Select Page

Record Renaissance: Port of Sound

Record Renaissance: Port of Sound


We live in the whirling-dervish days of intensifying technology – digitizing our lives to a dizzying degree. But sometimes we innovate so far afield, culture circles back to find comfort in its own past.

This phenomenon is especially evident in the music industry, where “vinyl retromania” has resurrected the independent, brick-and-mortar record store. Joining in the revival, locally, is Costa Mesa’s Port of Sound Record Shoppe on the corner of Harbor Blvd. and Adams Ave. 


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, Port Of Sound Record Shoppe, Music, Vinyl, Albums, Records, Turntables, Memorabilia, Bands, Top 40

Port Side: New and Used Vinyl Records at Port Of Sound Record Shoppe in Costa Mesa | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


The owner of Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Greg Meyer, is not your stereotypical “record store guy”. He’s not an indie-music savant. He doesn’t spend weekends binging on concerts. He isn’t a song snob.

He is a refreshingly honest guy, about the most straightforward and direct as any we’ve interviewed.

“Look, there’s no sexy backstory to how we started,” said Meyer. “The truth is, I was never even that into vinyl. People think I got into this because of the music, but I’m all business. Business is business whether you sell widgets or concert tickets or records.

“I live here, in the upper-bird streets, and I got really tired of driving up to Los Angeles to find anything cool. I figured other people probably felt the same. There was a need for an actual, relevant record store in Orange County because there were none.

“If you want the kind of stuff we have, you either come here or you have to trek to LA.”


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, Music, Vinyl, Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Records, Record Players

Minding His Business: Port of Sound Owner, Greg Meyer, Flips Through The Racks | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


Meyer may not be in it for the music, but he’s business-savvy enough to hire a staff that is. His employees are empowered as buyers, executing the everyday music decisions that make Port of Sound such a fun, eclectic, immersive experience.

“I’m in charge of the big decisions, but my buyers are able to make about 90% of the decisions themselves,” said Meyer. “It’s a good rapport. We talk about what we have and what we need, but they handle it. They do a good job, so I don’t micromanage.

“We carry every, single genre; something for everyone. There’s nothing we don’t carry and there’s nothing I won’t carry. Each category has its own niche loyalty and brand of popularity – classic rock, punk rock, pop music, electronic, jazz, classical, kids’ music – it all sells.”


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, City of Costa Mesa, Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Vinyl, Turntables, Listening, Music, Bands, Try before you buy

All Ears: Buyer, Sarah Rivera, Takes a Turn at the In-Store Listening Station | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


So why the record renaissance? What’s so special about vinyl that it’s staging a comeback?

“The bottom line is that it just sounds better,” said Meyer. “That’s the main catalyst. It’s got a quality and a warmth to it that you just aren’t going to get from a CD. You can hear a lot more depth from a record. The instrumentation is a bit more subtle and you can really hear it on a well-mastered record. My favorite genre on vinyl is jazz, for obvious reasons.

“There’s also the retro factor. People like pulling out records when their friends come over.

“And the collector factor. Take the stuff that came out in the 90s, for example. Those were the really dark days of vinyl, so production was low and not too many records were pressed.  If they haven’t reissued those records, they can be pretty rare and worth something.”


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, City of Costa Mesa, Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Vinyl, Records, Turntables, Needle, Music, Bands, Recordings

Licorice Pizza: Feast Your Ears On a Warm and Delicious Slice of Vinyl | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


It’s mostly about vinyl at Port of Sound, but not all. They also stock turntables, posters, shirts, stickers, patches, DVDs, CDs, amps, replacement sleeves, and turntable parts – like cartridges and needles – for when you need them.

“We also offer record-cleaning services to help people care for their collection,” said Meyer. “Some people don’t know about that.

“Vinyl, even new vinyl, has a kind of film or residue on it that can negative affect the sound quality. So, we apply a solution, scrub it carefully with special brushes, and then vacuum it all up so the record gets really spotless. You’re not just spraying something and wiping it down. This is a professional level of clean.

“You know it’s time to bring in your records when you hear that ‘bacon crackle’ sound.”


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, City of Costa Mesa, Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Vinyl, Turntables, Records, Patches, Band Patches, Commemorative

Patch Me Up: Not Just Vinyl, But Lots of Gear to Show the Love for Your Favorite Band | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


So what about the classic elitism often associated with independent records stores? Will newbies be subjected to the kind of ridicule frequently flung at the uninitiated?

“Straight up, I don’t tolerate it,” said Meyer. “Everyone that comes in here gets treated with respect. Nobody has that ‘record store mentality’. No one’s mean. No one’s nasty.

“I can’t stand that attitude, I really can’t. It’s ridiculous. It’s obvious and it’s lame, for lack of a better word.

“I mean, there is no good or bad music, it’s all just personal preference. Your opinions about music, your choices, we respect them. We’re just about helping people listen to their kind of music they like, and maybe help them find some new stuff they didn’t know about.

“I cannot emphasize enough how much that nonsense will never happen in my store.”


I Heart Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa, City of Costa Mesa, Port of Sound Record Shoppe, Greg Meyer, Sarah Riviera, Vinyl, Music Store, Record Shop, Records, Recordings, Bands, Music

No Snobs Here: Port of Sound’s Sarah Rivera and Greg Meyer Hearting Costa Mesa | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


If you’re interested in starting a vinyl collection of your own – or adding to the one you already have – shop local this Black Friday. That’s when Port of Sound, and many other indy stores, will be celebrating their next Record Store Day.

“It’s a big deal. There’ll be about a hundred ‘independent record-store only’ releases that come out on Black Friday,” said Meyer. “We’ll open at 5 AM in the morning and people line up for it.

“But even if people can’t make it for that, they should find time to check us out. Support the local guys. Everyone here has fun, so come in and have some fun with us.” ♥



About The Author

The Mesa Maven

The Mesa Maven is a writer, entrepreneur, community organizer and - most importantly - Costa Mesa Superfan!!! She's simply mad for this Mesa On The Coast and all the creative, independent, amazing, everyday things happening in our sunny backyard. The Maven lives with her husband, two kids and guinea Costa Mesa, of course!

10% off Bulletproof Proteins - this month only!
Free shipping & returns on all orders at Volcom. No minimum. Shop now!

Keep The Love Coming

Follow Our Instagram


Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Tomorrow is forecast to be nearly the same temperature as today.
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.
A mainly sunny sky. High near 60F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.
Sunny. High 63F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunny. High 69F. NNE winds shifting to WSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunny. High 64F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 57F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This