Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by zakyfarms, Sep 12, 2016.
Not until we've got the flying sushi wagons.
I buy on discogs, too. Was citing online example of conglomerate retailers. Still think Amoeba is great though.. will be in SF Amoeba tomorrow..
Finally had my first experience with a rude cashier at Amoeba the other day! Since we're talking about rude record store employees. But with digging for records, sometimes I don't even know what I want to buy until I come across it. If I'm looking for something specific, I go online. If I want a surprise, I go to the record store to see what they have and just about hope that what I'm looking for online is there too.
I suppose it's all about the type of records you're looking for. For years I shopped at both NoCal Amoeba's and found tons of rare, off beat stuff(tons of jazz), and of course this was pre vinyl resurgence so it did make it easier. But when Amoeba SF had to make some severe changes to the store, got rid of the jazz room, etc. I started finding less and less reason to schlep down there. Just not enough to keep me interested. Luckily over the last several years there have been some great small stores open up in the East Bay and they have enough, along with a monthly visit to Amoeba Berkeley to fulfill any need I have to go to stores. Most of what I pick up these days does tend to be on Discogs or through label websites. Lots of times it will because I'm made aware of something by listening to a radio show. If I have some trade $$ left at a particular store I'll give them a ring and ask if they have it. If not, that's when I'll start looking online.
I feel you. I'm into both STRANDED locations (Berkeley/Oakland and in SF). 1-2-3-4 Go is cool but i'm more into used vinyl than re-issues. The thing I still love about Amoeba is, and Stranded does this too, they sell the rare used vinyl IN THE STORE... Some sh***ty indie places sell out and put the rare stuff on eBay. Hate that. Amoeba puts it on the wall... Found out that the place I like in San Jose was putting their rare stuff on eBay and I haven't been back.
How’s the used vinyl selection at Rasputin on Telegraph these days? I was there a few months ago and everything seemed to be in limbo when Mad Monk across the street was closing. I’m worried that the Bay Area is going the way of NYC, music shopping-wise.
The problem with the bay area is the real estate costs. If they're renting the lot, how much do you have to sell to keep it open, keep the lights on, pay employees? Personally, I'll pay a little more to keep these places open. But there are people who are looking for the lowest prices known to man ...tough to do in the bay area.
I haven't seen vinyl in Rasputin Berkeley since mad monk. But I haven't been there in a couple of months, I actually preferred the well-organized lower floor of Rasputin Berkeley to Mad Monk, Rasputin's in a mess now though. Still putting more value on DVDs going into 2019 than you do on vinyl? They should ditch the DVDs, re-establish their vinyl selection, carry a few non-Crosley, non-LP60 turntables and position themselves differently. The Campbell store is the only location where they workers don't appear miserable though...
That depends on your point of reference I suppose, I was born in Hollywood many moons ago. As a kid I remember when it really was a cool place. Wallich's Music City was a favorite haunt as well as Aron's when he use to be in his tiny shop on Melrose semi across from Fairfax High School. The Hollywood Palladium was my home away from home. To me now, it is traffic and congestion. I was there just a few weeks ago to visit my daughter who live just a few blocks from Amoeba. However, she is a kid and loves all the excitement and doesn't know it from another time. Although, she is considering moving over to Burbank when her lease is up.
High rents and the cost of doing business are the death blows to record shops, not the disinterest in buying music products.
I have no idea how some of these stores do it. Stranded boggles my mind. Stores in some of the most expensive areas in the region, and they curate for a specific customer with(particularly the Piedmont store) inventory limited to a fairly narrow, and fairly expensive scope. I love that store, but in this day and age if you told somebody you were going to open up a record store(and only records) in a chi chi boutique neighborhood and specialize in rare, obscure jazz and avant garde used records I'm pretty sure they have you locked up for your own protection.
I love going into record stores. I hate getting a record in the mail that has a seam split because someone didn't pack it well or because the sleeve wasn't made for 180 gram vinyl. I don't need to find the lowest price known to man. And I dismiss the staff. It doesn't bother me when other people think they're awesome. It's better than being down and out and depressed.
As for Hollywood, what's wrong with Arc Light theatre? There are some cool restaurants around there too. I went to some mex restaurant on Cahuenga that was pretty cool too.. There are a hell of a lot more street people at the San Francisco and Berkeley stores...
