Buying Music…At An Actual Record Store!

Yes, it is still possible to buy music without the use of a computer.  I had heard that LA’s Amoeba Music was worth checking out, so I snapped up a Groupon for their store.  I finally cashed it in a few weeks ago.

On their website, Amoeba dubs its Hollywood store as the world’s largest independent record store.  That’s no joke, walking in I was struck by the size of the store.  It reminded me of some of the old Tower Records locations (RIP).  Rows and rows of bins with CDs confront you after you get past the cash registers.  They sell both new and used CDs, as well as records, cassettes (!), DVDs, books and magazines.  The rock section dominates the main floor, including smaller areas for rock subgenres (you’re not going to find a death metal section at Best Buy).  Toward the back of the store is another whole section with jazz, blues, classical and soundtracks.

That back section, which played jazz selections over a PA, offered some respite from the frenzy of the main floor.  Their CDs being encased in plastic guards, there was a steady CLACK CLACK CLACK as patrons shuffled through CDs.  While we were there, the main PA was playing Aphex Twin (again not something you’d hear at Best Buy), which I thought was very cool.  The people watching was good too, skate kids, goths, hippies all milled around each other, searching for their musical match.

The selection was good, the prices were a little more expensive than you could get online for the new stuff, but their were good deals to be found in the used bins.  Wanting to get something new, I picked up My Morning Jacket’s Z.  I was also looking for some older Sharon Jones stuff but initially couldn’t find anything.  I thought that was odd, but then I found a whole Soul section tucked away on the other side of the main floor.  I ended up getting Sharon Jones and the Dap King’s Dap Dippin’ With… and for some local LA flavor, the Thee Midniters In Thee Midnite Hour and needed to vacate the area before I bought a lot more.

I am definitely going to head back to Amoeba in the future, if for nothing else to remember that feeling of glee that I had as a youngster thumbing through CDs and records at local record stores.

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