In Stock?

In Stock?: New CDs From Katy Perry, Fantasia and Ra Ra Riot

Katy Perry, Fantasia, Ra Ra Riot

Even at great record stores, you can't always find the albums you want. Sometimes the store has a particular specialty, sometimes the local audience doesn't support a genre, sometimes the price of an album doesn't justify the shelf space. Each Tuesday, we call five record stores to see if they have three brand new CDs in their store.

This week, we checked on Teenage Dream (on Capitol), Katy Perry's ubiquitous sophomore effort; Back to Me (on J) by American Idol winner Fantasia; and The Orchard (on Barsuk) by Syracuse-based indie-pop group Ra Ra Riot. The stores we called are all located within a couple of hours (not accounting for Southern California traffic) of Perry's hometown of Santa Barbara.

Best Buy Store 1391
7090 Market Place Drive, Goleta, CA

Teenage Dream: Yes
Back To Me: On Order
The Orchard: Yes

"[What we stock] is all decided in the corporate office in Minnesota. ... I've seen three people buying Teenage Dream today."
-Cassie, customer service representative

Boo Boo Records
978 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA

Teenage Dream: Yes
Back To Me: Yes
The Orchard: Yes

"We're lucky, we've been here for 36 years, and we can carry any genre. We have a wide variety ... I'm not limited by genre at all. And what I do is get several employees involved and they read up on new releases and I bring in what I think will sell. ... Rap, hip hop, reggae, Americana, indie, country. [Is there anything that you don't carry much of?] There might be some Latin pop titles we don't go real heavy in, but we might touch on some titles there, stuff that you guys [NPR] play and get the word out on."
-Mike White, owner

Rock Candy Music & More
28124 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus, CA

Teenage Dream: Yes
Back To Me: No
The Orchard: No

"We just opened five days ago, so we're just getting inventory together. Pretty much our focus is indie — but we're going to dip our toes into pop. The Katy Perry record we carried because we thought it would be an instant seller. I didn't know the Ra Ra Riot was out today — if I did, we'd have it in stock. We're still lining up our distribution. We opened last Thursday evening, and the response has been over the top great. [What were the options for buying CDs in Saugus before you opened?] The whole reason we opened was because the only options you had were Target, Best Buy and Walmart. So if you wanted back catalog or anything more obscure you had to drive to Amoeba in Hollywood."
-Bill Yergensen, owner

Barnes & Noble
829 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

Teenage Dream: Yes
Back To Me: No
The Orchard: No

"We carry some CDs and DVDs, but we don't have a music department. We're a very small, old Barnes & Noble, so we only carry a small selection of CDs. You should try our Ventura location, which has a full music store. But we can order anything, with no charge for delivery."
-Shani, store manager

Salzer's Records
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura, CA

Teenage Dream: Yes
Back To Me: Yes
The Orchard: Yes

"We haven't sold any copies of the Ra Ra Riot. What was Katy Perry's new album called again? That one we have not sold any copies of, but we will. Haven't sold any copies of the Fantasia record yet either. [What kind of store is Salzer's?] We try to keep it eclectic, but we're geared maybe a little more toward pop/rock. Our classic sections are always well stocked, and we try to get vinyl copies when they're available, even seven-inches. We don't have a lot of singles — they don't sell as well with iTunes now. [Is the store busier on Tuesdays?] We don't have lines out the door on Tuesdays or anything. I'd say less than half of the people know that new records come out on Tuesday. People pay attention to the date, but not the day of the week."
- Kyle Casey, store manager

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