Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by zakyfarms, Sep 12, 2016.
Sunset Tower also had another lot a block away
This has been my experience as well. I work in the city and sometimes head up to the Haight St. Amoeba after work and it's always very quiet and mellow, both inside Amoeba and out on the street. Haight is not the "hipster" hangout it was in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I think these days it gets a lot of its traffic from tourists who leave by dinner time and locals who are increasingly of the go-to-bed early variety. Most nightlife is happening in the Mission or parts of SOMA, for example.
Yeah it's now the Mission. I lived around the corner from Blowfish Sushi for 23 years. Un believable change.
Rasputin's is still open, they're just selling CDs and DVDs now. The place must be a ghost town. But Mad Monk, where they moved all their vinyl, is definitely worth checking out. I kind of feel like Rasputin's vinyl has improved a bit since moving into the old Cody's building (at least I seem to be finding more there these days; and maybe I also just prefer the new space).
That would be very convenient actually. 'Give me the new King Crimson box and two grams of Depth Charge Kush please!' If they sold ice cream and Doritos, we'd be SET!
I live in Seattle now and every friend who visits wants to check out the pot stores. It's still a novelty to walk in buy a bag a joint or an edible.
Novelty? For me it's the far-flung future!
Which Wherehouse are you referring to? Imports? I worked there in SF for a couple of years (with Mazzy) in the seventies and it was far from what you describe.
Yes. The atmosphere in Tower Sunset was usually electric. It was a place to be, along with a place to look for music. Just plain fun.
Amoeba doesn't come close to that. And even though Amoeba is huge, I find that, as a card carrying member in good standing of the Crate Diggers of America for decades, the wheat/chaff ratio isn't always all that great.
As for Amoeba. I was at the Berkeley Amoeba the day they first opened. Same with the Haight Amoeba. (Can't say I was at the LA store the first day). Anyway, in terms of amazing finds and high hit ratio, nothing has ever come close to the Berkeley store in the first year or so.
Since this thread has ventured into reminiscing about Old Defunct Record Store Chains and also about Medicinal Music Enhancers, my stream of consciousness has drifted to ponder:
Water bongs that Music Plus used to stock.
Just a kid, I'd known what they were for, but would laugh and shake my head when I'd think about how much shelf space those ornate glass tubes took up (next to shiny reflective decals and bumper stickers of Dark Side of the Moon, Kiss, AC/DC, and The Grateful Dead), when the store should've expanded their overpriced imports and 45 rpm singles sections.
Amoeba is so huge, I wouldn't be surprise if they have some displayed in some nook shelf.
Along with shiny reflective decals and bumper stickers of Daft Punk, Kanye, and The Black Keys.
I was fortunate enough to visit both Bay Area branches of Amoeba in April 2015. I thought the selection of used CDs was still outstanding at both stores -- deep and covering many genres with a lot of unusual, out-of-print titles mixed in. It would be a shame, in my opinion, if the Berkeley store stopped selling CDs, which has been rumored. I honestly didn't pay super close attention to what new CDs those Amoebas might have been selling.
The Bay Area Amoeba stores -- in the state I saw them last April -- were better for used CDs than perhaps any stores I've ever set foot in. I can't vouch for the vinyl selection in those stores because I'm more of a CD lover and was occupied for hours looking through the CDs. And, for what it's worth, both stores were doing pretty brisk business when I visited them.
I hope to visit the Hollywood Amoeba sometime soon before any possible changes to its current incarnation.
I'm not sure how much of it was Amoeba's deep stock or due to people dumping CDs, but I was super super impressed by their used CDs. I picked up some old psych and krautrock albums I'd been hunting for for some time, at reasonable prices. Not that I'm anywhere near the area, but it would be a shame to see any branch eliminate CDs.
I have a live album by Paul McCartney recorded at Amoeba in 2007, "Live in Los Angeles". He released it with a British newspaper or something in 2010. I got it from Amazon.
Any talk of re-location?
(hint, hint, VEGAS... hint, hint)
The Wherehouse stores in my general area were just regular old retail music stores with mediocre selection and high prices. I don't know if I ever bought a new item in one of their stores. Tower, Licorice Pizza and even Music Plus were always better in choice and pricing.
What's that barbershop at Valencia & 18th St. that does $75 haircuts? It's hipsterville!
The best crate digging is now happening at smaller stores all over town. Amoeba's used vinyl section is relatively puny given the size of the store. There are two recent arrival areas, the one toward the back is where I usually find stuff.
Bay Area Amoeba's are fabulous for used CD and DVD. Great on new vinyl, weak on used.
I used to live round the corner from there. Spent this last weekend in the neighborhood both days. Frightening how it's changed. Everybody's 28 - 32, white and entitled. Great to see people out on the streets at night but the ethnic character of the Mission is gone.
Given their success in L.A., I doubt they will close.
Here's to a quick and least disruptive relocation, hopefully not too much further away.
I'm attached to what's inside, and I've been going there since it opened. Finding another former supermarket on the skids shouldn't be too hard.
I've always loved Ameoba on my trips to California and hope it remains but as long as it stays in one form or another I'll be happy. Rockaway & Freekbeat are another two favourites. LA still has some great record shops.
Some of this chatter about Wherehouse records is funny. Back in the early-to-mid 80s, I went to numerous Wherehouse locations all around the Bay Area. My impression was that Wherehouse could be wildly inconsistent from one location to the next. I remember a Wherehouse in Fremont, I believe, which had an unusually robust heavy metal section with lots of imports. But then a small Wherehouse in Stanford shopping center had a terrible overall selection and charged $2-3 more per release (no doubt due to the location), while yet another Wherehouse just down the road in Menlo Park had a better overall selection and better prices. But no Wherehouse that I ever set foot in during the 80s had anywhere near the selection of Tower, which maybe goes without saying.
Maybe because I live in the birthplace of Tower Records, but the Wherehouses here in the Sac valley were sad and sorry affairs - the kind of thing you would see in a shopping mall - strictly top 40. They also pre-dated Tower in giving themselves over to selling all kinds of cheap chachkie crap that soon took over the whole store. I assumed they were all like that...
We had one maybe two import bins. Pathetic
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