Image from www.chalkedup.com/
As you might imagine, being married to a guy like Dave, I've been through my fair share of record stores. In fact, I can claim to be pretty intimately aware of the interior of a variety of record stores in at least five different countries. New, used, records, CDs - it's all the same to him. If it's music, that's what matters. Dave has even gone on record as stating that he'd rather hear a recorded version of most acts rather than the real (live) thing because, generally speaking, the sound quality is better. The man's a fanatic!
Anyway, here in Vancouver, I've got to say that if I'm going to spend my time in a record store, that store had better be Zulu Records (1972 West 4th, Vancouver - firstname.lastname@example.org). Zulu is a fantastically funky store that has a fabulous selection of records in a number of different genres, always has the hippest choices available, and yet still seems to be a throwback to the 1970s with it's 'futuristic' mismatched furniture and old video games. They even sell tickets to all the best shows there - the ones I actually want to go to!
Well, you can imagine my surprise and Joy when we found Zulu's big cousin, Amoeba Records, when we were down in California. We heard of Amoeba through Dave's friend David M. of the band No Fun. David had recently been in LA and visited tower Records, but found Amoeba a little further down the road (6400 Sunset Bl., www.amoeba.com). Amoeba is like Zulu in a funky, individualistic sense; it's into all the hippest of the hip, and offers a stunning selection. But what is absolutely mind-boggling is the size of the place. It's like a big box store in size, if not larger, and is packed to the gills with music of every type imaginable. They have buyers who specialize in each type of music, and the expertise of these people shines through. While in San Francisco, we visited the Amoeba there - 1855 Haight Street. It's not as shockingly large, but still filled with tons of music and people who know their stuff. Turns out there's a third Amoeba, as well, in Berkley - 2455 Telegraph Avenue.
So if you're in California, definitely look this place up.