Amoeba Music, Los Angeles
Apparently, Rolling Stone Magazine called this music outlet "The world's greatest record store". A big pronouncement. Justified, by the way.
I've traveled a decent amount and I have never found a better music store. Amoeba, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, opened this Hollywood branch a few years ago. Within walking distance of my home, it has had a gigantic effect on the neighborhood. I should hate it for the traffic and congestion it has created, but I LOVE this store. Incredible selection, cheap prices and a bazaar-like atmosphere. It's a blast.
Furthermore, it really reflects what Hollywood is all about. For foreign travelers, Hollywood is often a disappointment, not retaining the glamour of the thirties and forties that they've been fed by film and glossy magazines. But, for me, as an East Coast American, my image of Hollywood was always based around the punk scene and counter culture movements of the tumultous early eighties. The Germs, The Go Go's, Darby, Alice and the Bags - Punk rock and strip clubs. That's my image. And, that counter-culture, music centered lineage is clearly reflected and celebrated in Amoeba. It's just right for this hood.
What to buy: The used CD collection is massive and the most hotly browsed. Upstairs, in the film/DVD section, don't miss the under bins that are not yet properly racked. And, there is a "new arrivals" section at the beginning of each genre, not yet catalogued. Here, you can find demos and promotional items that insiders have sold for cash - and which are not yet available to the public.
What to pay: Used discs run, for the most part, from $8-$13. VHS tapes are for nothing. .99 cents to $3.
Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Directions: 6400 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. Corner of Cahuenga or Ivar. The Sunset/Vine complex is just down the block. 101FWY, exit "Sunset". West.
Amoeba Music is the largest indie music store in America with an enormous selection. Music lovers can spend a whole day in it browsing. Also has performances by local bands and other music related events.
A bit far from the touristy section of Hollywood Blvd, but within walking distance.
Two other stores in northern California, one in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco and one Berkeley
What to buy: Music!
Address: 6400 W Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA
Directions: Corner of Sunset and Cahuenga, next to the Arclight theatreRelated to:
Amoeba Music is an enormous music store located in the revamped Sunset and Vine area, next to the Cineramadome and Arclight Theatre. This may be the largest music store you'll ever see. It looks like an airport hanger (a two story airport hanger!)... and every inch is filled with CDs, tapes, records, DVDs, videos, posters, collectibles and all sorts of other great stuff.
Amoeba sells both new and used music and DVDs. Come in with an idea of what you'd like to buy, because starting blind is competely overwhelming. There is SO MUCH music here. You'll find everything from rock, hip hop and electronica to jazz and classical.
If you're interested in seeing some live music while you're in L.A., you'll find tons of fliers from local bands plastered on the walls near the entry. You can sell your used CDs and DVDs here, as well.
The store is open Mon-Sat 10:30-11 and Sunday 11-9.
Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028
Directions: Near the intersection of Sunset and Vine.
In this day and age of illegal music downloads (guilty as charged), its still cool to see people willingly going to a record store and buying CDs and vinyl. This is also an independant music store... a dying breed these days.
The selection here is pretty damn amazing. There's music from all over the world and from obscure musicians and bands. There's also a lot of used CDs for sale.
Those into vinyl will be pleased due to the large selection of vinyl available.
There's also a stage where occasionally they have bands playing live music.
What to pay: Generally most of the used CDs are pretty cheap.
Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd