vaughan worked at two different record stores during his teen years. In 1987, with both stores ready to go out of business simultaneously, Vaughan approached both owners and offered to consolidate the two stores into one. Vaughan opened Easy Street Records in the business district of West Seattle (known as "The Junction") in 1988 and the following year moved the store down the street to its current location on the primary corner of the Junction in the historic Hamm Building. In 1999, he leased the space next door, installed a new kitchen and bar, and by 2001 had opened a full-service cafe. The following year he opened a second, much larger store in the Queen Anne neighborhood, which thrived for 11 years until its closure in 2013.
The larger store provided the extra room Vaughan needed to build a stage and soon national touring artists began performing there, including Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Kings of Leon, Patti Smith, Paul Westerberg, Franz Ferdinand, Lana Del Rey, Dierks Bentley, Robyn, Jack Johnson, Jurassic 5, Wanda Jackson, Steve Earle, Regina Spektor, John Doe, Dick Dale, My Morning Jacket and many others. Easy Street is a strong supporter of Northwest artists, and has hosted in-store performances by The Sonics, Mudhoney, The Shins, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Cave Singers, Brandi Carlile, Shabazz Palaces, Moondoggies, Damien Jurado, Presidents of the USA, Minus the Bear, Band of Horses, The Head & the Heart and Blue Scholars, to name but a few. To date, the two stores combined have hosted over 500 in-store performances. Video clips of many in-store highlights can be found on our Videos page and our YouTube channel.
April 25, 2005 was one of the most memorable days in the history of Easy Street. The store was chosen to host the national, 10-year anniversary conference for CIMS (the Coalition of Independent Music Stores), an independent record retailers convention, and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready felt the band could do something special as a "thank you" gesture to these retailers. Vaughan proposed a surprise, invite-only in-store performance at the intimate West Seattle location, and the band ended up playing a special set for the crowd of 200. Pearl Jam later decided to release a special EP of the highlights from the show. Titled Live At Easy Street, its two pressings have completely sold out, and it is the store's biggest selling record to date.
On April 18, 2015, Easy Street presented a special Record Store Day in-store performance by the legendary Northwest band, The Sonics, who had just released their first album in nearly 40 years, This Is The Sonics. Tickets went on sale the day before the event, with all proceeds going toward funding Seattle radio station KEXP’s move to larger headquarters at the Seattle Center. The event was billed as The Sonics (and Special Guests), which raised a great deal of speculation and excitement about who the guests would be. At 10pm on Record Store Day, with the store packed to capacity, the Sonics took the stage, and as night went on, they welcomed Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready, Chris Ballew (Presidents of the USA), Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden), Van Conner & Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees), original Sonics bassist Andy Parypa, Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening), Matt Lukin (Mudhoney), Emily Nokes (Tacocat), Bill “Kahuna” Henderson (Girl Trouble), and Rod Moody (Swallow). KEXP recorded and filmed the entire event, and the album The Sonics Live At Easy Street was released on vinyl April 16, 2016.