So about this time last year, I had to go out to California to do a thing. While I was there, I visited the original, very cool Tower Records on Hollywood and Vine. If you haven't heard already, Tower is liquidating its stock and closing its doors forever. Bur as sad as I am, I know that vinyl lives on. L.A. still has the hipster's Mecca, a warehouse of music, movies, and poptitude called Amoeba Music. The place calls itself "the largest indie record store in the country," and brother, you'd better believe it. It's a neon pantheon in the heart of Hollywood, and you can't swing a swizzle stick in that place without hitting a bevy of great used CD's and movies, memorable concert posters, shirts, suicide girls and friendly walking encyclopedias of pop knowledge.
But wait, there's more! Like free concerts inside the store, ala that classic of hip-pop drama, Empire Records. Imagine going down to the record warehouse to finally buy Depeche Mode's Violator on CD so you won't have to scratch the vinyl anymore, and being serenaded by my favorite new-ish band, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, live and in the flesh, as you paw through the scratch-and dent-specials. I eagerly await my next pilgrimage to this Promised Land of the Great Vinyl Gods.
Until then, though, I can't complain about Tally's music store offerings, because I have the fever, the Vinyl Fever. Not only is this hangar bay on West Pensacola Street spilling great new and used music at the gills, but it seems to have channeled Amoeba Music's hiring mojo - the staff is hip and friendly to an extreme. Think the polar opposite of Jack Black from High Fidelity. Even better, Vinyl Fever's Web site is chock full of local artists, scene info, and recommendations that don't suck.
And that's not all. This town's got a couple of hole-in-the-wall used CD stores that can't be beat.
But if real vinyl - not just the metaphorical kind - is your thing, here's the best-kept secret in town: Check out Avant-Garb on the corner of Gaines and Macomb streets. The lovely keeper of this cool collectibles shop, Heather, maintains a mind-blowing stack of vintage records wayyyyyy in the back of the store. At the very least, you'll find a cool record cover to staple up as wall art, like in the bathrooms at Momo's Pizza.
Anywhere I missed? Gosh yes, there is. Drop me a line or post a comment to share the info, all you hipster's apprentices.
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