Music Millennium: A Maze of Music


Sierra Donis (she/her), Editor

Nestled on the famous Burnside Street in East Portland, Music Millennium offers a utopia for music lovers with an endless collection of vinyl, CDs, and more. Music Millennium proves itself as a hub for Portland’s music community that anyone can enjoy. If you ever happen to be on the other side of the Willamette, this record store may be a great stop to pick up some new music or indulge in its fun atmosphere. 

Opened in 1969 by Don and Loreen MacLeod, and their brother-in-law Dan Lissy, Music Millennium is known to be the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest. Focusing on underground music, the record store would begin to build the brand that we know today as a gem of Portland’s music scene. 

With a handful of vast rooms, Music Millennium has hundreds of music options to choose from. From mainstream music to obscure bands, you can find whatever your ears desire. While the store does offer plenty of CDs and other products, it mostly focuses on vinyl. “We used to sell way more CDs, less vinyl; but now that’s flip-flopped,” said Jack McMahon, a long-time employee of 28 years and local songwriter. From country to jazz, the variety in Music Millennium is endless, and you’re bound to find an artist you love while browsing the collection. 

Not only is Music Millennium known for its music, but it has also built a reputation for hosting in-store performances and autograph appearances. Blue Rodeo, Luscious Jackson, Richard Thompson, Maureen McCormick (aka “Marcia Brady”), Loreena McKennitt, and Shonen Knife, are just a few artists who have made an appearance in the store. These performances and signings are continuing today, so you may have the opportunity to meet some of your favorite artists at Music Millennium. 


The atmosphere of the store is a wave that hits you right when you walk through the door. Crazy decor and a range of music playing ease you into that Portland weirdness feel. While heavy metal may be playing in one room, indie pop may be playing in the other; the character of the store is unmatched. “It’s pretty cool,” said McMahon when asked about the working environment. “People make it as the movie High Fidelity,” said McMahon. “A little bit it is, just a lot of people who enjoy music.”

Not only is there a distinctiveness in the mood of the store, but also the range of people – “everything you could possibly imagine” – who come into the record store. Yet, Music Millennium caters to this huge range of demographics with its variety of music. It’s a welcoming place for anyone who just wants to enjoy a new track. 


Music Millennium lives up to its famed name with its crazy yet cheerful ambiance backed with amazing employees and a labyrinth of music that you can get lost in. So, if you’re ever looking to pick up some new music, see a live performance of your favorite artist, or just bask in the infamous collection of vinyl and CDs, Music Millennium is the place for you.