561 King St. Downtown.
Independently owned and operated for 11 years, Charleston music shop 52.5 Records stocks an impressive selection of hard-to-find punk, metal, indie, underground, vintage, jazz, soul, blues, and weird stuff — on compact disc and vinyl. Proprietor Clay Scales and his tuned-in staff also regularly book local and touring acts to perform early-evening in-store gigs "on the rug" at the back of the long, narrow main room. Solo acts and full bands set up just under the old "Peggy" sign (left over from the previous tenant) and play for donations, usually around 7 p.m. or so. It's a great way for underground bands — from folk to hardcore — to promote their recordings, make contacts, and connect directly with Charleston's alternative music scene.