So this thread is pretty old now, and I should probably start a new one, but I don't want to clog the forum up with redundancy. I will be in LA next week and am curious if anyone here has tried selling/trading in CDs to Amoeba Hollywood recently....has the payout been decent? When I say decent, I'm looking for store credit and hoping to average a buck a disc for whatever they take. (I'll have decent titles--not A Listers or rarities, but solid B titles...mostly on the pop/rock/altrock side of things). Titles that I know would been for sure taken say 6-7 years ago, but in todays CD climate I don't know anymore...
Quick thread bump, I'm in Los Angeles through tomorrow and wondering if there's any other (newish) stores worth checking out? Already covered Amoeba, Record Parlour and Going Underground. Thinking of Freakbeat this afternoon even though we're in Koreatown and it's kind of far. But I have to say Lyft and Uber have been a great alternative to renting a car, especially with the rain (so much for my sunny California break, huh?).
Freakbeat didn't do a darn thing for me, and it's a small store, so just know its size before you go over there.
I found quite a few things last time I was there, but it's been a few years.
Freakbeat and Atomic Records, both in the Valley.
Freakbeat never disappoints. CD Trader is just a bit further west for a more robust selection.
Rockaway Records in Silverlake and Poo-Bah in Pasadena get my recommendation. Mono Records in Glendale I think still closes all day on Monday's. Atomic was eh for me and CD Trader and Freakbeat have great selections, although I feel they were overpriced a tad.
Freakbeat it was. Waited out the downpour at the coffee place across the street (run by the most genuinely friendly staff I've ever encountered at a coffee shop) until FB opened. Found a few nice things, which is about all my budget would allow at this point!
The original plan was to go to the Pasadena record swap at the flea market but logistics and the weather kind of scuttled that. Has anyone been to this? Poo-bah looked interesting, will have to save that for another trip. Thanks for the suggestions.
Yes! I live about 1.5 hours south of Freakbeat, but any time I go up there, I make a point to go to The Coffee Roaster for some espresso. Like you said; the staff's friendliness is exceptional. I love that place.
My experiences at Freakbeat are either overwhelmingly good (too many rare and irresistible things posted on their walls), or I get "lucky" and only find a thing or two.
I haven’t gone to the Pasadena flea market in a few years, mostly because it was dwindling to a shell of its former self. It really lost a lot when they moved it in to the parking garage. Anyone been there more recently?
It's dwindled down a lot, but the strong have survived and the ones that remain have solid stock.
Commissioners Skewer Amoeba Tower’s Parking Plan—But Approve It Anyway
The look of that new building really bums me out, especially since it's replacing something as cool as Amoeba.
I had just moved to LA when they first opened the doors and it's always been a cool hang out spot. I've scored hundreds of amazing records there too. Whether they re-open or not, I suspect it just won't ever be close to as great as it was.
I lived in Hollywood for years, a few minutes walk from Amoeba and loved that place. Hand down the coolest spot in town.
Spent countless hours researching this forum on various pressings, best sounding versions etc, then went hunting and actually found some of the stuff for sale for non-crazy prices!! Happy days indeed.
Recently moved to New York and find myself missing Amoeba though not LA itself.
I also find it unfathomable that a city like New York doesn't have its own version of Amoeba and only a bunch of small fairly unimpressive indie shops.
It's just that after Amoeba you can't look at at record stores the same way.
Hope I get to visit it again before they close shop, then there will definitely won't be any reason to visit Hollywood again.
We live in very sad times to be a music lover in many different regards, and LA that used to be the capital of all things music is a sad reminder of that.
The Strip had become an all squeaky clean, corporate soulless, snoozefest of a street, the House Of Blues is gone and now without Amoeba....it's just sad. F this world.
I really do wish someone would find a way to expand the Amoeba experience to the East. I see no reason why it couldn't be as successful in other cities. NYC might be tricky given the absolutely ridiculous rents in Manhattan (maybe Brooklyn might work), but if they can make SF work, why not?
Walking into the SF Amoeba a few years ago was such a revelation for me. I've been in a lot of record stores in the past decade that made me really happy (Sonic Boom in Seattle, Encore in Ann Arbor, Love Garden in Lawrence, Waterloo in Austin, Reckless in Chicago, among many many others) but none gave me that kid in a candy shop feel that Amoeba did. It felt like record shopping was new and exciting again.
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