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Over on Chris' thread, I admitted that online purchasing is now my preferred way to get music, but many people (hi, Tim) waxed rhapsodic over record stores.
That's a bit of nostalgia I can get behind. So--what were/are your favorites? If I came to your hometown (don't worry, I won't), where would you send me?
I've got four.
Two are here in my hometown, Houston. One, Cactus Records (on Shepherd Drive, next to the old Alabama Theater where I first saw both Star Wars and Rocky Horror), closed its doors last year; they were a local legend, and I once bumped into a couple of guys from Social Distortion there. By default, the best store in town is now Soundwaves on Montrose, which is both a record store (with a GREAT used CD bin) and a skate/surf shop. Oh, and coffee bar.
The other two are in Austin. On another thread, I mentioned Waterloo Records on Lamar; it's generally regarded as one of the best in the US...it's easily the best in Texas. I should also mention the best chain store I know, Tower Records on the UT campus. The fact that Austin has Tower and Houston doesn't irritates me...
I'd send you to either Blackbyrd Myoozik on Whyte Ave., or Sound Connection (which as of recently was a very convenient four blocks from my house, but has since moved to an area with higher traffic.) Sad.
Not much in the way of cool record stores up here in Edmonton (Alberta), but both are havens for great indie stuff. Both carry tons of vinyl too, but Sound Connection seems to carry more new releases on vinyl than Blackbyrd. Speaking of which, I should be getting a call anyday now regarding the Neutral Milk Hotel LP that I ordered.
We have a semi-chain here which I guess has spread to a couple other states called Cheapo. I don't go there as often as I used to, but it's a great store. You can go in with 20 bucks and come out with 4-5 CD's you've been looking for on some occasions.