Best Record Store - 2005
Open Mind Music
The joy of discovery -- whether of great new material you'd never have come across or old stuff you've searched for forever -- is the best part of record-hunting at Open Mind Music. The store probably has less than half the stock of Amoeba, but here you can listen to vinyl before you buy it (unlike at Amoeba). With the humble motto "We don't always have what you're looking for, but we usually have the things you didn't know you were looking for," OMM is honest about its limitations and friendly with its recommendations (no snotty attitude). It might not be the first place you go for that specific album that came out today -- though if it's cool, chances are it's here -- yet it is the place at which to remember why you prefer playing records to CDs (don't worry, the store carries those, too). Give the fidelity of vinyl another shot at Open Mind.