Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Aron's Records is Closing

I stopped by Aron's Records in Hollywood last night and was sad to see that they're having a going-out-of-business sale. Aron's was the biggest independent record store in L.A. for years before Amoeba came along. They were the one store all the others looked weak compared to. Amoeba pretty much wrote the book on having just about any album you could think of in stock, but going there kind of feels like going to Home Depot, and they've always had higher prices than Aron's. Well, now Aron's prices are even lower, because used and new CDs are both 30% off. They'll probably stay open until sometime in February.

Boy, many of the indie record stores I frequented in the 1990s are gone now. Here's a few that remain, at least the last time I checked:

1. Fingerprints on 2nd St. in Long Beach. This store's significantly smaller than Aron's, but it's my pick for the best selection (or at least, the selection that's most in line with my own taste) in a store that's the size of a store instead of a warehouse. Good prices, good selection of both used and new, knowledgeable and friendly staff, in-store concerts, and well-chosen displays of new stuff. If any record/CD store is going to survive in this economy, it'll be these guys.

2. Rhino Records in Claremont. Claremont is one of my favorite undiscovered towns around SoCal. You've got more colleges than you can shake a stick at, beautiful old oak-lined streets of Craftsman houses, and a great independent record store across the street from a great independent ice cream shop. Good selection, helpful staff, frequent sales, and lots of "imports" *cough* *cough*. Better than their supposed flagship store in Westwood. They have some sort of relationship with Mad Platter near UCR in Riverside, which is one of the few saving graces of that city.

3. Poo-Bah in Pasadena. They moved to a storefront on East Colorado Blvd. a couple years ago from their funky longtime location in a converted house, but they're still doing things the same. Selection kinda leans towards music for old guys (e.g., classic rock, jazz, blues), but I always find something good here, and the atmosphere reminds me of the old days.

4. Noise Noise Noise in Costa Mesa. Every time I visit this tiny shop behind a 7-11 in Orange County, I expect to see that it's closed, but it was still there as of this summer. Small selection of CDs, but heavy on the vinyl, if you go for that, both old and new. They're not trying to be all things to all people, but they've got their niche. Their battle with the City of Costa Mesa over tinting their windows to prevent sun damage is a good example of code enforcement gone awry.

5. Penny Lane in Alhambra. PL is a SoCal mini-chain that's okay but I've always found kind of annoying. But I give props to the one in Alhambra because it seems to be run by a clerk determined to drive away customers with his in-store music selections. Nice guy, though, and he turned me on to Venetian Snares.


At Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 3:41:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One glaring omission: Lovell's Records in Whittier. Although I have no idea if they are even around now in 2011, but they were still around when you wrote this blog in 2005.


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